Venus and Mars (1975)


 
1. Venus and Mars/Rock Show 2. Love in Song 3. You Gave Me the Answer 4. Magneto and Titanium Man 5. Letting Go 6. Venus and Mars (Reprise) 7. Spirits of Ancient Egypt 8. Medicine Jar 9. Call Me Back Again 10.Listen to What the Man Said 11.Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People 12.Crossroads * 13.Zoo Gang * 14.Lunch Box/Odd Sox * 15.My Carnival * * CD Bonus Track

 

Following in the footsteps of the incredibly successful Band on the Run, this album really doesn't try, surprisingly, to replicate its predecessor. This album is a much more straightforward set of songs, that delivers what it intends to, but sadly never quite takes off like his last record. This time the "Wings" is more of a real band, although I never really could keep up with who was in Wings during any particular time in the band's existence. It was pretty obvious that if you played in a band with Paul McCartney, he was going to call all of the shots anyway, although there is one track here (Medicine Jar) done by someone in the group other than Paul. It does seem a bit out of place in that regard.

The opening track (I guess it's really two tracks) does seem to try to mirror the title song from the last album - changing time signatures and tempo a total of three times, the last being the "strong part" of the song singing about rock stars in the seventies performing under the red and yellow lights - yet it doesn't really quite have the bite that Band on the Run (the song) did. It did chart, but the song hasn't aged that well. The best song on the album is the ever-catchy Listen to What The Man Said, which every one seems to know, and it climbed all the way to number one on the charts.

The rest of the album is rather unspectacular. All songs are good and he doesn't embarrass himself at all. There's a little bit of "everything" that Paul can do, including a 1920's style flapper called You Gave Me the Answer which is damn catchy, to the point of one being embarrassed that they actually like it. You definitely wouldn't catch John Lennon doing something like this. Sadly the "bonus" edition has several songs that are all worthless and actually bring the whole experience down a notch. Overall, not one of his best, but not one of his worst either.

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