Paul McCartney & Wings: Band On The Run (Expanded Edition)

Sure, Band On The Run is easily Wings’ best album but this three-disc expanded edition adds precious little to the original 1973 release.

Yes, it’s been remastered and sounds great but the second CD, besides containing the totally rockin’ “Helen Wheels,” has little else of worth that isn’t already on disc number one, unless you’re a total completist and need alternate versions that hardly differ.

The DVD is even worse: like we really need to see the same songs with Yellow Submarine-like animation and boring backstage hobnobbing. The footage from Nigeria is interesting: ooh, there’s Linda McCartney bending down to talk to small black kids! But to see the same backstage boredom again, only this time complete with mundane dialogue, is overkill. (You think it’s glamorous backstage? Most of the time it’s people standing there looking at each other.) As nice as it is to witness actor Christopher Lee say hello to Paul, it’s not exactly essential. Much better is the “One Hand Clapping” studio footage from a Brit TV special which has the band in the studio working out on “Maybe I’m Amazed” and other favorites.

The one priceless video moment comes at the very end when Paul, seemingly on an impromptu whim, is at the piano singing and playing the 1926 Whisperin’ Jack Smith chestnut “Baby Face.” Paul plays the wrong chord and charmingly starts the song over again.

In A Word: Redundant