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Info 101: Musicbits 73: McCartney to reissue Venus and Mars

A nicely packaged reissue containing some musical treasures is coming our way Sept. 23, 2014.
A nicely packaged reissue containing some musical treasures is coming our way Sept. 23, 2014.
1975, 2014: Capitol Records: non-free use of original album cover to promote product with no intent to compete with or hinder copyright owner in any way.

"VENUS AND MARS" by WINGS (1975) Capitol Records (Deluxe Edition format: $80 (amazon.com): available for pre-order now).

Disc 1: Original LP re-mastered (13 tracks).

Disc 2: "Junior's Farm", "Sally G", "Walking in the Park with Eloise", " Bridge on the River Suite", "My Carnival", "Going to New Orleans (My Carnival)", "Hey Diddle (Ernie Winfrey Mix)", "Let's Love", "Soily" (from One Hand Clapping)", "Baby Face (from One Hand Clapping)", "Lunch Box/Odd Sox", "4th of July", "Rock Show (old version)", "Letting Go" (single edit).

Disc 3: Bonus Film: 1. Recording My Carnival. 2. Bon Voyageur. 3. Wings at Elstree. 4. Venus and Mars television ad.

Venus and Mars was the fourth album recorded by Wings. It came after the hugely successful Band on the Run and is musically very solid, containing six songs that McCartney showcased during the Wings Over the World tour which lasted through 1975 and much of 1976. It didn't sell as wildly as Band on the Run but it did make Number 1 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts as well as many charts world-wide. The title song coupled with Rock Show was the opening number when Wings played the Sports Center in St. Paul in May 1976.

The bonus material on Disc 2 is the real prize. Junior's Farm, a non-LP single, would later become one of Paul's favorite concert selections along with this version of Soily. There are several other obscure B-sides included plus the wonderfully strange Walking in the Park with Eloise, a song credited to James McCartney, Paul's real first name. It was released as a single by the Country Hams (Paul and Linda).

Drummer Geoff Britton quit the band during the recording sessions after a blow-up with guitarist Jimmy McCulloch. Joe English finished the album and stayed with the band for the tour. Additional musicians include Kenneth "Afro" Williams on congas, Dave Mason (Traffic) on guitar, Tom Scott on saxophone and Allen Toussant on piano.

This album is being released as a 3-disc set included in a book containing new interviews, unpublished photos and memorabilia. Local stores and chains will offer specials related to this release but pre-ordering is a good option to guarantee a copy.