The Paul McCartney Project

Wild Life

By WingsOfficial album• Part of the collection “Paul McCartney • Studio albums

Timeline See what happened in December 1971
UK release date:
Dec 07, 1971
US release date:
Dec 07, 1971
Sessions This album has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Track list

Disc 1


1.

Mumbo

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

3:58 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Organ, Piano
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell:
Drums, Tambourine (?)
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Recording:
Jul 26, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Overdubs:
October 1971 ?

Session Recording:
Oct 10, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


2.

Bip Bop

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

4:10 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Tambourine (?), Vocals
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell:
Drums, Tambourine (?)
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 17, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


3.

Love Is Strange

Written by Ethel Smith, Mickey Baker, Sylvia Vanderpool

4:51 • Studio versionA

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Oct 03, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


4.

Wild Life

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

6:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Keyboards
Denny Laine:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell:
Backing vocals, Drums
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 26, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 17, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


5.

Some People Never Know

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

6:37 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Bongos, Congas, Electric guitar, Guiro, Harmonium (?), Maracas, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Harmonium (?), Keyboards, Vocals
Denny Laine:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell:
Bongos, Congas, Drums, Guiro
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 25, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 10, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


6.

I Am Your Singer

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

2:19 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass (?), Electric piano, Producer, Recorder (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Harmonium (?), Organ (?), Vocals
Denny Laine:
Bass (?), Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell:
Drums, Maracas
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer
Brian Blood:
Recorder
Peter Blood:
Recorder
Cristine Blood:
Recorder
Paul Blood:
Recorder
Jeanne Dolmetsch:
Recorder

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 29, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 10, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


7.

Bip Bop Link

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

0:52 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 02, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 08, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


8.

Tomorrow

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

3:28 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Denny Laine:
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 26, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


9.

Dear Friend

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

5:59 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass (?), Piano, Vibraphone (?), Vocals
Denny Laine:
Bass (?)
Denny Seiwell:
Drums, Trumpet (?)
Richard Hewson:
Orchestration

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 16, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


10.

Mumbo Link

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

0:53 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass (?), Producer
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar (?)
Denny Seiwell:
Drums (?)
Tony Clark:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 02, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 08, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

About

From the liner notes:

When Paul and Linda McCartney were in New York recording ‘RAM’ they needed a drummer so they found a sweaty old basement in the West 40’s and invited some drummers to play on a battered old drum kit. One of those who turned up and went straight for his tom toms was Denny Seiwell, a tall type with eight generations of drummers in his family, who played well and left the drum kit throbbing. After that, Paul, Linda and Denny played together on ‘RAM’ and then each took off for a holiday.

The Macs returned to Britain and during the time following wrote a bunch of songs at their country retreat.

When the time came to go recording again they rang Denny Laine, a Birmingham lad, and asked him if he was coming out to play. Replying in the affirmative he brought his faithful guitar, and he and the Macs, along with Denny S. (who had arrived from the States as if by magic carrying his wife who was drunk again) and his drums, proceeded.

They rehearsed for a while, sang some old songs, wrote some new ones and in time headed for the big city studios.

In three days they had laid down most of the tracks and by the end of a couple of weeks the album was finished.

In this wrapper is the music they made. Can you dig it? 

Clint Harrigan

From Wikipedia:

Wild Life is the debut album by Wings and the third studio album by Paul McCartney since the breakup of the Beatles. The album was recorded during July–August 1971 at Abbey Road Studios by McCartney and his wife Linda along with session drummer Denny Seiwell, who they had worked with on the previous album, Ram, and Denny Laine, formerly of the Moody Blues. It was released by Apple Records on 7 December, in both the UK and US, to lukewarm critical and commercial reaction.

Recording

In July 1971, with a fresh set of McCartney tunes, the newly formed Wings recorded the album in slightly more than a week with the mindset that it had to be instant and raw in order to capture the freshness and vitality of a live studio recording. Five of the eight songs were recorded in one take. Paul McCartney later cited the quick recording schedule of Bob Dylan as an inspiration for this. The first session was held at Abbey Road Studios on 25 July. McCartney was filmed playing “Bip Bop” and “Hey Diddle“, around this time, which would later be included in the made-for-TV film, Wings Over the World.

The album was rehearsed at McCartney’s recording studio in Scotland dubbed Rude Studio, which Paul and Linda had used to make demos of songs that would be used in the album, and recorded at Abbey Road with Tony Clark and Alan Parsons engineering. Paul can be heard saying “Take it, Tony” at the beginning of “Mumbo“. Paul handled all of the lead vocals, sharing those duties with Linda on “I Am Your Singer” and “Some People Never Know“. “Tomorrow” features background vocals from Denny Laine and Linda McCartney.

On the promotional album, “The Complete Audio Guide to the Alan Parsons Project“, Alan Parsons discusses how he did a rough mix of “I Am Your Singer” that Paul liked so much, he used it for the final mix on the album.

Music and lyrics

Dear Friend“, recorded during the Ram sessions, was apparently an attempt at reconciliation with John Lennon. It was certainly a timely follow-up to John’s attack on Paul in the song “How Do You Sleep?” from the album Imagine, which had apparently been in retaliation for Paul’s perceived digs at John in “Too Many People” on Ram. Music critic Ian MacDonald used “Dear Friend” as a counter-argument to the caricature of McCartney as an emotional lightweight.

Wild Life also included a reggae remake of Mickey & Sylvia’s 1957 top 40 hit “Love Is Strange“. A promotional single was distributed in the UK by Apple in December 1971 with catalogue No. R5932, but the commercial release was cancelled due to poor album sales.

Release and reception

After announcing to the media the band’s formation on 2 August 1971, the group were titled “Wings” on 9 October 1971. On 8 November, the group held a press party in London to announce both the group and Wild Life, which was released on 7 December, in both the UK and US, to lukewarm critical and commercial reaction. The album reached number 11 in the UK and number 10 in the US, where it went gold. At the same press party, in an interview with Melody Maker, McCartney said that the group “should be soon“, in regards to performing live. John Mendelsohn wrote in Rolling Stone that he wondered whether the album may have been “deliberately second-rate.” In The Beatles: An Illustrated Record, Roy Carr and Tony Tyler called the album “rushed, defensive, badly timed, and over-publicized” and wrote that it showed McCartney’s songwriting “at an absolute nadir just when he needed a little respect“. The liner notes for Wild Life (and on the Thrillington album) were credited to Clint Harrigan, but in 1990 McCartney admitted to journalist Peter Palmiere that he was Harrigan. Lennon claimed to know the identity of Harrigan during their Melody Maker feud in 1972.

In December 1971, a Ram outtake “Breakfast Blues” was mixed by Paul and Linda at A&R Studios. “Breakfast Blues” was played on WCBS-FM, where McCartney promoted Wings and Wild Life, on 15 December. The track was later released as “Great Cock and Seagull Race” on the 2012 special edition of Ram.

The album was first released on CD by EMI’s Fame label, on 5 October 1987. In addition to naming the previously hidden tracks, this edition added “Oh Woman, Oh Why” (the B-side of “Another Day“), “Mary Had a Little Lamb“, and “Little Woman Love” as bonus tracks. In 1993, Wild Life was remastered and reissued on CD as part of ‘The Paul McCartney Collection‘ series with singles “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” as well as B-sides “Little Woman Love” and “Mama’s Little Girl” — all recorded in 1972 except for “Little Woman Love“, which was a Ram outtake — as bonus tracks, and also two hidden tracks: “Bip Bop Link” (an acoustic guitar piece) between “I Am Your Singer” and “Tomorrow“; and “Mumbo Link” (an instrumental jam) after “Dear Friend“. (“Oh Woman, Oh Why” appeared separately as a bonus track on the 1993 reissue of Ram.) A version recorded in the garden of Paul’s Scotland home circa June 1971 of the bluegrass-styled “Bip Bop” featured Paul and Linda’s daughter Mary giggling in the background, and segued into a riff called “Hey Diddle“. This surfaced in 2001 on the compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.

In 2007, Paul Mccartney’s catalog was released on iTunes. Wild Life received an instrumental version of “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” (originally released as b-side of the single) as a bonus track. […]

Paul McCartney in "Conversations With McCartney", by Paul Du Noyer:

‘Mumbo’ is just a big scream of no words. A wacky idea, cos it was just ‘Whuurrrgghh A-hurrgghhh!’ and we mixed it back so it was like ‘Louie Louie’. Everyone’s going, What are the words of that? Just hope they don’t ask for the sheet music. Which no one ever did, luckily. ‘Love is strange’ was a song Linda and I had loved from the Fifties. ‘Wild life’ was about a visit of mine to a safari park in Kenya, where I saw a sign that said: ‘Elephants have the right of way’. ‘Some people never know’ was just me and Linda’s love song, us against the world. ‘I am your singer’ is similar. ‘Tomorrow’ – ‘bring a bag of bread and cheese’ – which is what we used to do around southern France, go in a little shop, buy a baguette, a bit of cheese, a couple of tomatoes, bottle of wine, go in a field.

We recorded that album very quickly, it was almost like a bootleg, which may be a shame and perhaps some of the songs aren’t as good as they might be. I wanted the whole album to be loose and free, so that everyone could get into it. Things like Mumbo, which scream a bit and have only ‘mumbo’ as lyrics may offend a few old ladies, but generally it’s got something for everyone.

Paul McCartney

People like it a lot more now because of its rawness. The point was we were just trying out the band on that album. It was just a case of let’s just rehearse a few songs and go in the studio. Let’s not get too big time about it. I like that album.

The reason the critics knocked it (‘Wild Life’) was because they were expecting a big production. But you know, you have to understand that when a band is just starting you’re not in the mood to go in and do that. We were not trying to follow The Beatles or The Moody Blues, we were just trying to do our own thing. The fact that we went out and started turning up at universities just to play meant that we needed to play live to an audience to get into the feel of the band. Get into the confidence and the rest of it. So that album really was a result of that band where we were at that time. You know it was a take-it-or-leave-it type of attitude.

Denny Laine, Interview with Tallahassee Democrat, 2017

From paulmccartney.com, October 29, 2018:

PM.com: What are your main memories from around the time of Wild Life being written and recorded?

Paul: Well, I wanted to make an album just like that! [Clicks his fingers.] And Bob Dylan had just done an album in a few days, kind of thing. So I thought, ‘Yeah,’ you know. ‘That’d be good. Give it a freshness.’ That was the approach for putting Wild Life together.

Dylan inspired Wild Life, because we heard he had been in the studio and done an album in just a week. So we thought of doing it like that, putting down the spontaneous stuff and not being too careful. So it came out a bit like that. We wrote the tracks in the summer, Linda and I, we wrote them in Scotland in the summer while the lambs we gambolling. We spent two weeks on the Wild Life album all together. At that time, it was just when I had rung Denny Laine up a few days before and he came up to where we were to rehearse for one or two days.

Paul McCartney

Paul asked for me to be present on the sessions for the album and the feeling had been very relaxed, marvellous and very enjoyable. The whole essence of the feeling was that whatever was going on, we had to get it as live as we possibly could in the studio. The whole idea was to get a live feel. The album was done over two weeks with most of the songs being done on first or second takes.

Tony Clark, Recording engineer

Last updated on November 21, 2018


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.