We’re getting an early taste of a forthcoming multi-artist Paul McCartney tribute project, as the Cure take on his 1967 chart topping hit “Hello Goodbye” with the Beatles. It’s a largely faithful issue, save for a few psychedelic flourishes here and there — and maybe most notable for the inclusion of James McCartney, Paul’s son, on keyboards.
Still, it heralds a set promising some intriguing intersections between music legends and more than 40 of the more memorable songs of the McCartney oeuvre — with Wings, as a solo act and, yeah, with the Fabs: There’s Bob Dylan and “Things We Said Today.” Brian Wilson and “Wanderlust.” Kiss and “Venus and Mars/Rock Show.” Paul Rodgers and “Let Me Roll It.” Allen Toussaint and “Lady Madonna.” Cheap Trick’s Rick Neilsen and Robin Zander and “Jet.” Booker T. Jones and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Heart and “Letting Go.” B.B. King and “On the Way.”
Some of that sounds absolutely transformative, even if the Cure — in Robert Smith’s first new recording under the band name in some six years — only manages to be simply interesting. The Pretenders, Corinne Bailey Rae, Smokey Robinson, the Who’s Roger Daltrey, Willie Nelson, Billy Joel, Def Leppard and Jeff Lynne are among the other guest stars in this Ralph Sall-produced effort. McCartney’s regular backing band is featured throughout.
The Art of McCartney will be released in a dizzying array of formats on November 18, 2014. “Hello Goodbye” is available now as a free download with pre-orders. The album has been in the works for more than a decade, since Sall worked with McCartney on a new version of 1971’s “A Love for You,” an unreleased demo from Ram, as part of the soundtrack for The In-Laws.
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