This is a guest article by author John Cherry.

As a long-term follower of Paul McCartney’s career, and the author of two books about him, “Better Than Lennon-The Music and Talent of Paul McCartney” and “Paul McCartney’s Solo Music Career 1970-2010,” I hold the ultra-talented musician to a lofty standard. Basically, I expect the best music to come from him, and he most often delivers on meeting that expectation. For some 40 years now, I have not often been disappointed when Paul would release a new album. By far, my most significant disappointment came after the McCartney II release. I would like to be making this a two-part review, but I can’t yet bring myself to purchase the remaster for McCartney II. I am not ruling out as a future purchase, but for now I will review the first McCartney solo album remaster.

The “McCartney” package I purchased was the “deluxe” version of two CD’s and a DVD, along with a 128 page book of pictures and narration surrounding the release. Devastated that The Beatles appeared to breaking up with the release of “McCartney,” I recall that “Maybe I’m Amazed” clearly showed that Paul could handle being on his own. While I will always wonder why it was not released as a single in its original version (only a live version was released in 1977), I gathered great hope that Paul might be able to carry on his success as a solo artist. There were other enjoyable songs on “McCartney,” but none matched the overall quality of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” The quality of the remastered version of the song only serves to reinforce my feelings. However, throughout the album, I heard new sounds that enhanced nearly every song. This was a true joy, as was the book that revealed, to my knowledge, for the first time that Paul felt The Beatles were not being “honest” about telling the world about their group status. It gave me a bit of a new perspective on the situation that I have agonized over many times since 1970.

The “bonus” songs on the CD were mostly just fun. It was reassuring that Paul did seem to still enjoy himself in the studio. For the hard-core McCartney follower, I was expecting more, hoping to hear a rumored different version of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Before getting too upset, though, I am thinking that it is possible that it might appear later on some version of Paul’s “Anthology,” somewhat like “The Beatles Anthology” release gave us for a number of songs.

In the meantime, I would say buy the full version of this remaster. Many of the pictures are completely new to me, although I will say they did serve to reconfirm Paul’s closeness to his young family. With the breakup of The Beatles, it is easy to say that Paul, and all who admired him, was fortunate that his personal life could help carry him through a very difficult separation from the group that he called his “brothers.”

If you have bought McCartney II, and want to try to convince me of its attributes, I am completely open to hearing from you. The email address is theory153@yahoo.com, and my website is betterthanlennon.com.

I hope to see you at one of Paul’s concerts this summer, and look relish the fact that we fans can anticipate both Paul’s upcoming releases of cover versions of some old songs, and his own new material for an apparent “hard-rocking” collection.

John Cherry is an author. He is probably best known for his two books analyzing the musical career of ex-Beatles member Paul McCartney. Check out Better Than Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Solo Music Career.

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