Paul McCartney Announces “Band on the Run” 50th Anniversary Editions

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of its original debut, MPL and UMe have revealed plans for an extended edition of the legendary album Band on the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings, slated for release on February 2, 2024.

In 1973, just three years after the Beatles disbanded, Sir Paul McCartney sought to revive his standing among music critics and fans. Following a successful UK tour with Wings, McCartney, dissatisfied with the reception of his previous albums, aimed to make a mark with their third album. Choosing to record outside the UK, he selected Lagos in Nigeria, intrigued by the prospect of recording in Africa. The band, comprising McCartney, his wife Linda, guitarist/pianist Denny Laine, lead guitarist Henry McCullough, and drummer Denny Seiwell, began rehearsals in Scotland. Tensions arose during a rehearsal, leading to McCullough’s departure, followed by Seiwell’s a week later.

Undeterred, McCartney, Linda, and Laine, along with former Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, formed a trio, creating what would be considered a dream team, and proceeded to record this chart-topping and Grammy-winning masterpiece.

© MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, UMG; Photographed by Clive Arrowsmith

Band on the Run hit the music scene in early December of 1973 and boasts iconic tracks such as the title song, the global hit “Jet,” my personal favorite, “Bluebird,” “Let Me Roll It,” the intricate “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me),” and the grand finale, the bombastic “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five”.

Arguably Wings’ most acclaimed record, the 50th-anniversary release of Band on the Run will be presented in various formats, starting with the essential 1LP. This specially crafted vinyl edition underwent a meticulous half-speed cutting process at Abbey Road Studios in London, utilizing a high-resolution transfer of the original 1973 master tapes by Miles Showell. The single vinyl album follows the US tracklist, including the addition of “Helen Wheels” and features a Linda McCartney Polaroid poster.

A new Dolby Atmos mix, helmed by the renowned modern-Beatles producer Giles Martin, who also worked on “Now and Then,” will be available on streaming services.

The 2CD version will feature “undubbed” mixes. When asked what this entails, Sir Paul answers, “When you are making a song and putting on additional parts, like an extra guitar; that’s an overdub. Well, this version of the album is the opposite: undubbed.”

© MPL Communications Inc/Ltd, UMG

The new editions are available to pre-order now, using the artist’s official website.

EDIT: On the 50th anniversary of Band on the Run, Denny Laine passed away at the age of 79. Sir Paul McCartney issued the following statement: “Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humor and was always happy to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remebered with great fondness by his friends. I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth, and family. Peace and love, Denny. It was a pleasure to know you.”

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