Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock

Album Review

Paul McCartney's return to the stage in 1989 for the Flowers in the Dirt tour was heavily hyped, since it was not only his first extensive tour since the '70s, but also marked the first time he incorporated large portions of the Beatles' catalog into his set list. The double-disc, 37-track Tripping the Live Fantastic documents the tour, and it's a pleasant, if ultimately inconsequential, nostalgia trip that puts the weaknesses of Flowers in the Dirt in a little too sharp relief. In fact, most of McCartney's flaws are on display throughout the album, whether it's his excessive cutesiness (the album opens with Paul and the boys being told "heidy-ho, it's time for the show"), his fondness for oldies, and his persistent desire to charm the daylights out of the entire crowd. Nevertheless, he often does charm the crowd, whether it's through the effortlessly dazzling performances or his thoroughly winning catalog of pop classics. The new songs may pale next to the classics from his Beatles and solo days, and those classics may be delivered in versions that are a little too studied, but Tripping the Live Fantastic is a fine exercise in nostalgia.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Showtime
  2. Figure of Eight
  3. Jet
  4. Rough Ride
  5. Got to Get You into My Life
  6. Band on the Run
  7. Birthday
  8. Ebony and Ivory
  9. We Got Married
  10. Inner City Madness
  11. Maybe I'm Amazed
  12. The Long and Winding Road
  13. Crackin' Up
  14. The Fool on the Hill
  15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  16. Can't Buy Me Love
  17. Matchbox
  18. Put It There
  19. Together
  20. Things We Said Today
  21. Eleanor Rigby
  22. This One
  23. My Brave Face
  24. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  25. I Saw Her Standing There
  26. Twenty Flight Rock
  27. Coming Up
  28. Sally
  29. Let It Be
  30. Ain't That a Shame
  31. Live and Let Die
  32. If I Were Not Upon the Stage
  33. Hey Jude
  34. Yesterday
  35. Get Back
  36. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End
  37. Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying