Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Released: November 13, 2012
Reviewed: November 25, 2012
The latest DVD by Sir Paul McCartney, Live Kisses, is a stunning 13-song film, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, that captures the magic of an extraordinary evening in February of this year. In the intimate surroundings of the historic Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where Paul recorded much of his Kisses On The Bottom album, he was reunited with the all-star musicians who joined him on the record to bring the songs to life for a once in a lifetime performance. What I would’ve given to have been able to have been in that studio while this performance was taking place!
This was a concert unlike any Paul had given before. Without his famous Höfner bass in hand or in fact any musical instruments, Paul took his place behind the same microphone that has captured some of the most iconic voices in history. He did this so that he could focus on his vocal delivery as he led the assembled A-list group of musicians through a collection of the standards he grew up listening to in his childhood, as well as his own original composition “My Valentine.”
Streamed live to the world online, Live Kisses marked the launch of Paul’s Kisses On The Bottom album. The film tells the story of how, with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma, Diana Krall and her band, Paul created a critically acclaimed album, which featured guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. The record represents a deeply personal journey through classic American compositions that a young Paul first heard his father perform on piano at home. Upon its releaseKisses topped the US Billboard Jazz album chart at number 1, as well as charting top 5 all around the world.
On the night the all-star line-up were reunited to include musical director Diana Krall (piano), John Clayton (bass), Karriem Riggins (drums), John Pizzarelli (guitar), Anthony Wilson (guitar), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone) and conductor Alan Broadbent. Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt resumed their roles in the studio and special guest musicians on the evening included Abe Laboriel Jr. (from Paul’s touring band) on backing vocals and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. Walsh performed the “My Valentine” guitar solo originally recorded by Eric Clapton on the studio album.
The concert was performed just hours after Paul brought Vine Street in LA to a standstill as he was presented with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records Building. The night of the concert (February 9th) was also the 48th anniversary of The Beatles' U.S. TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. What a day of ironic “coincidences”!
Bonus Live Kisses material includes six versions of the “My Valentine” music video, directed by Paul and starring Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman as well as a Making My Valentine film. There are also two short films with behind the scenes footage filmed at the Mary McCartney album photoshoot for Kisses On The Bottom. The final extra is an interview with Paul and producer Tommy LiPuma talking about the story of the album, its conception and creation.
Live Kisses is an intimate and charming concert film which offers an insight into the music and songwriters that inspired Paul to go on to become the most successful songwriter and performer in modern history. Beautifully presented, Live Kisses comes with a 40-page hardback book containing photographs from the day itself, including the rehearsals. Oh, and if you’re wondering: Yes, it would be the perfect gift for that music or Beatles nut in your life.