Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Paul McCartney, Wings|
Venus & Mars
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Digitally remastered reissue of their #1 1975 album featuring the #1 smash 'Listen To What The Man Said', plus 'Letting Go', 'Venus And Mars/ Rock Show' and three bonus tracks: 'Zoo Gang', 'Lunch Box/ Odd Sox' & 'My Carniv... more »
Listen to Samples
Digitally remastered reissue of their #1 1975 album featuring the #1 smash 'Listen To What The Man Said', plus 'Letting Go', 'Venus And Mars/ Rock Show' and three bonus tracks: 'Zoo Gang', 'Lunch Box/ Odd Sox' & 'My Carnival'. 16tracks total. 1993 Parlophone release.
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Classic album, but still needs an upgrade
Kevin O'Conner | 06/02/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"35 years on from its original release, it would be hard to add anything substantive to the discussion of the merits of Venus and Mars. My first copy of this album was an 8-track tape, which I listened to endlessly. To this day, I still prefer it as a whole to Band on the Run, which I didn't own a copy of until years later.
I think the 1993 series of McCartney remasters was actually done quite well. The trend of excessive amounts of compression and limiting in the (re)mastering process hadn't quite set in yet, so most of the dynamic range is still present even though the average volume has been boosted slightly.
Unfortunately, this particular remaster exacerbates a flaw, that being the segue from "Venus and Mars" to "Rock Show". "Venus and Mars", the quieter song of the two, while technically at a decent volume level, is actually too loud in comparison (and not just in comparison to "Rock Show", but to the rest of the album). So, when the opening chords of "Rock Show" come in, instead of bursting forth with a fury from the speakers, it sounds like somebody turned down the volume. (Of course, one could simply crank up the volume on "Rock Show", but, had the levels of the two tracks been appropriately set in the first place, this would not be necessary.) This bothered me enough that I eventually tracked down the previous Capitol/EMI edition, where the transition is not quite as jarring.
Not long ago (2010), it was announced that Paul McCartney had again severed his ties with EMI, and has plans to remaster and reissue his back catalog again. Let's hope that it is done right this time - though, after the sonic disaster that was Memory Almost Full, it is difficult to remain hopeful..."
Statman | Little Rock, AR USA | 06/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As with Sergeant Pepper, McCartney explores a concept in which he assumes an alter ego. This time around, Linda and Paul McCartney are Venus and Mars. Venus and Mars are the Roman mythological goddess of love and god of war, and the parents of cupid. Venus and Mars are also perceived to be stars in the sky; Venus is the third brightest object in the sky (after the Sun and the Moon) and is often described as the Morning Star (or Lucifer), while Mars is the fifth brightest (behind Jupiter). But of course, Venus and Mars are not actually stars, but simply ordinary planets. McCartney uses this mythological/astronomical/astrological metaphorical framework to craft a conceptual album relating Paul and Linda's rock superstardom to their personal relationship.
The "show" starts with the soft, sweet introduction of the stars, "Venus and Mars", and then segues into the hard-rocking anthem, "Rock Show". The first appearance of the main theme (or "anti-theme") is presented by stating that life's really about "happiness in the homeland" through "Love in Song", a simple, slow-paced ballad. The theme and anti-theme are quickly reconciled through the funny music-hall shuffle of "You Gave Me the Answer". The glitz is taken up a notch with the hard-rocking modern-day myth of the comic book heroes "Magneto and Titanium Man". Side one closes with the excellent multidimensional, easy rolling rocker-ballad "Letting Go". Side two opens with a more trippy reprise of "Venus and Mars", with lyrics referring to space, rather than to rock stars. "Spirits of Ancient Egypt" continues the trippy mood, albeit up tempo, with mythological metaphors thrown out in every direction. "Medicine Jar" is a hard-rocking anti-drug song (written by 22 year-old lead guitarist Jimmy McCullough) which attempts to bring the trippiness to an end, while "Call Me Back Again" is a slow heavy-duty blues song which seems to bring us back to earth. Then, of course, "Listen to What the Man Said", an up tempo, New Orleans jazzy-rocker with an unbeatable melody, presents McCartney's main theme - "Love is fine". "Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People" is a sadly beautiful foreshadow of what life would be like for "Venus and Mars" when all the showbiz glitz has faded well into the past. "Crossroads Theme" was the end theme to a very popular (especially with older viewers) British soap opera.
Venus and Mars was a brilliant concept album with excellent music performed superbly by a terrifically talented band, and it served as the blueprint for the massively successful Wings Over the World tour. Only a few minor problems may prevent V&M from being a genuine classic:
1. the themes may be a little too similar to the rock star/escapism/love forever themes of its predecessor, Band on the Run, as well as to the "all the world's a stage" concept of Sgt. Pepper;
2. the individual songs may not be quite as strong as those on Band on the Run (or many Beatle albums);
3. the main concept and nine of the best songs are repeated on Wings Over America.
At least four and a half stars."
Glad to finally have it in my collection!
Jackie M | Riverton, NJ | 08/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This release of Venus & Mars is a little different than the original. It contains a few extra tracks. The original cuts are like old friends to me, and it will take me a while to warm up to the new ones.
If you're already familiar with Venus & Mars, you know the engineering is superb and the sound quality seems years ahead of its time. The B side tracks (wow! B Side! There I go dating myself!) include featured vocals by Denny Laine and the late Jimmy McCullough.
The musical song style varies throughout, from the futuristic "Venus & Mars Reprise" to the catchy "Listen to What The Man Said" to the 1920s reminiscent "You Gave Me The Answer." It's like going to a party and meeting lots of interesting people!
I've been thinking of buying this for a long time. Now that I have, I wonder why I waited so long. It's definitely a keeper in my collection."