Back to the Egg

Back to the Egg

Infobox Album
Name = Back to the Egg
Type = Studio album
Artist = Wings

Released = 8 June 1979
Recorded = 29 June 1978 -
1 April 1979
Genre = Rock
Length = 42:01
Label = Parlophone/EMI (UK)
Columbia (US/Canada)
Producer = Paul McCartney
Chris Thomas
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|2|5 [ link]
*"Rolling Stone" (not favorable) [ link]
Last album = "Wings Greatest"
This album = "Back to the Egg"
Next album = "McCartney II"
(Paul McCartney)

"Back To The Egg" is the final studio album by Wings and was released in 1979. It is also notable for being leader Paul McCartney's first album for Columbia Records after leaving long-time US distributor Capitol Records in 1978. When McCartney returned to international distribution by EMI in 1985, "Back to the Egg" and the rest of McCartney's Columbia-era releases reverted back to Capitol/EMI in the US.


After the release of "London Town", following the exit of both guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Joe English, McCartney hired two new members with a view to recording a raw rock and roll album after the soft rock of "London Town" and getting Wings back on the road. Laurence Juber became the band's final lead guitarist and Steve Holly, Wings' last drummer. McCartney also decided to join forces in the studio with Chris Thomas (who had trained as a producer during the recording of The Beatles' 1968 double album "The Beatles") for "Back to the Egg".

By the end of June 1978, this last incarnation of Wings settled into Spirit of Ranachan Studios on McCartney's farm in Scotland, then moved onto Lympne Castle near Hythe in Kent (not far from McCartney's new home in Peasmarsh, near Rye, Sussex) in September and Abbey Road Studios in October, where McCartney organised a special one-off session. On 3 October, Wings recorded two tracks, "Rockestra Theme" and "So Glad To See You Here" with many celebrity guests under the heading of Rockestra. Hank Marvin of The Shadows, The Who's Pete Townshend, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and John Bonham (in one of his last performances) all took part.

Eager to release new material, Wings issued a non-album dance single "Goodnight Tonight" b/w "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" in late March 1979. It became a worldwide Top 5 hit and set the stage for "Back to the Egg"'s release that June (the song would later appear as a bonus track on the CD reissue of "McCartney II"). With the title a McCartney-ism for getting back to basics, the band considered "Back to the Egg" the beginning of a new era in their career. It was certainly not intended as their swan song.

Critical reaction was not warm upon the album's release. Considered uninspired and directionless by many of its reviewers at the time - and to this day, "Back to the Egg" also sold beneath expectations, reaching #6 in the UK and #8 in the US with relatively short chart stays, although it went platinum. Its single releases "Old Siam, Sir," "Arrow Through Me," and "Getting Closer" were also small hits. Although many McCartney fans are devotees of "Back to the Egg", it is still generally considered one of his least popular albums. Wings thus began and ended their studio career with their least successful projects.

Following "Back to the Egg"'s release, McCartney felt the need to do a solo project and retreated to his Scottish farm. Following the example of his 1970 debut album, "McCartney", he recorded several new songs all by himself in July 1979 for a projected future release. Although McCartney intended on pursuing Wings' career with future live performances already pencilled in, his solo recordings seemed to imply he was already contemplating the end of the band.

In 1993, "Back to the Egg" was remastered and reissued on CD as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series with "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" ("Goodnight Tonight"'s B-Side) and Paul McCartney's solo 1979 Christmas single "Wonderful Christmastime" b/w "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reggae" as bonus tracks. In 2007, "Back to the Egg" was reissued in digital form on iTunes with these bonus tracks plus the 7-minute-plus disco remix of "Goodnight Tonight".

Track listing

All songs by Paul McCartney, except where noted.

#"Reception" – 1:08
#"Getting Closer" – 3:22
#"We're Open Tonight" – 1:28
#"Spin It On" – 2:12
#"Again And Again And Again" (Denny Laine) – 3:34
#"Old Siam, Sir" – 4:11
#"Arrow Through Me" – 3:37
#"Rockestra Theme" – 2:35
#* "Features the "Rockestra" line-up"
#"To You" – 3:12
#"After The Ball/Million Miles" – 4:00
#"Winter Rose/Love Awake" – 4:58
#"The Broadcast" – 1:30
#* "Features spoken excerpts from "The Sport of Kings" by Ian Hay and "The Little Man" by John Galsworthy"
#"So Glad To See You Here" – 3:20
#* "Features the "Rockestra" line-up"
#"Baby's Request" – 2:49

1993 Bonus Tracks


  • "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" - 3:23
    #"Wonderful Christmas Time" - 3:49
    #*"Originally a solo Paul McCartney track"
    #"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae" - 1:48

    iTunes exclusive tracks


  • "Goodnight Tonight (Long Version)" - 7:16:*"In 2007, upon adding McCartney's catalog of music, the iTunes Store added a never before released on CD version of "Goodnight Tonight", an "extended version". The extended version is the version released on the 12" maxi-single in 1979."

    Music videos

    Most of the songs for the album had a music video shot for them (an uncommon thing for an artist to do in the pre-MTV era).

    These included:

    * Getting Closer
    * Spin It On
    * Again And Again And Again
    * Old Siam Sir
    * Arrow Through Me
    * Winter Rose/Love Awake
    * Baby's Request

    These videos plus the promo for "Goodnight Tonight" were later complied for a television special, which aired on BBC1 in June, 1981 - two years after the album was released.

    Also shot around the time of recording the album, the sessions for Rockestra Theme and So Glad To See You Here were film using several Panavision cameras. However this footage didn't see the light of day until the DVD release of "Wingspan". In 2007 more outtakes were used for the menu screen on "The McCartney Years" DVD.


    *Paul McCartney: Bass guitar, guitars, piano, keyboards, recorder, synthesizer, vocals.
    *Linda McCartney: Keyboards, percussion, mini-moog, vocals.
    *Denny Laine: Guitars, bass guitar (in Old Siam, Sir) piano, keyboards, flute, vocals.
    *Laurence Juber: Guitars, vocals.
    *Steve Holly: Drums, percussion, piano (in Old Siam, Sir) vocals.

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