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Author Topic: Microscope: Band On The Run  (Read 6348 times)

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Bobber

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Microscope: Band On The Run
« on: October 31, 2011, 03:25:54 PM »

Band On The Run
Yeah, we all know about the circumstances in which this album was made. Lagos didn't appear to be the most appropriate place to record an album, certainly not in 1973. Nevertheless, this opening track shows Paul's meanings and development as a songwriter. I even dig Linda's keyboard solo from 1.30. I have always loved the great rhythm guitars in this song and Paul's drumming is steady and good. Still I wonder what Denny Seiwell had made of this. The handclaps are excellent and really add something. Orchestration at around 2.00 is a breakthrough and the acoustic guitars coming in at 2.14 are just wonderful. What can I say? I have listened to this song hundreds of times and it remains a great song till this day. Paul at his best. Band On The Run and Jet are the songs I recognized on the radio as a little Bobber and get me hooked on Paul McCartney. I soon discovered he once was a member of the legendary Beatles.

Jet
Tony Visconti did another great job here with the orchestration, as proved in the opening section. Wonderful brass. Another great song in my humble. Denny's and Linda's backing vocals are spot on all through the song. Great rhythm guitar once again. Love the little piano lick (1.59) followed by the keyboard solo. Simple and effective. Good rocking tune this. The sax solo to finish the song of is just pure genius.

Bluebird
Not one of my favourites on the album, although a great song. I'm just not to fond of the percussion, which gets a bit annoying in the end. The cowbell gets a positive mention tho. Harmonies as good as they can get. Howie Casey's saxophone solo (from 1.54) is magnificent and adds to the whole atmosphere of the song. Is that guitar lick out of tune at 3.00? I could never make up my mind.

Mrs Vanderbilt
Paul's bass makes the song in my opinion. It's great to really hear the strumming on the acoustic guitars and therefore it's great to play the song by yourself. The 'Ho He Ho' refrain is catchy and works great at live shows. Good drumming by Paul. Another great saxophone lick by Howie Casey. The laughter at the end is a bit over the top for me, but I understand something was needed to break through the Ho He Ho pattern.

Let Me Roll It
Paul McCartney doing John Lennon. And probably better. The characteristic lick is reminiscent of John's Cold Turkey and makes the song for a great deal. The song doesn't even need a guitar solo, the gaps are filled with the lick. Why is there some much reverb on Paul's voice? Not nice, but probably typically 1973. The little trick with the drums at the end of the chorus is something for the drummers to discuss. Strange edit at 2.59, a sudden change of sound and atmosphere. A pity the song ends in a fade out.

Mamunia
A lightweight. Great bass work by Paul again. Nice acoustic guitars and ditto harmonies. I always join at the little 'ah's' (who's doing that?) at 1.09 and 1.11. The cross singing from 2.50 and 3.25 onwards is a highlight in this song. Synthesizer at the end is well done by Paul.

No Words
A Denny Laine composition, finished by Paul. Nice orchestration by Tony Visconti. Lead guitar reminds me of George Harrison and therefore it sounds a bit like a George song. A good one tho. Somehow I never really get into the song very well and a fade out at 2.30 makes it a candle going out slowly.

Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)
Many people think this is the masterpiece of the album (so I've learned in the past few weeks), but I don't really agree. Paul wanted to make the song consisting of fragments to express Picasso's cubistic style of painting. The brass playing in the second fragment is great tho, but the reprise from Jet is not. Then comes an orchestrated 'Drink To Me' part, which is a bit over the top, and so is the instrumental section that comes after that. The drunken-sounding 'Drink To Me' is, looking at the song complete structure, understandable and so is the French part. It sounds as if Paul is having troubles (or is that Linda in the background) with the high notes in the Drink To Me part. The Ho He Ho ending is too much for me. I've heard enough Ho He Ho's earlier on the album.

Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
And what a great finale Paul brings to this great album. Great piano, that comes in a couple of times to sort of restart the song. Great powerful orchestration to finish the song of and a little reprise of Band On The Run at the end. Is that a clarinet or alt sax solo? Maybe the best song on the album.


Not on the UK version of the album, but it was in the US:
Helen Wheels
Simple but great rocker that I really like. Paul has really improved his drumming since his debut solo album. He's got to work on the lead guitar parts tho. They remain not very fluent. Nice how they hammer on at 2.25 tho. I can clearly hear Linda sing 'Hell On Wheels' in the harmonies. There's a little Kansas City (say bye bye) (3.03)


Overall: a great album with a wonderful feel. No bad songs.
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glass onion

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 05:37:53 PM »

all agreed bobber.......i never really got into band on the run until quite recently,and i now realise what a superb album it is.not only because of the circumstances it was made in/under,but really there is no filler on this album,which is remarkable when you think of the album/albums recorded before it.it seemed to all come together for the three wings members,and if i was henry or denny s. i think i would have felt a little miffed.however,they must have had their reasons for quitting.
pauls' drumming is great throughout,he really shows his versatility on this album.the songwriting is absolutely second to none and wings ended up with a fantastic record that lifted the band into the major league again.or at least gave them a massive lift.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 06:16:45 PM »

The only Paul's post-Beatles album that I really care about. The lyrics are weak as usual on Paul's solo records, but here the music compensates it. In my opinion, high points are the title track, "Jet", "Let Me Roll It", "Helen Wheels" and "1985". I'm not a fan of the backing vocals here (Linda was not Grace Slick), but it's still an enjoyable record full of hooks. Easily Wings' best album and the one where Paul has more control of the instrumentation (just a coincidence?).
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 06:20:56 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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blmeanie

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 01:00:15 AM »

the way he changes pace in Band on the Run reminds me in a odd way of A Day in the Life.  The song has multiple legs to stand on and having different "sections" is awesome writing.

1985 rocks, Helen Wheels is very cool.  I enjoy all the tracks, probably some out of repetitiveness but nonetheless it holds up well for me.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 02:07:50 AM »

Old 'Band On The Run'. Everybodys preferred Paul album, or so it seems. Not mine, but its easily one of his best. Theres just a few songs on it that I think are sketchy, but i'll get to that soon. I've been waiting for this review to see where everybody stands.

In My Life

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 03:30:41 AM »

Quote from: Bobber
I always join at the little 'ah's' (who's doing that?)

It's John, definitely.  ;D
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Kelley

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Ollier

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2011, 08:56:10 AM »

I think we'll all come to a general agreement with this one, in that it's probably about the best record that Paul has been involved with. It's certainly up there anyway.

Band On The Run A very good song. Paul tends to get knocked about poor lyrics and sometimes they are poor, not often in my view, but sometimes. On the past few records his words just seem to be, for the most part, a bit uninvolved. Here every word flows to create a great sense of what the song is about, just read the words, they are brilliant even on their own fabulous images in there. The singing is tops too, particularly how they go into the title with such joy et gusto. Nice guitars on the intro sections and acoustics on the main piece. Orchestral was how Paul once described this on a TV advert...

Jet Great fuzziness on here there is something else interesting going on inside of it too, maybe it's keys or percussion but it underpins it all very well, great voice. One of Paul's most nonsense rockers of them all, it's about a black puppy runt or a black horse apparently. Black something anyway.

Bluebird Kind of dreamy, nice guitar, nice percussion, splendid vocal swell it just makes you want to sing it. Simple but again nice images, it's soft and it's good...

Mrs Vanderbilt Nice acoustics and percussions. Bouncy bass, catchy and not much too it. Maybe the words are a dig at someone or something I don't know. Probably means nothing but its harmless enough, maybe the weakest on this...

Let Me Roll It Great guitar and yeah I can hear Cold Turkey similarity. The words "I can't tell you how I feel..." it's from the heart I'm sure of it and another rolling pun. There’s a can't quite hear it bit in there too it's very good, heavy with it.

Mamunia I like this one, it’s true indeed that “you’ve never felt the rain my friend ‘til you’ve felt it running down your back…” it’s maybe the most philosophical song on this, if that applies at all anyway… Guitars are pretty and when the vocal builds it really makes the song.

No Words When I first heard the album I found this to be the best most obviously single worthy song on it. Great harmonies again, brilliant guitar work. It just has that melody. Well done Denny.

Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me) This starts slowly and has been the most difficult track to get into on the record for me. It's a set of snips that eventually gets pulled off with aplomb in that McCartney style.

Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five Great piano, great vocal, rocks, interesting words. Blue chip Macca. Particularly the break with the synths and the ooo's. Builds up and breaks down brilliantly. What more can I say?

Overall it's the best McCartney/Wings record. It's concise, I think it's the easiest record to listen to without skipping tracks it flows very well and there's a link in it too I'm sure. It sounds like it was recorded where it was, if that makes sense, and that helps too.

A great album...

This sort of content is what this place should be about, pity it's being watered down and has been considerably.

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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 11:56:22 AM »

The less people Paul works with, the better albums he delivers. That is, he better not does it totally on his own, but with one or two dedicated followers of his fashion.
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Ollier

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 12:01:21 PM »

But then I adore Press To Play...
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Bobber

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2011, 12:03:55 PM »

But then I adore Press To Play...

I guess you're not trying to start a debate here.
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Ollier

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2011, 12:09:57 PM »

Oh no no. I shalt wait my turn to fight the corner of that masterpiece...

"Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun..."
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blmeanie

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2011, 07:56:28 PM »

The less people Paul works with, the better albums he delivers. That is, he better not does it totally on his own, but with one or two dedicated followers of his fashion.

I think his collaboration with Elvis (Costello) was very good.  I think people that have their own opinions and ideas are good for him to work with.  I'm guessing he has worked with some "yes" men over the years too.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2011, 11:52:27 PM »

This sort of content is what this place should be about, pity it's being watered down and has been considerably.

Say again? I dont think anybodys opinion has been censored. I know mine hasent.

Ollier

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 12:22:13 AM »

That's not what I'm saying Todd.
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Jema

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2011, 12:31:20 AM »

My favorite songs on this album is Band On The Run,Jet and Mamunia.I love how in the beginning of Band On The Run it starts out kind of slow and mellow then it picks up a bit about a little more then a minute in.I love the intro to Jet because I like the feeling I get from it and it's a nice way to start the song off.I've always liked the part when Paul says "Ah matter,want Jet to always love me".I think Mamunia is a very pretty and relaxing song and I really like the guitar part.
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nimrod

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2011, 01:25:20 AM »

Let Me Roll It is good, him and John couldve done a great version (in the Ive Got A Feeling vein)
I wish I could ramble on about how great this album is but as stated before Im a huge fan of Pauls in the Beatles but I absolutely cant stand Wings and Im not really a fan of solo Paul either, I mean I can see that some of the songs have good melodies but theres just something massively twee and overly poppy about Wings   ;sorry

Much prefer solo John and George
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2011, 03:44:31 AM »

Let Me Roll It is good, him and John couldve done a great version (in the Ive Got A Feeling vein)

Well, John's "Beef Jerky" sounds like a "Let Me Roll It" reprise, doesn't it? It seems that John liked that Paul's song.
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glass onion

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2011, 02:09:26 PM »

i think this could well be wings' finest album,although it's not my favourite wings record.band on the run really is a good album.not too sure about the statement about paul working best on his own,remember from 71-81 time he was working closely with denny laine,whom i don't think was a 'yes man'.i'm not keen on flowers in the dirt (on which he worked with elvis costello)and although i quite like press to play (eric stewart)i realise that the record is not the strongest.i would imagine that with band on the run,denny laine was a big 'sounding board' (as paul may put it?)and had significant input with what happened on the album.i may be wrong,but i like to think denny laine had a bigger part in wings than being a 'yes man.'who knows?maybe one day denny will put out a tasty book on his time with paul.the bass player in my band has met denny and played on the same bill,in sheffield i think.he said denny was such a nice bloke.
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tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2011, 02:12:03 PM »

Band On The Run - Great song. I tend to get sick of it, but its still a great tune. Like the beginning with the guitar and keyboards. I also like how the beginning feels dire or depressed and then at the 1:19 it starts with the edgier, p*ssed off, theme. The orchestra and guitar sounds huge on the build up to the next stage. Acoustic guitar sounds great too. Pauls does an admiral job on the drums, but its nothing earth shattering. Best part of the song is when sings ‘The rabbits on the run’. Paul knocked this one out of the park.

Jet - Talk about a song I get sick of, this is it. It’s a good rocker though and deserves its place somewhere along the top of Pauls catalog. I have always liked the drumming to this song. I cant keep track of who played on what song, but I’m guessing this was not Paul. Seems a bit out of his league. Horns are cool in this song. Deep sax? Cant tell. I like the background vocals too. Pauls voice is good as usual. Tiny piano part is a must. Keyboard solo is simple, but effective. Good song.

Bluebird - I usually dismiss this song, but after listening to it today, it’s a nice tune. Pauls voice might be the weakest part of the song. The percussion is nice and the backgrounds are great. Sax solo is sweet. All in all, it’s a nice effort. Probably better than I give it credit for.

Mrs. Vanderbilt - This song comes off better than it should. Reminds me a little of ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ or a silly song like that, but it has such an infectious beat that its really easy to digest. The bass playing is awesome. The drumming is good and this sounds like Pauls playing to me. Might be wrong. Sax is welcomed again. The ‘Ho He Ho’s’ don’t even bother me. I like Lindas background voice here too. Nice song.

Let Me Roll It - Nice blues/rock song here with a savage guitar. Always liked the drums on this one too. Nice groove even though it’s a straight 4/4 with a few tidbits thrown in. Like Pauls voice and the backgrounds. The keyboards are ok, if not a bit much. Lindas voice is welcome again. The song does get tedious with me though after awhile. I thought it was easily a 7 minute song, but when looking it clocks out around the 5 minute mark. Yeah, I get bored with it. Decent song.

Mamunia - Here’s the stinker for me. I never liked this song. Sad too, because Pauls voice really is awesome here and the acoustic guitar and bass sound great. I’m a big Linda voice fan too, but I don’t like it here. Its too much throughout the song. The percussion gets on my nerves. Sorry just not my cup of tea.

No Words - If this isn’t a typical Wings song, I don’t know what is. If you were searching for the definitive Wings sound, look no further. I don’t like the harmonization though. The strings are nice. I don’t know, nothing jumps out at me with this song. It just sounds like a big mess to me.

Helen Wheels - Great rocker. Always liked this one. Great drum shuffle. Pauls voice sounds good although the overall production of the song sucks. Muddy as hell. Love the background vocals when Linda screams too. Guitar sounds great, although the lead parts are weak. Is that Paul playing? Sounds like him to me for some reason and that would explain the lack of taste. Oh well. Great tune.

Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me) - Another song that does nothing for me. Surprise. The acoustic guitar sounds good and I like Pauls voice, but not Linda and Dennys backgrounds. The weird drum bars and Jet part kind of aggravate me for some reason. The strings are nice though. I see what Paul was trying to do with the song, being kind of abstract and all, but it doesn’t gel for me. It’s a skipper in my world.

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five - Love this song although I’ll admit that it gets a tad monotonous over time. Love the piano and the drumming is good. Pauls voice is good enough although he’s singing with accent. Backgrounds are nice and I love the organ during the breaks. Everything in this song works where it didn’t in some of the others. Really dig the ‘Band On The Run’ fade out at the end. I like this tune and it may very well be the best song on the album. Maybe.


Very, very strong effort from Paul here and after the last album, very much welcomed. No, I take that back. Not just welcomed, but needed. It was the punch in the arm that made people take notice again. The album is in my top 5 for Paul, but I wouldn’t blame anybody for choosing it as his best. Great record.

tkitna

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Re: Microscope: Band On The Run
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2011, 02:13:40 PM »

That's not what I'm saying Todd.

Sorry man. Just disregard. Its just me talking when I shouldnt have been. Peace.

I like 'Press To Play' too.  ha2ha
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