On June 27, 2007, Paul McCartney gave a surprise free concert at Amoeba Music record store in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Yesterday, the full set of that appearance was released as Amoeba Gig, together with reissues of three other live albums: Paul Is Live (November 1993), Choba B CCCP (October 1988) and Wings Over America (December 1976).
Amoeba Gig is the first full length commercial release of the concert. Previously, the four-track EP Amoeba’s Secret came out in November 2007. This was followed by the release of an extended 12-song excerpt in the U.K. and Ireland in January 2010, titled Live In Los Angeles. In November 2012, that set was made available for free to premium members of PaulMcCartney.com for a limited period. The latest recording includes all 21 songs McCartney played during the Amoeba concert, which his website calls “possibly the most intimate L.A. show Paul has ever played.”
While Paul McCartney has released many live albums over his long career, he is a great performer, so I always find it fun listening to him. Plus, Amoeba Gig features some Beatles tunes that are not as often heard during his regular concerts. One of these songs is I’ll Follow The Sun. Primarily written by McCartney and, as usually, credited to him and John Lennon, the ballad first appeared on the Beatles For Sale album from December 1964.
The next track I’d like to call out is a tribute McCartney wrote about Lennon, Here Today, which he first recorded for Tug Of War, his third solo album released in April 1982. As he was performing it at Amoeba, one can clearly hear the emotions that overcame him. It’s quite moving and I don’t believe I’ve ever heard him like this before.
Another of those less common Beatles songs during McCartney shows is I’ve Got A Feeling, which appeared on the final Beatles studio album Let It Be from May 1970. It combines what were two unfinished tunes: I‘ve Got A Feeling, written by McCartney, and Lennon’s Everybody Had A Hard Year. The version on Amoeba is an extended jam take – pretty cool!
The last track I’d like to highlight is a cover of Matchbox. The song was written, recorded and released by Carl Perkins in 1957. Perkins also was one of the guests on the aforementioned Tug Of War album.
McCartney’s backing band at Amoeba included Rusty Anderson (lead guitar), Brian Ray (rhythm guitar), David Arch (keyboards) and Abe Laboriel, Jr. (drums). Anderson, Ray and Laboriel continue to be members of McCartney’s present touring band. Appearing on MPL/Capitol/UMe, Amoeba Gig has been newly remixed by engineer Steve Orchard and is available as CD, 2 x 180g black vinyl and limited edition color vinyl.
Sources: Wikipedia, Paul McCartney website, YouTube