Tuesday, 10 November 2009

There's a leak

I'm listening to the new Paul McCartney release right now, "Good Evening New York City", well the audio CD's from it anyway. It hasn't really been released yet, but it leaked out into the internet yesterday. I remember 2002's "Driving Rain", that one was all over the internet several months before the release date. The new one's out just a few days before it's in the shops, so I guess things have improved.
It's a rocking couple of CD's this, reflecting the slightly harder sound Paul and his band seems to be into these days. Contributing to this is the fact that all chit chat on stage has been eliminated. Apart from the opening legend "good evening, New York City", we don't get to hear Paul talk in between songs. There's no "let's hear it for John" or "not many people know this, but George was a great ukulele player". Just the songs. And I think that was a good decision, and one that makes repeat plays more likely.
I don't know how to spot where a tool like auto-tune has been in use, but I hear a lot of fans saying that this release is full of it. Sometimes the words come out unintelligible. Like in "Eleanor Rigby", it sounds like Father McKenzie is writing the words for a sermon that no one will hear, no one thumb near. There are a couple of other examples, but I forget.
It's hard to describe Paul's voice now that we know it's been tampered with, but it sounds quite okay. And all these years on the road has made him an ace guitar player. He spent 1989-1993 mostly on the road, then took a long break. But ever since 2002 he's been at it again with the tours. And rumour has it that his current one will be extended over to South America in the New Year. I also believe it's time he went downunder again, he hasn't played there since 1993.
Of course, I'm buying the official release when it hits the shop, I always do. I was just curious, that's all.
The folks over at MaccaBlog will feature this release on their radio station today, so tune in! Or get it elsewhere.


Macfamily said...


I love your blog and read it every day or two. I consider it my best source for Beatles news and thank you for all of your effort. You mentioned that we now know that Paul's voice is tampered with. Can you point us to that article or elaborate? I am sure they auto-tune him, but does he touch up in the studio as well?

I was looking forward to this disk because I have felt that Paul have never released a good sounding live disc. And the chatter is a bit to "cute" for his age :-) When I heard that the guy in charge of the remasters was mixing the disc I was very hopeful

Thank you again.

Wogew said...

Hi, and thank you for following my blog. The use of auto-tune or other studio-based enhancements on Paul McCartney's voice has not, as far as I know, been referenced by McCartney himself or people around him. It has only been pointed out by fans who have been hearing this record. I'm sure it will be elaborated on when the record gets it's reviews by professional music reviewers. That laid aside, I think this is a good live recording, although I felt that the stereo image was very narrow. This may be just the version I downloaded, though. Another thing is that whenever I'm at a McCartney concert I have always thought that he sounds better live than on subsequent live recordings. But on this one, he also sounds great on record.

Stephane said...

Best exemple...I've got a feeling at 0:17...the second "Oh yeah"...we hear it clearly the auto-tune...
All the best!

P.s. Great as always! Keep the good work!

Anonymous said...

Other people are suggesting that's not Autotune -- that it sounds, rather, like overdubbing. I'm not sure why it should matter if it's one or the other. Those of us who went to one of these shows know how great he sounded. Plus, you'd expect that in a recording of a live performance, certain things would have to be fixed, wouldn't you? He's got to sing a wrong note here and there.

Macfamily said...

Anonymous said...

"Those of us who went to one of these shows know how great he sounded. Plus, you'd expect that in a recording of a live performance, certain things would have to be fixed, wouldn't you? He's got to sing a wrong note here and there."

I actually prefer live recordings to be untouched, you can pick them up the day of or the day after Barenaked Ladies and Crowded House shows (to name just two). But if Paul put out a disc like that, the press would be all over him. It is one thing to see a show with a very loud crowd of people and area acoustics; it is another matter to hear it with headphones on.

It is expected and the industry norm to use pitch correction, I do remember how ticked off I was when I found out the Eagles first Live album was "touched-up" to the extent that it was, I have a copy of the show before they touched it up, they went overboard . IMHO. It really became a studio album :-)

But hey, I wish I could sing half as well as Paul and lets not forget his age. I also really like his Chaos and Creation voice.

I was able to get a copy of the CD before the release and this is my opinion, it is his best live recording for many reasons, pitch correction and all.