It was 45 years ago this week that Paul McCartney & Wings‘ “Silly Love Songs” began its five-week stand topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. The track, which was the lead single to the band’s 1976 chart-topping Wings At The Speed Of Sound album, was McCartney’s 11th post-Beatles Top 10 hit, and his fifth chart-topper. Back home in Britain, “Silly Love Songs” stalled at Number Two.
To the chagrin of most fans, McCartney re-recorded an “updated” version of the ’70s classic with Toto‘s Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro for inclusion in his 1984 box office bomb, Give My Regards To Broad Street.
Paul McCartney’s record-breaking “Wings Over The World” tour, which coincided with the Wings At The Speed Of Sound album and “Silly Love Songs” single, marked “Macca” as the oldest rock star at the point to go full-throttle on the road, and saw Paul and wife Linda McCartney hitting the road with all four of their daughters in tow: “Well, I don’t know how you raise ‘normal’ children’ in any kind of atmosphere, y’know, really. We just try our best and they seem pretty normal to me. Y’know, at about 18, I’d kind of look at these 25-year-old fellas and think, ‘Woo — dear me! Passed it, y’know?’ And, of course when you get to 25, you see 30 as that one, and then when to get to 30, you see 35 as that one. And when you get to 34, which I almost am. . . I can’t believe it myself, I mean, y’know, that’s what I almost am.”
Amazingly, despite being among Paul McCartney’s biggest hits — Beatles or otherwise — after its sole inclusion in the 1976 shows, McCartney never again included “Silly Love Songs” in his concert setlists. After years of shying away from his Wings legacy McCartney is only recently dipping his toe into the beloved ’70s catalogue while on tour. We asked Beatlefan magazine publisher Bill King if McCartney was simply embarrassed by his Wings-era work: “I don’t really think that I ever felt that he was embarrassed by it. I think I felt his feeling was; ‘I’ve turned the page, Wings is over, I’ve moved on to another chapter,’ and that he felt that Wings was obviously not — and wisely felt — that Wings was not as fertile territory as his Beatles catalogue was for assembling a concert setlist. He’s no dummy, he knows that what’s going to sell tickets and what people in the vast majority of people filling up those arenas or stadiums wanna hear is Paul doing Beatles.”