11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rock 'n roller
Contrary to popular belief, Paul was the rock musician in Beatles, even if John was more of a rocker in attitude. He wrote Sgt. Pepper's, Helter Skelter, Lady Madonna, Back in the USSR, to mention a few. Knowing that, the sound and feel of Back to the Egg shouldn't be so surprising. Because this is hard, heavy and fat rock 'n roll. One might get decieved by the sheer pop...
Published on 13 May 2002
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for this? Really?
I was surprised to see how many 5-stars and 4-stars reviews there are for this album. In my opinion, the most boring and uninspired album that Wings ever recorded. Even WILD LIFE is a tad more fun to listen to.
The only Wings album I would consider giving 5 stars would be BAND ON THE RUN. And perhaps 4 stars for LONDON TOWN, VENUS AND MARS and WINGS AT THE SPEED OF...
Published on 6 July 2008 by Unsmart
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rock 'n roller,
By A Customer
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)Contrary to popular belief, Paul was the rock musician in Beatles, even if John was more of a rocker in attitude. He wrote Sgt. Pepper's, Helter Skelter, Lady Madonna, Back in the USSR, to mention a few. Knowing that, the sound and feel of Back to the Egg shouldn't be so surprising. Because this is hard, heavy and fat rock 'n roll. One might get decieved by the sheer pop of Getting Closer, but the brutal riffs and vocal of Spin It On soon takes you into a somewhat harder and darker terrain.
The laid-back softness of London Town are completely absent, and even in the ballads, you can sense an edge of rusty metal in Paul's voice.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lost Macca album,
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)I don't want to reiterate what other reviewers have already said but I thought I would mention that this has always been my favourite McCartney/Wings album.
I well remember buying this at 'Woolies' in Carlisle in the Summer of 1981 in one of their bargain bins for the princely sum of 99p (only 12/13 & I had just enough pennies!) & I still listen to this album on a regular basis (although I bought a CD version in '91).I've always said that if you can still listen to & enjoy an album many years down the line then there must be something good about it...as already discussed by the other reviewers.
So,give it a chance & (hopefully) you'll like it as well.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars seriously underrated album,
By A Customer
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)This is one of the best Paul McCartney and Wings albums which brings new energy, sound and originality. It does not deserve the criticism it was subjected to by some reviewers.
"I Am Getting Closer", "Spin It On" and "Rochestra Theme" are truely original rock-n-roll tracks. "We're Open Tonight", "Winter Rose" and "Baby's Request" are beautiful ballads. Paul McCartney demonstrates here again what a superb song-writer he is.
In my opinion, his best songs in the post-Beatles era in terms of originality of the sound and melody, were written when he was a part of Wings (except "Tug of War" and "Pipes of Peace").
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty damn fine,
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)This would be the last album in which McCartney was able to sing in that screeching, throat tearing manner. He's written some simply brilliant rock and roll songs and a clutch of them can be found on Back to the Egg. They aren't just infectious, they are wonderfully dotty. When I say brilliant I mean so far as I can tell fabled bands like Oasis haven't written a single solitary song that compares and yet this work has been consigned to a place outside the regular top albums of all time. Time will re-adjust the balance. The fact is, so far in the short history of pop music, for all his faults, McCartney has written some of the most formidable and catchy rock and roll songs performed with immense power and musicality. And whilst there is a tinge of McCartney banality lyrically (after the ball you were the one, the one in the hall), I really think that he is capable of writing good lyrics (sometimes) and about rejection very well. I've always loved the lyric 'you couldn't have found a more down hero if you'da started at nothing and counted to zero'. Denny Laine shines here too, with his song and Steve Holly's drumming is pretty tasty. If I were to have just two McCartney albums it would be Ram and this one. I think on both McCartney's talent was brimming. Anyway, it's better than Beatles For Sale.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BACK ON FORM - IF ONLY FOR A WHILE!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)Let's face it, as great as Sir Paul is, he did have a habit in the seventies of dismissing quality for the sake of quantity. Classics such as 'Band On The Run', 'My Love' and 'Live And Let Die' were rather let down by meaningless sing-along ditties such as 'Bip Bop', 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' and 'Mrs Vandebilt' to name but a few, and indeed this did continue into the eighties. But more often than not, the master Macca does pull an immediate slice of genius out of his slightly disorientated hat.
'Back To The Egg' is one of the best Wings albums - far more consistent than some of their earlier work. Although it doesn't contain an infamous 'McCartney classic', it is immediately appealing after the first couple of tracks. Great melodies and amusing lyrics are immaculately backed by strong musicianship and superb McCartney vocals (as nearly always).
The infectious melody of 'Getting Closer' and the jaunty rhythm of 'Old Siam, Sir' are sure signs that, despite losing the way a little in the early to mid-seventies, Paul was getting back to form again, and continues to entertain his listeners - and, importantly, they all sound like they are seriously enjoying themselves!
Of course, the record has its obligatory 'album fillers'. 'Spin It On', although rocky, is basically appalling, and thankfully, short, and 'The Broadcast' is an unnecessary, minute-long instrumental, containing nothing more than some sort of weird monologue.
Hank Marvin, Pete Townshend and Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd as well as a few members of Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones and John Bonham) crop up also, namely on the brilliant instrumental rocker 'Rockestra Theme' and upbeat 'So Glad To See You Here'.
'Baby's Request' is a great wrap-up to the album in true cabaret style, and the opening section of 'After The Ball/Million Miles' could almost be a Slade ballad, including an unintentional, but extremely precise Noddy Holder impression.
All in all, it's a seriously under-rated, great album, up there with the best of them and in need of some loving care, attention and serious recognition. Enjoy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only McCartney could write more flops like this!,
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)Wings albums are all a mixed bag of brilliance and mediocrity due to a severe lack of quality control mixed with an incredible musical genius. lyrically Back to the Egg is a little lightweight throughout but if you can accept this (as with a lot of macca's lyrics to be fair) you will enjoy what is by far the best rock album McCartney ever produced and without doubt his best post Beatles studio singing.
It lacked a hit single making McCartney think he'd made a dud but he made an incredibly varied and refreshingly experimental album that remains one of his lesser know gems and should be listened to by any fan of rock and melody.
Released at the end of punk it seems that this brought out a tougher side to the Wings sound and Macca sings with real venom and power in many of the songs such as "Getting Closer" and "Old Siam Sir" and "To You". Along side this you have a cool soul ballad in "Arrow Right Through me" with mesmeric horns a la Stevie Wonder a fabulous short ballad with his smokiest vocal "Winter Rose" and a classic crooner in "Baby's Request".
You then have the two massive Rockestra tracks that have just about every famous rocker backing Sir Mac creating a wall of sound worthy of Phil Spector but with bigger amps. Macca's vocals on "So Glad to See You Here" almost verges on heavy metal levels it's staggeringly brilliant to hear him push the envelope like this! Laurence Juber's guitar throughout really packs a punch and matches the bite that McCartney was trying to capture in his rockier tracks, listen to the insane solo on "Spin It On", Magnificent.
Bonus track includes the brilliant pop song "Daytime Nightime Suffering" which was the b-side to "Goodnight Tonight" (why on earth is that track missing?)
I could go on but I think you get the idea. You could argue there are no "classics" on this album but that's more to do with the fact people have not heard these songs enough even the Macca fans, sure it's dated a bit since 1979 when I bought it as a 13 year old but I can tell you the next year I went out and formed a band inspired by this fantastic noise, well played Mr McCartney, this was no flop and if it was then please let's have more wonderful failures like this!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave,
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)This is a brave Wings album and with hindsight makes one regret that this was the last Wings record. It is a great band effort, and although lacking any great lyrical quality is at least a decent attempt from McCartney to rock and capture some of the excitement that had perhaps been lacking from the previous three Wings albums. It does not contain many, indeed not more than a couple of really stand out tracks, which 'Venus And Mars' (1975), 'At The Speed Of Sound' and 'London Town' had undoubtedly done, despite their somewhat laid back ambience. 'Back To The Egg' is more of a mood album.
But one which has its merits. McCartney and his wife Linda were themselves to poor derision on this set. But they overlook the energy and bravery of this album. It contains nothing of the calibre of 'With A Little Luck' or 'Listen To What The Man Said' for example. But is a Fun Album. A friend of mine who wasn't a massive McCartney fan and who sadly died at a young age a few years later was simply blown away by this album. If you play it loud, forget any great pretension to lyrical greatness and just Rock, it is actually an immensely enyoyable record.
The first track is an unremarkable instrumental, only noteable for its fluid bass playing (from Paul of course). 'Getting Closer' is a good if not great McCartney rocker. He has this unique ability to combine a decent melody with an infectious rocking rhythm section. Early versions had Denny Laine on lead vocal. Luckily Paul stepped in and said 'Err...excuse me I think I'll sing the lead on this'. Good decision. 'We're Open Tonight' is charmingly inoffensive in the same way that 'Ram On' was from 1971. Next is Denny Laine's finest moment, 'Again And Again And Again'. This number is so good that it could have been a single probably. It wasn't....but remains a great album track, with McCartney singing superb vocal harmony and bass playing as he often did to spontaneous effect in songs written by his fellow band mates. In the Beatles ('Come Together'among countless others) and with Wings (here and on 'Time To Hide' from 'Speed Of sound' (1976) for example). Then we come to the first single 'Old Siam Sir' which although not commmercial enough to become a smash single is in my opinion an underrated McCartney rocker, complete with great vocal, memorable electric guitar throughout including that memorable octave leaping guitar hook, and mad lyrics about Scarborough and Walthamstow.
'Arrow Though Me' almost works due to its melody and great singing but is somewhat let down by annoying synthesisers. Reminscent of 'Temporary Secretary' (1980). Oh No Not Again. Please.
Side 2 (of the vinyl record) opens with the punchy and enjoyable 'Rockestra' instrumental, featuring an all star band of superstars in support. However, it's not as good as you might think with that line up. But play it loud and it's a good rocker. If you can forgive the 'why haven't I got any dinner?' lyric. Which McCartney was inexplicably to repeat in his first classical venture 'Liverpool Oratorio' with that abysmal 'Where Is My Dinner?' line.
But as I have said it is not lyrical quality which gives this album its meat. It is simply the free rocking spirit which is evident on most of the album. 'To You' sounds good but on repeated listenings reveals itself to be what is is. Filler. And then we have a couple of memorable ballads. 'After the Ball/Million Miles' is good but the next couplet 'Winter Rose/Love Awake' is McCartney at his effortless melodic best.
Unfortunately we are brought down to earth by the next track 'So Glad To See You Here' which features the same star studded 'Rockestra' line-up. Sweet Thingamagig this track is So Ordinary. Must have been a little embarrassing to record.
Luckily the last track is a bona fide (and little known) McCartney classic. Andy Peebles pointed this out in 1980 to Paul and he will not have been the only one. It is effortless in its engaging melody, you swear it is the cover of some lost 1940s classic. But no. It is the work of James Paul McCartney. Beautiful.
Of the bonus tracks 'Daytime Nighttime Suffering' is a superb feminist anthem and should really have been on the original album. Inexplicably 'Goodnight Tonight' is absent here, despite being from the same recordings. Was chosen as a bonus track for 'McCartney 2' by some marketing man who obviously realised the lack of stand out tracks on That Album. And hence we are robbed of hearing this superb track in its true context: a lead off single from Wings to this very album. Hard to justify. The Christmas single and its B Side add nothing, being obviously solo ventures, at home more if at all on 'McCartney 2'.
All in all, 'Back to The Egg' is a brave venture from McCartney in the midst of Punk to do something Au Current. It succeeds far more than the avant gardish experimental but largely uninspired 'McCartney 2' album which followed. And was free of the saccharine element that was to deflate his 1980s work, at least up until the superb 'Flowers In The Dirt' return to form album from 1989. This album 'Back To The Egg' was Wings' final album. And with hindsight we miss them. For although McCartney was the dominant force in that band, it is under the Wings umbrella, despite its ever changing line-up that his best post Beatles music can undoubtedly be found. Not that his subsequent work was without merit, every album has its moments, in particular his last album 'Driving Rain' has many Fine Moments. But after the 1970s, and after Lennon's death in December 1980, McCartney, for the most part, lost Something. Hard to pin down. No matter. I don't give a monkeys what Lennon thought of this album. It has far more merit than he would find it in his heart to acknowledge if you believe Fred Seaman's book. Buy this album! :-)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oft-overlooked treasure,
By A Customer
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)There was a time in the 80's when this album was considered to be the nadir of Macca's Wings output. Perhaps this reputation had more to do with the lack of catchy singles that any real failings on the album itself. Back to the Egg has aged better than most of its Wings stablemates and contains some diverse and outstanding tracks, from the rocking 'Getting Closer' to the 40's-style 'Baby's Request'.
Back to the Egg shows another side to Wings and McCartney. Try it - it's worth it just for the bonus tracks - where else could you pick up a copy of 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reggee'!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Paul's finest solo hour,
By A Customer
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)I grew up as a Wings fan in the 70s and it only occurred to me later thatMr. McCartney had been in this other band in the 60s. So "Band on theRun", "Let Em In", "With a Little Luck" etc were pretty much faves of mineand I could only afford the odd single in those days as I was still not inmy teens.
Then came "Back to the Egg" - "Getting Closer" and "Old SiamSir" bombed as UK singles (but I still have the vinyl somewhere!) and Isaved all my pennies to get this album and wasn't disappointed.
Unfortunately the rest of the world didn't agree. The Beatles had almostbeen forgotten in 1979 and the world had changed so much since theirsplit. "Back to the Egg" was released in the middle of the punk/new waveera and Lennon had still to crawl out of retirement. But to me this isPaul getting as close to a Beatles record as he could get in terms ofideas. It is very experimental without forgetting the McCartney popsensibilities. It opens with a weird sweep across the radio bands with"Reception" and then crashes into "We're Open Tonight". The album rockswith "Getting Closer", "Old Siam Sir", "So Glad to See You Here" and"Rockestra Theme","To You" is almost 'punk' and then there is the "Afterthe Ball", "Winter Rose" , "Love Awake" and experimental style medleylinked with "The Broadcast" which is a sort of poem set to music. EvenDenny Laine's track "Again & Again & Again" is pretty listenable and"Arrow Through Me" is one of Paul's finest forgotten tracks ."Baby'sRequest" ends the album in the same old music hall style of "Honey Pie".You also get "Wonderful Christmastime" and "Daytime Nightime Suffering"added on this CD as bonuses.
Had the original release included the 1979 hit "Goodnight Tonight" thenmaybe this album would have been a big hit. Had the Beatles stayedtogether and produced this album then maybe it would have been a classic ?Who knows , the fact is "Back to the Egg" was deemed a failure byMcCartney's standards. Of course McCartney went on to have more hits ,butplayed it safe from then on ,until the 90s.
This is Wings last and bestalbum. Honestly. Even "Band on the Run" only runs a close second.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Great McCartney Record,
This review is from: Back To The Egg (Audio CD)Back to the Egg is a quite brilliant album, and may be regarded as Paul's last great record.
Sure, there are some great tracks that come after 79 (Coming Up, Tug of War, Take it Away e.t.c), but this is the last album to contain McCartney's zestful approach to music throughout the whole. Since this point it has always felt to me that Paul is trying to re-create this feeling, rather than create it.
Yes it is rockier, sounds completely different to anything Paul would record from here on, and finished the 70s in a great flourish - but it is also packed with great songs that, if you give them a chance, you will be humming forever.
The appeal is even more great considering that this is often thought to be one of Wings weakest albums, and is largely unknown to the general record buying public.
The exuberant is a million miles from the downcast London Town, with Getting Closer and Arrow Through me being two wonderful McCartney songs. Though the second half gets off to a rocky start, the album soon mellows with After the ball, Winter Rose et all. These are the hardest tracks to warm to on the album, and yet also the most obviously McCartney. The feel of the fragmented four tracks is a little like a slow, sadder version of the Power Cut/Hold me tight melody of Red Rose Speedway. They run-on into The Broadcast, which also has the feel of the War of the Worlds concept album with its mix of dialogue and music.
But we are soon on to rockier territory with so Glad to see you here,
and the vaudiville Baby's Request closes the show. It is a consistently playable record.
I just wish that Coming Up and One of These Days had been on this album too, instead of propping-up the McCartney 2 album. Then this would truely be an album to run Band on the Run pretty close.
(Daytime Nightime Suffering, is a great bonus track too, whilst Wonderul Christmastime hints at the minimalism of McCartney 2).
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