on 7 November 2014
i just love this album, first released in may 1975 and i remember it so well and i bought the album early 1976 along with the 7" single LISTEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAID , which was issued with a picture sleeve.
from the very first time i placed the album on my turntable i was totally hooked and played it constantly until it wore out,
then a few years ago i purchased the album once again from EBAY , and it is a first pressing with all inserts included (2 stickers 2 posters) and i was hooked once again but i have taken much more care of it these days.
so now when i found out that the album was to be given the remastered treatment from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection
i placed my purchase by pre-order with amazon as soon as it was listed for the 2 L.P. edition and of course i am delighted with it the sound is so much more superior from this remaster it is incredible and there are some sections i really can"t remember hearing before, the vocals on this album is much clearer and so enjoyable to listen to.
the original release of the album was released before the fantastic wings over america triple album and paved the way for the 1976 tour of america..so without VENUS AND MARS , i do not think the tour in america would have been as successful .
great album, brilliant sound quality and 180 gram vinyl....what more can you ask for, EXCELLENT ALBUM
on 18 August 2007
This is a superb follow up to the much heralded 'Band on the Run' and features the best Wings line up of Paul, Linda, Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English. The album, full of rich melodies, rockets to life with Venus and Mars and then into Rock Show which captures the excitement of going to a concert in the 70s. Love in Song is a beautiful McCartney song, good enough to appear on any Beatles album. We then have a follow up to The Beatles' Honey Pie in the form of You Gave Me the Answer - a fond look back at the dancebands of the 20s and 30s. Magneto and Titanium Man is an action packed track, inspired by Marvels comics.
The album continues with great numbers, including a vocal by Jimmy McCulloch on Medicine Jar. Listen To What The Man Said hits the heights as a classic 70s pop song and this classic Wings set closes with a knock out version of the Crossroads theme, which was used to close the TV programme to heighten the drama.
Venus and Mars are alright and Wings are too!
on 4 May 2004
What a wonderful album this is. From the twinkling, tingling opening of the title track we move into the fantastically exuberant Rock Show and any worries you might have instantly melt away.
Already you're hooked.
The thoughtful Love in Song 'My heart cries out for love and all that goes with loving' is spookily realised through synths and water-bird trumpets, slowly grinding its melody through a vast landscape of sound. It is a track that grows with further listening but that, despite its melody, points to the difference between this album and Band on the Run. The darkness and vastness, the more-mature sound and floating melodies of Venus and Mars to me equate to a dreamy star-filled night, spread outside your bedroom window. Band on the Run is beautiful, but never as defined in its motive (This is possibly why it is also the more accesible, popular album. It can be moulded better to your own imagination. Venus and Mars presents its cosmic-blend and your mind is set off into its spacey blackness. Though there is room for movement, it is movement primarily within this intergalactic world).
You Gave me the Answer is music-hall kitch, but sweetly honest too, even in its parody, and Magneto and Titanium Man is just great. Brilliant. It sounds so fresh now that I can imagine if it was re-released, with some kind of funky comic-cartoon video, it would be a great hit.
Letting go is grinding, guitar rock, and beats down your stereo with a mallet whilst Spirits of Ancient Egypt is another funky, slightly hazey track.
I love Medicine Jar too. Often dismissed because it isn't by McCartney, and because Venus and Mars is only usually bought by McCartney fans (Rather than, say, the general music fan), it is a stonker. A great stomping rhythmn and some great imagery.
Call me back again is an echoey stadium track, McCartney on great form vocally, and rises and rises into a great singalong grandness.
Listen to what the man said, everyone knows, and is the most poppy of any of the tracks here.
Treat her gently is sweet and melodic (Though maybe a little patronising for the elderly, of which Sir Paul is kind of one now though not so lonely) and Crossroads theme grinds us to a halt.
Overall a great album. I love it.
on 22 February 2016
This is the later reissue of the original plus an additional 2nd disc/vinyl. I never had the original issue but was aware of it's content. Did I have it as a cassette release?.....cant remember as it would have been many years ago. The addition of the 2nd disc (2014 I think) has added significantly to what was already a very respectable offering from this McCartney guy ( TIC ) and his pals. Gatefold cover with extra bits n bobs inside add to the satisfaction. Very pleased.
Venus And Mars is the fourth album Wings released and followed up the critically acclaimed and massively successful "Band On The Run" . Recorded in New Orleans the recording sessions saw the band expand from a three piece to a five piece with the addition of Jimmy McCulloch on lead guitar and Geoff Britton on drums .These two didn't get along though and their enmity led to Britton quitting halfway through the recording having only contributed to three songs . He was replaced by American Joe English so the album could be finished which of course it was , being released on May 27th 1975.
It received a mixed critical reception but some of that was undoubtedly backlash after the lauded "Band On The Run". Venus And Mars , like anything McCartney had a hand in post Beatles nowhere near qualifies as innovative or even especially diverse but it does contain some superb pop/rock songs . First single off the album the sprightly and hugely whistle-ble "Listen To What The Man Said" is exactly the sort of melodious monstrously enjoyable fare McCartney has always excelled at .You can quall at his over-matey manner and his irritating constant use of the Victory sign but he can write tremendous songs. Which makes awful awkward rawk fare as errr "Rock Song" even more baffling. Especially as it's book ended with the fragile, lovely but curt title track and the gossamer light "Love In Song". No word will do to describe "Magneto And Titanium Man" but bouncy , maybe effervescent , a fact that will alienate many but it's another peerless emollient McCartney moment. As is "You Gave Me The Answer" which even with its quaint vaudevillian air is superlatively melodious and enjoyable.
The album does have some variety too with the bluesy brassy strains of "Letting Go " , the jerky rhythms and spectral keyboards of "Spirits Of Ancient Egypt" ( Sung by Denny Laine) up against the distorted wha wha boogie of "Medicine Jar" ( written by Jimmy McCulloch and Colin Allen with vocals by McCulloch) and the New Orleans influenced swamp blues of "Call Me Back Again". Best of all is the way that "Listen To What The Man Said" segues into the divine ballad "Treat Her Gently (Lonely Old People)"a song which showcases McCartney's under rated vocals . Maybe too sentimental for some I suppose but the melody is just exquisite .
I think its safe to ignore the closing "Crossroads Theme" and the extra track s recorded at the same sessions and used as B-sides are two forgettable instrumentals -"Zoo Gang"(B side to "Band On The Run") and "Lunch Box/Odd Sox" ( B-side to "Coming Up" in 1980 with another track whose name escapes me) ."My Carnival " B -side to "Spies Like Us" in 1985 is more interesting , a typically up-beat and vibrant song but with an off the cuff live feel.
Along with the oft mentioned "Band On the Run" , "McCartney 2" and "Tug Of War" this is my favourite post Beatle McCartney album .A confident classy collection of pop and rock with just enough stylistic and assimilated verve to stop it getting stale or too cloying. Watching him on TV sometimes you want to slap him , or at least I do, but I repeat he writes tremendous songs. And for that I'd forgive him just about anything .
on 4 September 2000
Evertone seems to slate everything Paul McCartney did post-Beatles. Why? It seems the people who do this have probably not listened to his solo and Wings stuff much. This album, along with Band On The Run, Ram, and McCartney prove them wrong. Ok, It's not as good as Band On The Run (not many albums are), however, a lot of the tracks would not be out of place on Beatles albums. For example, 'You Gave Me The Answer', although not the strongest of the album's songs, would not be out of place on the White Album (neither would Ram's "Heart of The Country"); While "Call Me Back Again" would fit into Abbey Road or Let It Be. Other stand-out tracks which are pure McCartney are Venus and Mars (although the Reprise is a bit annoying), the fantastic "Rock Show" and the joyous "Magneto and Titanium Man". If one considers the aim of this album, like most of McCartney's music, which is to produce good fun, enjoyable music it succeeds. It does not try to be profound or clever and fail like some of Lennon's music from the time, and like McCartney's role in the Beatles it is good, lighthearted pop music. If one takes a classical music cross-reference, McCartney is rather like Shostakovich - producing music that was rarely ground-breaking, but that is not to its detriment, as this album is a credit to McCartney. Fortunately nowadays McCartney's post-Beatles music is beginning to be appreciated in an unbiased manner without some shortsighted wannabe 'knowitall' coming out with the 'shot the wrong Beatle' cliché. A good album, not quite deserving 4 stars, but a good buy for those experimenting in Wings and McCartney music
'VENUS AND MARS' greatest-hits albums aside this is perhaps my favourite
'Wings' release, of course 'Band on the Run' and 'London Town' are pretty
I First bought this on Vinyl, since the emergence of the CD I've made it a
mission to replace as much of my Vinyl onto this format as it is possible do.
(I've still got all my Vinyl, wouldn't part with it)
'Paul McCartney' is perhaps one of the greatest song-writers over the past 50
years, a period that of course included the many numbers written with fellow
music-legend 'John Lennon'
I wouldn't like to admit just how many Beatles/ Wings/ Paul McCartney solo/
John Lennon/ George Harrison and yes 'Ringo' CD's and Vinyl I have.
This album has many great sounds on board for me, for instance....'Venus
and Mars' drifting into 'Rock Show' 'You Gave Me the Answer' 'Magneto and
Titanium Man' 'Venus and Mars(reprise) 'Spirits of Ancient Egypt' 'Medicine
Jar' 'Listen to what the Man Said' and 'Treat Her Gently(Lonely Old People)
among the many great offerings to be enjoyed.
This for me is quite simply one of the 'All Time Great' albums.
on 5 January 2014
the measure of an album's worth is whether and how often one returns to it just out of the desire for uncomplicated, pure pleasure. There were so many albums that sounded like this in the 70s - but they just don't cut it. McCartney's absurd level of invention sets this way above his competitors
on 20 April 2003
If following Band On The Run up was a daunting task, it certainly doesn't translate on listening to this album. Recorded in New Orleans, there is a certain spirit to many of the songs that was obviously inspired by their surroundings (just as Band On The Run had been inspired by Lagos).
This to my eyes was simply an album made to give wings some quality filler to play live when they hit the road for their 1975 world tour. Full of fun rockers that would manage to fill the arenas that Paul and Wings were selling out.
Venus & Mars / Rock Show fulfills this criterea perfectly and kicks the album off in the most rocking of seventies of styles. The haunting Love In Song is a Mccartney ballad that is sadly overlooked in any kind of Wings retrospectives, and You Gave Me The Answer is Paul at his 1930's music hall best.
Letting Go picks up where Let Me Roll It left off on Band On The Run ( a laid back, riff laiden delight), but fails to match the high standards of its predecessor. Magneto & Titanium Man is a rollicking showcase for pauls vocals, as is the bluesy Call Me Back Again.
The songs delegated to other memebers, Spirits of Ancient Egypt and Medicine Jar are pleasant enough, but are no substitute for McCartney originals, and the ballad Treat Her Gently shows a sentimental mccartney at his most melodicly conscious, but to suprisingly little effect.
All this is made up for the really quite fine Listen To What The Man Said which breezes along with a summery melody and some rather fine saxophone. The extra songs are among the worst added to these McCartney re-masters, but all in all this works out OK as an album.
My main complaint is that once you've heard the live versions on the live album Wings over America (1976), the versions on here sound flat and lacking in the kind of zest and enthusiasm they require to be treated with. The album as a whole would have also benefited greatly from the inclusion of its preceeding single Juniors Farm and the B-Side Sally G, both of which are better than everything on here.
on 5 December 2014
The latest Paul McCartney Archive remaster of 'Venus and Mars' (1975), the follow-up to the runaway success of 1973's 'Band On the Run' is well worth the money. The book and inner sleeve packaging are classy and the level of photographic detail is also excellent. The remastering is sharp and clean yet warm and discrete unlike many remasters which suffer from excessive noise saturation.
All in all, 'Venus and Mars' is a highly enjoyable product and is marked by a sense of cohesion and consistency. This is a 'good' album; certainly one of Wings' best. However, it is not a great album (unlike the near-great 'Band on the Run' or 'Flaming Pie') due to McCartney's characteristic pot-addled lyrical banality during the 1970s and which continued into the 1980s. 'You can take a pound of love and cook it in the stew...' from the otherwise musically engaging 'Spirits of Ancient Egypt' is a clear example of this. And yet despite the lyrical shortcomings and the sense that McCartney doesn't really have all that much to say the music throughout is varied and workman-like with scarcely a duff track in earshot. The production is imaginative and prog-inflected - reflected by the song suite/tenuous concept theme. One gets the clear sense here that McCartney was possibly attempting to emulate Pink Floyd's output of 1973-1975. The guitar figure in 'Love In Song' even sounds vaguely like that of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' which was released several months after 'Venus and Mars'. The album design also reflects this and was done by Hipgnosis and George Hardie who designed the covers of Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'Wish You Were Here.'
My personal favourites are the slow, sensual, New Orleans groove of 'Letting Go' - which sounds a little like the Average White Band's 'Pick Up the Pieces'; 'Venus and Mars/Rock Show' . Possibly the best track on the album is 'Call Me Back Again' - a Southern Rock successor to 'Oh! Darling' from The Beatles' Abbey Road. Allegedly the song was intended as a coded message to John Lennon with a nod at a potential Beatles reunion - briefly on the cards in 1974 during John's 'Lost Weekend' separation from Yoko. As for pure nostalgia I even like 'Crossroads Theme' and 'You Gave Me the Answer' a 1920s pastiche which picks up where 'Honey Pie' from the 'White Album' left off.
So in all in all well-worth a listen. As for the bonus CD the first four tracks are wonderful: 'Junior's Farm,' 'Country Hams' 'Bridge Over the River Suite' and 'Sally G'. Otherwise give the other tracks a miss.