Top positive review
11 of 11 people found this helpful
on 29 March 2005
This is a good value compilation album of Paul's most successful singles from the period 1970-78, the latter five years of which he and his band Wings sold more records than virtually anyone. And it is especially worth buying for 'Junior's Farm', the superb rocker released as a single in 1974 and unavailable on any other 1970s album release. There have of course been McCartney compiliations released since. 'All The Best' from 1987 contains rather too much overlap with this album for my liking. Perhaps the recent 'Wingspan' represents a more comprehensive look at those 1970s Wings years. But this one has that special quality of being released when Ex Beatles, at least this one, were selling records in significant quantities. Hence none of the nostalgia or retrospectiveness of most compliations these days.
As with all compilation albums, it is unsatisfactory in its continuity and flow. But at least this album contained a dozen or so bona fide hit singles, most of which reached the Top 5. It is of decent length, unlike the Ringo '70s Best of 'Blast From The Past' which clocked in at no more than 30 minutes. And massively better than the lamentable Best Of George Harrison album from 1975 which saw fit to raid the Beatles back catalogue to fill a whole side. See my seperate review of that album for my utter contempt for that release.
Ideally compilation albums should be a respectable summation for the casual fan or else should contain a number of singles not available elsewhere. With regard to the former, this is a pretty decent album as it contains all the best known McCartney tracks from this period. With the noteable exception of 'Listen To What The Man Said' from 1975, inexplicably missing here. With regard to the latter, it contained 'Another Day', Paul's first solo single from 1971, the charming little rocker 'Hi Hi Hi' from 1972 which was to prove so effective as a concert encore (although its B side the remarkable reggae number 'C Moon' could easily have been included as well). Also the explosive, supremely melodic and sensational 'Live And Let Die' single from 1973, the afore mentioned 'Junior's Farm' single, and 'Mull Of Kintyre' which was the best selling UK single from anyone in the 1970s. From anyone. A gorgeous McCartney waltz with a moving lyric and sublime melody. Despite what you might here elsewhere.
The remainder are well known album tracks which are for me better appreciated within the context of their original albums, especially the songs from 'Band On The Run'. But I concede that such albums are important to people who want a flavour of the magical band that Wings were in the '70s. 'My Love', 'Let 'Em In', 'Uncle Albert', 'With A Little Luck' and 'Silly Love Songs' (with its masterful bass line) are all confirmed McCartney classics which have truly stood the test of time.
I have a soft spot for this album as it was released and sold in decent quantities before any of the anti-McCartney backlash we unfortunately saw following Lennon's senseless murder in 1980. This album showed that of all four Ex Beatles it was McCartney who was easily the most successful in the decade following the acrimonious Beatles split in 1970. And although there is a case for defending the brilliance of much of the others' output during this period, here it is the punters talking. They bought McCartney records. In enormous numbers. I think even John Lennon was secretly impressed. And so he should have been.