Wingspan (Hits & History)

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Product Description

While his fellow ex-bandmates busied themselves with various high-profile projects (John Lennon with Imagine and a series of high-profile media events; George Harrison with All Things Must Pass and The Concert for Bangla Desh), Paul McCartney climbed into a van with his wife and a few journeyman players and gigged at university student unions for what amounted to spare change. Of course, by 1976 they were one of the biggest draws in rock, having the last laugh--if not necessarily the final word. Gathering the cream of their recorded output on a generous double-disc sampler-cum-TV-special-soundtrack seemed a promising effort at historical revisionism, but Wingspan itself is a distinct misnomer: fully 17 of the 40 tracks here hail from various pre- and post-Wings McCartney solo albums. Completely overlooked are unheralded B-sides such as "Oh Woman, Oh Why," "Little Woman Love," "Country Dreamer," "The Mess," "Walking in the Park with Eloise," "Sally G," and "Girl's School"--some of McCartney the bandleader and solo artist's scrappiest and most interesting work. All the expected hits are here and more, ranging from spunky rockers and hook-rich bubblegum to syrup-drenched ballads. What's lacking is a fresh and less myopic perspective. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews:

  • A Must Have For All McCartney Fans
    I have always been a big fan of Paul McCartney. I loved him in The Beatles, but I loved his solo career with his band Wings. After years and years of waiting, I along with other McCartney/Wings fans got the definitive compilation we were waiting for with the two cd "Wingspan". Why is "Wingpan" the best Wings collection ever? Read on for the positives and the negatives.

    -This is the best collection for Wings ever assembled. All the classic hits are here, including "Band On The Run", "Jet", "My Love", "With A Little Luck", "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", "Another Day" and many others. The producers even managed even decided to include "Pipes Of Peace" and "Mull Of Kintyre", which were never hits in America but reached number one in the U.K.
    -There is no shortage of underrated gems and rarities. They take up all of disc two.
    -The songs sound better than ever.
    -The accompanying booklet is filled with some great photos.
    -It's affordable.
    -It's one of those rare compilations that will appeal to both casual fans who only want one McCartney/Wings album in their cd collection and hardcore fans who already own everything else.


    "Wingspan" is a must have cd. Get it immediately....more info
  • Has everything you really need
    Fantastic retrospective. Paul came up with some memorable stuff during the 70's, but everything is still overshadowed by B.E.A.T.L.E.S.
    All of the songs I've enjoyed for so long are on here. For me Wing's releases were always spotty and normally had 1-2 jewels per album (much like your avg Rolling Stones album) It's all here and it's mostly all good. ...more info
  • No one writes a catchy tune like Paul
    Serious or even marginally serious McCartney fans will already have all these songs on various other albums and greatest hits packages. But it's convenient to have all of these songs on two CD's, especially if you're listening to the music in a car. It's impossible not to give such wonderful music 5 stars, but there are some serious omissions and problems with this collection.

    1. There are seven songs edited for brevity. A casual listener will never notice the changes, but to all of us who grew up in the 70's and memorized every downbeat and nuance, you will most definitely notice. It's very irritating to hear Junior's Farm butchered by more than two minutes and Venus and Mars cut to shreds. There are other glaring examples. As explained on the liner notes, these are the "single edits" released to DJ's of the era, but there's no excuse for these versions appearing on a quasi-offical collection, selected by Paul himself.

    The playlist contains all of Wings hits and even sneaks in some solo Paul work from the early 80's. Since they include Take it Away and Pipes of Peace, why do they neglect much superior songs from the same years, such as the beautiful Here Today, or Average Person? There are also some curious inclusions which should never have seen the light of the day on a greatest hits package: Bip Bop, Man We Was Lonely and Tomorrow should have been replaced with Sally G., Girls School, I'm Carrying and Nineteen Eighty Five.

    McCartney fans will always quibble about such things, but rest assured, you'll get your money's worth on this eclectic, fantastic collection. No one in the history of popular music could consistently write so many catchy tunes. If you're new to the solo years of McCartney, this is *the* disc to buy first....more info

  • Terrific album
    Paul is the best of the Beatles even though He and Lennon have God given Blessed voices paul is my favirote. His post beatle songs here are great Jet and silly love songs are the two best. GodBless...more info
  • An OK Paul Mccartney introduction
    I suppose this anthology is aimed at someone who has no Paul Mccartney CDs and wants a little more than the single disc All the Best. The first disc more or less duplicates All the Best, and the second appears to be Pauls picks for songs that should get more notice. I suppose it works in that respect, so this should be 4 stars. But I dock it a star- and here's why.

    For starter's this is not a Wings Anthology, as the name implies. We get songs from Pauls first solo album all the way through the 80s. If I'm not mistaken, Ringo played on No more lonely nights, so I was wondering if anyone ever told him he's on a Wings album?

    Also, I don't like the selections on the 2nd disc. Paul has recorded far better songs, so if the aim of this collection is to introduce one to Paul's Best, this ain't it. This collection could have been better by limiting it to Wings songs, and including either better "near hit" songs, or go the other way and release obscure songs for the Wings fans: B sides and rarities. Here ya go off the top of my head: From the first disc, eliminate Pipes of Peace, Coming up and No more Lonely Nights, since they aren't Wings songs. Instead, include Maybe I'm amazed, Venus & Mars/Rockshow, and Bluebird (from the 2nd disc). The second disc could then be something like:

    1. Give Ireland Back to the Irish
    2. The Mess
    3. Mary had a little Lamb
    4. Little woman Love
    5. Helen Wheels
    6. Country Dreamer
    7. Sally G.
    8. Letting Go
    9. Beware my Love
    10. London Town
    11. I've had enough
    12. Girlfriend
    13. Girl's school
    14. Getting closer
    15. Spin it on
    16. Old Siam sir
    17. Arrow through me
    18. Daytime nighttime suffering
    19. Soily

    Let's see if I still had room, I'd add a couple unreleased "cold cuts": Tragedy, Waterspout, etc. Anyway, I think this would be a much better collection, appeal to more of an audience, and be a more accurate representation of Wings. Or, better yet, Paul should just release a box set to cover all of this and more. Missed the mark for me.

    Thanks for reading......more info
  • Good Music however the Title is Technically False.
    There is some good music on the two discs. The first one collects most of Paul and Wings hit singles whilst the second are some personal selections from Paul, where some gems can be found such as "Too Many People", "Tomorrow", "Daytime Nightime Suffering" and "Maybe I'm Amazed". Some of the material on the second disc is a little slight and there are many better songs that could have been selected.

    The main issue is that these songs are not all technically Paul McCartney and Wings, alot of them are Paul and Linda, Paul on his own, is its not a true representation of strictly Wings, currently Wings Greatest is just that.

    Having said that You can't go wrong with the great catchy pop rock on this album. It is good to see Wings get more coverage, beneath the Beatles they really are getting some respect for the great band they were....more info
  • Pop Music to be enjoyed by all
    Wingspan has so many classic songs that are fun to listen to. It takes you back to another era of Pop music of pre grunge, pre rap and pre American Idol crap. Great for any music collection....more info
  • Excellent Compilation For Casual Fans
    "Wingspan" is likely to have trouble pleasing anybody. Enough chart hits are missing that casual fans looking for a complete greatest hits package will be disappointed. Serious McCartney completists will undoubtedly find plenty missing from this double CD set.

    This collection features the bulk of McCartney's biggest post-Beatles singles, including all the biggest chart smashes that he is most well known for in his solo career, except his duets with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson ("Ebony And Ivory"; "Say, Say, Say"). Yes, some lesser charting singles and well-known B-sides are absent (e.g., "Sally G"; "Oh Woman, Oh Why", etc.). However, in all honesty, most fans who have based their McCartney fandom on his big radio hits won't notice or mind these absences. Fans who really desire these songs would be well advised to seek out the original albums (as applicable) or other compilations. Of course, purchasing additional compilations will mean lots of duplication, which is a big minus.

    One gripe with this set is that certain songs are edited from their original forms. For example "Junior's Farm" is cut by nearly a minute and a half. Even more egregious is the inclusion of the radio-edited "With A Little Luck", which lops a whopping 2 1/2 minutes off the album version. Nothing new in the use of radio edits by artists on Greatest Hits collections, but the shame here is that the album version of "Luck" was widely played on Top 40 radio in lieu of the radio edit during its chart heyday. So while a lot of fans may not notice the "Junior's Farm" chop job, many will almost certainly notice the "Luck" butchery, since the album version was widely heard, and the cut passages are highly distinctive and memorable.

    Nevertheless, anyone looking for a reasonably through McCartney retrospective can buy this package and know that they're getting most of the goods. If there is a song that you remember that is a must have, check the track list to make sure it's there to avoid disappointment....more info

  • Really not all that.....
    I have always loved Paul Mcartney. With a music career of over 4 decades Mr. Mcartney have talent and great songs for two lifetimes. He wrote some of the best loved songs in pop history, but for me his compilations always are more about pleasing himself than his audience. All previous compilations have been cut short and these one is a strange mix of songs. He explains himself in the booklet saying that "this is what He considers his best work.." But I just don't understand why Paul keep including in his albums such dull songs as "C moon", a pathetic live version of a very catchy tune like "Coming Up" and the just ridiculous playout version of "No more lonely nights". He left out such super hits like "Ebony and Ivory" or "say,say,say" and great examples of rock like "Getting closer" I guess being a Legend in his own time has it's prerogatives. With my respect to Sir Paul this is far from a great collection but, still is the longest one available of his post-Beatle career and still make good in any pop music collection ...more info
  • Thoroughly entertaining and sing-a-long-able
    I was a Paul Fan back in the day. Thought I would marry him one day. Hey hey hey!

    Stop that madness. Paul married well the second time. I'm so glad. Not only does he pay tribute to the late Linda McCartney in the second song ("The Lovely Linda") on the second CD, but he provides happiness to his fans both old and new in this Wings compilation. Seven years after its release, it is just now playing in my car. Actually, I intended to purchase Venus and Mars, one of my all-time favorite albums (which vinyl version I have not replaced). Because the music store did not have it, I bought "Wingspan" instead.

    The two CDs in the set are so different. The first CD is a selection of some of Wings greatest hits, while the second is surprises (for me). This disc is more ballads and love songs and blues with a couple of hits mixed in.

    The liner notes tell us that Paul struggled to find his niche after the Beatles breakup, both alone and in a group. During that time I remember the negative reaction to Linda's inclusion in the band (I was one of the voices). Her addition seemed out of kilter for a master singer and songwriter. But as I have been listening recently, I hear Linda with "fresh" ears--as a retrospective. Whatever her contribution, Paul apparently wanted her there. That's a real tribute to a marriage in a fishbowl.

    There is absolutely no reason to list any songs. A Paul fan knows them. Maybe a Paul-fan-in-the-making might like a rehash, but there are better reviews for that. However, THE song that jumps out at me is "Mull of Kintrye." I didn't even know what he was saying until I read it, then got out a map and discovered it is in Ireland. The other song I will mention is "Live and Let Die," my favorite James Bond theme song. The discordance fits perfectly with the evil always present in a Bond story. "Band on the Run" and "Jet" are two other excellent Wings songs.

    On the second CD the two that stand out are "Venus and Mars/Rockshow" and "Maybe I'm Amazed."

    Overall, it was truly interesting to hear the songs that Paul calls "some of our best work."...more info
  • Some Good Some Filler
    To echo another reader comment, Paul McCartney put out the greatest volume of songs by the four ex-Beatles. Whereas Paul has written several strong tunes, he also also contributed plenty of clunkers as well. This is very evident on the greatest hits compilation, Wingspan.

    A definite plus is the inclusion of five tracks from the highly acclaimed Band On The Run CD. Unfortunately 1985 was not one of the included tracks. Other winners include hard rockers Juniors Farm and Venus and Mars/Rock Show as well as bouncy ditties like Another Day, Too Many People, Junk, and Heart Of The Country.

    However where there are plusses there certainly are minuses. Whereas Sill Love Songs was a big hit in the mid seventies, it is without a doubt one of Paul McCartney's most annoying songs. Nearly six minutes of repetitive lyrics especially the monotonous I Love You's are really patience trying. Whereas C Moon and Maybe I'm Amazed are at least reasonably strong melody wise, the tunes get quite a bit boring due to more overly simplistic lyrics. The disco effect on Goodnight Tonight just does not work and Girlfriend has the most sappy vocal style I've ever heard from Paul. And someone please tell me what was the point of including The Lovely Linda, Bip Bop/Hey Diddle, and the Playout Version of No More Lonely Nights on this release. The song structure is totally wrecked on the later piece and the two aforementioned pieces sound like cheap demos. Paul you are so much better than that.

    For the most part, Paul's songs have a strong melody. In addition, he provides a fresh approach to each song. Some rock, some pop, a good deal of acoustic numbers, others keyboard driven, and several with a strong horn presence. However, I just prefer a little more edge in my music and Paul falls short in that area.

    Nonetheless, Paul has enough good material to warrant a three star rating. However, I would start with Band On The Run and explore some of Paul's other solo recordings before making an investment in this 40 song collection where maybe half the material is worthy....more info

  • Wingspan
    If you are a Beatle fan you will like this! I gave it a three because there are songs that I don't like including Listen To What The Man Said, Take It Away, Bip Bop/Hey Diddle, and more. But there are really good highlights of the album and if you like Wings you really got to listen to Hi Hi Hi and C Moon. Listen to Paul McCartney's Early years they are a lot better than his later years. Please try this album out....more info
  • All you need from Paul McCartney is this cd
    I belive this cd includes all the 3 styles of Paul McCartney after the beatles time. R&B, soft pop, soft rock.Along with the "back in the USSR" is all Paul McCartney (solo)offered in rock music....more info
  • Una gran compilaci¨®n de McCartney y Wings
    Este disco doble, es esencial para alguien que conozca a Paul McCartney. En el disco 1 vienen los grandes exitos como "My love", "Live and let die", "Band on the run", "Silly love songs", "Mull of Kintyre", "No more lonely nights", entre otros; y alguna curiosidad como "C moon". Sin duda, muy recomendable. El disco 2 vienen los mejores temas de Wings y algunos temas solistas de McCartney como el imprescindible "Maybe I'm amazed", tambi¨¦n "Rockshow", "Helen Wheels" y "Take it away", y otros temas que no fueron exitos, pero si importantes en la historia de McCartney como las controvertidas "Too many people" y "Let me roll it". Pero hay otras que no me parecen que est¨¦n en este compilatorio, como por ejemplo "Girlfriend" o la version dance de "No more lonely nights", en ese lugar deber¨ªan haber estado temas como "Give Ireland back to the Irish" y "1985". Pero de todas maneras, para que alguien conozca a Paul McCartney en su etapa solista y con Wings, este es una buena empezada.

    ...more info
  • Hits and album tracks
    Some people may regard this as a missed opportunity, as it collects together many of Paul's hits since the break-up of the Beatles (whether solo or with Wings) but includes a selection of album tracks at the expense of several minor hits. I don't mind this approach as most of the hits that really matter are here. The most notable omissions are the duets with Stevie Wonder (Ebony and ivory) and Michael Jackson (Say say say, The girl is mine), the novelty song with the frog chorus (We all stand together) that became a a British top three hit and two other British top ten hits (Wonderful Christmastime, Once upon a long ago). With the exception of The girl is mine (a track from Thriller that has never appeared on any Paul McCartney album) and Wonderful Christmastime (which can be found on multi-artist Christmas compilations and is in any case better heard that way), all those tracks can be found on the Brithish version of an earlier compilation (All the best). The American version of that compilation only includes two of the missing tracks (Say say say, Ebony and ivory).

    Given the decision to include some album tracks that were never released as singles, it would have been interesting to read Paul's explanation as to his choice of album tracks. Sadly, the booklet contains no such explanation although it contains plenty of pictures. We are therefore left to speculate as to the reason's for Paul's choices although I understand that they just happen to be Paul's favorites among the songs that weren't big hits.

    With such a diverse range of material to choose from, anything other than a straight greatest hits compilation was likely to provoke fierce debate among fans and so it has proved as you can see by looking at other reviews here and elsewhere. Even a straight greatest hits isn't so simple because Paul, whether solo or as the leader of Wings, sometimes had different hits in different countries. The most extreme examples are Uncle Albert Admiral Halsey (an American number one that didn't chart in Britain) and Mull of Kintyre (a British number one that was a huge hit in many other counties but a flop in America). These tracks sit next to each other on the hits CD here. It would have been unthinkable to leave either off a set like this, though each was only included on one version of the single CD All the best, where the British track listing differed from the American version. When it comes to other hits that only charted in one country, there would be plenty of scope to argue about which ones should be included and which omitted.

    Perhaps the strangest thing about this collection, given that it is not a straight greatest hits compilation, is that it contains nothing recorded after 1984. I'll admit that I haven't followed Paul's career closely since then but he has had plenty of minor hits (at least in the UK) since then and one might have expected that one or two of his later recordings would have featured on the History CD. Still, this is an interesting collection that includes most of Paul's really obvious post-Beatles hits in Britain and America....more info
  • Yesterday and Tomorrow
    Initially, one is struck by the superb audio clarity of Paul McCartney's WINGSPAN compilation-- these tracks have never sounded better. After that, you're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of quality material presented here-- forty remarkable recordings. Finally, the 24-page booklet filled with color photos of McCartney and band are the perfect dessert after a sumptuous feast. A spectacular package.

    The album is divided into HITS and HISTORY. The first CD will be most appealing to those familiar only with Paul's singles, while the second disc will remind those who had his old albums of the incredible depth of this man's talents. Paul McCartney was nothing less than awesome-- a true superstar in every sense of the word, and this scrapbook of songs stands as testament to the fact.

    DISC ONE (HITS) -- 75:03
    DISC TWO (HISTORY) -- 77:15...more info
    Whenever anyone releases a compilation album, way too often many key tracks are left off. This set is no different. I'm still waiting to see GIVE IRELAND BACK TO THE IRISH on a McCartney album....more info
  • Whole lotta Paul!
    Paul McCartney truly is the king of pop. Adding together all the hit songs that he wrote and sang with the Beatles and in his solo career, you have a catalog of hits that no one else can match. That being said, pure pop isn't my thing and I really dislike half of Paul's post-Beatles material.(For instance, I can't stand "Live And Let Die".) However, I really like about half of his stuff for the clever arrangements, Beatlesque production and the irresistable hooks. I won't bother listing which songs I like and which ones I hate. It's a matter of personal taste. You get 40 songs on this two disc set - all the big ones - for the price of a single CD. So, even if you're only halfway a McCartney fan like me, you get 20 good songs. If you love every song Paul ever recorded, you should be in heaven! The sound quality is excellent throughout this collection too....more info
  • Absolutely Poor
    This collection is [bad]. The only decent songs are "Let Me Roll It" and i guess thta's it. I borrowed this cd and was disgusted. You'll like John Lennon and George Harrison better. Sorry Paul, we don't like your muzak....more info
  • solid compilation
    This collection of Wings/Paul McCartney tracks gives the listener a thorough overview of McCartney's post-Beatles material from 1970-84, and with 40 songs, gives you a lot of bang for the buck. The theme of 'Hits and History' works very well also, with one disc concentrating mostly on singles and the second one on album tracks. The only issue I have with the 'History' disc is that it failed to include unreleased McCartney & Wings gems like Cage and Waterspout-- which would have been much better choices than Bip Bop/Hey Diddle and the playout version of No More Lonely Nights. Nevertheless, this is a disc that will satisfy the casual listener as well as those like myself, who have followed Paul's post-Beatles career from the beginning. The colorful booklet includes liner notes and some nice pictures of the various Wings line-ups....more info
  • Nice Overview To Wings Career
    I am a huge Beatles fan, and especially a fan of Paul McCartney's work. In the 1970s he and his band Wings were pouring out one sensational album after the next. Hits like "Band on the Run," "Jet," "Live and Let Die," "Maybe I'm Amazed," and "Venus and Mars" formed the basis of their success. The joy in this package is that there is something for everyone. For casual fans, disc 1 of the set will have everything you want to hear. If you are already a serious Wings fan, you will still find many interesting tracks on disc 2. In this collection you will find all the hits, and then some. This makes it a great overview to Wings' entire career, and essential to any McCartney fan. ...more info
  • The Good and the Bad
    This album released by the record companies, is a great indication of just how good Paul McCartney is (and was) and just how boring he is (was). With the Beatles, McCartney was inspirational and a key ingredient (duh). However, had he never been a Beatle, but just some guy who ventured forth, he probably would have hit the budget bins rather quickly. Wingspan (Hits and History) exposes this truth rather well. While sappy people with sappy tastes would have loved "Silly Love Songs," discriminating music listeners find it boring. "My Love," probably the most boring song in pop history, as well as one of McCartney's biggest hits, is exposed for all its monotony here. As I recall, McCartney's post-Beatle success is largely attributed to the fact that he was a Beatle, and from having re-listened to this tripe after buying the album, I have to say that he should not have traveled so far on the charts. Some gems exist, "Band on the Run," "Maybe I'm Amazed," and "Helen Wheels," come to mind. But on the other hand what is "Helen Wheels" about? For that matter, what are "Jet," "C-Moon," and "Hi,Hi,Hi" about? Which reveals the problem with all of McCartney's songs. Not all, but most of Paul's songs are about nothing, just a series of loosely connected rhyming verses with great melodies. Hence, his value. McCartney is gifted with great melodies, and it is those great melodies that make his music worth listening to, because the lyrics go nowhere and mean nothing. But the boy can write a melody!

    If you are a Paul McCartney fan, and you want a collection to put into your library, this is as good of a Paul McCartney collection as you will find. On the other hand, be ready to skip over several selections, as the tedium is high, and the gems are flawed....more info
  • Finally own a clean copy of Mull of Kintyre
    I never was a real fan of Paul. Sure I owned Beatles albums and bought a few Wings lp's along the way. Listening back I realized why I threw them all away before one move. Mull of Kintyre is still one of my all time favorite songs, and I should put it on my Ipod, so I can give the rest of these sacrine ditties to the local thrift shop....more info
  • Took a convert and made him a fanatic
    Hey, I've spent a great portion of my musical life basking in the high-brow of Beethoven and Sibelius. Nevertheless, I always loved the Beatles, and I was always a fan of most of Paul's hits from his Wings days, etc. Still, I had never heard ANY of the tracks on Disc 2 (well, with the exception of "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Take it Away"). What this album did for me was inspire me to buy each and every McCartney album ever created--and might that have been the object of this album all along? As a result, I've become a Macca affectionado and disciple of the highest order. He is, quite simply, the finest pop composer of the 20th Century. (I actually hate to say "pop" since I firmly believe many of his songs will still be sung in a hundred years.)

    Nevertheless, now that I've heard EVERYTHING, I am equally frustrated, like so many others, that this album omits so MUCH, and includes some stuff which does not meet standard. I'm also confused that it goes outside of Wings, prior and post. If he was going to do that, why did he omit some of the great stuff from "Flowers in the Dirt," "Off the Ground," or "Flaming Pie?" What was the logic of stopping the compliation with his "Pipes of Peace" album from the mid-eighties?

    Okay, I guess Sir Paul is to blame for all of this. I do hope someone with a more objective perspective helps him to compile something more complete and comprehensive of his best work in the future. As a novelist myself, I can appreciate an artist's inability to judge his own work, and Paul is no different. Still, I can forgive that. The plain truth is, no human being could possibly be worthy of having so many brilliant musical ideas, but God for some reason found Paul McCartney worthy, and so I stand in awe.

    Nevertheless, like others, I wish to gripe about some inclusions and omissions.

    If you wanted to celebrate the best stuff from the album Band on the Run, why were "1985" and "Mrs. Vanderbilt" left out? These songs, I feel, are both superior to "Helen Wheels" and "Bluebird" (though I like both of those just fine). I also like the song "Let me Roll It," but the guitar riff does get rather tiresome after a few listens, whereas "Mamunia" seems to grow better after each listen.

    The album Red Rose Speedwagon was completely ignored except for the hit "My Love," yet "Little Lamb/Dragonfly" and "Do the Right Thing" are certainly vastly superior to "Heart of the Country" and "Rochestra Theme."

    His choice of including "Girlfriend" from the London Town album is totally bizarre to me. I admit it's got some nice ideas toward the end of the song, but falsetto Paul is not easy to listen to. Why did he ignore the title track "London Town" or "Don't Let it Bring You Down?" Great, great songs!

    I totally approve of including "Call Me Back Again" from the Venus and Mars album. This may be the best song that never made the radio that Paul ever wrote. But I have special fondness for "Magnito and Titanium Man," "Letting Go," and "Lonely Old People" which are nowhere to be found. Okay, okay, he couldn't include them all. But ANY of these would have been VASTLY superior to the disco version of "No More Lonely Nights!"

    I actually like the song "Bip Bop," despite it's inane lyrics. Still, I would have rather heard the original studio rendition from the "Wild Life" album than the duet with his three-year-old son.

    He may have chosen the best tracks from the "Tug of War" album, but I still deeply missed "Ballroom Dancing" and "Wanderlust," which might have been superior to "Junk" and "Tomorrow"--even though I still like both of those songs too.

    Perhaps most sadly, he completely ignored "Back to the Egg" which has some great stuff on it, particularly "Arrow Through Me." I know that Paul didn't like this album much when it came out, but time should have tempered his perspective because this is actually a wonderful album. (Too many of the songs likely bring back bad memories of the Wings breakup and a Japanese jail cell.)

    Well, enough griping. This man is just simply obscenely talented. The moral, I suppose, is BUY THE ALBUMS. Some of my favorite McCartney stuff is actually on his later albums--particularly "Driving Rain." But we'll have to leave that to another compilation of the future. Actually, I hope Macca still has a few more albums inside him before that day comes....more info

  • A solid compilation of McCartney hits and misses from his solo/Wings career
    "Wingspan" does a pretty good job of presenting hits and "History" as McCartney refers to the second disc of album tracks, singles and b-sides that he felt were overlooked previously.

    The first disc focuses on McCartney's singles as both solo artist and in Wings duplicating most of "Wings Greatest" but it does offer a more generous and comprehensive overview of McCartney's career post-Beatles. Fans should be warned, however, that some of these are the single edits NOT the original full length songs (for example "Junior's Farm" is about a minute shorter than the original single).

    The selections on the second disc are a bit more problematic. This disc allows McCartney to highlight some really good songs that were buried on crap albums or highlighting an album track that might have been overlooked on an outstanding album. Some are brilliant inclusions ("Heart of the Country", "Every Night") while others are a bit odd ("No More Lonely Nights"-Playout Version recorded for the closing credits of "Give My Regards to Broadstreet", "The Lovely Linda" which is charming but little more than a fragment McCartney made up on the spot to test his recording equipment).

    The sound is pretty decent on this compilation although it doesn't sound quite as good as "Wings Greatest". The mastering here is more compressed and louder lacking the dynamic range of the earlier CDs but it is the only place to get some of the single edits and other rarities. Nevertheless this is a solid anthology and if you only want one McCartney anthology with a healthy collection of hits and some album tracks, this would be the one to get.

    The two CD set also has a booklet with information on the recordings, photos, etc. The first edition comes with a lenticular cover and with the CDs housed on a cardboard hardcover cover. As other reviewers mentioned it is missing some key tracks but with only two CDs to cover a 31 year solo/Wings career, that's to be expected I suppose. There are some odd choices though on the "History" portion of the set but more often than not the McCartney gets it right as to key album/single tracks that were important to his career.

    This is a pretty good compilation if all you're looking for is the hits along with key album track but if you want something with better fidelity I would go with "Wings Greatest" (for his career through 1978)and/or "All The Best" (which has its own flaws as well)first and expand from there.

    ...more info
  • This review is not going to talk about Paul, the songwriter, but Paul the musician
    When we look at Paul McCartney,
    we tend to forget one very very important fact...

    Paul in his prime was simply one of the finest pop singers ever to have lived..
    his vocal fundamentals
    and technique were flawless...

    Are people too hard on Paul in general... (fans, critics, and haters alike)... YES!!! ..without a doubt!!! Without Paul's incredible vocal power and ability, The Beatles would have never been able to pull of their amazing 3 to 4 part harmonies..

    In the words of Reggie Jackson, Paul was the straw the stirred the drink.. Lennon's imagination may have been there, that's surely true and was certainly a gift... Harrison's natural beauty may have been there, this is surely true and was certainly a gift..

    But Paul, Mr. Paul McCartney was what made the Beatles Pop Superstars.. His voice alone had the power to silence Beatle haters (even to this day!!!)


    BECAUSE, Paul was the Beatle and only Beatle who could scream like Robert Plant and just as easily harmonize like Elton John.. his voice (so flexible, so maleable; combo Tenor + Baritone...) was a multi technicolor dreamcoat with unparralled ability to mimic any singer on the planet.. very few singers (perhaps Elton John, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder would fit in this category) could sing with such power and finess. This is why we must pay tribute to Paul's gifts and contributions to music.. IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!...more info
  • "The Essential McCartney"
    Although this is a good CD set as far as having Paul McCartney's best 70's & early 80's work, one must wonder why it is billed as a "best of Wings" collection when 17 (count 'em, 17!) of the tracks are from his solo years. Also strange is the dividing of the tracks, labeling some "Hits" and others "History." While "Hits" is rather self-explainatory, the "History" disc appears to be Paul's personal favorites, though a few of the songs seem to be on the wrong disc. Idiosyncrasies aside, however, I think this is a well put-together collection, because the actual songs are what's important. In addition to having all of Wings' biggest hits (except the live version of "Maybe I'm Amazed") and A-side-only tracks, it also contains a few obscure & curious selections like the B-side "Daytime Nightime Suffering" and the unreleased home recording "Hey Diddle."
    I was new to Wings when I bought this, only knowing their four biggest hits, and I actually found this collection to be a bit much for a beginner. The albums Wings Greatest or All The Best might be better choices if you just want the core hits, but this collection gives you a much better (albeit out-of-order and sometimes misleading) overview of Wings' career. So, if you're looking for volume, this is absolutely it....more info
  • A strange arrangement of songs...
    I adore Paul McCartney, but am rather lukewarm about this album. My problem naturally isn't with the songs themselves, but rather their placement on the album. I love how the overlooked "Too Many People" made it onto these discs, but wedging "Another Day" between "Band on the Run" and "Live and Let Die" seemed rather odd. There didn't seem to be any musical or chronological reason for the arrangement of the songs. McCartney's other albums are very well put together, but this one seems very jumbled. In my opinion, buy the individual albums, and especially the excellent Wings Over America. ...more info
  • Incomplete
    This collection is not completely comprehensive of McCartney's post-Beatle collection. The classic "Say Say Say" is missing which is the album's biggest defiency. Sadly enough, this is the best McCartney/Wings collection available. Buying this with Lennon Legend is a good deal....more info
  • Great Stuff But Won't Please Everybody.
    He may be the most successful singer/songwriter of the last forty years. He can also have you standing up and cheering in admiration or have you shaking your head in utter disappointment. Sure he was a Beatle. Sure he was most likely at his best between the ages of 21 and 27. But give him credit. He endured a lot of flak for forsaking the pop star world to live with his wife and family and then being audacious enough to start a new band.

    To chronicle his career in the seventies and early eighties is no easy task. Most of the hits are here on Disc 1. He did have some classics like Band On The Run, Live And Let Die, My Love and No More Lonely Nights. The album omits his two duet hits: Say,Say,Say with Michael Jackson and Ebony And Ivory with Stevie Wonder and in my opinion the album is better off without them.

    The History cd has some great tunes also. Maybe I'm Amazed, Tug Of war, Helen Wheels and Call Me Back Again have really stood the test of time.
    But it is misleading to call the album Wingspan because of all the solo efforts. The most glaring example is that only 9 of the 22 songs on CD2 are performed by Wings. I could have done without Bip Bop/Hey Diddle, Man We Was lonely, Bluebird, Rockestra theme (doesn't go anywhere for all the talent assembled) or Heart Of the Country. Never was too fond of Let Me Roll It either even though it is very popular. Starts great but becomes repetitive and the guitar riff could have been so much better with a little variation. Songs that could have been included: The Mess, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five, Beware My Love, Arrow Through Me, Letting Go, Picasso's Last Words and others.

    Compilations are always difficult as some favourite will always be left out. But I do think for all the great music here, a better job could have been done highlighting the band Wings and not just Paul McCartney....more info
  • A great Paul McCartney/Wings best of package!!!
    This is by far the best Paul McCartney/Wings best of available!!! 2 Cd's full of classics!!! Lots of hits and key album tracks on two shiny discs!!! Nice booklet too!!! AWESOME!!! A+...more info
  • Darn good but Wings Greatest was tighter
    This give you more back for the buck but I have to say I like the Wings Greatest better because it is leaner and has only huge hits. This one has stuff like "C Moon" that was not a hit just a b-side I think it was not a A-side in Britain but I could be wrong. "Pipes Of Peace" was a UK number 1 but not even a US single, but no matter because it is not a Wings song. Neither is "Maybe I am Amazed", "Tug of War", "No More Lonely Nights" (both versions), "Take It Away", "Waterfalls", "Uncle Albert", "Another Day", "Man We Was Lonely", "Junk", "Every Night", "Too Many People". I think I got them all, I don't have it in front of me.

    But that is all true, none of those songs were released as Wings. Which is silly because of the other hits songs he released as Wings: "Helen Wheels" (US top ten), "Maybe I'm Amazed (live)" US top ten, "I Have Had Enough", "Arrow Through Me", "Getting Closer", "London Town", "Girls School", "Sally G", Letting Go" - all of those were US top 40s.

    The only "unreleased" track is a home recording that has Paul and Linda doing a medly of "Bip Bop" from the Wild Life album and "Hey Diddle". Please, they could have put the unreleased studio version of "Hey Diddle" on the album! How about any other of the many unreleased Paul songs that are very good and were going to be included on an album called Cold Cuts. What about the great "Cage" that was meant to conclude Back to the Egg (which had two top 40s, as listed above, but is only represented here by crappy Rockestra Theme probably just because it somehow won a Grammy)....more info
  • The best of Paul McCartney's post-Beatle work...
    but still pretty awful. I had a dream that I was locked in a prison cell and somebody was playing McCartney through a speaker in the corner. "Now here's 'Silly Love Songs,' my torturer would announce -- and I'd shriek and moan. "Just for that, here's 'Ebony and Ivory!'" "God, no -- mercy!" "And now 'Listen To What The Man Said.'" "ARGGGHHH!!"

    I woke up screaming....more info

  • Excellent collection but should have had more Wings songs
    Most of the songs that are on here are quite excellent. You get Wing's biggest hits on disc 1, and some nice gems on disc 2. The only problem is that there are many non-wings songs included on here as well.

    Maybe I'm Amazed (though Wings did do it live), Another Day, Uncle Albert/Admiral Hasley, The Lovely Linda, Heart Of the Country, Every Night, Junk, Man We Was Lonely, The Back Seat of My Car, and To Many People, all are in that short time period of post Beatles and pre Wings.

    Pipes of Peace, Coming Up, No More Lonely Nights (of which there are two versions on here), Take It Away, Waterfalls, and Tug of War are all post Wings from 1980 to 1984. While most of these are all good songs, they really aren't Wings songs, and are taking up room where more real Wings songs could have gone.

    Though I can understand the need to put on his pre-wings' songs on the album, as this way all McCartney's 70's greatest hits could be put in one package, the post wings' songs really have no place on this album at all. Some songs I would have included in their place are Dear Friend, Little Lamb Dragon Fly, Magneto and Titanium man, Beware My Love, London Town, Spin It On, Old Siam Sir, and Soily (live version).

    Despite it's flaws though, it does make a nice greatest hits package spanning 1970 to 1984, and serves as a good introduction to those who are new to McCartney's non Beatle material pre-1985. It is currently the best McCartney Greatest Hits album available, making the album "All the Best" obsolete with the exception of a few songs....more info

  • Paul Mccartney and Wings Are The Best!!
    From begining to end, this cd is great. Wings is now my new favorite band. I still love Queen, but I think Wings is awesome. Their songs on disk 1 are amazing. Disk 2 is sort of their okay songs. Enjoy this fab cd, it's very cool. Very!...more info


    FROM KIRSTEN...more info

  • Wings at its best!
    I have been listening to A LOT of Paul McCartney albums, and I had trouble deciding which one to buy. If you really want to hear the best Wings has to offer, then buy this album. Some of my favorites are the relaxing "Maybe I'm Amazed", the energetic "Jet", the interesting "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", and the rhythmic "Silly Love Songs". This has become one of my favorite albums, and it really shows you that Wings was one of the best groups of the 1970s....more info
    Noooo! I'll be honest with you and straight foward: I'm a Lennon fanatic, always will be, period. But with exceptions of this album which I think in my own words is beautifully put together. Yes I can honestly say I don't have any of his solo albums, but with this album, you don't need them anyways. Heres a list in order of playing this album from front to back that I like and you be the judge:

    Band On The Run 4/5
    Another Day 5/5
    Live And Let Die 4/5
    Jet 4/5
    My Love 4/5
    Silly Love Songs 5/5
    Let 'Em In 4/5
    Junior's Farm 3/5
    Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey 5/5
    No More Lonely Night 5/5 (sucky movie though)
    Let Me Roll It 4/5
    Maybe I'm Amaze 4/5
    Bluebird 4/5
    Heart Of The Country 4/5
    Every Night 4/5
    Take It Away 5/5
    Junk 3/5
    Too Many People 5/5
    So anyways, 18 out of 40 songs from the whole Wings and Solo span, not too shabby, I give it a 9 out of ten, but in this case, since it's a pretty enjoyable album, and I don't plan on running out and getting anymore of his albums, or even purchasing a $200 ticket to see him live, this deserves 5 stars, even though I still think Lennon still kicks his A** anyday on lyric writting. You be the judge, go out and get this album, it's worth it....more info
    i like many of the songs on this collection, but, as noted by other reviewer's, too many songs were included on this collection that are "unknowns" to be on a "greatest hits" type collection. what i do mainly is just listen to one cd but even that is hard to do because the songs aren't listed on the cd and the cd's look alike so i end up putting them both in the cd changer anyway. smart marketing move. but all in all, it is an ok cd set for the money....more info
  • Brings back great memories!
    This CD brings back all of those great memories of listening to Paul McCartney and the Wings in the 70's! It has all the hits and some. Enjoy!!...more info
  • Macca's Genius Not Served Well by this Compilation
    (Music: 5 Stars; Compilation: 3 Stars)

    There can be no denying the genius of Paul McCartney's music over the years. This is the 3rd hit compilation of Macca's career, and while the quality of the individual songs is stellar, I am bewildered by the "Wingspan" compilation (2 CDs, 153 min.).

    CD1 "Hits" (18 tracks, 75 min.) is just that: a compilation of the best known songs, overlapping greatly with earlier compilations "Wings Greatest" and "All the Best". A shame that a dud like "No More Lonely Nights" is included instead of, say, "Mary Had a Little Lamb", a genuine hit in 1972 and Wings' second single ever. Also beware: "Junior's Farm" and "With a Little Luck" appear in the (shorter) single version. CD2 "History" (22 tracks, 78 min.) is a hodgepodge without any apparent rhyme or reason ("a collection of some of my favorite songs" says Paul in the (skimpy) liner notes). The track sequencing is incomprehensible (for example "Take it Away" is sandwiched between 3 songs from the "McCartney" album, and thus sounds totally out of place). Adding insult to injury, it includes an alternative version of the afore-mentioned dud "No More Lonely Nights". On the plus side, it does include an unissued version of "Bip Bop" of the underrated "Wings Wild Life" album. Conspicuously MIA are "Girls' School", "Arrow Through Me", "Ballroom Dancing", "Deliver Your Children" and some other notable singles.

    The "History" CD is a missed opportunity for the not-so-casual Macca fan to gather some real key singles and more obscure B-sides and essential album tracks in one place. That Wings' first single "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" is not included in a 40 track compilation on Wings is just plain silly. Other missing "must-haves": "I Lie Around" (excellent B-side of "Live and Let Die"), "The Mess" (B-side of "My Love"), "Little Woman Love" (B-side of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"), "Mama's Little Girl" (1972 track issued as B-side to "Put it There" in 1990), "Country Dreamer" (B-side to "Helen Wheels"), and "Oh Woman, Oh Why" (B-side of "Another Day"). All these tracks can be found on the various remastered Wings albums issued some years ago in the UK and available here as an import.

    "Wingspan" ultimately misses the point: too overreaching for the casual Macca fan, and not comprehensive enough for the avid Macca fun. Maybe they'll get it right on the 4th try....more info

  • Beautiful Collection
    I got this for Mother's Day 3 years ago and still listen to it every week. My kids who are 2 1/2 and 4 get into it too and enjoy dancing to the music. If you're a big Paul McCartney fan, buy this collection! It's a must have....more info
  • McCartney is the master of catchy pop songs
    If your looking for a comprehensive greatest hits album look elsewhere. Accept this album for what it is, a great sampling of hits and album cuts. I personally can live with the ommission of songs like Ebony and Ivory or Say, Say Say.

    For me, the "History" part of the album is what makes this great. Songs like "Rockaria" "Mull of Kintyre" "Teddy Boy" and "Junk" are a few on this album I never would have heard because they receive virtually no play time on the radio. Since hearing them, I have discovered for myself many other great McCartney songs on Ram, McCartney, McCartney II, London Town, Band on the Run and Venus and Mars. With few exceptions, you can not go wrong buying any of McCartney's albums. They will all have great songs that you won't hear on the radio or on this album.

    There will eventually be an extensive album with all of McCartney and Wings songs that were their highest charting singles. This isn't it. If that's what you want you'll have to live with the album "All the Best". If you want to be exposed to something different from McCartney and Wings check this album out....more info

  • Nice collection of Paul's post-Beatles work
    Say what you will about Paul McCartney's post-Beatles career (and a lot of people have said a lot of things) but you have to admire him for following his vision. That vision may not be as distinct as say, George's spiritual leanings, but it is a distinct one nonetheless. Paul set out to create perfect pop masterpieces, and bring a lot of fun to the world of music. Wingspan shows that more often than not, Paul succeeded.

    Before I go any further, don't think I am saying that many criticisms (half-formed lyrics, childish songs) are not valid, or that everyone (or even every Beatles fan) should get into McCartney's solo stuff. I'm not. I will say, though, that for every maligned song, there are a number of fun songs that make you appreciate Paul's worldview and wonderful melodic sense.

    Wingspan works on two counts- 1: by being divided up into a "Hits" (self-explanatory) and "History" (little-known gems) discs, it helps a novice listener not only get some context for McCartney's success, but also some insight into some little-known tunes from after the Beatles (many of these tunes are, in my opinion, better than the hits). 2, the album helps Paul's solo legacy stand solidly alongside his Beatles legacy. Not as tall as his Beatles legacy, maybe, but alongside it nonetheless.

    Highlights of the album: there are a number of them, most of which reside on the "history" disc. "Maybe I'm Amazed", the titanic classic that got me into Paul's solo work, finally finds its way onto a Paul McCartney greatest hits disc, leaving me unable to get angry about its absence again (c'mon, would you leave "Hey Jude" off of a Beatles hits collection?); "Take it Away", a galloping number that will make you amazed that "Ebony and Ivory" is the best known song off of the Tug of War album; "Daytime Nighttime Suffering", a great B-side; and "Too Many People", a number that reminds me a lot of Paul's White Album-era work - spare instrumentation, angry, mature lyrics. The "History" disc is worth the price of admission alone.

    Quibbles: few, mainly the fact that for many of these songs, this is the THIRD time they have been on a greatest hits. All the Best had all but two of the songs from Wings Greatest, and Wingspan returns those two songs (Hi Hi Hi and Mull of Kintyre), and omits the Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder duets from All The Best. Got it? Also, C Moon is again on a hits collection. WHY?!!

    In all, a great collection, especially if you don't have the previous ones....more info

  • Disappointed
    I am a huge Beatles fan. But I go back and forth on Paul's solo and Wings career. Sometimes I listen to him and it's like eating too much cake and drinking too much soda. Too much of a good thing but then I spot all the things that make me sick. On one hand what a terrific voice. He is brilliant with melodies and harmonies. But then again, the lyrics are usually so mainstream and pop sugar sweet it drives me crazy. What really bugs me is the Wings sound and poor musicianship (blame it on the 1970s pop music). Their sound is so thin and tinny it really gets annoying after awhile. I recognize his genius in melody and harmony. And like I said he has a fantastic voice and what's more is...he's a former Beatle!!! But so much of his solo work is embarrasing and doesn't stand the test of time.

    I think George Martin and John Lennon got Paul to put a little rougher and more creative edge on some of his late 1960s Beatles work. Take "Oh Darling" for example. It's almost obsessive, manic, desperate. If he had recorded that without Martin or Lennon proding him along in the right direction it would have wound up sweet and soft like another "Silly Love Song".

    As far as Beatles solo work. Not much to recommend. But I highly recommend Lennon's first post-Beatles work - "Plastic Ono Band" - which I think is the best Beatles solo work by far. Next best is Harrison's "All Things Must Pass". These two are essential. Every other Beatles solo album is not worth it in my opinion.

    If you have to have something by Paul, don't get this compilation. Buy something else. I would recommend his Ram album (very late Beatles-ish), or Band on the Run or the Russian album (late 80s covers of 50s tunes...which is what I think he does better than anything else) instead of this Wings greatest hits CD. ...more info
  • A Wingspan and not a Beatlespan
    This is a revised collection of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles hit songs. With Wingspan,it is not necessary to continue production of his previous compilation,ALL THE BEST,released in 1987. Two tracks on ALL THE BEST,but not WINGSPAN are SAY,SAY,SAY and EBONY AND IVORY,Paul's respective duets with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. SAY,SAY,SAY is from "Pipes Of Peace" and EBONY AND IVORY is from "Tug Of War". Both those albums are still in production. The 15 other ALL THE BEST tracks are on WINGSPAN. There are none of McCartney's post-1984 songs on this album(songs from Press To Play,Flowers In the Dirt,Off The Ground,Flaming Pie,etc.). If only there were a collection of John Lennon's compositions and recordings like this one,it would become a megahit also. I dedicate this to the memory of Paul's first wife,the former Linda Eastman. I guess this collection could use McCartney's and Jackson's other duet,THE GIRL IS MINE....more info


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