Despite the lavishness of Paul McCartney‘s recent four-book, four disc, Wings Over America deluxe box set, it is missing one vital ingredient – the 1976 Rockshow film.
Although this might seem like a glaring omission, releasing Rockshow separately has helped McCartney’s team avoid the commercial risks and logistical hassle of having two versions of the box (one for blu-ray, one for DVD) or ‘doing a Peter Gabriel‘ as we like to call it round our way, and not bothering to issue it on blu-ray at all (as he did with his Live In Athens film featured in last year’s So deluxe box set).
The McCartney Years three-DVD set from 2007 (can we have a blu-ray version of this, please?) gave us a taster of Rockshow on a digital format, by including four tracks (counting the Venus And Mars/Rockshow/Jet medley as one), but here – at last – we have the whole thing. In fact we really do get the whole thing, because all previous home video versions have been an edit of the 1980 theatrical release, omitting Blackbird, Call Me Back Again, Picasso’s Last Words, Lady Madonna, The Long And Winding Road, My Love and Richard Cory. This blu-ray is the full 28-track version as shown at cinemas.
The film sounds and looks amazing. The original 35mm film has been restored and the sound has been remixed into 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. However good the remastering is on the CDs, watching Rockshow on blu-ray – turned up loud – with the cleaned-up visuals, is surely the best way to enjoy the Wings Over America experience.
The set comes in quality hardback book packaging with an informative essay from rock critic Paul Gambaccini and lots of photos. The one bonus feature is called A Very Lovely Party which is footage similar to what’s included in the Wings Over The World – ie larking around backstage, and general ‘downtime’ during the tour (this is largely silent footage, set to music). Inessential, basically.
It’s hard to see ANY McCartney fans not wanting this spectacular celebration of that 1976 tour. Probably only The Beatles’ Let It Be film was higher on fans’ ‘when is it going to come out on DVD/Blu-ray’ lists.
You can buy the standard remastered two-CD Wings Over America set AND this Rockshow blu-ray for less than £25 at the time of writing. That’s genuinely decent value for those grumbling about the £100+ pricing of the WOA deluxe box.
- • UK Order: Rockshow [Blu-ray] 
- • USA Order: Rockshow [Blu-ray]
- • CANADA Order: Rockshow (Blu-ray)
- • GERMANY Order: Rockshow [Blu-ray]