Wings at the Speed of Sound
|Wings at the Speed of Sound|
|Studio album by Wings|
|Released||25 March 1976 (US)
26 March 1976 (UK)
|Label||MPL Communications (UK)
MPL Communications/Capitol (US)
|Singles from Wings at the Speed of Sound|
Wings at the Speed of Sound is the fifth album by Wings and was recorded and issued in 1976 in the midst of a large world tour as the follow-up album to the popular Venus and Mars. It is the band's only album where every member sings lead on at least one song.
After a series of concerts in Australia in November 1975, Wings took a break from the tour to spend the holidays with their families and in January 1976 booked time at Abbey Road Studios in London to record Wings at the Speed of Sound. It was the first time McCartney had recorded an album in England since Red Rose Speedway. Due to the tour commitments, Wings were not afforded the opportunity to record in another locale. By the end of February, the album was complete, and Wings went back on the road.
Around the time of the studio sessions for Wings at the Speed of Sound, McCartney was facing criticism for Wings simply being a vehicle for himself. He encouraged each of the band members to contribute a song during the sessions, though this would become one of the reasons for the criticism of the album. McCartney had previously attempted to create a democratic album in Red Rose Speedway, though it would be rejected by his record label.
Engineer Peter Henderson later commented, "I remember one of my first engineering jobs, working with Paul McCartney on Wings at the Speed of Sound — he'd do two vocal takes and ask, 'Which is the better one?' And when he played guitar, he'd really lean into it and give it everything he got."
Release and reception
Wings at the Speed of Sound was released in late March 1976 and received somewhat lukewarm critical reviews. Rolling Stone's reviewer saw this record as something of a concept album, describing it as "A Day with the McCartneys". The introduction, "Let 'Em In", is sometimes perceived as an invitation for the listener to join the McCartneys on this fantasy day, with explanation of their philosophy ("Silly Love Songs"), a lunch break ("Cook of the House"), and a chance to get to know McCartney's friends (Denny Laine in "The Note You Never Wrote", Jimmy McCulloch in "Wino Junko", etc.).
The album went to number 2 in the United Kingdom (and was the 4th best-selling album of 1976). It became McCartney's most successful American chart album, spending seven unconsecutive weeks at number 1 throughout the summer (and blocking The Beatles' then-new compilation Rock 'n' Roll Music, which reached number 2).
Much of the album's success can be attributed to its two smash singles. "Silly Love Songs", a response to his critics and one of McCartney's biggest hits, followed the album in April, and became one of 1976's biggest-selling singles. This was followed in July with "Let 'Em In", which also scaled the singles charts. Amid all this, Wings finally went to North America for the Wings Over America Tour, playing McCartney's first shows there for ten years (after The Beatles' last tour in 1966) to euphoric reaction; a few selections from Speed of Sound were included.
In 1993, Wings at the Speed of Sound was remastered and reissued on compact disc as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series, along with The Country Hams' "Walking in the Park with Eloise" and its B-side "Bridge on the River Suite", and "Junior's Farm"'s B-Side "Sally G" - all recorded in Nashville in 1974 - as bonus tracks.
All songs written by Paul and Linda McCartney, except where noted.
- Side one
- "Let 'Em In" – 5:10
- "The Note You Never Wrote" – 4:19
- lead vocal by Denny Laine
- "She's My Baby" – 3:06
- "Beware My Love" – 6:27
- "Wino Junko" (Jimmy McCulloch/Colin Allen) – 5:19
- lead vocal by Jimmy McCulloch
- Side two
- "Silly Love Songs" – 5:53
- "Cook of the House" – 2:37
- lead vocal by Linda McCartney
- "Time to Hide" (Denny Laine) – 4:32
- lead vocal by Laine
- "Must Do Something About It" – 3:42
- lead vocal by Joe English
- "San Ferry Anne" – 2:06
- "Warm and Beautiful" – 3:12
- Bonus tracks
|Bonus tracks on 1993 re-issue|
|12.||"Walking in the Park with Eloise" (written by James McCartney, recorded at Nashville as "The Country Hams")||3:07|
|13.||"Bridge over the River Suite" (recorded at Nashville as "The Country Hams")||3:12|
|14.||"Sally G" (B-Side of a single "Junior's Farm")||3:37|
- Paul McCartney - vocals; acoustic, electric and bass guitars; keyboards; double bass
- Linda McCartney - vocals; keyboards
- Denny Laine - vocals; acoustic, electric and bass guitars; piano
- Jimmy McCulloch - vocals; acoustic, electric and bass guitars
- Joe English - vocals; drums
- Tony Dorsey - trombone
- Thaddeus Richard - saxophone, clarinet, flute
- Steve Howerd - trumpet, flugelhorn
- Howie Casey - saxophone
Certifications and sales
- Buskin, Richard (July 2005). CLASSIC TRACKS: Supertramp's 'Logical Song', Sound on Sound.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Wings at the Speed of Sound at Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- Christgau, Robert (14 June 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- Gary Graff & Daniel Durcholz, MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999), p. 731.
- Holden, Stephen (20 May 1976). "Wings at the Speed of Sound". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- "Performs the Hits of Wings". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Library and Archives Canada. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.4133a&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=6oc0m3s841i06k494ja0lf6kb3
- "dutchcharts.nl Wings - At The Speed Of Sound". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Wings" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1976" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- a-ビートルズ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "charts.org.nz - Wings - At The Speed Of Sound". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
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- "swedishcharts.com Wings - At The Speed Of Sound" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "Chart Stats - Wings - Wings At The Speed Of Sound". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "allmusic ((( Wings at the Speed of Sound > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Album Search: Wings" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
- "French album certifications – Wings – Wings at the Speed of Sound" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- 1976年アルバム年間ヒットチャート "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1976" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- "British album certifications – Wings – Wings at the Speed of Sound". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Wings at the Speed of Sound in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American album certifications – Wings – Wings at the Speed of Sound". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1976". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- "Les Albums (CD) de 1976 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
- "Billboard.com - Year End Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200". Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton
|Billboard 200 number-one album
24–30 April 1976
29 May - 4 June 1976
19 June - 23 July 1976
Presence by Led Zeppelin
Rock n' Roll Love Letter by Bay City Rollers
|Canadian RPM Chart number-one album
29 May – 17 June 1976
Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton