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Paul McCartney – Chaos And Creation At Abbey Road (Master Of Beatles Essentials MBE-005V)

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Chaos And Creation At Abbey Road (Master Of Beatles Essentials MBE-005V)

Chaos And Creation At Abbey Road:  Introduction, Friends To Go, Nigel Godrich introduction, How Kind Of You, four track machine, Band On The Run, In Spite Of All The Danger, those old days, Twenty Flight Rock, Lady Madonna, English ways, English Tea, Heartbreak Hotel, plays mellotron, Bach’s Bouree, Jenny Wren, I’ve Got A Feeling, Blackbird, create multi tracks, That’s All For Now, Blue Suede Shoes/ That’s All For Now (reprise) 

Sessions @ AOL:  AOL introduction, interviews, English Tea, Fine Line, Follow Me, Friends To Go, Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road

Live at Super Bowl:  Drive My Car, Get Back, Live And Let Die, Hey Jude

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”:  introduction, Fine Line, English Tea, Get Back, Drive My Car

MBE almost always release stellar Beatle and solo Beatle products and this is no exception.  The bulk of Chaos And Creation Live At Abbey Road presents the television concert/interview/shindig Paul gave at Abbey Road studios in London on July 28th, 2005 and broadcast on television.  The liner notes claim:

“In this unique concert, the legendary Paul McCartney returns to Studio 2 at London’s Abbey Road Studios, where most of the Beatles’ recordings were made, for a fascinating journey through his songwriting career, from his very first Beatles song to the work for his new album, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard.

Using a selection of vintage instruments from his own collection — including the bass played by Bill Black on Elvis Presley’s original recording of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and the mellotron and mixing console used by the Beatles — McCartney revisits his back catalogue in new and revealing ways before an intimate studio audience. McCartney reinterprets old songs and new songs, performs some terrific cover versions, and enlists the audience’s help in a demonstration of “in the moment” songwriting and arranging. Among the songs performed are ‘Blackbird’, ‘Band on the Run’, ‘Lady Madonna’ and many others.”

This, along with all of the material on this release is presented in its original 4:3 for television broadcast.  It looks like it was taped directly off of television.  The picture is very good with some fuzziness to the detail.  The show is great as Paul is very informative and humorous throughout.  Some of the stories are old (he again tells the story of Duff before “In Spite Of All The Danger”), and others like the “peradventure” story before “English Tea” and the “Bouree” story before “Jenny Wren” are new and has been telling them onstage all throughout his last tour. 

Perhaps the most interesting sections are his re-write of “Band On The Run” for BBC2 recorded using water, wine glasses and a four track.  His demonstration of the original use of the mellotron, to be used in cantinas is also revelatory and far from the prog rock use that I’m used to.

The other material serves as a bonus.  The “Sessions @ AOL” was recorded at the Hit Factory in Miami, Florida in September 2005.  It consists of Paul interviewing himself (something he loves to do) and playing six songs.  It comes straight from a download with the expected pixelation issues, but it’s clear enough and the sound is great. 

The Superbowl set from February 6th, 2005 in Jacksonville is perhaps the best looking and sounding piece of this release.  It doesn’t look like it was taped off of television but is clearer than I remembered it.  It is good to see this released as it’s a short but intense set with Paul especially in excellent voice.  The car footage from the 2004 tour is played on the screens during “Drive My Car”.  The whole stage set up is rather strange with all of the musicians on their own pedestal with no room to move around and interact.

The Ellen Degeneres set is the worst part of the release.  It was taped directly off of television and is fuzzy and out of focus.  Even worse is the interviews were edited out and all that is present is the musical part of the show.  It would have been great to see the entire broadcast, but the performance is very nice.  “Drive My Car” was included in the following day’s broadcast as a bonus encore.  Overall this is a nice collection from MBE of some of McCartney’s 2005 television appearances.

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