Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Paul McCartney: "the finest back catalogue in music"?

A surprisingly rave review on a new Paul McCartney concert at London's 02, by James Hall in the "Daily Telegraph". Let me just quote the first paragraph or two:
"Rarely these days, given high ticket prices and soulless venues, does it feel like an unalloyed privilege to go to a rock show. Too often one feels short-changed by something, but watching Paul McCartney play for almost three hours at the O2 was a complete honour. 
Aged 72 and with the finest back catalogue in music, McCartney could be forgiven for coasting with a prefunctory review-style show. But the pensioner drilled deep into his musical vault .... and he handed out gem after gem to the audience over an astonishing 38-song set that left no part of his Beatles, Wings or solo repertoire untouched."

"Another Girl" - HELP!
So, has Paul got the finest back catalogue in music? Who else is there ? - Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan have their devotees, as do Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and David Bowie, The Rolling Stones of course and, er - thats about it, plus maybe The Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, Talking Heads, Blondie, Elton John, George Michael .... so maybe, yes, he has, going back after all to those early '60s with The Beatles.

Nice to see that he included an early favourite of mine: "Another Girl" from the HELP! album, and of course BAND ON THE RUN and VENUS AND MARS are essential Seventies albums. Merseybeat was served with "Eight Days A Week", "Listen to what the man said", and for the first time live he played "Temporary Secretary" from his 1980 solo album. Its "wonky electronics" puzzled at the time, but now seem part of the synth-pop that gave us Hot Chip. The hits continued: "Blackbird" and "Lady Madonna", "Eleanor Rigby" along with moving tributes to Lennon, Linda and George Harrison. Maybe I'm Amazed at all the Silly Love Songs ..

McCartney has often been criticised for running away with The Beatles' glory, and was always trundled out at all those benefits and galas to lead the guests and audience into yet another "Long and Winding Road", "All You Need Is Love" or "Let It Be" or "Hey Jude" .... and the dyed hair did not help either. But here he is, better than ever ...

The hits continued with "Band on The Run", "Back in the USSR", "Let it Be", "Live and Let Die" and "Hey Jude". 
My 1964 Beatle look
THEN, he was joined by Dave Grohl for a raucous "I Saw Her Standing There" - I loved that track, the first one on the first album, a cracking young man's song: "Well, she was just 17, you know what I mean" - I was 17 myself then, but singing it in one's 70s with dyed hair, seems a bit "off" somehow.
They finished with "Yesterday" and "Helter Skelter" before closing with the "Golden Slumbers" medley from ABBEY ROAD. An exhilerating masterclass then from one of music's great innovators, as a 17 year old Beatles fan, I wish I had been there - its almost like my glory days of seeing The Doors The Who, The Band, Joni, Aretha etc  ... good to see the old guys still have it, like Paul Simon's and Sting's recent-double act at the O2 as well. Of course touring is where the big money is these days, not that Paul needs to earn of course!

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