For those of you still keeping score, we’ve updated our McCartney III chart detailing all the many variations over the past 18 months.
With the release last week of the McCartney I/ II/ III limited edition box set, which collects McCartney (on clear vinyl), McCartney II (on white vinyl), and McCartney III (on creamy white vinyl), there are now no fewer than 14 different vinyl colour releases of this LP available:
Just click on the image above to go full screen………
To get the creamy white version you have to purchase the McCartney I/ II/ III box. It’s is being described as a ‘Limited Edition’. We’re not sure of the exact numbers though. If anyone does know please comment in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.
McCartney I/ II/ III is also available in a standard black vinyl edition.
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.
A very rare Beatle single is going on show at Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville:
The record label posted on Instagram: “You can’t do that!” is probably what the Capitol Records pressing plant manager yelled at the rogue employee who created this unheard of (and unauthorized) yellow-and-black split color version of the Beatles’ 1964 single “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Likely pressed surreptitiously after hours, Third Man recently purchased this insanely rare record at auction. Expect to see this single on display soon at Third Man Records.
Maybe this is where they got the colour scheme idea for their very rare, limited production run (only 333 copies made) of Paul McCartney’sMcCartney III LP?
And for their less rare McCartney III “Splatter” edition?
The film is a mini-documentary detailing the vinyl pressing process for McCartney III 333, the extremely limited-edition version of McCartney’s 2020 solo album, McCartney III, manufactured at the Third Man Pressing plant in Detroit.
The mini doco goes into exactly how the project first came about, and exactly how the unique records were made. It shows just how multiple vinyl copies of the 1970 release McCartney and the 1980’s McCartney II were broken down and reformed into 333 limited-edition copies of McCartney III at Third Man Pressing.
Interestingly, it is revealed that it wasn’t old, second-hand copies of the original McCartney and McCartney II LPs that were ground up as part of the process. It was brand new pressings of these two albums.
Several Third Man Records employees, including co-founder Ben Swank, are interviewed for the film alongside Beatle author and Rolling Stone journalist Rob Sheffield, all spliced in alongside footage of Paul McCartney creating the album in his studio.
Click on the image below to view the mini documentary:
From teasers on the official McCartney socials, plus scant details on various Beatle forums, it’s emerging that there is yet another coloured vinyl variant of the McCartney III LP for those collectors who must have everything.
This cryptic image and message was posted in the last few hours on the Paul McCartneyInstagram account:
There were also some additional words on Facebook saying “Keep your eyes peeled for 3000 more coming soon exclusively to indie record stores”.
Then in the forums, some stores and fans started to reveal that they’d been able to secure copies of this disc already:
One indie store had thetemerityto post a photo with the official price sticker of US$34.95 clearly on display, but in the text on the same page say they were selling their copies for US$1000!! Bad form for an independent store in our book.
Here’s a closer view of that hype sticker. This pretty much sums up what we know so far, which is not a lot:
This new yellow and black splatter vinyl edition is pressed by Third Man Records in Detroit, is limited to 3,333 copies, and is to be on sale only through US independent record stores. Oh, and we know that the catalogue number is 602438227396 (B003391101).
There does not appear to be any information about this release on the Third Man site.
On Discogs there are two copies for sale already. One for US$1,873 and the other for US$3,000.
While some folks seem to have tracked down copies, for the most part fans in the US are bewildered by this release and, despite trying, have been unable to find any for sale.
We await developments!
If you know more, or can provide photos please get in touch via the comments box below.
The recent McCartney III release, and its follow-up McCartney III Imagined, will probably go down in history as having the most vinyl colour, cover artwork and physical format variations of any Beatle or Beatle-related release ever.
For the McCartney III LP, CD and cassette we produced this chart to help keep track:
That’s no less than12 LPs in different colours (not counting the very rare Third Man Records test pressing – of which only 3 copies were made available in the world), 12 CD variants with colour, cover or track-listing differences, and 2 cassettes. It also doesn’t include all the different bundles that came in boxes containing either tee-shirts, dice, etc.
Then, as the variants of McCartney III Imagined started to pile up, we produced this chart:
Here you can see there were 10 LPs in different colours and/or cover artwork, 6 CDs, and again two different cassette variations.
If you’ve ever wondered if anyone has actually succeeded in collecting absolutely every variation of those two releases, wonder no more.
One of our readers this week sent in this amazing image of all the variants he collected of these two releases and we think you’ll agree it is mighty impressive:
From what we can see for McCartney III he doesn’t have absolutely everything, but comes pretty darn close! Obviously missing is the very limited Third Man Records pressing on yellow and black vinyl and sporting a unique cover design. There were only 333 copies of this pressed. These were available only via the Third Man Records website, and only for a very limited time before all were snapped up.
As for the McCartney III Imagined LPs, CD,s and cassettes though…..we reckon he’s got the full set of everything. What an impressive collection!
Back in April we posted a list of the physical variants (to date) of the forthcoming McCartney III Imagined.
Since then there have been a few additions, so here’s an update about. It includes a standard cassette (available fairly widely), plus a more limited pink cassette and two ‘Limited Edition Mini Jacket’ CD versions. These appear to be only available via the US official Paul McCartney website.
There have also been two low-cost ‘mini jacket’ CD alternates added too – much like the ones made available in the initial McCartney III release program. These are just simple cardboard sleeves. One is available with the standard McCartney III Imagined cover:
It’s becoming fairly obvious we should all keep an open mind about what else might be in store because, based on what we’ve heard so far, some of it is going to be “out there” and out of the comfort zones of many fans. And that’s a good thing because it means these songs will be heard and appreciated by a far wider (and younger) audience than would have been the case if this remained just a McCartney-only release.
It’s clear that Paul McCartney and MPL sent out the raw elements of his songs to an eclectic and interesting bunch of musos and told them to do with them what they will.
If you want a contemporaneous example of a similar approach then look no further than Crowded House. They’ve got a new album coming in June and have released a single in the lead-up called ‘To The Island’. Check it out below in its original form:
Then have a listen to this:
Just like McCartney has done, Crowded House invited a third party (in this case Kevin Parker from Tame Impala) to do a remix. Here’s what Neil Finn said about it in an email to fans:
With all the world up-ended and nothing in its right place, we became curious to hear how our favourite contemporary musicians and record makers might re-imagine a Crowded House song. I emailed our version of ‘To The Island’ to Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) with an invitation to take it apart and reassemble in his own unique way. Happily, he really liked the song and it was an absolute delight to hear what he made from it, an exotic fantasy I would call it.
I think you’ll agree that the end result is very different – and in some ways quite confronting. But it means that Crowded House (a legacy band still making great new music) will also be heard by a much wider audience.
Strap in because McCartney III Imagined is going to be ‘To The Island’ writ large.
After more dice being mailed out to certain fans and a short social media teaser campaign, it’s just been officially announced that there’s to be an album of McCartney III covers and remixes – called McCartney III Imagined.
The details are here and it looks to be a REALLY eclectic and inventive choice of artists:
It’s a 2LP set – and the coloured vinyl whirlwind begins all over again……
Barnes and Noble (in the US) has added blue to the rainbow:
While Target has announced a silver vinyl exclusive with “alternate artwork” enclosed:
Meanwhile, back over at the McCartney Store (only in the US) they now have a limited edition pink vinyl available, 2500 copies only:
And the official store in the US has also added a dark green vinyl variant. It comes in the same unique cover as the splatter and pink. This green is darker than the Spoitfy vinyl, and there are only 2000 copies available apparently:
There’ll be a single CD too:
And Target stores (US only) will have the CD “with alternate artwork enclosed”:The first YouTube video has also hit. It is Dominic Fike’s version of ‘The Kiss of Venus’. Interesting!
So, what is your take on it? Let us know in the comments below.
Some sites are saying the digital release is April 16. Looks like physical media won’t ship until July 23 though, which is a long way off.
Keep an eye on our site for more details (and vinyl colour variations) as they emerge!
Speaking of books, here’s the little one that Paul McCartney referenced as part of the inspiration for his song ‘The Kiss of Venus’, found on the recently-released McCartney III.
“I had a cool little book Jools Holland’s wife had given me, kind of an astrology book, all about the planets and the movements and the fantastic synchronicity of it all. A fascinating book, actually, when the planets go through all the little things, if you look at a graph, as it were, of them all, it like makes a lotus. It’s trippy. There was some great little phrases – “the kiss of Venus” was one of them. So I was loving that book and I was making up a song about that, but that was an instance of forcing myself to write. And I felt good after it. I thought, ‘Yeah that’s a pretty good little song.’ I haven’t had time to record it, but I will.”
It is indeed a lovely little paperback by John Martineau called A Little Book of Coincidence in the Solar System, which examines geometry and harmony in the universe and yes, there is a chapter entitled The Kiss of Venus.
Martineau is the publisher and editor of the award-winning Wooden Books pocket liberal arts series, which has been translated into 20 languages worldwide.
The “kiss” of Venus with the Earth occurs every 584 days and, over an eight year period (exactly!), that movement of the heavenly body as it moves around the Earth draws a beautiful geometric pattern.
Meanwhile, the song features Paul on vocals and guitar, and there’s a neat little harpsichord solo included as well:
A demo “phone” version of ‘The Kiss of Venus’ is one of the four bonus tracks on the Japanese CD edition of McCartney III. It’s can also be found as a single bonus track (Track 12) on one of the four “budget” CD versions of the album released in the UK and in the US:
I wonder if we’ll learn anything more about the origins of ‘The Kiss of Venus’ in McCartney’s forthcoming The Lyrics book?