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POLL: How do you rate Paul McCartney/Wings' "Wild Life" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, May 15, 2014.

  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Here's the 3rd iteration of a poll asking McCartney fans to weigh in on the relative strengths of a post-Beatle album. This poll, like the others, is DESIGNED for people familiar with the album in question and at least some familiarity with some of his other post-Beatle catalog (for comparison purposes). If the poll doesn't interest you, please kindly move on to a thread that does.

    There's been a fair amount of discussion recently about this album in other threads, so I thought it might make for an interesting poll/discussion.

    I'm thinking I'll throw out another poll in a couple weeks, maybe hitting an era not visited yet, like the 80s (Tug, Press) the 00s (Chaos, Driving Rain) or maybe the 90s (Off the Ground, Flaming Pie). Suggestions for the next choice welcome here or via a private message. fwiw: here is the poll for "New" and here is the poll for "Back to the Egg". Interestingly, both have nearly identical results to date, with about 60% rating them very highly, 20% poorly, and 20% right in the middle of the pack.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  2. Frank

    Frank Forum Resident

    I wish there was something in between the "B" and "C" choices. I have a lot of affection for this record and rate it highly for me personally - it evokes for me - but I'd have trouble recommending it to the uninitiated because the first two tracks are a drag and the third is too long. That's a long time to listen before the album really kicks in (the moment when Paul sings "My sweet baby" in Love Is Strange). Then you're hit with two very slow tempo nearly-seven minute tracks in a row. It's a lot to recommend to someone.
     
  3. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

    Personally I love the album. Like Ram, I heard it in it's entirety much later in my life beyond my first teenage years of Beatle music obsession. This one - and Ram -plus Living In The Material World, were albums I just didn't have in my collection during that time. So hearing it with fresh ears was like hearing an album I knew well - but had never really heard before (if that makes sense).....as I had all Macca's solo stuff on lp or cassette back then otherwise.
    Before I heard Ram for the first time (apart from some songs I already knew intimately like Admiral Halsey and Eat At Home) - in 1999 actually - I came to it thinking it was going to be a nice 'lower tier' McCartney listen. First time I heard it (on a dccc Gold cd - a fluke purchase when I knew nothing about SH or audio fidelity), I was literally blown away by it. Knew then and there -it was a masterpiece - that time had revealed as possibly Maccas' greatest ever.
    Wild Life I heard in similar circumstances (on a bog standard CD re-issue sadly), and fully expecting another 'revisionist masterpiece' was not going to strike twice. And objectively it didn't - but hearing it fully for the first time - I think I enjoyed it nearly as much as Ram. It still has plenty of early Seventies McCartney gold dust sprinkled all over it (the kind of gold dust that was diagnosed as pigeon **** at the time), and there is some great melody mixing in wonderfully with the 'nascent half assed band playing' and 'production' :D
    'Tomorrow' is a great lost 'under the radar single that never was'. 'Dear Friend' I find starkly and majestically beautiful, but most others seem to find it plodding, aimless and repetitious.
    So what do I know. .....disclaimer........ I luurrve Extra Texture :D and Rock n Roll :D
     
    gramfan, theMess and pinkrudy like this.
  4. anthontherun

    anthontherun Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I would put it in the "Not bad" category, because there are some dull tracks, but with the caveat that "Some People Never Know" is the single biggest hidden gem in the McCartney catalog and all fans should hear it.
     
    O Don Piano and ampmods like this.
  5. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Not bad.
     
  6. Piiijiii

    Piiijiii Hundalasiliah

    Location:
    Ruhr Area, Germany
    "Clearly one of his best works"
     
    gramfan likes this.
  7. chickendinna

    chickendinna Homegrown’s All Right With Me

    I know they weren't on the original album, but the kicker for me are the bonus tracks on the cd. Ireland, Mary , Oh Woman, Mama's Little Girl, now you have a killer of an album
     
  8. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    Brilliant answer Knarf, I didn't even vote for identical reasoning. I would never recommend it to anyone, but as a McCartney fan I love it and wouldn't call a single track a throw away. It is an album full of interesting track choices and is fairly experimental in it's approach of catching a fledgling bands genesis on vinyl. In some ways it echoes The Beatles first album in concept and accelerated recording schedule. I also believe it to be Paul's loosest, most spontaneous, and joyously fun post Beatle album.
     
  9. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I rated it as a "Not bad" because it has a bunch of gems on it...and quite a few stinkers. Honestly, the best cuts should have been on RAM or if you took those same cuts and the best from Red Rose Speedway, it would have been a killer album.
     
    adriatikfan, mmars982 and ralph7109 like this.
  10. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Would have voted for the third choice but didn't like the phraseology.So second choice. Sure there's a few skipable trks. I would say this is his second Let It Be album.Dear Friend, Wild Life, Tomorrow, Some People Never Know. All strong songs imo. Also think this is his best album cover. Cool vinyl logos.
     
    blutiga likes this.
  11. backseat

    backseat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    For me, it's a pretty solid effort. I love the album. It's not easy to record an album like that. Well, there's jams and kind of improvisations on it (MUMBO, LOVE IS STRANGE, WILD LIFE) but man, what a voice! The second half is melodic...TOMORROW is a classic and DEAR FRIEND...listen to the entrance of the orchestra.
    Brilliant, I rate it not high as RAM but can't be missed for any reason.
     
  12. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Voted A. In my personal top 4 along with Ram BOTR and London Town.
     
    dbacon likes this.
  13. peteneatneat

    peteneatneat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool UK
    One of Paul's very best. I find it bizarre the number of McCartney fans who don't get it.
     
    blutiga likes this.
  14. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Franklin, TN
    That's funny - I actually find it to be one of his weaker efforts and bizarre the number of McCartney fans who rate it as one of his best. :targettiphat:

    But I like the idea of combining the best of WWL with the best from RRS to make a halfway decent album from that time period.
     
    Kathedral, Bruce M. and adriatikfan like this.
  15. peteneatneat

    peteneatneat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool UK
    Proves my theory.:whistle:
     
  16. masterbucket

    masterbucket Forum Resident

    Location:
    Georgia US
    This album suffers from the Pet Sounds syndrome.
    You either get it or you don't.
    Wild Life just has that early PM sound I like before he got a bit commercial and overproduced from Speed of Sound onward.
     
  17. wiseblood

    wiseblood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    I want people to look at this record NOT like a Paul McCartney/Wings record, but just a piece of work by a musician. Put those goggles on and BAM - really poor record. I feel like we give Paul a pass because of his Beatle past. Maybe he deserves it with all of the pressure of trying to match his prior success, but this is PAUL MCCARTNEY. We know what he's capable of. I think he got in his own head too much and tried VERY hard to be different than Beatle Paul, much to his (and our) detriment.

    In the end I won't ever recommend this record and I won't even spin it on my own turntable. If I want to hear a song or two from this album its iPod city. That's right - MP3s only for "Wings Wild Life". Take that Steve Hoffman Forum! :)
     
  18. Buick6

    Buick6 Forum Resident

    I only listened to this album for the first time about three weeks ago.

    Some People Never Know, Tomorrow and Dear Friend are brilliant tracks and more than worth the price of admission in my book. I also like some of the bonus tracks and the title track.

    When Mumbo opens ups with - Take it Tony 'meeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh" it has great energy and makes me chuckle, over the weeks this track has really grown on me and is becoming a bit of a favourite. So that just tips the scales to B 'A pretty solid effort' for me.
     
    blutiga, theMess and Rfreeman like this.
  19. Culpa

    Culpa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I can see how it's not one of his more accessible albums, but for me it's in his top three or four. As a teen I usually just ignored Dear Friend and the title track, but now I think they're both great.
     
    pinkrudy likes this.
  20. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik Overfed long-haired leaping gnome

    "Get" doesn't have to equal "like." I understand perfectly the tone and vibe McCartney was after on Wild Life. It's still a shoddy piece of work.
     
    vmajewsk, ralph7109, Guy E and 2 others like this.
  21. Love it-One of his best.

    Way better than the so-called classic Wings' albums... V&M and Speed of Sound.
     
    gramfan and Piiijiii like this.
  22. pinkrudy

    pinkrudy Forum Resident

    i like it better than red rose speedway...
    it still has that mccartney beatles charm on it....which he lost later on.

    i only have 4 mccartney albums...s/t,ram,wildilfe, and band on the run

    i love the title track. one of his best songs.
     
    blutiga likes this.
  23. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    I remember buying this a long time ago, listening to it once and filing it. Every couple years I would pull it out, re-assess and file it again. I don't recall a single worthwhile song on the record.
     
    adriatikfan likes this.
  24. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I personally think it's essential listening but am not sure I would tell others that as fact since it's clear so many dislike it, thus.....I pick the choice in the middle.

    "Some People Never Know" is worth the price of admission in my book. "Tomorrow" is the icing on the cake. "Mumbo" is clearly throwaway but I am amused by it nonetheless. "Love Is Strange" cover is creative and fun. "I Am Your Singer" could be cringe-worthy, I suppose....but it could also be seen as a cute little song. I'll say the latter just for the sake of argument. Custom photo labels an added bonus. Look at wet Linda spinning.

    A splendid time is guaranteed for... a small percentage of kooks.
     
    Mechanical Man likes this.
  25. GubGub

    GubGub Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sussex
    I voted "pretty solid effort". It was the first McCartney record I bought and one of the first albums I ever bought by anyone. It was the mid 70s and I was 11 years old. Those first two tracks came as a shock, especially when my knowledge of Macca up to that point was essentially the Beatles and Band On The Run. I loved the title track though and the whole of side 2 (It probably helped that I was instantly familiar with Tomorrow courtesy of a hit cover version by David Cassidy).

    The album has only grown on me in the ensuing 40 years and is only prevented from being essential by Bip Bop and the fact that Paul didn't bother to write words for Mumbo. Swap those two out for maybe Mama's Little Girl and a studio take of The Mess and it would be pretty terrific. And as somebody has already said, Some People Never Know and Dear Friend are sublime.
     

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