11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - one of my favourite albums
Where do you start with this album? I suppose one way to start is to say that I may not be alone in saying that it is up there with some of the best albums ever made. There is not a bad track on it, including the superb singles: 'Band On The Run', 'Jet' (the name of his Labrador puppies - a link to 'Martha My Dear' from The Whit Album, in that it is about a dog) and...
Published on 7 Sep 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not fully remastered
The 'Band On The Run' cd, incl. the 2 bonus tracks 'Helen Wheels' and 'Country Dreamer', are, apart from: 'Jet' and 'Helen Wheels', in very good remastered quality. The sound is cleen, deep, wide and the bass is full and tight.
That can't be said about 'Jet' and 'Helen Wheels'. Previous on vinyl and later on cd, these 2 songs have always sounded compressed, restless...
Published on 17 Nov 2010 by Andre H. Hofman
Most Helpful First | Newest First
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - one of my favourite albums,
Where do you start with this album? I suppose one way to start is to say that I may not be alone in saying that it is up there with some of the best albums ever made. There is not a bad track on it, including the superb singles: 'Band On The Run', 'Jet' (the name of his Labrador puppies - a link to 'Martha My Dear' from The Whit Album, in that it is about a dog) and 'Helen Wheels'(McCartney's nickname for his Land Rover, the story of a trip down the M6, citing Glasgow, Carlisle, Liverpool and Birmingham) ; as well as fantastic album tracks such as 'Picasso's Last Words', 'Mrs Vandebilt'. Although all the songs are superb, I prefer the non-singles, especially the Lennon pastiche 'Let Me Roll It', the sublime 'Mamunia' (meaning safe-haven in Arabic) and the fantastic final track 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five'. The album is one of the best post-Beatles albums, up there with 'Imagine' and George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass'. If you are someone who loves The Beatles and is interested in expanding to their later solo efforts, this would be a perfect place to start, and 'Band On The Run' should be a part of everyone's record collection. Furthermore, the excellent and original front cover (including the likes of Michael Parkinson) is symbolic of the quality of the music inside. Conisdering the events in which McCartney recorded this, that he and his wife were almost murdered in Lagos (where the record was recorded), had their demo tapes stolen, and 2 members of the band left shortly before the album, meaning that McCartney had to do most of the playing of all the instruments, then this is a tremendous effort. A fantastic album from a superb artist, which deservedly won a pair of Grammy's in 1975 and was Britain's best-seller in 1974. It's one of my favourites of all time - make it one of yours!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a classic,
Pauls solo career for the 4 years post the Beatles had been a rather patchy affair. After starting off with two decent albums, he followed that up with two very below par Wings efforts that prompted much mocking of the Wings line up, particularly the inclusion of Pauls wife Linda on keyboards. Here however, reduced to the three core members, Paul, Lindaa & Denny, they produce the kind of rock/pop music that the seventies were meant for.
Recorded in Lagos, their surroundings meant that they recorded an album that had a consistent sound about it, something all Wings previous efforts had failed at. Kicking off with two of pauls best songs, Band on The Run and Jet never fail to lift you up, two of pauls finest rock songs that both follow the theme of flight and escapism that runs throught his whole album.
Bluebird is a delightful acoustic number that again follows the theme of flight, although those expecting a Blackbird part two should look eslewhere. Mrs Vandebilt one can only assume is about returning to nature with its tribal like shouts of Ho-Hey-Ho .
Let Me Roll it still stands as one of Pauls best, a song he performs today with passion and vigour, and one that has been described as out-Lennoning Lennon. The heavy riffs over an organ fuelled drum beat are fantastic, and one cant wonder if the songs lyrics were also aimed at lennon (" I cant tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel....Let Me Roll It to you").
Mamunia is Pauls back to nature approach again, but is more successful than Mrs Vandebilt with a delightful melody and acoustics that celebrate the rain as Paul intended. No Words was a co-write between Paul and Denny, and both take turns in shring the vocals. Probably the weakest cut on the album, it still makes for good listening.
Helen Wheels was the single that preceeded this album, and was originally only included on the American version of the album. Its a bit like The Ballad of Paul & Linda, rocking along to great effect, although Lindas vocals often seem a little harsh on the ears. Its B-Side Country Dreamer is included on the re-mastered releases, and that is a pleasant acoustic number originally recorded for red Rose Speedway but never used.
Picassos last words was written in the company of Dustin Hoffman, and recalls the great painters last hours. It works as another great McCartney character song with french sounding horns and a great melody.
The closing 1985 works as a fantastic climax to a fantastic album. This is Pauls musically most consistent and cohesive work. Great songs mix together with excellent production to produce an album that really does make wings sound like a band on the run. It would catapult the band to the kind of global succcess that only the Beatles could better. This is the album Paul had bordered on making for a few years and finally found the focus to do so. It is brimming with great tunes and creativity. Excellent.
86 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Band on a Roll,
This review is from: Band On The Run (Audio CD)
Outstanding album - possibly McCartney's most satisfying collection (although Ram runs it pretty close).
Having skipped the 25th Anniversary edition, this is the 2nd time I've bought this on CD. To these ears, the sound is pretty indistinguishable from the 1993 Digital Remaster - although audiophiles may disagree.
The package is great - a 24 page booklet including lyrics and a good essay from Paul Gambaccini incorporating excerpts from their 1973 interview (Macca's first post-Beatles apparently). It's fascinating to see Paul explain that Jet is named after a puppy here, whilst a few nights ago he was telling Dermot O'Leary that Jet was a pony. However the real mystery is of course the absence of guitarist Denny Laine. If Wings were a band and not a McCartney vehicle, you might expect the only other living member to have something to say about the music, the album, working with the McCartneys, why he stuck by Paul when the rest of the band quit and so on; or to warrant the odd mention in the sleevenotes or accompanying interviews. Nada. Odd and somewhat sad.
The extras are pretty good - the second CD features the same extra tracks as 1993 (Country Dreamer and Helen Wheels) plus Zoo Gang (not as bad as it sounds) and 6 tracks from 'One Hand Clapping', an unreleased documentary from 1974 showing the expanded band preparing songs for a live/studio album that got shelved. They're not exactly live - maybe some parts live over a studio backing - but all are good band versions, some of which would go on to underpin Macca's live set for many years to come. The studio Soily and Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five are particularly good.
The DVD features videos for Band on the Run, Mamunia and Helen Wheels, a long and tedious film of the day that the cover picture was taken, a black and white film of the McCartneys in Nigeria with Ginger Baker (it's called 'Wings in Lagos' but Denny's nowhere to be seen), backed by an Indian take of the album's title track, plus the film of One Hand Clapping - leaving off (criminally!) Junior's Farm. The film quality is pretty appalling - possibly a second generation VHS copy. Maybe they couldn't source the original, although they probably could have done something about the stutters between shots.
Minor grumbles aside, this is an excellent package and whilst the music fully deserves the 5 stars, the extras here make this a top notch release.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macca's best solo effort,
By A Customer
This is without doubt the best LP Sir Paul and post-Beatles band Wings made. I am a big fan of the Beatles but was never really a big fan of the solo material - with the exception of some of John Lennon's work. The unfortunate thing about Wings is the Mull Of Kintyre straitjacket - most potential listeners are put off by this pigeonholing (a bit like the Beach Boys and the surf boy straitjacket) and I have to admit to approaching this album with some trepidation to say the least. Aside from Lennon's Imagine album (and a couple of compilations) I did not own any other Beatles solo CDs prior to purchasing this one. I have to say that my fears were allayed very quickly - the first listen of this CD had me hooked and I've not let it out of the CD player for several days! Sure, it's not as good as Sgt Pepper or Abbey Road but in places it could pass off as the Beatles - in fact I'm sure if the Beatles had continued into the 1970s this is what they may have sounded like, the majority of songs being really catchy and this is - perhaps a little surprisingly for Wings - a very rocky album in places. I had obviously heard the title track many times but the album is full of really classy material. If there's only one solo McCartney album that you must have, this is it. The 25th anniversary packaging is really good too - the bonus CD offering an insight into the way this album developed in the studio and the liner notes being well written and informative. The Beatles never produced anything as good on their own as they did when they were a group but this comes pretty close. A classic album.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macca's best !,
In '73 time was pressing for Macca; RAM and the first solo-album (let's forget Wild Life)are quite a cult-succes now, but for people who were used to the Beatle-albums in the late '60's were still waiting for a sign that McCartney was still able to make great music.
There are still very Beatlesque tracks here:
Let Me Roll It; sounds like a Phil-Spector-produced Lennon track and also it's very John-like in its lyrics.
No Words: sounds very much like a '71 George Harrison.
And these are the lesser known tracks! Jet, 1985 and the title track have a nice, luxurious rock-sound to it, Bluebird is a nice acoustig ditty, Mrs. Vanderbilt is catchy as hell!
I think this is overall the best Macca-album ever; catchy tunes, good ballads, nice rockers and no weak tracks!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If we ever get out of here,
Old Macca tends to get a lot of stick, and the comment, 'he's never really done anything that good since the Beatles though has he?' will no doubt be familiar to most! This accusation is unfair and usually based on a severe lack of knowledge. There are many tracks and albums deserving of high acclaim ("Venus and Mars", "London Town", "Flowers in the Dirt" to name but a few). Despite this there is one that he usually gets away with (i.e., 'yea, OK, that one was alright'), and that's "Band on the Run". The album is a great example of Macca's unmatchable talent for experimenting with conventional pop formats without losing sight of the rock 'n' roll routes that orginially sparked his talent and, in turn, in great music of the Beatles. To call the album a 'concept' album would be erroneous, though 'a song cycle' might be an accurate description, particularly with the recapitulation of the 'Band on the Run' chorus at the end of the final track, 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five'.
There is a distinct folk feel to the album, although it opens with a standard seventies rock sound in the introduction that pre-empts 'Band on the Run' (an idea that Macca developed on later Wings' albums):
Stuck in side these four walls
Sent inside forever
The introduction shifts into a more hard rock riff (incidentally, probably the best moment on the entire album) as the singer contemplates escape. Another shift takes us to a brass transition into the famous title track. The second track is the hit single 'Jet' with its memorable (and often plagiarised) brass riff. Lyrically, the track is typical Macca nonsense but this is surely the intention and the track seems to more represent that fact that Macca is a league above most when it comes to the art of rock song writing. 'Bluebird', in contrast is a very mellow acoustic love song (with an extended use of percussion). The lyric is very corny, but again probably intentionally, and the display of Macca's mastery of harmony is what makes the track stand out. We are taken through a variety of sounds from the rock-folky 'Mrs. Vandebilt' (with its bizarre but addictive "Ho! Hey-Ho!" chant), to more raw/hard rock ('Let Me Roll It') to 'Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)' with its French folk style. This song is interjected with strange abrupt passages that recapitulate the chants from 'Jet' and 'Mrs Vandebilt'. The exact reason for this is elusive but it does make for interesting listening and the "Ho! Hey Ho!" fades out and into the final track. 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five' is a straight forward rock track which concludes with an extensive play-out and use of string and brass sounds mixed with various sound effect builds the music to and explosive brass cadence which reminds us of the transition from the introduction to 'Band on the Run'. The final chord sounds and after a short pause we hear the 'Band on the Run' chorus fade out.
The album almost achieved a cult status in its time, but it did not quite make it. This is unfortunate as it would probably have permitted McCartney to be taken more seriously as an artist post his Beatle days. In any case, it is testimony to the fact that he did make good music and should be reassessed by those that ostracise him in this light. If you do like the album don't stop there! Make your way through some other Wings' albums and if you're still interested, then turn to some of the solo stuff. There's plenty to go around, for Macca still persists, releasing a record as recent as 2005.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Band On The Run (Audio CD)
A classic album given a well deserved re-issue. I remember playing this non stop when it came out, I had enjoyed the wings stuff and while McCartney's first few albums after the Beatles all contained some fantastic tracks - this was the one where it all came together with a strong set of tracks that have survived the test of time. It's nice quality although I agree with a previous reviewer that it's hard to really appreciate the re-mastering if you listen with an 'average' ear like myself. While I am agreeing with the same previous reviewer he is also right about the strange lack of Denny Laine - I'd love to know how he feels about this re-issue and the memories.
An interesting booklet and Gambaccini piece, I think I can actually remember the 1973 interview it came from which is a little worrying, but those were the days where anticipation was half the pleasure..
A good second cd with the extras, I rather enjoyed the one hand clapping stuff some nice versions in there and worthy of repeated listening.
While the dvd is mildly interesting I kind of doubt it is one I will watch very often much of it is not great quality and I am not sure it adds much to the whole package - I would rather have had a copy of the Channel 4 documentary shown the day before this was issued.
As I lurched through my teens in the 70's I think I was kept sane by Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Mike Oldfield and McCartney. Here Band on the Run gets the treatment it deserves and has brought back some very happy memories, Goodness knows how my Dad put up with me playing this non stop!!!
If this is not in your collection, now is the time to add it. Recommended, this is one of the world's greatest at the top of his game.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escape To Freedom,
Comparing the 'Red Rose Speedway' album which came out earlier in 1973, to 'Band On The Run' we actually see more in common than might appear. Both albums are crammed full of magic McCartney melodies (making 1973 if you count the Live And Let Die single) as possibly his greatest year ever in this respect (well, post Beatles anyway). Actually an interesting fact is that on the last tour, McCartney sang no less than five songs from this year, three from the 'Band On The Run' album.
And both these 1973 albums showcase McCartney's amazingly melodic bass playing. When that combines with or rather compliments one of those great melodies that the man is so famous for, it almost doesn't matter what the words are. But not quite. Here is the difference: on 'Red Rose Speedway' the lyrics are somewhat simplistic, not very imaginative and more than a little sacharine it must be confessed. Luckily the tunes come to the rescue, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable and charming album not noted for its lyrical content (nothing wrong with silly love songs but here is a whole album's worth! :-). Here on 'Band On The Run, McCartney finds a theme, in this case danger, release, escapism and runs with it. The effect being to carry the listener along with him and seemingly feel and experience these great adventures. There are very few albums which can do that as consistently as this one. There is literally not a weak track and every one is stamped with not only a mark of quality but by an indefinable joie de vivre.
Funnily enough the only sad passage is the opening minute or so of the title track ('Stuck inside these four walls....sent inside forever..."). But this is deliberate as this song builds from this beautifully calm opening towards a serene climax, first with the chugging electric guitar section ('if we ever get outta here...") which deals with daring plans and hopes of escape to the triumphant entry of what seem like about a hundred acoustic guitars (bit like 'My Sweet Lord' in this respect!) for the ecstatic On The Run section, with of course that famous and classic chorus where the words 'Band On The Run' are repeated over and over. Almost as if the very phrase itself is ushering in a new world of hope, freedom and a better future. That is what this song does for me, almost on every listen. But particularly when listened to exactly where it should be. Track 1 Side 1 of the 'Band On The Run' album.
'Bluebird' is acoustic and is almost as good as 'Blackbird' from the White Album. Which is about the best acoustic ballad McCartney or anyone else for that matter ever wrote. So that's how good 'Bluebird' is and it's a song I have never tired of in the 25 odd years I have owned this record. Which is more than be said for 'Jet'.
'Mrs Vanderbilt' is one of those too rare examples where McCartney basically assumes lead guitarist role on the bass, to tremendous effect. The whole thing is utterly infectious. And here it must be mentioned that he also plays all the drums on this record and on this track in particular, it is perfect, especially the drum rolls before the 'what's the use of worrying' lines.
'Let Me Roll It' is another great ballad but this time with gigantic electric guitar riffs which combined with the simple but rock solid bass line produce a powerful atmosphere in which McCartney rolls out his song of reconcilation, to Lennon so it is presumed (not sure if I've ever heard Paul confirm this, probably as it's about lots of things). If it is heard as the reply to Lennon's scathing character assassination of his ex partner on 'How Do You Sleep' (1971) then it is wonderful in its restraint, generous it is generosity and heartfelt and unselfish in its desire for reconcilation. One wishes the whole acrimonious Beatles split had been more like this. Oh well.
'Mamunia' is wonderfully atmospheric and mysterious and has an infectious and marvellous chorus, 'Picasso's Last Words' is superb and has a great story behind it, as recounted by Dustin Hoffman on the bonus interview disc. The slightly sub standard rocker 'Helen Wheels' (originally omitted from the UK release) pops up here. Rather disappointingly the B side Country Dreamer, a far better song, is missing here, even as a bonus track. Then there are a couple of reprises in true Sgt Pepper fashion and we come to the closing romping piano number 'Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five'. Great to hear such confident piano so dominant in a McCartney track, not really heard since Monkberry Moon Delight (1971).
The second disc of interviews with Paul, Denny (far too little in his case) and those featured on the memorable album cover makes for a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Occasionally anyway. Obviously it is Disc 1 (the album, which has been superbly remastered by the way) you will buy this for mainly, . And whilst I admit there are other McCcartney/Wings solo records closer to my heart for many different reasons, it is this one which so indisputedly deserves its five star rating and is the one I would defend in court against any McCartney-basher they can throw at me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real gem is the included hi res download,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Band on the Run (Audio CD)
Look, once something has been well remastered, as in the 25th Anniversary edition, then you can't expect much of an improvement.
In the end CD is a limited medium.
The hi res download however, especially the uncompressed one, takes this album to another level.
A word of warning though. It is a painful process to get to the point where you can listen to it.
First of all you need a player that has DVD-Audio playback.
Then you may find as I did that windows fails to uncompress the file. I downloaded a third party unzipper. The support line did provide another link but it wasn't any better.
Then I expected an ISO that I could just burn to a disc but no the download just uncompresses to individual track files.
The really painful part is then to download a free trial of a DVD authoring packing and then learn to use it - including having to make menus.
Fortunately at the end of this process I have a disc that auto plays and sounds great.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pain is so close to pleasure,
By A Customer
It's so hard to start a review on Band On The Run when one of the best McCartney tracks is placed very next to the end of the album. Picasso's Last Words is a true example how Paul can be avant-garde and, at the same time, a rock and roll pop artist. Paul got with this tune what The Beatles tried during their pot period: a crazy and artsy recording. Also, the task of recording in Nigeria proved that most of the masterpieces -unfortunately - are produced through the dificulties of life. On this 25th issue of BOTR, the remastering work is also superb, and give us all a clue how's to be in the studio with Macca. The second CD is also terrific. Mainly when Dustin Hofman come is with his tales on watching Paul writing a song - live - in Jamaica. This album would be flawless if the bonus CD had more Wings outtakes. Worth to buy and learn how's a rock album is made.
Most Helpful First | Newest First