Wings Greatest

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Wings Greatest
Wings Greatest.jpg
Compilation album by
Released22 November 1978 (1978-11-22)
Recorded12 October 1970 – January 1978
LabelParlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
ProducerPaul McCartney
Wings chronology
London Town
Wings Greatest
Back to the Egg
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[2]
The Essential Rock Discography7/10[3]

Wings Greatest is a 1978 compilation album by the British–American rock band Wings and their eighth album as well as Paul McCartney's tenth since leaving the Beatles. It was the band's last release through Capitol in the US. The album is notable as being the first official retrospective release from McCartney's post-Beatles career.

Wings Greatest was remastered and reissued in 1993, as part of The Paul McCartney Collection, and again in 2018.[6]


The album was compiled after McCartney's decision to leave EMI's American label, Capitol, for a six-year stay with Columbia (United States and Canada only), though he remained with EMI worldwide during his US sabbatical from Capitol. Four of the twelve tracks make their album debut with this compilation: "Another Day", "Junior's Farm", "Hi, Hi, Hi" and "Mull of Kintyre". "Live and Let Die" had previously appeared on the soundtrack album of the same name but did not appear on any previous McCartney albums.

All but two tracks were credited as "Wings" or "Paul McCartney & Wings"; the exceptions being "Another Day" (a non-album single credited to just "Paul McCartney") and "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" (credited to "Paul & Linda McCartney") from their 1971 album Ram.

Despite the fact that McCartney had amassed enough successful singles by late 1978 to potentially fill a double album, he opted to release Wings Greatest as a single disc for commercial reasons.[citation needed] Thus, several songs would be overlooked for Wings Greatest. Indeed, not one song was excerpted from 1975's Venus and Mars, despite "Listen to What the Man Said" being a number 1 US hit. The album was promoted by a TV commercial in the UK, which featured several members of the public (played by actors) singing Wings tunes in public places. At the end a dustman, waiting in his lorry at a set of traffic lights (in Abbey Road), sings to himself an out of tune rendition of "Band on the Run", at which point Paul, Linda and Denny pull up alongside and Paul shouts out "You're a bit flat mate!". The driver leans out his window and says "Funny, I only checked them this morning!"[7]

The Bulgarian pressings of the album did not include the song "Live and Let Die".[8]


Aubrey Powell and George Hardie of Hipgnosis are credited with the design, as well as Paul and Linda McCartney.[9]

The front cover of Wings Greatest depicts a chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statuette created by famed Art Deco sculptor Demétre Chiparus.[10] This antique statuette was purchased by Linda McCartney at a 1978 auction[11] and Paul McCartney decided this statuette would be ideal as the cover for the band's forthcoming greatest hits album.[11]

On 14 October 1978, the McCartney family flew to Switzerland, accompanied by a photographer named Angus Forbes, to arrange a photography session depicting the statuette in genuine snow. The snowdrift backdrop within the image was created with the assistance of a hired snow-plough, and the actual image upon the cover was an aerial photograph taken by helicopter.[9][11]

The rear cover depicts the record covers of the twelve releases, mostly singles, from which each of the Greatest's songs were taken, in columns on either side of the album. In the middle is a photograph of Paul, Linda, and Denny Laine. The original photograph also had Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English, but both members had left the band by the time this greatest hits album was issued and, as a result, were airbrushed out.[citation needed] The background is another scene of the Alps.

The statuette also appears on the inner sleeves of the original vinyl, as well as on the record's labels.[9] It can also be seen on the album cover of Wings' next (and last) studio album, Back to the Egg, in the background, on the mantlepiece.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Paul and Linda McCartney except where noted.

Side one
1."Another Day" Paul McCartney3:42
2."Silly Love Songs" Wings5:52
3."Live and Let Die" Paul McCartney and Wings3:11
4."Junior's Farm" Paul McCartney and Wings4:21
5."With a Little Luck"P. McCartneyWings5:45
6."Band on the Run" Paul McCartney and Wings5:10
Side two
1."Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" Paul and Linda McCartney4:48
2."Hi, Hi, Hi" Wings3:07
3."Let 'Em In" Wings5:09
4."My Love" Paul McCartney and Wings4:08
5."Jet" Paul McCartney and Wings4:06
6."Mull of Kintyre"P. McCartney, Denny LaineWings4:43



  1. ^ Wings Greatest at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: W". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 9 March 2019 – via
  3. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 696. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  4. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durchholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 731.
  5. ^ Nicol, Jimmy (October 1993). "Re-releases: Paul McCartney The Paul McCartney Collection". Q. p. 119.
  6. ^ "Paul to Reissue Four Catalogue Titles". Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Wings Greatest". Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Wings (2) - Greatest (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  9. ^ a b c Wings Greatest visited 2013-08-20
  10. ^ Art Deco Semiramis Figurine Chiparus Statue Sculpture visited 2013-08-20
  11. ^ a b c McCartney: Songwriter ISBN 0-491-03325-7 p. 142
  12. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 30, No. 19, February 03 1979". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  14. ^ " Wings - Greatest Hits" (ASP)., Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  15. ^ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" (in Japanese). 30 December 2007. Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  16. ^ " - Wings - Greatest Hits" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  17. ^ " Wings - Greatest Hits" (ASP)., Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  18. ^ " Wings - Greatest Hits" (ASP)., Hung Medien (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  19. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Wings - Greatest Hits". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  20. ^ "allmusic ((( Wings at the Speed of Sound > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  21. ^ a b McGee, Garry (2003). Band on the Run: A History of Paul McCartney and Wings. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-87833-304-2.
  22. ^ " - Wings Greatest Hits" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Wings – Greatest Hits". Music Canada. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  25. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1979". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Wings – Wings Greatest". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Wings – Wings Greatest". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 19 July 2022.