Ned in the US sent me images of another rare and collectable CD in his collection. This time, Paul McCartney’s US version of the CD single “From A Lover To A Friend”.
It was released in 2001 just after the terrible news of the World Trade Centre attacks in New York City came through. (In fact, at the time of the attacks McCartney himself was stranded on a runway at JFK Airport just outside NYC in a plane that had been grounded that day due to fears that other aircraft might be hijacked….).
In September 2001 Paul McCartney had just released the first CD single from his new album “Driving Rain”. On both sides of the Atlantic this was to be Track 2 from that record, the song “From A Lover To A Friend”.
However, as a result of what happened on 9/11 he decided to withdraw “From A Lover to a Friend” in the US and rush-release a different single, a patriotic song called “Freedom” which he’d written the day after September 11.
This is the stuff that collectors items are made of and Ned was in the right place at the right time yet again. He’d purchased a copy before it was taken off the shelves forever and kindly sent through these images of the now-rare US CD:
Incidentally, all profits from the “Freedom” single (right around the world) went to aid the families of the New York Fire Brigade and Police who lost their lives trying to assist those in need and to deal with the catastrophe.
The promo cover of the US “Freedom” single looked like this:
Interestingly “From A Lover to A Friend” remained on sale in UK. Its got the same cover as the withdrawn US version:
In Britain McCartney released “Freedom” as a second CD single later, backed with “From a Lover to a Friend” plus a different remix of that song. Here’s that British edition of “Freedom”:
The same thing happened in Australia. Here’s a very rare “rush release” promo copy of “Freedom” that was sent to radio stations here:
The hand-written look and signature on a piece of paper from an exercise book was actually properly printed.
Following the release of the single McCartney performed four songs, including “Freedom”, at a special concert called “The Concert for New York City”. It was staged in 2001 to raise funds for victims the disaster and was recorded and released on CD and DVD later. Here’s the CD cover:
There’s more info about “Freedom” and a video of the Concert for New York live performance of the song (plus a live “Let It Be” with Eric Clapton) here.