FIRST LOOK! – Paul McCartney “Wings Over America” and “Paul is Live” Colored Vinyl reissues

What would be better on a hot July summer day? Sun tan lotion? Beach towels? New music? Music you say???

And what if that new music just happens to be new Paul McCartney music – even better! Though to be honest technically it’s not exactly new McCartney music, it’s a few older albums that have been spruced up, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Now I know the days of folks being excited over physical media is rapidly declining (and truth be told I’m sure record companies are forcing that decline) but here in my corner of the Web I’m excited to see more McCartney discs of any kind!

Tomorrow four Paul McCartney albums are being reissued on both CD and vinyl by Capitol Records  – “Paul is Live”, “Amoeba Gig”, “CHOBA B CCCP and “Wings Over America”.

The good news for collectors is that these four new McCartney releases aren’t just straight reissues they are all remastered and one is even newly remixed!

“CHOBA B CCCP  and “Paul is Live” (from 1988 and 1993 respectfully) are both being issued with new remastering from the team at Abbey Road studios that oversees Paul McCartney’s Archive Collection.

The “Amoeba Gig”  album which has been available in shorter versions before (“Amoeba’s Secret” which was a 4-song CD and vinyl EP from 2007 and later a 12-song version from 2010 entitled “Live in Los Angeles”) is being expanded to include all 21 songs from McCartney’s unorthodox but fun live show from the Amoeba record store in Los Angeles in 2007 and is being completely remixed for this new release as well.

And while the last of the four new album reissues (“Wings Over America” ) does indeed contain a lovely remastered version of this popular Wings’ Lp from their 1976 U.S. tour it actually came out a few years ago on a different record label (Hear Music) but is now being issued on Capitol Records where McCartney is currently signed.

(Okay, only three of these reissues are really new but “Wings Over America”  is getting a groovy new colored vinyl issue so that kind of counts as new in my book lol.)

There are, of course, several editions of the vinyl versions of these albums coming out. All four will be available on regular black vinyl as well as limited special colored vinyl editions available exclusively through McCartney’s Website or at indie record retailers.

I happened to get my hands on a couple of the colored vinyl reissues a day early – “Wings Over America” and “Paul is Live” – so I thought I’d share some thoughts (and photos) of them here.

The “Wings Over America” 3-Lp colored vinyl set comes in three colors (transparent red, transparent green and transparent blue) while “Paul is Live” comes in two – opaque baby blue and plush peach white opaque.

(Note: Yeah I know, the colors names are a bit precious but that’s the way they are listed on McCartney’s Website!)

I’ve listened to both of these new sets and am happy to report that both sound superb and both sets feature nice quite vinyl with few pops and ticks. At least my copies do anyway.

The “Wings Over America” set sounds identical to the recent Hear Music release that came out as part of McCartney’s Archive Collection so it’s no surprise that this Lp set sounds good. This is the first vinyl reissue of this album I’ve bought as I only purchased the CD versions of the Hear Music release and this new pressing sounds just great.

The bass is nice and tight and punchy and this new set has much more presence than my older Capitol pressing from the late 1970’s. A definite upgrade for this album in the vinyl format.

I also love the colors of the 3 Lp’s in this set and must say that the cover and poster reproductions are terrific as well.

I was also pleased to see the promotional blurb on the side of the poster with the drawing of Wings in this set. I’m not sure if it was part of the original UK issue but there was no writing like that on my original U.S. copy. It’s a nice change and looks really nice (to me at least).

As for the “Paul is Live” album this new mastering sounds terrific! While I’ve always enjoyed this live album I thought that the previous CD version sounded a bit clinical at times and my memory tells me that it was a bit too digital at times as well making the album sound a bit dull.

This new Lp sounds so much better than I remember the album sounding before. The bass especially is nice and tight and more pronounced but the vocals also show an improvement and listening to his set was much more engaging than I remember the album sounding before.

After playing the first album in the set I really wanted to hear more which is always a good sign. I love the song selection for “Paul is Live” and now this set sounds much more exciting.

Maybe it’s the vinyl format (I’ll get the CD soon and compare) but this new set hands wins hands down over the older CD from 1993. I can’t wait to hear how the new CD version sounds in comparison.

Also McCartney’s voice was still in pretty good shape in 1993 and his live vocals are really nice – a bit raw at times but not nearly as worn as they are now at times.

If you’re a vinyl fan then these new colored vinyl albums should be on your shopping list as they are really well done and a great listen. Okay that is if you still buy your music.

Plus, I know that a lot of fans feel these colored vinyl limited editions are strictly cash grabs and while I can see their point they are well done and if you like to collect vinyl then you’ll be happy I’m sure.

As usual take a gander above to see photos of these two new sets.

Until next time, be well and keep cool!