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Band on the Run: 25th Anniversary Edition Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 462 customer reviews

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Band On The Run
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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, March 9, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Band on the Run hit #1 just over 25 years ago. Now it's back-remastered and joined by a full disc of previously unavailable material! Disc one is the complete 1973 album: Band on the Run; Jet; Helen Wheels , etc. Disc two contains inteviews with Paul and Linda plus the album's engineers, arrangers and celebs like Dustin Hoffman and James Coburn. Also on the bonus disc: an acoustic Band on the Run , a soundcheck of Jet , rehearsal recordings, alternate mixes and an unreleased song. Plus-new liners and lyrics to all the songs!

Band on the Run should have been a disaster. Two of Wings' original members quit in a huff just before its production. The whimsical decision to record in Lagos, Nigeria, became a nightmare when McCartney and company found themselves in a decaying studio, then had many of the project's demos stolen by armed bandits. Despite these hardships--perhaps because of them--Band on the Run remains the most focused and consistently satisfying record of McCartney's wildly uneven post-Beatles career. This mini box set contains the original album, a well-written booklet by Mark Lewisohn, and a bonus disc featuring outtake snippets and interviews with all the album's participants (including its cover crew, which includes actors James Coburn and Christopher Lee) and Dustin Hoffman, who recounts how he spurred McCartney to spontaneously write "Picasso's Last Words" on a dare. This second disc would make a fine radio show; it comes up short where it matters most--in music. Time spent detailing the album-cover photo session could have been more gratifyingly devoted to more contemporary outtakes (much of the bonus Band material is culled from live performances from as recently as the mid '90s; perhaps McCartney wants us to know how important the record has been to him over the years) or to a pair of single B-sides, which are curiously absent here. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Band On The Run
  2. Jet
  3. Bluebird
  4. Mrs. Vandebilt
  5. Let Me Roll It
  6. Mamunia
  7. No Words
  8. Helen Wheels
  9. Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)
  10. Ninteteen Hundred And Eighty Five

Disc: 2

  1. Paul McCartney (Dialogue Intro)/Band On The Run (Nicely Toasted Mix)
  2. Band On The Run (Original) (Background)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link I)
  3. Band On The Run (Barn Rehearsal)
  4. Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 2)/Mamunia (Original) Bckground)/Denny Laine (Dialogue)...
  5. Bluebird (Live-Version)
  6. Bluebird (Original) (Background)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 4)
  7. Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 5)/No Words (Original) (Background)/Geoff Emerick (Dialogue)
  8. No Words (Original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 6)/Tony Visconti (Dialogue).Band On The Run...
  9. Jet ( Original From Picasso's Last Words) (Background)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 7)...
  10. Jet (Berlin Soundchek)
  11. Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 8)/Clive Arrowsmith (Dialogue)
  12. Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five (Original) (Background)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 9)...
  13. Mrs. Vandebilt (Original) (Background)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link11)/Kenny Lynch (Dialogue)...
  14. Let Me Roll It (Cardington Rehearsal)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 12)
  15. Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 13)/Mrs. Vandebilt (Background)/Linda McCartney (Band On The Run...
  16. Helen Wheels (crazed)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 14)/Christopher Lee (Dialogue)
  17. Band On The Run (Strum Bit)/v (Dialogue Link 15)/lemente Freud (Dialogue)
  18. Picasso's Last Words (Original) (Background)/Paul McCartney Dialogue Link 16)/Dustin Hoffman...
  19. Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me) (Acoustic Version)
  20. Band On The Run (Nicely Toasted Mix)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 17)
  21. Band On The Run (Northern Comic Version)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • 25th Anniversary Edition edition
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00000I7KL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Music: 5 stars... Video extras: 4 stars... Historic value: 5 stars... Economic value: 5 stars

I've been a fan of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles output since the early days. I was 13 when this album was released, and it had a HUGE influence on me, and one of the top 5 or 10 albums for me in my lifetime.

This reissue of "Band On the Run" is lavish. CD1 (41 min.) brings the original brilliant 9 tracks of the album and nothing more needs to be said about that. CD2 (9 tracks; 34 min.) kicks off with the "Helen Wheels/Country Dreamer" single, and then brings 7 live tracks from the "One Hand Clapping" movie (more on that later), including a jaw-drapping version of "Nineteen Hundred Eigthy Five", with Paul solo at the piano for the first half of the song, just fantastic. The DVD (85 min.) is a jem, even though it's a bit of a mixed bag. The videos for "Band On the Run" and "Mamunia" are in the Yellow Submarine style, if you follow me. Hadn't seen the video for "Helen Wheels" in forever", a nice addition. But the 15 min. footage of the cover shoot for the album is great. Even better is the 3 min. "Wings in Lagos" bit, bringing home movies from their stay there, and featuring an Eastern-style version of "Band on the Run" I had never heard, completely different but I loved it. Best of all is of course the 50 min. "One Hand Clapping" movie, which I had never seen before. It was shot live in the EMI studios in Fall of 1974 and cover a lot of ground, including (besides the album tracks) such bits as "Soily", "Little Woman Love", "C Moon", "I'll Give You a Ring", etc. The video quality is not always great, but what can you expect from so many years ago?
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Format: Audio CD
Many fans and critics alike will tell you that Paul McCartney's 1973 Band on the Run and 1975 Venus & Mars are his best albums and near-equals. While I like Venus & Mars fine, I think this faulty comparison is due to one of two things: A) overestimation of V&M or B) underestimation of BotR. And strange as it may seem, the latter is much closer to reality. Band on the Run is terribly underrated the same way Abbey Road is underrated - respected, but not held in the awe reserved for "better" records like Sgt. Pepper's or Plastic Ono Band. Yeah. Right. Ranking at a paltry #418 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums" list, it's about time Band on the Run stands up and is accorded its rightful place as one of pop's greatest achievements.

The album opens with a one-two punch of the title track, a grandiose mini-suite chronicling a bereaved prisoner and his jubilant escape (construe that how you choose), and the thrilling Jet, flying as high as its namesake. Amazingly, Paul manages to keep a comparable level of excellence up throughout the album. If you've heard these two tracks you'll know how unlikely that seems, but it's true: this is the most consistently awesome album the man has produced since the Beatles' breakup. What made the Fabs' best so great - the intricate-yet-accessible melodies, the imagistic poetry, the superb musicianship, the soaring harmonies, the thumping bass, the multi-tracked vocals and guitars, the glorious strings and brass - is all here.

Stylistically Paul creates an effervescent fusion of melodic pop, exhilarating rock & roll, and elaborate symphonic elements with touches of blues, jazz, music-hall, and folk expertly mixed in for colour.
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4 Comments 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Paul rises from the dead. After stumbling with his first two Wings albums, McCartney created one of his most satisfying and complete masterpieces. The classic single Live And Let Die (recorded a couple of months before the album) hinted at the treasures on this great album. Clearly McCartney had rediscovered his unique songwriting voice.

Recorded under trying conditions ( two members of Wings quit just before recording began) in a less than ideal environment (McCartney was robbed while in Nigeria and the recording studio wasn't in the best condition), it's a miracle that this album succeeded. Clearly Macca took the situation as a personal challenge to his creativity. It inspired him.

Never much of a confessional writer (like Lennon for example), McCartney has always excelled at lyrics that told a story. Difficult circumstance, however, have always allowed him to create some of his best work. While he could create great songs from his personal life, McCartney would use those nuggets to create stories in his lyrics unlike, say, Lennon who was more nakedly confessional in tone. There are exceptions of course (For No One, I'm Looking Through You, Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road, Two of Us, etc.), but on the whole McCartney was more of a storyteller than Lennon using events from his life to spin stories about other people.

The stories on Band On The Run are witty, interesting and compassionate. The title track captures the exuberance of an artist that has recaptured his muse. When the orchestra kicks in and McCartney & Laine's acoustic guitars chime in this classic song takes your breath away.
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