Paul McCartney – Wembley The Live Fantastic (Master Of Beatles Essentials MBE-208SP01CD1/2)

Wembley The Live Fantastic (Master Of Beatles Essentials MBE-208SP01CD1/2)

Wembley Arena, London, England – January 23rd, 1990 (* = January 26th 1990 + = January 16th 1990)

Disc One: Opening, Figure Of Eight, Jet, Rough Ride, Got To Get You Into My Life, Band On The Run, Ebony And Ivory, We Got Married, Maybe I’m Amazed, The Long And Winding Road*, The Fool On The Hill, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Good Day Sunshine, Can’t Buy Me Love, Put It There

Disc Two:  Things We Said Today, Eleanor Rigby, This One, My Brave Face, Back In The U.S.S.R., I Saw Her Standing There, Twenty Flight Rock, Coming Up+, Let It Be+, Ain’t That A Shame+, Live And Let Die+, If I Were Not Upon The Stage+, Hey Jude+, Yesterday+, Get Back+, Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight – The End+, Honky Tonk Women – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (soundcheck)

After Paul McCartney took a decade long sabbatical from touring he spend almost an entire year, from September 26th, 1989 at the Drammenshallen in Oslo, Norway to July 29th, 1990 at Soldier Field in Chicago touring the world including his first tour of Japan and the famous Knebworth show on June 30th, 1990.  

McCartney opened his British tour by performing January 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th, 1990 at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham. The remainder of the British tour consisted of shows on January 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 24th and 26th, 1990 at the Wembley Arena in London. 137000 tickets were sold, a box office record, and the entire run of shows sold out in less than one hour.

Each night, McCartney arrived from his home in a helicopter which landed in a parking lot adjacent to Wembley Stadium, and was then driven in a black Bentley to the Arena. The outside of the Arena looked like something from a Hollywood movie premiere, with a giant customized Paul McCartney Marquee with interchanging blue and gold lighting. Search lights were used, giving his concerts a big event look.

Despite the demand for tickets, scalpers lost money because of the $350 asking price. Audiences loved the shows, but were more polite than their US counterparts. Paul still felt more at home and at ease than on the American performances. Paul also loved performing in front of friends and family. Among those in attendance included George Martin, Neil Aspinall, Elvis Costello, Sting, Cynthia Lennon, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Beatlefan Publisher Bill King, Peter Gabriel, and even Britain’s own Prince Edward!

Wembley The Live Fantastic is a combination of video soundtrack sources from three nights.  Most come from the January 23rd show with “The Long And Winding Road” from January 26th and the final third coming from January 16th.  This soundtrack was done for Richard Lester and his tour documentary Get Back

MBE is basically a re-release of Welcome To Wombley (VOXX 0003-02) released in 2000 except that they adjusted the pitch and added the short soundcheck of McCartney and the band playing “Honky Tonk Women” from an amateur source. 

It is very clear and well balanced but betrays its origin as a soundtrack and sounds somewhat thin.  It is interesting to hear these songs in their raw form and although some claim this is McCartney at his best that is far from the truth.  His voice took a beating after being on tour for several months and he has difficulty hitting high notes.  This is packaged in a double slimline jewel case and is a nice upgrade over the older release. 

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