For those unable to get a ticket for Paul McCartney's latest sold out tour, this 36 track CD gives the listener a good feel for the energy and power of the ex-Beatle's 2003 live show. Back in the 1970's, when many like me listened to his first solo live outing, 'Wings Over America' the reluctance to include many songs from his previous and more famous band was very obvious, but 30 years on there is no such shyness about featuring the songs which succeeding generations have grown to love, with almost three-quarters of the album dedicated to his Beatles legacy.
Perhaps the death of George Harrison has made the inclusion of more Beatles songs all the more poignant, but who can complain about the selection of songs when the set list contains 'Back in the USSR', 'Michelle', 'Let It Be', 'The Fool on the Hill' and 'Michelle'? There are some surprises too, with versions of songs like 'Mother Nature's Son', 'Getting Better' and 'She's Leaving Home' not previously played live by McCartney. Despite all the debate about writing credits in recent years, songs dedicated to both John Lennon (''Here Today') and Harrison (the ukelele driven 'Something') provide a fitting tribute to both.
There are still highlights from the Wings and solo era, including three tracks from 'Band On the Run', and a superb version of my favourite solo track 'Maybe I'm Amazed'.
Given the familiarity of the material, it is the energy and impetous given by the young and largely new band employed by McCartney which really bring this album to life - there are new arrangments on some songs, and Abe Laboriel on drums is simply a revelation.
If you're a Beatles purist, then this might not be for you - but for those of us who who don't remember the sixties first time around, then this is still a reminder of that amazing legacy, reinterpreted by one of the men who created it!