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McCartney II (Archive Collection) Original recording remastered, Special Edition

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Paul McCartney's "McCartney" I & II Reissues
McCartney and McCartney II are the second and third releases from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection and are available in CD/DVD superdeluxe, 2 CD deluxe, and 2 LP vinyl configurations. To learn more about all of the new reissues, explore our Paul McCartney Reissues Store.
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the former Beatle's 1980 solo album. McCartney II was McCartney's return to solo work after nine years touring and having released several massively successful albums with Wings. Reaching #1 in the UK, and #3 in the U.S., the album produced enduring classics such as "Coming Up," "Waterfalls," and "Temporary Secretary." The bonus CD includes previously unreleased tracks, non album singles and b-sides and live tracks.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 14, 2011)
  • special_edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Special Edition
  • Label: Hear Music
  • ASIN: B004WJREMW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,828 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Chris McKenzie on June 17, 2011
Format: Audio CD
MCCARTNEY II is an album that polarizes fans. Many think it's too weird and not enough of a "McCartney" record. Others, like me, think it shows Paul's experimental side in a batch of songs that are interesting and fun.

For those who haven't heard MCCARTNEY II, I would not recommend the Deluxe Edition as your initial experience. Seek out "Coming Up" (the studio version, NOT Wings' live version), "Temporary Secretary" and "Waterfalls" and a few other songs on YouTube, and if you like them, buy the 2 CD set. For those fans who rank MCCARTNEY II among their favorite of his albums, though, the Deluxe Edition is a must.

The first disc, the initial album, is remastered wonderfully. The sound is crisp and clear for the first time on CD. It really makes one appreciate the effort Paul went into in producing, engineering and recording this album--all done at home on a 16-track Studer machine, without help barring initial technical assistance from engineer Eddie Klein and a few backing vocals from Linda. The album is synth-heavy, which may turn fans off. Paul also experimented with his vocals, speeding them or slowing them and sometimes adding echo.

"Waterfalls" and "One Of These Days" are probably the most McCartneyesque tracks. "Temporary Secretary", "Bogey Music" and "Darkroom" are probably the strangest. "Front Parlour" and "Frozen J**" (the title unrelated to his prison time; Amazon will not let me quote it here) are instrumentals. This is a record where no song sounds quite like the one before it.

The bonus discs, unlike the MCCARTNEY Deluxe Edition, include quite a few outtakes and alternate takes. Originally, MCCARTNEY II was planned as a double album, but Columbia's record execs vetoed that idea.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Joe on March 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
'McCartney II' has never been a popular album. Most people view it as a failed experiment or a mere oddity. However, fans of 80s retro music and synth-pop are re-discovering this album all over again (some for the first time ever). In 2003, "Temporary Secretary," was chosen for inclusion on a European compilation of 80s dance music called 'A Secret History,' proving that Paul was right up there all along with a wink.
As a previous reviewer pointed out, one shouldn't expect mainstream McCartney (i.e. "My Love"), when listening to 'McCartney II.' This is Paul in his experimental mode, having a blast with synthesizers and creating some funky tracks like "Darkroom," and "Frozen Jap." There's also "Waterfalls" -- one of his most underrated ballads, and "One of These Days" which is simply profound. "Summer's Day Song" recalls both "Strawberry Fields Forever," and "Spider and I," -- a track from Brian Eno's 'Before and After Science' album.
The ultimate highlight for me is one of the bonus tracks, the 10 minute "Secret Friend," which is a hypnotic and dreamy ride into the unknown. It's one of my all-time favorite McCartney tracks, just because it's so unlike anything else he's ever done.
Recommended for open-minded Beatles or McCartney fans, or anyone who likes retro synth-pop or ambient music.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Philip Cannistraci on November 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"McCartney II" was recorded in 1980 right after Paul disbanded Wings. Like his first solo album, "McCartney II" is another stripped down, at home, McCartney-only production, "McCartney II" finds Paul in a rather experimental-possibly drug-induced-state. McCartney explores synth-pop here a year before it blew up in the pop-market. Taking a cue from artists like Kraftwerk, Devo and Brian Eno, "McCartney II" has everything from New Wave spaz-outs ("Temporary Secretary"), ambient/folk ballads ("Waterfalls") and paranoid techno ditties ("Darkroom"). Plus, there is funky and ebullient pop ("Coming Up"). Sadly, "McCartney II" marked the end of the Wings era in the same manner "McCartney" marked the end of The Beatles era. But also like "McCartney", "McCartney II" is a charmingly oddball album. And even though he was following the path of techno pioneers, McCartney managed, through his raw production and mixing of real instruments, to create an album that's far less dated than other, colder techno albums from the time-period. It often sounds like the low-fi electronica from 1990s indi-rock acts. Early Stereolab springs to mind. Like two other unsung gems, "Wild Life" and "Back to the Egg", "McCartney II" was snarled at by the critics. However, there was one cat who praised it in 1980: John Lennon. He even cited the "Coming Up" single as inspiring him out of retirement and to record what would be his final album, "Double Fantasy" (a FAR more conservative recording than "McCartney II"). Overall, "McCartney II" is a great album for those who like funky, witty, homespun, experimental pop-music with a rock & roll edge. Those interested in the album should definitely get the import CD with extra tracks. Especially for the extra track "Secret Friend": an atmospheric ambient/trance song. It's such a beautiful piece of music and really shows McCartney's stylistic range.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Connak on June 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
*Note that this is the last half of my review on the McCartney and McCartney II reissues. If you haven't already, look on the McCartney page.

After the listener listens to this album, they might make the confused face that Paul has on the album's cover. It's easy to understand: this album is very experimental, but so was McCartney in some way. McCartney II is actually a really good album. I like the sound of it personally. It's different and kind of trippy and funky. This album was recorded in July 1979, shortly after Wings had released their seventh (and later, final) album Back To The Egg. Paul recorded this album in Scotland and like McCartney, he played all the instruments, but this time with the aid of a sixteen track machine. Paul also had a new toy: a synthesizer. This is one of the reasons why some critics and fans don't care for McCartney II. I'm not a big fan of the synth either but Paul makes this easy to listen to. The album opens with "Coming Up", an instant classic. The live version taken from the 1979 gig in Glasgow made "Coming Up" a #1 hit single. If you're reading this, please go check out the promo/music video to "Coming Up". It's just wacky. Some people may skip over songs like "Temporary Secretary", "Front Parlour", "Frozen Jap", and many others due to the fact that there all use one too many synthesizers. I actually like "Temporary Secretary" and I also really dig "Frozen Jap", which is also an awesome song title! I like the entire first side of the album. Along with "Coming Up" and "Temporary Secretary", there's the slow rocker "On The Way", the simply beautiful "Waterfalls", and the upbeat "Nobody Knows". The second side isn't as good.
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