I’ve talked about the opposite problem. Now, who would release a greatest hits album and leave out one of their #1 hits
‽ Did they just forget? I don’t know about you, but if I were a recording artist and I had a #1 hit, I’d consider that pretty great.
I’m talking about Paul McCartney and Wings. Wings Greatest (1978) came up the other night as I was making my way through the project of playing my entire record collection in reverse chronological order. Including songs by Wings, Paul McCartney and Wings, Paul and Linda McCartney, and just Paul, every song on here was a hit. One of the biggest-selling groups of the 1970s, Paul and company could have filled a double album easily.
But they didn’t…and so some stuff was left out. Odd, though, that nothing at all from their Venus and Mars (1975) album appears on here. Though that wasn’t their most critically acclaimed album, it certainly wasn’t bad. I had it on 8-track. V&M was released at the height of Wings’s popularity, coming as it did on the heels of Band on the Run (1973), which was both critically acclaimed and very popular.
Odder still, Venus and Mars‘s first single, “Listen to What the Man Said,” was a #1 hit. I can’t think of another instance where somebody’s #1 song got left off a greatest hits album, except in cases where the song in question didn’t fit the period covered by the collection, or maybe in those rare cases when the group has too many #1 hits to fit on an album, neither of which is the case here.
So, I thought, does Paul McCartney just not like that song anymore? Is he embarrassed by it and trying to showcase the more arty stuff? Well, no. If that were the case, he would’ve left out “Let ‘Em In.”