"Band on the Run" is the title song of Paul McCartney and Wings' 1973 album Band on the Run. The song was released as a single in 1974, following the success of "Jet", and became an international chart success. The song topped the charts in the United States, also reaching number 3 in the United Kingdom. The single sold over one million copies in 1974 in America. It has since become one of the band's most famous songs.
A medley of song fragments that vary in style from folk rock to funk, "Band on the Run" is one of McCartney's longest singles at 5:09. The song was partly inspired by a comment that George Harrison had made during a meeting of the Beatles' Apple record label. The song-wide theme is one of freedom and escape, and its creation coincided with Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr having parted with manager Allen Klein in March 1973, leading to improved relations between McCartney and his fellow ex-Beatles. The original demos for this and other tracks on Band on the Run were stolen shortly after Wings arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, to begin recording the album. With the band reduced to a trio consisting of McCartney, his wife Linda, and Denny Laine, "Band on the Run" was recorded at EMI's Lagos studio and completed at AIR Studios in London.
In a 1973 interview with Paul Gambaccini, McCartney stated that the lyric "if we ever get out of here" was inspired by a remark made by George Harrison during one of the Beatles' many business meetings. McCartney recalled: "He was saying that we were all prisoners in some way … I thought it would be a nice way to start an album." McCartney added, referring to his inspiration for "Band on the Run": "It's a million things … all put together. Band on the run – escaping, freedom, criminals. You name it, it's there."
In a 1988 interview with Musician magazine, McCartney noted the drug busts musicians of the late 1960s and early 1970s experienced as an inspiration for the "Band on the Run", also referencing the "desperado" image he attributed to bands like the Byrds and the Eagles as an influence. McCartney, who had been having legal trouble involving pot possession, said, "We were being outlawed for pot ... And our argument on was 'Don't put us on the wrong side ... We're not criminals, we don't want to be. So I just made up a story about people breaking out of prison.'"
According to Mojo contributor Tom Doyle, the song's lyrics, recalled through memory following the robbery of the band's demo tapes for the Band on the Run album, were altered to reflect on the band's then-current status, "stuck inside the four walls of the small, cell-like studio, faced with grim uncertainty."
"Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five", the closing track of the Band on the Run album, concludes with a brief excerpt of the chorus.
"Band on the Run" is a three-part medley, with the first section being a slow ballad, the second featuring a funk rock style, and the final a country-esque section. The lyrics of the entire song, however, are related, with all being based around a general theme of freedom and escape.File Hashes