How Paul McCartney Cope With Wings Split
Paul McCartney on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / Youtube
When London Town was recorded in 1978, the original lineup of Wings that had created their seminal Band on the Run album had been repeated. This time around, though, Wings took a far simpler and more stripped-down approach to their music.
“It just comes in phases,” Paul McCartney said in a 1978 interview via Capitol Records. “At one moment, you’re listening to some records that are produced and you think, ‘Yeah, I want to do that kind of thing.’ At another moment, you’re listening to something very simple and you think, ‘I really like very simple music.’”
McCartney’s voice nearly cracks with emotion when he sings uplifting lines in “With a Little Luck,” suggesting that the song’s lyric was inspired by the singer’s inner conflict. After all, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch was leaving, and Joe English, the band’s drummer, would soon be following suit. Yet, the song was led by a melodic calmness that was in harmony with their environment.
“It got us out of gray old London,” McCartney said. “It felt really good on the boat. It can’t feel bad, though. You get a take and you just leap over the side to celebrate with all of the blue water – and the sharks.”
“We’re sitting in the studio in London, and it was raining – doing its usual thing at the beginning of February in London,” McCartney explained. “I was sitting in that little studio with no air or anything, and we’re about to do an album. The engineer we were working with, Geoff Emerick, came back and he had done an album in Hawaii with America – The Harbor album they did. Everyone got jealous.”
He added: “We had a month on holiday, and in the evenings instead of going to the local hotel and having dinner like you sometimes do on holiday, we would just go to the studio and spend time doing that. So, it was like combining a holiday with that.”
The group recorded the album on a yacht, which makes sense given that the song “With A Little Luck” contains a whole yacht rock vibe. After nearly a year of work, on March 20, 1978, “With a Little Luck” was finally published by Paul and Linda McCartney along with Denny Laine. In addition to its number-one debut in the United States, the song also charted in the Top 20 in almost half a dozen additional nations.