he's crackin' up,
This review is from: Choba B CCCP (Audio CD)
Gorbachev said that the Beatles made an important contribution to ending the Cold War. It may have been just random inappropriateness in the first place, but Back In The USSR was a signal that we know the Russians are people too. Having made the connection, McCartney has been at some pains to keep it up over the years; this album is one product of it. Was it also a chance for him to revisit old favourites without the pressure of a big Western release?
It's okay, but it raises a shocking question: is rock'n'roll boring? If the Beatles hadn't come along to relieve its three-chord monotony, maybe it would have died off by the mid-60s as industry folk expected (mind you, monotony hasn't stood in the way of modern Dance music). The one thing it had going for it was its youthful newness; here, 30 years later, it is stale. It must be difficult to play with Paul McCartney and be more than a stage puppet but whatever the reason - diffidence, middle age, rushed production, or just because it was the 80s - this version of Kansas City doesn't compare with the Beatles'. That's Alright Mama doesn't compare with Elvis' epoch-making record, and although McCartney is the only singer ever to take on Little Richard's material with any success Lucille doesn't do it either. Summertime I have always hated, whoever sings it (and most people do). The best numbers are those which are a little mellower anyway, like Ain't That A Shame and Midnight Special.
If you heard these as a band playing down the pub you'd enjoy it, but it isn't a great album by any stretch.