- 09 Feb 24
The re-release also features previously unheard, "underdubbed" mixes.
The expanded 50th anniversary edition of Paul McCartney & Wings’ seminal Band on the Run is out today via MPL, UMe, and Universal Music Ireland.
A long-time fixture of all-time greatest album lists, the well-decorated record was originally released in December 1973. Featuring the evergreen title track, international hit ‘Jet,’ as well as the pensive ‘Bluebird,’ longtime live-staple ‘Let Me Roll It,’ and energetic closer “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five,” Band on the Run became Wings’ most iconic and successful release ever.
By the summer of 1973, Paul had a fresh batch of songs earmarked for a new album following Wild Life (1971) and Red Rose Speedway (1973). McCartney chose to record his new material at a studio in Lagos, Nigeria, becoming enthralled with the idea of recording in Africa. A reckoning came just days before the sessions when lead guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell quit the band.
Wings suddenly became a trio. Paul, his wife Linda, and band member Denny Laine (along with recording engineer Geoff Emerick) continued with their undertaking, working up the new songs over two months. Adversity struck again when Paul and Linda were robbed at knifepoint during a walk, the thieves fleeing with a cassette of the album’s demo recordings. As the story goes, Paul was able to re-record the demos from memory having recently written them.
Known for its suite-like structure of three distinct movements, the title track 'Band on the Run' was not an immediate smash hit, but it would eventually top the US Billboard Hot 100 and propel the eponymous album back up the charts, reaching #1 in both the US and UK, and becoming the best-selling studio album of 1974 in Australia, Canada, and the UK. In 1975, Band on the Run earned Wings two Grammys.
The 50th anniversary edition of Band on the Run is available in a variety of formats, beginning with the essential 1LP. Fans can also avail of a 2LP vinyl format which features the original US recorded version and a second LP titled ‘Underdubbed’ Mixes Edition. Both versions, including a CD format, are available to purchase here.
Speaking about the 'Underdubbed' version Paul said, “This is Band on the Run in a way you’ve never heard before When you are making a song and putting on additional parts, like an extra guitar, that’s an overdub. Well, this version of the album is the opposite, underdubbed.”