Linda McCartney – keyboards, background vocals
Paul McCartney – vocals, guitar, piano, bass
Robbie McIntosh – guitar, background vocals
Hamish Stuart – bass, guitar, background vocals
Chris Whitten – drums
Paul Wickens – keyboards
John was the cynic, George was the quiet one, Ringo the clown, and Paul the cute one. These traits were commonly accepted, but belied the depth of character possessed by each of the four members of the Beatles. Once free of the burdens of being Fab, each in his own way shed these images and came into his own as an individual in the public eye, and none more successfully than Paul McCartney.
As his creative influence had come to dominate the Beatles in the studio while the others’ interest waned, Paul was poised for a smooth transition into a solo career. From his early homespun releases to the bombastic pop of Wings and beyond, “the cute one” has proven himself consistently to be a world class singer, musician, composer, producer and, most of all, entertainer.
Sir Paul’s excellence is well on display in this 1990 performance. Graciously celebrating American independence in the nation’s capital, McCartney and band offer a comprehensive survey of his entire career. The set list is of course heavy with classic Beatles’ numbers like “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”, and the lesser-known but no less outstanding “Things We Said Today.” He also includes a few other gems like Wings’ “Band on the Run” and a smattering of songs from his then-current album, Flowers in the Dirt.
Though a couple songs here may be better left forgotten, the jaunty pop of “This One” and “My Brave Face” (the latter co-penned with Elvis Costello) prove that Paul’s still got the gift for sweet melodies. Also forgiven is the rather sterile ambient quality of the proceedings: it’s likely that his early touring experiences before suitable P.A. systems were capable of making anything other than adolescent howling audible has left Paul with a preference for clarity above all else in his live mix.
There were not many opportunities to see or hear the Beatles performing live, much less with any sort of reasonable fidelity, making documents like this all the more exciting.
Here’s an opportunity to hear a bona fide legend perform the songs that changed music forever.