Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Songs from '78: "With a Little Luck"

Did I know who The Beatles were in 1978? I'm not sure. I have a vague recollection of having seen Yellow Submarine on television at some point as a child (I remember being frightened by it, but oddly it provided what later became one of my favorite Beatles songs), but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be until I was into my teen-age years and more familiar with the pop music world I started imbibing early on that I could actually place who "Paul McCartney" was. And by then, of course, his band Wings was history.

But they weren't on this day, 40 years ago. After a couple of massively successful albums and tours, Wings was down to a core of three musicians: Paul, his wife Linda, and lead guitarist Denny Laine, which were the only three to last through all the personnel changes in the band's 10-year run anyway. In the spring of 1978 they came out with London Town, which turned out to be their final successful album. It is moody (but never heavy), and full of deft synthesizer work. The album's first single, which went on to be a #1 Billboard chart hit in the U.S., was released today: "With a Little Luck." The original single released was the 5-minute long album version, and I can remember being captivated by its meandering, reflective, quietly insistent melody. Unfortunately, when they cut a video, they went with the truncated version:

So really, listen to the whole thing, and think about McCartney's often unjustly maligned or forgotten triumphs of the 70s. This is a great, groovy, mellow love song, and who ever really gets tired of those?

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