Countdown (Mainstream SBR Collection MSBR-016/017)
Disc 1 (61:59): Party Party, How Many People #1, How Many People #2, How Many People #3, How Many People #4, My Brave Face #1, My Brave Face #2, jam #1, jam #2, My Brave Face #3, How Many People #5, Rockin’ In Amsterdam #1, Rockin’ In Amsterdam #2, How Many People#6, How Many People #7
Disc 2 (75:32): Batman Theme jam, What’d I Say (belief jam), interview, My Brave Face #4, My Brave Face #5 (Veronica Countdown TV Show – May 22nd, 1989). Steve Wright Show (including Matchbox / Blackbird) (BBC Radio One Steve Wright Show – June 19th, 1990)
Countdown was on the air, broadcast on Veronica on Dutch television, for almost twenty years. Almost immediately when they began the English language version of the show, Paul McCartney became almost a staple on the series with appearances in 1987, 1989 and 1990.
He appears on the May 22nd, 1989 production of Countdown to promote Flowers In The Dirt, which would be released the week following. The telecast is also several months before rehearsals for his first world tour in almost a decade.
For a long time this ‘director’s cut’ remained behind closed doors but it showed up and did the rounds amongst collectors. A small part of this material was booted before on CDs like Return To Pepperland (Love Records), first as a CDR, later as a pressed CD but never before a complete tape was transferred to compact disc.
The sound quality of this set is excellent and is an uncut professional recording of the band rehearsing, performing and being interviewed on the air and their comments made off. The tape opens a loosening jam session which develops into “Party Party.” It’s a loose adaptation of the very rare single since it’s slowed down considerably. Paul then tells the band “How Many People,” and they run through the new reggae-style song four times.
Mainstream include as a bonus the forty-seven minute broadcast from the BBC Steven Wright show. This was aired on June 19th, 1990 while Paul was mixing Tripping The Live Fantastic in London. It’s humorous hearing Wright calling McCartney and “pressuring” him to come on the air, calling in a promise he made earlier. Paul speaks about the tour, the new album, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and contemporary music between playing songs and giving traffic and weather reports.
Countdown is one of the early releases on Mainstream and is an excellent production all around with much interesting material from the late eighties McCartney.