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Mccartney [CASSETTE]

4.4 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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McCartney
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Audio Cassette, 23 May 1989
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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (23 May 1989)
  • Label: Emd/Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UC6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,628 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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By Quiverbow TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 May 2016
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Though his three mates had all issued solo albums, both John and George's were experimental whilst Ringo's was one of old time standards so McCartney's offering could be considered the first 'real' solo release by a Beatle. The problem is, many thought it was a bit of a cop-out . The opinion at the time was that the instrumentals were included because he struggled to fill it with anything worthwhile. The Beatles rarely went near such things for public consumption and the five here was considered far too many. (One, 'Singalong Junk', was just take one of the song before a second attempt added vocals.)

Of the rest, 'The Lovely Linda' is less than a minute long, 'Junk' was demoed in India in 1968 and another, 'Teddy Boy', half heartedly recorded by the group but probably stymied by Lennon who didn't seem to care for it. The standout track is 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and why it was never issued as a single is still a mystery 46 years later. Yes, he plays all the instruments but there's something lacking in the whole thing. I can only think it's the absence of his three mates to give it that added sparkle. It also caused a not insignificant amount of consternation, as he deliberately scheduled it for release at the same time as the Beatles' next LP.

Now remastered as part of his 'Archive' series, there's an added CD comprising live tracks, demos and alternate versions. Now, there's a reason why any 'bonus' songs included on a CD never found a contemporary release; it's because, for the most part, they aren't as good as those that did get issued. The second CD here contains seven tracks.

SUICIDE: There's a snippet of this after 'Glasses' on the first CD and when Frank Sinatra asked if McCartney had a song for him, he offered up this.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
A good album. Paul recorded it and played every single instrument on it at his home. Just before Beatles split. On some tracks you would have heard on Beatles next LP if they had been together. Some great instrumentals. His drumming skills are heard on this LP. Bonus vinyl has some good songs on it. If you have record player sounds superior. Buy it
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just as described, very happy
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Format: Audio CD
So this was it: the end of the Beatles. Although Ringo Starr had released his Sentimental Journey a month earlier, nothing on it actively suggested the band was finished. Meanwhile, McCartney casually told the world (via a press release bundled in with the album) the Beatles were splitting up. It's not surprising that it met with some hostility, particularly from the other Beatles. Paul had not been the first to leave the band, yet he pulled the ripcord in public. (He did this a month before the release of Let It Be, which put a lot of extra pressure on the band's unintended swansong.)

Given its turbulent back-story and place in the group's dissolution, it seems sensible to expect a grand statement from McCartney musically as well as historically. But it's not like that. McCartney is a deliberately low-key record, largely composed of instrumentals and sweet songs knocking around for years beforehand. It's self-produced, played and sung by McCartney entirely solo, and lyrically offers no grand statements on the Beatles, life, or anything. At first glance it's an album Paul could just as easily have put out years earlier, with the Beatles still going beside it. If you think of it as the album Paul decided to make at the expense of the Beatles, it may well disappoint.

If you can cut through the history and expectation, there is much to like. "Junk" is a beautiful tune, lilting and sad. Though it's tempting to read into the lyrics ("bye bye, says the sign in the shop window, why, why says the junk in the yard") as end-of-the-band melancholy, the song pre-dates the break-up. However, the mood is appropriate. It's reprised as a more haunting instrumental later on, which serves to suggest "Junk" (no pun intended) as the album's theme, if there is one.
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Format: Audio CD
A record which was under-rated at the time of its release, now appears to have veered to the opposite extreme. In 1970, caught up in the near-simultaneous appearance of 'Let it be' and Paul's announcement he was leaving the Beatles, his debut solo album was much sneered at. But a fairer evaluation at that point would have been to compare it to 'Wonderwall', 'Two virgins' and 'Sentimental journey'... whereby, I think, it would have been seen that in the era of doing something a bit off-kilter when you go solo, 'McCartney' is assuredly the best debut Beatle solo album. However... charming though several songs like 'Junk' are, there is no escaping how this record sounds like he's busking it (which he was) and that it sounds like a collection of demos. Perhaps the greatest critique one can make is that, while 'Maybe I'm amazed' is indeed a fabulous song, the guitar is weedy and the fade is horrible. When you listen to the fully realised live version, no coincidence I think to find it was the only single off 'Wings over America', you grasp how McCartney has always needed a band to play off and with, and still does.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you don't have this album, why buy it? This is not your typical polished Macca album. It was recorded pretty much at home (plus some sessions in Abbey Road and Morgan Studios) - more like a series of demos than 'the final product' - in the wake of the Beatles' split. All the more fascinating for that; it includes McCartney's final take on Teddy Boy (demoed for the Beatles, never used) and the raw, soulful Maybe I'm Amazed. If the songs here were taken forward to a 'produced' album, which would have been included? McCartney has recently (MOJO mag, Aug 2011) cited tracks Junk and Maybe I'm Amazed as "woulds" and That Would Be Something as a "maybe".

If you already have a copy: is it worth replacing it with this remaster? YES. Mastered by the same team that remastered the Beatles' catalogue, the result is clear, 'close-to-mic' and - appropriately for this intimate 'DIY' album - as literal as it could be. The sound quality is amazing...

The card packaging for this reissue is good: a booklet with all the shots from the original album, and more. The second CD is basically a selection of live tracks (Glasgow, '79) and some out-takes. But the value is in the remaster of the original album; that's well worth the asking price.
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