Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Paul McCartney 1989-11-27 Great Western Forum Inglewood, California

Paul McCartney
Great Western Forum
Inglewood, California
November 27, 1989

Exit Club master via JEMS

Taping Gear: Sony ECM-939 mic > Sony D6C

Transfer: Master Cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth-adjusted) > Sound Devices USBPre2 (24/96 Audacity 2.0 capture) > iZotope MBIT+
 convert to 16/44.1 > Audio Cleaning Lab > FLAC

Disc one (77:38):
(1)  Band entrance (0:59)
(2)  Figure of Eight (5:01)
(3)  Jet (4:08)
(4)  Rough Ride (5:16)
(5)  Got To Get You Into My Life (3:03)
(6)  Band on the Run (5:33)
(7)  Ebony and Ivory (4:32)
(8)  We Got Married (6:25)
(9)  Maybe I'm Amazed (5:23)
(10)  The Long and Winding Road (4:34)
(11)  The Fool on the Hill (4:50)
(12)  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (6:26)
(13)  Good Day Sunshine (3:14)
(14)  Can't Buy Me Love (2:48)
(15)  Put It There (2:48)
(16)  Things We Said Today (3:28)
(17)  Eleanor Rigby (4:11)
(18)  This One (4:51)

Disc two (62:01):
(1)  My Brave Face (3:20)
(2)  Back in the U.S.S.R. (3:13)
(3)  I Saw Her Standing There (3:17)
(4)  Twenty Flight Rock (start cut) (3:47)
(5)  Coming Up (6:43)
(6)  Let It Be (4:48)
(7)  Ain't That A Shame (3:34)
(8)  Live and Let Die (4:49)
(9)  Hey Jude (6:46)
(10)  Encore break (1:06)
(11)  Yesterday (2:25)
(12)  Stevie Wonder intro (0:54)
(13)  Ebony and Ivory (4:59) *
(14)  Get Back (3:42)
(15)  Band introductions (0:29)
(16)  Golden Slumbers (8:02)

* w/Stevie Wonder

There are no fades between discs, so you may split wherever you wish (if you burn to CD at all).  Md5 signature file is included. Sorry, no artwork (feel free to make some)


Given all the interest in Macca's current tour, it was fortuitous that JEMS' pal Exit Club dropped by the clubhouse recently carrying a box of his own cassette master tapes. EC audio and video taped a bunch of shows in the '80s and '90s but was never a trader. A few previous JEMS releases (notably a 2007 Springsteen LA DVD) feature his work.

EC said, "you should probably take these and see if there's anything worth transferring." The first tape that caught my eye was this late '89 McCartney show at the Forum. "I remember that being pretty good quality," he noted.

Turns out he was right. This is one of the clearer and closer '89 McCartney shows that I've heard, and while there are several board and line recordings from the tour, this should still prove a welcome addition. It is one of a handful of shows to feature special guest Stevie Wonder performing "Ebony and Ivory," a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it.

On the master cassette J-cards, Exit Club wrote his own notes about the show which merit reprinting:

"One of the best shows I have seen to date in my life. The performance was very high energy. Paul seemed in great spirits and very ready for this tour. I was sitting fourth row, stage left. State of the art sound and lights and just when I thought the sound system could take no more, a wall of power would come pouring in. A psychedelic painted piano that rose from the stage and spun was visual highlight. The set included a great mixture of hits from the early Beatles to his new work with Elvis Costello."

If you saw the '89 tour, that's about right.

The recording is steady with remarkably little audience annoyance and relatively up-close sound. The 939 Sony was always a bit on the thin side, but had fine stereo imaging. In the mastering, we've tried to beef things up a little bit. Samples provided.

Speaking of which, this release wouldn't have happened in a timely manner without the assistance of ademotte, who has graciously volunteered to help JEMS get more releases out of the hard drive and into your ears. Thanks A.



Additional comments (from ademotte):

When Butterking enlisted my aid in bringing this show to the masses, I was happy to help -- the "Flowers in the Dirt" tour was among my formative concert experiences -- I caught the show twice in Chicago during his brief 1989 run and again on the final date in 1990, and was blown away each time.  Paul was routinely in great spirits and great voice throughout this tour, the band was tight, and the overall production was fantastic -- well worth the wait for those who hadn't seen him since his last proper tour in 1976 and those who (like me) were too young to have seen Wings in their heydey.  The setlist was outstanding; a great mix of the Beatles catalog and the current album (which I still think is great). 

This recording does an excellent job not only capturing the performance itself, but the energy in the Forum that night.  It's a very solid recording, with virtually no audience interference near the taper; however, you do hear the screams of the fans in the background at appropriate moments during the show (mostly between songs) which adds to the atmosphere.

As was common during the old analog days, the fidelity of the recording changes a bit at a tape flip -- the recording sounds more "immediate" during the first side of cassette A (here represented on tracks D1t1 through d1t10) than it does on the rest of the recording; don't let this dissuade you, however -- considering the era, this recording is really excellent throughout.  The change may have been due to a change in mic positioning, but neither BK nor I can say.  I did my best to smooth out the level variations seamlessly (there are a few changes during the mid-section of the show).  Overall, highly recommended, and I think you'll agree this compares favorably with the best "Flowers in the Dirt" recordings, and certainly the finest-sounding circulating recording from the 1989 mini-tour of North America.

One unique aspect of this recording is that Stevie Wonder joined Paul during the encore for a nice performance of "Ebony and Ivory."  Oddly enough, he kept the song in its normal spot early in the main set even though he knew Stevie Wonder would be joining him for the encore.  Given the fact that this song was dropped from his setlist (permanently, as it turns out) a couple weeks later, I personally don't mind hearing it twice within this show.

Many thanks to Exit Club and JEMS for bringing this recording to light after nearly 25 years.  If you're a Beatles and/or McCartney fan, this one is a must-have.


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