The Beatles ‘Hard Day’s Night’ Mystery Chord Revealed

Sum of All Parts is an ABC Radio podcast here in Australia.

The show recently examined (from a mathematical perspective!) the famous opening chord of The Beatles’ song, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’:

The podcast episode is called ‘The Magical Mystery Chord’.

Using the research and insights of mathematician and Beatle fan Professor Jason I. Brown, and personal experiences at Abbey Road Studios by Canadian musician Randy Bachman, the podcast un-picks just how The Beatles (with producer George Martin) achieved a chord that has tantalised musicians now for over fifty years…..

There is also a very short Sum of All Parts “bonus” episode, ‘Slow Down, George Solo-son’. Also well worth a listen.

 

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Selections from Paul McCartney’s ‘Liverpool Oratorio’

Here’s another recent addition to the collection.

We’d been aware of course of Paul McCartney’s numerous foray’s into the world of classical music. Over the years there have been a number of his compostions released, including his first major work Liverpool Oratorio – which dates back to 1991. 

This was issued on 2 CDs, double cassette (remember them?), and as a two LP box set.

There were also two CD singles released from the work, ‘The World You’re Coming Into’ and ‘Save The Child’: 

What we weren’t aware of for quite some time was that a year after these initial releases there came a further CD called Selections From Liverpool Oratorio. This was issued in October, 1992. Despite the fact that the album is clearly represented on McCartney’s   official discography we’d completely overlooked it’s existence.

Selections From Liverpool Oratorio gathers together on one CD all the most important songs for those people who don’t want to buy the full double CD version – which has a lot of connecting pieces and incidental music included.It comes in a single jewel case with a very thick booklet containing an introduction by Paul McCartney, a longer article about the background to the work, plus a liberetto with all the words to the songs:The track listing:The CD’s rear cover, and it’s distinctive yellow spines:The EMI Classics logo is prominently displayed throughout, but so too is McCartney’s own mpl company logo.

The Paul McCartney Collection – 1993 Reissue Series

Before The Paul McCartney Archive Collection series first began being released in 2010 there was another, less ambitious attempt to re-issue McCartney’s extensive back-catalogue.

This was back in 1993 with a series of discs simply called The Paul McCartney Collection.

It was CD-only and just one disc per issue, and there were sixteen titles included in all. The first eight were released on June 7th, 1993, and the remainder on August 9th the same year.

Each disc (except for the albums McCartney and Wings Greatest Hits) has at least two and sometimes up to four bonus tracks – usually singles that never made it onto albums, or the hard-to-find B-sides of singles as well. There’s a complete list here.

We never purchased these back in the day, and so in recent years have slowly (and I mean very slowly) been picking them off one-by-one. As of last week we now have the complete 16 CDs.

The most difficult to track down (and as a result the most expensive) have been Wings’ Wings Wild Life and Back To The Egg. It also took us ages to secure a reasonably priced copy of Red Rose Speedway:

The easiest to find (and cheapest) are Band on the Run and Wings Greatest Hits.

Medium difficulty would be London Town and Venus and Mars. Here’s a Canadian pressing of London Town:                                         [click on images to see a larger version]

McCartney ‘Archive Collection’ Coloured Vinyl – Confusion Reigns

Five days on from the official announcement on the Paul McCartney website that there are to be eight titles in the McCartney Archive Collection series re-issued as single discs on the Capitol label (on CD, black vinyl and limited coloured vinyl), confusion reigns about just how anyone can actually order the coloured vinyl.

Both McCartney’s own site, and the Universal Music store site included links to order these but by the weekend both had been quickly taken down. The Universal link is just dead (and again here), while the official McCartney links for each album have since been altered and only take you through to the US Amazon site where there is no mention of the coloured vinyl whatsoever. The links are clearly for the black vinyl editions only.

Many online stores over the weekend quickly put up thier own images and prices – both for individual coloured LPs and bundles – but these too have since been either completely taken down (for example SoundStage Direct in the US), or now carry an apology (for example the Bull Moose store) stating that they’ve been asked by the artist and the label NOT to sell these titles online.

To quote collectors on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums thread, many of whom have pre-orderd and paid their money before the links just disappeared:

“Seriously, what a mess. I was actually stoked about this. Now i can see it’s probably not going to be easy…..”.

and:

“Yes I’m worried about sites filling the orders. If the link was pulled from Paul’s site on the official announcement then I would worry about them being filled at any other site [too]. I have them pre ordered thru the link that was on his site and even thru that I’m worried I won’t get them. They seem very limited and none of the sites seem to be able to confirm they will honor the pre orders.”

It has to be said that this looks like a complete and utter stuff up my MPL and Capitol. They’ve gone into print and raised epectations, but they haven’t thought through what they were publicising, nor communicated how fans and collectors could get their hands on these eight coloured vinyl editions. Pretty bad form and does not auger well for the McCartney/Capitol/UMe relationship.

UPDATE: This just in from the Record Store Day site: Indie record stores are the ONLY physical retailers in the US to have the limited edition colored vinyl versions…..

Paul McCartney a Pirate?

Paul McCartney has posted this photo on his Instagram feed:

#PiratesLife  And this on Facebook.

Release date is the same day as the newly re-mixed 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band comes out……

Another Addition to McCartney’s ‘Flowers’ Deluxe Box Set

In the lead up to the release the Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt deluxe box set, Paul Sinclair from Super Deluxe Edition was one of the people leading the charge to have a physical CD included instead of the proposed “Download Only” selection of B-sides, Remixes, Single Edits and Cassette Demos.

His role in the protest led to a call from Scott Rodger, McCartney’s manager, who laid out the reasons behind the download only decision.

It also led Paul Sinclair to publish on his site a series of interviews with the producers who, back in 1989, collaborated with McCartney on the original recordings for Flowers In The Dirt. They each gave a unique insight not only into what it was like to work on the project, but also what it was like to work with Paul McCartney.

The reaction to those interviews was such that Sinclair subsequently produced a limited edition printed booklet called In Their Own Words: The Producer’s on Paul McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt:Here’s a typical page (as usual, click on the images to see larger versions):

In a nice touch the booklet is designed to slip in alongside the other four books that come with the deluxe box set:

The booklet is a professionally designed and printed, 16-page document containing the original 9000-word interview feature (as published on SDE) along with 1200 extra words exclusive to the printed edition. Only 500 copies were initially produced and made available for sale through the Super Deluxe Edition site. Each was numbered and signed by Paul Sinclair. Ours is number 347/500:

The initial print run of numbered and signed copies sold out in less than 48 hours. In response to demand, there has been a second print run of this booklet. These are unsigned and not numbered, but otherwise identical. So if you’d like one, get in fast.

See also our solution to the “Download Only” issue.

Flowers In The Dirt – What Could/Should Have Been

As you’re no doubt aware, the deluxe Archive Collection box set of Paul McCartney’s 2017 re-issue of Flowers In The Dirt created quite an angry response amongst many fans and collectors.

The issue was around his decision to include a whole CD’s worth of B-sides, remixes and single edits, and three cassette demos as downloadable content only. No physical CD would be included in the four-disc set.

Well, no doubt many who purchased the box set have taken that download code provided and created their own CD burns to put inside the box. Here’s a look at the three CD’s and one DVD you do get (click on images to see larger versions):

And here’s what could have/should have been – one disc for the thirteen B-sides, remixes and single edits plus the three cassette demo songs:

Plus on the official Paul McCartney website there are a further three exclusive downloads (‘Distractions (Demo)’, ‘This One (Demo)’, and ‘Back on My Feet (Demo)’) not included in the box set at all, so why not a separate disc for these songs too?:

Call us pedantic and old-fashioned for wanting tactile, hard copies of this bonus material. And call us fussy for creating our own matching labels, but discs V and VI will now be filed inside our Flowers In The Dirt box alongside the other content provided in physical form to create a complete set. They’ll be in their own paper sleeves: