Finally, my copies of “Band On The Run” – in both the 2 disc vinyl edition and the deluxe 4 CD bound-book special edition – have arrived from the United States.
They both came together, packaged in the same big cardboard box – and I have to say it was pretty beaten up by the time it got here to Australia.
As I opened it up I was really worried about what I might find inside. It’s not the first time I’ve had vinyl records in particular arrive in a less than optimum state. For example, when I ordered The Fireman “Electronic Arguments” LP (direct from the official McCartney website back in 2008). It was, to put it mildly, pathetically packaged up for such a long journey in the post. It’s a fragile vinyl double record that needed to travel from the United Kingdom half-way ’round the world to Australia. And how had they prepared it for such an epic journey? Simply plonked it in a loose-fitting cardboard box and put two of those large bubble “fillers” inside tho make up the volume. These didn’t stop the record moving around, being tossed from side to side when being dropped and bounced and placed at the bottom of piles of other packages along the way. Consequently the cover was bent and torn in places by the time it got here….I’d have expected more from the company charged with dispatching orders to collectors direct from the McCartney site….
Anyway, the box of “Band On The Run” goodies which arrived this week from Amazon was, I have to say, similarly packaged - only this time for some reason both the LP and the CD set had survived unscathed! They were both enveloped in a tight shrink-wrap that really helped keep everything together. I’m very pleased with the results actually, though it could have been an entirely different story as again, the box they came in was bashed around considerably.
Here’s what was in the box. Firstly, the 2010 double LP – which is a gatefold cover. It is still sealed I’m afraid. I can’t bring myself to open it!:
Here’s the rear cover, and its the same photo layout as the original UK version:
There is a sticker on the bottom left-hand side of the LP’s front cover:
Now onto the Deluxe, 4 disc edition – which comes as a large format, thick hardback book. This one I have opened up so you can see some of what is inside. Here’s how it presents when you first get it in its plastic seal:
Here’s a close-up of the sticker on the front right-hand side:
On the rear when the book is still sealed is a card insert:
On the card you can see the MPL, Hear Music and Concord Records labels. Once you have the plastic off here’s what you have:
It is a cloth-bound, hardback book. Really thick and solid and beautifully done. The photo is recessed and the printing of “Paul McCartney Archive Collection” and the signature are embossed into the cloth. On the rear there is a Limited Edition stamped number:
Inside, the 121 page book is richly illustrated with photographs and text. The chapter headings are: Introduction; The Songs; A Trip to Lagos; Return to London; The Photo-shoot; Release; Press; Film and Video; and Lyrics.
Inside there is also a business card sized card which says: “This card offers you free access to the 24bit 96kHz High Resolution audio download of the remastered album….”, and gives you a code number to use:
Finally, right at the very back of the book are two thick cardboard pages that hold the four discs you get. Three CDs and one DVD:
As you can see, each of these discs has individual artwork to differentiate between them.
All-in-all its a very nicely put together item. It’s not cheap – but you can see the work that has gone into it and it will probably become a very collectable item in my view.
To close then, that rear, removable card says: “Look for future re-issues in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, including “McCartney”, “McCartney II”, “Ram” and more, coming soon”. It makes you wonder if that’s the planned release order by Paul McCartney and Concorde Records, and if so just how soon the “McCartney” re-issue will be available. How long will it be between this one and the next? You can imagine your bookshelf beginning to fill up with a line of these beautifully finished books….if you can afford them that is.
See also the very limited edition vinyl 45 released as part of the promotion for “Band on the Run” 2010.