Paul McCartney

The McCartney Years DVD

Like McCartney’s career, his output runs the gamut from inspired (“Band on the Run”) to insipid (“Ebony and Ivory,” anyone?), which makes for rocky going when they are lumped together, along with live concert footage, on this triple DVD package. Nearly 50 clips find the ex-Beatle predominantly lip-synching to solo material that rather erratically covers his 1970-2005 run. Hardcore fans are justifiably infuriated by the dozens of omissions and the way these videos have been visually compromised to expand the image to wide-screen, chopping off the top and bottom of the original picture. The exclusion of the entire Wings Rock Show and MTV Unplugged performances, represented here by a handful of selections, is also frustrating. On the plus side, audio commentaries from Sir Paul provide fascinating info on many tunes, the remixed DTS surround makes the sound sparkle, and some of the material is impossibly rare. It’s a sprawling yet mixed bag with enough great music to overcome the shortcomings. 3 stars.