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"With a Little Luck"
Wings
Capitol 4559
May 1978
Billboard: #1    Lyrics Icon Videos Icon

Wingsith a Little Luck" was the follow-up to the most successful British single of Paul McCartney's career, including his tenure with the Beatles. The record sold 2.5 million copies in the United Kingdom, replacing the Beatles' "She Loves You" as the best-selling single of all time in Great Britain (a record it held until 1984, when Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" sold over three million copies). The title of this best-selling single is "Mull of Kintyre." It did not chart in America.

London Town - Wings
"With a Little Luck" was the first of three Top 40 U.S. singles from Wings' 1978 album London Town, the other two being "I've Had Enough" (No. 25, 7/78) and the album's title track, "London Town" (No. 39, 10/78). First charting on April 15, 1978, London Town peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart and remained on the charts for a total of 28 weeks. It was certified both gold and platinum by the R.I.A.A. on March 20, 1978.
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Paul wrote "Mull of Kintyre" as an anthem for Scotland because he loved living on his farm near Campbelltown, about 11 miles from the southern tip of the Scottish peninsula known as Kyntire. Accompanying Wings on the recording are 21 bagpipers of the Campbelltown Pipe Band. Not certain that the ballad would be a hit, Paul made sure the "B" side was a rocker. Originally titled "Love School," "Girls School" was inspired by advertisements for pornographic films. In the States, where one didn't know the Mull of Kintyre from the ice plains of Io, "Girls School" was considered the "A" side. Peaking at number 33 in January, 1978, it was one of the lowest-charting singles of Wings' career.

"With a Little Luck" was recorded in a 24-track studio installed by the Record Plant on board the Fair Carol, a yacht anchored in the Virgin Islands. Paul had taken Wings there to record tracks for an album tentatively titled Water Wings. But after spending the month of May, 1977, in the Virgin Islands, the recordings were completed in London and the title was changed to London Town.

Jimmy McCulloch left Wings in September, and the four remaining members checked in to Abbey Road studios on October 25. By the time they completed their work there, drummer Joe English had left the group as well. Now a trio again, Wings completed London Town at George Martin's AIR Studios and at Abbey Road.

"With a Little Luck" was the highest new entry on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of March 25, 1978. Debuting at number 70, it reached the top of the chart eight weeks later. It was the first single not on the RSO label to be number one since December 17, 1977 (Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life"). Before "With a Little Luck" fell off the Hot 100, McCartney announced two new additions for Wings. Denny Laine had recommended them both -- guitarist Laurence Juber and drummer Steve Holly. The first release for Wings Mark Seven was the single "Goodnight Tonight," an attempt at disco that McCartney almost didn't release. But second thoughts prevailed, and "Goodnight Tonight," the first McCartney record under his new North American deal with Columbia Records, peaked at number five in May, 1979.

Next came Back to the Egg, the final album released by Wings. While the LP's two singles ("Getting Closer," "Arrow Through Me") failed to make much of a chart impression, for many the highlight of the album was the "Rockestra Theme," featuring an assemblage of guest stars that included Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd; John Bonham and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin; Pete Townshend of the Who; Ronnie Lane, once of the Small Faces; Gary Brooker, once of Procol Harum; and Hank Marvin of the Shadows.

- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.

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