Goodnight Vienna (Beatles Master Works BMW035 A/B)
Stadthalle, Vienna, Austra – September 6th, 1993
Disc 1: Concert Opening, Drive My Car, Coming Up, Looking For Changes, Jet, All My Loving, Let Me Roll It, Peace In The Neighbourhood, Off The Ground, Can’t Buy Me Love, Robbie’s Bit, Good Rockin’ Tonight, We Can Work It Out, I Lost My Little Girl, Ain’t No Sunshine, Hope Of Deliverance, Michelle, Biker Like An Icon, Here There And Everywhere, Yesterday
Disc 2: My Love, Lady Madonna, C’mon People, Magical Mystery Tour, Let It Be, Live And Let Die, Paperback Writer, Back In The U.S.S.R., Penny Lane, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Band On The Run, I Saw Her Standing There, Hey Jude
The Beatles Master Works label used to be very prolific in producing silver titles, but their production has dried up considerably in the past couple years. Goodnight Vienna is the first release in ages. It contains the complete audience recording of Paul McCartney’s September 6th, 1993 at the Stadthalle in Vienna on the New World Tour.
This is the second of two shows in Austria’s capital and never before have any tapes circulated for either of the two on silver discs. This brand new tape source is very good to almost excellent. The recorder pointed the microphone towards the PA and was able to pick up the music very clearly. The downside to this is that it does sound a bit thin and constricted.
The taper for the September 6th show also didn’t tape the opening ten minute film sequence so BMW edited that in using an audience recording from the previous evening’s concert. McCartney still uses an opening film highlighting his career and interviews with himself and it isn’t clear if this is a self-acknowledged nod to his legend or a massive ego trip. (Maybe it’s a little of both?)
Since the public (and me) loves Paul he is perhaps the only artist who could get away with such indulgence. This tour was the final one that featured Linda McCartney who would pass away five years after this. Unlike the seventies Wings tours, her contribution is almost inaudible since she is buried way down in the mix and nothing she does is offensive in anyway.
This show occurs in the middle of the massive New World Tour in support of the excellent Off The Ground LP. After the final show in the US on June 15th in Charlotte, McCartney took three months off before traveling around Europe beginning on September 3rd in Berlin. This concert in Vienna is the third European show and like the others is minutely rehearsed and very slick.
The set list fits the pattern of McCartney tours with some songs from the new LP, cameo appearance of popular Wings material, and tons of Beatles songs beginning with the opener “Drive My Car”.
“Coming Up”, the hit from the Back To The Egg era is the second song in the set and is transformed from the late seventies disco inspired number into what sounds more like a Stevie Wonder or a Billy Preston song with the clavinet accompanying the melody and Paul singing in call and response mode. It’s a fascinating new arrangement.
Afterwards Paul makes his introductions in German, saying hello to Vienna and Austria and continuing with “I’ll speak in English because I can speak it much better. This song is from the seventies” before playing “Jet”. “Welcome to the company outing…this goes back even further” he says before “All My Loving”.
Before “Peace In The Neighbourhood” he encourages everybody with hair to “let it down”. “Off The Ground” is a wonderful shuffle and is followed by a fast version of “Can’t Buy Me Love”. “Robbie’s bit” is Robbie McIntosh’s minute and a half homage to Carl Perkins which segues into Elvis’ “Good Rockin’ Tonight”.
“We Can Work It Out” has an accordion accompaniment and is played much slower than the original sounding quite lame. Afterwards Paul says “This nextes leid…ist mein erstes leid geschriben, geschruben…this is my first song and it’s called ‘I’ve Lost My Little Girl.'”
Paul began a minor practice on this tour of pulling out obsurities for the setlist, something he’s conintued lately with “In Spite Of All The Danger.” He recorded “I Lost My Little Girl” for the 1991 album Unplugged. It is a minute long and ends almost as soon as it begins.
“Ain’t No Sunshine” is another song from Unplugged and ends the first half of the show. “Michelle” takes us to Paris by the River Seine according to Paul and is followed by the best song from the latest album “Biker Like An Icon.”
“My Love” is played for the lovers in the audience whereas “Lady Madonna” is played for the rockers. After “C’mon People”, dedicated to all people everywhere, the set continues in a fevered pitch with rocking classics. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” includes an instrumental interlude and the reprise. The final encore “Hey Jude” is which reaches an almost religious epiphany.
Goodnight Vienna (a curious title since it is also the title of a Ringo album) is packaged in a standard double slimline with several pictures from the tour. Three of them are of Paul playing his Gibson Les Paul and none with the bass. “Sgt. Peace” at the Easter Sound Lab does the mastering. There haven’t been too many silver releases from this tour and this is a very good one worth having.