Versions of the "Band on the Run" Album from Around the World
This is a collection of "Band on the Run" albums released in different markets. Back in the day, vinyl was distributed in various formats around the world, depending upon which local label was doing the distribution. Of mere historical curiosity now, the labels actually are pretty fair artwork in and of themselves. This collection shows the global reach of Paul McCartney in the 1970s, with each market alone sufficient to support an artist who does well there.
All material on "Band on the Run" is credited to Paul and Linda McCartney except "No Words," which is credited to Paul and Denny Laine. Paul did the overwhelming majority of the composing, and Linda was added for obscure financial reasons.
While everyone knows that "Band on the Run" is an absolute classic of the 1970s, few may recall that, at first, it struggled on the charts. It took months for the album to gain momentum, which is completely different than albums today, which usually peak in their debut week. The reason "Band on the Run" surged up the charts after a few months of fairly mediocre performance (for Paul McCartney) is that the singles "Jet" and "Band on the Run" exposed people to the album. Many record buyers were a bit skeptical of McCartney at this point after singles like "Mary Had a Little Lamb," but the radio play erased those doubts.
"Band on the Run" became the top-selling album of 1974 in Australia and Canada.
"Band on the Run" finally hit No.1 in the United States in April 1974, months after its release.
Linda McCartney came up with the concept for the cover shoot. It featured the members of Wings (Denny Laine and Linda) alongside talk show host Michael Parkinson, singer Kenny Lynch, actors James Coburn and Christopher Lee, boxer John Conteh, and Member of Parliament Clement Freud. Paul has vaguely stated that the idea of a "band" on the "run" came from a general Zeitgeist at the time in which many songs referred to "desperados" and outlaws and the like.