12.01.2013

The Song that Relaunched a Career

1 comment:

Lex said...

The 1980s were not kind to Sir Paul McCartney.

They started off with a drug bust in Japan that effectively ended a world tour before it started. Then his good friend, the ying to his yang, John Lennon, was gunned down. This was followed by duets with Whacko Jacko and Stevie Wonder, songs that were popular and commercially successful, but lacked the teeth and soul from his late 60s and early 70s numbers. He had a couple of albums that were also ho-hummers.

Then came the comeback tour.

While Pmac had performed Beatles tunes as a solo artist before 1989, the songs he sang were indisputably Paul McCartney tunes. Songs like Lady Madonna and Yesterday and the Long and Winding Road. He never dipped too far into the Beatles collection and certainly never dared sing a John Lennon tune.

This all changed in 1989, with the comeback tour. Just about every song ever written by Paul McCartney was now fair game. While he kept his distance from Lennon tunes, that distance would shorten over time.

The key thing to note about the above song is how quiet the audience is before he rips off the opening notes of Sgt Pepper. This wasn't the first song Macca played that night. No, this was about halfway through the concert.

Just before this song Pmac had sung Penny Lane and some Wings tunes. Fine songs, no doubt. But until you dust off Sgt. Pepper, Hey Jude, Back in the USSR and The End, these other songs aren't put in their proper perspective. Once you include the late Era Beatles songbook, however, one is soon overwhelmed by just how great Paul McCartney is.

He must have figured this out, observing an almost awkward discomfort in the audience until he got down with his bad stuff.

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