Friday, November 6, 2009

Paul McCartney 22: Paul Is Live

The title and artwork aside (pretty funny!), Paul Is Live basically served to collect money from folks who’d been scarfing up bootlegs from his most recent tour anyway. In contrast to the previous concert souvenir, this was shorter, more of a grab bag that didn’t include every song performed—most likely because there would be too much repetition from Tripping The Live Fantastic, but that doesn’t excuse four routine retreads from Wings Over America. We do get the first performances of “Penny Lane” and “Magical Mystery Tour”, some more oldies and key tracks from Off The Ground, a couple of soundcheck improvisations, and a Chet Atkins tribute from Robbie McIntosh, but it just isn’t the kind of album that demanded repeated listenings.
We can understand why this album exists, but it just came too soon after the previous tour and album. The Rolling Stones had been in a greedy lather-rinse-repeat cycle of a new album followed by a big tour, commemorated by a live album, so it was disappointing that Paul was that aware of his own selling power. Expertly played, every song is heartily applauded—but so what? (And if you’re wondering, the dog on the cover is not the original Martha, who would have been about 27 if she were still alive.)

Paul McCartney Paul Is Live (1993)—3

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