"Wings Over Europe" hit the road in early July 1972, playing
twenty-plus shows by the time the tour wrapped up at the end of August. The set list
consisted of a mix of previously released McCartney/Wings tunes as well as providing a
showcase for new material scheduled to be included on the group's forthcoming LP.
Unfortunately, by the time 'Red Rose Speedway' hit the racks, it had been trimmed to a
single disc of studio material, leaving the live recordings and a handful of outtakes by
the wayside. All of the recordings assembled here come from the last few dates on
the tour, when the tapes were rolling...
This collection of highlights from the first "official" tour, opens with a
portion of Wings' show at the Cine Roma in Antwerp, Belgium on August 22, 1972. The
tape picks up with the last number of the first set, 'Best Friend'. It was this
performance that has served as the basic track for all the different versions prepared for
the never issued 'Cold Cuts' collection. The majority of the second set is also
included with an added bonus. For the only time on the tour, Paul and Co. performed
the Leadbelly standard 'Cottonfields', a huge European hit for the Beach Boys in 1970.
'Hi, Hi, Hi' and 'Wild Life' both come from the soundtrack of the uncompleted MPL film
project, The Bruce McMouse Show. These performances were captured at the
Congresgebouw in The Hague on August 21, 1972. Also originating from this concert is
Wings' performance of '1882', an unreleased track originally slated to be included on 'Red
Rose Speedway'. The version appearing here consists of the live recording after
being subjected to additional studio overdubs, most noticeably additional vocals from
Paul. On a side note, the commercially released live recording of 'The Mess' was
also recorded at this performance.
As Wings was a "real band" opposed to just being Paul's backing group, each
member was afforded a solo spot during the show. 'Henry's Blue', a lengthy, droning
12-bar, complete with unintelligible lyrics served as lead guitarist Henry McCullough's
contribution. The second version on this collection comes from Wings' appearance at
the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on August 20, 1972. Also recorded this day was an
interview for the Dutch radio program, 'Popsmuk'. To close the broadcast, Paul,
Linda and Denny Laine huddled around Henry at the piano and offered an improvised
performance entitled "Complain To The Queen".
As previously noted, these recordings represent Paul in a rare democratic 'group' setting,
certainly the only time this situation has existed outside of the Beatles. Not
surprisingly, this period was also Wings' least successful in a commercial sense, forcing
Paul to the fore on the 'Red Rose Speedway' LP, evidenced by the 'Paul McCartney and
Wings' moniker on the cover. This disc contains several of the surviving documents
of that era.