5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Just about worth buying...,
This review is from: Wings Wild Life (Audio CD)
You'll find quite a few hardcore McCartney fans who love this album. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. I see plenty of merit in some of the tracks, in fact "Tomorrow" is undoubtedly one of Paul's lost gems, but - on the whole - "Wild Life" is the sound of somebody who has had a great idea but lacked the patience to wait a few months to get the inspiration and material to execute it well. After the saga of The Beatles, it was an admirable aim of Paul's to get back to basics, to form another group and to tour small venues such as clubs and Universities, but the quickly-recorded album they made was sub-standard. I would say that it hasn't stood the test of time, but it was reviewed poorly when it was released and also sold relatively few copies which, for an ex-Beatle, was quite shocking.
There are moments in this album which are almost unbelievable. By unbelievable, I mean that you would hardly believe that the undisputed musical genius who wrote some of The Beatles' greatest songs could release songs so poor. "Bip Bop", for example, is dreadful and childish. "Mumbo" has lyrics you can't understand, backed by a frenetic, but forgettable, heavy rock performance. A lot of the songs seem barely developed, such as the unlovable "I Am Your Singer" and the forgettable cover version of "Love Is Strange". The title track "Wild Life" is over-long and strays into painful territory, although the lyrics are undoubtedly worthy.
Anyway, enough with the negativity. Every cloud has a silver lining and this album is no exception. "Dear Friend", Paul's message to John, is poignant and moving. "Some People Never Know" is a charming duet between Paul and Linda and, as I mentioned before, "Tomorrow" is a real diamond of a track, almost worth the price of the album itself. Almost. Personally, I don't regret buying this album, because it's part of Paul McCartney's history and there are a few moments that I really enjoy, but if you are building a Paul McCartney back-catalogue then this really should be one of the last albums of his you buy. It's not dreadful, but it's not exactly fantastic either.
Actually, as a footnote, the bonus tracks on this particular edition are definitely worth a listen. "Mama's Little Girl" is a lovely acoustic composition, perhaps not up there with "Mother Nature's Son", but it nearly reaches those heights. "Give Ireland Back To The Irish" (banned by the BBC at the time) is a simplistic but somehow powerful look at `the troubles' and "Little Woman Love" features a great piano riff and is very enjoyable, as long as you ignore the silly lyrics . The less said about "Mary Had A Little Lamb" the better of course, but it's worth a listen just to wonder what on earth Paul was thinking at the time. Actually, you can wonder that about the whole of this album, but that's Paul McCartney. One minute he's producing some of the most wonderful music you've ever heard, the next he's producing "Wild Life". That's part of the fun of being a Paul McCartney fan, though!