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Wings Over America Deluxe
Audio CD | 4 CD, Box Set
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Wings Over America (Remastered)
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Wings Over America is the monumental live album by Paul McCartney and Wings, originally released in December of 1976. Recorded throughout the band s Wings Over America U.S. tour dates earlier that Spring, the album reached #1 in the US in early 1977. Containing almost two full hours of music, Wings Over America offers a stunning rendition of Maybe I m Amazed, plus Wings classics such as Live and Let Die, My Love, & Let Em In. McCartney also included some Beatles classics into the set list, including Yesterday, The Long and Winding Road and more for the first time since the Beatles had broken up six years earlier.
The original 28-track album on 2 discs, remastered at Abbey Road Studios.
8 previously unreleased bonus audio tracks recorded live at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
Bonus DVD featuring the 75 minute TV special Wings Over The World and a brand new short film charting the tour route in photographs.
All set within a numbered hardbound slipcase containing:
-112-page book written by David Fricke, featuring new interviews and extensive tour photography
-Exclusive 60-page photographic journal of Linda s images chronicling life on the road
-136-page replica tour book with itineraries, tour program, memorabilia, and lyrics plus 3 (10 x8 ) prints
-80-page book of drawings by artist Humphrey Ocean
24bit 96kHz high resolution audio versions of all 36 songs on the remastered album & bonus audio tracks, accessed via a download code inserted on a card within the deluxe edition package
Top customer reviews
Wings Over America is different. When the album was recorded and released, Wings were at their commercial peak; the album's release came during a part of the 1970s when a number of great live albums were released (most notably Frampton Comes Alive! and, though probably not heard much beyond AOR radio, Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus); and its triple-LP configuration meant fans were getting an entire show when they bought the album. It was also notable for its inclusion of Beatles songs, which McCartney had become notorious for refusing to perform as a solo artist.
The CD editions that have been available to date (the original Columbia reissue, and the subsequent EMI edition) have been huge disappointments, with their bare-bones packaging and dull sound. Sadly, Wings Over America was overlooked when McCartney's back catalog was remastered in 1993.
The newly released editions make up for this in a big way. Warmth has been restored to the low end, while the high end now actually has some identifiable detail. As with the 2009 Beatles remasters, a little bit of compression has been applied, but not so much as to overpower the listener with loudness. You can actually turn the volume up without committing the sonic equivalent of shock and awe on your eardrums.
But the real star of the deluxe edition is the packaging. Four discs (3 CDs, 1 DVD) and four books in a sturdy slipcover. The book in which the discs are stored is by itself a veritable treasure trove. Photos, reproductions of backstage passes and concert tickets, notes, lyrics--even a reproduction of the tour program. And I haven't had a chance to fully explore the goodies, so I know there are things I haven't discovered yet.
There's also a card included with a code that can be used to download high-resolution 96 kHz/24-bit WAV files of the music on the 3 CDs--no limiting applied. That gets you as close as you can get to the original masters without actually being one of the people involved in producing this remastered edition.
If you can afford the extra cost, this deluxe set is well worth the money. It almost makes up for the crappy sound of the CD editions we've been stuck with up till now.
Addendum (5/30/13): The third disc, Live at the Cow Palace, is kind of redundant. On the plus side: The performances are a bit rougher (no studio overdubs, presumably), and there's a little bit of stage chatter included--something notably lacking from the album proper, and actually quite refreshing. It's the song selection that lets down the side. "Picasso's Last Words" is a nice song, but doesn't necessarily merit inclusion a second time, and fully half the songs on the disc are from the acoustic set. It's likely that there wasn't any material available not already covered by the original album (I haven't read the essays yet, so I don't know if this is addressed or not), but one would think that a more exciting track listing could have been chosen--or even additional tracks included, seeing as how the disc is a short 28 minutes in length. I think an opportunity was missed here.
The remastering is very good. There is some mild compression (and peak limiting) that has been added to these remasters but they are still very dynamic and not brickwalled. Most of you reading this won't notice these minor issues and the sound is very, very good.
The boxed set is spectacular. You get five books. One is in a handsome vinyl cover which includes the band's intinerary, photos of each venue that the band played, behind-the-scenes photos, lyrics for all the songs played during the show. This book also has replicas of invitations of original tickets for multiple shows and invitiations for after party shows, etc.
Tucked inside a flap in the back cover of this book is a replica of the original tour program (the fifth book that might easily be overlooked). It's an accurate reproduction (for the most part--I no longer have mine but I seem to recall it being a bit bigger than the one included here. Still, it's accurate as far as the contents as far as I can recall).
Inside the books we get reproductions of the inner gatefold paintings, posters, etc. that fold out.
Three 8x10 photos are also included in the package.
Housed in this book are the three CDs--the original 2 CDs (which represent the 3 LP release) plus a bonus disc with 8 tracks from the Cow Palace show in San Francisco.
There is also a DVD included which features the "Wings Over The World" TV show that aired on CBS.
It's a 75 minute show. I do wish it had been made available in Blu-ray but for this set but we do have the Rockshow [Blu-ray] theatrical concert drawn from some of the same shows.
There is also a book with photos from Linda ("Look") as well as a book of sketches done by Humphrey Ocean during the tour. The three books are all nicely put together (better than the "Ram" set).
There is another book which has photos and comments from Laine, McCartney, etc. discussing the tour.
All of these are housed in a sturdy case that is the same heighth (but not the same width) as the RAM (Deluxe Book Edition) edition.
Finally we get a card with the codes for lossless (or you can choose lossy) digital downloads of each track included in the deluxe edition in high resolution. There's also a card announcing the next two titles--"Venus and Mars" and "At the Speed of Sound".
Should you spring for the deluxe edition? If all you want is the music then you could go for the Best Buy exclusive limited CD set. This limited edition includes the third CD of the eight tracks from the Cow Palace show. You could also pick up the "Rock Show" DVD or Blu-ray and get away for under $50.
Personally, I'm glad I purchased this set as, unlike some deluxe editions that have some silly extras, the three books filled with photos, the replicas of the tickets, etc. made this an essential purchase for me but others might feel differently. This is a BIG set and it is filled with cool stuff. The only drawback as I mentioned is that I wish that "Wings Over The World" had been remastered for Blu-ray and that they had also included "Rockshow" but these are minor quibbles.