Man, I played the crap out of that album. From the rollicking “Rock Show” to the super-funky “Letting Go” to the rollicking again “Medicine Jar” (yeah Jimmy McCulloch!), I loved that disc. Even the pure pop of “Listen to the What the Man Said” didn’t clash much with my hard-rockin’ teenage sensibilities at the time.
A year later Wings released Wings at the Speed of Sound, which I also snapped up immediately, but never enjoyed as much as V&M. I thought “Beware My Love” was killer, but all in all I felt Macca was wimping out a tad. Opening track “Let ‘Em In” left me cold. And, you know, Linda was great–but “Cook of the House” should never have made the cut.
But if you’re the type of Wings fan who loved everything they did in the ’70s, the good news is that yesterday saw the release of deluxe-edition box sets of both Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound. They’re some pretty sweet packages.
Both box sets come with newly remastered (at Abbey Road) versions of the original albums, as well as a second disc featuring bonus audio tracks. The Venus and Mars set includes a whopping 14 bonus tracks–including the rollicking (there’s that word again) hit single “Junior’s Farm”–compared to Speed of Sound‘s seven, so maybe the compilers are in agreement with yours truly about which disc is more worthy. At any rate, both sets include 100-plus-page hardbound books with previously unpublished images by shutterbug Linda, a new interview with Paul, and expanded track-by-track info.
Each set also includes a DVD with previously unreleased live footage, TV ads, and music videos, plus inserts of archival material, like facsimiles of Paul’s original handwritten lyrics.
Of course, the Wings album that’s even better than Venus and Mars is Band on the Run. And there’s a deluxe-edition box set of that, too.
And if you’re the type of McCartney freak who also likes cover versions of his tunes, remember to hold out for this dandy tribute, hitting stores November 17.