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Paul McCartney – VSOP (HMC 026)

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Paul McCartney “V.S.O.P. – TMOQ Gazette Vol. 14” (HMC 026)

Part One; New (Acoustic version) / BBC Radio 2, October 16th 2013; Eight Days A Week / Save Us / Jet / My Valentine / 1985 / Another Day / Everybody Out There / Things We Said Today / New / Queenie Eye / Lady Madonna / Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite / Band On The Run / Back In The USSR / Hey Jude / Interview / Heart Of The Country (Remake)
Part Two; BBC Radio 6 Music, October 16th 2013; Coming Up / Save Us / Junior’s Farm / We Can Work It Out / New / Queenie Eye / Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da / Get Back : Jimmie Fallon; Eight Days A Week / Jet / Everybody Out There / We Can Work It Out / Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da / Birthday / Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite / Jools Holland; Save Us / New / Queenie Eye / Get Back : Graham Norton show; New

Another round up of Paul McCartney’s “New” promotional jaunt around the radio and TV stations, a little more complete than the Godfathers single disk, “Gets Back To The Beeb” but then, a little less overawing that Piccadilly Circus’ 4 CD extravaganza “New Promotional Concerts 2013”.

As i pointed out in my review of the Godfather set, it all depends on your need to collect how much of Paul’s new output. The benefit of Paul’s promotional shows at the BBC and on Jimmy Kimmel was that they were all different. Paul had worked out his set list for wherever he was playing, BBC 6’s set flew around different solo tracks that one assumes would appeal to the hipsters who, quite rightly, regard “McCartney II” as a persecutor to the great draft of spectral electro that wafts throughout modern dance music, “My Valentine” sits better with Radio 2’s audience of a listener who remembers the crooners and not the cutmasters and DJ’s of now. Jimmy Fallon’s audience are looking for the Beatles where as Jools Holland’s show is specifically promotional vehicle.

HMC choose to begin this selection with an off cut of Paul playing an acapella / acoustic version of the albums title track backstage at one of his concerts in Regina taken from Paul’s youtube channel.

The afternoon BBC show follows that was also included in my review of the Don’s set (It also includes the fluctuation in sound at 2:20 on ‘Back in the USSR’ – must have been something on the stream)
The disk is rounded up with 2 versions of the remake of “Heart Of The Country” that accompanied the promotion of the Linda McCartney foods range in 2013, the making of which was posted by MSN on youtube. The ending, without the visual, transpires that Macca’s looking for something to drum on to record the backing for this new take.

Disk two stars the Morning show at Meida Vale, Studio 3 for BBC 6 music, this time hosted by Lauren Laverne.
The set begins with a ebullient “Coming Up” (It’s a shame that he didn’t push “Temporary Secretary”) featuring the ‘Peter Gunn’ instrumental towards the middle. It’s a better beginning for the set than “Eight Days A Week”, certainly and it flows perfectly with the thundering “Save Us”, played to within an inch of it’s life and with a great blast.
Next up, continuing the heavy rock theme, the Wings song of the set, “Juniors Farm”. A perfect match for his band as they can start to show off a little with crazy histrionics, flashy fret work and angry soloing.
“We Can Work It Out” calms things down a little, smooths out the rush but keeps a strong beating heart for the show. As if it’s ever in doubt that Paul might not be enjoying himself, his voice gives it all away as the joy is palpable.

The two singles follow and are ceremoniously appreciated by the crowd. Thankfully the sound guys and guitarists manage not to muck it up this time and “Queenie Eye” runs through smoothly for a gamely extended version.
After a strange exchange with the audience, we continue with “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, hardly Macca’s coolest choice for the trendy listener of the station but a great little song along none the less, indeed a little bit of irony would go a long way, maybe so trotting out one of the Beatles best / worst songs isn’t such a bad decision after all.

The set ends with a locked horn, “Get Back”, squealing guitar, thumping drums, Preston-esque keyboard noodling and – brilliantly enough – a ‘Let it Be’ styled coda to push along the fun. There’s no interview this time – there was one – but it’s not included here. That still leaves us a little time for more songs.

The Jimmy Fallon broadcast is less boasting about the album, more about the Beatles with only “Everybody Out There”, Paul’s ‘grower’ as he seems to have announced it, getting airtime.
The set begins with a more sprightly “Eight Days A Week” than the BBC 2 broadast and Paul seems happier to be there too as “Jet” attests to.

“We Can Work It Out” & “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” are pleasant enough, the later including a sweet little singalong by the audience and then we finish up with a very good romp through “Birthday” that almost out-Beatles the Beatles own version after Paul’s little twerking joke and another take on a plodding “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite”.
The bonus tracks are from the extended broadcast of ‘Later With Jools Holland’ which also includes the nights line up jamming the title tune. “Save Us” is diabolical in speed and sounds like it being shunted through the wall on the front of a truck.

“Queenie Eye”, I might suggest is still fantastic but this time the harmonies are mixed up a little higher, sporting a different feel for the end of the song.
Finally there’s one last go at “New” from the Graham Norton show. It is what it is but it completes the set by being there.

“V.S.O.P.” or “Very Special Old Paul” is packaged within TMOQ’s regular gazette packaging with notes inside picked up from around the internet, various photos from his latest shows, advertisements for Meatless Mondays & Peta and a recipe for a (really ripping) vegetable soup taken from a promotional article for the Meatfree Monday cookbook.

A fantastic package for the collector. A couple of fillers, some exciting performances. It all depends on your fondness for “New”.

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If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

Paul McCartney - VSOP (HMC 026), 4.8 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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