Categories
Uncategorized

Wings- LIVE OVER EUROPE

1972

We can look back on the very FIRST post of this page, which showed how Paul had gone from The Beatles to his first solo album, McCARTNEY.

Playing live had always been on Paul’s radar, as a child on up. He and brother Mike, as young teens performed Everly brother songs in a talent contest while on holiday in The Butlins.

When he was asked to join The Quarrymen, their main intent on performing was to “shag” girls.

When The Beatles formed, they played constantly in every form of venue, honing their sound in Germany, and even further in small clubs in Great Britain.

When the band broke worldwide they would come on and play roughly 20 minutes, eventually as quick as possible, due to the inability to be heard due to poor equipment and out of control screaming fans.

They toured the world from 1963-66, with very few days off, of which were usually spent in studios of some sort.

The motivation would be to make money now. But by the last show in S.F. in August of 1966 they had had enough. The world had changed and it had changed them as well. It had become a grind and their music was becoming too complex to duplicate with 1966 equipment.

Paul always missed this live aspect of his career, and when the band hit its rough patch from 1968 onward, he always thought that getting back on the road, would help bring them back together as a unit.

The GET BACK film, showed how great an act they still were, and how they could have had a similar career as bands like The Rolling Stones and The Who, but there was much more than lack of wanting to tour by John and George. By the end, George’s resentments and need to explore a solo career and John’s personal troubles, his relationship with Yoko and MOSTLY, the money issues related to Apple/Allen Klein etc.. was the cause of the split.

But rather than a long break, or allowing each other to explore solo projects while still keeping the band alive, the tensions/lawsuits of the years 1970-1973 made this impossible.

Paul recorded his first solo album, while still in The Beatles. His second was done as a duo with his wife, Linda. He found such comfort in this, that he quickly assembled Wings, and they recorded their debut album even quicker.

The four person Wings then toured out of little vans, driving up and down Britain’s motorways and showing up at University’s and offering to play for a few quid. He had indeed gone back to the very basics.

The next venture was a much more organized tour of Europe in 1972. He hired a second guitarist and bought and fixed up a double deck bus, and loaded band and family and pets inside, and drove from venue to venue, filled by a van of equipment and crew.

It was the height of his hippie period.

The band slowly grew tighter as they played more gigs. Even Linda’s playing and singing improved to acceptable. They started working on songs for the second Wings album as they went out on this modest tour.

We see on the set list, songs that never officially saw the light of day, but the band was working on in the studio.

We can see from the set list as well that Paul completely distanced himself from all his Beatles songs he had either written or co-written. Wings final encore was a cover that The Beatles had done early in their careers.

WINGS OVER EUROPE was never released until the deluxe box set of WILD LIFE/RED ROSE SPEEDWAY came out in December of 2018. It was not issued as a stand alone, but had to be bought with the entire box.

Since there is only fan made bootlegs of the University tour (of very poor quality) this is earliest live album which was remastered from tapes on the soundboard.

Statistical Analysis

# of Songs: 20

Songs of Paul (solo): 3 (15%)

Songs of Wings: 11 (55%)

Songs of Beatles (Lennon/McCartney): 0 (0%)

Songs the Beatles released (cover): 1 (5%)

Songs of Others: 3 (15%)

Unreleased Songs: 2 (10%)

———————————————

1. “Big Barn Bed”

The opening track of their third album, RED ROSE SPEEDWAY. The band knocks this song out of the park, with the vocals as the highlights. Paul’s bass is deep and driving here and throughout the album. Henry handles the short solos easily. A wonderful way to start the set. Rating – 8.5

2. “Eat At Home”

A track from Paul & Linda’s RAM, with a new pre-song 1 minute intro that pops but offers no clue to the song which it breaks into…. Faithful to the original, but Henry’s solo is a mix of the two on the record, as the second one is cut. Rating – 7.5

3. “Smile Away”

Another rocker from RAM that is performed with slightly less intensity. The band sounds great, but it’s offered at a tad more mellow pace. Great solo by Henry, and Paul’s vocals at the end bring the cows home…. Rating – 8.5

4. “Bip Bop”

A track from WILD LIFE, that comes to life (no pun intended) live. A much better version of a very simple song with two guitarists and an edge the album version lacks. Rating – 8

5. “Mumbo”

Like “Big Bop”, this is another WILDLIFE track that grows some balls live. The jam was the opening track of that album, and here Paul turns it into a shake your ass delight. Rating – 8

Busted in Sweden (but not deterred)

6. “Blue Moon Of Kentucky”

A C&W standard by Bill Monroe that Paul has always loved (He did it as well on UNPLUGGED in 1993). Denny’s harmonica is the highlight. Another decent ass-shaker. Rating – 7.5

7. “1882”

A song intended for the proposed double album RED ROSE, but never released in any form until this box set. A bluesy number with outstanding vocals that gets better with familiarity. Rating – 8.0

8. “I Would Only Smile”

Paul throws Denny a bone here with the Laine penned track. Wings recorded and intended for the double album, but cut when it was cut to one. Rating – 7

9. “Give Ireland Back To The Irish”

The first Wings single, banned for its political content. Faithfully performed, but not the best song to begin with. Rating – 7

10. “The Mess”

Cut also from proposed RED ROSE, but a different live version was issued as the b-side to the “My Love” single in 1973. A very interesting track that features more twists and turns than the roads they traveled on. But to the crowd, they had never heard this song, so they couldn’t react as this was brand new to their ears (like a few of the tracks). Rating – 8

11. “Best Friend”

Another casualty of the RED ROSE reduction, and never released in any form. A simple chug-a-long rocker with decent guitar work by Henry in the intro…. Rating – 7.5

12. “Soily”

Another song cut from RED ROSE and a studio version never released, this song would appear on the 1976 World Tour as the closer of the entire show…. That live version was altered from this version in 1972. This is slowed and has a more pedestrian beat. Rating – 7.0

13. “I Am Your Singer”

From WILD LIFE, it is slowed and the crowd loves it when Linda does her verse. Rating – 7.5

14. “Seaside Woman”

Linda’s first song writing credited to her alone, a reggae bopper that the studio version came out as a single in 1977 and credited as Suzy & The Red Streaks. God bless her, but Paul and the band must work their shaking bums to make this one fly. Rating – 7

15. “Wild Life”

The title track of the first Wings album, this live version is hit out of the park by Paul’s amazing lead vocals and outstanding backing. Rating – 8

16. “My Love”

The first “slow one” that was still a work in progress at this point, but mostly as we know the 1973 single. Linda response on the verse was eliminated on the studio track, for the better. Not a bad version, all in all. Rating – 7.5

17. “Mary Had A Little Lamb”

The third Wings single of 1972, and reproduced faithfully here. Rating – 6.5

18. “Maybe I’m Amazed”

Paul turns this tender ballad into a rocker, and it delivers on every level. Paul changed the way he performed this live, as heard on the WINGS OVER AMERICA album, and while it still is an amazing song, this version is the best live version I have ever heard. Rating – 9

19. “Hi Hi Hi”

Wings second single form 1972, also banned for sexual content, this is a much slower deliberate version than either the single, or any future live version, and features a different intro as well. It rocks, yes, but not off the walls. Rating – 7.5

20. “Long Tall Sally”

The only slight hint at anything Beatles, as they recorded and released this in 1964 on BEATLES FOR SALE and was a staple of Paul’s in their concerts.

Here, the fans were finally given something to link the man on stage to the icon he was with his former band. Paul gives it all to close the shows only encore and it leaves you wanting much more Rating – 8.5

——————————————

Overall 1972’s WINGS OVER EUROPE live album grades out as 7.7/10. This album is an important aspect of this time in Paul’s career. This first version of Wings could rock and was not just a singles pop band.

Next…. December of 1976 and WINGS OVER AMERICA album, songs from the 1975-76 world tour.

Categories
Uncategorized

2022 and looking ahead

After another incredible year filled with events we have waited our lives for, 2022 came…

The Get Back- Rooftop Concert premiered in select IMAX theaters on January 30th.

The 50th anniversary of the debut album of Wings “WILD LIFE” was remastered at half speed and released on February 4th. Where is that credit card????

The DVD/Blu-Ray of Peter Jackson’s Get Back was supposed too drop on February 8th, but was delayed by production issues…

February 11-13th The Beatles Rooftop Concert was shown globally at select theaters, and a state of art remixed audio available for free streaming online.

Paul announces the start of his first tour in almost three years.

With the vaccines available to those who chose to take, it appears the summer of ’22 may finally see more normalcy in our outdoor lives.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “So another me takes over: Professional Performing Paul—the triple ‘P’!” If the question is “Why do you keep at it?,” the answer is plain: “I plan to continue living. That’s the central idea.” -Paul

Following more than a year of speculation, Paul McCartney on February 18th announced the GOT BACK Tour, a 13-city return to U.S. stages, kicking off April 28 with Paul’s first ever show in Spokane WA and running through to June 16 in East Rutherford NJ, where Paul will play Met Life Stadium for the first time since 2016.

I’m sure if things go well…. This tour will extend…

————————————————

Things we WILL and things we can MAYBE look forward to happening this year.

From March 18 of this year until March of 2023 “The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be” will be exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

-Fans will experience The Beatles’ creative journey through the exhibit’s original instruments, clothing, and handwritten lyrics used by The Beatles and seen in the film, including items loaned directly by Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, and the estates of George Harrison and John Lennon.

The exhibit will feature high-definition film clips, audio, and custom projections, transporting fans into The Beatles’ vibrant world of January 1969.

Some of the exhibit’s unique items include:

Paul McCartney’s black and gray shirt that was worn in the studio and handwritten lyrics for “I’ve Got A Feeling.”

Ringo Starr’s maple Ludwig drum kit and his borrowed red raincoat from the rooftop performance.

John Lennon’s iconic eyeglasses, Wrangler jacket, an Epiphone electric guitar, and handwritten lyrics for “Dig A Pony.”

George Harrison’s pink pinstripe suit and handwritten lyrics for “I Me Mine.”

Fans will also enjoy audio engineer, producer, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glyn Johns’ record acetate from the sessions and iconic photography by Linda McCartney and by Ethan Russell, who documented the band’s January 1969 rehearsals, sessions, and rooftop performance, and whose photos are featured in the Let It Be album art.

Like Jackson’s “Get Back” docuseries, the exhibit shows how The Beatles composed and recorded many of their iconic songs from scratch. The exhibit’s three screening rooms feature a selection of footage from each location from the docuseries: Twickenham, Apple Studios, and the Apple Corps rooftop.

The footage from the recording sessions and conversations turn the clock back to 1969, showing the intimacy, joyousness, and humor as The Beatles write and record songs for Let It Be and some songs featured on Abbey Road and future solo albums.

? “High In The Clouds” animated movie on Netflix.

? “It’s A Wonderful Life” musical.

? The Charlie Lightening Documentary

? The Single recorded with Andrew Watt in 2021 (or maybe a new album to tour with later this year)

? Mary McCartney’s Abbey Road documentary

? Another archive collection release

(Maybe finally “LONDON TOWN/BACK TO THE EGG” era. These are the only Wings albums not dealt with. I must remember to start selling my blood and body parts to be able to afford the various formats this will bring!

Well……. This is it. February 27th. I woke, and have all the memories and all the content, and I will embrace all things Paul/Fabs until the day my eyes close forever……

In 2023, if life works out, we will be back to recap 2022 and start our next phase of McCartney’s life. The live albums, the alternative albums and his classical material.

Thank you to everyone that has spent any time reading and remembering these memories the last 18 months. It was healing for me during stressful times.

Stay safe and healthy and remember, that Paul’s message was always in his songs and continue savoring A Life Through The Eyes Of Paul McCartney.

Categories
Uncategorized

RAM ON (2021)

Denny Seiwell’s tribute to Ram, on the year of it’s 50th anniversary.

Denny Seiwell, the drummer on Paul & Linda McCartney’s 1971 album “Ram“, co-produced a tribute album to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release.

Original guitarist David Spinozza returned to reprise his parts on the album along with Marvin Stamm who played the flugelhorn on “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. In total, over 100 musicians contributed to this album.

The album was released on May 14, 2021, the same day as the official 50th anniversary half-speed remastered vinyl.

Released on Cherry Red Records: Ram On is a 50th Anniversary re-imagining of Paul and Linda McCartney’s seminal “Ram” album.

It was co-produced by multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo and Denny Seiwell, original drummer on “Ram” in 1971.

The album also features re-created original ‘Ram’ session tracks in the Non-Album Single, ‘Another Day’ and its B-Side, ‘Oh Woman Oh Why’.
Denny Seiwell: “Fernando called me up and he said “Do you know it’s 50th anniversary of Ram? Let’s do the whole album!”.

I said, “Well, yeah, I think so, but before we do anything let me call Paul, let me see how he feels about that”.

So I called Paul and he said “Yeah, go ahead, have fun”. So it seemed we got his blessing and then I talked to his people at MPL [McCartney Productions Limited] in New York to make sure that we didn’t, you know, crush anything that he was planning and that [there were] no conflicts of interest.”

I’m sorry I forgot to mention this in 2021 Paul post, but this is a delightful album, made with care, love and talent.

Give it a listen and Ram On.

Categories
Uncategorized

2021

In 2021 Michael Buble recorded his version of Macca’s “My Valentine.”

It will be released on his album “HIGHER,” on March 25th, 2022.

On March 18th, a sequel to Paul McCartney’s first picture book for children, “Hey Grandude!” released in September 2019, was announced. Named “Grandude’s Green Submarine“, it would be released on November 30, 2021.

Paul said: “I’m really happy with how ‘Hey Grandude!’ was received as this was a very personal story for me, celebrating Grandudes everywhere and their relationships and adventures with their grandchildren. I love that it has become a book read to grandkids at bedtime all around the world. I always said if people liked the first book and there was an appetite for more I would write some further adventures for Grandude – so he’s back and this time with his special invention, Grandude’s green submarine!” It was available as an audio book (read by Paul) as well as hardback.

In April Paul had recording session with Andre Watt.

“ I am in Los Angeles. I just started doing a little bit of work. I met the producer, Andrew Watt. Have you heard of Andrew? I just met him.

My manager said “you might like to go say hello and meet him”. So I went around for a cup of tea, and of course we ended up making a track.. So that’s, that’s great fun…. And I actually started off saying “sometimes it’s great to experiment with a chord you don’t even know”. I say, “a crazy chord like …” and I did this chord and I thought “Oh, that’s really crazy”.

But I messed around with it a little bit. And it resolved itself into a less crazy one, and it’s just the opening sequence in a little thing. So then, we started and I said “well, should we put this down?” And that was fatal.

And then, Yeah, how about some drums… It was very nice. And so I’m hoping to kind of finish that up today, or near enough finish it. So that’s quite nice. It’s the theme of the tune was… Sometimes an image will come into your mind. And I remember when I was a kid, where we used to live, there was blocks of flats where people lived, and I remember walking by this one (where) I knew this girl lived… And her light was on, so I could kind of see her silhouette in the window. So I always thought, wow… I mean, I suppose that makes me a voyeur.

But there’s something kind of romantic about it. So I just started the song with that thought, like, ‘I walk by your house and I see your silhouette on the blind.’ And then try to develop it. ‘Do I ever cross your mind?’” – Paul

On April 16th, the album, III IMAGINED, was released.

McCARTNEY III REINTERPRETED BY ALL-STAR LINEUP INCLUDING ANDERSON .PAAK, BECK, BLOOD ORANGE, DAMON ALBARN, EOB, JOSH HOMME, KHRUANGBIN, 3D RDN FROM MASSIVE ATTACK, PHOEBE BRIDGERS, ST. VINCENT & MORE .

McCartney III Imagined, a mixture of covers and remixes of 2020’s McCARTNEY III is released on digital and streaming platforms, with CD and vinyl formats made available for pre-order.

Personally curated by Paul, McCartney III Imagined features an A-List assortment of friends, fans and brand new acquaintances, each covering and/or re-imagining their favorite McCartney III moments in their own signature styles.

It was available in the following formats:

2LP Translucent Deep Blue Vinyl

2LP Spotify Exclusive Vinyl

2LP Silver Vinyl

2LP Red Vinyl

2LP Black Vinyl

2LP Limited Exclusive Violet Vinyl

2LP Limited Exclusive Splatter Vinyl

2LP Gold Vinyl

2LP Exclusive Pink Vinyl

2LP Dark Green Transparent Vinyl

Indie Smoky Tint Cassette

Limited Pink Cassette

Limited Edition Dice, Notebook & CD Box-set

Target Exclusive CD

Standard CD release

Time for another bank loan for the completists.

May 14th saw the release of the half-speed mastering of 1971’s RAM on its 50th anniversary.

On June 24th, A new plant based cookbook by Linda McCartney, with Paul, Mary and Stella was released.

“Years ago, before anyone had woken up to the idea of environmental and health and animal welfare issues, Linda was blazing the trail with vegetarianism, telling people about it and promoting it. At home, she would cook for the family and these recipes have been now brought up to date for a modern audience, so they’re all now plant-based and fabulous. In the book there are family photographs and stories from those days, and of course lots of great, beautiful tasting healthy recipes. So I hope this book inspires conversations about sustainability and about modern living amongst people besides also just giving them some great recipes to eat.” – Paul

June 30th saw “Paul” released.

Art book publisher Taschen published “Paul”, a photography book featuring images of Paul McCartney taken by photojournalist Harry Benson. The book is limited to 700 copies :

Paul. Art Edition No. 1–50 ‘A Hard Day’s Night, 1964’ – Edition of 50 – Art Edition (No. 1–50), each numbered and signed by Harry Benson and accompanied by the signed print A Hard Day’s Night, 1964. Cost: 3000 British pounds.

Paul. Art Edition No. 51–100 ‘Wings Backstage, 1976’ – Edition of 50 – Art Edition (No. 51–100), each numbered and signed by Harry Benson and accompanied by the signed print Wings Backstage, 1976. Cost: 3000 British Pounds.

Paul – Edition of 600 – Collector’s Edition (No. 101–700), each numbered and signed by Harry Benson. Cost: 600 British Pounds.

“Paul” was an intimate look at one of the greatest music legends of all time, by an iconic photojournalist. From the delirium of the Beatles’ 1964 U.S. tour to the heady, shaggy days of WINGS in the 1970s and the quiet idyll of life on the family farm in the early 1990s, “Paul” traces the evolution of a pop superstar and of the man himself through more than 100 photographs, many never seen before.

“McCartney 3,2,1” is a 2021 documentary miniseries starring Paul McCartney and producer Rick Rubin. The six-part series features the pair discussing Paul’s career, from The Beatles and Wings to his time as a solo artist.

On this day, July 16, 2021, it was digitally released in the US by Hulu streaming platform. It would be released in UK / Europe by Disney+ on August 25, 2021.

From McCartney 3,2,1 Paul McCartney sits down for a rare, in-depth, one on one with legendary producer Rick Rubin to discuss his groundbreaking work with The Beatles, the emblematic 70s arena rock of Wings and his 50 years and counting as a solo artist. In this six-episode series that explores music and creativity in a unique and revelatory manner, join Paul and Rick for an intimate conversation about the songwriting, influences, and personal relationships that informed the iconic songs that have served as the soundtracks of our lives.

Paul entertained daughter Stella on her 50th birthday on September 18th.

Former Oasis front man Noel Gallagher: “I ended up on stage with the great Paul McCartney playing the song Birthday and then segued into I Saw Her Standing There. It wasn’t like I was there and they pulled me out of the crowd like a surprise. I was asked a couple of weeks up front. I performed, I did some of my stuff, and then someone said, ‘We’ll get you up on stage with my dad.’ And I said, ‘F***ing yes!’ It was quite the night and, as you can imagine, for a chap like me it was quite the moment.”

The “Let It Be” album was remixed to honor its 50th anniversary. It was released on October 12th.

October 22nd saw the limited re-release of McCARTNEY III in Yellow and Black Splatter.

There were only 3,333 copies of this new yellow & black McCartney III splatter vinyl! Pressed by Third Man Records and made from recycled McCartney & McCartney II records, was available exclusively at indie record stores.

October 30th had Paul inducting the Foo Fighters into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

After their speeches, the band returned to the stage, where Paul joined them for a show-closing cover of the Beatles’ “Get Back”.

Paul’s induction speech:

“When they asked me to do a speech, they said, “Do you want to have the auto cue?” I said, “No, I’m good. I’ll look at the paper.” But I’ve been seeing everyone do these amazing speeches, I’m beginning to think I should have taken the auto cue. But I didn’t, so here it goes.

OK, so me, a teenage kid in Liverpool, just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else; and then one day, I heard some music and I fell into rock & roll. It just happened.

One day. Suddenly, the world changed, and I just fell, like, through a hole in time. And suddenly, I was in rock & roll. By the same time in his life, Dave did the same kind of thing. You know, he’s just an ordinary, kind of goofy kid.

And same thing happens, he falls through the same hole, and he’s in rock & roll and it’s gonna be his life. It’s gonna take over everything. And nothing was every the same again.

It’s so magical. Everyone who knows, everyone who’s connected with it, everyone who loves rock & roll. It really is a magical thing that contains so many elements – like all of the people we’ve heard tonight. I mean, it’s just unbelievable.

So I feel super privileged to be here tonight, inducting these guys.

So when that happened, and I fell into rock & roll, I joined a group. My group was the Beatles. Like I say, the world changed. Dave did a similar kind of thing. He joined a group, Nirvana. We had a great time with our groups, but eventually tragedy happened and my group broke up. Same happened with Dave. His group broke up under tragic circumstances.

So the question is, what do you do now? We both were presented with that question. In my case, I said, “Well, I’ll make an album where I play all the instruments myself.” So I did that. Dave’s group broke up, what’s he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself. Do you think this guy’s stalking me?

Anyway, so me, I’m gonna name my new group, and I call them Wings. So Dave’s got the same problem, and he’s got to think of a name for the group, so he comes up with “Foo Fighters.”

So now the group is formed. It’s ready to take flight. It’s Dave, Taylor [Hawkins], Nate [Mendel], Pat [Smear], Chris [Shiflett], and Rami [Jaffee] – all the members of the Foo Fighters. So here they are tonight.

I was just saying to them in the dressing room, “Guys, this is it. You’re here in Cleveland, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And tonight, you’re gonna be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” I mean, it’s not just any Hall of Fame — it’s the fucking Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. OK, now they’re gonna show a little film, and this film shows the reasons why this band is one of the greatest rock & roll bands in the world. OK, let’s roll the film.”

On November 2nd, a new book entitled “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present” was published. First announced in February 2021, it covers Paul McCartney’s early Liverpool days, the Beatles, Wings, and solo careers, by pairing the lyrics of 154 of his songs with first-person commentaries of the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.

In this book, with unparalleled candor, Paul McCartney recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career – from his earliest boyhood compositions through the legendary decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present.

Arranged alphabetically to provide a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account, it establishes definitive texts of the songs’ lyrics for the first time and describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.

Presented with this is a treasure trove of material from McCartney’s personal archive – drafts, letters, photographs – never seen before, which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

“The Beatles – Get Back” movie, announced in January 2019, head now morphed into a 3 part 6-hour documentary series and was released on the Disney+ streaming platform in November 2021. A companion book of the same name was issue to accompany the viewer.

December brought with it “Mike McCartney’s Early Liverpool” book. Acclaimed photographer Mike, brother of Paul, published a new book of photography about Liverpool in the 60s and 70s. Paul McCartney and the Beatles are well represented in this book, with previously unpublished photographs.

Collector Copies are numbered 351 to 2,000, signed by Mike McCartney and include a stamped 8″x10″ (200mm x 254mm) print.

The release is limited to only 2,000 copies worldwide, each signed by Mike.

Quarter bound in black cloth, the Collector cover features an original stencil by McCartney, created for a poster advertising an early Beatles gig at the Casbah, rendered in gold foil blocking. The Collector copies also include a double-sided 8″x10″ print (200mm x 254mm).

On the front, a Kodachrome color photograph captures John, Paul and George playing as the Quarrymen at a McCartney family celebration in 1958. A friend of the family, Dennis Littler, appears at the right of the frame.

On the reverse, Mike McCartney is pictured with Dennis more than 50 years later, in 2012. The print is numbered, stamped, and is suitable for framing.

The Collector copies are housed in an archival slipcase screen-printed with a montage of photographs and original artwork.

Next: catching Paul up to date in 2022….

Coming in 2023…. reviewing all the live album,

Alternative albums (Fireman, Twin Freaks, III Imagined etc..)

Classical albums.

Categories
Uncategorized

The Rest of 2020

In addition to the release of McCARTNEY III on December 18th, and the year spent recording and preparing the rollout of this second straight #1 album, Paul also saw in 2020…….

April 11th saw handwritten lyrics of Paul’s “Hey Jude” sell for $910,000 at auction.

On April 18, 2020, Paul’s 1st solo album, McCARTNEY, received a special 50th anniversary release in a limited edition half-speed mastered vinyl pressing for Record Store Day.

On May 18th two versions of “Angel in Disguise“, the unreleased song written by Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney in 1991 were auctioned by Omega Auctions, and sold for £8,000 (below the £10,000 – £20,000 estimation).

One of the versions is a rough demo with the vocals sung by McCartney; the other one is a mixed version featuring other musicians & backing vocals, and Ringo Starr’s vocals.

Those versions are a cassette tape which was owned by Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince. At the time in the nineties, he was asked to find artists to record alternative versions of the song, after Ringo Starr rejected the track.

June 12th had the announcement of the 13th archive release from Paul, his 1997 “FLAMING PIE.”

The achieve was available in many formats including

A numbered, limited seven-disc (5CD/2DVD) Deluxe Edition Box Set comprised of the original album remastered at Abbey Road Studios, 32 bonus audio tracks including unheard home recordings and demos, alternative studio recordings, rough mixes and B-sides including selections from Oobu Joobu parts 1-6, Flaming Pie At The Mill CD (Paul’s hour-long tour of his studio), video content including the In The World Tonight documentary, original music videos, EPKs, interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes material, a 128-page book containing previously unpublished images by Linda McCartney, expanded album artwork from the archives and the story behind the album written by Chris Heath – including track-by-track information, recipes and new interviews with Paul, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Steve Miller and key album personnel, studio notes, handwritten lyrics, the 1997 Flaming Pie issue of Club Sandwich, the official newspaper of the Paul McCartney Fan Club, downloadable 24bit 96kHz HD audio, and more…

A 4LP/5CD/2DVD Collector’s Edition — strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies issued in a cloth wrapped two-piece collector’s box —featured everything in the Deluxe Edition plus a marbled art print portfolio of six silkscreened Linda McCartney art prints, exclusive vinyl versions of the remastered album cut at half speed across 2LPs in an exclusive gatefold sleeve, an LP of home recordings in a hand-stamped white label sleeve, and “The Ballad of the Skeletons” – Paul’s 1996 collaboration with Allen Ginsberg, also featuring Philip Glass and Lenny Kaye – released for the first time on vinyl and cut at 45 RPM with vinyl etching and poster.

Additional Flaming Pie Archive Collection formats included…

2CD (remastered album + 21 tracks of bonus audio).

2LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gate-fold sleeve with booklet).

3LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gate-fold sleeve with booklet, plus single 180g LP of unreleased home recordings in hand-stamped white label sleeve both housed in a slipcase).

The release was also available on streaming platforms. All of these available formats were released on July 31st.

On November 8th the restored “Rupert And The Frog Song” video and audio was released. It was restored in 4K and the official music video for “We All Stand Together” was also remastered and upgraded to HD, and released at the same time.

On December 16th, two days before the release of his “McCartney III” album, Paul announced an upcoming documentary made with legendary producer Rick Rubin.

The official announcement would come in May 2021, and the documentary would be given a name (“McCartney 3,2,1“) and a July 16th, 2021 release date.

December 19th saw BBC1 broadcast an interview of Paul with famed actor Idris Elba. The promotion continued as Paul and Idris spent the 60 minutes discussing all things Paul.

December 20th had filmmaker Peter Jackson release an exclusive sneak peek of his upcoming documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” for fans everywhere to enjoy.


The 5-minute special look was available to fans worldwide on TheBeatles.com and streaming on Disney+. 

Jackson said, “We wanted to give the fans of The Beatles all over the world a holiday treat, so we put together this five-minute sneak peek at our upcoming theatrical film ‘The Beatles: Get Back.’ We hope it will bring a smile to everyone’s faces and some much-needed joy at this difficult time.”

Paul also did an an interview on December 20th with CBS Sunday Morning TV show, and an interview on the Zane Lowe Show and The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on December 21st.

The same day saw an online listening party for III on Twitter.

Finally, a chat on Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything on December 23rd).

Then to wake up on Christmas morning, the 78 year old musical icon opened up the news of the album going #1 in the U.K.

Not a bad year, in a very bad year.

Next….2021…

Categories
Uncategorized

The Marketing Of III

On October 16, 2020, there was a marketing push on social networks to promote Paul’s music playlist. Except that this time, when listening to “Coming Up” and “Waterfalls”and “Oo You” or “Man We Was Lonely”, we see a die rolling on the screen and stopping with the number “3” (the die animation was also made available on all tracks of the “McCartney” and “McCartney II”).

Also, the playlist was published at 3.33pm British Standard Time !

On October 19, various journalists and fans received three dice as a promo item from Capitol Records.

On October 20, the following three photos were published on the official social media accounts of Paul McCartney.

Those three photos would be the latest clue, as the official announcement came on October 21.
But the marketing promotion didn’t end with the announcement.

On October 23, it was reported that some “McCartney III” stamps were seen on sidewalks in Hollywood and Manhattan.


It was also announced that McCartney III would be released December 11 on Capitol Records across digital platforms, on CD, and on LP manufactured by Third Man Pressing.

Vinyl configurations will range from standard 180g to a Third Man Edition of 3000 hand-numbered red vinyl copies, a ‘333’ Edition sold only via Third Man Records online store and limited to 333 copies on yellow-with-black-dots vinyl created using 33 recycled vinyl copies of McCartney and McCartney II, a U.S. indie retail exclusive pressing of 4000 hand-numbered white vinyl LPs, and more. 

Here is the list of physical formats / limited editions made available as pre-order on the day of the announcement:

Black LP
Black CD
Deluxe digital album (splatter cover)
McCartney III (333 Edition)
McCartney III (Exclusive Third Man Records Version Red LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Newbury Comics – Pink LP)
McCartney III (Target exclusive, Green LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Orange LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Blue LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Violet LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Blue LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Yellow LP)
McCartney III (Indie exclusive Spotify Limited Edition White LP)

McCartney III (Exclusive White CD)
McCartney III (Exclusive Red CD)
McCartney III (Exclusive Blue CD)
McCartney III (Exclusive yellow CD)
McCartney III (Green cover, CD)
McCartney III (Limited Japanese edition)

McCartney III (Smokey Tint Cassette)
McCartney III (Test Pressing)

Starting from 4 December 2020, McCartney sent via his Facebook page the first post of a series of 12 daily posts unveiling the titles of each of the 11 new tracks from his new album through murals painted in 12 different cities all over the world.

Each mural is showing the title of a new track, an excerpt from its music score and its author along with the album title and its release date.

McCartney also asked all musicians to post their video covers of his 11 new songs through his special website #12DaysOfPaul.

During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show on 15 December 2020, McCartney revealed that American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift originally decided to postpone the release of her album Evermore by one week to respect the original 11 December release date of his album.

Upon learning this, McCartney decided to release his album on 18 December instead so that Swift could move forward with the rollout of Evermore as initially planned.

On 17 December, a day before the album release, two live appearances were revealed for that day: one on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and a YouTube Released special featuring Chris Rock, alongside the release date for the lead single “Find My Way”, which was released at the same time as the album.

In November 2021 a mini-documentary about the creation of the previous year’s Third Man Records 333 edition of McCartney III using recycled McCartney and McCartney II records was released.

McCartney III had strong sales internationally. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart on Christmas Day 2020, marking his first number-one solo album in his home country in 31 years (since 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt).

The album reached the top spot by selling 33,079 album-equivalent units.

The album also reached the top 10 of many other European markets.
In the US, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200–behind Taylor Swift’s Evermore.

The placement earned McCartney the feat of being the first artist to have a new album at the top or second-top of the chart in each of the last six decades.

McCartney III was also the top-selling album in its debut week in the US, outselling Swift’s Evermore and Eminem’s Music to Be Murdered By – Side B in pure sales.

The album also recorded the third largest US vinyl sales week since Nielsen SoundScan tracking era began in 1991.

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, McCartney III has an average score of 81, based on 23 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim.”

So, quite a roll out, and a second #1 in a row. Next, Since there was no touring, we will describe what else happened in 2020 concerning Paul.

Categories
Uncategorized

McCartney III (2020)

“I’m very lucky because I have a studio that’s, like, 20 minutes away from where I live.

We were in lock down on a farm, a sheep farm with my daughter Mary and her four kids and her husband.
So I had four of my grand kids, I had Mary, who’s a great cook, so I would just drive myself to the studio.

And there were two other guys that could come in and we’d be very careful and distanced and everything: my engineer Steve, and then my equipment guy Keith.

So the three of us made the record, and I just started off. I had to do a little bit of film music – I had to do an instrumental for a film thing – so I did that.

And I just kept going, and that turned into the opening track on the album. I would just come in, say, “Oh, yeah, what are we gonna do?” [Then] have some sort of idea, and start doing it.

Normally, I’d start with the instrument I wrote it on, either piano or guitar, and then probably add some drums and then a bit of bass till it started to sound like a record, and then just gradually layer it all up. It was fun.”

————————————————-

“Long Tailed Winter Bird”

The process first sparked when Paul returned to an unreleased track from the early 90s, ’When Winter Comes’ (co-produced by George Martin). Paul crafted a new passage for the song, giving rise to album opener ’Long Tailed Winter Bird’ — while ’When Winter Comes’, featuring its new 2020 intro ’Winter Bird’,  became the new album’s finale. 

“‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’ started as a piece of film music which I extended. The title came about because it was extended into a full length song, we just called it ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’ – there is actually in my bird book I saw a long tailed duck, a long tailed winter duck I think, anyway.” – Paul

-One of my favorite McCartney opening tracks ever. It truly shows off Paul as the musician of our lifetime, as he slowly builds and changes the song just enough to keep it fresh. This is not an album of 3 minute pop gems, however it is an album to be listened to, at least a few times. It even helps to maybe be a tad bit “loose.” You have to immerse yourself in the sonic landscape and all Paul is giving you. Here it is, wall to wall guitars, both acoustic and electric. The lyrics don’t even matter at all…. The few that there’s even some backwards effects! Rating – 8.5

“Find My Way”

“That was written at the beginning of lockdown. It was a very scary time. Other scares we’ve had – SARS, avian flu – they seemed to happen to other people. But this was happening to everyone, people you knew, everyone in the world. Some of my friends, some people I knew were close to going under with it. I was thinking about people who worry more than I do.

And I know one or two people which are just kind-of worried about life. And it’s not that I don’t, it’s just that I deal with those worries and think “No, it’s ok, there’s a way out of this” and I can generally find some optimistic exit from a bad situation.

But there are some people who do get overwhelmed with it. So I think I was addressing those people and thinking “you never used to be so anxious but now you are, so let me be your guide, let me help you, to find the love that is inside you.” It just felt like a natural thing to say, so that’s what it’s about.” – Paul

-Slightly awkward drum production (I wished they were brought up your face). The hook is wonderful, with the old man voice leaving me smile. This is classic Paul, as good as anything he has written in the last 40 years. You either love it with the new vocals, or punish it because you know what 1985 Paul would have torn the shit out of this one. Still…. Not bad at all. He even adds a coda where he goes his best surf runs on his NEW old telecaster. Rating – 8

“Pretty Boys”
The lyrics for “Pretty Boys” are inspired by Paul seeing bicycles for hire around New York and London.

“It was also inspired by certain photographers who have been known to get out of the line in the studio. The “objects of desire” in the song are male models. “You can look, but you’d better not touch…”

“I’ve been photographed by many photographers through the years. And when you get down to London, doing sessions with people like David Bailey, they can get pretty energetic in the studio. It’s like “Blow-Up”, you know? “Give it to me! [Expletive] the lens!” And it’s like: “What? No, I’m not going to.” But I understand why they’re doing that. They’re that kind of artist. So you allow it. Certain photographers — they tend to be very good photographers, by the way — can be totally out of line in the studio.

So “Pretty Boys” is about male models. And going around New York or London, you see the lines of bicycles for hire. It struck me that they’re like models, there to be used. It’s most unfortunate.”- Paul

-Acoustic that took a few years for me to settle in on it. The sound is full and as lush as he has ever sounded. He pulls back the lead vocal and slightly flattens it out in the mix, letting the instrumentation take over a bit. Rating- 7.5 (interesting ideas for a song though)

“Women And Wives”
“I wrote this when I was in Los Angeles and I had just been reading a book on the Blues artist Leadbelly, so I was trying to get in this bluesy mood so I played on the piano, played some simple chords and started singing in what I imagined was like bluesy [sings], so that was that and then I recorded it at the studio in England.” – Paul

-I heard more 68’ Fats in this one. The vocals aren’t really that affected as certain podcasts gripe that it’s (his vocal singing style) way overdone. I don’t. The style fits its, like it did with “Lady Madonna.” It just doesn’t have the magical hook that takes it from the decent to his upper level. Rating – 7

“Lavatory Lil’”
One thing we know about ‘Lavatory Lil’ is this, that the character is based on someone who Paul worked with, that turned into a bit of a baddie.

Paul recorded the song using a vintage 1954 Telecaster guitar gifted to him by his wife Nancy. To get the great blues rock sound on the song, Paul played the Telecaster through his Vox AC30 amp.

“Lavatory Lil” is a parody of someone I didn’t like. Someone I was working with who turned out to be a bit of a baddie. I thought things were great; it turned nasty. So I made up the character Lavatory Lil and remembered some of the things that had gone on and put them in the song. I don’t need to be more specific than that. I will never divulge who it was.” – Paul

-A toe-tapper. On spot vicious lyrics and great production. Paul’s vocal sound so good, as is his ripping solo. I think it’s about Heather, but some people never know…. Rating – 8

“Deep Deep Feeling”
Deep Deep Feeling’ is the longest song on ‘McCartney III’ clocking in at nearly eight and a half minutes. It’s also one of the most experimental tracks on the album.

Paul used his Brenall 1/4″ reel-to-reel to layer guitar parts and create what he referred as the “guitar orchestra”. The often resulted in their being 40 guitar tracks for each chord. Paul did consider editing the track’s length. But, as the sessions came about by accident, he decided to leave it uncut and let the album be about him having fun.

“This was from a kind of jam that I had done, I’d wanted to get in a particular mood, a very sort of empty, spacey mood so I did that and then the vocals on top of it, I just made up stuff so it was just a combination of ideas that became an eight-minute song.

-A slow builder you must let yourself become totally immersed in the soundscape to appreciate. I don’t think Paul has ever recorded a song quite like this. At 8 1/2 minutes, it may seem too long, but it is not. It is a slow moving musical journey. Nice change of pace when he brings the piano into the groove. Outstanding, on all levels. Rating – 8.5

“Slidin’”
“Slidin’” was started during the sessions for Paul’s previous studio album “Egypt Station”. The song’s riff came about by Paul jamming with his live band. Before playing a gig, Paul will often perform a soundcheck set of an hour or longer. The riff from “Slidin’” came from the soundcheck jam at his Dusseldorf show in May 2016.

To achieve the heavy drum sound that opens the track, Paul recorded the tom-toms at double speed. When played back at normal speed, the drums are then an octave lower and the effect creates a deeper tone.

-Paul rocks the hell out of this one, helped by the band. One of two tracks that were started before “Rock down.” Paul’s vocals are sweet, but buried in the mix. Rating – 8

“The Kiss Of Venus”
‘The Kiss Of Venus’ was inspired by a book about the movements of the planets. The book discussed the ‘pentagram of Venus’ and used the poetic term the kiss of Venus. Along with Paul’s singing and guitar, the only other instrument to appear on the track is a harpsichord.

While often associated with Baroque music, Paul is a big fan of the harpsichord and has used it throughout his career, and on recent songs like ‘New’ and ‘Fuh You’. Paul also plays harpsichord on ‘Find My Way’ and ‘Pretty Boys’ on ‘McCartney III’.

-Classic Macca acoustic charmer. His fragility in voice now lends itself as delicate and gentle. The harpsichord break was a nice touch. Rating – 7.5

“Seize The Day”
Whilst Paul didn’t start out intending to be a philosophical song, it turned out to be just that. ‘Seize The Day’ was written during lockdown when the world was learning to live with COVID-19.

After writing the line, ‘Yankee toes and Eskimos’, Paul came up with ‘Can turn the frozen ice’. Paul realized he was writing about how not every day will be sunny. The song then turned into a reminder that we should hang onto the good times and ‘Seize The Day’.

-Paul has told of this message quite a few times in his storied career. Again, live in the moment. Behind the scenes in this simple song reveal quite a rocking rhythm track. Rating – 7.5

“Deep Down”
“That was just a jam I had. I had a beat I liked and chords that I liked and I didn’t really have much of an idea but I had had this thing that said “get deep down, wanna get deep down” as this idea.

I didn’t quite know what I meant by deep down except I want to have a deep relationship with you or whatever so I just really kept going on it. Some songs you know you don’t quite know where you’re going; you’ve just got half an idea and it’s really just that you’re enjoying the groove and that one was one of those, I just thought of ideas as I went along.”

-Maybe one of the most soulful tracks Paul has ever written. In a sort of faux-hip hop beat and vocal style, Paul takes this middle of the road to the far extremes. He really lets loose his best 2021 growls as he takes us “deep down.” Rating – 7.5

“When Winter Comes”
The history of the song started 28 years before, as it was recorded on September 3, 1992, along with “Calico Skies” and “Great Day“.
‘When Winter Comes’ was originally recorded with George Martin at the mixing desk and unearthed during the research for Paul’s 2020 ‘Flaming Pie’ reissue.

Considering the song too good to be released as a bonus track, Paul decided to make a short film to accompany it.

-When this song came on to end the album the hairs on my arm stood upon as the 1992 voice came in on this sweet acoustic ditty. The sound of the voice of a lifetime at its peak makes me happy and sad. Happy, we have so many incredible vocal performances in his life. Sad, the voice has changed. Aged, fragile, but still amazing. A wonderful way to take us to the finish line. Rating – 8.5

Overall the album grades out at 7.86/10, which places it 11th out of the albums I’ve graded.

Next, the massive rollout of McCartney III and the rest of 2021…

Categories
Uncategorized

2020: The year of the self imposed “Rock-down”

When the 2019 “Freshen Up” tour pauses after the Dodgers Stadium show, plans have already been laid out for 2020. The initial schedule for Paul this year was to headline the 50th edition of the Glastonbury Festival and to continue his Freshen Up tour with a new European leg.

The COVID-19 crisis put a halt to the daily routine of billions of people throughout the world, forcing people to stay confined at home and all gatherings to be cancelled, including concerts. Everything had to be cancelled.

Think about just HIS touring and performing plans… every show, city, industry connected would not see a penny this year that the shows would have brought with it..… Billions of dollars of revenue for of thousands of people and business based on this one man. And then multiply this by nearly every live event scheduled world wide.

As I write this… it’s still far from good, but there was still NO vaccines available.

So, Paul, who doesn’t need another penny to survive, but realizes that all the others do…. Must be heartbreaking for him, to have to shut down on the heels of a new album (EGYPT STATION) that had found only praise. The clock is ticking…..

To compensate, Paul joined a couple of live-streamed events, like One World: Together At Home or ‘Round Midnight Preserves…

But he also gathered his daughter Mary, her children, and they gathered and stayed at Paul’s home, with Paul and Nancy. Safe and sound. Oh, Paul has a recording studio set up in the home.

So, he pulls out old and new fragments and ideas, and slowly begins to put things down, for a form of release.

As they forms of release became more polished songs, he began to change the concept. He would record something and bring it to the dinner table and have the family listen.

In 1969 and 1970, after the band he was in split up, he took new wife Linda and daughter Heather and recorded this way on 4 track Studer and he gave us I.

In 1980, after his drug bust, and mental realization that the NEXT band would break up, he again holed up with family and on two 4 tracks hooked he gave us II.

With nothing but unknowns in the world he was again holed up, and 77 year old Paul with his state of the art home studio came up with III.
————————————————-

On July 31st, 2020, the album FLAMING PIE received the next treatment in the archive series.

It was released on formats including 1. 5CD/2DVD/4LP Collector’s Edition strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies issued in a cloth wrapped two-piece collector’s box — will feature everything in the Deluxe Edition plus a marbled art print portfolio of six silkscreened Linda McCartney art prints, exclusive vinyl versions of the remastered album cut at half speed across 2LPs in an exclusive gatefold sleeve, an LP of home recordings in a hand-stamped white label sleeve, and “The Ballad of the Skeletons” – Paul’s 1996 collaboration with Allen Ginsberg, also featuring Philip Glass and Lenny Kaye – released for the first time on vinyl and cut at 45 RPM with vinyl etching and poster.

Collectors Edition
  1. 5CD/2DVD Deluxe Edition  
    Deluxe Edition Box Set comprised of the original album remastered at Abbey Road Studios, 32 bonus audio tracks including unheard home recordings and demos, alternative studio recordings, rough mixes and B-sides including selections from Oobu Joobu parts 1-6, Flaming Pie At The Mill CD (Paul’s hour-long tour of his studio), video content including the In The World Tonight documentary, original music videos, EPKs, interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes material, a 128-page book containing previously unpublished images by Linda McCartney, expanded album artwork from the archives and the story behind the album written by Chris Heath – including track-by-track information, recipes and new interviews with Paul, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Steve Miller and key album personnel, studio notes, handwritten lyrics, the 1997 Flaming Pie issue of Club Sandwich, the official newspaper of the Paul McCartney Fanclub, downloadable 24bit 96kHz HD audio, and more.
Deluxe Edition
  1. 3LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gatefold sleeve with booklet, plus single 180g LP of unreleased home recordings in hand-stamped white label sleeve both housed in a slipcase
  2. 2LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gatefold sleeve with booklet
  3. 2CD (remastered album + 21 tracks of bonus audio)
  4. Steaming platforms.

All digital pre-orders included ‘Young Boy’ EP. Also available as a stand alone purchase, the EP recreates the 1997 ‘Young Boy’ maxi single and features the remastered Flaming Pie single ‘Young Boy,’ a home recorded version of the song, the original B-side ‘Looking For You,’ and excerpts of ‘Oobu Joobu Part 1’ also from the original single. 

The 2 LP version

The two music videos for the track were restored and published on the same day.

Two additional EPs will be available for pre-order with ‘The World Tonight’ arriving on June 26 and ‘Beautiful Night’ on July 17.
———————————————-
On April 18th Paul played at Hog Hill Studio on One World: Together At Home.

“I’m very honored to be part of this program tonight that celebrates the true heroes: Our health care workers all around the world. As this COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, we all have to come together to fight it on a global scale. Let’s tell our leaders we need them to strengthen the health care systems all around the world so that a crisis like this never happens again. My mother Mary was a nurse and midwife just after and during the second World War, so I have a lot of time took for the doctors, the nurses and all the medical staff that keep us healthy. We love you, thank you.”

He performed that bluesy old man voice version of “Lady Madonna.” His heart was in the right place, but not one for the highlight reel.
———————————————-
June 20th, same thing but for ‘Round Midnight Preserves.’

Preservation Hall hosted a concert to benefit the COVID-19 relief efforts of the Preservation Hall Foundation. It featured performances by Preservation Hall Jazz Band,Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Irma Thomas, Dave Matthews, Beck, Jon Batiste, Jim James, Arcade Fire, PJ Morton, Nathaniel Rateliff, and more!

Spotify matched donations to the Preservation Hall Foundation, dollar for dollar, up to a collective total of $10 million.

Paul plays the trumpet in the rendition of “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In.” The trumpet was the first instrument Paul learned to play, before switching to the guitar.
The trumpet he used belonged to Louis Armstrong kindly loaned from the Louis Armstrong estate”)

“Happy Birthday Louis Armstrong. Thanks for lending me your trumpet!”
————————————————


In a worldwide exclusive for Radio 2, to mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, Sean Ono Lennon interviews Julian Lennon, Paul McCartney and Elton John in two-part documentary on October 3rd and 4th.


“I look back on it now like a fan, how lucky was I to meet this strange teddy boy off the bus, who played music like I did and we get together and boy, we complemented each other!” – Paul
———————————————
“Come Together” Paul re-records the classic with The Smokin’ Mojo Filters (Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher etc..) in 1995 and it finally comes out on September 9th, on The HELP Album.

Paul and Joe Walsh, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow and others lend background vocals on “Here’s To The Nights” on Ringo’s ZOOM IN EP. It would come out in 2021.
———————————————-
It was also announced on February 16th that a documentary 12 years in the making was going to may see the light of day. Charlie Lightning was to halve filmed the Glastonbury 2020 festival performance to cap off his film.

‘I’ve worked with Paul McCartney for 12 years and I followed him. I am still working with him, it’s not finished. I’ll be with him at Glastonbury,’ -Lightening

The film includes interviews and looks to cover Paul’s decade in the Beatles, his second band Wings and his subsequent solo career.
‘He’s helped me with what I do and I adore him. He’s trusted me and to have someone like that to see up close and work with – that’s inspiring, it makes you better at what you are, it makes you want to be better.’

The concert was cancelled and no hint on ANY release day for this documentary. George had an amazing three hour tribute by Martin Scorsese. I can only hope for the same here.
———————————————-
October 16th…. It began.
It started with just a picture of a die.
And showed us the 3 dots.

Next: III

Categories
Uncategorized

2019

2019 was another busy year for all things Paul McCartney.

I’m sure he kept writing new music throughout the year for the multiple projects he was working on.

But this was not a year which saw him the studio very often.

From the 2018 Wings RED ROSE SPEEDWAY deluxe edition, the previously unreleased “The Bruce McMouse Show” film saw a premiere in select cinemas around the world on January 21st.

The Bruce McMouse Show tells the story of how Paul and Wings came to meet the impresario Bruce McMouse.

Part concert film, part animated feature, it  featured footage from Wings’ 1972 European tour, interspersed with animated scenes that introduce a family of mice living under the stage.

On January 30th The Beatles “Get Back” project was announced.

On the day of the fiftieth anniversary (January 30th, 1969) of the Beatles’ rooftop concert, it was announced that film director Peter Jackson was working on a documentary that covers the making of the Beatles’ 1970 album “Let It Be.“

It would be given a name and an initial release date in cinemas in March 2020, but would be delayed a couple of times due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

Called “Get Back,” it would ultimately be released initially in three parts in November 2021 on Disney+ streaming service.

The announcement of the previously described “Travelers Edition” of EGYPT STATION was announced on February 14th (with love, I’m sure…).

On March 27th a school book Paul used as a teenager sold for £46,800 – nearly 10 times its estimate.

The exercise book – which features a doodle of a man smoking and a teacher’s critical comments – sold at an auction of Beatles memorabilia in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.

He used the exercise book at Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, where he was taught English literature by Alan ‘Dusty’ Durband.

Inside are 22 pages of essays he wrote on novels such as Thomas Hardy’s The Return Of The Native and John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

‘I’d answer the question first before challenging its truth,’ Mr Durband tells him on page three of the exercise book, from the 1959/60 school year. But the teenager, 17 or 18 at the time, showed promise, achieving marks from B- to B++ for his work.

The “Freshen Up” tour would resume on March 20th in Chile, pause on March 30th after Brazil. The resume again in New Orleans on May23rd, finishing on July 13th at Dodgers Stadium. 38 shows in 11 countries.

This is the last organized concert tour by Paul to this day as he has chosen not to with the advent of Covid-19. He says he wants to die onstage, and wants to tour again…

April 5th saw the release of the 1975 performance, PROFESSOR LONGHAIR LIVE ON THE QUEEN MARY on Vinyl, CD and Deluxe Formats.

Paul: “When we finished ‘Venus and Mars’, even though the album didn’t have a “New Orleans sound”, the flavor of us being there for so long is in there. For me, when I think of the album, I think of New Orleans.

So, we were going to have a launch party and I was looking around for something interesting, something exciting for us to do. And I heard that the Queen Mary – the old, original Queen Mary – was now in Long Beach, which is just outside LA. And it was now some kind of a hotel thing and was available for functions. You could hire it, you could hire the big ballroom. So we think, ‘Oh, well that’s perfect!

We should do that and we should have a guest-list with all the LA celebs and people like this’. Which meant it was a pretty cool guest-list!

So we’re thinking, ‘Oh, who’s going to entertain? Well, our favorites are currently The Meters and Professor Longhair.’ So we asked The Meters if they would back him and if he was happy to play with them. And everyone was happy. So that’s what we did: we booked them for the party! And then we thought, ‘Well, this an opportunity not to be missed. We should record it ‘cause they’re such favorite artists of ours!’ So again, we asked if they minded being recorded, which they didn’t, they were very happy to do that. And so we got this record out of it, which was very exciting.

I still remember the great thing The Meters used to do was that they used to start their act in their dressing room. So they would start off.. Somebody would have a drum. Somebody would have a tambourine. Somebody would have little claves. And they would just come into the hall from the dressing room playing. They just come walking in… [Carries on singing] Then they get up on the stage… [Sings…] Then they get their instruments on seamlessly …and suddenly it would be their opening number. It was such a great idea! 

They’re playing… the whole band’s together. They’re playing these rhythmic things, signing, chanting, coming on. And as they get up on stage, one of them will drop his tambourine and pick up a guitar, and then the next one would get on the drums and lose his conga. They didn’t stop and then start again, they were just seamless. They just seamlessly became a live band. 


That is a great way to start a show, yeah! They did that and then Professor Longhair came on and did his bit. And it was lovely. Really great!”

April 24th saw the announcement of the previously discussed “Station II” release.

Linda’s photos were exhibited in London from May 15th-19th.

Each year, Cardozo’s Journal of Conflict Resolution presents the International Advocate for Peace Award to an individual who is exemplary in the field of conflict resolution.

On May 28th The Cardozo Commencement Ceremony included the presentation of the International Advocate for Peace Award to Sir Paul McCartney from students of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. In honoring McCartney, students cited five decades of songs that “celebrate love and understanding, empathy and connection—the foundations of peace that are the heart of the human struggle.”

July 5th brought the opening of Linda McCartney “Retrospective” (until January 12, 2020). A major photographic exhibition, which was curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney and features iconic names and moments in music from the 1960s along with more intimate and emotional later work by the acclaimed and prolific photographer.


The retrospective featured a wealth of ephemera and archive material, which is being shown in public for the first time.

This will include one of Linda’s diaries from the 1960s, bringing new insight into the contemporary music scene of the era and the beginnings of her photographic career.

Cameras used by Linda and held in her archive will also be displayed along with photographic equipment and vintage magazines that have been uncovered from her expansive archive. 

Polaroids and contact sheets will also be part of the exhibition which explore her creativity and use of the different photographic techniques.

The Retrospective will feature a section dedicated to the photographs Linda took in Scotland alongside the themes of family life, self portraits, nature and social commentary.

To celebrate the first UK showing of the Linda McCartney Retrospective, the limited-edition color vinyl LP pressing of WIDE PRAIRIE will be available exclusively for one month prior to the album’s general release at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow from the exhibition’s July 5th opening.

In addition Paul also donated a set of limited edition photographs by his late wife Linda McCartney to Glasgow Museums.

July 18th Paul announces he is working on writing his first musical, an adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra motion picture, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Paul has partnered with British theatre and film impresario Bill Kenwright who will produce the show. Bill originally approached Paul three years ago after acquiring the rights to the much-loved film that over seven decades since its release continues to be a Prime-Time must for television audiences all around the world.

Paul and Bill both were born and raised in Liverpool, and both attended the Liverpool Institute High School (now LIPA – the acclaimed performing arts academy founded by Paul).
 
In addition to writing the music Paul has been working on the lyrics with the Tony Award winning English screen and play writer Lee Hall, who is also responsible for the book of the musical.

Speaking about this news Paul said:
“Like many of these things this all started with an email. Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is a universal story we can all relate to.”

Bill Kenwright said:  “Working with Paul on “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a dream realized. To be honest I was hooked on first hearing him say “one/two/three/four” on the demo of the opening number! But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey – on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition. It’s musical theatre – but it’s always McCartney.

Paul attends the next LIPA graduation on July 26th.

On August 11th The Beatles announced the 50th anniversary boxset of “ABBEY ROAD.”

“Abbey Road” Presented with New Mixes in Stereo, 5.1 Surround, and Dolby Atmos; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings and Demos to be released September 27th.
Abbey Road’s Super Deluxe box set presents 40 tracks – including “The Long One” Trial Edit & Mix for the album’s epic Side 2 medley – on three CDs (stereo) and one Blu-ray disc (Dolby Atmos, 96kHz/24 bit high resolution stereo, and 96 kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1).

The four discs are housed in a slip-sleeved 12” by 12” 100-page hardbound book with McCartney’s foreword; Martin’s introduction; insightful, in-depth chapters written by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett covering the months preceding The Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions, track-by-track details and session notes, the cover art and photo shoot, and the album’s reception upon its release; plus an essay by music journalist and author David Hepworth looking at the album’s influence through 50 years.

The book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs, including many taken by Linda McCartney; never before published images of handwritten lyrics, sketches, and a George Martin score; Beatles correspondence, recording sheets, and tape boxes; and reproduced original print ads.

The Super Deluxe digital audio collection presents all 40 tracks for download purchase and streaming in standard and MFiT formats, as well as in high resolution audio (96kHz/24 bit) for download.

Abbey Road’s limited edition Deluxe vinyl box set features all 40 tracks from the Super Deluxe collection on three 180-gram vinyl LPs. The album’s new stereo mix LP is packaged in a faithfully replicated sleeve, with the two Sessions LPs paired in their own jacket, presented with a four-page insert in a lift-top box.

The Deluxe 2CD set pairs the new stereo mix with versions taken from the session takes and demo recordings of its 17 songs, sequenced to match the album’s running order. The two discs are presented in a digipak with a 40-page booklet abridged from the Super Deluxe book.

The album’s new stereo mix is also available in 1CD and 180-gram 1LP vinyl packages, for digital download in standard and MFiT audio, and on a limited edition picture disc vinyl LP illustrated by the album’s front and back cover art images.

Abbey Road’s Super Deluxe and Deluxe vinyl box sets’ 23 session and demo recordings are presented in chronological order of their first recording dates. “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” leads the charge.

September 5th brought another delightful Macca surprise. The release of “Hey Grandude!” This is Paul’s 1st picture book.

“It’s about a character called Grandude who represents grandfathers everywhere.

He has four grandchildren and he calls them “Chillers”. They love him and they go on adventures with him and he’s kind of magical, so you’ll see that in the book. I wanted to write it for grandparents everywhere – and the kids – so it gives you something to read to the grandkids at bed time.” – Paul

He would read it out loud at Waterstones in London the next day.

Speaking of books…..On September 18, Benedikt and Marlene Taschen, along with Mary, Stella and Paul McCartney, hosted the launch of Linda McCartney “The Polaroid Diaries” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Guests included Ringo Starr, Chrissie Hynde, Twiggy, Sharleen Spiteri, Marc Newson, Rosemary Ferguson, Sheherezade Goldsmith and more.

After a private cocktail reception in the V&A’s Photography Centre, Mary and Stella McCartney – plus surprise guest Paul – joined 275 V&A members for a conversation about the book and Linda McCartney’s photographic work moderated by critic and author Ekow Eshun.

A book signing in the Silver Galleries of the museum concluded the evening.

Bringing together hundreds of unseen Polaroids from the 1970s to the late 1990s, the book provides intimate testimony to Linda McCartney’s legacy as a fiercely committed and experimental artist, and is TASCHEN’s second monograph of her work following the 2011 publication of Linda McCartney, “Life in Photographs.”

The book was released a week later.


The next day Paul and Ringo joined the 50th Anniversary Album Party!

November 22nd the entire catalog of Beatles singles were remastered and printed with the original sleeve in a box set called “The Singles Collection.” Since each of these new 180gm vinyl single were released in dozens of different sleeves worldwide, a wonderful cross-section of nationalities are included. It now sells in the $200 range. It includes a 39 page book and new “Free As A Bird/Real Love” single.

November 29th saw a limited edition picture disc new single released on RSD called “Home Tonight/“In A Hurry” (reviewed last post)

And if he did not have enough irons in the fire (PS..he’s writing a new album as well) It was announced on December 10th that Netflix and Gaumont are producing a new animated feature based his book “High In The Clouds.”

The new animated adventure follows an imaginative teenage squirrel named Wirral, who finds himself pulled into a ramshackle gang of teenage rebels who live high in the clouds. After he accidentally antagonizes Gretsch the owl, the tyrannical leader (and fabulous singer!), who steals the voice of anyone who upstages her.


Maybe this or next year we will see many of this behind the scene works come to fruition.

Next, 2020… Paul goes into lock-down…oops, I mean rock-down.

Categories
Uncategorized

Finishing 2018 into 2019

Paul and Capitol released the new double single “I Don’t Know/Come On To Me” as a downloadable stream on June 20th, 2018.

An exclusive record store day of 5000 (hand numbered) 7” vinyls were issued later that year on November 23rd.

August 15th saw the second single, “Fuh You,” released.

Lyric videos were released on YouTube for the first singles “Come On To Me”, “I Don’t Know”, and “Fuh You”. Eventually, official music videos were released for “Fuh You”, “Back In Brazil” and “Come On To Me”.

The music videos are a creative departure from many of McCartney’s previous music videos in that they each focus on the lives of ordinary people with McCartney only appearing briefly (on stage) in the conclusion of “Back In Brazil”.

On July 6th we saw the limited release of The Beatles “Yellow Submarine”/“Eleanor Rigby” 7” picture disc. The single was in conjunction to the new restoration of the film to 4k on its 50th anniversary.

Paul and his magnificent band took the new album on the road for the “Freshen Up” tour.

Before kicking it off he had his band play a warm-up “secret” concert at Grand Central Terminal that was live-streamed on YouTube. Music only videos of each performance were later uploaded to his YouTube channel.

It started on September 17th in Quebec, Canada. Four more Canadian shows followed, and onto four shows in Japan and five shows in Europe, finishing on December 16th at the O2 Arena in London.

He also headlined Austin City Limits Festival in Austin , Texas on October 5th and the 12th. In between he did a 14 song set at a private party for Patriots owner Robert Craft at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

The tour would continue in 2019 with five shows in South America in March of 2019 followed by sixteen shows in North America from May23rd, finishing on July 13th at Dodger Stadium…. And that was it..
World health events most assured cut what would have been more dates on an album that Paul was very willing to go out and promote.
————————————————-

The week after EGYPT STATION was released it became the first McCartney solo album to go to number #1 in the USA since 1982’s TUG OF WAR. The Target edition and European editions included two bonus tracks.

It was also released on…
Limited Green Vinyl by Spotify.

Limited Red Vinyl by Barnes & Noble

Orange Cassette

He did tons of interview and promotional appearances in support before and on its release.

It was was very well received by the critics as well.

I found the review by Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone as the definitive look. It starts…. ‘Make a list of all the songwriters who were composing great tunes in 1958. Now, make an overlapping list of the ones who are still writing brilliant songs in 2018. Your list: Paul McCartney.

May 7th, 2019 (just 8 months after it’s release) saw the release of EGYPT STATION, “Explorer’s Edition.” The Explorer’s Edition was comprised of the original record plus a second album, Egypt Station II.

The bonus disc collects all songs released during the Egypt Station voyage, from studio tracks including the surprise single ‘Get Enough’ to live performances captured at stops such as Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern and Grand Central Station. It was available in both black and limited multi-color vinyl.

As if this wasn’t enough….on May 10th, 2019 we would also see the release of EGYPT STATION “Travelers Edition.” It included three previously unreleased tracks. The “Traveler’s Edition” was limited to 3,000 copies.

The collection included the following:

  1. A Limited Edition Concertina Tri-Fold Deluxe 180G Vinyl Double Black Disc Pressing of Egypt Station.
  2. An Exclusive Limited Edition Bonus 180G Vinyl Pressing of Egypt Station II in “Night Scene” blue, featuring three previously unreleased tracks — ‘Frank Sinatra’s Party,’ ‘Sixty Second Street’ and extended cut of Egypt Station single ‘Who Cares’ — as well as four live performances of Egypt Station tracks taken from Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern Club, LIPA, and the performance at Grand Central Station.
  3. Limited Edition Egypt Station Concertina CD.
  4. Exclusive Limited Edition collector’s Egypt Station Blue Cassette.
  5. HD Audio of all tracks upon shipment.
  6. Additional rare performances footage hidden inside.

And then there were the “special features.”

1.Vintage-style embossed Egypt Station artwork suitcase.

  1. An exclusive copy of a handwritten note from Paul.
  2. A fold out, vintage-style Egypt Station illustrated map suitable for framing.
  3. Travel memorabilia including “travel itinerary”, postcards, baggage tickets and first class ticket.
  4. Egypt Station luggage stickers
  5. Travel journal featuring copies of Paul’s handwritten lyrics
  6. Two Egypt Station lithographs of Paul’s paintings
  7. 500+ piece jigsaw puzzle
  8. Egypt Station playing cards
  9. Additional hidden surprises and rarities.

Originally sold in the $250 range, it now averages between $500-$1000 online.

On October 19th, 2018 announcement of the next set of Archive Releases. This time it would encompass the entire late 1971- mid 1973 period, WILD LIFE/RED ROSE SPEEDWAY. More on these when we focus on 2019.
————————————————
Being a first generation fan, I remember plunking down my $5-$7 for all the Paul’s albums when they came out, and then playing them to death on my tiny “sound system.”

Being a completest today requires credit cards with a large limit, or a bank account to match.

It is very hard to decide what to buy to listen to and enjoy and alter it’s pristine state OR buying and leave unopened and watch it’s cost become even more unreachable in time…

I find I fall mostly in the former.

More on this madness in the 2020’s.

Here then are my reviews of the studio tracks that were bonus to both the Explorer’s and Traveler’s editions. The bonus “live” tracks will be covered when all of Paul live is reviewed…

“Get Started” Acoustic bopper that leaps and bounds with Wings era vocal swirls and electric jangles. Filled with Paul’s sweet hooks and Tedder’s production is spot on. Finishes with a delightful “foxy lady”sounding coda, Paul howling us into the night. Rating – 8.5

“Home Tonight” Double tracked vocal and handclaps on this brassy ass shaker. Paul sounds like he’s having a blast. A homage to finding a safe place to land air the end of the day. Rating – 8

“In A Hurry” A woman story song that sounds much like his band from the 60’s. He notches up the tempo in the repeated chorus. A cascade of sound combinations that we’ve never heard from Paul, which combining studio and live performance sounds. It even features a mini sax solo. A short reprise ends this odd mix of sounds. Rating – 7.5

“Nothing For Free” I did three tracks with Ryan and “Fuh You” is the one on the album and then there’s two others, they’re nice.

We only had a week, because there was a time when Greg was doing something else and my manager rung up and said you could maybe get with another producer, just to switch it up a bit, so he sent me some suggestions and I liked Ryan’s stuff.

I rang him, and I think we decided he’d come to my studio for a week and we’d just see how we went. I said, ‘I’ve got a lot of songs we could do,’ but in the end, he just fancied making it up, so we just, you know, we went in with nothing, just got a beat, got a thing, got an idea for some lyrics and just built it up, you know, but he knows what he’s doing.

“Okay Okay, Okay”….. I absolutely love this song. It should have been on the album proper, but just having it here completes me. If this song had been on any album during Paul’s run of the charts years, this would be considered a classic. I’m starting to think maybe Ryan Tedder should produce Paul in 2022 if given the chance. The soundscape and thought on the final mix is one of the finest of Macca’s entire cannon. Paul’s slightly distorted vocals make it almost hard to realize it’s him. How did this song not gave any special attention other than in my being? Rating – 9

“Frank Sinatra’s Party”
The history of the song starts more than 40 years ago, the melody coming from “Fishy Matters Underwater“, a demo recorded in July 1976.

  • Only Paul could take a fragment from a home demo tape made 42 years earlier and revision it as a reggae soaked peek into the that early 1960’s time period when the Rat Pack were the kings of show business. Rating – 9

“Sixty Second Street” Acoustic ditty formed around the double meaning title. Could easily have fit on any Simon & Garfunkel album. A few interesting jazzy tempo changes keep your ears perked. Paul is the master of all. Rating – 8

“Who Cares” (full length) Paul cut the extended play-out from this version to include on the original album. So I love it based off that, and the added interplay between drums, acoustic, electric and bass for the extra 2 minutes are sweet, but not really needed. I however, also want this version for selfish reasons. Rating – 9

“Get Enough” Slightly fragile piano ballad that has Paul auto-tuning again, and even hitting falsetto auto-tune on the bridge. The intensity builds and then mid-way the song turns the chorus into a homage of Beach Boys wall of harmony.

Wow, didn’t see that coming. Would have loved an entire song of only that. Still, another like nothing we have ever heard from Paul, and repeated listens only makes you like it more. Rating – 8

I apologize for the length, but the motherfucker is just so busy working…. I feel he knows there are only so many sundowns left and he will spend each adding to the treasures he’ offered.

“I’ll leave my message in my song.”

Next….. 2019…. The world changes.