It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Paul McCartney was on the ropes.
The Beatles had broken up and, after a couple of solo albums, he had started a new band Wings with his wife, Linda, that people didn't seem to like. Their 1971 debut, "Wild Life," barely cracked the Top 10 and none of the singles made the Top 20 -- seemingly a failure for one of the biggest rock stars in the world.
Ah, but you can't keep Macca down! And these days, McCartney is celebrating the time frame when Wings finally took flight -- with the reissue of the 1976 album "Wings Over America" as a three-CD and DVD boxed set, as well as the first DVD release for "Rockshow," the concert film from that tour.
"I think the best thing about it for me was that we had been struggling for years with Wings, getting slagged off by the reviewers, because we decided to try and do it from the ground up instead of coming in at some high level with superstars, so we had to try and learn our craft all over again," McCartney said, introducing "Rockshow" at its London premiere last month. "We thought that by the time we reached 1976 and America on this tour we were pretty good. I hope you will agree."
McCartney's work with Wings makes up about 20 percent of the current setlist for his "Out There" tour, which stops at Barclays Center tomorrow and Monday. "Out There" runs heavy on The Beatles songs, including some he hasn't played before, including "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" and "All Together Now," and some he hasn't played in decades, like "Eight Days a Week."
The tour is also focusing on areas he hasn't played recently, including Austin, Texas, and Memphis, Tenn., where he also left a guitar pick on Elvis Presley's grave "so Elvis can play in heaven," according to McCartney's Twitter feed. The new surroundings seem to be energizing him.
After his shows in Brazil, McCartney said, "We had a ball. Me, the band and the crew have had a great time and it's largely down to the audience reaction we got. So thanks to everyone for being so cool, being so ready to party and for loving our music."
WHO Paul McCartney
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday and Monday, Barclays Center, Brooklyn
INFO $69.50-$304.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
Paul McCartney has been playing essentially the same setlist for all the "Out There" dates, though he does switch the order occasionally. Here's what he played at the tour opener in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, last month:
* "Eight Days A Week"
* "Junior's Farm"
* "All My Loving"
* "Listen To What the Man Said"
* "Let Me Roll It"
* "Paperback Writer"
* "My Valentine"
* "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five"
* "The Long And Winding Road"
* "Maybe I'm Amazed"
* "Hope Of Deliverance"
* "We Can Work It Out"
* "Another Day"
* "And I Love Her"
* "Here Today"
* "Your Mother Should Know"
* "Lady Madonna"
* "All Together Now"
* "Mrs Vandebilt"
* "Eleanor Rigby"
* "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!"
* "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
* "Band on the Run"
* "Hi, Hi, Hi"
* "Back in the U.S.S.R."
* "Let It Be"
* "Live And Let Die"
* "Hey Jude"
ENCORE "Day Tripper" / "Lovely Rita" / "Get Back"
SECOND ENCORE "Yesterday" / "Helter Skelter" / "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End"