McCartney 1, 2, 3.

We all knew it was going to happen some time. And now it has been officially announced.

There will be a box set that gathers together the albums McCartney, McCartney II, and McCartney III. It is to be released on August 5.

The McCartney I II III  box set will be available in three different formats: a Limited Edition colour vinyl, a black vinyl edition, and on CD. Each will include three special photo prints with notes from Paul McCartney about each album. The newly created box set cover art and typography for the slipcase are by Ed Ruscha the US artist who created the design for all of the myriad McCartney III and McCartney III Imagined releases.

The slipcase style box comes in three variations:

Limited Edition Colour Vinyl ⁠(see above): Three-disc 180g audiophile vinyl set (McCartney – clear, McCartney II –white, and McCartney III – creamy white vinyl), ⁠three 8 x 10” photo prints with introductions from Paul.

Limited Edition Black Vinyl Edition (see below): ⁠Three-disc 180g audiophile vinyl set (McCartney, McCartney II and McCartney III), three 8 x 10” photo prints with introductions from Paul.

And there’ll be a CD. Again, described as a Limited Edition, three-disc set ⁠with the three photo prints with introductions from Paul. Looks like they’re in card sleeves and that McCartney II and McCartney III come with booklets.

Interestingly, the promo images and the YouTube unboxing video below show that McCartney II is on the original black and silver Parlophone labels. Previous reissues have been on the plain black label used for the McCartney Archive Series releases. Nice too to see McCartney back on the Apple label once again.

McCartney and McCartney II Finally Arrive

I’ve been very patiently awaiting the arrival (from Amazon in the US) of my copies of “McCartney” and “McCartney II“.

I’d ordered the Deluxe hard back book versions of both titles, along with the 2 LP set (got to have the vinyl!), and the Special Edition CD packs as well. (I had already purchased locally the single CD versions which are only being released in certain markets).

These were all ordered online on May 24th. They were officially released on June 14th, and then had to make the LONG journey via the postal service down under to Australia. I didn’t receive them until last week – on July 12th. That’s almost a two month wait….

As they they were very heavy, I got a notification in the mailbox that had to collect them from the local Post Office. I’ve got to admit when I saw the box my heart sank. As you can see below it was pretty bashed around. On that two month journey it had clearly been thrown around and had frequently been at the bottom of piles of other packages. Postal workers obviously don’t have much regard for “Fragile” and “Handle With Care” stickers. I was particularly  worried about the two LP sets in there. They are the most fragile. Could they have survived intact?

With great trepidation I opened up the box, expecting the worst. Inside there was just a minimal amount of padding:

Thank goodness Amazon had individually sealed the LPs in their own special LP mailers and this really helped. There were two of them, essentially sitting in their own protection at the bottom of the box. The strong cardboard mailers had done a great job of protecting the most fragile of the contents. Thanks Amazon!

These sealed cardboard mailers are great and had clearly been individually pre-packed in bulk by Amazon for the McCartney re-issues. They both had special stickers with the contents on the outside:

All the other precious contents had miraculously survived too:

I actually think that the heat shrinking Amazon uses also plays a big part in protecting CD’s and LPs – especially when they’re being thrown around in transit. The two limited edition Deluxe hardback book versions are sealed and have a sheet inside the shrink wrap detailing the contents:

So, I now have a complete set of the new McCartney releases. Safely, but only just, delivered half way around the world.

McCartney and McCartney II – Single CD Release

Seems that only certain markets are getting the Standard edition, single-CD releases of “McCartney” and “McCartney II”. Newly remastered versions were released on June 14.

I’ve looked on a number of online store sites in the USA (Amazon, CD Universe and Best Buy) and there is no mention of a standard, single disc version of either disc being available for sale there. You can only get the Special and Deluxe versions on CD, and of course on good old vinyl in a 2 LP set.

Nor is there mention of a single-CD Standard version on the McCartney site itself. You can buy whats called the Standard version (i.e. just the original remastered album on its own), but it’s only offered as a digital download and not as a physical CD.

However, I notice on the HMV online store in the UK there are single CD versions available of both “McCartney” and “McCartney II“. Its these versions – marked “Printed in the EU” – which are available here in Australia. Here are the covers for the EU Standard editions (still sealed, front and rear) of each disc:

As you can see, I grabbed a couple of copies of these. I’m still awaiting my copies of the Deluxe and Special multi-disc versions, plus of course the 2 LP vinyl.

Hear and See McCartney’s “Blue Sway”

One of the previously unreleased songs from the “McCartney II” sessions that will feature on the forthcoming re-issue of the album has popped up on YouTube.

Its an unlikely pairing between Paul McCartney and a US surf film-maker of some renown named Jack McCoy. McCartney’s smooth and stylish song “Blue Sway” accompanies an intriguing video clip of McCoy’s innovative underwater photography, utilising a camera attached to a jet ski. Have a look and listen for yourself – the way the images and music mesh is quite unique and compelling:

The song is credited on the reissue CD as “Blue Sway (With Richard Niles Orchestration)”.

The text accompanying the clip says:

“Written nearly 20 years ago, McCartney’s never-before released song, “Blue Sway,” is available for the first time on the bonus audio disc of the special edition of “McCartney II”. The music video created by McCoy is also featured on the bonus DVD included in the set.

Using a high powered underwater jet ski, the filmmaker found that he was able to travel behind a wave, creating underwater images that have never been seen before.

Over the past couple of years, McCoy set out to capture footage for his surf film, “A Deeper Shade of Blue“. During the editing process, McCoy put one of his surfing sequences to a song off McCartney’s “The Fireman” album. A mutual friend, Chris Thomas, saw the footage while visiting McCoy in Australia, and when he returned to the UK he gave McCartney a copy of the sequence.

“Paul was pretty stoked with what I’d created. He immediately thought my images might be suitable to go with his unreleased song “Blue Sway”.” said McCoy.

McCoy spent the next six weeks creating the music video, while also working full days on making “A Deeper Shade of Blue”. McCoy compiled and edited footage that he filmed off Tahiti’s Teahupoo reef to create what became the “Blue Sway” video.

“When I saw Jack McCoy’s underwater surfing footage put to the soundtrack of “Blue Sway” I was blown away,” said McCartney.

“Blue Sway” won ‘Best Music Video’ at NYC BE FILM Short Festival this past May, and the video will be featured as part of Surfrider Foundation’s summer PSA campaign. Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

The film clip is dedicated to Linda McCartney.

There is also a “Making of Blue Sway” video clip:

It’s Official – “McCartney” and “McCartney II” Re-Issue Details

After quite a bit of speculation confirmed details have finally been released on the official Paul McCartney site about the two latest titles in the Paul McCartney Archives series.

“McCartney” (1970) and “McCartney II” (1980) will both be re-issued in a range of forms on June 12 (June 13 in the United States).

Both will come out in the deluxe linen book format (to match the already released “Band on the Run” re-issue from last year). They will both be available as a two-CD “standard” edition, and both will also be released as 2-LP, 180 gram audiophile vinyl albums for collectors:

The “McCartney” deluxe re-issue will be a 2 CD plus 1 DVD set contained within a 128 page bound book.

The “McCartney II” deluxe set will contain 3 CD’s plus 1 DVD. Each will contain previously unreleased material, including music, film footage and bonus tracks.

The McCartney official site has the complete track listings.

The new disc sets will come out on the Concord Records/Hear Music label.  The label has embarked on an extensive re-issue series its calling the Paul McCartney Archive. In late 2010 the first of the releases was Paul McCartney and Wings 1973 album “Band on the Run“.