PAUL MCCARTNEY & WINGS releases Band on the Run 50th Anniversary Edition

Music news

50 years after its publication, the expanded 50th anniversary edition of Paul McCartney & Wings’ iconic Band on the Run has been released.

For decades a constant in the list of the most important albums of all time, multiple GRAMMY award-winning, it was originally released in December 1973. It contains songs such as “Jet”, “Bluebird”, “Let Me Roll It”, “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)” “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five”, Band on the Run is undoubtedly Wings’ most successful and most celebrated album ever.


The 50th anniversary edition of Band On The Run is a special release available in several formats, starting with the 1LP version, with half-speed mastering, created by Miles Showell at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, using a high-speed transfer. high resolution from the original 1973 tapes.

The album, with a tracklist identical to the US one, includes the song “Helen Wheels” and a Polaroid poster of Linda McCartney.

Band on the Run 50th Anniversary Edition has already received great praise from critics, an “unmissable reissue” for the Sunday Times, awarded 5 stars by MOJO, for Uncut Magazine: “50 years later, the Macca miracle repeats itself” and for Associated Press “still rings relevant today after so long.”


Speaking about the “Underdubbed” version, Paul said:

This is Band on the Run in a way you’ve never heard before.

When you create a song and insert additional parts, such as a guitar, it is an overdub, i.e. an overdubbing.

Well, this version of the album is the opposite, Underdubbed.”

Band on the Run (Underdubbed) presents the nine classic Band on the Run songs without orchestral overdubs for the first time. The previously unreleased rough mixes were created by Geoff Emerick, assisted by Pete Swettenham at AIR Studios, on 14 October 1973. The tracklisting is identical to that found on the original analogue tapes discovered in the MPL archives.

Band on the Run will also be available, for the first time, in Dolby ATMOS, mixed by Giles Martin and Steve Orchard.

Among the countless hit albums Paul McCartney has released throughout his illustrious career, Wings’ Band on the Run holds a special place. The album not only fulfilled the promise of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, but also solidified Wings’ status as the standard-bearer of ’70s rock ‘n’ roll. Dominating rock radio playlists, of which it was the soundtrack for an entire decade, Band on the Run was a true watershed not only for Paul’s future but also for subsequent generations of rock stars.

Exactly 50 years after its release, Band on the Run sounds more vibrant and relevant than ever, and in reaching this magnificent milestone, it deserves to have its extraordinary history celebrated once again.

By the summer of 1973, Paul had a number of songs earmarked for a new album. Looking through a list of EMI’s international studios, he chose Lagos, Nigeria, as the recording location, and was intrigued by the idea of ​​working with the band in Africa. A few days before departure, guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell left the group.

Wings had suddenly become a trio. Paul, his wife Linda and band member Denny Laine (along with sound engineer Geoff Emerick) worked on the new songs for two months. But the disastrous event happened one night when Paul and Linda were threatened and robbed at knifepoint while returning home after visiting a friend: the thieves escaped with a cassette of home demo recordings of the songs but fortunately, having just written them, Paul was able to remember them all.

Known for its suite-like structure of three distinct movements, it wasn’t a given that the title track, “Band on the Run,” would be a pop hit, but it reached the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and provided a major boost to the albums to climb the charts. “Band on the Run” reached number one in both the US and UK and returning to the top of the US charts twice, it became the best-selling studio album of 1974 in Australia, Canada and the UK.


After winning two Grammy Awards in 1975, the Deluxe Edition of Band on the Run earned a third in 2012, followed by the album’s induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013. It is considered Wings’ definitive album and also one of the favorites of new generations of fans who discover its brilliance. Until 2010, “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” was not performed live, but now, as Paul’s solo career continues unabated, it has become a regular presence at his concerts.


Paul still performs Band on the Run during shows on his acclaimed Got Back tour which began in February 2022. McCartney completed 16 major concerts in the United States before performing what the Times newspaper described as his “best concert ever,” at Glastonbury in June 2022, during which Paul collaborated with Dave Grohl performing a special duet of “Band on the Run”.


The 2LP vinyl edition includes, in addition to the original American album, remastered in half speed, a second LP entitled “Underdubbed” Mixes Edition, contained in a special box set. The box also includes two Polaroid posters of Linda McCartney.

The 2CD format will contain the original American album, the “Underdubbed” Mixes Edition and a double-sided fold-out Polaroid poster of Linda McCartney. Band on the Run (Underdubbed) will also be released digitally.

Band on the Run will also be available in Dolby ATMOS.




Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.