12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Showing them all how it should be done..., 20 Mar 2003
Paul McCartney's new album "Back In The World" is a real treat. For any sceptics in the vicinity, this 2-disc set is not merely a run of the mill collection of sub-standard renditions of his back catalogue. Indeed, I prefer the live renditions of certain songs on this album to their original versions recorded, in some cases, over thirty years ago (personally, I prefer the versions of "My Love" and "Coming Up" presented here). The man's voice is in stunning form - notably better than on his tour of the early 1990's, in my opinion. The recording sessions of the wonderful studio album, Driving Rain (from which several numbers are featured on this live album, including the sublime "Your Loving Flame") and his marriage to Heather Mills seem to have instilled new confidence and vitality into his performance.
McCartney's new touring band (the energetic Abe Laboriel Jnr. on the drum kit, Rusty Anderson on lead guitar, Brain Ray on bass and rhythm guitar and Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards of all kinds) gel effectively and each faithfully recreate the well known parts they play. All of them contribute backing vocals - on some occasions, it is difficult to distinguish their backings from the familiar Lennon & Harrison parts on the Beatles numbers. Wix on keyboards contributes some gorgeous orchestration when called upon to do so - "She's Leaving Home" being a particularly
Speaking of Beatles numbers, McCartney treats us on this show - 23 of them are given the treatment of his new band. "Getting Better" is performed for the first time ever by McCartney since it was "left on a shelf" after the 1967 opus "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" The remainder of the 36 tracks comprise standouts from his Wings and solo years.
The level of excitement and energy that comes across is overwhelming - McCartney may be 60 years old now, but if this CD is anything to go by, few could suggest he was sounding it. Numbers such as "I Saw Her Standing There", "Can't Buy Me Love" and "All My Loving" sound like they have been pulled straight out of a 1964 concert in all but one respect - modern amplification allows him to be heard over the screaming crowd! McCartney's instrumental performance is commendable too - his versatility showing as he switches from his famous Hofner violin bass to grand piano, electric guitar, electric piano and acoustic guitar (on which he performs a number of solo numbers which sound like very personal studio demos and provide a wonderful contrast to the more rocking numbers). He also switches to ukelele to perform a touchingly nostalgic "Something" to the memory of George Harrison. John Lennon is also remembered with a song few ever thought would appear in his live show - "Here Today".
By the way, I'm not a 50-something who is still not over 60's Beatlemania - I'm an 18 year old who is somehow managing to re-live the whole experience almost forty years later down the timeline. I recommend this live collection to all fans of good music and a good show!