Paul McCartney’s “McCartney” (also available from Amazon.co.uk) album may not have been released under the best of circumstances (aka the Beatles breakup), but if there was any resentment among fans, it has pretty well dissapated. The new reissue that hits the streets June 14 in regular, deluxe and vinyl versions certainly broadens the dimensions of the album and makes it more purposeful.
Coming on the heels of “Abbey Road,” “McCartney” had an incredibly loose feel, somewhat like what was originally intended for “Let It Be.” In its somewhat casual approach, McCartney tried to literally draw a line in the sand between the Beatles and his new solo career.
But as it especially was with all the first solo albums from each of the Beatles, the Fab Four magic was very much there. This is especially true given the fact that McCartney had tried to record many of the songs during the “Let It Be” sessions.
The best example of Beatle magic was “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Its understated title aside, the song had an immense emotional pull with its barebones arrangement and direct lyrics. It remains one of the best songs in McCartney’s solo catalog. The same type of directness is present in “Every Night,” another of the album’s highlights.
The high quality generally holds through the whole “McCartney” album, which gave him a new freedom which he gladly ran with it.
The regular edition of the reissue, which we’re reviewing here, has three discs. Disc one is a CD of the original album remastered, done by the same Abbey Road Studios team responsible for the remastered Beatles CDs. The new reissue improves on the flatter sounding 1993 British reissue.
The CD reissue also includes a second disc of audio rarities, including clean version (and a bit offkey) version of “Suicide,” said to have been written for Frank Sinatra. It’s easy to see why Ol’ Blue Eyes turned it down. The rarities disc also includes an alternate studio version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” from the film “One Hand Clapping,” included on the “Band on the Run” reissue, and three live songs recorded live by Wings at Glasgow in 1979. Hopefully, this concert will be issued whole on DVD someday. It sounds wonderful. Also included is “Don’t Cry Baby,” an instrumental version of “Oo You.”
The third disc, a DVD of video rarities, includes a short film about the making of the album, the “Maybe I’m Amazed” music video, and two video tracks from “Concert for the People of Kampuchea,” “Every Night” and “Hot As Sun.” Here’s another video that deserves to be released on DVD. (Also available is a deluxe version with a book and an added DVD and a vinyl version.)
Maybe it’s time for “The McCartney Years, Vol. 2.”
- Our review of the “McCartney II” reissue
- Exclusive: The inside story on what’s coming next in the Paul McCartney reissues
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