Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Concerts for the Peoples of Kampuchea, The" by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1981

A charity live double album that includes full sides by Wings and The Who that have not been officially released to CD or DVD to date. The Wings concerts from 1979 turned out to be the last Wings concerts as McCartney was busted for drugs in Japan a month after the performance. Wings' 1980 tour was canceled and after a few more recordings in 1980 and 1981, Wings was over.

"Concert for New York City, The" by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 2001

Charity concert after the 9/11 tragedy in which Paul plays seven tunes live. The single "Freedom" used this live recording for the basis of the studio track. Only three tracks made it onto the album, while the DVD featured Paul's complete performance. The concert overall rates four stars, but McCartney’s contribution is what’s rated here.

"Concert for Bangla Desh, The" (feature) by George Harrison – ****

First released: 1971

Apple filmed this concert film of one of the first rock and roll charity events quite well, considering the fact that it really was shot on film and had to be synchronized with the soundtrack recorded on reel-to-reel tape (see the documentary on the 2005 DVD version). After its initial showing, it was a staple of midnight movies shows (where I first saw it) throughout the 70s and early 80s when it was briefly committed to Beta and VHS tape in a passable but not great transfer. Then a questionably legal version came out on DVD in the early 2000’s. Apple remixed, remastered, restored and the 2005 DVD is the version to have. It looks and sounds the best that I’ve ever seen it, and like I said previously, you no longer have to bother with the LP or CD versions anymore.

"Concert for Bangla Desh, The" by George Harrison – ****

First released: 1971

With the advent of DVDs, the usefulness of this collection has been rendered useless, but looking back to 1971 and the original LP version; this was quite an impressive three-record set, although the songs were spread out over the set kind of unevenly, and some would argue that if you cut out the Indian music, it could have been a double album, but then that kind of defeats the point, right? Most impressive being the huge book included with many, many photographs of the events. When Apple released this to CD, they tried to replicate the book, but left a lot of it out and even screwed it up by tipping the “OM” symbol on its side! By the time of the CD reissue from 2005, they changed the graphics completely and added some tracks ("If Not For You", "Come On In My Kitchen", "Love Minus Zero/No Limit"), but as I said, since the DVD was released concurrently, the necessity of buying this CD is superfluous.

"Complete Beatles, The" (feature) by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1982

With the release of "The Beatles Anthology", release of this documentary is superfluous, but it was still pretty good for its day, nonetheless. I would update the picture quality of the "Strawberry Fields Forever" films, but other than that, it’s a fine documentary not made with any Beatle involvement and narrated by Malcolm McDowell.

Complain to the Queen by Paul McCartney – **


Part interview, part improvisation recorded by Paul and Wings during their 1972 tour.

Commonwealth by The Beatles – **


The Beatles rehearse but do not officially record this McCartney-penned composition during the 1969 "Get Back" sessions.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coming Up by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1980

Paul's first "solo" hit single in almost a decade. I find the studio version kind of flat, but it has a great music video featuring Paul in about 15 different guises including Beatle Paul. It was originally on "McCartney II" and then 1987’s "All The Best", although different versions appeared. The US version had the live version (which was originally on the b-side of the Coming Up single), while the UK version had the studio cut. This "Live in Glasgow" version also appeared on 2001’s "Wingspan". When this was all originally released on vinyl, this same live version was included as a bonus 7" single in the "McCartney II" LP package. It should be added to the CD as a bonus track, but strangely it never has. A different live version was performed on 1990’s "Tripping the Live Fantastic" complete with James Brown samples of “get on up” from his "Sex Machine". Yet another live version appears on 2002/3's "Back in the US/World".

Comfort of Love by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 2005

One of those b-sides that was also a free download. It was the b-side to "Fine Line". I hate it when McCartney does this shit. Just release all of the stuff on the album and be done with it. I hate finding these stupid b-sides in stupid places. This one was actually better than what was on the "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard" album and should have been included.

Come Together by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1969

Classic Lennon. This is one of the first tracks of The Beatles that I ever heard, yet at the time, I didn't know it was The Beatles. I was about five years old and remembered really liking this song from "Abbey Road". It's also on "1967-1970" and 2000's "1". It was also a hit single coupled with "Something". A demo version appears on "Anthology 3" in 1996. It is also used for 2006's "Love".

Lennon also performed this live in 1972 and this version was released in 1986 on "Live in New York City". It was his only nod to the past in the show by his own admission. This live version was also released on 1990’s "Lennon", "Instant Karma" from 2001 and "Working Class Hero" from 2005. A different live version appears on 1998’s "The John Lennon Anthology".

Come On In My Kitchen by George Harrison – ***

First released: 2005

An added bonus to "The Concert for Bangla Desh" reissue. Not half-bad tune performed by George, Eric Clapton and Leon Russell during the soundcheck of the original performance back in 1971.

Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1999

A heavy-thumping drumming tune from Ringo’s "I Wanna Be Santa Claus Christmas" album.

Come On Baby by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1998

Paul messing about on one of the synthesizer type machines from back in the 1960s. He comically demonstrates how the machine works and improvises this tune that is more humorous than tuneful. It was featured on the "Paul McCartney in The World Tonight" DVD.

Come and Get It by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1996

Paul recorded this demo version for The Iveys/Badfinger in 1969. Rather than letting them re-record it, Paul insisted that Badfinger just overdub their vocals over Paul's instrumental. It was a big hit that was the theme song for Ringo's film, "The Magic Christian". Paul's demo remained unreleased until "Anthology 3".

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Collection of Beatles Oldies, A" by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1966

A greatest hits collection released in the UK that was more important for the UK than in the US as the US tended to put all of the single tracks onto their albums. So, this album of single tracks was a UK necessity and also included "Bad Boy", which appeared on "Beatles VI" in the US.

Cold Turkey by John Lennon – ***

First released: 1969

It would have been quite interesting had the other Beatles agreed to record this as the next Beatles single. It would have put them more in the league of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath who were on their way to eclipsing The Beatles at a more heavy metal sound. It seems kind of strange that they would reject this one, especially since "Helter Skelter" was performed quite recently. I think The Beatles had already agreed to call it a day regardless of what the song was.

Before the single was officially released as a solo single, John performed it live on the "Plastic Ono Band – Live Peace in Toronto 1969" album, but the album was released afterwards in 1970. "Cold Turkey" was never officially an album track, but later turned up repeatedly as a compilation cut. A different live performance appears on the "Live Jam" LP included with "Some Time in New York City". The studio version made its first album appearance in the 1975 "Shaved Fish" compilation.

It’s also on the 1989 CD version of "The John Lennon Collection", 1990’s "Lennon", "Lennon Legend" from 1997, and "Working Class Hero" from 2005. A demo version appears on 2004’s "Acoustic". Lennon again performed this live in 1972 and this version was released in 1986 on "Live in New York City".

"Cold Cuts" by Paul McCartney – ***


The much talked about, but never released McCartney/Wings album that still could be released to this day as it contains some fine outtakes that are sometimes better than the actual garbage that McCartney has usually been releasing as of late. Why "Cage" and "Waterspout" have not been released in legitimate form is absolutely amazing to me. It was also referred to as "Hot Hits and Cold Cutz" and was discussed as a possible release as early as 1974 and again the early 80s.

Cockamamie Business by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1989

The second of three all new tracks from George’s "Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989". This is in the vein of "When We Was Fab" and "Handle With Care" discussing George’s ongoing disillusionment with the music industry and his career.

C’mon People by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 1993

The second or third single off of "Off the Ground" and a true highlight of the album. It really should have performed better as it has a "Hey Jude" type of anthem quality. The single version is a bit shorter than the album version. Paul performs a live version for 1993’s "Paul is Live".

C’mon Marianne by The Beatles – **


John sings a bit of this minor 1968 Grapefruit hit during the 1969 "Get Back" sessions.

Club Dakota Rap by John Lennon – **

First released: 1998

John messing about with his home tape recorder. Nothing much, and featured on the Lennon radio show "The Lost Lennon Tapes", but finally released properly on "The John Lennon Anthology".

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Cloud Nine" by George Harrison – ****

First released: 1987

George Harrison’s comeback album, although he really didn’t go anywhere. He just took five years off and even that wasn’t five unproductive years. He released a single in 1985 called "I Don’t Want to Do It" and appeared onstage with Ringo and Carl Perkins, and in 1986 produced, wrote songs for and performed in Madonna and Sean Penn’s "Shanghai Surprise".

This is a fine album, containing most of the songs that were intended for a "Shanghai Surprise" soundtrack album, provided that film didn’t flop, which it did. The album was released on CD concurrently with the vinyl, cassette and strangely, one of the last 8-track tape versions. The 2004 re-release added "Shanghai Surprise" (previously unreleased to disc) and "Zig Zag" (previously a single b-side). Strangely, "Lay His Head" (also a b-side) was not included.

Cloud 9 by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1987

Ok, so the album is called "Cloud Nine", but the song is called "Cloud 9". At least until the 2004 CD reissue where the album was called "Cloud 9" on the spine. In any case, "Cloud 9" (or "Nine") the song is what we are discussing here. I like this song, but it seems like a much-slowed down version of "Got My Mind Set On You", with the same drum beat. Shhh…don’t tell anyone. A welcome return after George’s retirement. It was almost a single and there were promo copies floating around and it also was on "Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989". Also performed on George Harrison’s "Live in Japan" album and tour in 1991.

Clive Arrowsmith (dialogue) by Clive Arrowsmith – ***

First released: 1998

Clive Arrowsmith discusses his participation in the photoshoot for "Band on the Run" on the "25th Anniversary Edition".

Clement Freud (dialogue) by Clement Freud – **

First released: 1998

Clement Freud discusses his participation in the photoshoot for "Band on the Run" on the "25th Anniversary Edition".

Cleanup Time by John Lennon – ****

First released: 1980

I really dug on this bouncy tune from John and Yoko’s "Double Fantasy" when I first heard it. In fact, I wished this song were released as a single instead of "(Just Like) Starting Over". Remember, I wasn’t and still am not that interested in lyrics, so the tune was always more important to me. That’s why "Woman" and "Watching the Wheels" (also served up as singles) didn’t do that much for me at age 13. Strangely, this was the sole Lennon "Double Fantasy" track left off of "The John Lennon Collection" from 1982. They probably knew I liked it. It was, however, included on 1990’s "Lennon".

Clarabella by The Beatles – **

First released: 1994

One of many "Live at the BBC" originals sung by Paul that was never recorded properly by The Beatles. As a result, this rarity only appears here.

Circles by George Harrison – **

First released: 1982

Like "Not Guilty", released on George Harrison’s eponymous 1979 album, George reached into the unreleased Beatles vault and dusted off this demo that was first attempted in 1968 and recorded it for "Gone Troppo". It’s still just as plodding as the original demo, but at least it is a proper recording of it for people who only can stand Beatles music and hate the solo stuff. It was also the b-side of "I Really Love You".

"Cilla" by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 1968

Name of TV special in which Ringo guested and sang "Act Naturally". This rating is for Ringo’s performance which was quite fun.