Friday, January 11, 2008

Review: Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full (Deluxe Edition)


Label: Hear Music

Released: November 6, 2007

I reviewed the standard release of Memory Almost Full already, so this review will focus on the additional material: three bonus tracks and a DVD.

The bonus tracks are all clearly B-side material. The best of the bunch, "In Private," is an instrumental that might work as an album track, but certainly doesn't add value to the package. The other two tracks didn't make the cut for the standard release for good reason. "Why So Blue" has a few moments of potential, but is generally flat in both writing and performance and overwhelmed by the string arrangement. "222" just stinks of light jazz and should have been scrapped before being committed to tape.

The DVD offers some value. Excerpts from a show at London's Electric Ballroom include "Drive My Car" and four songs from Memory Almost Full. Since McCartney is usually an arena attraction, there is a nice intimacy to the performance. Unfortunately, there are hard breaks between songs that counteract that intimacy. There's also videos for "Dance Tonight" and "Ever Present Past." The former is a typical corny McCartney video, but the latter is almost like his take on "Addicted to Love," sufficiently less suave to fit with McCartney's personality rather than Robert Palmer's (and better filmed).

The trouble with this set isn't the price (it lists for a mere dollar more than the standard edition), but that it came out five months later. McCartney fans already bought their copy and then the record company parades a deluxe version out to milk them for their loyalty. Memory Almost Full is worth hearing and if you didn't buy it already, there's no reason not to pick up the deluxe version. If you ran right out to buy the standard version in June though, don't waste your money on substandard bonus tracks, some live footage and a couple music videos. There's nothing all that deluxe about it.

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1 Comments:

Blogger rock_of_ages said...

I'm pretty sure that the Deluxe version came out at the same time as the single disc version over here Bob... and indeed the vinyl release. Thing is, I still haven't got around to by it. I was extremely impressed with Chaos & Creation yet haven't heard anything from Memory yet that has made me shell out the cash - always been something I've wanted more.

The Electric Ballroom show is probably available in full on download somewhere. It got shown on TV in the UK and someone normally uploads a capture of anything like that. I know what you mean about a typical McCartney video, but didn't the Dance Tonight promo remind you of the one George Harrison did for Got My Mind Set On You?

2:28 PM  

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