Band on the run – underdubbed

Band on the run – underdubbed

Paul McCartney has released a taste of the so-called “Underdubbed” version of “Band On The Run”, in the form of the title cut. You can find it on streaming services and YouTube.

The full album will be available on February 2, 2024. “Band On The Run – Underdubbed” is a digitized version of a rough mix that sound engineer Geoff Emerick and his assistant Pete Swettenham made at (George Martin’s) AIR Studios on October 14, 1973. The tapes were taken from Paul McCartney’s archives, digitized and assembled in the same order as the final “Band On The Run” album.

Listening to this title cut, we’re guessing this is the recording Paul & co brought home from Lagos, Nigeria, where the album was recorded. Later, several instruments, choruses and new vocals were overdubbed to make the album and sound smoother and more palatable for the listeners.

Wings returned from Nigeria on 22 September 1973 with seven songs in the can. The ones that remained to be recorded were “Jet”, “Bluebird” and a song tentatively titled “Piano Thing” which ended up being “Nineteen-hundred-and-eighty-five”. These were recorded at Air Studios on 2–5 October, along with “Oriental Nightfish” for a future Linda McCartney project. At the same time, they mixed “Helen Wheels”, which they had recorded in Lagos. On 8 – 12 October, they continued with overdubbing of already recorded songs, as well as remaking “Jet”. This was the status when Geoff Emerick did his rough mixes which now are being released as the “Underdubbed” album.

“Helen Wheels” was probably already finished and intended as a single, which is why it’s not included here. The song was released as a single in Great Britain and other countries as early as October 19, with “Country Dreamer” on the B-side.

Orchestra arrangements were made on 17 October, with Tony Visconti as arranger and conductor. Final mixes were done at Kingsway Studio and later at Abbey Road Studio 3.


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