84 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2005
For his post-Beatles career, Paul McCartney's work is basically intertwined between work that is credited what is considered "Paul McCartney Solo Work" and his work with Wings. When McCartney left the Beatles, he would release two solo albums "McCartney" and "Ram". While "Ram" would produce the classic song "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", "Ram" would be trashed by the critics. It was at that point that McCartney formed the band Wings. Wings would basically be a "project" type of band by McCartney that would consist of himself, his wife Linda McCartney, vocalist Denny Laine, and a revolving door of studio musicians. Wings would eventually be dissolved in 1980 (and Laine would depart), and McCartney would return to recording under his own name (with wife Linda by his side). Despite the decade of recording under the "Wings" umbrella, no mistake would be made - Paul McCartney would still be in control and it would very much be his music. Therefore, Paul McCartney's 1987 greatest hits release "All the Best" basically is a snapshot of his post-Beatles career throughout 1984. This collection does a good job at providing this snapshot, however there are some omissions that hurt this collection.
I once heard an interview with Paul McCartney and he was asked basically what is the best song he ever wrote. I remember McCartney mulling the question and finally the song "Maybe I'm Amazed" came from his mouth. With all of the amazing work he has done throughout his career - including creating some of the most legendary songs with the Beatles, many might be surprised by this answer. However after thinking about it, I think one can make the argument that this song is in the upper echelon of his musical portfolio. Yet, when I look at the listing of tracks on this collection, "Maybe I'm Amazed" is no where to be found. I think this song has a major importance from McCartney's career because it was on that first post Beatles album - 1970's "McCartney". The bottom line is that I am completely shocked that this collection doesn't include this song. To a lesser extent, I am pretty disappointed that "Take it Away" is not included as well.
One positive thing about "All the Best" is that it includes several songs that were originally only released as singles. These songs include the popular theme song "Live and Let Die" (from the James Bond film), "Another Day", "Goodnight Tonight", "C Moon", and "Junior's Farm".
When looking at this collection, there are really two other Paul McCartney compilations to consider. Like "All the Best", these compilations basically include mixes of his work recorded under the Paul McCartney name and those recorded under the Wings umbrella (Note: These compilations are actually released under the "Wings" umbrella). The first of these is 1978's "Wings Greatest". This is a more dated collection (obviously including material only until 1978). All of the songs that are on "Wings Greatest" are included on "All the Best" with the exception of "Hi Hi Hi" and "Mull of Kintyre". Like "All the Best", this collection omits one of the most legendary McCartney songs - "Maybe I'm Amazed". "Wings Greatest" also doesn't contain 1975's "Listen to What the Man Said" that is included on "All the Best".
In 2001, a more comprehensive collection was released under the Wings umbrella that included both Wings and Paul McCartney "solo" material. This collection entitled "Wingspan: Hits and History" is two disc set. This collection contains all of the material on "All the Best" with the exception of two popular duets that McCartney recorded in the 1980s: "Ebony and Ivory" with Stevie Wonder and "Say Say Say" with Michael Jackson. (It is worth noting that McCartney recorded another duet with Michael Jackson - "The Girl is Mine", but this was released on Jackson's "Thriller" album and is not included on any McCartney compilation.) This collection doesn't miss the mark - it does include "Maybe I'm Amazed". It also includes the five songs listed above that were only released as singles.
As for "All the Best", it is also worth noting that there were actually two versions released, a U.S. version and a U.K. version. The songs exclusive to U.K. version are "Pipes of Peace", "Once Upon a Long Ago", "We All Stand Together" and "Mull of Kintyre" while the U.S. version contains "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", "Goodnight Tonight", "With a Little Luck", and "Junior's Farm". There is a slight reordering of the tracks between the U.S. and U.K. versions.
When looking at a greatest hits collection, I normally prefer the tracks to be arranged in chronological order in which they were either released and/or recorded. This allows me to see how the artist has progressed over a period of time. One thing that also disappoints here is that the tracks are in a shuffled order. I really think this is a drawback - especially in the case of Paul McCartney where I find it interesting to track his post-Beatles career.
One thing that I found very positive were the liner notes. One thing that I found entertaining each of the songs on this collection is represented with a graphic illustration. Although these illustrations don't contribute anything to the musical experience, I still found this entertaining. One thing that is unusual about the liner notes is that they include the lyrics to all of the songs. The downside is that the corresponding albums (or denotations for songs that were listed only as singles) are not listed each song that is included in the collection. I also would have liked to have seen musician credits listed - particularly for the Wings songs.
Despite some of these shortcomings that are listed above, the bottom line is that this collection still contains enough good content to be a collection worth considering. This is a good collection, but some McCartney fans still may want to look to the "Wingspan" collection to get a more comprehensive collection.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This compilation came out in 1987, following the uneven Press To Play and as a stopgap between his next solo effort, Flowers In The Dirt. Key hits are included from Ram (1971) through Give My Regards To Broadstreet (1984). Strange that "Mull Of Kintyre" from 1977 was excluded, though it became the Wings' best-selling single. All the songs are winners in my book, but I'll just comment on a few.
"Band On The Run" the title track from the album that revitalized Macca's career, and "Jet", just as engaging as its sister track, are the first two songs here. The first is notable for its tripartite division, the languidly sung lyrics and melody, the mid-paced guitar, and the final explosion into its pop/rock splendour.
"Ebony And Ivory" was the first of three singles where he collaborated with an R&B artist. This one, with Stevie Wonder, is known for its extolling the virtues of interracial harmony. [Tug Of War]
The rambling melody of "Listen To What The Man Said" also has with it bits of sax. Funny how changing one word can give a totally different interpretation: "You can hear the people say that love is blind/Well, I don't know, but I say love is kind." Blind, kind. Makes a big difference. [Venus And Mars]
The ballad "No More Lonely Nights" from Give My Regards To Broadstreet, got to #2 in the UK, so he was still in top form in writing pleasant pop ballads like "My Love."
"Silly Love Songs," sporting a strong bassline, asks a time old question why we need those love songs. Apart from being silly, they can be trite, corny, and downright nauseating at times, but Macca's got it right-people can't get enough of those silly love songs-myself included. Piano, string and brass sections are also featured. [Wings At The Speed Of Sound] From that same album, the sociable side of Paul is revealed in "Let'em In." He lists a bunch of relatives, and says to open the door and let them in.
"Say Say Say" is an upbeat duet with Michael Jackson before the two fought over the Beatles catalogue rights. [Pipes of Peace]
"Live And Let Die" from Roger Moore's first Bond movie, proved that McCartney could still rock in top form, with racing strings and brass section. The original tops the GNR cover by leagues. Even out of context with the movie, the line "But if this ever-changing world in which we live in/makes you give in and cry/say live and let die" is applicable.
The dreary routine of an office girl who spends time alone in her apartment is described in "Another Day," a UK #2 song following in the heels of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," a medley of someone suffering from boredom and anxiety apologizing to the first title character for being insufferable. That languid number turns to the uptempo second part.
"Coming Up" was released after the resurrection of his non-Wings solo career. Again, cliched and trite lyrics that are nevertheless true: "You want some peace and understanding/so everybody can be free/I know that we can get together." [McCartney II]
"Goodnight Tonight" has simplistic lyrics, but it shows how he could construct a catchy rhythm around them.
"My Love" is an archetypal McCartney ballad, slow melodic vocals, produced strings, and a lovey dovey sound that one either loves to pieces or deems too cloying and corny. "My love does it good," sings McCartney, and this song did Red Rose Speedway good as well.
A nice one disk set of Macca's greatest hits, which will do well for people who don't want to invest in the Hits and History double CD, both of which roughly comprise the same era. The difference is that the duets are not included on the double CD. Me, I got both, so go figure!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2004
In terms of record sales and lasting popularity, Paul McCartney has had the most successful solo career out of all the former Beatles. By the time this cd was released in 1990, he had scored 41 chart entries, 22 of which made the top 10. In fact, the firts 37 all made the top 40. Only Elton John can boast anymore in a row. The 17 - song "All The Best" tries to capture all the best, and while it's far from perfect, it's still a wonderful cd.
This cd features many of McCartney's biggest solo hits. The bulk of this collection is made up of his time with Wings: the rockers "Band On The Run", "Junior's Farm" and "Jet", the chilling "Let 'Em In", the soulful "Listen To What The Man Said", the exhillerating "Live And Let Die", the disco - tinged "Goodnight Tonight" and "Comin' Up" and the uplifting "With A Little Luck". Also, many of his big solo hits are here: "Another Day", the cheery "Uncle Albert"/Admiral Halsey", the Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson smash duets "Ebony And Ivory" and "Say Say Say" and the 1984 smash "No More Lonely Nights".
Still, many of his big hits are missing. Here's a list of all the songs that made Billboard's Hot 100 chart that aren't included on this collection:
"Give Ireland Back To The Irish" (number 21)
"Mary Had A Little Lamb"/"Little Woman Love" (number 28)
"Hi Hi Hi" (number 10)
"Helen Wheels" (number 10)
"Sally G" (number 39)
"Letting Go" (number 39)
"Venus And Mars Rock Show" (number 12)
"Maybe I'm Amazed" (for me the most shocking omission) (number 10)
"Girls School" (number 33)
"I've Had Enough" (number 25)
"London Town" (number 39)
"Getting Closer" (number 20)
"Arrow Through Me" (number 29)
"Take It Away" (number 10)
"Tug Of War" (number 53)
"The Girl Is Mine" (number 2)
"So Bad" (number 23)
"Spies Like Us" (number 7)
"Press" (number 21)
"Stranglehold" (number 81)
"My Brave Face" (number 25)
"This One" (number 94)
"Figure Of Eight" (number 92)
But it would take a boxed set to include all of these great songs. Until that boxed set's released, "All The Best" is a perfect sampler for some of Macca's biggest solo hits. Enjoy.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 1999
I recently received the UK version of Paul's All The Best CD from Amazon.com. I must say that it is a fine companion to the US version. It is interesting to what the differences are between the two and what was considered to be a hit outside the US. Among them: "Once Upon A Long Ago" was never released here and it makes a fine contribution to the CD. "Mull of Kintire" is another gem found on the Wings greatest album from 1978 and not released here previously. "We All Stand Together" is an interesting track from 1984 which may not have been acceptable for the American market at that time. All in all this is a great CD and is highly recommended!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is the UK version of McCartney's 1987 U.S. album of the same title. The U.S. album duplicated everything from 1977's Wings Greatest except for "Hi Hi Hi" and "Mull of Kintyre" then included seven additional tracks. The U.K. version of All the Best deletes "Junior's Farm," "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," "Goodnight Tonight" and "With a Little Luck" and adds the following four tracks:
1. "Pipes of Peace," a U.K. No. 1 in 1983 which appeared on the B-side of the U.S. single "So Bad."
2. "Once Upon a Long Ago," released as a single only in the U.K. where it reached No. 30 in 1987. Also available as a bonus track on the import version of Press To Play. The B-side was "Back on My Feet," co-written with Elvis Costello.
3. "We All Stand Together," a U.K. single that reached No. 37 in 1985. Available as a bonus track on the import version of Pipes of Peace.
4. "Mull of Kintyre," a U.K. No. 1 which sold 2.5 million copies, making it the biggest-selling single of all time in the U.K until 1984's Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" It was relegated to the B-side in the U.S. where "Girls School" was the A-side. "Mull of Kintyre" is also available on Wings Greatest or the import version of London Town.
What this compilation clearly illustrates is that even if you own every U.S. album McCartney ever released, you still don't own all of the songs that he's released. Even if you bought all of the import versions of his albums (which are expensive--especially if you already own the U.S. versions), you would still be missing some single-only releases (the aforementioned "Girls School" and the theme to "Spies Like Us" from 1985 come to mind) and numerous B-sides. I have many of these songs on 45's, but Capitol Records would be doing McCartney fans on both sides of the Atlantic a huge favor if they would compile a 2- or 3-CD box set of all of McCartney's singles, B-sides and other rarities. That's my Christmas wish for this year.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2005
Like John Lennon, Paul Mccartney was great both with and without The Beatles. On his own, he created one of the greatest rock albums of the 1970s' ("Band Of The Run") and had an endless run of hit singles. In 1990, the single disc best of collection "All The Best" was released. It contained 17 songs from McCartney's solo career (well, mostly with Wings). 15 years later, the more comprehensive Wingspan was released. How does "All The Best Hold Up"? Read on for the postivies and the negatives.
-If you're a casual McCartney only interested in owning one of his albums, than this collection is a good choice. Almost all the hits msot radio fans are familliar with are here, including "Band On The Run", "Live And Let Die", "Say, Say, Say" (with Michael Jackson), "Ebony And Ivory" (with Stevie Wonder), "Listen To What The Man Said" and "My Love".
-"C Moon" is a rare track only available as B - side.
-The booklet contains lyrics and some great pictures.
-The tracks sound great.
-Where's "Maybe I'mm Amazed"? That omission is inexcusable.
-While we're on the subject of omissions, where's "Take It Away", "Spies Like Us", "Venus & Mars Rock Show", "Girls School", "Mull Of Kentyre" (spell check please), "Picasso's Last Words" and "Press", to name a few?
-"Wingspan" is much more comprehensive than this collection.
Despite these glaring negatives, this is still the best collection for the casual fan who doesn't want too spend too much money on the two cd "Wingspan".
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2002
My enjoyment of Paul McCartney tunes goes way back. How far back, you ask? Well, some of the earliest pop tunes I recall from my days as a toddler include `Silly Love Songs', `My Love', and `With a Little Luck'. I must've heard one of these tunes at least once on my parents' car's radio every time they drove me either to or from the local pre-school I attended! From those days on, I've always enjoyed his works, both with `Wings' and by himself. I eventually caught on to `Band on the Run', `Live and Let Die', and the duets `Ebony & Ivory' and the lesser-known McCarney/Michael Jackson team-up, `Say Say Say'. Most of the tunes here are good to listen and relax to after a hard day's night (doh!).
Although the subsequent `Wingspan' collection includes these tunes & several other Mickey-Cee moments (both Winged & Wingless, like this collection), I didn't care too much for the other songs on it. Don't get me wrong- I like quite a few of his tunes, I'm just not an all-out big-time fan. `All The Best' has all of the tracks I care for, so I don't really feel any need to `trade up'! So if you're a casual fan of this amazing ex-Beatle, then this collection is all you'll ever really need!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2006
Paul McCartney is a very good composer/singer/performer. Damn, he's really good! What he got in his experience as a founder of The Fab Four, he mastered either as a soloist or Wings founder/leader. There's a good bunch of his "Best" hits in this CD. However, please note that the UK version of "...all the best!" has a different song list compared with the American edition (UK includes "Mull Of Kintyre", "We All Stand Together" and "Coming Up" [studio version] but deleting "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and "Goodnight Tonight", among other changes).
A good CD for younger people to listen, especially those reluctant to believe why the 1970s can be considered as THE BEST DECADE FOR ROCK MUSIC!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2001
Paul McCartney is a musical genius. Not only was he in two immensely popular groups (The Beatles & Wings), but he had a fantastic solo career as well. This disc takes a look at some of the songs he did with Wings as well as a lot of his best solo recordings. My favorites are numerous, but the two biggest are: Say Say Say, the duet with Michael Jackson. This was a great song, and they sound great together. I'm questioning why they didn't include their other duet, The Girl Is Mine, on this album too. And of course Live And Let Die, the famous James Bond Theme, for the amazing tempo changes and the powerful vocals. The duet with Stevie Wonder is also pretty good. The only song that seems out of place is the B Side C-Moon, which is far below par with the other songs. It also would have been interesting if he threw in a few Beatles classics as well for a full tour de force of his career. But this is still an amazing album. Pick this up for a piece of musical history by one of this century's greatest musical masters.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2003
I recently purchased this when I was in the process of completing my "Greatest Hits" collection (see my listmania list) and this CD has every song that I longed for. Some Greatest Hits CD tend to leave some of your favorite songs out, well not on this one it's all here.
Great music for a drive or for that weekend day where you are cleaning house and you want something light, that you can sing-a-long to in the background. I also recommend Billy Joel Greatest Hits collection (the Box Set) it too has every single you could ever want.