Red Rose Speedway sessions at EMI Studios, Abbey Road

September 1972 - January 1973 • For Wings

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Red Rose Speedway LP.
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Songs recorded


Hi, Hi, Hi

Sep 18 - Sep 20, 1972Recording "Hi, Hi, Hi"





C Moon

Nov 07, 1972Mixing "C Moon"



Nov 13, 1972Recording "1882"




Power Cut

Jan 15, 1973Mixing "Power Cut"


Night Out

Jan 24, 1973Mixing "Night Out"


My Love

Jan 25, 1973Recording "My Love"


My Love

Jan 26, 1973Recording "My Love"



Jan 28, 1973Mixing "Tragedy"


How do you think Wings evolved in the two years from Wild Life to Red Rose Speedway? 

“Wild Life was very live-sounding – really, it was kind of what we were doing in our rehearsals. We weren’t trying to make a big-time album. It was very basic and raw, and to this day, a lot of people think that gives it more credibility than they did at the time. On Red Rose Speedway, we were more rehearsed and tighter, since we’d been on the road. 

“So it was the first big production that we did, using Glyn Johns as a co-producer with Paul. It was meant to be a double album, and we did record more tracks than we needed. But it never came out that way. In fact, some of those tracks have been released on other packages, and are now on the box set.”

Denny Laine – From Guitar World, January 30, 2023

Your rhythm parts in these songs are rarely just straight strumming. Take Big Barn Bed or the Hold Me Tight medley. There are lots of accents, held chords, rests and double-tracked arpeggiated chords. It’s very dynamic and intricate. Once you learned a song, can you describe how you’d approach the rhythm part? 

“My memory of what I actually played on these things is gone. [Laughs] I can just about remember what guitar it was and that’s it. That said, if Paul writes a song on guitar, and it’s a very simple thing, I would probably just try to add to that. I wouldn’t be the main rhythm guitarist, because what the song needed was accompaniment. 

“I was always pretty in with what Paul was playing, which probably makes it sound more like one part, probably. We did that a lot, where I would play lead parts in unison with him, like on Helen Wheels [from Band on the Run]. 

“If Paul was on piano, I’d have a bit more freedom to find my own guitar part. It was quite easy to do that with him. You have to remember – he and I grew up with the same musical tastes. We listened to all the same bits, so we have a very similar style.”

Denny Laine – From Guitar World, January 30, 2023

The sessions started with Glyn Johns – whom Paul had worked with during the Beatles’ Get Back/Let It Be sessions in 1969 – co-producing, then Paul took over. 

“There was a clash of some kind. I can’t really go into what the politics were, because I wasn’t involved in it. All I know is Paul likes to be his own producer. He might’ve had some experimental ideas that Glyn wasn’t willing to try. You know, putting the amps in little rooms to get certain sounds. I get it. 

“I don’t really work with producers too well either. I worked with Denny Cordell in the Moody Blues days because he was a friend of mine. As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t notice any major tension on Red Rose Speedway. Glyn was just there at Olympic Studios. Then a few weeks later, he wasn’t. It was a little bit of a surprise to me.”

The background vocal blend of you, Paul and Linda is a hugely underappreciated part of the Wings sound. I’m thinking of the counter-melodies and “oohs” on When the Night and Get On the Right Thing, where your three voices are so complementary that they create this fourth sound. Can you talk about how you worked out arrangements and recorded those parts? 

“Linda was a very musical person, but she was not a trained professional, if you want to call it that. She hadn’t done any live or studio work. So it took longer, but she could sing in tune, and you give her an idea, she could sing it. Either Paul or me would come up with a line for her to sing. We’d just sit there and say, ‘Where do we need harmonies?’ then work out the parts. Linda took to it quite quickly. 

“But that blend became very popular and part of our sound. Even Michael Jackson asked Paul, ‘Who’s singing the harmonies there?’ ‘That’s Denny and Linda.’ There was a sound there that can’t be mimicked. It was a special part of Wings and I’m quite happy about that. It was nice to see Linda learning that stuff and how well she did. Again, on stage, she wasn’t experienced and sometimes had problems. But in the studio, she was spot on.” 

Were you usually three around one mic?

“Yes. Often it was just me and Linda around the mic, unless it was a thing where Paul had to throw in a lead vocal and we’d sing around it. We doubled the parts a lot. Or we used ADT, the Automatic Double Tracking that the Beatles invented at EMI. It was a little machine that could simulate doubling. We always wanted to get that bigger, lush harmony sound. Everybody does it these days, but we were kind of pioneers in all that.”

Denny Laine – From Guitar World, January 30, 2023
From Paul McCartney on Twitter: Paul recording ‘Red Rose Speedway’ at Abbey Road Studios, 1972. Photo by Linda McCartney

Last updated on April 20, 2023

Exit mobile version