Most people agree that this is a classic rock album, so I'm not going to spend time discussing the music itself. It's been released in various forms so I'll just be discussing this Collector's Edition, with 2 CD's and 1 DVD.
CD 1 is the remastered album; CD 2 is the bonus tracks, also remastered, including the single "Helen Wheels"; the DVD features footage from the album cover photo shoot, some videos for the songs, and a McCartney TV Special from the early 1970's with great footage of Wings rehearsing songs from this album, plus "Live & Let Die" and more... Paul's voice is immaculate, he's at a peak.
In terms of sound quality, the previously remastered version of this CD already sounded very good indeed. This remastering sounds even better.
I received this as a gift. I was hesitant to buy it, as I felt the price was high and I wasn't sure whether I'd like the bonus stuff enough to feel I "need" them. I'm a McCartney fan but I often feel cheated by his releases, and I wasn't willing to gamble.
With regards to this collection, I feel all the songs on the bonus CD could fit onto the main CD, which could help keep the price down. I also feel the only good thing on the DVD was the TV Special. I'd much rather see more footage of Wings, especially in concert (especially Wings Over America, Rockshow Concert For Kampuchea, etc.). This was Paul's peak and the footage exists and some has been previously released on VHS or laser disc, so I was hoping for more of that.
I've seen this go on sale for half price, and I'd recommend it then. If you don't already own "Band on the Run", this is a worthy purchase. Otherwise, only a big Wings fan would want to spend the extra money to upgrade to this version.
There are so many reissues on the market lately and Paul McCartney's "Band On The Run" is one of the latest, being offered in several different combinations. Considering that this was a #1 record breaking album and a real critical and commercial success for McCartney and Wings, it bears to get any great treatment. This version has the original album carefully remastered at Abbey Roads Studios without too much compression and not a complete removal of original album hiss, to truly produce a fine sounding, original recording that comes as close to vinyl as possible.
Although "Band On The Run" and Jet " were chosen for the singles, there is little doubt that every song qualified. Paul Gambaccini provides extensive sleeve notes about the recording including, Paul's history from leaving the Beatles and progressing to this album. Like the songs, this album is an adventure. The liner notes describe which songs were chosen and why, the songs history, the trip to record in Lagos, Nigeria and more. Want to know who those strangers on the cover really re? Paul G. fills you in.
The second CD contains the hit, "Helen Wheels" and "Country Dreamer", all sounding fantastic. The remaining seven songs are from a special called "One Hand Clapping" and although these are live recordings with slightly different arrangements, the sound quality is remarkably good. That brings us to the DVD or `bonus film". Remembering that this audio and video is over twenty-seven years old does not diminish the enjoyment or aesthetic quality. At a running time of 1 hour and 24+, minutes, there is a lot to celebrate. Most of the videos are artistic/psychedelic in nature and surprisingly, not as dated as one would think. Included are song videos, promos and the full version of the special, "One Hand Clapping".
Amazon does not provide all the songs, so here is the set:
Band On The Run (music video)
Muminia (music video)
Album Promo with, `Band On The Run', 'Mr.'s Vandebilt', `Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five' and `Bluebird'.
Helen Wheels (music video)
Video clip called, "Wings in Lagos" (surreal)
Video history filming of `Osterley Park' (all the album cover members)
The "One Hand Clapping" show including:
`Little Woman Love'
`Maybe I'm Amazed'
`I'll Give You A Ring'
`Band On The Run'
`Live And Let Die' (hilariously filmed with an odd orchestra reacting in an irreverent manner)
`Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five'
Of course, all of Linda McCartney's Polaroid snapshots are here looking a bit dated, but still a good account of who was there and what was happening. This collection was a lot more than I expected - it's a deal and an experience!
on July 11, 2016
Purchased this remastered version and while the remastering is decent, I have a copy that has totally omitted the last song; Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five. Probably my favourite song on the album after Band On The Run. Very disappointed. Luckily, I have the McCartney collection version.
on February 19, 2010
Paul McCartney put out some mediocre albums after the Beatles but finally got it together with this one. There is really no terrible cut on the album.
Deny Lane and the others work so well with him I don't know why they did not keep this lineup.
The classic "Band on the Run", "Jet" stand on their own, but this album also has some other lesser known gems such as "Helen Wheels", and "Blueburd".
It is truely a great album that stands the test of time.
The 180 gm vinyl remastered album gives it a very full and rich sound on a decent turntable.
on January 17, 2014
Band on the Run is in all probability the best album from McCartney and Wings. Looking back to the 1960s there are some memorable Beatles songs, say for example Taxman and Eleanor Rigby. However there is something special to me about Band on the Run. When I finally finished upper year calculus, I sat down and listened to the title track. Then much later with this special edition, I also watched the previously unreleased footage.
on April 19, 2000
I scarcely believe some of the "comments" from my fellow "reviewers" below me.BAND ON THE RUN, tasteless! This release was produced under some adverse conditions.First,the lead guitarist and drummer quit.Then a weird studio location choice puts Macca's life in danger.To top it all off, Wings are accused of ripping off African music.Out of all this chaos,Paul McCartney and Co produce an epic album of flight,freedom and individuality.JET ,HELEN WHEELS and 1985 are high energy rockers.LET ME ROLL IT beats the Plastic Ono Band at it's own game.BLUEBIRD is a worthy successor to the White Album's BLACKBIRD.PICASSO'S LAST WORDS shows what a songwriting genius McCartney can be(I wish I could write a song like that over dinner).BAND ON THE RUN is actually a trio of musical scenes,like the medleys in ABBEY ROAD.Finally,Macca shows us the continuation of the ABBEY ROAD promise.Unlike a reviewer down below,I believe BAND ON THE RUN hasn't dated a bit,still sounding as fresh as it did in 1974.No fillers,no over-indulgence;just pure McCartney magic.It ranks with IMAGINE as the best work ever recorded by an ex-Beatle.
on October 20, 1998
In the fight that insued over the release of McCartney before Let It Be, Paul told Ringo "I will burry all of you!!!" Paul had not done too good of a job fulfilling this promise until he released Band On The Run. The most mature album he had been a part of since 1969's Abbey Road, Paul, along with phenomenal rhythm guitarist Denny Laine, and wife Linda released a powerhouse album that showed why Paul was and is a driving force in music. The album lacked his usual goofbally lyrics which would flood London Town and Back To The Egg. He produces his own "Stairway To Heaven" on a smaller scale with the title track, a great rocker in "Jet," and beats John Lennon at his own game with the minimal, but wonderful, "Let Me Roll It" Worth buying even if you are not that fond of McCartney's material!
on May 23, 2011
This was, by far, the best album of Paul McCartney's solo career and his only release that rivalled his output from his Beatle days. With at least five great songs - Band on the Run, Jet, Bluebird, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five, and Let Me Roll It - Paul was sounding better than he had since the White Album. Even John liked this one, and an iconoclastic George Harrison once told a fan that "if he wanted to hear another Beatles album, buy Band on the Run." In fact, the first time I heard Let Me Roll It on the radio, I thought it was John Lennon singing. That's how good Paul McCartney CAN be when he actually gives a damn.
on May 20, 2004
Band On The Run (1973.) Paul McCartney's fifth post-Beatles album.
In 1973, Paul McCartney and his new band, Wings, released what would eventually become their biggest and most famous album of all - Band On The Run. It seemed at first that the album was going to be a disaster - the band chose to record the album in a foreign nation, and once there their master tapes were stolen by armed bandits! To make things worse, some of the original Wings members had just quite the band. Yet, despite all these hardships, the album became the band's most popular album? Does the album live up to all the hype that McCartney fans have created around it, or is it just an overrated, subpar album? Read on for my review of Band On The Run.
In my opinion, this album does NOT live up to the hype that most Paul McCartney fans have built around it. However, it is still a very good album. Obviously, two huge hits emerged from this album. The title track, which fuses a plethora of musical styles in a relatively short period of time, became one of Paul's biggest post-Beatles hits. I like Paul McCartney a good deal but feel he's the most overrated of all the Beatles. Still, I think that this song deserves all of the credit it receives. The other big hit was Jet. This one still gets played on the radio on a regular basis, and while not up to the excellence level of the title track, it is another very good song. And then we have the tracks that were never popular at all, but are good songs nonetheless. The slow and melodic Bluebird (not to be confused with Blackbird from Paul's Beatles days) is solid proof of this, as is the experimental Mrs. Vanderbilt. As the album progresses, there are a number of great songs, and a number of not-so-great ones. I feel that most of the album is excellent, but the last few tracks basically reprise earlier tracks, and this just doesn't work that well. But the few blunders the album contains don't derail it - Band On The Run is solid through and through.
THIS PARAGRAPH'S TEXT REFERS EXCLUSIVELY TO THE TWO-DISC, REMASTERED AMERICAN VERSION OF THE ALBUM. This new reissue of the album does more than just improve the sound quality and expand the liner notes - It gives you a free mini-poster and an entire extra disc of bonus material! Unfortunately, the bonus disc consists mostly of outtakes and brief interviews - things that aren't going to appeal to anyone outside Paul's die-hard fans. But, this two-disc reissue, on average, doesn't cost a whole lot more than the original CD release of the album, so you might as well just shell out the extra bucks - this version of the album is a much better value than the old version.
If you're a Paul McCartney fan, casual or die-hard, Band On The Run should be in your music collection. Admittingly, the album isn't quite as good as people say it is, but it's good nonetheless, and there's a reason it's so popular. No classic rock collection is complete without this album.
on March 19, 2004
I hadn't listened to this album all the way through in many years, but I picked up a copy and it hasn't left my CD player since. Say what you will about the well-documented solo career of Paul McCartney. When you crank out that many songs, you're bound to have some stinkers along with the classics and without a John Lennon there to tell you what's crap and what isn't, it's going to end up on tape. The same thing happened to Lennon, and also similarly, where John pulled it all together for Imagine, Paul did the same thing for Band on the Run.
It seems somewhat silly to go song by song, but this is clearly the best overall collection of songs that Paul put together. Each track, even the lesser ones, have some kind of catchiness or innovation that make them worth the listen and deserving of appreciation. I don't know if it's really a concept album or not, but it certainly could be considered one if you look at the overall themes of flight and freedom.
The bonus disc is okay but there's nothing so outstanding about it. Much better are the liner notes that detail the making of the album. One of the frustrating things I find about Paul's solo career is that inevitably his B-sides and throwaways contain some better material than what ended up on the albums, and I was hoping that there would be some unreleased BOTR-era material to be had with the new edition but sadly it's not to be. Regardless, this is truly a landmark album in that it marked Paul's return to form.
Just for the record, my favorite tracks are Picasso's Last Words, Let Me Roll It, and Helen Wheels (which was NOT on my original LP - it was on the U.K. version only).