Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Why Paul McCartney initially didn’t perform Beatles songs with Wings

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After the Beatles broke up, each member attempted to break away from the record-breaking band. Paul McCartney formed Wings shortly after leaving the Beatles, but he knew the group needed a new identity. While many fans came to concerts expecting McCartney to perform a few Beatles tracks, Macca refused to do so during Wings’ early years.

Shortly after leaving the Beatles, McCartney released his first two solo albums: McCartney (1970) and R.A.M. (1971). While his solo career was thriving in the early 1970s, McCartney still wanted to form another band. In 1972 the former Beatle formed Wings with his wife Linda on keyboards, Denny Seiwell on drums and Denny Laine on guitar.

The band lasted until 1982 and had a changing cast over the years. While Wings never reached the heights of the Beatles, the band still found plenty of success in the 1970s with hits like “Band on the Run,” “Jet,” and “Silly Love Songs.” McCartney proved his musical talent surpassed the Beatles, although the fabulous four were a match made in heaven.

In an interview with his website, Paul McCartney explained why Wings didn’t play Beatles songs in the band’s early years. He wanted the band to establish their own identity. Thankfully, the band began collecting hits, which meant audiences headed to concerts hoping to see more than The Beatles’ greatest hits. It lasted until 1975-1976 wings over the world tour that the “Blackbird” singer felt comfortable performing Beatles songs.

Like the Beatles, McCartney knew Wings would need a few practice runs before it became something big. By 1975, however, the British singer-songwriter had seen enough to trust Wings and knew combining the two bands would be a “winning recipe”.

“At Wings, I always knew we would endure a few years of trial and error. It was the same with the Beatles,” McCartney shared. “We went to Hamburg, played all the clubs in Liverpool before anyone really heard us. You know, only local audiences knew us before we even made a record. We had done a lot of work to bring our skills together, so now I had to do it all over again with Wings. but through Wings over America and on the world tours we pretty much nailed it. We now knew what wings are.”

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