Back in the U.S. Live 2002
Audio CD | Live
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Audio CD. Two discs
Critics may quibble over the creative roller coaster that's been Paul McCartney's post-Beatles solo career, but few can deny his status as one of rock's most buoyant live performers and consistent crowd pleasers. That drive to stake his claim onstage (said to be one of the factors that drove the Fabs to dissolution) energizes this otherwise largely backward-looking collection of performances from his 2002 world tour; fully two-thirds of the double-disc's 35 tracks hail from the Beatles catalog, with the rest slanted toward early solo-career standouts like "Jet," "Maybe I'm Amazed," and "My Love." But Mac and his focused backing quartet deliver them with a punchy edge and sense of abandon that's largely MIA on previous McCartney live releases. Other than pausing for tributes to his fallen comrades ("Here Today," a solo acoustic paean to John Lennon followed by a touching, ukulele-backed nod to George Harrison with "Something"), it's largely a rollicking career retrospective from a musician whose restless drive to perform invests this collection with something more than mere nostalgia. The singer who invoked Bach at 22 may still refuse to act his age, but here that's not a bad thing at all. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
But, it is not just the Beatles music that makes this disc, and in fact the tour, so remarkable. Say what you like about him, but Sir Paul is easily our most prolific song writer. Beautiful ballads like Maybe I'm Amazed, rockers like Coming Up, both from his solo career, shows his incredible songwriting ability even without his famous former partner.
The disc also shows Sir Paul's incredible showmanship. The show is a croud pleaser and he knows it. You do get a better feel for his showmanship from the DVD (also recommended), but I am just impressed with a 60 year old who can belt out the same songs he did in his 20's.
My one critizism of the disc and the show is that I would have liked more live versions of songs from Driving Rain, there are 3, but...there's always the "When I'm 64" Tour!