Upbeat sibling revelry.
It can’t be easy making your way in the music biz as the less celebrated younger sibling of a superstar, and undoubtedly an even steeper uphill struggle when your brother’s one of The Beatles. Undeterred, Mike McCartney adopted the surname McGear and teamed up with fellow Scousers John Gorman and Roger McGough and had a string of hits as The Scaffold, but it’s his solo work that’s proved to be more worthy of reappraisal.
McGear, produced by big bro Paul and featuring the then lineup of Wings, was first released in 1974 and has been reissued more than once over the years, although never as elaborately as this three-disc set augmented by a dozen previously unreleased tracks, the addition of nonalbum single Dance The Do, featuring Bonzo Dog Viv Stanshall, and a DVD. Macca’s fingerprints are all over the record; he has a writing credit on all but one of the original LP’s 10 tracks, the exception being a theatrical overhaul of Roxy Music’s Sea Breezes.
At its best it recalls the polite satire of The Scafford aligned with motifs of Paul’ chamber-pop character studies with the Fabs, most notably the jaunty piano-led Leave It, and the fanciful ode to foolishness The Man Who Found God On The Moon. ■■■■■■■■■■