Ageless Music Anthology 4 (Strange Apple SAR 020)
Disc 1 (79:40) (1986-1988): Beautiful Night (original version), Loveliest Thing (rough mix), Waterspout (Cold Cuts mid-80s version), Squid (outtake), This One (outtake), Love Mix (outtake), Return To Pepperland (outtake), Once Upon A Long Ago (rough mix), P.S. Love Me Do (outtake), Christian Pop (outtake), Peacocks (outtake), The Lovers That Never Were (studio demo), Twenty-Five Fingers (studio demo), Tommy’s Coming Home (studio demo), So Like Candy (studio demo), You Want Her Too (studio demo), Playboy To A Man (studio demo), Don’t Be Careless Love (studio demo), My Brave Face (studio demo), My Brave Face (outtake), Motor Of Love (studio demo)
Disc 2 (79:50) (1988-1997): Figure Of Eight (rough mix), Rough Ride (rough mix), How Many People (studio rehearsal), Is It Raining In London? (outtake from “Moving On”), Winedark Open Sea (live rehearsal), Daisy Roots Reggae (soundcheck), Incredible Thing (soundcheck), Pull Away (soundcheck), A Leaf (soundcheck at Tokyo), Hiroshima Sky Is Always Blue (soundcheck), Mistress And Maid (live), Your School (piano demo), In Liverpool (studio version), The World Tonight (electric guitar rendition from EPK), If You Wanna (electric guitar rendition from EPK), Somedays (rough mix), Young Boy (acoustic guitar rendition from EPK), Calico Skies (acoustic guitar rendition from EPK), Flaming Pie (piano rendition from EPK), Heaven On A Sunday (electric piano rendition from EPK), Beautiful Night (recording process from “In The World Tonight”), Great Day (acoustic guitar rendition from EPK), Bishopsgate (live at the Flaming Piealbum launch). Hidden tracks Piano Demo – Element Of “Standing Stone” (“Meditation” “Crystal Ship”) Let It Be (Live Aid) (Original Audio) Do They Know Its Christmas? (Live Aid)(Original Audio)
Ageless Music Anthology 4 picks up the narrative of Paul McCartney outtakes during what some call his artistic nadir and continues to the critical triumph of Flaming Pie. Like the preceding three volumes it contains nothing new. But the sound quality is evenly excellent and it is a very perceptive arrangement of the outtakes into a cohesive whole.
A bulk of the first disc is occupied with the aborted Return To Pepperland project. It originates from a tape assembled on January 21st, 1988 to give to prospective producers and contains songs produced by Billy Joel’s producer Phil Ramone recorded in several studios recorded throughout 1987. There are many good ideas and good songs, including the title track. The sparse mixes suggest these to be nothing more then demos, however, unfit for release in this form. Some of the songs, such as “Lindiana,” are nowhere near as good as the others and remain buried.
Strange Apple include other tracks recorded during the time to give it some continuity. “Waterspout” was written and recorded during the London Town sessions in 1977, but this is a late eighties remixing for the third proposed Cold Cuts collection. It is the same recording except that McCartney mixed in a beautiful saxophone line, recalling the tune’s Caribbean origins. This is one of his most fun songs and a shame it is still sitting in the archives.
The disc ends, and disc two starts off with several tracks from the Flowers In The Dirt sessions in 1988. Strange Apple include the studio demo for “My Brave Face” and the short “My Brave Face” outtake with Elvis Costello on lead vocals (and in fits of laughter).
The second disc contains an interesting assortment of rare tracks from soundtracks and press kits and other sources. “Is It Raining In London?” is taken from the Moving On promo video released before the New World Tour in 1993.
The various tracks from soundcheck sources reveal interesting little pieces. “A Leaf” is a short rehearsal of the classical piece played on piano taken from Tokyo and “Daisey Roots Reggae” remains unrecorded and released.
“Hiroshimaa Sky Is Always Blue” is a rare musical collaboration between Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney. It was aired on August 6th 1995 on NHK (public TV/radio station in Japan) on the 50th anniversary of the first atmoic bomb. The song was recorded with Paul McCartney and his family in March at Paul’s private studio, consisting of interesting little melodies under Yoko’s screeching.
Following are several tracks taken from EPK (electronic press kits) used to promote albums in the nineties (and still today). It contains interesting variations of the well-known tracks such as “Flaming Pie” played as a piano number and “Young Boy” played acoustically. The final song is “Bishopsgate” recorded at the Flaming Pie release party.
Strange Apple include two hidden tracks. First is a piano demo which has musical references to “Standing Stone” contained in it. The second tracks is “Let It Be” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” from Live Aid. It was taped off of a French radio simulcast in very good quality.
Ageless Music Anthology 4 is packaged in a slimline jewel case with tasteful graphics on the inserts. It’s a good complimentary volume to the other three. And it seems as if the label are stopping with this release with no signs of volume 5 coming out.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)