My sophomore year of high school, I decided to make a mockumentary about my experiences in marching band that fall. Somehow I convinced my good-natured band teacher, Mr. Moore, to let me film all kinds of footage during my down time and then show the finished film during class at the end of the semester. When I was looking for an opening credits song, my dad half-jokingly suggested the Paul McCartney & Wings song “Band on the Run” from their hit 1973 album of the same name. Though the song alludes to a band of criminals on the run, I liked the idea of interpreting it as an ode to marching band members running around a football field. I was hooked immediately by its dramatic yet playful structure. Twelve years and one music degree later, Band on the Run has become one my favorite albums, never failing to delight and surprise me with its ever-changing sound and occasionally kooky lyrics.
Wings was Paul and Linda McCartney’s pet project from 1971-1981 with a revolving door of members save for former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine. After struggling to impress critics and die-hard Beatles fans with their first two albums, Wings finally had a hit with “Live and Let Die,” for the 1973 James Bond film of the same name, earning a Best Original Song Oscar nomination. They followed up with what would be their most successful album, Band on the Run, a loosely threaded collection of songs (mainly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria) about freedom, ambition, love, and escape; ideas not unfamiliar to McCartney, who longed to be free from comparisons to both his earlier work and the critically acclaimed solo work of his former band-mates. Not to get too punny, but Band on the Run helped Paul McCartney finally spread his wings and establish a musical identity separate from The Beatles.
By: Emmy Potter
Source: The Good Men Project