Jason Hartley's piece on "Wildlife," Paul McCartney's misunderstood debut with Wings, is a very convincing essay on why this collection of tunes from 1971 should not be tossed off the way so many fans and critics have tossed it off since its release. I am guilty of said tossing, but I did come around about 5 years prior to Hartley's essay. I urge you to read the piece. It's here.
Getting you to listen along to "Wildlife" as you read Hartley's comments, I imagine, is a much tougher proposition, as experience tells me that this community is not very keen on going back. But it is the first week of January and unless you're drinking the D'Angelo "Black Messiah" Kool-Aid, what else do you need to listen to today?
This also got me thinking about what other records have gone from "appalling to amazing." Oddly enough, it is another McCartney record that immediately comes to mind. "Chaos & Creation In The Backyard," Sir Paul's critically acclaimed 2005 release, actually made me angry on first listen. I can't begin to explain where my head might have been that day, but it is safe to say that I probably had lost patience with one of my musical heroes, like so many of you had, and simply didn't want to like it. Thankfully, at the urging of many I trusted, I went back and I have since gone back so many times, that "Chaos" is now one of my fave Paul records of all time.