Monday, April 15, 2024

1971 50th Anniversary Albums: Carly Simon, Harry Nilsson, and Today, Paul McCartney and Wings


We just had the 50th anniversaries of two important, landmark albums: Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” and Harry Nilsson’s “Nilsson Schmilsson.” The former album launched the title track, which has become a rock and radio staple, along with some other great Carly tracks like “Legend in Your Own Time.”

The Nilsson album, produced by Richard Perry, was a blockbuster with three hit singles: “Coconut,” “Jump into the Fire,” and “Without You.” The latter remains one of the greatest produced singles in Top 40 history, an all time classic. Perry would next produce Carly Simon’s “No Secrets” album and give us another all time great, “You’re So Vain.”

“Without You,” by the way, was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger, the group signed to the Beatles’ Apple label. Next week is the 50th anniversary of their landmark album, “Straight Up,” produced by George Harrison and Todd Rundgren, containing two more classics, “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue.” Earlier, Paul McCartney had written and produced Badfinger’s hit “Come and Get It.”

The solo Beatles were very much involved in everything in 1971. In May Paul McCartney released “Ram.” And a few months later, on December 7th, 1971, came the first Wings album, “Wild Life.” Paul and Linda and Denny Laine went around the UK in a van, popping to clubs to play impromptu gigs. There was little marketing, and no singles. If they’d made an effort, they might have had hits with two songs on that album, “I Am Your Singer,” and “Some People Never Know.” But “Another Day” was still a hit, and so was “Uncle Albert.” So no singles.

The song, “Dear Friend,” was written by Paul to John bemoaning the Beatles’ divorce. He writes about in his new “Lyrics” double volume memoir.

Happy 50th, “Wings Wild Life.”

There’s also a song called “Tomorrow,” which had at least FM hit written all over it. This means that Paul had written “Yesterday,” “Another Day,” “Every Night,” and “Tomorrow.” The Beatles also had “Last Night” from the “Help!” album. Later he would write “Daytime Nighttime Suffering.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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