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Wings – Wild Life 50th anniversary LP (Capitol/UMe)

23 September 2022

After the homespun McCartney and domestic collaboration of Ram, Paul McCartney stepped back toward the familiarity of band work with his third post-*Beatles* album. Though uncontestably McCartney’s vehicle, 1971’s Wild Life was the first release under the Wings banner. The album incorporates the musical personalities of spouse Linda, Ram drummer Denny Seiwell, and former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine. Recorded in just over a week, the album didn’t produce a chart-topper to match Ram’s “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.” However, the rapid workflow did succeed in McCartney’s aim to capture the energy of live performance, with fresh energy in evidence. Linda joins Paul singing “I Am Your Singer” and the tender and devoted “Some People Never Know.” McCartney’s affection for Little Richard bursts from the nonsensical but feral pop of “Mumbo,” buoyed by stinging licks from Laine. The loping “Bip Bop” is no weightier, suggesting Macca was content to release a bit of party fluff. A reggae-tinged arrangement of Mickey & Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange” is another charming confection. Bouncy piano ballad “Tomorrow” is a hidden gem among the McCartney catalog, and the plaintive “Dear Friend” is a moving plea to estranged partner John Lennon. This heavyweight LP was half-speed mastered at Abbey Road Studio. (