Mumbo

Written by Paul McCartneyLinda McCartney Instrumental

Album This song officially appears on the Wild Life LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1971
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1971 (Paul McCartney was 29 years old)

Master release


Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions



Wild Life mixing #1

Aug 06, 1971


Wild Life mixing #3

Oct 08, 1971


Related songs


Mumbo (Link)

Officially appears on Wild Life

Related interviews



You Gave Me The Answer - 'Wild Life' Special

Oct 29, 2018 • From paulmccartney.com


Look out showbiz - Here come Wings

Dec 02, 1972 • From Disc And Music Echo


Interview for BBC Radio 1

Jan 22, 1972 • From BBC Radio 1


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

Song facts

Mumbo” is the opening track of Wings’ debut album, “Wild Life“, released in December 1971. From paulmccartney.com, October 29, 2018:

And while you’ve been sitting here remastering the album, are there songs that you’d forgotten about?

Yeah, absolutely! Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t listen to my old albums much, you know. I just don’t. So, I mean, to me it’s very strange that I would dare to do a track like ‘Mumbo’. To open an album with a track that hasn’t got any lyrics! It’s like, ‘Whoah!’ I mean, I think it’s kind of cool now. Like, ‘Wow, okay…!’

It’s a very spontaneous way of making music – just getting in a room and playing.

Yeah. And, you know, this was following The Beatles. I’m not trying very hard, you know! [Jokingly sings the opening line of ‘Mumbo’, ‘Welllllllllllllllll….!!!’]

[…] I mentioned earlier about ‘Mumbo’ being quite experimental, especially to finish off the record with the shorter “link” version. I think that song came from, you know, the band would just get an idea of a chord, or something. We’d just jam on it. And, it would be just, ‘Okay, this is in F’, or whatever key it’s in. And we’d just play. And I’d sort of shout stuff over the top. It’s all part of becoming a band. You know, you learn that I’m gonna be goofy and sing some goofy things, and you – for example – as the drummer have got to come along with it and do your own thing. And Denny Seiwell, I think, is really brilliant on all this stuff. 

Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, October 29, 2018

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.

From Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, by Chip Madinger & Mark Easter:

The LP lurched to a start with a performance of an instrumental track that had been going on for several minutes before Paul instructed engineer Tony Clark to “take it” and roll tape. Hard to believe it, but this was a one-take song! Not an auspicious beginning for one of the biggest bands of the ’70’s. The improvisation was recorded on July 26th and received sundry overdubs (including a plastic tube) before it was mixed on October 10th.

At the beginning of the cut, you can hear me say, ‘Take it, Tony.’ We had been going for five minutes and then I suddenly realised that he wasn’t recording. So I shouted, ‘Take it, Tony,’ and he just got it in then.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record 2 – The Dream is Over: Dream Is Over Vol 2” by Keith Badman

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. We did Mumbo on the tour and somebody said after we’d done it for a bit that it made the album version seem obsolete. On the album it wasn’t even the first take, we were playing it through and Paul shouted to the others ‘it’s in F’ and in fact on the beginning you can hear him shout ‘take it Tony’ to the engineer.

Linda McCartney – From interview with Disc Magazine, December 1972

l 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 – Interview with Disc And Music Echo, November 1971

There was a period of rehearsal of this jam. Because there was no actual producer in the box, I would spend as much time as I could in the studio, making sure my mics were in the right place and everyone was comfortable, that there was proper visual contact. Then I returned upstairs for listening. They were jamming, it was building up and, for whatever reason, whether I looked at Paul or Paul looked at me, you felt it was happening. I turned to Alan [Parsons]; ‘Quick, record!’ Parsons hit the button and that’s what you get. That’s the take.

Tony Clark – From Wild Life – Archive Collection“, 2018

Last updated on May 2, 2022

Variations


A Stereo version • From "Wild Life"

A1993 1993 remaster • From "Wild Life (1993)"

A2018 2018 Remaster • From "Wild Life - Archive Collection"

A2022 2022 half-speed mastering • From "Wild Life (50th Anniversary)"

B "Twin Freaks" version • From "Twin Freaks"

C Rough mix • From "Wild Life - Archive Collection"

L1 Live version • Antwerp • Cinema Roma • Belgium • Aug 22, 1972 • From "Wings Over Europe"

Officially appears on


Wild Life

LP • Released in 1971

3:58 • Studio versionA • Stereo

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

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

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

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


Wild Life (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:58 • Studio versionA1993 • Stereo • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Organ, Piano
Denny Laine :
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Tambourine (?)
Tony Clark :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Alan Parsons :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Peter Mew :
Remastering

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

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

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


Twin Freaks

Official album • Released in 2005

5:24 • Studio versionB

Paul McCartney :
Executive producer
Clive Goddard :
Mixing engineer
Freelance Hellraiser :
Producer

Session Recording:
Circa 2004
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Wild Life - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2018

3:55 • Studio versionA2018 • 2018 Remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Organ, Piano
Denny Laine :
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Tambourine (?)
Tony Clark :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Alan Parsons :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Alex Wharton :
Remastering
Steve Orchard :
Remastering

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

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

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


Wild Life - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2018

3:53 • Rough mixC

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Organ, Piano
Denny Laine :
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Tambourine (?)
Tony Clark :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Alan Parsons :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Alex Wharton :
Mastering

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

Session Mixing:
Aug 06, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


Wings Over Europe

Official album • Released in 2018

3:41 • LiveL1

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny LaineHenry McCulloughDenny Seiwell
Paul McCartney :
Producer
Alan Parsons :
Recording engineer
Alex Wharton :
Mastering
Steve Orchard :
Mixing engineer
Jeremy Gee :
Recording engineer assistant
Graham Fleming :
Recording engineer assistant

Concert From the concert in Antwerp, Belgium on Aug 22, 1972


Wild Life (50th Anniversary)

LP • Released in 2022

3:58 • Studio versionA2022 • Stereo • 2022 half-speed mastering

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Organ, Piano
Denny Laine :
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Tambourine (?)
Tony Clark :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Alan Parsons :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Miles Showell :
Mastering

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

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

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

Bootlegs




Wings Multi Tracks

Unofficial album

5:35 • Studio version


Arles'72

Unofficial live • Released in 2001

4:43 • Live

Concert From the concert in Arles, France on Jul 13, 1972


Wings Over Amsterdam

Unofficial live • Released in 2001

3:19 • Live

Concert From the concert in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Aug 20, 1972


Live performances

“Mumbo” has been played in 17 concerts.

Latest concerts where Mumbo has been played







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!

John Mackintosh 5 months ago

Interesting that the version on Wings Over Europe has lyrics and it makes the song quite good, actually. I remember when Wild Life came out back in 1971 and I didn’t like either that song or most of the album. Hearing it with lyrics redeems it and it comes across great live. Can’t help but think of the way we saw Get Back come to life in Peter Jackson’s masterpiece. It starts with Paul’s great bass riff, then the Get Back refrain but there aren’t any verses on the song’s “birthday” of January 7, 1969. Those came later. So Mumbo is best called Mumble, at least the studio version, as Paul just let it go at that.
PS. Not saying Mumbo is better than Get Back. It isn’t.


Your comment

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