Thursday, April 25, 2024

Paul McCartney Tribute Album Features Eclectic Cast Including Bob Dylan, KISS, Def Leppard, Cat Stevens


One day there had to be a Paul McCartney tribute album.  “The Art of McCartney” is here, with a very eclectic roster of artists contributing takes on McCartney or Lennon & McCartney songs. Alice Cooper sings “Eleanor Rigby.” Why? Why not? Some sound promising– Chrissie Hynde on “Let it Be” should be grand. But Bee Gee Barry Gibb is allowed to revisit “Sgt. Pepper” with “When I’m 64.” The Bee Gees mangled these songs once before in a terrible, forgotten movie.

Someone named Ralph Sall got the idea to find all kinds of people, many of whom have nothing to do with McCartney or the Beatles, in a kind of everything but the kitchen sink approach. He convinced McCartney to do this, and used his band to record the vocalists. Some we’ve never heard of. But Alice Cooper of all people has two tracks. Owl City? Yikes. Jamie Cullum?  But this is why cherry picking on digital services can be useful.

This is the best part: there are at least five different versions of this thing including a box setwith vinyl and CDs that seems like it retails for around $300. There are gatefolds, illustrated books, and all kinds of extras including a USB in the shape of a Hofner guitar. No one said “no” once during this project.

Meantime, there is no properly curated McCartney box set of his own material, or hit covers of Beatle songs, or a good re-release of “Red Rose Speedway.” But for some reason “Venus and Mars” and “Wings at the Speed of Sound” are coming out, separately, as remastered gift sets. The former I’ll gladly pick up for fun. The latter features “Silly Love Songs,” which I am surprised Ralph Sall restrained himself from including on “The Art of McCartney.”

1. Maybe I’m Amazed – Billy Joel

2. Things We Said Today – Bob Dylan

3. Band On The Run – Heart

4. Junior’s Farm – Steve Miller

5. The Long and Winding Road – Yusuf / Cat Stevens

6. My Love – Harry Connick, Jr.

7. Wanderlust – Brian Wilson

8. Bluebird – Corinne Bailey Rae

9. Yesterday – Willie Nelson

10. Junk – Jeff Lynne

11. When I’m 64 – Barry Gibb

12. Every Night – Jamie Cullum

13. Venus and Mars/ Rock Show – KISS

14. Let Me Roll It – Paul Rodgers

15. Helter Skelter – Roger Daltrey

16. Helen Wheels – Def Leppard

17. Hello Goodbye – The Cure ft James McCartney

18. Live And Let Die – Billy Joel

19. Let It Be – Chrissie Hynde

20. Jet – Robin Zander & Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick

21. Hi Hi Hi – Joe Elliott

22. Letting Go – Heart

23. Hey Jude – Steve Miller

24. Listen To What The Man Said – Owl City

25. Got To Get You Into My Life – Perry Farrell

26. Drive My Car – Dion

27. Lady Madonna – Allen Toussaint

28. Let ‘Em In – Dr. John

29. So Bad – Smokey Robinson

30. No More Lonely Nights – The Airborne Toxic Event

31. Eleanor Rigby – Alice Cooper

32. Come And Get It – Toots Hibbert with Sly & Robbie

33. On The Way – B. B. King

34. Birthday – Sammy Hagar 

The limited edition vinyl boxset and deluxe boxset features the following eight extra tracks; 

1. C Moon – Robert Smith

2. Can’t Buy Me Love – Booker T. Jones

3. P.S. I Love You – Ronnie Spector

4. All My Loving – Darlene Love

5. For No One – Ian McCulloch

6. Put It There – Peter, Bjorn & John

7. Run Devil Run – Wanda Jackson

8. Smile Away – Alice Cooper


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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