Paul McCartney and Wings - Wild Life: Half Speed Master
Reissue of Wings' debut LP as a limited edition half-speed mastered vinyl pressing. Following the eclectic charm and intimacy of 1970's solo McCartney and 1971's homespun lo-fi indie-pop progenitor RAM credited to Paul and Linda McCartney, Wild Life found Paul once again redefining his post-Beatles creative identity, this time beginning his tenure as a founding member of Wings. A rollicking left turn from its predecessors, Wild Life was recorded in barely more than a week, with more than half of the songs captured in a single take. The end result would be eight songs running the gamut from joyous freewheeling jams to proto-chamber pop to spare introspective musings — all bristling with a raw, jagged energy akin to the grungiest of garage bands—whether on the careening blues-rock rave-up of opener "Mumbo," a reggae-tinged reimagining of Mickey and Sylvia's "Love Is Strange," or the plaintive and heart wrenching ballad "Dear Friend."
Cracking the top 10 and going gold in the US, Wild Life faced an admittedly uphill battle as the debut of Paul's first post-Beatles band. In a recent reassessment, Billboard noted that modern-day Wild Life listeners "can throw out all this cultural baggage and just enjoy the tunes… by not reaching for any obvious Beatles tropes, Wings achieved something fresh and inviting…" And in fact, Wild Life would prove to be the first spark of the Wings phenomenon that would develop and flourish into one of the defining sounds of '70s rock n roll. The streak of #1 albums from Red Rose Speedway, Band On The Run, Venus And Mars, At The Speed Of Sound through the 3LP live opus Wings Over America, and the sold-out shows that provided the blueprint for the '70s arena rock experience—can all be traced back to the big bang of those first eight months during which Wings would form, release Wild Life in December 1971 and play their first-ever live shows in February 1972.