Paul McCartney: "McCartney II" Deluxe Edition CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Paul McCartney: "McCartney II" Deluxe Edition CD Review

Paul McCartney: 'McCartney II' Deluxe Edition CD ReviewFollowing last year's deluxe reissue of Band on the Run, MPL and the Concord Music Group are pleased to announce McCartney and McCartney II as the next releases in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection on June 14th, 2011.

McCartney II will be made available as a 2 CD "Special Edition" featuring the original remastered album plus eight bonus tracks including B-Sides and alternative versions. The bonus audio CD includes the #1 hit “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow, 1979)” and holiday perennial “Wonderful Christmastime.”

There is also a 4 disc (3 CD, 1 DVD) "Deluxe Edition" of McCartney II that includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage (including performances of "Coming Up" and the new video for the unreleased track "Blue Sway") but includes an additional seven rare bonus audio tracks exclusive to this edition. Additionally, the McCartney II deluxe edition contains an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book featuring many previously unpublished photos by Linda McCartney, original album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for all three audio discs plus detailed historical information on the film content.

McCartney II was recorded in July of 1979 as a one-man solo project in-between Wings' Back to the Egg album and their aborted 1980 tour of Japan. After McCartney disbanded Wings in 1980, McCartney II was released in May of that year. Sharing a 'spiritual' similarity with McCartney (Paul's first solo disc), McCartney II shows Paul almost completely breaking from his past and fully embracing new wave through experiments with synthesizers and electronic beats. The original disc's thirteen tracks are an eclectic but compelling assortment and show Paul getting out in-front of the budding synth-pop movement.

Here is what is on the set:
(Note: A copy of the third audio disc wasn't included in the review package I was sent)

CD 1 - Original Album [11 tracks / 39 minutes]
As I'm more familiar with McCartney II than Paul's first solo disc, I can hear the difference that the remastering made. This remastering at Abbey Road Studios has added more sonic depth to the disc and one can hear more of the nuances in both the vocals and the instrumentation.

CD 2 - Bonus Audio Tracks [48 Minutes]
Note: "Urban legend" is that McCartney II was originally intended to be a double-album and a number of these bonus tracks come from what is known as "The Lost McCartney II Album".

1. "Blue Sway” [From "The Lost McCartney II Album"]
This track has late 70's style "urban cool" vibe (think Steely Dan)

2. "Coming Up” [From Wing’s final concert: Glasgow, December 17, 1979]
B-side of the studio recording of "Coming Up"

3. "Check My Machine [B-side of "Waterfalls" single]

4. "Bogey Wobble" [From "The Lost McCartney II Album"]
Companion piece to "Bogey Music"

5. "Secret Friend" [B-side of "Temporary Secretary" single]

6. "Mr H Atom / You Know I'll Get You Baby" [From "The Lost McCartney II Album"]
"Mr H Atom" features Linda on vocals

7. "Wonderful Christmastime"
Originally released as a solo single in 1979 b/w "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae"

8. "All You Horse Riders / Blue Sway"
"All You Horse Riders" is from "The Lost McCartney II Album"; I don't believe that I've ever heard the mostly instrumental version of "Blue Sway" that follows.

DVD - Bonus Film [55 Minutes]
1. "Meet Paul McCartney"
Includes the "Coming Up" video and an in-depth interview conducted by Tim Rice where Paul goes into detail about the motivation behind and the recording of McCartney II.

2. "Coming Up"
3. "Waterfalls”
4. "Wonderful Christmastime”
Music videos (which were heavily played on MTV at the time)

5. "Coming Up” [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea - December 29, 1979]

6. "Coming Up” (from a 1979 rehearsal session at Paul's farm)
A nice intimate recording filmed with a single camera

7. "Making the Coming Up Music Video"
Paul narrates the making of the "Coming Up" video while the video plays behind his voice-over

8. "Blue Sway” Promo Video
Set to Jack McCoy's underwater/surf footage

Paul McCartney