"I was in Paris, waiting for a flight..."
I have always thought of this song as Linda's fantasy. Her passion for horses and riding started as a young girl and remained with her all her life. Her tongue in cheek attitude and what we caller her "twangy" voice combined to make this joyful little rocker. She recorded it during sessions at EMI studios in Paris where years before I had done a vocal for Can't Buy Me Love. We travelled there shortly after Princess Anne's first wedding in Westminster Abbey, taking the group van with the other band members who at the time included Jimmy McCullouch and Denny Laine. As you can probably hear we had a ball.
"Do drop in to the Dew Drop Inn..."
We were at Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans working on Venus and Mars when Linda came up with this number. References to the Dew Drop Inn and The Dungeon - places we visited during our stay - were included, along with many other memories of Linda's from our trip
The White Coated Man
"Where is the grass, where are the trees..."
Linda's and my involvement with animal rights caused her and our friend Carla Lane to come up with The White Coated Man. Carla's poignant lyric explores the vivisection issue.
Linda felt deeply about the suffering of innocent animals for mankind's gain, which still continues to this day and will until we can as a society show compassion towards the creatures we share our planet with.
Loves Full Glory
"Turned into something that was gentle..."
When we first met, I showed Linda some basic rudiments of keyboard playing and songwriting. She soon developed her abilities and this fine song not only showsher melodic skills but her strong sense of the value of love. The pedal steel guitar ws played by Lloyd Green - one of Nashville's finest.
I Got Up
"Now I can laugh because I know they were right..."
During the Paris sessions in 1973 we recorded a backing track of one of Linda's ideas. The song was completed many years later and the vocal finally added in 1998. Its gutsy feel is typical of her unwillingness to put up with other people's bullshit. She hated words like "should" and "compromise". For her, freedom to do what you want was a basic right.
The Light Comes From Within
"Oppression won't win..."
If I Got Up showed Linda's strong oppposition to oppression, the The Light took it a few steps further. During the last couple of years of her life, we were required to make many trips 'up to London' for one treatment or another. We always tried to put the journey time to good use. She and I talked a lot about this album, and the lyrics to this song were finished during one such trip. When we came to record the vocal, which was sadly to be her last, I said half-jokingly, "you can't sing this". She looked at me with a sparkle in her eye and said "You wanna bet?"
"Bring me a dream, make him the cutest that I've ever seen..."
During the early days of reggae when the Tighten-Up albums were pumping out the good news, we asked Lee "Scratch" Perry to make some backing tracks for us. Mister Sandman was recorded at Black Ark Studios, Kingston, Jamaica, in 1977 when the radio station RJR was still rocking the airwaves and the sun was always hot! Linda's vocal was done later in great style at Rude Studios UK.
"Ride grey mule to market place each day..."
Seaside Woman was the first song Linda wrote. Her delight in being exposed to the Caribbean lifestyle inspired this beautiful response. The song was made by Linda and Oscar Grillo inot an animated short which went on to win the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious Palme D'or.
"The colours were swirling..."
Recorded with Wings up at the old Air London Studios, Linda's dramatic vocal harks back to the Fifties and Sixties when strange stories were told by acts like The Shangri-Las, The Coasters, and others. It was made into an excellent animatged film by Ian Eames which was later objected to by some lady writing to a newspaper to complain about the nudity and it's effect on her 5 year old child. A female figure is seen naked, yes but come on! - it's only a harmless drawing, the likes of which have been on view in museums around the world for centuries.
"I cry out 'Baby, when will you come back to me'..."
A wistful ballad that Linda played often at home. Her gentle voice really captures a special kind of innocence that those of us who knew her loved deeply. The recording is in Ian Maidman's studio and there is no mult-tracking to the song - this mix being all that exists.
"It's gonna take an ocean, of calamine lotion..."
The Fifties original of Poison Ivy by The Coasters was one of Linda's favourites. She had a lasting affections for the doo-wop music of her youth, having spent many hours under the bedclothes with a transistor radio glued to her eark listening to Alan Freed's Rock'n Roll Show. The song's sense of humour is typical of many from that period.
"Placid creature, standing in your June field..."
Another collaboration between Linda, Carla Lane, and myself, which in this case deals with the last days of a cow under sentence of death. The sweet innocence of the song made many of our friends decide to "go veggie". Linda probably has done more than anyone else to bring vegetarianism into the dietary mainstream of our society, and made thousands of people ponder to wisdom of our cruel treatment of animals generally.
B-Side To Seaside
"More than an A side, less than a C side..."
When a B-side was required for the release of Seaside Woman, Linda and I whipped up this witty little ditty. Its lighthearted flavour exemplifies Linda's attitude to life. Amongst her favourite sayings was "don't make so much of it".
"Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening..."
Since we first me, the two of us remembered certain songs from our childhood. This tune was a big hit for The McGuire Sisters in the late Fifties. Linda and myself would sing this as a party piece, splitting into the melody and harmony to amuse and amaze our friends and relatives. Lee Perry produced the backing track in Kingston, Jamaica, at Black Ark Studios.
Cook of the House
"And where the rest is heaven only knows..."
Late one night when we were on tour renting a house in Australia, we were looking at one of those plaques found in many kitchens worldwide. "wherever I serve my guests, they like my kitchen best". This led to the song. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 1976 and was included on the Wings album At The Speed of Sound. The noise at the beginning is our chip pan simmering.
"Once you ran through peaceful fields of grass..."
The melody was one that Linda wrote many years ago and would use as a practice piece when playing piano. Her love of native American history, and in particular the Nez Perce Indians and their Appaloosa horses [named after The Palouse river] inspired this song which we recorded in March 1998. She was drawn to the story of the Nez Perce's near escape from the American cavalry [they were chased to the U.S. border and massacred]. Linda herself rode a magnificent Appaloosa stallion named Blankit who was bred on our farm.