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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
208
4.0 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.55+ £1.26 shipping


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on 17 January 2015
enjoyable and arrived safe and on time.
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on 21 August 2014
Really enjoyed this disc as I am also a fan of Diana Krall good listening well worth buying.
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on 16 October 2013
We have always enjoyed Paul McCartney and have many of his CDs. Another good CD to enjoy playing and singing along to
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Everyone knew there was a new McCartney album on the way (his first studio release for 4½ years), but none realised it would be issued so soon after being announced, and it certainly wasn't envisaged to be a collection of personal favourites, two newly written songs and a re-recording of a 33 year old album track. It's available in two versions; the usual jewel case, and a deluxe pack with two extra songs, expanded sleeve notes, three postcards and access to an exclusive live show. An easy listening offering of songs he heard, and was influenced by, during his formative years (and he has chosen many that might not be familiar), the booklet explains how he and John tried to copy these songs. I'm surprised McCartney hasn't done anything like this until now; and another first is that he just sings on this. Then again, maybe he's been planning such a project and only just got round to doing something about it. Joined by Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, and Diane Krall and her band, who play with the lightest of touches on their instruments, whats the deluxe version like?

I'M GONNA SIT RIGHT DOWN AND WRITE MYSELF A LETTER. A piano and double bass led jazz tune, this is whispered in fine style in a way you might imagine someone suddenly joining in with the house band. A potential single?
HOME (WHERE THE SHADOWS FALL). Maybe the most obscure song included, this is nicely sung in a late-night fireside way.
IT'S ONLY A PAPER MOON. An occasional voice straining to reach the right notes doesn't seem to spoil the shortest track that has an effective violin and whistling middle eight. It certainly grows on you.
MORE I CANNOT WISH YOU Annoying. Not in a bad way but you just wish it would start instead of sounding like a three minute introduction to something more substantial. But that's the tune itself, not the way it's presented. For my money, the poorest thing included.
THE GLORY OF LOVE. Rather intimate this, but then so are all the other songs, one to be sung to your new wife, or a very old one. One thing this CD has going for it is that you can actually hear every word sung, something many are guilty of in their failing.
WE THREE (MY ECHO, MY SHADOW AND ME). Delivered in a way only McCartney could get away with, don't be surprised to hear this on Radio 2. Whilst the whole CD is good, this is one I particularly like.
AC-CENT-TCHU-ATE THE POSITIVE. A weirdly titled clever tune on antonyms, this is a bit of a toe-tapper that will have you singing the title to yourself. My own favourite.
MY VALENTINE. The first of two new original compositions, this is an acoustic and piano track that could actually become a favourite of club supper acts. It sounds plodding at first but it does grow on you. With just the guitar player from the band remaining, you can imagine the spurned lover slumped over the piano, a dying rose and whisky glass on the top, bemoaning his luck to an empty floor. This could be a single, though he needs to be quick about it. Expect cover versions.
ALWAYS. I didn't recognise this from the introduction, but when the main body began I was singing along, as will you if you recognise it. Once more, the music doesn't swamp the singing.
MY VERY GOOD FRIEND THE MILKMAN. More whistling bookends a song about a lovelorn soul tempting his girlfriend to marry him through a variety of others. It's rather cute.
BYE BYE BLACKBIRD. The second Beatle to record this (after Ringo in 1970), this is taken at a slower pace but doesn't suffer from that, even though you think it might peter out at some point.
GET YOURSELF ANOTHER FOOL. Whilst much of what precedes and follows this track is taken in a laid-back style, this has a far stronger vocal and is another of my favourites. The longest track, the use of the guitar compliments this well.
THE INCH WORM. All of those of a certain age will remember this from listening to Junior Choice on the radio. Possibly the biggest surprise on a surprising collection, no doubt it's the Danny Kaye version he remembers and not the one by the cast of Grange Hill. With backing vocalists doing the adding up, it's one of only two songs not to have a full ending.
ONLY OUR HEARTS. The other new self penned song; it sits well with the rest of this collection. Sounding as if it was written for Nancy, it's one that might well be covered by other artists.
BABY'S REQUEST. Fitting in well, this is taken at a more leisurely pace than the version on 'Back to the Egg' with a good trombone middle. There's an elongated instrumental fading ending.
MY ONE AND ONLY LOVE. Another nice tune to be sung at the end of the day when the candles are burning.

This is bound to be a decent seller and maybe, given the contents, there will be those that wouldn't normally buy his product delving in because they like this style of music. I was pleased he didn't go down the big band route, but use backing that respects the deliberate understated vocals. If pretenders such as Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, Michael Buble and others can release CDs of `standards', why not the biggest name of them all? It might be the songs or it might be the way in which they're presented, but McCartney shows he still has the capability to deliver. There may be those who dismiss this as self-indulgent, and maybe that's what it is; Ringo made his `for his mum', so maybe Macca wanted to do this for himself and his wife, and there's nothing wrong with that. A very nice CD.
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on 26 February 2012
Perhaps the only surprise here is that Paul didn't put out this album earlier. After all, it's been nearly 40 years since he sang `Til There Was You' in 1963, aged 21. First hearing the album's title I was as dismayed as when I heard the line `I acted like a dustbin lid' back in 1983. But, in both cases, an understanding of where these phrases came from were enough to cure my premature wrath! And so to the album, when I first played it, my younger son aged 10 said he would fall asleep if we played it the whole way through. At the time, I agreed with him.
But after multiple listenings, the quality of the slower songs in particular shine through. The opening track was great on first listening, the second one `Home' has grown on me considerably. Great chord changes, as Paul says. Same can be said of `Always'. What initially was pretty depressing listening has now become a joy. The upbeat tracks like the Milkman one and Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate The Positive were winners from the start. A bit like George's wonderful cover of `The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea'. Probably would have voted for more in this vein, had I been producer. I particularly like the amusing rhymes like `Jonah in the whale and Noah in the ark...what did they do just when it all seemed so dark'. Charming. Most of these songs are standards for a good reason. `Bye Bye Blackbird' taken at such a slow pace initially came as quite a shock, particularly compared to Ringo's superb version we have known and loved from 1970, but I think it is great now! Paul doesn't play any instruments here, but I think that allows him to put maximum emotion into the vocal. And the band is superb. For the record I don't think `Baby's Request' improved on the 1979 version. I am not a big fan of Paul or anyone revisiting earlier classics, for example on `Give My Regards To Broad Street'. The McCartney tunes are of the genre, 'My Valentine' being slightly more impressive than the other one, despite Stevie Wonder's harmonica.
This album is an impressive achievement. Although it will not be as dear to my heart as `Ram' or 'London Town' it seems to me to be an appropriate album from someone approaching 70. 'Inchworm' is great, earlier covered by Mary Hopkin in 1969 which Paul produced. A beautiful song, so simple. All in all, thank you Paul. Bye Bye Blackbird :- )
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on 12 December 2013
I love this cd! My husband and I watched a tv programme about the making of this cd and it was fantastic. Paul McCartney in laid back (and humble) mode, singing with a fantastic band and with Diana Krall - all just really relaxed as if they were just a bunch of friends chilling out in the studio, doing what came naturally musically and seeing what happened - which is exactly what they were! A joy to listen to and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys great music played by great musicians and great words sung by one of Britain's best. Classy, timeless and definitely one for the collection.
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on 15 February 2012
Like most reviews on Amazon I can sympathise with the difficulty in reviewing this particular release, most people here will be long time McCartney fans and the proposition of him doing standards is probably a little frightening when everyone is still yearning for his next true album. That said there is nothing wrong with his performance on these tracks he does them extremely well (though i'm not an expert in the field). Chances are its not going to strike the right notes with the usual Beatles/Wings/Fireman/Solo crowds but he has opened himself up too a new and probably very large audience who will be delighted with it and if it maybe puts those people on the road to his other material then its smiles all round.

Onto the music itself which as I said before I'm expert but to be blunt the tracks are all very similar and almost blend into one piece of music rather than individual tracks. Though at 14 tracks its a healthy length and as 12 of them are standards so covers basically there are two new McCartney compositions, the lead single My Valentine and Only Our Hearts and they both stand out in the album because McCartney reverts to his usual tone where as with the standards he seems to sing to suit the style. Ultimately though it is all one tone and sound, predominantly piano. Stand out tracks for me are My Valentine and "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" which even though a standard has a pleasant beat and is a favourite.

In truth I quite like it as a whole its far from my usual cup of tea and had it not been McCartney I would never of considered it but I'm grateful he's managed to get me to listen to something new. Its more background music than anything despite maybe the two tracks I mentioned earlier I'm not going to listen to it on the way to work or in the pub but i'm sure on the rare occasions I play it I will enjoy it.

And for those who take interest in the packaging it comes house in a cardboard gatefold sleeve with a nice little booklet on one side and the disc housed in the other.
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on 14 October 2013
This CD was just as expected, after having watched a programme on Sky Arts at the recording of the CD.
The songs are classics and the new ones written by Paul McCartney are brilliant with the added bonus of Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. A bit puzzled why Joe Walsh was guitarist on the Sky Arts programme and not on the CD ?

Dianna Krall is a wonderful pianist with her unmistakable lovely light touch, the arrangements are also wonderful. how I wish there was more of this type of music around !!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2012
This is a very good album and I recommend it. There is always a danger, especially in the age of CDs which are so much longer than LPs used to be, of churning out song after song that is more of the same. McCartney has avoided that trap, showing great versatility over the years by supplementing his rock / pop output with offers like the Fireman and his classical forays. Now we have an album of 'oldies' and it is well done.

So ... how to position this album? It's a collaboration, which is when McCartney is at his strongest. Here we have the brilliant Diana Krall with the world's most successful rocker as vocalist. Krall and her fellow musicians are superb.

The songs are, in the main, familiar standards with a couple of rarities thrown in. They are sensitively, almost lovingly, arranged and beautifully played. They are mainly slow or medium tempo, which means that McCartney's singing skills are very much to the fore. A few wobbles, but hey - this guy can hold a tune, even at 70. McCartney's voice is instantly recognisable, of course. It may not be the most powerful voice for singing standards like these, but it's good and it's familiar and he's taking the project very seriously.

Of the McCartney originals, I predict that 'My Valentine' is going to become a standard, covered by many. It fits perfectly into this record and, with Eric Clapton's guitar, is up there with the best that McCartney has written. I hope it makes it into his live concerts where it would earn a warm welcome from the audience. 'Only our Hearts' is pleasant but less memorable. On the digipack, 'Baby's Request' is slower and better arranged than on 'Back to the Egg'. I prefer this version.

To see how seriously McCartney was taking this project, it's worth watching the video of the sessions. It is brilliant to see such class musicians making good music live in the studio.

It doesn't do to compare this album to McCartney's other offers: it's completely different and comparison is therefore inappropriate. So, does it work as a free-standing project? Yes it does, very well. Four stars.
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on 22 May 2012
Definitely Pauls Marmite album - and I hate Marmite! Thought I would treat myself to Kisses On The Bottom for my 60th. Tried to like it , but oh dear. If it wasn't for the repetitive brushes on snare , the same rhythm for every track I may have stuck with it but that was driving me insane! I longed for Ringos inventive stick work and after all HE started the whole rock star sings standards thing.
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