Remastered editions of Paul McCartney’s solo albums, “McCartney” and “McCartney II” were released on Tuesday, June 14. This is the second and third release from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection following the initial “Band on the Run” remastered release from 2010.
If you’re wondering whether to purchase just the original albums or to also get the bonus tracks, the decision has already been made for you. The new remastered editions of “McCartney” and “McCartney II” are only available as 2-CD sets, which automatically include the bonus tracks.
Maybe we are not given a choice about the bonus tracks because, in this reviewer’s opinion, they are not very strong tracks. The bonus disc on “McCartney”, Paul’s first solo album released back in 1970, only includes 7 songs featuring two instrumentals and two alternate/live versions of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Included with “McCartney II” originally released in 1980 are 8 bonus tracks– three that I would classify as experimental tracks, a possible prelude to Paul’s alter ego, the Fireman. All in all, the bonus tracks are not much to write home about when compared with well-known McCartney classics.
I found the most impressive bonus track to be the previously unreleased song “Blue Sway” (with Richard Niles orchestration) included on the “McCartney II” bonus disc. Much to my surprise, Paul has released a music video for this song created by award-winning surf filmmaker Jack McCoy. The music video features breathtaking underwater scenes of a surfer riding the waves off of Tahiti’s Teahupoo reef.
According to Paul McCartney’s website, “Blue Sway” won ‘Best Music Video’ at the NYC BE FILM Short Festival this past May, and the video will be featured as part of the summer PSA campaign for the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.
As for the remastered original “McCartney” and “McCartney II” CDs, they are definitely worth adding to your collection. These two albums surprisingly show the avante-garde and instrumental side of Paul in-between legendary hits like “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Every Night” on “McCartney” and “Coming Up” and “Waterfalls” on “McCartney II.”
Linda McCartney’s photographs included on the CD packaging and in the CD booklets are really impressive– something every Macca fan will appreciate.
As a second-generation Beatles fan, I look forward to each and every release of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection so I can finally make my McCartney solo collection complete.
“McCartney” and “McCartney II” are also both available as deluxe editions which include a special hardbound photo book and bonus DVD, and as vinyl editions. For more detailed info on these McCartney releases, visit our Paul McCartney Albums page.
Enter our contest to win both the “McCartney” and “McCartney II” 2-CD sets (ends June 27, 2011)