“I compiled sounds and made the basic collage … I asked Cian Ciarán of Super Furry Animals to mix something from it, which he kindly did, and my mate Youth used his talents to add a final touch.” – Paul
Because McCartney was so heavily involved in its creation, in addition to his production credit, Liverpool Sound Collage, which was released in 2000, is generally considered a part of his main discography and is filed under his name.
Asked by artist Peter Blake to create something musical and with a Liverpool spirit to it, in order to complement his concurrent artwork exhibition.
Liverpool Sound Collage was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album but lost to Radiohead “Kid A.”
“It’s a new little piece of The Beatles. It’s an outbreak from my normal stuff. It’s a little side dish that is not to be confused with my other work.” – Paul
“It’s really weird. I think Cian [the band’s resident mixer] was fucked off his head and he saw Paul McCartney at an awards ceremony and they talked about mixing, so Cian gave him his phone number and Paul phoned up the following week. And then the following week to that a pile of tapes arrived at our office from the Apple Corporation. All dusty boxes with a heavy letter from the Apple Corp. saying “these tapes contain previously unreleased Beatles material and should not be played anywhere but our broadcast area…” – Gruff Rhys, from The Super Furry Animals.
Although essentially a Paul McCartney release, four of the five tracks on Liverpool Sound Collage were co-credited to The Beatles.
The ambient electronic pieces came about after artist Peter Blake asked McCartney to create a soundtrack for the On Collage exhibition at Liverpool’s Tate Gallery in 2000.
Blake had previously famously designed the iconic artwork for The Beatles’ album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with his former wife, Jann Haworth.
When this album came out in 2000 I really wasn’t expecting it, and this falls into that very special one of a kind release for Paul. Yes, it is in the same spirit as The Fireman albums. Youth (his Fireman partner) is featured here as engineer on every track and the listed writer of “Real Gone Dub Made In Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Now.”
One “Lord Doufous” is also listed as recording engineer for each of the five tracks. Paul is listed as the producer.
1. Plastic Beetle 8:23
-Credited to Paul McCartney and The Beatles. We hear the voices of the John and Paul over a rhythm track that weaves slowly. A note Paul sings is stretched and moves within the slowly changing tapestry of this and each track. We hear lovely backwards sounds melodically pasted. George and Ringo are also heard. This track, and the album in general is best appreciated under the headphones with a careful listen. Proper medication wouldn’t hurt either! There are some really interesting transitions, and it never really gets TOO repetitive. The end is a flourish of Beatles sounds, layered and mixed…. Wonderful. Rating – 9
2. Peter Blake 2000 16:54
-Credited to The Beatles and Super Furry Animals. The word “Blake” is sampled and stitched and manipulated until it morphs at 2:23. This is strictly sound manipulation at this point, and quite frankly, unless the medication was acid, boring.
The “word” is now been transformed into “Liverpool.” Odd sounds and shapes…. for nearly 17 minutes. Where is my bong??????? “George” saying “do what you want to do” is tweaked and altered and morphed in a nice way and the song picks up some steam. The drums are sampled from “Free Now” track and Beatles session tapes. It’s a nice groove that gives us the “free now” groove used in track five.
Overall, this is a long road, filled with many twists and turns. There are many interesting sounds and ideas and mixtures of the both. But nearly 17 minutes makes this again a very specific album to listen to. “Chinga-Chinga..” Rating – 7.5
3. Real Gone Dub Made In Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Now 16:37
-Credited to Youth. He uses the drum beat from “Free Now” and mixes many of the samples we have heard, or slightly different samples from the same source.
Youth uses more sources, and many will be used in the next two songs. They all had access to the same load of originals source material and each has taken the care to mix and blend and re-imagine each. Different tracks, but each holding the same threads.
The transformation of the threads is what makes each of the tracks unique. Rating – 7
4. Made Up. 13:01
-In his 1973 special Paul recorded a segment which Liverpool residents were interviewed and it ended up as a family sing a long at a local pub.
Paul talks, asks their name, their favorite “group”, city, what they thlnk of “The Beatles,” or just explaining the purpose of why he is recording. We can hear the “Liverpool Oratorio” chorus samples over the steady “Free Now” drum track. Paul arrives at the Cavern Club to applause.. and pre-show chat. Paul again uses many of the previous samples… but they are used least effectively on this one. Easily, the least interesting of all the tracks….. Rating – 5.5
5. Free Now. 3:30
The culmination of all of the tracks. Taking George’s “Do What You Want To Do” and it transitions into “Free Now.” Many of the effects we have heard in previous tracks are brought together and make this the “single”of the album. Now, we know it wasn’t. It basically stays in the same music traffic lane most of it’s 3:30. Nice use of previous samples. Rating – 7
Overall, this album rates as 7.2/10. Not an easy listen, but still a part of his entire output I’m sure he is very happy with. Put it on the stereo on those very special occasions.
Next, 2005’s TWIN FREAKS!