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Paul McCartney: The Wings years

Paul McCartney’s standards remained incredibly high after the Beatles, even as he allowed Wings to become an actual band, not solely a solo vehicle.

There were occasional missteps: the production values on the back-to-back mid-’70s releases “Venus & Mars” and “Wings at the Speed of Sound” were murky at best, and a few tunes might have been better left on the cutting room floor. But on balance, Wings soared to creative heights, while allowing McCartney to be the first Beatle working in the realm of full-blown arena rock.

Here are five Wings albums that everyone should own and cherish.

“Wild Life” (1971)
The jam-band, groovy and garagey one

“Band on the Run” (1973)
The flawless one

“Red Rose Speedway” (1973)
The crazy, strange and ambitious one

“Wings Over America” (1976)
The big, fat, arena-rock one

“London Town” (1978)
The pure pop, radio-friendly one

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