Albums covering this tour
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For me, the highlights from the ‘Wings over the World’ tour are Madison Square Garden, New York and The Kingdome in Seattle. And after a year’s work of trying to achieve the impossible – forming a band after The Beatles – we made it. The smell of success was sweet.Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, May 30, 2013
In 1975 and 1976, Paul McCartney’s band Wings embarked on the ambitious Wings Over the World tour.
In contrast to Wings’ two low-profile, smaller-scale outings of 1972, this was a major, highly publicised concert tour that took place mostly in arenas. Around one million people attended 66 shows on three continents — Australia, Europe, and North America (where it was known as the Wings Over America Tour and represented McCartney’s first appearances in concert since the last Beatles tour in 1966). Touring Japan was also planned, but was cancelled by that country’s authorities because of McCartney’s 1972 Swedish marijuana arrest.
The tour came upon the heels of two Wings album releases: Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound. Both were described as “stadium rock” type albums, and the songs from both were heavily represented on the tour, as were numbers from the popular and critically-acclaimed Band on the Run. To emphasize that Wings was a real band and not just a McCartney showcase, Denny Laine sang several lead vocals, including “Go Now”, reprising his vocal on The Moody Blues’ first hit from 1965, and Simon & Garfunkel’s 1966 song “Richard Cory”. Jimmy McCulloch also sang lead on his song “Medicine Jar”. But most noteworthy was McCartney’s decision to perform a minimal sampling of five of his own Beatles songs – despite an earlier disinclination to do any at all. Performances of “Yesterday” and “The Long and Winding Road” used muted horn arrangements rather than their original strings, in the latter case vividly emphasising McCartney’s strong objections to Phil Spector’s heavy-handed strings treatment on the Let It Be album.
Wings’ lineup for the tour was Paul and Linda McCartney, Joe English, Denny Laine, and Jimmy McCulloch. They were joined by brass and woodwind players Howie Casey, Steve Howard, Thaddeus Richard, and Tony Dorsey. For the tour, the graphic design firm Hipgnosis, who worked with Wings at the time, created a memorable group logo featuring a stylized letter “W” with a set of wings, and the logo continued to be associated with Wings even after the tour.
Last updated on August 20, 2023
65 concerts • 10 countries
May 24, 1976
Nov 14, 1975
Nov 11, 1975
Nov 07, 1975
Nov 04, 1975
Nov 01, 1975
Sep 23, 1975
Sep 22, 1975
Sep 20, 1975
Sep 15, 1975
Sep 12, 1975
Sep 10, 1975
This is the first detailed study of Paul McCartney's Wings on tour in the 1970s. It covers every single concert from the University Tour of 1972, ending with the abandoned tour of Japan in January 1980. A wide variety of primary sources have been consulted, including all available audio and video recordings; press reviews; fan recollections; newspaper reports and tour programmes.