McCartney’s The Lyrics: Special Edition

Penguin Books, publishers of Paul McCartney’s forthcoming book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, have announced there’s to be a Special Edition.

It is a very limited boxed set of the two-volume compendium of 154 songs with accompanying stories, photos, drafts and artifacts associated with each song from the McCartney archives.

Just 175 copies of this will make their way into the world, though as one reader points out in the Comments section below, there have been two different signed books with the number #95 sold recently on eBay. Each had a different publishing logo (Liveright Books = US, and Allen Lane = UK) thus raising doubts on the accuracy of 175 worldwide number. Maybe it is 175 in the US, and 175 in the UK? Either way, this edition is actually signed by Paul McCartney, and comes in a bright orange textured outer binder with the words to ‘Hey Jude’ embossed in the fabric. Very tasteful.

The Special Edition is being distributed only to selected bookstores in the UK and the USA, and has a recommended retail price of US$2083.00 (or UK £1500.00), though some stores appear to be taking bids on the signed book, a bit like an auction.

The stores with the Special Edition in the UK were all listed on a Penguin Books website for a few days, but this now seems to have disappeared. Perhaps all copies have been sold already? The stores in the US are listed here.

For us mere mortals (i.e. poor people!) it joins two other more affordable editions. The one to be published in the UK under the Allen Lane imprint has this outer box and plain book spines for each volume:

And the other – in the US – will be published by Liveright Books. Their edition comes in a bright green outer box and has an image of McCartney on each spine:

The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present is published worldwide on November 2.

On Saturday, November 6 there’s to be a special event in London Paul McCartney In Conversation where he will appear live at the Southbank Royal Festival Hall along with the book’s editor Paul Muldoon. Tickets for the live event, and to join in online, are on sale here.

The official McCartney YouTube channel has also released this teaser video with Paul speaking to Bob Mortimer at the British Library about the inspiration for his song ‘Rocky Racoon’.

UPDATE: Just on the orange, signed, limited edition above – here is one very excited owner giving us a bit of a look at his US Liverlight book, number 30/175!

21 thoughts on “McCartney’s The Lyrics: Special Edition

      • I’m not going to speculate at the moment regarding the number of copies printed. I was one of the purchasers of the book with an Order # from Hatchards who received an email stating:

        “Unfortunately, a system error on our website resulted in more copies of The Lyrics Deluxe Edition being released for sale than we physically have allocated by the publisher. The moment we recognised the problem, we set about immediate discussion with the book’s publisher toward how we could source more copies to meet demand. This has proved impossible and regretfully means that we cannot fulfil your order.”.

        The next day another Hatchards Customer Support sent me the following email after I questioned that I have timed proof that I was under 10 minutes from announcement at noon till confirmed order status.
        “Unfortunately, as my supervisor will have explained in his previous correspondence, I am afraid the book is no longer available for sale.
        Regardless of when the order was placed, all orders have had to be cancelled. I would not want you to think that we cancelled your order in favour of someone else’s.”

        These are the facts.


      • Man, that is a bummer for you. How frustrating having received an Order # only to have it not fulfilled. We will keep an eye out for any other evidence of UK print runs in particular.


      • Much appreciated.
        Judge Judy Sheindlin provides us with this guideline:
        “Well, first of all the most important thing about the truth is, if it doesn’t make sense it’s probably not true. So you start with that as a premise. If it doesn’t make sense to your common sense its usually not true.”


    • Hi again, hope you are well and that you may have made some progress in your dispute with the book store. We just received a comment on the number of signed Limited Editions that will be of interest to you (scroll to the bottom of this page:
      This reader Michael says:
      “I was the buyer of the ebay UK signed #95, and my heart sank when I saw the US listing with the same number – I thought someone was being scammed (possibly me), until I noticed the signatures, publisher imprint and surroundings in which the photos were taken were all distinct across the two listings. I too was under the impression it was to be 175 copies worldwide, but should have expected as much with all of last year’s shenanigans surrounding McCartney III and its many variations and purported quantities in different markets.”
      Hope this helps.


      • Hopefully there will be a third edition of 175 for the European Market. I still can’t believe they went to all this work to create only 350 copies of Lyrics. Linda McCartney. The Polaroid Diaries (Signed by Paul) was a limited edition of 500, and, Linda McCartney. Life in Photographs (Signed by Paul) was a limited edition of 1000.
        Both books had a Collectors Edition and an Art Edition with a Signed photo.


    • Hi Simon, firstly congratulations on securing one of these limited releases. Secondly, thank you for sending through your unboxing video of the book. It is really good and I’m sure our readers would love to see it so I’ll post it on a page shortly. Kind regards!


  1. After reading all of this, the Limited Signed Editions should have been eg 22/175 UK Edition/22/175 US Edition or 22/350. It gives a false impression of rarity to a certain degree and the double #95 proves that “consumer confusion” especially when some books out there for 20,000US! This needs to be further investigated and a story written. I’m sorry but some might see this as a big rip off especially with the “no more autographs.” The publisher only needs to give answers as it is clear that there is market uncertainty. Once the rare book dealers start investigating this, who knows what we will find out. Paul knows how many he signed so please be cool and let those that bought any edition the truth.


  2. 175 or 350 or more limited signed editions. Still need the facts. The publisher(s) need to answer this most important question. Barnes and Noble CEO please help!


Leave a Reply to rpic910 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.