Next McCartney Archive Series Releases – Dates Pushed Back

Seems the never-ending announcements about releases for Beatles or Beatle-related product in the month of September has forced Paul McCartney to delay the release of the next two instalments in his Archive series. We just had an email from Amazon saying that the dates for Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound have been pushed back.

It’s not that surprising that something had to give.

We’ve just had the new DVD and BluRay of A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles Japan Box CD set, and the vinyl re-issue of Lennon’s Shaved Fish. Then in September comes The Beatles In Mono vinyl box set (September 8); the Icon series CD’s for John Lennon and Ringo Starr (both September 9); and the news that a George Harrison The Apple Years CD box set is due for a September 22 release.

The schedule was getting very crowded….not to mention the strain on collectors’ wallets!

Venus & Mars and Speed of Sound Re-issue Dates Announced

The long-expected official announcement of the next two instalments in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection has just been made.

Paul McCartney and Wings’ Venus and Mars (1975) and At The Speed of Sound (1976) will both be issued on 22 September in the UK and 23 September in the US, slotting into an already crowded Beatles and related release schedule for September:Venus and Mars Archive CollectionSpeed of Sound Archive Collection

Both albums will be available in a variety of physical and digital formats:

The Standard Editions will be a 2 CD set featuring the original albums remastered, plus a second CD of bonus material including demos and previously un-released tracks.

The Deluxe Editions will each contain 2 CDs plus a DVD, housed in a numbered hardback book featuring new articles, interviews, photographs, facsimile archive inserts and expanded track-by-track information. The DVD will feature material filmed at the time of each album’s release, some of which is previously unseen.

Both albums will be issued on vinyl in special gatefold covers. Digital downloads will be available for both Standard and Deluxe, and in a variety of formats including hi-res versions.

The detailed contents of each (including full track-lists) can be found at the Paul McCartney official page, and there’s more info in these two new YouTube clips which have just gone public:

Four Second-hand Beatle Books

There’s nothing like poking around second-hand book and record fairs for an hour or two looking for Beatle treasure – especially if the monies raised are for a good cause.

Every year the Lifeline organisation holds a huge used book sale at Knox Grammar, a posh private school on Sydney’s upper north shore. It is BIG. A very large hall in the school grounds is filled to bursting with books – and usually a wide selection of CD’s too.

This year we were lucky enough to get there late on Day One of the sale before everything had been picked over too much. Here’s what we found:Winding Road frontWinding Road rearNeville Stannard’s The Long and Winding Road – A History of the Beatles on Record was first published in 1982. Back then (and you have to remember this was pre-Internet!) it gathered together for the first time knowledge about every Beatle record and song – for both the UK and US markets: who wrote each song, why, how and when; how, when and where each was recorded; how many copies sold; chart positions; cover images and other artwork. That sort of info was available – but never gathered together in the one place. In this sense Stannard’s book was a trail-blazer and remains a valuable reference work. The book we have here is the second edition (published a year later in 1983) and as such has many corrections and revisions to the original. Really good to have in the collection.

Next find was A Day in the Life – The Music and Artistry of the Beatles by Mark Hertsgaard.Day in the Life frontDay in the Life rear

Got to admit we don’t know much about this hardback. Mark Hertsgaard is a journalist and author better known for his writing on climate change and so this work on the Beatles looks to be born from a personal love and knowledge of the band and its music. It was published in 1995 and reviews posted online look good. Looking forward to reading it and learning more!

Mark Hayward, the author of The Beatles – On Camera, Off Guard (2009) is also responsible for this earlier Beatles work:Beatles Unseen

Hayward is an avid collector of Beatle images and over thirty years has built up one of the largest collections of Beatle photographs in private hands. The Beatles Unseen (2005) is a large, hardback book where the best and most interesting private photographs are curated and presented. Mostly informal, un-posed images, they shine an insiders light on the band – a “behind-the-scenes” look at their home and work life. It is a book you can flip through and dip into at random – sort of like a family album. Typical is this sequence. It shows the 1968 wedding of Paul McCartney’s brother Michael McCartney (a.k.a. Mike McGear) to Angela Fishwick in the village of Carrog in North Wales. Paul is with then girlfriend Jane Asher:Beatles Unseen1Beatles Unseen2Beatles Unseen3Beatles Unseen4“Unseen” family photographs are also the theme of the final book we walked out of the Lifeline second-hand book fair with:Lennon Family Album fronyLennon Family Album rear

Nishi Saimaru began working with the Lennon family in 1976 and served as their personal assistant and photographer until 1979. As a companion to the Lennons during their travels both in the US and in Asia he was able to capture family members in private moments while on the move – on holiday and at play. This sequence, taken in 1978, shows John, Yoko and son Sean with friends and neighbours at a birthday party held in Central Park, New York for both John and Sean (they share the same birth date). John was thirty-eight and Sean was three:Lennon Family Album1Lennon Family Album2Lennon Family Album3Lennon Family Album4Lennon Family Album5The John Lennon Family Album is a soft back book published in Australia in 1990. It was originally published in 1982 in Japan, and again in Japan in 1990. We believe there were also US and UK editions of this book.

 

Ron Howard to Direct New Beatles Film – Just Announced

The Beatles official site has just announced that the highly respected US film director Ron Howard has been chosen to direct the new film about the Beatles touring years. They have linked to the micro-site set up to collect material for the project called thebeatlesliveproject.

The call out to fans who where there and have still images, film or audio from Beatle concerts and events is continuing. If you or someone you know has visual or audio materials documenting your personal experience of the Beatles live tours, Apple wants to hear from you. They are looking for rare or unusual footage, photographs, and audio recordings, particularly those that highlight the fan experience – what it was like to be a part of the frenzy.Beatles Live Project

The film will be a new, Apple-authorised Beatles documentary feature about the band’s touring years. It has the full co-operation of Paul McCartney, Ringo StarrYoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

Read all about it.

 

Win Tickets and Meet Paul McCartney at His Candlestick Park Concert

On August 14 Paul McCartney is set to play a very special gig at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park called “Farewell to Candlestick: The Final Concert.” It will be the last show to be played at the stadium before the venue is demolished. For McCartney, and the fans lucky enough to be there, it will be a farewell show for the venue where the Beatles played their final full concert as a group on August 29, 1966.

Well, there’s a chance for you to win tickets to the gig – and to help a very worthwhile charity at the same time.

Paul is helping an organisation called Aid Still Required build a new school in Haiti for kids who would otherwise never get an education. Fans can enter a contest to win a trip to San Francisco (airfares and hotel included), attend soundcheck at Paul’s Candlestick Park date, meet Macca backstage, take photos with him, and then watch the concert from VIP seats reserved for his guests.

For more info just go to www.prizeo.com/paul

All you need to do is make a donation (there are a range of options starting from as little as $10). You’ll not only be helping out kids in Haiti, but your donation will also put you in with a chance to be at the historic Candlestick Park concert on August 14. McCartney Performs Live

The prize is for one winner and one guest to fly to San Francisco and see Paul McCartney play Candlestick Park. The prize includes economy class flights from anywhere in the world for two people and two nights hotel accommodation. The contest closes on July 28.

About Haiti…..On January 12th, 2010 a Point 7 magnitude earthquake struck just off the coast of Port Au Prince, killing 230,000 and injuring millions more. Just because it’s no longer in the headlines doesn’t mean this devastated country is no longer in great need. Find out more at the Aid Still Required Facebook page.Haiti - Aid Still RequiredAid Still Required Logo

Beatles Australian 50th Anniversary Celebrations Are Hotting Up – Part Four

This is interesting and well worth a listen. During the the Beatles 1964 tour, radio journalist Ian Nicholls interviewed John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Jimmie Nicol when they visited Melbourne:Beatles and Ian Nicholls

See also The Beatles Australian 50th Anniversary Celebrations Are Hotting Up – Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

Entire Japanese Leg of the “Out There” Tour Cancelled

Sad news for Paul McCartney and his Japanese fans – the entire tour has now been cancelled due to the illness Paul contracted just prior to the first show there last Saturday.

This includes what would have seen an historic return tonight to Tokyo’s famous Budokan stadium. It would have been his first appearance on the Budokan stage since the Beatles became the first pop band to play there in 1966.

All possibilities are being looked into to reschedule the missed Tokyo shows.

Next week the tour moves on to Korea. Let’s hope this illness can be shaken off by then.

Paul Taken Ill In Tokyo – Concert Rescheduled

Only yesterday we posted about the start of Paul McCartney’s Japan tour and the special CD/DVD edition of New released to mark his concerts there.

He was meant to play the Tokyo National Stadium last night but he has a virus. That show was cancelled and has been rescheduled.Paul McCartney Press Statement

 

Get better soon, Sir Paul!

New Japanese Edition of McCartney’s “New”

For those Beatle collectors who just have to have everything…..another collectable in now in the shops in Japan.

Timed to coincide with Paul McCartney’s concert performances there (which start in Tokyo tonight and continue tomorrow night and on May 21, followed by Osaka on May 24), it’s a special limited edition of New, the album he released last year.

In this package you get the 15 track Japan-only version of New which, like the 2013 Japanese edition, has the extra track “Struggle” included – making it different to the both the Standard and Deluxe versions of the album released in all other countries. Plus you get a bonus DVD containing:

1. Save Us (Live at Tokyo Dome 2013)
2. Everybody out There (Live at Tokyo Dome 2013)
3. A Rendezvous With Paul McCartney (a Canadian documentary)
4. New (Lyric video)
5. Queenie Eye (Music Video)
6. Something New (the documentary on the making of the album New)

Presented in a clear plastic protective sleeve with an Obi strip on the left and an orange and white sticker on the outside, this new CD/DVD set looks like this:Japan New CD and DVD front

When you open it up it turns out that hybrid cover joining the images from the covers of the Standard (orange/pink) and the Deluxe (blue/pink) editions together is actually a single, separate cardboard sleeve containing the bonus DVD:Japan New DVD frontJapan New DVD rearJapan New DVD Disc

The CD disc of the New album is contained in a separate, triple gatefold cover. Interestingly, this comes in the orange/pink colouring of the Standard editions released worldwide last year, despite the fact that it’s actually a Japanese Deluxe version:Japan New CD Deluxe FrontJapan New CD Deluxe Cover

This makes it unique as the 2013 Japanese Deluxe version (like other versions around the world) is normally presented in the blue/pink tinted New cover which makes it identifiable as the Deluxe. When it came out last year in Japan it looked like this:Japan New CD 2013

Inside this new 2014 limited edition you get the CD booklet that is common to all versions:Japan New CD booklet

Plus you get a Japanese booklet containing the album and DVD credits, track listings, information on the “Out There” Japan tour in 2013, and song lyrics both in Japanese and English. The cover of this second booklet is black and white:Japan New CD DVD bookletJapan New CD disc

Meanwhile, a new video for the song “Appreciate”, taken from the New album, was premiered in Japan during the week and has since been released globally:

The press release says “Paul teams up with Newman the robot for his NEW video ‘Appreciate’ & Japanese tour dates.

Introducing Newman…

Paul has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the world. In recent years his videos have featured a stellar line up of guests including Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Jude Law, Tom Ford, Sean Penn and Natalie Portman.

Today, Paul announced his first artistic collaboration with a robot. Newman, the robot, has teamed up with Paul for his new music video for the song ‘Appreciate’. ‘Appreciate’ is taken from Paul’s latest studio album NEW, which was launched last year.

The video sees Newman on patrol in a museum of humans. Newman is drawn to one exhibition in particular. In a dimly lit sound studio he sees Paul sitting on a stool holding his iconic Höfner bass guitar. Paul twitches making a sound on the guitar and to Newman’s astonishment he starts to come to life as the song ‘Appreciate’ starts up. Paul comes closer to Newman staring at him through a force field that encloses him. Newman reaches through the force field and pulls Paul out of his exhibition. As the two of them move around the museum all the exhibitions start coming to life too.

Speaking about Newman, Paul said: “I woke up one morning with an image in my head of me standing with a large robot. I thought it might be something that could be used for the cover of my album NEW but instead the idea turned out to be for my music video for ‘Appreciate’. Together with the people who had done the puppetry for the worldwide hit ‘War Horse’ we developed the robot who became Newman.”

Three New Beatle Books

A couple of new Beatles book titles have come into the collection. Two were from a visit to the very well-known Berkelouw Book Barn in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales (in Australia). Berkelouw’s offer a huge selection and sell both new, second-hand and rare books. The two titles we found there recently are both “pre-loved”. First up was John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me – The Real Beatles Story by Tony Barrow:Tony Barrow front

This book is the paperback version and was released in 2006 by Andre Deutsch publishers. Barrow of course was a Beatle insider who served as their Press Officer throughout the height of their fame. As such he brings a unique view of the band, from the birth of Bealtemania through to the establishment of the Apple Records company. As with many others, Apple meant that Barrow and the Beatles parted ways. Google has one of those look inside pages if you would like to see more on this book.Tony Barrow rear

If the name Tony Barrow sounds familiar it’s probably because you know it from the back covers of many of the Beatles British releases. He wrote the sleeve notes (popular in the day) for the LP’s Please Please Me; With the Beatles; and A Hard Day’s Night, as well as for the EP’s The Beatles’ Hits; Twist and Shout; The Beatles (No.1); All My Loving; A Hard Day’s Night (Extracts from the Film); (Extracts from the Album) A Hard Day’s Night; and Beatles For Sale: The+Beatles+-+A+Hard+Day's+Night+No.+1+EP+-+1st+-+7%22+RECORD-500878500878b  Next book up was a biography of Paul McCartney which we hadn’t seen before:

McCartney frontLike the Barrow book this hard back also came out in 2006. It is published by Century Press (a division of Random House) and this is the Australian edition. Christopher Sandford is a prolific music writer and biographer, having also penned books on The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Clapton, Jagger, Sting, Springsteen and Kurt Cobain. I haven’t delved into the book yet, but some initial research using the web on this book doesn’t auger well. It is clearly not that well-liked by the fans….

FYI here’s another of those Google links so you can have a look inside Sandford’s McCartney if you wish to check it out more for yourself.

We also recently ordered online a copy of Jude Southerland Kessler’s latest instalment in her ongoing John Lennon project and it arrived safely in the post a couple of weeks back. She Loves You is Volume 3 in Jude’s ambitious nine-volume series on the life of John Lennon. It has only just been released and the timing is perfect because this book takes us right up to the Beatles US invasion – now being celebrated across this 50th anniversary year:She Loves You frontShe Loves You rear

Southerland researches exhaustively and writes biography in the style of a novel, telling Lennon’s life story like an unfolding drama. She tries to get beyond merely what happened when and into the complexity of his character, relationships and career. Like the previous two volumes, She Loves You is a very thick and weighty paperback. It is published by On The Rock Books. When you put the three volumes produced so far side-by-side they are impressive:She Loves You group

Each book has taken two to three years to complete. By the time we get to Volume 9 in the series we’ll need a very sturdy bookshelf to display them! Jude’s Facebook page is here.