Wings Timeline

As you all know, Paul McCartney was a key member of The Beatles, and their official end was on April 10, 1970, when Paul announced that he no longer belongs to the band. If you read your Beatles Anthology book, you'll see that it was the four of them who had already long disbanded by that time. Paul was just making it public.

This is going to be a short biographical timeline on Paul's second band, Wings, on the albums they made, the tours they went on in different incarnations - and their end.

Post Beatles, still Pre-Wings

1970

17 April - Album release: McCartney (Paul McCartney)
            A true Paul solo album - playing all instruments himself. Secretly recorded at home and at Abbey Road Studios. It has some rough feel about it. Outstanding tracks are Maybe I'm Amazed, Every Night, Junk, That Would Be Something.

1971

19 February - Single release: Another Day - Oh Woman, Oh Why (Paul McCartney)

15 May - Album release: Ram (Paul and Linda McCartney)
            Paul's first solo album to feature other musicians, soon-to-be Wings member, wife Linda contributes both as an author and as musician. Next to a few studio musicians, drummer Denny Seiwell plays on this record. He will also join Wings later.

2 August - Single Release (USA): Uncle Albert - Admiral Halsey - Too Many People (Paul and Linda McCartney)

13 August - Single Release (UK): Back Seat Of My Car - Heart Of The Country (Paul and LInda McCartney)

Foundation of Wings

At the end of July, Paul asks ex-Moody Blues Denny Laine to join his new band. Secret rehearsals and recordings are carried out in London and Scotland in August. This leads to the first formation of Wings:

Wings #1

Wings #1; Photo (c) MPL Communications Ltd.

(from left) Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Denny Seiwell, Denny Laine

8 November: Wings Launch Party
            A party to celebrate the launch of Paul's new band Wings is held in London. The name Wings was inspired by the complicated birth of Paul's and Linda's daughter Stella on September 13.

7 December - Album Release: Wings Wild Life (Wings)
            The album wasn't received particularly well upon its initial release

1972

In order to be able to go on tour, Paul holds further rehearsals in Scotland in January. During this time, he invites guitarist Henry McCullough to join the group full-time. This leads to the updated Wings formation:

Wings #2

Wings #2

(from left:) Denny Seiwell, Denny Laine, Paul McCartney, Henry McCullough, Linda McCartney

9 - 23 February: Tour of UK Universities (11 concerts)

25 February - Single Release: Give Ireland Back To The Irish - Give Ireland Back To The Irish (Version) (Wings)

March: Wings record tracks for new album in Los Angeles

12 May - Single Release: Mary Had A Little Lamb - Little Woman Love (Wings)

9 July - 24 August: European Tour 1972 (25 concerts)

October: Wings record tracks for upcoming singles and LP in London

1 December - Single Release: Hi Hi Hi - C Moon (Wings)

1973

February - March: Wings work on the ATV/ITC TV special James Paul McCartney

23 March - Single Release: My Love - The Mess (Paul McCartney & Wings)

30 April - Album Release: Red Rose Speedway (Paul McCartney & Wings)
            Contains the hit single "My Love" - both single and album reach number one

11 - 27 May: First Tour of Britain (17 concerts)

1 June - Single Release: Live And Let Die - I Lie Around (Paul McCartney And Wings)

4 - 10 July: Second Tour of Britain (4 concerts)

Recordings for the next Wings album are scheduled to take place in Lagos, Nigeria (Africa). On the eve of departure, Wings members Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell inform Paul that they would not be coming. This leads to the new lineup:

Wings #3

Wings #3; photo (c) MPL Communications Ltd.

(from left) Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Paul McCartney

1 - 11 September: Recording of the next album "Band on the Run" in Lagos, Nigeria. Mixing is carried out in London in October.

26 October - Single Release: Helen Wheels - Country Dreamer (Paul McCartney & Wings)

5 December - Album Release: Band On The Run (Paul McCartney & Wings)

1974

15 February - Single Release: Jet - Let Me Roll It (Paul McCartney & Wings)

8 April - Single Release: Band On The Run - Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five (Paul McCartney & Wings)

In late April, Paul holds auditions for a new drummer. From several dozens applicants, he finally chooses Geoff Britton.

In June, the guitarist Jimmy McCulloch joines the band. This leads to Wings #4:

Wings #4

Wings #4, photo (c) MPL Communications Ltd.

(from left) Denny Laine, Linda McCartney, Geoff Britton, Paul McCartney, Jimmy McCulloch

Wings fly to Nashville, Tennesse, in mid-June and record many songs and demos. Some will later turn up as solo releases by Denny Laine and Linda McCartney.

August: In London's EMI Studios, Wings record songs (and are filmed) for the MPL documentary One Hand Clapping - which remains unreleased.

25 October - Single Release: Junior's Farm - Sally G. (Paul McCartney & Wings)

In November, recording sessions for the next Wings album Venus And Mars are begun in London. They will continue in America in January.

1975

January - February: Wings record songs for Venus And Mars at Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans. Probably due to personal differences, recently hired drummer Geoff Britton quits Wings and is replaced with New York drummer Joe English. They resume recordings in Los Angeles. This leads to a more stable configuration of Wings that will tour very successfully:

Wings #5

Wings #5, photo (c) MPL Communications Ltd.

(from left) Joe English, Jimmy McCulloch, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Denny Laine

16 May - Single Release: Listen To What The Man Said - Love In Song (Wings)

27 May - Album Release: Venus And Mars (Wings)

5 September - Single Release: Letting Go - You Gave Me The Answer (Wings)

9 - 23 September: Tour of United Kingdom

1 - 14 November: Tour of Australia

Plans to continue the tour in Japan have to be shelved since the Japanese government ban Paul and Linda from entering Japan due to their previous drug conviction.

28 November - Single Release: Venus And Mars - Rockshow (medley) - Magneto And Titanium Man (Wings)

1976

January - February: Wings begin recordings for their next Album "Wings At The Speed Of Sound" at Abbey Road Studios in London.

20 - 26 March: European Tour

25 March - Album Release: Wings At The Speed Of Sound (Wings)

1 April - Single Release: Silly Love Songs - Cook Of The House (Wings)

3 May - 23 June: American Tour

23 July - Single Release: Let 'Em In - Beware My Love (Wings)

19 - 27 September: European Tour

Paul spends most of October listening to/editing over 90 hours of recordings made during the tour of America for the triple "Wings Over America" album. Reportedly he works on it 14 hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks in order to meet the release date.

19 - 21 October: Wings Over Wembley Concerts

10 December - Album Release: WINGS OVER AMERICA

1977

February - March: Wings record a couple of tracks for the next album "London Town"

4 February - Single Release: Maybe I'm Amazed - Soily (both live) (Wings)

May: Wings continue recordings on board of the yacht Fair Control at the Virgin Islands

August: Paul records "Mull of Kintyre" at Abbey Road Studios. It is going to be the most successful single ever all over Europe.

September: guitarist Jimmy McCulloch leaves Wings and joins the reformed Small Faces

October - December: more recording sessions for "London Town" are carried out at Abbey Road Studios

November: drummer Joe English leaves Wings. This leads to yet another stripped-down Wings configuration:

Wings #6

Wings #6, photo (c) MPL Communications Ltd.

(from left) Denny Laine, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney

11 November - Single Release: Mull Of Kintyre - Girls' School (Wings)

1978

Recordings for London Town are finally finished by the end of January.

23 March - Single Release: With A Little Luck - Backwards Traveller - Cuff Link (Wings)

31 March - Album Release: London Town (Wings)

16 June - Single Release: I've Had Enough - Deliver Your Children (Wings)

Wings begin recording tracks for the next album "Back To The Egg" at Paul's Spirit of Ranachan Studios (later called Rude Studios) at his farm in Scotland from June 29 until July 27. During these sessions, drummer Steve Holly and guitarist Laurence Juber join Wings. This results in the final Wings configuration:

Wings #7

Wings #7; photo (c) MPL Communications Ltd.

(from left) Paul McCartney, Steve Holly, Denny Laine, Linda McCartney, Laurence Juber

In July, Wings record studio demos of the soundtrack for a proposed "Rupert The Bear" film soundtrack. This full-length film, however, fails to materialise and these recordings remain unreleased.

26 August - Single Release: London Town - I'm Carrying (Wings)

"Back To The Egg" recording sessions resume at Lympne Castle in Kent (September 11 - 29). On October 3rd, Wings are joined by a large all-star supergroups to "Rockestra and So Glad To See You Here" at Abbey Road Studio Two. The event is filmed and a 40-minute documentation is finished but remains unreleased. Recordings continue in October, and in November and December they are carried out at "Replica Studios" in the basement of Paul's London office.

22 November - Album Release: Wings Greatest (Wings)

1979

From January until early April, Wings continue to work on the next single and album.

23 March - Single Release: Goodnight Tonight - Daytime Nightime Suffering (Wings)

24 May - Album Release: Back To The Egg (Wings)

1 June - Single Release: Old Siam Sir - Spin It On (Wings)

Wings shoot promotional clips for seven album tracks (June 4-13) which results in a 31-minute TV special which is aired in America and the UK, later.

5 June - Single Release: Getting Closer - Spin It On (Wings)

At Paul's farm in Scotland, Paul conducts extensive solo recording sessions in July. Tracks recorded are "Wonderful Christmastime", "Coming Up", and all tracks that finally become the "McCartney II" album (plus a few outtakes).

10 August - Single Release: Seaside Woman - B Side To Seaside (Suzy and the Red Stripes)

14 August - Single Release: Arrow Through Me - Old Siam, Sir (Wings)

16 August - Single Release: Getting Closer - Baby's Request (Wings)

16 November - Single Release: Wonderful Christmastime - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reggae (Paul MCCartney)

23 November - 17 December: Tour of United Kingdom

29 December: Concerts for the People of Kampuchea

1980

Following  a week's worth of Rehearsals, Wings arrive in Tokyo, Japan, on January 16, to start an 11 concert tour of Japan. Customs men discover a large amount of marijuana in Paul's baggage. Paul is arrested, the tour terminated. Luckily, Paul is deported after 10 days and not imprisonated for several years. This drug bust was basically the end of Wings, although there will be further rehearsals and recordings.

11 April - Single Release: Coming Up - Coming Up (live at Glasgow) - Lunch Box-Odd Sox (Paul McCartney/ Paul McCartney&Wings)

16 May - Album Release: McCARTNEY II (Paul McCartney)

13 June - Single Release: Waterfalls - Check My Machine (Paul McCartney)

July sees some loose Wings rehearsals in Kent.

In August, Paul records demos of many tracks of the "Tug Of War" and "Pipes of Peace" albums, in Rude Studios at his farm in Scotland. These demos are overdubbed and even mixed to stereo.

In October, rehearsals are held and later on recordings/overdubs are carried out for the proposed Wings "Cold Cuts" album which remains unreleased.

However, Paul eventually decides to work again with George Martin as producer, and the Wings musicians would not really fit within these projects. Their first project was the so-called "Frog Song" for the short-animated feature "Rupert" - A song named "We All Stand Together." This is followed by the "Tug Of War" sessions at George Martin's A.I.R. studios (both in London and Montserrat). Only Denny Laine keeps working with Paul until Spring of 1981.

1981

The End of Wings

Laurence Juber and Steve Holly officially leave the group in February

27 April: Official announcement that Wings are no more.

 

References

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