Paul McCartney - Wingspan : Hits and History

Wingspan: Hits and History is a greatest hits compilation album by Paul McCartney released in 2001. The contemporaneous review follows :

“Now is a good time for all the people whose teenage years it was a soundtrack to. People who are trying now what we tried in Wings: to cope with a career and raise a family.”

McCartney’s response to the timing of this spanking new Wings compilation entitled Wingspan : Hits and History raises a couple of more questions. First, if this a Wings compilation, then why is it “Paul McCartney” and not “Wings” mentioned in the title? Second, isn’t Wingspan also targeted at the modern pop kids who bought The Beatles 1 in the truckloads? Last, when he refers to “we” does he mean the band (obviously not!) or Linda and himself? 

Queries like these never fail to dog McCartney when it comes to the band he formed after the Beatles. Presumably, McCartney tried his best to distance himself from his awesome back story but perhaps after all these years later and in hindsight is he able to get his just desserts for a decade of sublime musical creativity. Suffice to say that this 2CD set simply puts to shame anything on the charts nowadays and hopefully will inspire modern songwriters to greater achievement. 

Certainly, the music of Paul McCartney was a soundtrack to my teenage years, as McCartney so astutely states and apart from the nostalgic factor, the sheer breath of McCartney’s accomplishment with Wings is astounding.

The first CD – “Hits” – 18 tracks that include such critical (and commercial) successes like “Listen to the What the Man Said,” “Band on the Run,” “Jet,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “My Love” and so on, is a veritable goldmine of pop treasures. The value of the second CD – “History” – is a debatable, you could argue till the cows came home about what should have been included.

Still, you cannot ignore the strength of material of “Let me Roll It,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Bluebird,” “Take It Away,” “The Back Seat of My Car” and “Call Me back Again” although I certainly would quibble the omission of music (other than “Rockestra Theme”) from Back to the Egg

If you love pop music, whatever your inclinations, Paul McCartney – Wingspan : Hits and History is essential. 

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