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Tug Of War - Work Of Art,
This review is from: Tug Of War (Audio CD)
It needn't say on the back that the album has been produced by George Martin, because any Beatles fan would know that anyway because with Martin at the helm, Tug Of War sounds like a Beatles album in places. Martin's string arrangements, particularly on Here Today stick out like a sore thumb.
The production on Tug Of War is lush but with a crisp edge to it. On my Bose Wave CD player the acoustic guitars are clear, the bass punchy and the vocal wonderful. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that after Tug Of War, McCartney's voice would never be quite the same. His vocal performances on this album show what a versatile singer he was, from the sparring with Stevie Wonder on What's That You're Doing (listen to the choruses), the powerful rock vocal in the middle eight to The Pound Is Singing and to the heartfelt voice in Here Today and, even better, Somebody Who Cares. His vocal is beautifully captured on this record.
Song-wise, well, there's a bit of everything. From the under-rated title-track with the beautiful backing vocals (not too far removed from London Town), the Buddy Holly-like Take It Away (think, Peggy Sue and E, A and D!), to the 1950's rocker Ballroom Dancing and the gorgeous Beatlesque Wonderlust (though personally, I prefer the version recorded a couple of years later for the Give My Regards To Broad Street album). We get two Stevie Wonder duets and a fabulous track recorded with Carl Perkins which can't help but put a smile on one's face. There's the sentimental Here Today (and boy, you can tell he means it) and a little gem in Dress Me Up As A Robber.
Tug Of War finds McCartney at his song-writing and performing zenith, as a solo artist. Vocally strong, musically confident and arranged and produced to give the sound a wonderful sheen, the two people at the helm here, McCartney and Martin make it look so incredibly easy. No; there are years of experience gone into making this fantastic record.