Hits of Rock 1974 Band on the Run by Wings

The escape of Wings from the clutches of evil hit the top of the charts June 8, 1974

Wings – Band On The Run (Original Video)

‘Band on the Run’ is from the album of the same name, Band on the Run.

‘Band on the Run’ is one of the most popular Wings songs and Sir Paul McCartney plays it at almost every concert. When Sir Paul played Halifax Nova Scotia he enhanced the mystery by recounting how they had to bribe officials in the African country to get out alive.

The song was written before Wings went to recorded in Lagos, Nigeria. The song has taken on other layers of meaning from their trip to the military dictatorship.

Band on the Run - single cover

‘Band on the Run’ is a three-part song that tells the story of being in prison, a plea for escape and the breakout, much like an old B-movie about a prison break.

The original video is an affectionate collage of nostalgia for The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein who died an untimely death from a drug overdose.

Epstein was the 5th Beatle and one of the two people who made The Beatles successful. The other was producer George Martin who encouraged the musicality of the fab four and helped them to grow.

Epstein managed the career success of The Beatles but was always a rather lonely soul inside the bounds of 1960s illicit homosexuality and drug use.

The original metaphor of being imprisoned inside a rock band and one’s life has been lost over the years by the problems Wings encountered while recording in Nigeria.

With only McCartney, his wife Linda, guitarist Dennie Laine and Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick the plan for an exotic recording location soon fell apart.

‘Band on the Run – Full audio version remastered

Lagos, Nigeria was more than an exotic recording locale, it was a country in the grip of poverty and a dictator. Two members of Wings quit in the UK so the three of them had to more or less make the album themselves.

Geoff Emerick had only crude recording equipment in the local EMI studio. Paul and Linda were robbed at knife point of all their valuables. Paul got sick. Local musicians accused the band of ‘stealing’ local music.

The same charge would be laid on Paul Simon when he recorded ‘Graceland’ in Africa. Sir Paul McCartney did not use local musicians but Paul Simon did lean heavily on the excellent musicians he found in South Africa to create his masterpiece.

So the three remaining members of Wings struggled and recorded one of their best songs. Wikiepedia has reports the lineup as “Paul McCartney – vocals, lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars, drums, piano, keyboards, percussion; Linda McCartney – organ, keyboards, vocals and Denny Laine – rhythm, lead, acoustic, flamenco and bass guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals.”

The song was in the #1 position for a week in the US and reached # 3 in the UK. ‘Band on the Run’ was certified Gold for sales over 1 million copies on June 4, 1974 but would take until September 1, 1974 to reach Gold in the UK.

‘Band on the Run’ – rock on Sir Paul.

There are several released recordings of ‘Band on the Run’ and it appears on most Wings compilations.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

  CD Vinyl MP3
  CD Vinyl MP3
Original versions, remastered
25th Anniversary Edition    
Collectors Edition with 2 CDs and 2 DVDs – Best Buy    

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