Wednesday, June 6, 2018


The latest McCartney reissues are being pushed on coloured vinyl, but I'm just as thrilled to get these two on CD, two much welcome additions to my collection. Wings Greatest is the classic 1978 hits package owned by many on vinyl release, but since surpassed by collections such as All The Best and 2016's Pure box. There's a solidness to this single-disc set though, every cut a hit, and no debatable choices, even if you're not a big fan of, say, Silly Love Songs. In fact, there were so many hits McCartney could choose from for the set, he left off Listen To What The Man Says, which was too bad, and other Top 40 hits such as Helen Wheels and Venus and Mars/Rock Show. Since it was before such annoying numbers as Goodnite Tonight, Say Say Say and Ebony and Ivory, it's simply a stronger listen, with Band On The Run, My Love, Jet, etc. It just feels like an essential benchmark release for McCartney too, as it was the first appearance on one of his albums for such singles as Another Day, Live And Let Die, Junior's Farm, Mull Of Kintyre and Hi, Hi, Hi. I always admired the fact he continued releasing singles in between albums well into the '70's, the old British way of doing things.

The other album is on wide release for the very first time, apart from its inclusion on the pricey super-deluxe version of the Ram box reissue. Thrillington was a legendary lark for McCartney, released back in 1977 on the sly, without him being credited. The cover story was that Percy "Thrills" Thrillington was an eccentric British musical genius, who had taken McCartney's 1971 album Ram, and created a full orchestral version of it. It was a scam, the whole thing done by McCartney. It was released semi-secretly, and it took months for the secret to be widely known. By that point, the album had disappeared, and it's been a rare collector's item since, original copies going for a hundred bucks or more. Now, there's a tongue-in-cheek element to the music too. Richard Hewson, who had done the strings for Let It Be cuts such as Long and Winding Road, arranged and conducted, Paul produced, and the thing at times had a cheese factor, like those '60's instrumental pop hits albums, the James Last Orchestra, those kinds of things. One cut even has the sound of a dog bark as a kind of vocal throughout. At other times, it's really interesting, with similar instrument usage as Brian Wilson did on Pet Sounds. There are quite a few people (I'm one of them) that are passionate about Ram, and consider it McCartney's finest, so to hear these reinterpretations is very interesting. I've always known about, but had never heard it, and I must say it's much better than I thought it would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment