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on June 26, 2011
MCCARTNEY II was Paul's second solo album, released in 1980, ten years after the first MCCARTNEY. While intended only as an experiment for himself, he decided to release it after returning from his prison stay in Japan. Wings had effectively broken up by then, although it was not finalized until Denny Laine left the following year.

The first disc of the Deluxe Edition features the original album in best-ever sound quality. My favorite tracks are the Lennonesque "On the Way," the beautiful ballad "Waterfalls," the "Get Back"-like "Nobody Knows," the fun rocker "Bogey Music," and the wistful ballad "One of These Days," plus the two instrumentals.

The bonus audio on Disc 2 is a mixed bag. "Blue Sway," with its Richard Niles orchestration, is an absolutely gorgeous piece of music. "Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)" has an extra verse that was edited out of previous releases, and it also has been remixed. Like previous CD releases on ALL THE BEST! and WINGSPAN, the closing "crowd chant" has been edited out (it's only on the original Columbia and Parlophone 45s, and the one-sided white label Columbia promo that was included in original copies of the U.S album). "Check My Machine" (a fun track) and the overly long "Secret Friend" are B-sides that were used as bonus tracks on the previous CD editions. "Bogey Wobble" doesn't measure up to "Bogey Music," "Mr H Atom / You Know I'll Get You Baby" is experimental and doesn't quite work. Neither does "All You Horse Riders / Blue Sway" (the latter track is much better in its orchestrated form, as noted above). "Wonderful Christmastime" is finally where it belongs (not on BACK TO THE EGG). The B-side, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae," was recorded in 1975, but it was not included on the 2014 edition of VENUS AND MARS. Who knows where it will wind up?

Disc 3 features long versions of six songs. The two instrumentals are better in their long versions, as is "Wonderful Christmastime." The other tracks are better in short form. "Summer's Day Song" actually works better as an instrumental than a vocal. "Waterfalls" is the DJ edit from WINGSPAN.

The DVD features a "Meet Paul McCartney" interview with Tim Rice of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR fame, music videos for "Blue Sway" (gorgeous), "Coming Up," "Waterfalls," and "Wonderful Christmastime" (the latter two are in better quality on THE MCCARTNEY YEARS), the version of "Coming Up" from CONCERTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF KAMPUCHEA (hope that film and album see release someday), a 1979 Lower Gate Farm rehearsal of "Coming Up," and a "Making of the 'Coming Up' Music Video" minidoc that uses an extended version of the commentary track from THE MCCARTNEY YEARS.

I wish that the original version of "Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)," with the crowd chant, had been used (the other version should have been considered a bonus track). I also would have liked a CD version of THE MCCARTNEY INTERVIEW album that was released as a Limited Edition by Columbia Records in 1980. A 1981 UK Parlophone release of that LP, issued with the catalog number CHAT 1, was withdrawn after just one day at Paul's insistence. Perhaps that is the reason for its exclusion.

Overall, 3.5 stars for content, 4 stars for sound/audio quality, and 5 stars for the beautiful packaging. A worthwhile purchase for McCartney fans.
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on May 28, 2010
I can't be pretentious enough to say that Paul McCartney's work in Wings and in the solo work he has done is great ( as some do with Memory Almost Full, an album I have from Itunes, but mainly because Back to the Egg was then unobtainable; and yes, I do enjoy Memory almost full), mainly because I just like the songs since they are from my past, they sound great, and no new artist produces songs that make me feel as good. The one song that sticks out from years ago on MCCARTNEY II is "Coming Up" simply because the promo video featured Paul in all roles. I loved the fun feel of that song years ago, and I still do. The entire album is pervaded with that feel. I can definitely recommend this album highly, and I am glad that Amazon has the Paul McCartney collection ( all except for Wings at the speed of sound which was chopped away as "not obtainable from our suppliers", so I ordered it from an Amazon "store " in NYC, and await its arrival). Hopefully I can get all the albums like this gem, since on this album I discovered WATERFALLS, which was blatently "sampled", lyrics and almost all the melody, in a 1995 song of the same name ( I thought I had imagined this detail until I checked it on the net, and Wikipedia, not the best source, gave chapter and verse on the verisimilitude).
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on February 27, 2015
Nice, good looking book, with extra's on CD and DVD.
What I find could have been better is more variety in music. To have multiple versions of the same songs is a bit easy. As well as an interview in the book and more or less the same on the video-disc.
In my opinion some Wings albums deserve a place in this archive collection more than this album. Red Rose Speedway anyway, London Town for shure. Well .... maybe the're upcoming.

All in all McCartney II is nice to complete the collection but the least intesting so far.
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on August 21, 2011
I've been a McCartney fan since the Wings era and had the great fun of seeing him perform live in concert several times over the years, most recently a couple of months ago. He's a legendary performer and still has the magic! This is a great collection of some of Paul's work for this time period in his long career! Especially enjoyed the video with interview how Paul describes process of writing the songs and putting album together. Also thought the book was really cool with lots of great pics of Paul, Linda, band members. Recommend it highly for collectors and long-time McCartney fans!
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on August 20, 2011
McCartney II album its probably the one i hear less 'cause its the one i love less. Surprisingly when i bought the Deluxe edition I expect much more than the first time i hear it, and YES!! it was better than the first time!!! The 2d Cd tracks are great, specialy Blue Sway in its orchestrated version sound very fresh to me, and knowing that this track was originaly planned for the COLD CUTS album leaves me wondering how the other track could sound!!!
The 3d CD has the original mix versions for most of the album tracks, but HEY!!! some of them are better than the versions of the original LP, as example the few minutes more in the Coming Up Full Lengh version make the song less flat than the one in the main album, of course i love the original but this sound more rich in the arrengments and the live version remains me why i love the sound of the bass guitar!!! Paul just move his fingers like a fish on the water!!!
I rediscover this album for better and i hope the next Deluxe albums leave me with more of this feeling!!!
The only tracks that are really boring for me are Secret Friend (to long and flat) and, opposite to the things some say, Waterfalls (to slow, maybe wth another arrengments could have sound better)
This album it not easy to listen. Some consider it the worst MACCA album, some other say that is very underreted. I just say that is funny and very experiental, and maybe if this album never happenned we couldn't enjoy the greatness of the FIREMAN never. Certainly this its not a commercial album, it's more an historical understanding of Paul's way of doing music; or, someone has forgotten that "SCRAMBLED EGGS" beggin as a joke with absurd words and it turns into the most covered song in the world??
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on July 27, 2011
I can understand why somebody would give this one or two stars. Paul was trying a lot of different stuff sonically. Not all of it succeeds, but for me, it's all fun to listen to. The stuff that does work sounds really fresh and ahead of its time. There's probably a fine line between gutsy and self-indulgent, and Paul walks the line on this album. The weird sounds and weird songs (like Temporary Secretary, All You Horse Riders, and Check My Machine - which is brilliant, IMO) are what gets talked about with McCartney II, but there are also some flat-out classic Paul songs here, too, like Coming Up, Summer's Day Song, and One of These Days. I can't quite give this five stars, but I do recommend it. Maybe just listen to some samples first so you know what you're getting in to.
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on December 14, 2016
An excellent package. The customer service from TopSpin Media, the company that handles the hi-res downloads, is top-notch, too. I had trouble with my download, and when I contacted them to resolve it, they went the extra mile to make sure I received the songs.

I highly recommend this, as well as the rest of the "Archive Collection" series, especially to serious Macca fans.
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on June 19, 2011
It was worth it for me since I wanted all the outtakes and uncut versions (crazy as it may seem)! Nice photos: alternate album cover photos, the tape boxes, instruments used on each track, video behind the scenes shots, various studio shots of the gear used and instuments. Screen captures of the videos is kind of unecessary as the videos are on the DVD. Nice interviews in print. DVD is pretty good with the videos and the vintage interview with Macca - hadn't seen that before.

All in all, very nice to have it all in a book form. Finally found out that the orchestration for Blue Sway was done in 1986 when Cold Cuts was still in the works. He says he worked on orchestrations for 14 tracks, so, who knows what's still in the can?

The outtakes are remixed and sound better than the bootlegs out there. The only thing that appeared edited was Bogey Wobble, which is about 20 seconds shorter. Comparing it to the boot, it looks like the intro was trimmed slightly (no great loss there)! Mr H Atom remix makes it a tad more listenable, too. Wonderful Christmastime is maybe 30 seconds longer. I still like the longer versions of Coming Up and Darkroom.
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on May 20, 2017
One of my favorite albums of Sir Paul McCartney, a nice picture of a personal period of experimentation.
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on January 5, 2013
If you're a classic rock fan, you're not going to like this record. If your idea of a great McCartney song is No More Lonely Nights, you're not going to like this. But if you're open to electronic music, to lyrical playfulness, to experimental musical wanderings, you're going to LOVE this. This record was way ahead of its time: Temporary Secretary, Secret Friend, Check My Machine, and instrumentals like Frozen Jap are all astonishing. There are some gorgeous ballads here like One of these Days and Summer's Day Song. And of course there's Coming Up. What other artist but Paul could pull off such an unusual record -- played and sung and recorded pretty much by himself. Some Macca fans hate, and will never get it. Their loss. Much like Ram, this album has attracted more and more appreciation and I think that will only gain steam as the years go by. It's brilliant -- if you just relax and enjoy.
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