Wings at half speed

Wings Wild Life – or as it seems to be called these days: Paul McCartney & Wings: Wild Life

Paul McCartney and Wings Wild Life
50th Anniversary Limited Edition Vinyl Release
To Be Released February 4, 2022

Marking today’s 50th anniversary of the December 7, 1971 release of Paul McCartney and Wings’ Wild Life, UMe announces the February 4, 2022 reissue of Wings’ debut LP as a limited edition half-speed mastered vinyl pressing.

Following the eclectic charm and intimacy of 1970’s solo McCartney and 1971’s homespun lo-fi indie-pop progenitor RAM credited to Paul and Linda McCartney, Wild Life found Paul once again redefining his post-Beatles creative identity, this time beginning his tenure as a founding member of Wings.

A rollicking left turn from its predecessors, Wild Life was recorded in barely more than a week, with more than half of the songs captured in a single take. The end result would be eight songs running the gamut from joyous freewheeling jams to proto-chamber pop to spare introspective musings — all bristling with a raw, jagged energy akin to the grungiest of garage bands—whether on the careening blues-rock rave-up of opener “Mumbo,” a reggae-tinged reimagining of Mickey & Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange,” or the plaintive and heart wrenching ballad “Dear Friend.”

Cracking the top 10 and going gold in the US, Wild Life faced an admittedly uphill battle as the debut of Paul’s first post-Beatles band. In a recent reassessment, Billboard noted that modern-day Wild Life listeners “can throw out all this cultural baggage and just enjoy the tunes… by not reaching for any obvious Beatles tropes, Wings achieved something fresh and inviting…”

And in fact, Wild Life would prove to be the first spark of the Wings phenomenon that would develop and flourish into one of the defining sounds of ’70s rock n roll. The streak of #1 albums from Red Rose Speedway, Band On The Run, Venus And Mars, At The Speed Of Sound through the 3LP live opus Wings Over America, and the sold-out shows that provided the blueprint for the ’70s arena rock experience—can all be traced back to the big bang of those first eight months during which Wings would form, release Wild Life in December 1971 and play their first-ever live shows in February 1972.

The 50th anniversary edition of Wild Life was cut at half speed at Abbey Road Studios using a high resolution transfer of the original 1971 master tapes.

4 Responses

  1. RNYC says:

    Didn’t Paul just release an extremely limited and outrageously priced box set of this less than stellar album? He’s raping his most ardent fans with these reissues. At 80, does he need the cash so badly? The shakedown continues.

  2. William+Campbell says:

    “… using a high resolution transfer”

    Vinyl taken from digital sources is a total joke. If you think it has the ‘warmer’ sound of vinyl it’s because you can hear a fireplace in the background.

    Just buy the high resolution digital files. Sites like 7digital have a 96 kHz release of Wild Life with many more tracks than the vinyl, and at a lower price.

  3. Michael says:

    Ordered. Just hoping they’ve fixed the double beat on the end of “Love Is Strange” that was on the 2018.

    Also I don’t see it as McCartney “needing cash” so much as creating an extremely niche product for the fans who are interested in it. If he needed cash badly, doing a limited release product with a very specific appeal like a half speed mastered album is a very unwise way of going about getting it.

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