The Next McCartney Releases

Wogblog is one Beatles blogsite you can trust when it comes to accurate news and information about planned future releases. I don’t know where Roger Stormo (who is based in Norway) gets his information from, but it is usually correct well out from any officially released news. In his latest post Wogblog is saying that the next two confirmed releases in The Paul McCartney Archive Collection series will be Paul’s first solo album “McCartney”, and the album that came out ten years later (and was recorded in a similar fashion at home studios), “McCartney II”.

“McCartney” (1970) will be available in two forms: as a 2 CD set, and as a 2 CD plus 1 DVD deluxe set with a 100 page book.

“McCartney II” (1980) will also be available in two forms: as a 2 CD set, and as a 3 CD plus 1 DVD deluxe set with a 100 page book.

I’m guessing the books will be just like the book format used for the recent deluxe packaging of “Band on the Run” (2010). There is no talk of vinyl pressings yet – hopefully they will be announced soon. No release dates are yet available for both collections.

Wogblog had the inside running on all the details for that “Band on the Run” set very early. It was the first release in the Archive series, so there’s reason to believe he could be onto something here too.

Fresh From Apple – The Apple Box Set Unboxed

The newly re-issued Apple Records compact discs are available separately, or if you really want to lash out, as a complete box set containing 17 discs. The box is called “Fresh From Apple Records“.

“Fresh From Apple” box (front)

Its a very flimsy box, printed to look like a wooden crate containing apples, and made of thin cardboard – so you need to take a lot of care when opening it and putting discs in and out. The rear of the box lists the content:

“Fresh From Apple” box (rear)

The box “lid” opens at the top only and there are two flaps either side:

“Fresh From Apple” top opening

As you can see, the cardboard is pretty thin and will tear easily…..Looking down on the box when it’s open here’s what’s inside:

“Fresh From Apple” – the CD’s

All the CD’s come in gatefold cardboard sleeves, and in the box set you get an “extras” double disc as a bonus, plus the “Come and Get – It Best Of Apple Records” disc:

This disc, which comes with a really nice booklet (as do all the CDs), contains some tracks replicated on albums in the box, but also a lot of previously difficult to find Apple singles that were never released on albums. These include songs like “Saturday Night Special” by The Sundown Playboys, “Give Peace a Chance” by the Hot Chocolate Band, “King of Fuh” by Brute Force and the instrumental “Thingumybob” by the Black Dyke Mills Band. Inside the gatefold of “Come and Get It” they have reproduced some original Apple Records press ads:

Just about every CD in the box has bonus material, but there also an extra two CD set (available only in the box) which contains all the bonus material that was initially only going to be available by digital download. There is one whole CD of bonus Badfinger material. The other CD of bonus tracks is shared by Mary Hopkin and Jackie Lomax. These two CDs come in a gatefold cover:

The front cover of the 2 CD “Extras” discs

This cover on the outside is plain white, with some intentional “yellowing” around the edges to make it look old. That Apple logo on the bottom right-hand corner isn’t printed on. Its a sticker:

Inside the gatefold they have reproduced the Apple Studios original tape boxes and used this look to give the track listings for both CDs:

Kinda nice.

There are two reissues in the box which contain two original Apple LPs. These are the Modern Jazz Quartet with “Under the Jasmine Tree” and “Space” both on one CD:

The other is classical musician and composer John Tavener, who had two LPs original released on Apple Records – “The Whale” and “Celtic Requiem”:

One of the late additions to the 2010 reissue plans was the disc by the Radha Krsna Temple. It was added after the initial announcement of the extensive Apple reissues back in August this year. It contains a single bonus track this time around – and (if you haven’t seen it before) it has a fantastic front cover:

There are two CDs from Billy Preston (“That’s The Way God Planned It” and “Encouraging Words”), two from Mary Hopkin (“Post Card” and “Earth Song-Ocean Song”), and no less than four CDs from Badfinger (“Magic Christian Music”, “No Dice”, “Straight Up” and “Ass”):

Other CDs come from Jackie Lomax (“Is This What You Want?”), James Taylor (“James Taylor”), and Doris Troy (“Doris Troy”).

It’s not the first time these titles have appeared as re-issues. There was a previous reissue program which started in 1991 and continued over a couple years.

All in all it’s a pretty nice set. It is good to have all these discs freshly re-mastered and gathered together in one place. I think though, for the money, they might have provided a more interesting (and sturdy) box to contain them…

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass 2010

As if the constant rush of Apple and Beatles-related product had not been enough so far over the last two months….

The George Harrison camp has decided,  as part of international Record Store Day, to release a very special 40th Anniversary limited edition, 3 LP vinyl set of  “All Things Must Pass”:

It’s available now – exclusively at Record Store Day-participating independent music retailers (and via mail order and digital download from the George Harrison site). It came out yesterday – Friday, November 26, 2010 – exactly forty  years on. “All Things Must Pass” was originally released on Friday, November 27, 1970.

This album is a limited edition, individually numbered, 180-gram vinyl set in its original 3 LP configuration. The faithfully replicated box set has all the original album art, the poster and the inner sleeve packaging. The LPs have been newly remastered at the Abbey Road studios from the original analogue master tapes.

I got my copy yesterday from Red Eye Records – one of my favourite Sydney independent stores. The heat-shrink wrap has a sticker attached on the front right-hand side that looks very like the one that appears on some original albums telling you what’s inside:

The specially replicated front sticker

And there’s also a special bar-code sticker on the rear lower right-hand side of the box that acknowledges Record Store Day:

The rear Record Store Day bar code sticker

Finally, each box is stamped with a number in gold print, also on the rear of the box. Mine is a pretty low number which I’m pleased about – No. 001708:

Each box is a Limited Edition

The official George Harrison site is offering a free digital download of “Wah Wah”, and there’s a bit of a discussion going at the George Harrison message board. See also Plug In Music.

And click here for more on “All Things Must Pass” variations.

Beatles Red and Blue – This is Odd…

I’m really surprised to read on Amazon (US) that the Beatles “1962-1966 (Red)” and “1967-1970 (Blue)” combination box set is still not due for release in America until December 7th, and on Amazon (UK) that it won’t be available there until November 29th. The individual discs have been available separately in both places since October 19th and October 18th respectively.

This is really odd because here in Australia the separate discs and the box set have been available from day one of the worldwide release of the individual discs on October 18th. It’s much more usual for Australia to be well behind US and UK releases, but this time EMI Australia has clearly got its act together and is ahead of the pack for once.

Add to that the fact that I ordered on Ebay – and today have received in the post – my copy of the European (EU) version of the box set which holds both the “Red” and the “Blue” double discs in the one box.   Go figure…..

Apple Records Re-Issues – New Videos

Now on the official Apple Records site – a new series of videos telling the Apple Records story.

There are also some rare promotional film clips on the site:

Apple Records Special – Record Collector Magazine

As part of the extensive coverage of the new re-issues from the Apple Records catalogue, the famous “Record Collector” magazine in Britain (in it’s September issue – only just on news stands in Australia!) has The Beatles on the front cover and has devoted 16 pages of feature articles and photographs about Apple Records:

The articles included are “A is For Apple” – a salute “…to the Beatles’ final flourish of creativity”; an A-Z of the label and its artists; “The 2010 Re-Masters”, where Apple consultant Andy Davis talks about the 15 newly-remastered CDs released worldwide just this week; there’s a comprehensive Apple Records discography (complete with a price-guide for the rarities and not-so rarities); interviews with Mary Hopkin, Peter Asher, Patrick Olive (formerly of The Hot Chocolate Band), Jackie Lomax, and Joey Molland from Badfinger.

Pretty nice coverage really.

Band on the Run (2010) – Vodcast Episodes

In the lead-up to the release of the newly remastered “Band on the Run” reissues, Paul McCartney is publishing via his official “Band on the Run” website a series of vodcasts.

The first episode is “Making Band on the Run”:

The second episode is “Wings in Lagos”:

The third episode is “Band on the Run Deluxe”:

Episode Four is “Wings The Band”:

Will post more as they become available. Thanks to TVpiotrek and pmc27 for putting these up on YouTube.

Band on the Run – Preview and Part 1 of Documentary

Paul McCartney has today published the complete details of the forthcoming deluxe, special, standard and vinyl versions of the remastered “Band on the Run” album. You also get Episode 1 of “Making Band on the Run” – for free. Just click on the vinyl edition image below:

“Band on the Run” in its various editions is available on November 1 and 2, and interestingly pre-orders via the Paul McCartney official site receive digital downloads instantly of “Band on the Run (live in Glasgow, 1979)”, and “No Words (live in Glasgow, 1979)” as an additional bonus.


Lennon Signature Box – Unboxing

The first of the YouTube videos showing the unboxing of the new John Lennon “Signature Box” (containing all eight re-issued and remastered studio albums, plus a double CD containing non-album singles and 13 previously unreleased studio outtakes and home recordings) have begun to appear. This is one of the best so far:

It is actually a much larger box than I had imagined. I think its a pity that the box does not contain the new “Stripped Down” version of “Double Fantasy” and that we have to go out and buy that again separately…..

Apple Artist LP Reissues – From 1991 to 1996

There are about to be 16 Apple artists titles reissued on CD (many with bonus tracks) by the Beatles’ record company, Apple Records. But it’s not the first time that Apple has had such a big re-issue program. They’ve done it at least once before – only over the period of a couple of years in the early 1990’s in what they then called release “phases”. Phase I of the original reissue program started in 1991 with five newly digitally remastered CDs and vinyl seeing the light of day for the first time since they  originally came out back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. For collectors of Apple vinyl these were interesting items because it often meant that the LP’s were expanded – with the bonus material contained on unique, separate, additional discs. The original single-sleeve covers also became gate-fold doubles. The Phase I titles included James Taylor – “James Taylor”; Mary Hopkin – “Postcard”; Billy Preston – “That’s the Way God Planned It”; Jackie Lomax – “Is This What You Want?”, and Badfinger – “Magic Christian Music” To mark Phase I there was a vinyl EP released, and also a CD with the same tracks. However, it was issued in a special apple-shaped cardboard container. There was also a promo CD with 14 tracks that was sent to radio stations featuring selected songs from each release that is now a real collectors item:

Apple “Phase I” limited edition promo CD cover

The Phase II titles came in 1992 when Apple re-issued (on vinyl and CD): Mary Hopkin – “Earth Song Ocean Song”; Badfinger – “No Dice”; Doris Troy – “Doris Troy”; The Iveys – “Maybe Tomorrow”; George Harrison – “Wonderwall Music”, and John Tavener – “The Whale”. Phase II also had a special, limited edition promo CD (also with 14 tracks) that’s become a highly prized collectors item as well:

Apple “Phase II” limited edition promo CD cover

Phase III was in 1993 and included John Tavener – “Celtic Requiem”; The Radha Krsna Temple London – “Radha Krsna Temple”; Billy Preston – “Encouraging Words”; Badfinger – “Straight Up”, and The Modern Jazz Quartet – “Under the Jasmine Tree”. There was then quite a break with nothing released until 1995 when two “Best Of” discs came out, one of which – from Badfinger – was a completely new, digitally remastered title. These were Mary Hopkin – “Those Were the Days” (previously released in 1972) and Badfinger – “Come and Get It – The Best of Badfinger”. Both were available on vinyl and CD. In 1996 Apple finished off the reissue series with I guess what must have been Phase IV by that time – although they’d given up actually using that term: The Modern Jazz Quartet – “Space”; Ravi Shankar/Ali Akbar Khan – “In Concert 1972”; Badfinger – “Ass”, and George Harrison – “Electronic Sound” (on the Zapple Records label). As mentioned before – the reason these vinyl releases were of interest to me was that most of them (but not all) came with unique, additional discs containing the bonus material:

Jackie Lomax “Is This What You Want?” – rear vinyl LP cover detail (1991)

The full-sized, 12-inch bonus discs  all play at 45 rpm (not 331/3 rpm like an LP):

Jackie Lomax – Bonus Disc Side 1

This Jackie Lomax reissue came out in 1991, has five bonus songs, and as you can see is a European pressing. Here’s Side 2:

Jackie Lomax – Bonus Disc Side 2

From the Phase II series in 1992 comes the album “No Dice” from Badfinger, also with five previously unreleased tracks:

Badfinger “No Dice” (1992 vinyl reissue) rear cover detail

Again, the 12-inch bonus records were to be played at 45 rpm:

Badfinger “No Dice” bonus songs – Side 1

Badfinger “No Dice” bonus songs – Side 2

An earlier incarnation of Badfinger was a band called The Iveys. In 1969 they had an Apple LP called “Maybe Tomorrow”. In 1992 it was re-issued by Apple on vinyl with four bonus tracks, two of them previously unreleased:

The Iveys “Maybe Tomorrow” (1992 vinyl reissue) rear cover detail

The labels from the bonus disc looked like this:

The Iveys – bonus disc Side 1, from “Maybe Tomorrow” released in 1992

The Iveys – bonus disc Side 2

The next release “phase” came in 1993 and on vinyl I’ve got four of the five releases (haven’t got the Radha Krsna Temple). Of those, two came with bonus discs:

Billy Preston “Encouraging Words” vinyl LP rear cover detail (1993)

Billy Preston’s “Encouraging Words” record was co-produced by George Harrison and it was great to get on vinyl one previously unreleased song:

Billy Preston “Encouraging Words” bonus disc Side 1

Billy Preston “Encouraging Words” bonus disc Side 2

There were also bonus tracks on the Badfinger “Straight Up” LP. Here’s the rear cover of the 1993 release:

Badfinger “Straight Up” (1993 vinyl re-issue) rear cover detail

Inside the gate-fold cover was an additional record with six bonus tracks, five of which were previously unreleased:

Badfinger “Straight Up” bonus disc – Side1

Badfinger “Straight Up” bonus disc – Side 2

The forthcoming 2010 Apple CD reissues will contain bonus material as well, and in most cases these will be additional to the tracks already re-issued on these vinyls and on CD in the early 1990’s. Some of the additional tracks in 2010 will be included on the new CDs, but some will be only be available for digital download – that is unless you buy the box set of all the CD albums complete. Then you get an additional two CD’s containing absolutely everything.