Paul McCartney's world tour of 1989-1990 was big news, and with good reason--after a decade that saw him lose much of his critical and commercial credibility, McCartney had plenty to prove. Backed by an ace band that inclu... more »ded Robbie McIntosh of the Pretenders and Hamish Stuart of the Average White Band, McCartney reasserted his relevance on a nightly basis, reminding the world that he'd not only written some of the best songs of the last 30 years, but that he was still capable of rocking the hell out of them. This two-disc, 30-track souvenir of the tour (a single-disc, 17-track distillation was also released) may lean a little too heavily on songs from Flowers in the Dirt, but the jaw-dropping live medley of "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," and "The End" is more than worth the price of admission. --Dan Epstein« less
Paul McCartney's world tour of 1989-1990 was big news, and with good reason--after a decade that saw him lose much of his critical and commercial credibility, McCartney had plenty to prove. Backed by an ace band that included Robbie McIntosh of the Pretenders and Hamish Stuart of the Average White Band, McCartney reasserted his relevance on a nightly basis, reminding the world that he'd not only written some of the best songs of the last 30 years, but that he was still capable of rocking the hell out of them. This two-disc, 30-track souvenir of the tour (a single-disc, 17-track distillation was also released) may lean a little too heavily on songs from Flowers in the Dirt, but the jaw-dropping live medley of "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," and "The End" is more than worth the price of admission. --Dan Epstein
Mean Mr. Mustard | Springfield, VA USA | 01/16/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This two disc set, like Paul's career, has moments of brilliance and moments of banality.The Good:Hearing Beatles songs performed live by the man himself made for an incredible live concert. To be a part of an audience of tens of thousands singing every word in unison was an amazing gestalt experience. The same can be said of a few of the popular post-Beatles songs (feeling the explosions during Live and Let Die was just about worth the price of admission alone). In addition, the band Paul assembled for this tour was tight, professional and up to the challenge of reproducing three decades of musical styles. They also knew how to stay out of Paul's way when singing back-up vocals (though this wasn't always necessarily a good thing - see below). As for the disc itself - the production values are great. You'll feel like you're sitting in the front row, or in some cases right on stage.The Bad:Unfortunately, the crowd's excitement was absent during the "Flowers in the Dirt" tracks. While taken from a competent album, they don't have the same resonance as did the great Fab Four classics, and this comes through on the recording as well.Also, sadly lacking from the album is Paul's wonderful song medley tribute to John Lennon. Hearing Paul take the lead on some his mate's great songs was perhaps the great emotional center of the concert experience, and the decision to leave them off the album is puzzling.The Ugly:Two words: Paul's voice. It has simply never recovered from the shredding it experienced during his first great live tour, "Wings Over America." Listen to pre-'76 and post-'76 Paul for evidence. This damage, combined with the effects of aging, has given his voice the rough quality he once wished for when recording "Oh! Darling." Regretfully, it is not a good roughness. Those who are used to hearing his beautiful crystal-clear tones on Beatles recordings will find only a shadow of their previous glory. While this fact was somewhat disguised during the live performance, it is painfully revealed in the unforgiving digital clarity of the compact disc.The Verdict:If you attended the concert, and want an audio keepsake of the experience, then definitely buy it. If you are a Beatles and/or Paul fan (as am I), buy it, but keep expectations reasonable. If your interest in Paul or the Beatles is casual, there are better discs to invest in.(P.S. the above critique applies almost word-for-word to the follow-up "Paul is Live" from his later New World Tour. Of the two, this is the better.)"
Quite Possibly the Best Live Album Ever
Craig K. Galer | Michigan | 02/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paul McCartney's 1989-90 world tour was an absolute triumph, and this CD is the documentation of that fact. Paul himself hadn't played for a live American audience in 14 years, and it was 10 years before that since the Beatles stopped touring, so this tour was played to a hungrily enthusiastic audience, and that comes across loud and clear on this recording.
Roughly half the tracks here are Beatles tunes, including songs like "Birthday", "Back in the USSR", "Hey Jude", "Get Back", "Let it Be" and the concluding Abbey Road medley, that had never been performed live. This album is an absolute feast for Beatles fans.
Wings material is less well represented, sticking mainly to the mega-hits like "Band on the Run", "Jet" and "Live and Let Die".
The tour also functioned as a pretty good advertisement for the then-new "Flowers in the Dirt" CD; the six tracks presented here are well selected to highlight the strengths of that album. I especially like "Put it There", "We Got Married" and "This One".
The CD does a good job of capturing the band's energy and the crowd's enthusiasm. The setlist is heavier with rock-n-roll numbers like "I Saw Her Standing There", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Birthday", "Get Back" etc. than one might expect at first blush from McCartney, given his reputation for ballads, and the band plays several lengthy jams (see especially "Sgt Pepper").
The sing-along on "Hey Jude" is one of the great concert moments ever; it is representative of a phenomenon that was striking if you had the opportunity to attend one of the concerts from this tour in person - especially on the Beatles tunes, but also several of the others, you heard the band with one ear, and with the other, you heard 20,000 people singing along. The affection between Paul and his audience was palpable, and that comes through very well here.
There is precious little of the Beatles music available in live recording, and this CD helps fill that gap, but really, it stands on its own merit as a wonderful CD, and a great record of a great concert tour."
Paul McCartney - 'Tripping The Live Fantastic - Highlights!'
Mike Reed | USA | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"About as equally as good as his 'Paul Is Live' disc(see my review).This release is the one CD version of the two-CD title.'Tripping...' features seventeen live tracks from McCartney's 1989-90 world tour.Well assembled and superb sound quality.Boy,no one can EVER accuse Paul of dodging the service(to the fans)of playing a good share of Beatles tunes.They're here,like FANTASTIC live versions of "Got To Get You Into My Life","Birthday","The Long And Winding Road","Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band","Can't Buy Me Love","Eleanor Rigby","Back In The U.S.S.R.","I Saw Her Standing There","Let It Be",the unforgetable "Hey Jude","Get Back" and "Golden Slumbers".Wow!This is great.Line-up:Paul-bass,guitar&vocals,Linda McCartney(R.I.P.)-keyboards&percussion,Hamis Stuart-guitar&vocals,Robbie McIntosh-guitar and Chris Whitten-drums.Highly recommended."
The Master gives us a cd to remember!
Tom Miklo | USA | 05/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paul McCartney's "Tripping the Live Fantastic" forever puts on record what I felt was the live concert to end all concerts. A Beatle fan since they debuted, I never had the opportunity to see them. I vowed if McCartney ever came anywhere near me I'd be there in a heartbeat. Well he did and so I went. What a show! Paul didn't dissapoint in concert and he doesn't dissapoint on this cd. All of the top hits are included (don't waste your money on the "Highlights" cd) and the reproduction is wonderful. It is easily my favorite live cd, better than "Wings Over America" because 1) the band is better 2) the cd quality and production is better and 3) the songs are much, much better. To complain that there is "too many Beatles tunes" is insane! My God, it's the man's finest work and he should rightfully be proud and play it! Every time I play this cd I think back to the concert and remember just how good Paul made me feel that night. He gave me memories I cherish and will keep for a lifetime. He brought back a little of my youth and I thank him for that. I also especially appreciated his liner notes about all the things he saw going on with the crowds. He's truly the Master Entertainer. May he live a long life and share his musical genius with us throughout it!"
Tripping the Live IS Fantastic
Robert Workman | Saint Paul, MN | 10/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the days before the internet when tickets were sold by lottery I had no chance in hell to see this tour, so I got this album as a consolation prize. At the time I treasured it. It is a great document of a live performance, moreso than "Back in the U.S.", which skips the interaction with the audience and song introductions. However, upon recent listening you can hear that Paul might not have been in the best voice. He is often horse, his voice breaks and is sometimes overpowered by Hamish doubling his vocals. It also would have been nice had Paul toured with a full brass section. Synthesizers just don't do justice to the arrangements on "Got to Get You into My Life" and so forth. It's a great set with great packaging, certainly the best live set Paul has released. Look for the song recorded in your hometown in the booklet."