WHO IS HE? The cute one. The former leader of Wings. And oh yeah, the guy who wrote the soundtrack to most of your life.
WHAT IS THIS? The long-awaited full-length version of a free surprise concert the former Beatle played at the Hollywood record store Amoeba Music in 2007, this 21-song set was preceded by the four-track Amoeba’s Secret EP in 2008 and the 12-song Live in Los Angeles — The Extended Set in 2012.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Macca at his most relaxed and casual. It’s honestly too bad he has to spend so much time playing in stadiums, since he seems to enjoy himself far more in smaller venues. Plus he tends to sound better when he doesn’t have to strain his voice.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Beatlemania in Store. Or perhaps Third Time’s the Charm.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While imagining that you were one of the lucky so-and-so’s who got to rub shoulders with Ringo Starr and Woody Harrelson at the original gig.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Nostalgic, personable, endearing, easygoing, familiar, satisfying, comfortable, playful, crowd-pleasing, informal.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Naturally, it’s hard to top Fab Four classics like Drive My Car, Long & Winding Road, I’ll Follow the Sun, Blackbird, Back in the USSR, Get Back, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Lady Madonna and I Saw Her Standing There. But if you were a fan of his then-current album Memory Almost Full, you also get a handful of cuts from that, along with covers of Matchbox and Baby Face — plus some decent between-song banter.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Paul McCartney played in a record store? For free?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? The intimate setting makes this one special.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A TALKING HEADS SONG, WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE? Once in a Lifetime.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Three other McCartney live albums — 1976’s Wings Over America, 1988’s Choba B CCCP and 1993’s Paul is Live — are being reissued at the same time. But this is the one to pay for.