Limelight (Misterclaudel MCCD-120/121/122)
Unplugged Sessions, Limehouse Television Studios, Wembley, UK – January 25th, 1991
Disc 1 (78:37): Band introduction, Mean Woman Blues, Matchbox, Midnight Special, I Lost My Little Girl, Here There Everywhere, San Francisco Bay Blues, We Can Work It Out, We Can Work It Out, We Can Work It Out, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Every Night, Be-Bop-A-Lula, She’s A Woman, And I Love Her, The Fool, Things We Said Today, That Would Be Something, Blackbird, Hi Heeled Sneakers, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Junk
Disc 2 (53:28): Mid-break intermission, Ain’t No Sunshine #1, Ain’t No Sunshine 2, We Can Work It Out 4, Singing The Blues. Unplugged rehearsals: Blackbird – Blue Moon Of “Leningrad,” Cumberland Gap / Hey Liley Lo / Fright Train, Cut Across Shorty, Hi-Heeled Sneakers, Froggie Went A-Courtin’, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Love Me Tender, Midnight Special, Mother Nature’s Son, Rock Island Line, She’s A Woman, Tequila, Things We Said Today
DVD: Band introduction, Mean Woman Blues, Matchbox, Midnight Special, I Lost My Little Girl, Here There Everywhere, San Francisco Bay Blues, We Can Work It Out, We Can Work It Out, We Can Work It Out, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Every Night, Be- Bop-A-Lula, She’s A Woman, And I Love Her, The Fool, Things We Said Today, That Would Be Something, Blackbird, Hi Heeled Sneakers, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Junk, Mid-break intermission, Ain’t No Sunshine #1, Ain’t No Sunshine 2, We Can Work It Out 4, Singing The Blues
Part of Paul McCartney’s return to live touring after a decade long break was this appearance on MTV’s popular “Unplugged.” And instead of a mellow strumming of his biggest hits, he followed the same tact to his USSR album and chose to focus upon many classic covers and more obscure originals. It was taped at Limehouse Studios, Wembley, London, on Friday January 25th 1991.
In order to achieve a more authentic acoustic sound, the instruments were miked instead of amplified as was the norm and is an interesting contrast to his comments in the mid seventies tours when he would gush about the new technologies during the acoustic set.
An album featuring seventeen songs was issued in 1991 but is now out of print. And the broadcast has never been issued on official DVD. Limelight presents the complete Unplugged event in both audio and video plus about a half hour of the rehearsal. The video contains the complete broadcast in the same excellent visual quality as can be found on Unplugged Deluxe (Yellow Cow YCDVD101). The soundtrack is in stereo except for 52 seconds in take 1 of “Ain’t No Sunshine” and some chat between songs, which have been patched from a mono source.
The set begins with three covers including the Carl Perkins classic “Matchbox” and “Midnight Special” complete with McCartney’s explanation. “I Lost My Little Girl” is the first song he ever composed when he was the age of fourteen, and it is followed by the Beatles “Here, There And Everywhere” played for the first time live.
“We Can Work It Out” is played for the first time since The Beatles’ final British tour. Paul forgets the lyrics several times causing the song to break down twice. In fact, they revisit the song again at the end of the show for a more tight performance. Paul sings both parts of the song and the harmonium part is played by Wickens on the accordion.
“And I Love Her” from A Hard Day’s Night, “That Would Be Something” and “Junk” from McCartney are given their first live performances. Other interesting occurrences in Unplugged include Hamish Stuart singing with Paul in “And I Love Her” and he taking the lead vocals for “Ain’t No Sunshine.” And on the latter Paul plays drums for the first time live.
The second half of disc two contains an excellent recording of the rehearsal at the Barn at Hog Hill, Sussex days before the telecast. It is one of the most loose and informal recordings. It starts off with them covering “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” with Paul singing in a thick Russian accent and proceeds from there. It is interesting for featuring songs that were obviously rehearsed but not included in the set like “Love Me Tender” and “Mother Nature’s Son.” Limelightis packaged in a fatboy jewel case with thick insert and is another great definitive release by Misterclaudel.