Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The McCartney Years DVD set

After having it for two weeks I finally managed to see all of the three DVD set, The McCartney Years and, I must say, I truly enjoyed it. In fact, I'm almost ready to go at it all over again. This set covers McCartney's music videos starting with "Maybe I'm Amazed" (from the 1970 album McCartney) all the way to "Fine Line" from the 2005 release, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Now I often have a short attention span for music videos but, as I discovered with the U2 video sets, given the right circumstances I find them quite enjoyable. These must be the right circumstances. These videos, spread out over the two DVDs, have been cleaned up and presented in as good a quality as we could expect for some of them (although the early Wings videos are a bit grainy and homespun.) On the other hand, the more recent ones are in great shape. The first disc covers from the first video to the videos from Tug of War (1980.) Most of these feature Paul's band Wings and, while they are a lot of fun, sometimes they scream "seventies." On the other hand, the second disc, featuring the years from 1980 to the present, feature Paul as a solo artist and with his 1990-era backing band – the one that he made Flowers in the Dirt and Off the Ground with as well as two world tours. These videos are, of course, of varying quality but I really enjoyed watching them, especially disc two.

In addition to these videos there are extras like Paul on a British talk show and the "Mull of Kintyre" alternate video as well as the documentary Creating Chaos at Abbey Road. These are nice additions to the set and make it feel much more complete. There are also audio commentaries on about half of the videos and you can play them in chronological order or in Paul's playlist order.

Things change a bit for disc three as we turn to excerpts from three live shows, the Wings classic film, Rockshow from the mid 70's, the Unplugged set from around 1990 and the more recent Glastonbury concert with Paul's current band line-up. The extras from this disc include Paul's Live-Aid performance (with commentary) and his Super Bowl Halftime Show. Each of the menu screens also includes rare pieces of film that are a nice bonus. I found these concert extras to be really fun and, while many fans are complaining that we should really get the whole of Rockshow and of Unplugged, I just enjoyed what we had and didn't worry too much about what we didn't. This set really is jam packed with stuff and it's remarkably interesting. There was never any question that I would have to get this set - I'm clearly a McCartney fan. But I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I have. This is very well done and it will be a real treat for Beatles fans.

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