Christmas Eve – “Christmas Kisses” Rare Vinyl and More…..

On this Christmas Eve a post to mark the time of year. Paul McCartney always seems to have ways of making his releases just that little bit collectable and sometimes very difficult to keep up with…

Take his holiday release “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)“.  For those completists among us you’d think it’d be a simple thing to secure a copy for your collection. It’s just one song after all – done in the crooner style and the light jazz instrumentation of “Kisses on the Bottom“, Paul’s LP from earlier in the year. The first we heard of this song’s existence was that it was coming out on a compilation CD called “Holidays Rule“:

Holidays Rule CD 2

Easy. Just order a copy of the CD, or download the song from iTunes and you are up-to-date. Not so because then comes the news that it is also to be released as a vinyl single. But not just any vinyl single. There will only be 5000 copies made, it will be on coloured vinyl, it will have custom labels, and will only be available from independent record stores… Oh, and in the Christmas spirit some of the vinyl will be red, and some will be green:

HRM-34232_sleeve__frontHRM-34232_sleeve_backHRM-34232_sideA-REDHRM-34232_sideA-GREENHRM-34232_sideB-REDHRM-34232_sideB-GREEN

Thanks to Andrey in Russia for sending through these scans. He got them from a mate in Germany who ordered the single from two different sources and was lucky to get one copy of each colour. Apparently one of his friends in the USA ordered five copies but got all of them in the red colour. Another collector in Japan ordered four copies and got all of them in the green….As the covers are all sealed in heat-shrink plastic nobody knows what colour vinyl will arrive until they open them. And, given it’s limited release status, the single has been for sale on Ebay at very inflated prices…..

You’d think that would be the end of it. But no. There are two different versions of Paul McCartney’s rendition of “The Christmas Song” (and thanks to the WogBlog site for this information).

One version comes with strings and is only available as a bonus track on the digital download album called “Complete Kisses“. This is an iTunes exclusive, digital-only album released in conjunction with the DVD/BlueRay of Paul performing all the songs from “Kisses on the Bottom” live.

However, the song on the vinyl singles above and on the “Holidays Rule” CD  are without the strings, just Paul singing backed by a small jazz ensemble.

So, if you want every version of just this one McCartney song you have to hunt around – and reach deep into your wallet – this Christmas.

Green and Red Christmas Song -tiff

Happy Christmas, happy collecting, and happy holidays everyone.

More McCartney Christmas News

Paul McCartney is to release a vinyl single of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”, from the Holidays Rule compilation CD and the Complete Kisses  iTunes-only Christmas release.

Christmas Kisses

The coloured vinyl single will be backed with McCartney’s original 1979 version of “Wonderful Christmastime”, or is it the version of the song on the Holidays Rule CD by The Shins? That is still to be confirmed. A label spokesman quoted by Beatles Examiner said the record comes out in the U.S. on December 4 and will be available through independent record stores.

McCartney – “Complete Kisses” Announced

Paul McCartney has announced a special Christmas release – an exclusive iTunes-only album called ‘Kisses On The Bottom – Complete Kisses’. It will be available for download only on November 26th in the UK and internationally, and on November 27th in the US.

‘Kisses On The Bottom – Complete Kisses’ will feature the standard edition of the album ‘Kisses On The Bottom’ along with the entire 13 tracks from the ‘Live From Capitol Studios’ concert performance.

There’ll also be four bonus tracks including a special festive recording of ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’, which Paul recorded at Avatar Studios in New York in September. The album will also feature a previously unreleased version of ‘My Valentine’ arranged by Johnny Mandel, and the tracks ‘Baby’s Request’ and ‘My One And Only Love’ (both previously available only on the “Deluxe” edition of the CD or via iTunes).

There has also been a behind–the–scenes look at the recording of ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’  put up on a couple of sites.

“Complete Kisses” TRACKLISTING:

‘Kisses On The Bottom':

01. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter 02:36
02. Home (When Shadows Fall) 04:04
03. It’s Only A Paper Moon 02:35
04. More I Cannot Wish You 03:04
05. The Glory Of Love 03:46
06. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me) 03:22
07. Ac–Cent–Tchu–Ate The Positive 02:32
08. My Valentine 03:14
09. Always 03:49
10. My Very Good Friend The Milkman 03:04
11. Bye Bye Blackbird 04:26
12. Get Yourself Another Fool 04:42
13. The Inch Worm 03:43
14. Only Our Hearts 04:21

Bonus Tracks:

15. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) 03:35
16. Baby’s Request 03:30
17. My One And Only Love 03:50
18. My Valentine (Johnny Mandel Original Arrangement) 03:12

Live From Capitol Studios:

19. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter (Live) 02:44
20. Home (When Shadows Fall) (Live) 04:26
21. It’s Only A Paper Moon (Live) 02:55
22. More I Cannot Wish You (Live) 03:28
23. The Glory Of Love (Live) 03:53
24. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me) (Live) 04:14
25. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive (Live) 02:51
26. My Valentine (Live) 03:31
27. Always (Live) 04:21
28. My Very Good Friend The Milkman (Live) 03:14
29. Bye Bye Blackbird (Live) 04:45
30. Get Yourself Another Fool (Live) 07:48
31. My One And Only Love (Live) 04:16

‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’  is also featured on a new holiday CD compilation called “Holiday’s Rule”. It features a variety of artists performing Christmassy-themed songs. The project is coordinated by Paul’s record companies Hear Music/Concord Music and MPL.  You can hear the song in full if you visit the MPL site – it’s currently featured on their embedded music player.

McCartney’s “Live Kisses”

This just a quick follow up to an earlier post pointing to Paul McCartney’s “Live Kisses” coming out on DVD, BluRay and digital video.

I got a copy of the BluRay today so I thought I’s share some photos of the packaging and what’s inside:

That’s it still in it’s shrink wrap. The front cover photo is taken by Mary McCartney. Here it is released from the plastic:

It is really quite a nicely put together package. It’s not in a standard BluRay plastic cover but is more like a small, bound  hardback book. (The DVD comes in the same packaging only in a slightly larger format). That dark black stripe you can see down the left-hand side is embossed with a shiny finish. Quite stylish. Here’s the rear cover:

There’s a 41 page book inside which contains some nice photos and the stylish layout begun on the exterior continues:

The design is reminiscent of the “Kisses on the Bottom” CD packaging, but is also quite distinctive in itself. There’s a Foreword from Mr Diana Krall -  none other than Elvis Costello:

Costello also conducts an extensive interview with Paul McCartney about the project and the recording and this takes up the bulk of the book. At the rear are a couple of pages containing info on the composers, the song publishing details, and the recording personnel for each track. The disc contents and the bonus features are detailed, and the final page is a thin slot container for the BluRay disc itself:

(click on images to see larger versions)

So, all in all, quite nicely put together. Now to go and watch it! For those wanting a preview, McCartney’s MPL site has just put up an extended promo video package.

Meanwhile, a Paul McCartney Christmas track (which sounds like it may have been recorded during the “Kisses” sessions) is part of a new holiday CD compilation called “Holiday’s Rule” featuring a variety of artists. It’s a project coordinated by Paul’s record companies Hear Music/Concord Music and MPL. He does the classic “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”. You can hear the song if you visit the MPL site – it is featured on their embedded music player at the moment.

 

 

Live Kisses Coming on November 12

Official confirmation today that November 12th is to be the release date of Paul McCartney’s “Live Kisses” on DVD, BluRay and digital video:

It is a live film performance for the launch of his retro album “Kisses on the Bottom“. The press release which arrived in my inbox says:

November 12th will see the release of ‘Live Kisses’ – 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 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.

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 to 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 release ‘Kisses…’ topped the US Billboard Jazz album chart at number 1, as well as charting Top 5 all around the world.

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.

TRACKLISTING

1) I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
2) Home (When Shadows Fall)
3) It’s Only A Paper Moon
4) The Glory Of Love
5) More I Cannot Wish You
6) We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)
7) Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
8) My Valentine
9) Always
10) My Very Good Friend The Milkman
11) Bye Bye Blackbird
12) Get Yourself Another Fool
13) My One And Only Love

Recorded and filmed at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, February 2012
Executive Producer: Paul McCartney
Directed by Jonas Åkerlund

BONUS FEATURES

1) ‘My Valentine’ Video:
       i) ‘My Valentine’ (Music Video)
ii) ‘My Valentine’ (Music Video – Natalie Portman One Take)
iii) ‘My Valentine’ (Music Video – Johnny Depp One Take)
iv) ‘My Valentine’ (Music Video – Split Screen)
v) ‘My Valentine’ (Music Video – Natalie Portman Edit)
vi) ‘My Valentine’ (Music Video – Johnny Depp Edit)
vii) Making ‘My Valentine’

Videos directed by Paul McCartney
Featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp

2) Kisses On The Bottom Album Photo Shoot – Version One
3) Kisses On The Bottom Album Photo Shoot – Version Two
4) Kisses On The Bottom Album Interview – Paul McCartney and Tommy      LiPuma interviewed by Robert Hilburn

There’s more at paulmccartney.com  and the first of what appears to be a series of short “teaser” videos:

Yet Another Version of “Kisses”

Russian Beatles collector and friend Andrey has come good with yet another version (this time another illegal pressing….) of Paul McCartney’s “Kisses on the Bottom” which was released earlier this year.

The album features favourite songs from McCartney’s past, songs he remembers fondly from when he was growing up, and songs that have influenced him over the years. They are all done very nicely in a jazz style with great arrangements by Diana Krall. Very stylish and sophisticated.

I tried to cover all the known versions of the album and that prompted Andrey to send through some further versions unique to his country.

Now he has discovered one more. It’s an illegal Russian (pseudo-Japanese) CD-edition:

(click on images to see a larger version)

Thanks to Andrey. And if you are ordering online beware of this one as a fake.

Also, it looks like the DVD and BluRay release of the full Capitol Studios live concert performance of “Kisses on the Bottom” is still to be officially released. However, Amazon is now saying that it is due on November 13, not September 7 as previously thought.

Oh, and the cover image has changed substantially too:

While previously available in full as a stream on iTunes, only four songs from this special live show to launch the album have ever been fully downloadable for collectors so far. Those buying the “Deluxe” CD of “Kisses” get a bonus download card which on the face of it sounds like an enticing extra. But when you log in with your code you don’t get the whole show. You only get: “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter”; “Home (Where the Shadows Fall)”; “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive”; and “My Valentine”.  So now the whole performance will finally be available – for a price.

And I notice that on iTunes you can now download the original versions of most of the songs McCartney covers on “Kisses on the Bottom”. It’s a digital collection of fourteen songs (not all of which are on the McCartney CD) called “Original Kisses on the Bottom – The Songs That Inspired Paul McCartney“:

Kisses on the Bottom – Some Further Variations

When Paul McCartney’s “Kisses on the Bottom” CD and LP was released earlier this year we posted on all the known variations at that time.

This week I had an email from Andrey in Russia alerting me to not one, but three further variations.

They are all Russian editions of the CD version of “Kisses”:
*  A 14-track official CD in a digipack – with an official Russian Universal Music small sticker on the front,
*  A 14-track illegal or pirate CD in a jewel case (using the same cover as the EU official version) and,
*  A 16-track illegal or pirate “Deluxe” CD+DVD (of the iTunes Live concert) in a cardboard digipack.

Andrey kindly sent some great scans of the covers, so here they are. Firstly the official Russian Universal Music edition, with 14 tracks in a cardboard digipack sleeve. You can see the official sticker on the front:

Note in the small print the official Russian publication details on the back.

Next an “unofficial” or pirate version which comes in a plastic jewel case:

And finally, the other “unofficial” or pirate edition. This time it is the Deluxe 16-track version of the CD. It comes in a cardboard digipack complete with a “bonus” DVD containing the Apple iTunes launch concert of the album live from the Capitol studios in Hollywood, California. This, to my knowledge, has never been officially released in hard copy like this. (However, if you purchased the official Deluxe edition you do get a bonus digital download of the same performance):

(To see larger versions of all the covers above just click on the images)

Thanks to Russian collector Andrey for this information and the images. See also the terrific website beatlesvinyl.com.ua for comprehensive information, images and details of other USSR and Russian Beatles releases.

If you have any interesting Beatles or solo releases feel free to email us at beatlesblogger@gmail.com

UPDATE:  The very informed and accurate Wogblog site is reporting that the Capitol Studios live concert performance of “Kisses on the Bottom” will be officially released on DVD on September 7th. Thanks for that Roger. Here’s the promo poster for the DVD: