Why Paul McCartney Felt He Could Write Beatlesque Songs After Wings Made ‘Band on the Run’

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney discussed Wings’ “Band on the Run” with Harry Styles.
  • Paul said “Band on the Run” and “Jet” had a similar impact on him.
  • “Band on the Run” became a massive hit.
"Band on the Run" vocalist Paul McCartney holding a guitar
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney | PA Images via Getty Images

Paul McCartney said Wings’ “Jet” and “Band on the Run” changed the trajectory of his career. They gave him the confidence to write new songs that were similar to The Beatles’ songs. Paul explained this change during an interview with One Direction’s Harry Styles.

Paul McCartney explained his early post-Beatles career to Harry Styles

In a 2017 Another Man article, Styles and Paul interviewed each other. Styles asked Paul if it was difficult to begin making music without The Beatles. Paul said he initially didn’t think too much about what style of music he was making. He said his album McCartney reflected that approach.

Then Paul’s attitude changed. “There was this difficulty — you’re thinking, ‘Well, now what am I going to do, just make records that sound like The Beatles? Or, am I going to try and go in a completely different direction and do something that’s really not like The Beatles?'” Paul said.

Paul initially decided to write songs that sounded different from the Fab Four’s material. “So we started the group Wings, and then I just thought, ‘Sod it, I’m going to write some stuff that I want to write and keep it away from what The Beatles might have done with it,'” Paul recalled.

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Paul McCartney said Wings’ ‘Jet’ and ‘Band on the Run’ changed his post-Beatles career

Paul said “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” and other songs altered the trajectory of his career. “Once that was established with a few hits of my own, like ‘Jet’ and ‘Band on the Run’ and things like that, then I thought it was OK to do Beatles stuff again, because I’d proved a point to myself,” he remembered.

Paul then discussed his recent career. “These days I do lots of Beatles things, it doesn’t matter anymore, I’m happy to do anything,” he said. “But at first it was a little bit difficult, I must admit.”

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How ‘Band on the Run’ and its parent album performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Band on the Run” became a massive hit in the United States. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a week, remaining on the chart for 18 weeks in total. The song appeared on the album of the same name. Band on the Run was an even bigger hit. It was No. 1 for four of its 120 weeks on the Billboard 200.

“Band on the Run” was also popular in the United Kingdom, albeit significantly less popular than it was in the U.S. The Official Charts Company reports the song peaked at No. 3 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 11 weeks. Meanwhile, Band on the Run was No. 1 on the chart for seven weeks The album spent 124 weeks in total on the chart.

“Band on the Run” was a huge success and Paul said it marked a turning point in his career.

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