Wings was a moveable feast, featuring wild stylistic divergence--from lo-fi frag rock to dual-guitar arena heroism to honky reggae--and dozens of members spread over five albums. Their hits were many, but the really interesting stuff never became FM staples. Though posterity has failed to acknowledge them, records like Wild Life and Ram were full of experimental energy, messing around with structure, texture, and sound--never veering all the way off the pop map--and taking chances that never received due credit. Even if a lot of it was crap. By the time his bizarro electronic masterpiece McCartney II came around in 1980, music cognoscenti had more or less written Paul off as a former Beatle who now sang stupid love songs.
A few unfortunate, unavoidable inclusions aside, Wingspan is a humble attempt to redress that misconception. Divided into "hits" and "history," the two discs deliver the familiar gems alongside more obscure treasures like "Daytime Nightime Suffering" and exquisite "Waterfalls" (a song later ripped off by TLC). And, mercifully, there's not an "Ebony and Ivory" in earshot.