Wings leakage hits the news

Courtesy of KLPX, the Tucson classic rock station:


In an astonishing unprecedented event, nearly 65 unreleased Paul McCartney tracks spanning 1971 through 1987 have been leaked online over the past few days — totaling nearly four hours of music. Beatles fans have been trading information back and forth in a frenzy as to how all this music – music that McCartney has vigorously safeguarded for decades – has now been linked to the public for free over various websites.

Many of the songs are believed to be straight tape dubs from Wings’ original roadie, the late Trevor Jones, whose personal archives were auctioned off by Christie’s in 1998. Other speculation is that some of this material stems from early work tapes intended for one or more of the McCartney box sets which have recently been in production.

Among the many highlights on the set are: Acetates of “Another Day,” and “Hi, Hi, Hi,” full Wings rehearsals of songs performed on their 1975/1976 world tour — including “Listen To What The Man Said,” “Blackbird,” “Hi, Hi, Hi,” multiple takes of “Junior’s Farm,” “Soily,” “Call Me Back Again,” “Picasso’s Last Words,” “Bluebird,” “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” “Magneto And Titanium Man,” “Little Woman Love/C Moon,” “Live And Let Die,” and “You Gave Me The Answer,” the still-unreleased McCartney torch song “Suicide,” — as well as an early live band run-through of “Let ‘Em In” taped prior to McCartney officially recording it.

Other gems include an early mix of “Silly Love Songs” lacking the signature string and brass overdubs with McCartney instead scat-singing the legendary horn part, a version of the 1976 Wings favorite “Must Do Something About It” — which was originally released with drummer Joe English taking the lead, but now features McCartney’s original unreleased “guide” vocal, an instrumental mix of Wings’ 1979 hit “Getting Closer” and the 1978 outtake “Cage.”

More rarities in the bunch feature 1980 Wings rehearsals of “No Values” – which McCartney eventually released on his 1984 Give My Regards To Broad Street soundtrack, full band rehearsals of 1971’s “Mama’s Little Girl,” and an extended take of McCartney on electric piano teaching Wings “Take It Away” – a tune they would never get to record.

A particular highlight is the rarely-heard 1982 official recording of “Runaway” – a tune McCartney donated to the Barbados group Ivory.

For the first time, outtakes from Tug Of War — McCartney’s 1982 reunion with George Martin — have surfaced. The new batch of tracks include the previously unheard instrumental “Newt Rack,” as well as “offline monitor mixes” (tapes running while music is playing out of speakers) of “Take It Away” which features an extended coda, and a scaled-back, very rough mix of McCartney’s collaboration with Stevie Wonder “What’s That You’re Doing?”

Pristine sounding abbreviated outtakes from McCartney’s 1987 “Russian Album” sessions feature McCartney going full throttle on snippets of Elvis Presley’s “Poor Boy,” the Vipers’ “No Other Baby,” the Lonnie Donegan-adapted “Take This Hammer,” Carl Perkins’ “Lend Me Your Comb,” and an alternate vocal version of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame.”

Beatlefan magazine publisher Bill King explained that there is a direct correlation between these tracks going public within days of McCartney announcing a catalogue overhaul through his new label Concord Music Group: “The leaking of these tracks — for whatever reason – whether it’s a disgruntled employee who’s upset about the box set reportedly being shelved for a while, or if these tracks perhaps had already leaked out and someone was just sitting on them for a while – y’know, there’s a lot of different theories. But for whatever reason that these things have suddenly come out, I think it’s not coincidental. I think that it happened a day or two after the Concord reissue program was announced is probably instructive. Y’know, there’s a cause and effect relationship there.”

Although McCartney has issued previously-unreleased work on various soundtracks and single B-sides, he’s shied away from releasing a full-on outtakes collection. In late-1980 he had been preparing an album called Cold Cuts featuring outtakes spanning his entire career up though that point. Following John Lennon’s 1980 murder, McCartney was said to have felt that releasing an outtake collection in what would be his first musical statement following Lennon’s death would be in poor taste. Although Cold Cuts has been booted numerous times since 1985, McCartney has yet to release an official version of it.

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