Andre Gardner

Wings, the pop group formed by ex-Beatle, Paul McCartney are in Liverpool. They are L-R: Denny Laine, Steve Holly, Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney (1941 - 1998), and Laurence Juber. Original Publication: People Disc - HK0488 (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

In the last week, I’ve asked two people with heavy influence why Wings weren’t in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. One was the CEO of The Hall, Greg Harris, and he very politely declined to answer, preferring to focus on the just-nominated candidates for the Class of ’23. Fair enough. The other was Denny Laine, who not only co-founded Wings with Paul and Linda McCartney, but who is already a member, inducted as a founder of The Moody Blues. Denny did the same, suggesting I ask Paul about that since it’s “his baby.”

That may be true, but the albums Wings released, in the period of Paul’s career from 1971-1979, stand out as some of his finest work, and it was the chemistry, both musical and personal, that helped keep the band’s sound fresh and always entertaining.

There IS precedent here. In 2012 the Hall inducted The Comets (Bill Haley’s band), The Crickets (who backed Buddy Holly) and The Miracles (Smokey’s group), so Wings would certainly fit along nicely next to those incredible bands.

To further prove my point, here are 12 (13) songs released during Paul’s Wings period that should cement this band into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame history:

  • Some People Never Know (From "Wild Life")

    Without a doubt, the standout track on this virtually ‘instant’ album – Wings recorded this, their debut album, in just over a week – and it’s a breath of fresh air. There’s also a hint of what’s to come with African rhythms at the end of the song predating the band’s Band On the Run project in Lagos two years later.

  • Hi Hi Hi (1972 single)

    Banned by the BBC (please!), this is Wings at their rocking, tightest best.  Featuring an impossibly catchy chorus, the song was a hit, despite the BBC ban.

  • Big Barn Bed (From "Red Rose Speedway")

    We first got a taste of this song when the opening line appeared at the end of the “Ram On” Reprise. It was the opening track on Wings’ second album and it’s SO good!

  • My Love (from "Red Rose Speedway")

    There are three amazing things about this song. For one, it’s about as gorgeous as a song can get. Secondly, the song was recorded totally live in Abbey Road Studios, even the strings and horns! And finally, Wings guitarist Henry McCullough changed the solo at the last moment after coming up with an idea and, to his credit, Paul told him to go for it. The result is what you hear on the song.

  • Live And Let Die (single)

    Are you kidding?  This is the BEST James Bond theme of them all, hands down, in my opinion.  It has all the elements of a perfect theme – power, excitement, even a little reggae, and when Paul performs this live, the place explodes..literally!

  • Band On The Run (from "Band On the Run")

    Just as the group were to leave for Lagos to record their third album, two of their band members quit, leaving just Paul, Linda and Denny Laine to finish the album.  Through monsoons, a mugging, and Paul passing out, they pulled it off, and Band On The Run is regarded by many to be Paul’s finest solo work.

  • Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five (From "Band On The Run")

    To me, this is the album’s “A Day In The Life,” perfect as the last song, it reprises the opening track, and it’s got palpable excitement throughout.

  • Junior's Farm (single)

    The lone 1974 Wings recorded output was this tight rocker, recorded in Nashville.  The band did it live in the studio, and the track smokes from start to finish.  Maybe my favorite Wings song of them all.

  • Rock Show (From "Venus And Mars")

    “Rock Show” captures the perfect feeling of getting ready to see a rock concert.  Name checking Jimmy Page, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Philly in the lyrics don’t hurt, either!

  • Mull Of Kintyre/Girls School (single)

    This one single is the perfect way to describe Wings.  On one side is a touching, anthemic ode to Paul’s Scottish farmland, and the other is a nasty hard rock jam of epic proportion.

  • London Town (From "London Town")

    Paul has such a knack for creating a mood in a song and, with this title track from Wings’ 1978 album, I can feel the misty rain falling on my raincoat as the song plays.  Linda’s harmonies at the very end are so gorgeous!

  • Spin It On (From "Back To The Egg")

    For my money, “Back To The Egg” is the most underrated Wings album.  It was also their last.  There’s everything on there, including this absolutely manic track that showcases Paul’s and Laurence Juber’s blistering guitar work.  C’mon, Cleveland, get these guys in where they belong!!

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