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Paul McCartney – Medium Rare Tracks 1972-2008 (Secret Garden SGCD-13)

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Medium Rare Tracks 1972-2008 (Secret Garden SGCD-13)

(79:19):  Bluebird (Radio Performance), C Moon (Take 3 Pre Overdubs 1972), Wonderful Christmastime (Esanto Mix), Beware My Love (Take 1 Instrumental Run Through), Hope Of Deliverance (Instrumental 1992), Stella May Day (unidentified 1 May 1995), Is It Raining In London (unidentified date unknown), Kansas City (Rejected song for Lieber Stoller Tribute), Tropic Island Hum (Instrumental Version)  Just Fun (Zurich Soundcheck 2 Jun 2004), Whole Life (Excerpt From Rehearsal), Somedays (Different Mix), Be Bop A Lula (Paul on ukulele), Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight (Dub Edit 2), Sawain Ambient Acapella (iTunes Bonus Trak), My Soul (Vocal only by Paul), Sticks And Stones – Check My Machine (Original Intro Source), Song For Stella (Excerpt With Narration From Stella’s Story BBC Special), Rushes (Mellotron Takes 1998), Just Fun (‘homemade’ Sound Collage), Tropic Island Hum (Full Film Version), Whole Life (Excerpt From An Alternate Mix), Stella May Day (Excerpt From Totally Different Version), Stella May Day (Sequence Of Backing Track), Wonderful Christmastime (Rhythm Scholar Kringle Kut Remix), Is It Raining In London (From Movin’ On)

Medium Rare Tracks 1972-2008 collects together on one disc various rare and previously unreleased tracks spanning the length of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career, both with Wings and as a solo artist.  With a potpurri of numbers like this the sound quality varies but they are all in general good to excellent professionally sourced tapes.  This is a straight silver copy of the CDR download of the same name on the Nowhere Man Records.  

“Bluebird” comes from a 1972 radio broadcast and features Paul and Linda singing the tune.  “What does this gentleman to the right of you do… a wandering minstrel.”  It is sung as a duet.  “C Moon” is a totally different take than the final recorded version taken from a scratchy acetate.  It lacks the horn section overdubs and the children’s chorus is buried in the mix.  Linda responds to Paul’s lyrics in an exaggerated nasal voice. 

“Wonderful Christmas Time” is the Esanto mix which adds extra beats to the studio track.  “Beware My Love” is an interesting instrumental track of the Wings hit and makes its debut in this collection.  “Hope Of Deliverance” follows and is an instrumental run through of the Off The Ground track. 

“Stella May Day” is a track from 1995 written for his daughter Stella.  She studied fashion design and at her graduation had supermodels Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss display her work.  The collection was show to this song written by her father and he would use the melodies later in the Ooboo Joobooradio series.  It isn’t one continuous track but rather a series using the same heavy metal power chord played on a fuzzy guitar.  Tracks twenty-three and twenty-four are other versions of this work.  The first is a fifty-second fragment where riff is played very slow and buried under significant amounts of feedback.  The second is eight minutes long, taken at a faster tempo, and has spoken interludes scattered throughout.  

“Is It Raining In London” is an unreleased track found in the documentary Movin’ On.  This was a film shot in 1993 covering the recording and tour for Off The Ground and it now out of print.  The sound quality is a bit below the level of many of the other tracks but is still enjoyble.  The song is very slow, featuring Paul singing and accompanying himself on guitar lasting almost five minutes.  The final track on the disc is the finished version from the film lasting a bit more than a minute.  

“Tropic Island Hum” is a cute and bouncy orchestral number for a children’s animation film created by Paul and released in 2004.  It was released as a single with his older children’s tune “We All Stand Together” and both songs and films are featured on McCartney’s DVD The Music And Animation Collection released on September 27th, 2004. 

“Just Fun” is a minute long audience tape from the soundcheck before the June 4th, 2004 Zürich performance.  This is a very rare Lennon/McCartney original written about the time they first met in the last fifties with the opening words:  “They said that our love was just fun / The day that our friendship begun / There’s no blue moon / That I can see.”  Paul is quoted, saying:  “When we heard that rhyme we just went off that song in a big way.  We were never able to fix it either.”  The second “Just Fun” track later on the disc is a collage of fragments with mentions of the songs including a Beatles rehearsal where John Lennon can be heard joking around, McCartney reciting the lyrics to the song fast and a reprise of the Zürich rehearsal. 

“Whole Life” is a minute long fragment in fair quality from an unidentified rehearsal and is followed by a different mix of “Someday” from Flaming Pie.  “Be Bop A Lulu” is another studio fragment lasting a minute long of Paul playing the song on ukulele.  “Nothing Too Much Out Of Sight” and “Sawain Ambient Acapella” are among the two most recent songs in this collection.  Both are from his The Fireman collaboration with Youth on Electric Arguments.  The former is a dub edit and the latter is an ambient track only available from iTunes.  “My Soul” is the single released in October 2008 that Paul McCartney and Nitin Sawhney recorded for Sawney’s latest album.

“Sticks And Stones – Check My Machine” is the original forty-second introduction to “Check My Machine” from the demos for McCartney II sessions in 1979.  This is basically a series of soundbites from various cartoons.  The title for this collection is apropo since these aren’t exactly rarities but are hard to find.  Having them together on one disc is extremely convenient for the collection.  Secret Garden utilize a standard jewel case with high quality inserts with relevant information on the back over several interesting photographs of McCartney.  This is the label Misterclaudel uses to present these oddball collections and for the McCartney collector this is recommended.

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Paul McCartney - Medium Rare Tracks 1972-2008 (Secret Garden SGCD-13), 2.5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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