Whatever Paul McCartney and Wings did after “Mull Of Kintyre” was likely to be somewhat in the shadow of one of the bestselling singles of all time. But the late-period Wings catalog in the final part of the 1970s contained some rather under-appreciated gems. One of them was entering the Billboard Hot 100 on September 9, 1978.
“London Town” was the title track from the penultimate album by what was, by the time of release, the core trio of Paul, his wife Linda, and longtime collaborator Denny Laine. Both guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Joe English played on the LP, but left the band before it came out. Nevertheless, London Town would go platinum in the US and Holland, and gold in the UK, Germany, and France.
The album was released on March 31, 1978, just after its flagship single, “With A Little Luck.” That became a substantial hit, nowhere more so than in America, where it went to No.1. The follow-up “I’ve Had Enough” fared less well. Then came Paul and Denny’s title song, a laid-back, beautifully-harmonized, and reflective piece about the British capital, featuring such imagery as “silver rain was falling down upon the dirty ground of London town”).
The single only reached No.60 in the UK, but made its US chart debut at No.75. In a week of ten new entries, it was only behind the Rolling Stones’ No.70 entry with “Beast of Burden.” For several weeks, “London Town” climbed steadily on the Billboard countdown before peaking at No.39 in October. But the album remains a late gem in the Wings repertoire, ahead of their final (and also undervalued) set, Back To The Egg, the following year.
Buy or stream “London Town” on the album of the same name.