Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paul McCartney - All The Best! (1987)

UK Import

For the most part, this is familiar music I grew up with, but let's be honest - this isn't really all of McCartney's best (you may remember he was in a band before Wings).

This UK version differs from the US release by 4 songs (which requires a slightly differently album cover). Dropped from the US version: Junior's Farm, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Goodnight Tonight, and With A Little Luck. Added to the UK version: Pipes Of Peace, Once Upon A Long Ago, We All Stand Together, and Mull Of Kintyre. Advantage: US version. The difference really doesn't matter, I guess, because if you wanted a Paul McCartney greatest hits package now, you'd opt for the superior Wingspan: Hits and History from 2001 (we'll get to that set another time) or you'd simply download your favorite singles.

Tracks: My favs here are the '70s tracks with Wings: Jet, Band On The Run, Listen To What The Man Said, Silly Love Songs, Let 'Em In, Live And Let Die, Another Day, and My Love. I'm disappointed that they included the studio version of Coming Up instead of the live version I'm more familiar with (of course it's the live version that's included on the US release). Pipes Of Peace isn't a great song, but I just can't resist that introduction, which may be the most beautiful eight measures on this disc. I couldn't tell you why, but I've never been a fan of No More Lonely Nights. I usually skip C Moon and Say Say Say, too.

There are three songs with which I was unfamiliar before buying this disc. Once Upon A Long Ago was the "new" single from this CD, reaching the top ten in the UK. It's a nice ballad (think Billy Joel meets 10cc with an electronic violin solo), much better than No More Lonely Nights. We All Stand Together is a song written for McCartney's animated British children's short film and sung by frogs. Nothing more need be said. Mull Of Kintre sounds like an old Scottish pub singalong waltz, complete with bagpipes. Not bad, but not for me.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Spanning the years 1970-87, songs here are in four categories: songs that remind me of childhood fun in the desert in the '70s, songs that remind me of high school shenanigans in the early '80s, a stinker of a single from a movie that came out when I was a freshman in college and the few I'd never heard before my parents gave me this disc.

In the early '80s, it was common to make jazz band arrangements of pop songs, most often with horrible results. In 1984, my high school jazz band played a real stinker of an arrangement of Say, Say, Say. I sure hope we never played that crap in public.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Tug of War (1982)

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