Back To The Egg is the final studio album by Wings and was released in 1979. It is also notable for being leader Paul McCartney's first album for Columbia Records after leaving long-time US distributor Capitol Records in 1978. When McCartney returned to international distribution by EMI in 1985, Back to the Egg and the rest of McCartney's Columbia-era releases reverted back to Capitol/EMI in the US.
By the end of June 1978, this last incarnation of Wings settled into Spirit of Ranachan Studios on McCartney's farm in Scotland, then moved onto Lympne Castle near Hythe in Kent (not far from McCartney's new home in Peasmarsh, near Rye, Sussex) in September and Abbey Road Studios in October, where McCartney organised a special one-off session. On 3 October, Wings recorded two tracks, "Rockestra Theme" and "So Glad To See You Here" with many celebrity guests under the heading of Rockestra. Hank Marvin of The Shadows, The Who's Pete Townshend, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and John Bonham (in one of his last performances) all took part.
Eager to release new material, Wings issued a non-album dance single "Goodnight Tonight" b/w "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" in late March 1979. It became a worldwide Top 5 hit and set the stage for Back to the Egg's release that June (the song would later appear as a bonus track on the CD reissue of McCartney II). With the title a McCartney-ism for getting back to basics, the band considered Back to the Egg the beginning of a new era in their career. It was certainly not intended as their swan song.
Critical reaction was not warm upon the album's release. Considered uninspired and directionless by many of its reviewers at the time - and to this day, Back to the Egg also sold beneath expectations, reaching #6 in the UK and #8 in the US with relatively short chart stays, although it went platinum. Its single releases "Old Siam, Sir," "Arrow Through Me," and "Getting Closer" were also small hits. Although many McCartney fans are devotees of Back to the Egg, it is still generally considered one of his least popular albums. Wings thus began and ended their studio career with their least successful projects.
Following Back to the Egg's release, McCartney felt the need to do a solo project and retreated to his Scottish farm. Following the example of his 1970 debut album, McCartney, he recorded several new songs all by himself in July 1979 for a projected future release. Although McCartney intended on pursuing Wings' career with future live performances already pencilled in, his solo recordings seemed to imply he was already contemplating the end of the band.
In 1993, Back to the Egg was remastered and reissued on CD as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series with "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" ("Goodnight Tonight"'s B-Side) and Paul McCartney's solo 1979 Christmas single "Wonderful Christmastime" b/w "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reggae" as bonus tracks. In 2007, Back to the Egg was reissued in digital form on iTunes with these bonus tracks plus the 7-minute-plus disco remix of "Goodnight Tonight".
Also shot around the time of recording the album, the sessions for Rockestra Theme and So Glad To See You Here were film using several Panavision cameras. However this footage didn't see the light of day until the DVD release of Wingspan. In 2007 more outtakes were used for the menu screen on The McCartney Years DVD.