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Ten favorite live Wings gems

For almost eight years, between early 1972 and late 1979, Wings was touring the world, playing mainly their biggest hits and best album tracks. After this period McCartney hardly played any Wings gems anymore, only the big hits like Band On The Run or Live And Let Die. Until he returned to the stage in the beginning of this century. Since then Wings gems can be heard live again. Ten of my favourite live Wings gems, in chronological order: 

Smile Away (Live in Groningen, Netherlands, 1972)
Recorded during the 1972 Wings over Europe Tour; Smile Away is in fact not a Wings song, but it is one of the very few tracks from the RAM-album ever being played live.

Wild Life (Wings over Europe, 1972)
The title track of Wings' first album was only played until the 1973 UK Tour. It was rehearsed for the Unplugged perfomance in 1992 though, but nevertheless it didn't make it to the final setlist.





Magneto and Titanium Man (Wings over America, 1976)
Many regard Magneto and Titanium Man as a filler on the Venus & Mars album. But live it just rocks!

Call Me Back Again (Wings over America, 1976)
Also from the Venus & Mars album with one of the best vocals McCartney ever perfomed live.


Bluebird (Wings over America, 1976)
One of the highlights from the wings Over The World setlist was the charming acoustic set halfway the concert. Nowadays Bluebird is performed during the soundcheck from time to time.





Letting Go (Wings over America, 1976)
The last couple of years Letting Go is back on McCartney's setlist occasionally. But together guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray just can't nail it like Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch could do it on his own.

Beware My Love (Wings over America, 1976)
Sometimes a song sounds just better live than the original, recorded album version. Beware My Love is such a song.


Soilly (Wings over America, 1976)
It was quite a brave choice to play a non album song as the last encore of a concert. But with Soily it worked. Another example of a song which sounds live better than the, in this case never released, studio recording.





Mrs Vandebilt (Kiev, 2008)
Performed for the first time ever in Kiev in 2008, on request by Ukrainian fans. Mrs. Vandebilt was also the first non single Wings song to be played after the band's break up in 1981.


Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five (Tokyo, 2013)
One of the big surprises in 2010 was the addition of Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five to the setlist. It became a fans favourite and therefor it has been played 
on every tour since then.


André Homan

André Homan is a Dutch writer and journalist.

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