Saturday, 14 August 2010

Back to the Egg Album Review

Release Date: June 1979

Artwork: Yet another truly awful album cover. Looks cheap.

General Comments: The most underrated and under appreciated album of his career. Includes some really great and hard guitar driven rock songs with a new wave undercurrent, some beautiful ballads, some interesting experimentation, some pomp, r and b, music hall and a little bit of filler. Needs to be played loud and deserves to be discovered during the reissues. I think this was actually Paul getting out of his comfort zone and trying again. Works as a concept album better than all his other efforts too and that includes The Beatles. I just wish Daytime Nighttime Suffering was on it rather than Baby's Request and that Again and Again and Again was left off - I think the album with one less track would have added to it.

Track by Track 
1. Reception
Short experimental track that is as a result hard to review. However, it is a perfect introduction to the album and a warning that this one is a little different. 6/10

2. Getting Closer
A track that would be in my top 15 Paul tracks. A chugging train of a track that is pure ecstasy from start to finish. The outro is probably my favourite part - really heavy and inventive. How I wish this was a big hit. Oh, and for the record I love the salamander line. 9/10

3. We're Open Tonight
Another short track and this this one is a haunting acoustic song. Fits perfectly. 7/10

4. Spin It On
One of Paul's best rockers but stands alone in its style. This would be fantastic live and just makes you feel good. The guitar is hard and makes you want to pick up a guitar and rock out! Another one of Paul's vocals and phrasing that almost fits in the rap style - it is very quick and almost spoken.  8/10

5. Again and Again and Again
A good Denny track, but I just wish it was not on this album. Quite enjoyable though. 5/10

6. Old Siam, Sir
Another flop as a single, but what a riff and what a vocal. Another example that Paul is not soft and can rock as hard as anyone. Great tune too. Another one to play very loud. 7.5/10

7. Arrow Through Me
A change in style and pace on the album that works. This is a very high quality and inventive song in a r 'n b style. Does sound a little dated but also sounds like it came from the future too. Another wonderful vocal, very soulful. 7.5/10

8. Rockestra Theme
A little bit of pomp, but I dare anyone not to say that listening to this song makes them feel good.  7/10

9. To You
This track is the one from the album that grows and grows on me. Quite different than anything he has done in song structure and style. On most of this album Paul's vocals are quite raspy but that is meant in a good way and this is no exception. Many of the new bands of the era would have been very happy to have written a song as good as this.  7.5/10

10. After the Ball / Million Miles
The ballads on this album are a departure for Paul, they seem less syrupy and sweet and have a real emotion and drive about them. Part of After the Ball gets a little power ballad but that is being picky. The Million Miles section brings a nice celtic feel to proceedings. 7/10

11. Winter Rose / Love Awake
I just love these two. Winter Rose is just gorgeous and heartfelt, the mood matches the lyrics and you feel taken away and really a part of the song. When it then goes into Love Awake it really feels like winter has ended and love has awoken.  8/10

12. The Broadcast
A little like Reception this track is hard to review. It has a spoken passage over a subtle backing track. It certainly works great on the album and I enjoy its introduction at this point. 6/10

13. So Glad to See You Here
Another song with the Rockestra band. A little self indulgent but actually it is one hell of a rocking track with a killer chorus. Would make a great concert opener. Boy does Paul rock on this album. 7/10

14. Baby's Request
Of course this is Paul showing off his diversity but it does not really fit here.  5/10

Overall score: 98/140
Overall score indexed: 70%
Advice: BUY.....please


  1. I couldn't agree more Chris,a truly underrated album.If you compare it to Band On The Run it's just as memorable.If it had bigger hits it would be just as well known.I sing along to it as much as any Paul album i own.

  2. I liked it when released. Don't know why the reviews were not good...probably 'cause he was out of his element, from the heavy Chris Thomas production. Songs are high quality.

  3. i agree back to the egg is underrated. probably because it came out during the height of punk rock as it put music critics on their best purist behavior. paul and wings had no chance of getting a merciful review that year. this was though one of wings hardest rock sounding since band on the run. spin it on, getting closer, ols siam sir, so glad to see you here are great rock songs but not cohesive enough for this last version of wings. paul wanted to get his hard edge out again but it was too soon and he'd been in the marsh mellow melody phase for too long. the lyrics are the weakest examples on this album. the musicianship is great though but you cannot have great instrumentation and over look "my salamander" in your lyrics.

    again and again and agian is denny laine's best song and more complex than most of his previous pieces. definitely better than some of the snipet samples of music mccartney included in back to the egg. the album had too many little links bridging a loose concept together which could have held better with fewer songs.

    it wasn't london town at least. that LP was pretty weak, full of uninspired songs except girlfriend and mull of kintyre.

    i hope wings gets together again one day... maybe play selections from back to the egg. remember the critics were too hard on the album. not for what it was but for what they thought they had to be... too hard!

    -tupa knows