Our next suggestion for The 2019 PopCult Gift Guide is the perfect gift for any die-hard fan of Paul McCartney and Wings, or just mid-1970s rock in general. McGear is basically a lost album by Wings. “McGear” is also known as Michael McCartney, younger brother of Sir Paul, and his elder sibling either wrote or co-wrote all but one of the songs on the original album, including the song in the video above, “Leave It.”
The McGear album is a real gem of British pop/rock, and this new boxed set brings the original album back into print for the first time in years, and also includes a bonus audio disc, as well as a region-free DVD with new interviews with Mike McGear plus the above promotional video for the album from 1974. Let’s let the label explain:
Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered and expanded edition of the album, McGear by Mike McGear. This edition features 21 bonus tracks, including 13 previously unreleased outtakes and tracks alongside singles appearing on CD for the first time.
The set also includes a DVD featuring Mike (McGear) McCartney reminiscing at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, an interview with Mike at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool and the 1974 promotional film for the single ‘Leave It’. Originally released in 1974, McGear was the second solo album by Mike McGear (McCartney) and was a more “serious” record than his work with the Liverpool satirical trio Scaffold, or his work with Roger McGough on the McGough & McGear album.
Recorded at Strawberry studios in Stockport, (the musical home of the band 10cc), the album was produced by Paul McCartney (who also played on the album and co-wrote most of the material with Mike) and featured Linda McCartney and members of Wings, Jimmy McCulloch and Denny Laine, along with guests such as Paddy (“Pipes”) Moloney of The Chieftains. The album featured a selection of tremendous songs such as ‘Rainbow Lady’, ‘Simply Love You’, ‘Givin’ Grease a Ride’ and ‘The Man Who Found God on the Moon’. McGear also featured an inspired cover of the Roxy Music song ‘Sea Breezes’, the evocative ‘The Casket’ and the hit single ‘Leave It’. The sessions also spawned a non-album single; ‘Dance the Do’ (which featured Vivian Stanshall).
You get all that in this nicely-packaged box set, which also marks the debut of the full album artwork in the US, and even cleverly morphs the Esoteric Records label design into the mid-70s Warner Brothers Records label from the original release.
You might be able to order this missing link of the Paul McCartney canon from hipper record stores, or you can seek it out at Amazon. It’s a real gem of a record, and will be a great, obscure treat for any fan of Sir Paul. If you’re wondering where this would fall in the Wings timeline, it was recorded between Band On The Run and Venus And Mars, two of Wings highpoints.