Interview for Record Mirror • Saturday, November 20, 1971

‘Aggressive simplicity’ is how Mike Hennessey describes the new LP by Paul McCartney’s group.

Press interview • Interview of Wings • Recorded Nov 10, 1971
Published by:
Record Mirror
Interview by:
Mike Hennessey
Timeline More from year 1971

Album This interview has been made to promote the Wild Life LP.

Master release

Other interviews of Wings

Wings: taking off at last?

Jun 16, 1979 • From Melody Maker

Wings 1975 tour book

September 1975

Wings Flying Hi, Hi, Hi!

Dec 02, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Wings First Flight

May / June 1972 ? • From McCartney Productions

Interview for Radio Leeds

Feb 16, 1972 • From Radio Leeds

Paul On The Wing

Feb 12, 1972 • From Disc and Music Echo

Interview with WRKO

Jan 13, 1972 • From WRKO

Interview with WCBS-FM

Dec 15, 1971 • From WCBS-FM

The Heart Of McCartney

Dec 04, 1971 • From Record Mirror

Interviews from the same media

Interview with Record Mirror

Apr 18, 1970 • From Record Mirror

The Heart Of McCartney

Dec 04, 1971 • From Record Mirror

Linda: 'Quit The Band! I've Just Joined'

Jul 22, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Interview with Record Mirror

Jul 29, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Denny Laine of Wings talks to Record Mirror

Aug 12, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Wings Flying Hi, Hi, Hi!

Dec 02, 1972 • From Record Mirror

Wings: They're all set for take-off!

Apr 28, 1973 • From Record Mirror

Paul's Wings find their identity on stage

Jul 21, 1973 • From Record Mirror

Denny Laine - a special musical gift

Aug 11, 1973 • From Record Mirror

McCartney On The Run

Dec 01, 1973 • From Record Mirror

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


On November 10, 1971, Paul McCartney gave this interview to Record Mirror, for the promotion of “Wild Life“, the debut album of his new band, Wings. It was published in 2 parts.

This is part one, which is mostly a track-by-track review of Wings’ first album, “Wild Life“. Most of the interview has been kept for part two, published two weeks later.

There was also a second article about Paul McCartney in this edition of Record Mirror, focused on his reaction to John Lennon’s attack in his song “How Do You Sleep

‘Aggressive simplicity’ is how Mike Hennessey describes the new LP by Paul McCartney’s group.

“WINGS” is unquestionably Paul McCartney’s best solo album to date and while it is largely a basic, uncluttered and
straightforward album of aggressive simplicity, there are two tracks on it ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Dear Friend’ which are classic, vintage McCartney, sharply bringing into focus his flair for melody and harmony.

There is considerable use of the extended coda device but very little overdubbing and I understand that most of the tracks were laid down after only one or two takes.

The eight tracks — plus two fragments – are almost exclusively the work of the quartet – Paul & Linda, drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Denny Laine. Paul and Denny Laine alternate on bass and lead guitar.

Apart from the Ringo albums and ‘Maggie Mae’ on ‘Let It Be‘ this is the first Beatle record since ‘Beatles For Sale’ in December 1965 to have a non-Beatle song included – the Everlys’ ‘Love Is Strange’.

Most of McCartney’s tunes are riffs rather than complete songs in themselves and occasionally there are moments
which sound extremely Lennonish (“Well when you’re around that long together, some rubs off,” says Paul.)

There will possibly be speculation as to whether ‘Some People Never Know’ is a reply to John’s ‘How Do You Steep?’, but knowing Paul’s extreme dislike of what he calls “verbal tennis matches” I doubt if there is any connection, despite the line “Some people can sleep at night time”.

Equally on ‘Wild Life’ Paul’s voice sometimes seems like a strident send-up of Lennon but again I doubt if this was

All in all the album is good but it still falls a long way short of the masterpiece Paul has the capacity to produce. It’s
there waiting to come out, and maybe when the final echoes of Beatle antagonism die, we shall see this masterpiece emerge.

Meanwhile here’s a track-by-track look at the album:

MUMBO: This is a two-chord rocker with strong drum and organ backing, some old-time Beatletype “ooooos”, a wild falsetta, vocal and a straightforward fade-out ending. George Harrison would have enjoyed playing on this one

BIP BOP: is coy McCartney, a really camp little riff that reaches you ultimately on the basis of sheer repetition. The theme mostly plays around the notes of G, G flat and E but there is an unusual middle section which ascends through G, A, B, C and D, back to E.

LOVE IS STRANGE: has a reggae feel (“because I like reggae”) and a long instrumental section before Paul’s vocal
comes in. The song has yeah-yeahs and la la las at the end and the simple three-chord tune finishes with a nice
sustained vocal chord.

WILD LIFE: opens with “the word love applies to the words you and me” and then goes on to make a raucous plea
presumably for conservation… ‘Wild Life’ what’s going to happen to, Wild Life, animals in the zoo .. .?”

It has a similar rhythmic underpinning to that in ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ – a slow four with triplets on each beat. Again the theme has basically three chords C minor, B flat and F seventh and is a repeated eight-bar phrase. The wild vocal has nice harmonic backing and there is a long, long coda before the fade-out ending.

SOME PEOPLE NEVER KNOW: is an attractive slow tune with a nice guitar and piano intro and some appealing harmony. The middle section is richly chorded. Again the repeated coda a la ‘Hey Jude’ is in evidence and the
extended ending fades into a harmonized vocal reprise and then congas and maraccas and a little light Dalek music.

I AM YOUR SINGER: is a short piece with attractive harmony and has Linda and Paul singing to each other “You are
my love, you are my song, finger on, You are my song [ am your singer…” Recorders on this track are played by the
talented Dolmetsch family.

There follows a guitar fragment, probably played by Paul, which seems largely to be on the chord of ‘Bip Bop’.
Then comes…

TOMORROW: an excellent song with rich harmony and good support from the eight-in-a-bar piano chord backing. It has a great middle section with strong chord changes and is one of the best songs on the album.

DEAR FRIEND: This is the highspot for me, a beautiful simple minor-key ballad with a fine string arrangement by
Richard Hewson and an appealing oboe obligato. Paul sings solo on this one to a background of piano chords on the beat, his voice soaring up to a haunting high note in the seventh bar which is sustained for two bars. There’s more rich vocal harmony and the piece ends simply with the pine chording out the last nine beats.

McCartney: case for the defence

NATURALLY. when Paul McCartney broke his long silence to talk to the music press, the leading question was about his reaction to the pretty acid attack made on him in John Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep?’

It was exactly the question he expected, but not one he was particularly inclined to answer because he has no time for this kind of slanging match. He admits he doesn’t have the ability to “manipulate the media” like John has and is not a natural verbal communicator although after so long a silence he was pretty expansive when he talked to us.

“John is so quick in interviews”, he said, “but I tend to be lost for words and I’m afraid that if I held a press conference on my own I’d dry up.”

Paul didn’t want to be drawn into perpetuating the “You stab my back, I’ll stab yours” situation, except to say about ‘How Do You Sleep’ and the piggy send-up of Ram:

“If John had really wanted to get at me, I would have thought he’d have done a much better job than that. It really doesn’t bother me too much. I thought the photograph of John and the pig was a nice picture.”

And was Paul’s tongue still in his cheek when he told me that the idea of having a ball to launch his new album had been in his mind ever since he heard deejay and Record Mirror contributor Stuart Henry say, after playing ‘Hey Jude’: “Well either you like it or you don’t“.

Said Paul, “I thought that wasn’t much of a recommendation and I got a bit worried. So I thought the best thing to do was to give the disc jockeys a good time and invite them all to a ball”.

One thing’s certain, whatever the disc jockeys think of the Wings album, it is going to be a fantastic worldwide seller.

From Paul McCartney on Twitter – Wings during an interview with Mike Hennessey at EMI Studios, Abbey Road in 1971.

Last updated on August 23, 2022


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 email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *