“Let Me Roll It” is a song by Wings released on the 1973 album Band on the Run. The song was also released as the B-side to “Jet” in early 1974 and has remained a staple of McCartney’s live concerts since it was first released.
Band on the Run is the third studio album by Paul McCartney and Wings, released in December 1973. It was McCartney’s fifth album after leaving the Beatles in April 1970. Although sales were modest initially, its commercial performance was aided by two hit singles – “Jet” and “Band on the Run” – such that it became the top-selling studio album of 1974 in the United Kingdom and Australia, in addition to revitalizing McCartney’s critical standing. It remains McCartney’s most successful album and the most celebrated of his post-Beatles works.
The majority of Band on the Run was recorded at EMI’s studio in Lagos, Nigeria, as McCartney wanted to make an album in an exotic locale. Shortly before departing for Lagos, however, drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Henry McCullough left the group. With no time to recruit replacements, McCartney went into the studio with just his wife Linda and Denny Laine. In addition to playing bass, McCartney also played drums, percussion and most of the lead guitar parts himself. On arriving, it was discovered that the studio was below standard, and conditions in Nigeria were tense and difficult; the McCartneys were robbed at knifepoint, during which a bag containing unfinished song lyrics and demo tapes was taken. After the band’s return to England, final overdubs and further recording were carried out in London, mostly at AIR Studios.
In 2000, Q magazine placed it at number 75 in its list of the “100 Greatest British Albums Ever”. In 2012, Band on the Run was voted 418th on Rolling Stone’s revised list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. A contemporary review by Jon Landau in Rolling Stone described the album as “with the possible exception of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, the finest record yet released by any of the four musicians who were once called the Beatles”. It was McCartney’s last album issued on the Apple record label.
Some critics, such as Rolling Stone’s Jon Landau, saw the song as a pastiche of John Lennon’s sound, particularly the riff and the use of tape echo on the vocals. McCartney, however, didn’t intend the song to be a pastiche of Lennon. He did say the vocal “does sound like John… I hadn’t realized I’d sung it like John.”
“Let Me Roll It” was performed regularly by Wings’ during their Over the World tour. McCartney performed the song again during his New World Tour, and it has been a part of every tour since. He has also included live versions of the song on several live albums, including Wings over America, Paul Is Live, Back in the U.S. (and Back in the World), and Good Evening New York City.