Free Download of Exclusive Demo Track from ‘Flowers In The Dirt’

As he has done with previous Paul McCartney Archive series releases Paul McCartney, in the lead-up to his forthcoming re-issue of Flowers In The Dirt in multiple formats, is making available a track that won’t be part of those packages.

If you go to McCartney’s official website you can get the demo version of ‘Distractions’, an album track from Flowers. It’s exclusive and it is free.

Speaking earlier this week about the song, Paul said:

“I like a good love song, you know. And it’s always nice to be in the mood to write a ballad and that was the case when I sat down to write this. It just occurred to me that if you love someone, one of the problems is that you don’t always spend enough time with that person. Because you’ve got things to do, you’ve got work or you’ve got other obligations to other people or whatever. And so I thought, yeah you could call those distractions from the main event kind of thing. That was basically what this is:

“What is this thing in life that persuades me to take time away from you?…                  ….Distractions, like butterflies….”

I elaborated on that theme, it’s just someone wishing they could spend more time with their loved one. And you know for me at that time it was about Linda. But people often say to me, ‘Who did you write this about?’ and even though then I would have been writing specifically about Linda – because she was the object of my affection – I liked the idea that it could also be the sort of dream of romance. It could just be an ideal – we all love someone and wish we could spend more time with that someone. A romantic ideal! I know that a young couple won’t hear this about me and Linda, the guy will hear it about him and his girlfriend, the girl will hear that it’s about her and her boyfriend, and I like that. I like that about my songs, that people use them for their own purpose. And I think that’s a very romantic idea.”

There are still five other free downloads from previous McCartney Archive Series re-issues available on the site as well.

McCartney Announces RSD Limited Edition….Cassette?

In the lead-up to Record Store Day 2017 (which falls on 22 April), Paul McCartney has just announced he’ll issue a limited edition, three-song cassette that will be distributed to some participating stores. The cassette will contain three of the “download only” demos he made for the album with Elvis Costello that will form part of his forthcoming Flowers In The Dirt box set deluxe edition. Here’s the official press release:

PAUL McCARTNEY

FLOWERS IN THE DIRT — THE CASSETTE DEMOS WITH ELVIS COSTELLO

RECORD STORE DAY EXCLUSIVE 3-TRACK CASSETTE-ONLY RELEASE

With the Flowers In The Dirt Archive Collection edition’s March 24th release date via MPL/Capitol/UMe fast approaching, Paul McCartney has confirmed a very special Record Store Day exclusive.

To commemorate Record Store Day this April 22nd, a limited edition three-song cassette of Paul and Elvis Costello’s Flowers In The Dirt demos will be made available at participating RSD stores.

The limited edition cassette-only release will be the first time these recordings – ‘I Don’t Want To Confess’, ‘Shallow Grave’ and ‘Mistress And Maid’- will be made available in the same form as when Paul and Elvis first cut them directly to tape.

Speaking about these tracks Paul said: “The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set. What’s great about these songs is that they’ve just been written. So there’s nothing more hot off the skillet as I say. So that was the kind of great instant thing about them. I hadn’t listened to them in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out. We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment’s finally arrived.”

The demos will be made available digitally only as part of the Deluxe Edition when Flowers In The Dirt is released as the 10th installment in the multiple-GRAMMY-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection.

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection release of Flowers In The Dirt was, as always, personally curated and overseen by Paul himself. (ENDS)

As Paul Sinclair says on his influential Super Deluxe Edition website “…it is ironic that they are coming out on tape when they were denied a release on CD partly because Paul wants to stay ‘modern’ and embrace/drive people to streaming!”

You can read his report on the cassette here, and the saga of the “download only” decision here.

Paul McCartney Limited Edition Microphones – For Sale and Auction

US microphone manufacturer Shure has joined forces with Paul McCartney to produce a limited edition run of 300 numbered and custom-painted 50th Anniversary SM58 microphones.

The SM58 is a legendary workhorse. If you’ve seen a vocalist live on stage any time over the last 50 years, chances are they were singing into an SM58.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, Shure has produced a limited run of 300 mics that feature a photo portrait of Paul taken by his daughter, Mary McCartney. The image was used originally for the front cover and other associated releases associated with his 2012 project, Kisses on the Bottom.paul-mccartney-kisses-on-the-bottom-2012-front-cover-66534shure-mccartney-mic

The rare microphones are being made available for sale and auction – with all proceeds donated to the McCartney family charity, Meat Free Monday. Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat free day each week.

Each of the SM58 microphones is numbered at its base as a limited edition:shure-mccartney-mic-closeupNumbers 300 to 011 went on sale on March 1. These are at a set Ebay “Buy It Now” price of US$350.00.

The last ten microphones, 010 to 001, feature McCartney’s signature as well as the image and these will be available by auction only, starting from March 13 and ending on March 23.

McCartney and Costello – ‘Twenty Fine Fingers’ Demo

Like collectors across the globe, we’ve bemoaned the fact that there will be a whole CD’s worth of demos only available as digital downloads if you buy Paul McCartney’s forthcoming Flowers In The Dirt Deluxe Edition box set.

However, there will still be some good things in a physical form on CD and vinyl. One example has just gone up on McCartney’s YouTube page. He’s posted a preview of a previously unreleased song called ‘Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)’, featuring Elvis Costello, that will be included with the 4-disc box set. It’s also to be included on the 2-disc “Special” edition, and on the re-issued double LP.

Got to admit, it’s a great little song:

McCartney’s ‘Flowers In The Dirt’ Deluxe: There Will Be NO Extra Disc

When Paul McCartney announced that the deluxe edition of his forthcoming Archive Collection re-issue of Flowers In The Dirt would have a disc’s worth of bonus material as a digital download only, all hell broke loose amongst his fans.

Social media went troppo, and a number of petitions sprang up to try to have that decision re-considered by Paul and his management team. Leading the charge was Paul Sinclair who operates the very informative and interesting site, Super Deluxe Edition.

Paul Sinclair was eventually approached by Scott Roger, McCartney’s manager, who explained the reasoning behind the digital download idea, and confirmed that despite protests, there would be NO physical disc containing the bonus tracks. You can read the full report of their exchange at Paul’s site.

Along with many thousands of other collectors we’d like to register our disappointment in that decision.

Loyal and serious collectors like physical product, end of story. All officially released content associated with significant re-issues such as this one should be physically included in the box set. Completists and avid collectors are the reason that box sets like this exist in the first place. As Paul McCartney says in this clip promoting Flowers In The Dirt, “You can’t ask for anything more than that, man.”

Four discs in the box, and another CD’s worth of material on a hard drive somewhere else is wrong. It is an “Archive Collection” after all. Yes, many will download those bonus songs and burn them to a cheap recordable disc so that they can have the full collection in one place, but they shouldn’t have to do that. It just doesn’t cut it and cheapens McCartney’s product and his legacy.       

Why There Are Two Versions of McCartney’s “Choba B CCCP”

Anyone vaguely familiar with the vinyl editions of Paul McCartney’s 1988 release Снова в СССР on the Russian Melodiya label will know that there are two different versions.

One, the earlier more limited release, came with 11 tracks, and a different rear cover:choba-b-cccp-1-frontchoba-b-cccp-1-rear

The second, and far more common edition, has 13 tracks: choba-b-cccp-2-frontchoba-b-cccp-2-rear

The two additional tracks are “I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday” (track # 7, the last on side 1), and “Summertime” (track # 2 on side 2).

Why this is so has never been fully explained – until now.

Friend and Russian Beatle collector Andrey has been doing some detective work and discovered this article from the time in the newspaper Sovetskaya Kultura (The Soviet Culture). It is dated July 15, 1989:%d1%81%d0%ba-1989-07-15-%d1%8110

In answer to a reader’s question to the newspaper a representative of Melodiya Records explains the existence of the two variations. Andrey’s translation of the Russian text follows:

READER ASKS A QUESTION – A MYSTERY OF TWO RECORDS

I bought the record of Paul McCartney’s Снова в СССР. After a while I saw it again on a shop counter and could not resist of buying it again. For good reason! It turned out that there are 11 songs on the first record, released on September 14, 1988, and the second one which was released on January 1, 1989, carried 13 songs. What a mystery!
A. Bogdanov.
Severodvinsk,
Arhangelsk region

With the request to clarify this mysterious story, we asked the chief editor, Deputy Director of the All-Union Recording Studio of “«Melodiya» Firm”, All-Union Creative-Production Association, Ivan Dmitrievich Nesvit:

– First of all I want to say that your reader is lucky. Why? Just how you will soon understand for yourself. According to the contract, this licensed disk should have consisted of 13 songs, and a special contract clause stipulated that the artist’s desires would be accepted in the design of the sleeve. However, «Mezhdunarodnaya kniga» (our intermediator) provided us with a tape with eleven songs. The recording fit with the Soviet State Standard in terms of running time and so we began working with it. According to the requirements of the contract, a test record and sleeve were sent to Mr McCartney. He studied them and made a few remarks. Although Leningrad Plant had already started pressing and distributing copies, we could not ignore these remarks. Corrections were therefore made to the design, the initial sleeve notes were replaced, and besides this we were sent the recordings of two more songs to include. For this reason the extended record plays longer than any domestic discs [i.e. Melodiya in its working history had never released any LP playing longer than the 13-track McCartney СНОВА В СССР].  And so two records with the same title appeared. By the way, the first record because of its “shamefulness” appearance and limited edition, became a rarity desirable for record collectors, especially abroad since it was intended for sale only in our country. As far as we know, in the USA and Europe 200-250 dollars were paid for this record. So the reader of «Sovetskaya kultura» became the owner of discophile rarity.

So, a little bit more information on the mystery as to how two different records (with the same catalogue number) came into existence.

For a full explanation of all the variations between the two editions and more see the excellent Russian site beatlesvinyl.com.ua. It contains intricate detail of every Russian Beatle release.

For the 11 track, first edition version of Снова в СССР click here.

For the 13 track second edition versions click here.

 

Wingspan – More Unusual Variations

Since we published information on the Limited Edition version of Paul McCartney’s Wingspan – Hits and History CD collection last week, our friend Andrey in Russia has provided information about three more unusual and collectable versions.

The first is this Ukrainian release. Here’s the rear cover:ukraine2a

(click on any of the images to see larger versions)

And here are the two Ukrainian discs:ukraine1bVersion 2

Andrey also provided information on not one, but two very collectable Japanese variants:Version 2Version 3As you can see from the shots of the spines below these carry the same Japanese catalogue number and barcode:  wingspan-japan-spines-2versions-1

And both come with an additional booklet (written in Japanese and English). However, in one version this booklet is incorporated inside the slipcase (its white spine can be seen below), while the other version has the added booklet outside the slipcase (orange spine in the image below):wingspan-japan-spines-2versions

(click on any of the images to see larger versions)

The other main differences between these two releases are detailed further here (and in all pictures Version 1 is above, and Version 2 is below):

1) JAPANESE Version 1:
– the “hands” image on the front of the slipcase is printed (i.e. not holographic)
– slipcase in made in Japan
– additional booklet is inside the slip case
– The obi strip on the left hand side is a regular sized obi (i.e. small)
2) JAPANESE Version 2:
– the “hands” image on the front is the holographic image
– slipcase is made in the EU/UK                                                                                          – the additional Japanese/English booklet is outside the slip case
– the obi is large – it wraps right around and covers the entire rear of the outer slipcase

Another thing to note is that in Japan Wingspan – Hits and History contains an additional track to the rest of the world. It’s the song ‘Eat At Home’ and this can be found as track 19 on CD 1. (EU and US versions only have 18 songs on this disc).