Recording the "Wild Life" album
Jul 24 - Oct 17, 1971 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Wild Life
- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Wild Life LP.
- EMI Studios, Abbey Road
More from year 1971
Some songs from this session appear on:
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On this day, Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine and Denny Seiwell entered Abbey Road studios for the first day of recording for their new band, the still-unnamed Wings, and their first album, “Wild Life“. The recording engineer was Tony Clark, who last worked with Paul on the “Thrillington” project, in June 1971.
The intention was to record very fast, and the day was spent recording the basic tracks of four songs.
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 – Quoted from How Bob Dylan inspired the Wings album ‘Wild Life’ (faroutmagazine.co.uk)
What was doing the “Wild Life” album like?
That was a fun record to make. That was our way of giving the world a first impression of a new band. I think five of the eight tracks on that album were first takes; we didn’t want to go in there and just make a studio version that was every trick in the recording industry books. We just wanted to give the world a really truthful, honest, fair look at a new band and what it was gonna be. We made that record in very little time, maybe a weekend of three, four days of recording, and then some overdubs and mix. That album was a lot of fun to make.Denny Seiwell – Interview from Beatlefan, July-August 2001
Below is a memory from a fan spotting Paul McCartney during the initial recording of “Wild Life”. Days mentioned in his memories don’t really match the days of recording – he mentioned that he met him outside Abbey Road, on a Friday and a Saturday, when the first recording session for “Wild Life” was on a Saturday.
In July of 1971, myself and five other friends were on a three-week tour of Europe, including six days in London. Soon after our arrival in London, two of our group went off to see “the sights.” Totally exhausted from a long day of travelling, I just wanted to eat and go to sleep. Later that afternoon, there was a call for me at the front desk. It was our wanderers babbling for us to hurry down to Abbey Road EMI Studios because PAUL was going to show up at any time. Needless to say, with camera in hand, the rest of us grabbed a cab and rushed to the historical spot. Once we arrived and met up with our friends, they introduced us to a few other people who were the “Apple Scruffs,” or so they said. I must say that for all I heard about them, I didn’t think much of them, they seemed so possessive of the whole scene. Example: They told me not to go into the driveway or the front yard because Paul didn’t like that. Anyway, I wasn’t very fond of their attitude.
After a while, a couple of guys came out and sat on the steps. I had no idea who they were but they looked like they were in the band. I overheard the Scruffs saying their names and that they were working with Paul on the new LP. Of course, some months later I realized they were none other than Denny Laine and Denny Seiwell. Anyway, after an hour or so, someone yelled, “here he comes!” And up pulled this green Rolls Royce convertible. It was not more than three feet away and I had a great view of the one and only James Paul McCartney! What a weird feeling that was. It was really more of an experience than an emotion. He and Linda looked quite good. He had on a denim jacket with black slacks and had long hair in the back. Linda was very pregnant. I walked in the yard even though I was “told” I shouldn’t and took a few shots. Then a security guard came out and said everyone had to go, and that Paul wouldn’t be out until very late. After some joyous minutes with my friends, saying over and over that I can’t believe it, we all thought, hey, tomorrow we’ll try again. […]
After dinner [the next day] we decided to go down to Abbey Road once more, and maybe even try to say Hello, and tell him that we weren’t the ones that painted his wall. Not more than half-hour after we’d arrived there, the now familiar green Rolls pulled in the yard. I thought this might be the last chance to say something. The excitement level was high, and I got a surge of nerve up and just walked into the parking area and up to the car, much to everyone’s amazement. When Paul got out, I said something like, “excuse me Paul, could I just have 30 seconds of your time?” He looked at me with a weird stare and said, “yeah?” My brain then went numb! I couldn’t think of a damn thing to say for what seemed like an eternity. All I could think to say finally was, “are you recording a new LP?” (Brilliant, as if he was there to build a house) He said, “actually we’re just trying a few things out.” “Well,” I told him, “my friends out there and I are fans and look forward to your next record.” He said, “thanks, gotta go—good night now.” He walked up the stairs and inside. My friends all rushed up and congratulated me and trying to make me believe what I had just done. We then went to a pub and basked in our glory for the rest of the night.Mike Sacchetti – From fanzine The Write Thing, June/July 1984 – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Encounters in 1971
Last updated on May 1, 2022
Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
Written by Ethel Smith, Mickey Baker, Sylvia Vanderpool
Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
- Tony Clark:
- Chris Blair:
- Engineer assistant
Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium
We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!
Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.
As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website
Maccazine - Volume 40, Issue 3 - RAM Part 1 - Timeline
This very special RAM special is the first in a series. This is a Timeline for 1970 – 1971 when McCartney started writing and planning RAM in the summer of 1970 and ending with the release of the first Wings album WILD LIFE in December 1971. [...] One thing I noted when exploring the material inside the deluxe RAM remaster is that the book contains many mistakes. A couple of dates are completely inaccurate and the story is far from complete. For this reason, I started to compile a Timeline for the 1970/1971 period filling the gaps and correcting the mistakes. The result is this Maccazine special. As the Timeline was way too long for one special, we decided to do a double issue (issue 3, 2012 and issue 1, 2013).
Maccazine - Volume 47, Issue 1 - The birth of Wings
"Maccazine is a hard copy magazine (a bound paperback) about Paul McCartney. It is published twice a year. Due to the fact that the Internet has taken over the world and the fact that the latest Paul McCartney news is to be found on hundreds of websites, we have decided to focus on creating an informative paper magazine about Paul McCartney."
"In this issue we take you back to the early days of Paul McCartney’s solo career when he decided to form a new group. With Wings he proved there was life after The Beatles. This Maccazine features a detailed timeline of ‘the birth’ of the band with interesting entries including many new facts and unpublished photos. Follow-up timelines will be published in the upcoming years."
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