I plan on continuing posting lots of albums of Paul McCartney's stray tracks soon. But in the meantime, here's something rather unusual.
I took performances from two McCartney concerts and merged them into one concert, which is something I never do. But it's justified in this case, I believe. In July, 2005, he performed two concerts to promote his soon-to-be-released album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard." Both of them were done in front of a small audience at Studio 2 in Abbey Road, the exact location where the Beatles recorded all their music (except for the "Let It Be" album). The concerts were only one day apart, July 27 and 28, and featured largely the same songs.
Most importantly, both concerts were done acoustically. The only other time I know of that McCartney did an acoustic concert was in 1991, for MTV Unplugged. But that was done with a small band so it wasn't actually that acoustic, whereas most of the songs for these two concerts were just McCartney with a guitar or a piano. So these shows are very special, in my opinion. It seems that one show was for his own TV special, called "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road," and the other was for "Sold on Song," a BBC TV show at the time very similar to VH-1's "Storytellers," where musicians share stories about each song they play.
I found bootlegs of both shows, however I believe these are taken from the respective TV broadcasts and aren't the complete performances. One can tell this from some of the edits that were made. In particular, the "Sold on Song" concert has a lot more talking included, which makes sense given the theme of that show. Sometimes on the other concert, one can hear that he must have told pretty much the exact same story, except all but the last sentence or two was cut out. And there were other edits too, including a couple of songs fading out. Each TV show was an hour long, so I'm sure edits had to be made to fit within that time limit.
Thus, what I've done is take parts of both shows to try my best to recreate what an ideal, complete version of his 2005 acoustic concert. I generally used the July 27th concert as the basis, but some songs were only done on the 28th, so I added those in. Also, in a few cases I added in the longer talking before some songs from the 28th, putting them in front of the songs performed in the 27th that they were referring to. I also used a performance from one night if there was a problem with the other night, such as an early fade out.
In sounds complicated, but the bottom line is you'll get an hour and twenty minutes of great music by combining the two concerts, instead of getting 50-something minutes from either one on its own. I think it's a much more satisfying listen. Frankly, this should have been released as an album and sold millions, in the same way that McCartney's 1991 Unplugged concert was. He did some things he's never done before or since, such as making up a song on the spot by playing a bunch of instruments and then combining them right there in front of the audience.
By the way, in addition to him playing Beatles classics and solo hits, you'll get most of an acoustic version of "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road." I think it's one of his best solo albums. He played nine of the 14 songs from it. The remaining five songs unfortunately have never been played live by him.
Oh, also, the last two songs are not actually from either show (as you can guess from the lack of clapping after each one). However, they are performed acoustically, and they're associated with the two concerts, so I included them. I actually got the performance of "Blackpool" (a song that still hasn't been officially released yet) from a YouTube video of the "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road" video. It shows him performing the song solo at Abbey Road, but without an audience.
01 talk (Paul McCartney)
02 Anyway (Paul McCartney)
03 Friends to Go (Paul McCartney)
04 talk (Paul McCartney)
05 Mellotron Sample [Baby Won't You Come with Me] (Paul McCartney)
06 Strawberry Fields Forever [Mellotron Intro Only] (Paul McCartney)
07 talk (Paul McCartney)
08 In Spite of All the Danger (Paul McCartney)
09 talk (Paul McCartney)
10 Jenny Wren (Paul McCartney)
11 talk (Paul McCartney)
12 Twenty Flight Rock (Paul McCartney)
13 At the Mercy (Paul McCartney)
14 Things We Said Today (Paul McCartney)
15 Too Much Rain (Paul McCartney)
16 Fine Line (Paul McCartney)
17 Follow Me (Paul McCartney)
18 talk (Paul McCartney)
19 How Kind of You (Paul McCartney)
20 Blackbird (Paul McCartney)
21 Lady Madonna (Paul McCartney)
22 I've Got a Feeling (Paul McCartney)
23 Mellotron Samples for Band on the Run (Paul McCartney)
24 Band on the Run [Mellotron Version] (Paul McCartney)
25 talk (Paul McCartney)
26 English Tea (Paul McCartney)
27 talk (Paul McCartney)
28 Heartbreak Hotel (Paul McCartney)
29 talk (Paul McCartney)
30 Take 1 - Drums (Paul McCartney)
31 Take 2 - Piano (Paul McCartney)
32 Take 3 - Bass (Paul McCartney)
33 Take 4 - Guitar (Paul McCartney)
34 Take 5 - Lead Guitar (Paul McCartney)
35 Take 6 - That's All for Now (Paul McCartney)
36 Yellow Submarine (Paul McCartney)
37 Blackpool (Paul McCartney)
38 Jenny Wren [Instrumental Version] (Paul McCartney)
The cover art is taken from the opening credits of the "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road" TV special, with some text added at the bottom. You might notice that the lettering of Paul McCartney's name is rather unusual. That's because it was carefully designed to be an ambigram. Wikipedia defines that as: "a word, art form or other symbolic representation whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation." In this case, try turning to image upside down and you'll see his name is readable that way too.