It was 41 years ago this week (beginning on June 2nd, 1973) that Paul McCartney & Wings topped the Billboard singles and album charts with their single "My Love" and their album Red Rose Speedway.
McCartney had formed Wings in 1971 with wife Linda, drummer Denny Seiwell, and guitarist Denny Laine, but the band did not immediately have the same kind of success McCartney had had on his own. Their first album Wild Life and their first few singles had not climbed any higher than Number Ten on either the album or singles charts, as opposed to other McCartney solo work that had gone all the way to Number One, such as the McCartney album and the single "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey."
All that changed with Red Rose Speedway. By the time the initial sessions for the album began in March 1972, McCartney had added former Joe Cocker guitarist Henry McCullough to the band's line up. The album included the hit "My Love," which stayed at Number One on the singles charts for four weeks, proving that McCartney's new band could be commercially successful. Red Rose Speedway also reached Number One on the album charts, staying there for three weeks.
"My Love" is without a doubt original Wings guitarist Henry McCullough's shining moment from his 19-month stint in the band. He admitted to us that the solo he played was nothing short of divine intervention -- and especially McCartney by surprise: "He says, 'Well, what are ya goin' to play?' I said, 'I don't know.' And this is God's truth, I'm not tellin ya, a word of a lie here. I was in the studio with a 50-piece orchestra, I think it was, to put the solo on. The fired it up and pressed the (record) button and I played the solo from beginning to end. And Paul came out and said, 'Have you been rehearsin' that?' I said, 'I'll be honest with ya, I've never heard that melody or what was played -- I never heard any of it before! I said a prayer just before startin' it and set off and that's the way it turned out.'" " also replaced "My Love" at the top of the singles charts.
The back cover of Red Rose Speedway featured a message in Braille to McCartney's good friend Stevie Wonder, stating "We Love You Baby.”
Red Rose Speedway was the first of five consecutive Number One albums by McCartney & Wings.
"My Love" was McCartney's fourth biggest solo single, and has frequently cropped up in his live concert setlists, having been included numerous times over the years in the piano sets of his various tours.