Helen Wheels

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"Helen Wheels"
Helenwheels.png
Single by Paul McCartney and Wings
B-side"Country Dreamer"
Released26 October 1973
Format7" single
RecordedAugust–September 1973, EMI Studios, Lagos, Nigeria
GenreGlam rock, power pop
Length3:44
LabelApple Records
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
Producer(s)Paul McCartney
Wings singles chronology
"Live and Let Die"
(1973)
"Helen Wheels"
(1973)
"Mrs. Vandebilt"
(1974)

"Helen Wheels" is a song by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song was named after Paul and Linda McCartney's Land Rover, which they nicknamed "Hell on Wheels".

Release[edit]

The song was released as a single (with "Country Dreamer" on the B-side) prior to Band on the Run and was not included on the British release of the album. However, Capitol Records vice president of promotion Al Coury persuaded McCartney to include it on the American release. The song peaked at number 10 in the United States on 12 January 1974 and at number 12 in the United Kingdom charts.[1][2]

In the book Paul McCartney In His Own Words published in 1976, McCartney said:

"Helen Wheels is our Land Rover. It's a name we gave to our Land Rover, which is a trusted vehicle that gets us around Scotland. It takes us up to the Shetland Islands and down to London. The song starts off in Glasgow, and it goes past Carlisle, goes to Kendal, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. It's the route coming down from our Scottish farm to London, so it's really the story of the trip down. Little images along the way. Liverpool is on the West coast of England, so that is all that means."[3]

The promotional film clip was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg (who also directed The Beatles' final movie Let it Be) and shows McCartney singing and playing his left-handed Rickenbacker 4001 bass, Linda playing a Minimoog synthesizer and singing backing vocals Denny Laine playing his Fender Telecaster and singing backing vocals while additional footage shows McCartney doubling on drums and lead guitar in place of departed members Denny Seiwell and Henry McCullough, both of whom quit the band prior to the sessions for Band on the Run, and the trio in a car.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Def Leppard on the album The Art of McCartney in 2014.[5]

Personnel[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul McCartney singles". allmusic. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  2. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  3. ^ Gambaccini, Paul (1976). Paul McCartney: In His Own Words. New York: Flash. p. 80. ISBN 0825639107.
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qnRvJZfh1c
  5. ^ Dylan, Kiss, others cover McCartney on new tribute