Wingspan Hits And History Review Essay

Paul McCartney always got the short end of the stick when he was in the Beatles and again in the '70s, as he and his erstwhile partner John Lennon pursued solo careers. McCartney was attacked for his virtues -- for his melodicism and his domesticity, along with his desire to form a real touring band following the Beatles. None of these were celebrated at the time, but he moved many, many records and sold countless concert tickets, which only hardened opposition toward him. But, in retrospect, McCartney's albums make for the most fascinating body of work among any of the ex-Beatles, and really among any of his peers. Yes, there were pitfalls among the heights, but that's part of what makes his career so fascinating -- each record is distinctive, and even if the songs themselves are shallow, at least lyrically, the melodic skill and studio savvy behind each are hard not to admire. This may require a bit of conversion, and if you're not up to trudging through his individual works, even such masterworks as Ram (truly the roots of homemade pop), the double-disc set Wingspan is ideal. McCartney has had a number of career overviews before, including such seemingly comprehensive discs as All the Best, but those were plagued by vaguely haphazard sequencing. This is nearly perfectly executed, dividing McCartney's career between the "hits" and "history," with the latter being devoted to album tracks that are acknowledged classics, yet never were singles. Now, it's true that this isn't completely comprehensive -- some will notice that superstar duets with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson are missing, and others will wonder where such terrific latter-day singles as "Press" are or why such charting hits as "So Bad" are bypassed, or why album tracks like "Ballroom Dancing" are absent -- but nothing has come as close to capturing the quirky brilliance of McCartney's solo career, how it balanced whimsical pop with unabashedly sentimental romantic ballads, piledriving rockers, and anything in between. And what makes Wingspan so impressive is how the "History" disc fills in the gaps that "Hits" leaves, whether it's on the tremendous "Maybe I'm Amazed" (one of the very best songs he ever wrote), the charming "Junk," the clever "Take It Away," or such absolutely stunning miniatures as "Heart of the Country," an effortless folk-pop tune that ranks among his very best songs. That's why Wingspan isn't just a good hits collection -- it's a convincing argument that McCartney's solo recordings are a rich, idiosyncratic body of work of their own merits. Ram, Red Rose Speedway, and London Town all have their merits, but if you need to be converted, this is where to start.

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Comes in gatefold sleeve with 3D image insert of front cover.
Printed inner sleeves showing track listing, credits and pictures of band members.

This is supposed to be a "Best Of Wings" album, but contains several McCartney solo tracks from the 1980s.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Scanned): 724353285012
  • Other (Distribution Code): PM 541
  • Label Code: LC 0299
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): 5328501 1A1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): 5328501 1B1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side C): 5328501 1C1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side D): 5328501 1D1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side E): 5328501 1E1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side F): 5328501 1F1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side G): 5328501 1G1 SRZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Side H): 5328501 1H1 SRZ

Other Versions (5 of 18) View All

Cat#ArtistTitle (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
7243 5 32850 2 9, 532 8502Paul McCartneyWingspan - Hits And History ‎(2xCD, Comp, RM)Parlophone, Parlophone, MPL (2), MPL (2)7243 5 32850 2 9, 532 8502Europe2001Sell This Version
7243 5 32946 2 5Paul McCartneyWingspan - Hits And History ‎(2xCD, Comp, RM)MPL (2), Capitol Records, EMI Music Canada7243 5 32946 2 5Canada2001Sell This Version
724353287627Paul McCartneyWingspan - Hits And History ‎(2xCD, Comp, Dlx)Parlophone724353287627UK2001Sell This Version
7243 5 32850 2 9Paul McCartneyWingspan - Hits And History ‎(2xCD, Comp, RM, Unofficial)Parlophone (2), MPL (3)7243 5 32850 2 9Russia2001Sell This Version
7243 5 32850 4 3, 532 8504Paul McCartneyWingspan - Hits And History ‎(2xCass, Comp)Parlophone, Parlophone7243 5 32850 4 3, 532 8504Europe2001Sell This Version

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