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Published on Feb 10, 2010
Wild Life is the debut album by Wings, and Paul McCartney's third album since the Beatles' breakup. Paul and Linda McCartney had worked with drummer Denny Seiwell on their prior album, Ram, and they added Denny Laine, the former leader of the Moody Blues, to that trio to become Wings.
With a fresh set of McCartney/McCartney tunes, the newly formed Wings quickly recorded their debut that August with the mindset that it had to be instant and raw in order to capture the freshness and vitality of a live studio recording. Most of the songs were recorded in one take. McCartney would later cite the quick recording schedule of Bob Dylan as an inspiration for this. McCartney handled all lead vocals, sharing those duties with Linda on "I Am Your Singer".
After a party announcing the band's formation that November, Wild Life appeared the following month to lukewarm commercial and critical reaction. The album reached #11 in the UK and #10 in the US, where it went gold.
One notable song, "Dear Friend", apparently an attempt at reconciliation with John Lennon, was recorded during the Ram sessions. Music critic Ian MacDonald used "Dear Friend" as a counter-argument to the caricature of McCartney as an emotional lightweight.
The liner notes for Wild Life (and on the Thrillington album) were credited to Clint Harrigan, but in 1990 McCartney admitted that he was Harrigan to journalist Peter Palmiere. Interestingly enough, the first person who ever knew the identity of Harrigan was Lennon who admitted as much during their Melody Maker feud in 1972.
In addition to naming the previously hidden tracks, the original CD version added "Oh Woman, Oh Why" (the B-side of "Another Day"), "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and "Little Woman Love".
In 1993, Wild Life was remastered and reissued on CD as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series with singles "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" as well as B-sides "Little Woman Love" and "Mama's Little Girl"—all recorded in 1972—as bonus tracks, and also two hidden tracks: "Bip Bop Link" (a Laine acoustic guitar solo) between "I Am Your Singer" and "Tomorrow"; and "Mumbo Link" (an instrumental jam) after "Dear Friend".