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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 April 2003
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!
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on 20 March 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!
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on 24 March 2003
Back In The World is one of the best live recordings ever released. Amazingly, McCartney sings and plays better then ever. Stand out tracks are Getting Better, Every Night, Carry That Weight, Something, Back In The USSR and Maybe I'm Amazed. This release is superior to the Back In The US collection because She's Leaving Home, Michelle, Let'em In and Callico Skies have been added. I was fortunate to see this tour when it came to New York's Madison Square Garden and the recording captures the mood and excitement experienced by those in attendance. McCartney's youthful band plays with a rockier edge then previous lineups and this seems to suit Paul and his material much better. Paul sounds re-vitalized, re-juvenated and I look forward to his next studio recording. Long live Paul McCartney. God Bless !!
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on 13 April 2003
This is the CD version of the Back in the World Tour by Paul McCartney. I saw this concert at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Wednesday 9 April 2003 and it was utterly brilliant!
More than half of the tracks are Beatles' numbers and some (Eleanor Rigby, She's Leaving Home) are performed live for the first time, as they were originally recorded after the Beatles had stopped touring. They range from early Beatles numbers (I Saw Her Standing There) to the later (Back in the USSR) and from well known (Hey Jude - remember Party at the Palace?) to lesser known (Blackbird).
For me the most poignant track is Paul playing Something on ukelele as a tribute to George Harrison. Something is perhaps the most famous song that George wrote (recorded by Shirley Bassey amongst others) and Paul played this on ukelele as George was a member of the George Formby Fan Club.
Other tracks are from Paul's time after the Beatles, with songs to his late wife Linda (My Love) and for his present wife Heather.
Paul appeals to all age groups - witness the audience - teenagers and parents enjoying the same concert. This CD is a reminder of a truly great night with a truly great musician.
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on 5 March 2016
This is the best live McCartney album since the classic Wings album decades ago. Heavy on the Beatles stuff with classic Wings and solo work too. Good production. Sleeve notes are ok. At this price there's no excuse for not getting it. Top item...
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on 13 May 2004
I was fortunate to get a ticket to Sir Paul's last show of this tour in the King's Dock in Liverpool on 1st June 2003. Of course we Merseysiders got 4 hours and 8 or 9 extra songs not included on this album such as "Maggie Mae", "Two of Us", and "I've Just Seen a Face" plus "Yellow Submarine" for Ringo. Macca truly plays to his strengths on this album. If ,like me, you were not even born when the Beatles packed in touring then this was truly the next best thing (maybe even better!). Paul plays to his strengths and includes an amazing back catalogue that perhaps no other living composer can emulate. The Beatles classics are all here from All My Loving to Let it Be. Even those never played live "Eleanor Rigby", "She's Leaving Home" , "Getting Better" and "Here, There and Everywhere" sound fresh but true to the originals.
"Band on the Run" (a Wings song) was the big surprise for me as this literally made Liverpool rock and honestly got the biggest cheer of the night ! All the other solo hits are here including "Live & Let Die" , "My Love" and "Jet" plus an interesting acoustic section with Paul alone on guitar.
The Flaming Pie track "Calico Skies" also sounds much better with a full band and we are spared the dull "Mull of Kintyre" and "Ebony & Ivory" type slush that really sucks.
This album is a great retrospective of Sir Paul McCartney's highs of his career. The only criticism I would say is that they edited out all of his inbetween-song banter.
You may be a "Lennon" fan (who was the leader of the band) but McCartney was in , my opinion, the underlying force in the Beatles. So what I'm saying is that this really is a great live album by a man who will be remembered long after you and me have gone. This is better than any of Paul's previously live albums and is also a good representation of his work for 40 years. Fans will love it . Newcomers wanted a bit more depth should also purchase this as a great introduction to Macca. If you are just a Lennon fan then give Macca a chance he was actually just as good in a slightly different way.
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on 25 September 2015
To be truthful not one of Paul's best albums ! I have most of Wings CD's and of course I love the Beatles so he's someone special. This is in my collection ! Check it out to see if you want it in yours !
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on 11 April 2005
I was lucky enough to be at the King's Dock concert in June 2003, when Sir Paul came home and although I stood for over 6 hours just to be near the front it could never change my opinion of this album!
Like many people, I have always beleived Lennon was the genius of the beatles but the band would never have worked without any one of them! Paul McCartney had the best musical brain in the group in my opinion which is why I beleive he did so well in Wings after teh Beatles split.
This album consists of a mixture of both Beatles and Wings numbers which are all excellent. Being such a strong beatles fan I was worried that hearing Paul perform beatles numbers with a new band would ruin them altogether but honestly I don't think he could have made a better choice of group to back him for this tour! Abe Ladoriel has exceptional talent! His drumming and vocal skills are amazing and he held each of the songs together better than I could ever have imagined! Brian and Rusty are truly a pleasure to listen to, and Wix is truly insperational! Being classically trained from the age of six explains his talent! The whole group have made a fantastic job of this ablum! I find it amazing that just five people could produce a sound like this!
The fact that this ablum is recorded live I think adds to it's popularity. I think that this is a must have for any beatles, wings, or McCartney fan!
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2003
This is Paul putting a show on like only he can, full of enthusiasm, passion and a life time of memories for anyone whose lived through the Beatles era and beyond.From the first track you know it's going to be good, recorded on tour you just get carried away with the audience and join in, it must have been a fantastic tour.There are some great renditions of the Lennon and McCartney classics as well as those he co-wrote with Lynda and Something by George. It's 2 hours packed with great music and tremendous backing by his tour band to the 36 songs.All your favourites should be here and they are all done justice.I remember all those parties I used to go to in Liverpool when people used to hum one Beatle tune and an impromptu evening of singing Beatle songs would begin and go on for ages.I'm sure that this CD will be played at many parties in the near future and for many years to come make sure that your party is one of them.
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on 25 March 2003
A gorgeous, thrilling, 2 CD album of 36 fantastic songs, with Paul McCartney singing with the gusto and enthusiasm of a guy 40 years younger than him playing with an extremely talented band who happily tear through a cracking selection of his best songs, from the early Beatles right up to Driving Rain, with abandon. The production is raw. The crowd are going absolutely crazy. You will to.
What more do you want to know?
My highlights - "Band On The Run" kicking off, "Let 'Em In" charming the pants of me, "I Saw Her Standing There" making me giddy and "Let It Be" bringing a lump to my throat.
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