Sunday, 1 August 2010

Band on the Run Album Review

Release Date: December 1973

Artwork: An iconic cover. Nothing else to say really, other than it is great!

General Comments: The album that sent Wings mega and Paul back to the top. The story behind the problems associated with the album have been told a million times, but the results were an almost flawless album which was on par with his previous bands work. A joy from start to finish and works well as a complete album.

Track by Track (based on UK track listing):

1. Band on the Run
The first time I heard this I thought there must be a missing song on the album cover as I was convinced it was two songs. There are really 3 parts of this song the 'Stuck inside these 4 walls' bit, the 'if we get out of here' bit and then the main bit. I love it all, but have a particular fondness for the 'if we ever get out of here' bit. The song builds and builds and is very uplifting. It is great live, although a little over played live. A complete classic. I dare anyone to say they don't like this song. 10/10.
2. Jet 
So powerful, pretty heavy too. I love Paul's ethereal vocals on this one. It is clearly from the 1970's but has the quality where it fits in any era. Crazy lyrics just add to its charm. 9/10.
3. Bluebird
I like this song, it is simple and pretty. However, despite its obvious quality, I have yet to really fall in love with it, but can see why some do. It is still a joy to listen to though and rather good. Acoustic beauty. 7/10.
4. Mrs Vandebilt
Probably the track I first fell in love with when getting this album. It has such a grove, almost like a modern rap song in the verses. A very catchy song which could have been a big hit if it was a single. It gets some stick for the 'Hey ho' bit, but I love that part too. 8/10.
5. Let Me Roll It
This track is too often just called Paul doing John, but as far as I am concerned it is just Paul doing a fantastic riff driven heavy song. This is one of the songs I use as evidence to prove Paul could rock with the best of them. Great guitar and bass. 8/10.
6. Mamunia
Another lovely acoustic song which I really like rather than love. Like Bluebird though it never gets skipped and is always a joy. I enjoy this one late at night when it has been raining. 7/10
7. No Words
A Macca and Laine co-write and it is fantastic. Lots of nice different sections and melodies. Interesting sounds and musical breaks. A real grower this one.  8/10.
8. Picasso's Last Words
Simple and dreamlike. Written on demand for Dustin Hoffman and the results are honest, fresh and delightful.  Has a lovely little 'Jet' interlude that is a great surprise on first listen and then a nod to 'Mrs Vandebilt' too. The song gets better as the orchestral backing starts to enhance the song towards the end. I wish this would come out to be played live again. Mellow, soulful and brilliant. 8/10.
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five
Along with Maybe I'm Amazed this probably my favourite McCartney track. There is nothing like this anywhere in music. It is hard to describe. It has a fantastic groove driven along by great piano. Vocals that sound like they come from another world which are sung very quickly. It still stands out as something from an era that has not yet happened. I cannot not fault this track and never get bored of it. Has a small reprise of the title track at the end which bookends the album wonderfully. 10/10.

Overall score: 75/90
Overall score indexed: 83% 
Advice: BUY - OF COURSE!


  1. I prefer the sound of Ram and Speedway with ex Wings member Seiwell on drums, but the songs are obviously top notch here. Might have been slightly overrated due to past solo dissapointments. Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five one of my favs too,

  2. Just watched the DVD included in the 3-Disc Band on the Run remaster. Paul is rehearsing in the studio ('74?) in this vintage film with his Band (for his upcoming tour) At the piano he does the B-Side "I'll Give You A Ring" just great & funny. Cool to these songs performed in the studio. There is an orchestra in the studio performing on Live and Let Die. This DVD is a must see.

  3. Now he's playing 1985, there you go..just piano-awesome.

  4. I prefer your audio associated with Ram memory and Speedway along with ex-mate Wings associate Seiwell in percussion, though the songs are certainly high quality right here. Has been a little bit overrated due to prior solo dissapointments. 20 Hundred and 8 All 5 considered one of the favs also,
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