Welcome to my “Back to the Egg”-stravaganza!!!
Today I’m going to highlight one of my favorite albums by Paul McCartney and Wings – 1979’s “Back to the Egg”.
First, let me cast you back a few years, oh say thirty-nine years or so, give or take a few.
Back in 1979, when I was just the tender age of 13 (yikes!), things weren’t quite the same in my record buying life.
First off there was no Internet. That means no Facebook, no chat rooms that endlessly chattered on about upcoming new releases and certainly no pre-ordering of a new title from Amazon.
In these creaky old fuddy duddy days of physical music media there were precious few outlets that I was aware of when it came to new releases by my favorite artists.
My first taste of anything from the “Back to the Egg” album was of course hearing the first single released from the album on the radio. That single was called “Getting Closer” and it was a fine rocking number with slightly goofy lyrics – my salamander (cough, cough).
I knew that a new Wings album was imminent but since I didn’t drive I had to rely on happenstance for the just the right occasion to be with my mother or brothers who could take me to a mall that had a record store.
In June of 1979 I found myself on a family trip to Chicago and of course since my mother was going to a mall with the friends we were visiting it was the perfect chance for me to investigate the racks.
I remember clearly walking to a local Chicago mall and stumbling on the “Getting Closer” 45 in a small blue sleeve with the songs title written in pink as well as the new Wings album it was from – “Back to the Egg”.
Little did I know this was a rare release of this 45 as this particular sleeve I guess wasn’t that common but it was the only copy I saw of the record and I grabbed it and the album and took it home and then proceeded to torture my family by playing the album to death for the rest of the vacation!
Anyway, I’ve always loved this particular record and in fact I’d say the period from 1978 to 1984 holds some of my fondest memories of Paul McCartney’s solo music and I come back to this period frequently as it’s the most sentimental time in my musical life.
While the “Back to the Egg” album may not hold a high place in the critical overview of Paul McCartney’s solo work it has always been one of my favorite McCartney albums. I love almost every song on it.
From the strangeness of the mostly spoken word “The Broadcast” to the punk rock feel of “Spin it On” and “Old Siam, Sir” to the starkness of “Winter Rose/ Love Awake” to the forties feel of “Baby’s Request”, this album still packs a punch and takes me back to a much simpler time and place.
So in celebration of this fine McCartney collection of late seventies goodness, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite “Back to the Egg” CD pressings with photos (see gallery). I’ve also thrown in a couple photos of the rare “Getting Closer” picture sleeve just for grins.
The one “Egg” collectible that I’ve never seen or read much about is a UK promotional CD box set that supposedly mimics a promotional box set that was released for the original vinyl version of the album.
The one I own is a bit water damaged but still looks nice, the cover is worn, and has a groovy t-shirt that I love and it’s in my size! (Note: of course I’ve never worn it but maybe someday!)
I’ve never seen another one and thought it might be nice to show some photos of it here for those rabid Macca collectors out there like me!
The other really nice collectible I own is the first US CD pressing of “Egg” with its longbox – the rare issue with the inner booklet without any content, just the cover photo and blank pages inside.
I also own another later US “Egg” CD which reverts to the UK cover (no mention of 3 bonus tracks) and UK blue label. I swear that this later US pressing also sounds like the UK version as well.
My first US CD pressing has some noise reduction as I recall (I’ll have to play it again to make sure) and I just played the later US pressing and it sounds really nice, much like the UK first CD issue.
(Note: my personal favorite CD pressing of this album is the first Japanese CD pressing (see photos) that just sounds a tad bit better than even the first UK CD pressing.)
In future posts I’ll examine some other US solo McCartney CD pressings that have differences between first and later pressings.
So as McCartney says in concert these days, this post is for the Wings fans!!! In a coming soon Part 2 to this post I’ll take a look at some of my “Back to the Egg” vinyl pressings.
Enjoy and until next time keep spinning on!