CD Review - Return to Pepperland



 The year 1987 has got to be one of the most important years in Beatles history. The Beatles catalogue and a number of their solo albums debuted on CD, we had the 20th anniversary of Sgt Pepper, George Harrison released his acclaimed solo album 'Cloud Nine' also appearing live at the annual Prince's Trust concert with Ringo Starr, who was busy learning his lines for the first 26 episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine, while Paul McCartney was recording rock 'n' roll classics, releasing All The Best and finished recording his ultimately shelved 1987 album 'Return to Pepperland' recorded with producer Phil Ramone.

The release of Flaming Pie & the 2CD singles for Young Boy, The World Tonight & Beautiful Night enable Paul to release a number of  those tracks from the archive under his Oobu Joobu radio show banner.

The opening song 'Lindiana' is a pleasant mid tempo ballad, 'Big Day' is an awful demo, the lyric consists of one line 'On Big Day' continuously repeated over some rough rhythm guitar work. Yoko Ono has sounded better on a bad day , never mind a big day!

Meanwhile, 'Christian Pop' is a piano based instrumental that could have been lifted from an early sixties Russ Conway album.

A total of eight songs surfaced from the sessions, however Return to Pepperland also includes a number of rarities including 'Beautiful Night', at 6.13 a full two minutes longer than the officially released song on Flaming Pie, a studio recording of 'P.S. Love Me Do' only previously available on the 2CD Japanese version of Flowers in the Dirt and 'Loveliest Thing' from the rare 3" CD Single 'Figure of Eight'

Two other highlights on the album are the demo recordings of 'We Got Married' & 'This One', of course now surfaced on the mega expensive 'Flowers in the Dirt' Archive Collection release.

The title track 'Return to Pepperland' is Macca's contribution to the Sgt Pepper 20th Anniversary celebrations. While George Harrison was letting the World know 'When We Was Fab' Paul had this gem  of a song unreleased because the album was shelved.

It has Paul in 'Let Em In' mood, introducing us to Cousin Lil, her husband Dan and don't forget Gran, while making a political point about Nelson Mandela, "Twenty years later , who would have guessed, Nelson Mandela still under arrest, people demanding love understanding, why don't we do something now".

This bootleg release with a running time of 73 minutes has enough decent tracks on it to make it a reasonable buy but of course with so many of the songs are already available on official releases is it worth purchasing for 'Pepperland' alone?

If 'Return to Pepperland' had been released in 1987 it wouldn't have quite finished Macca's career but after the disappointment of Give My Regard to Broad Street, the relative failure of 'Press to Play' it would have  confirmed, as Paul did in later years, that musically Paul had temporarily lost his way in the mid 80's but thankfully with George Martin back at the helm World dominance was only two years away...



Love This House

We Got Married (Demo)

Beautiful Night

Loveliest Thing

Squid (Demo)

Big Day (Demo)

This One (Demo

Loves Come Tumbling Down

Christian Bop Atlantic Ocean

Love Mix

Return To Pepperland

P.S. Love Me Do

Same Love

Don't Break the Promise


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