Sunday, 3 June 2018

Paul McCartney & Wings - Venus And Mars (1975)

People will find a way to go no matter what the man said....


Released May 1975

Recorded at Abbey Road Studio, London and New Orleans

Originally released in 1975, after the monumental success that was Band On The Run this was a somewhat patchy album, but the good patches were very good.


1. Venus and Mars

2. Rock Show
3. Love In Song
4. You Gave Me The Answer
5. Magneto And Titanium Man
6. Letting Go
7. Venus And Mars (Reprise)
8. Spirits of Ancient Egypt
9. Medicine Jar
10. Call Me Back Again
11. Listen To What The Man Said 
12. Treat Her Gently (Lonely Old People)
13. Crossroads Theme                                            

Listen to What The Man Said is still one of my favourite Wings' songs, a perfect summer single, and Love In Song is one of those beautiful slow songs McCartney seemed to be able to produce at will every two years or so. The upbeat Spirits Of Ancient Egypt and the bluesy Medicine Jar are also up there. You Gave Me The Answer, while being from When I'm 64 territory, is impossibly catchy and, however much, I am not a fan of "McCartney whimsy", I have a weakness for this and often find myself putting on a ludicrous 1920s voice and singing it.

Magneto And Titanium is silly, lyrically, but it has an appealing, full, warm sound to the backing. Great guitar and keyboards sound on it. Again, its melody and refrain sticks in the head. The same applies to Rock Show, which I have always felt was spoiled by its irritating "Mademoiselle Kitty" bit in the middle. The "alternative version" of this included in the second CD of extras is much better, fuller and bass-driven with a better McCartney vocal. Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People is a sensitive song, the sort McCartney does so well. It would not have sounded out of place at the end of Band On The Run.

Letting Go is another of my favourites - a powerful, bassy, rumbling slow burning rocker, with excellent horns and a sharp lead guitar throughout the song. Possibly the best song on the album. Call Me Back Again is a heavy-ish number with echoes of I Want You (She’s So Heavy) from Abbey Road.

Of the extras, the impressive. rocking non-album single, Junior's Farm is the standout. The country singalong Sally G is pleasant enough, but not essential. The instrumental Bridge On The River Suite is interesting, as is Lunch Box/Odd Sox and while Crossroads is certainly inessential, it is just so nostalgic. Soily is a great rocker and there is more whimsy in Baby Face and the jaunty Walking In The Park With Eloise. The extras here are probably the best bunch of such material in the McCartney remasters.


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