Paul McCartney Back with Capitol Records Again

Paul McCartney has just announced that he’s signed a worldwide recording agreement with his old label, Capitol Records.

The deal encompasses McCartney’s entire body of post-Beatles work, from his 1970 McCartney album, through his decade with Wings, to the dozens of solo and collaborative works and is a welcome home to the label where he began his career.

“This is genuinely exciting for me,” McCartney said. “Not only was Capitol my first U.S. record label, but the first record I ever bought was Gene Vincent’s ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’ on the Capitol label.”

McCartney is currently working on a new studio album, while a comprehensive plan for the artist’s catalogue is being conceived by Capitol and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) – in conjunction with the artist and his management team – and will be implemented beginning July 2017**. The catalogue moves to Capitol/UMe from the Concord Music Group, Paul’s previous label partner.

Capitol Music Group (CMG) Chairman and CEO, Steve Barnett said “Paul McCartney’s association with Capitol has long defined so much of our historic legacy, and all of us here are extremely proud and honored that he has chosen to come back home. Paul’s indelible contributions to our culture are second to none, and his constant evolution as an artist and performer continues to inspire and enrich the lives of countless millions of people. We are overjoyed that Paul will be creating new music for years to come, and that Capitol will be helping to present it to the world.”

Paul McCartney High in the cloud recording session

** Just what this means will be interesting for collectors and fans. We’re in the middle of a huge McCartney Archive re-issue program in conjunction with Concord Records. So, what happens to that is one question that comes immediately to mind. Hopefully we’re not looking at starting over with an entirely new back-catalogue release program…..

A Beatle Music Book – and a McCartney CD

Went browsing at an opportunity shop (or “thrift store” if you are in the USA) and found two items of interest.

The first is a sheet music collection of great Beatle tunes called The Beatles Rock Score:Beatles Rock1_0001

There are some good photos inside on the lead-in pages:

Beatles Rock1_0002As you can see from the images above, the book contains the music for twelve songs, scored for small groups:Beatles Rock1_0003

The book is part of a series, with other titles covering The Rolling Stones, The Doors, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and U2 to name just a few. These are listed on the rear cover:Beatles Rock1The other find is of only mild interest, but at only $2.00 who could resist?

It’s Paul McCartney’s 1987 release All The Best!, only this time the CD was manufactured in a country that now no longer exists – West Germany:All the Best1 All the Best2 2

A closer look at the small print:All the Best2

We already have this CD as an Australian release, and also a US version. That’s because in each country these CDs have different running orders and song selections. See here for the background on that.

New Klaus Voormann Book – Revolver 50

Klaus Voormann has a new book due for release in the first week of August called Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50.

It celebrates the background story to his now classic front cover design for the Beatles Revolver LP, released on the 5th of August, 1966.

His book, done in a graphic novel style, tells the story from his perspective as a musician and artist who was called by upon by the Beatles, then nearing the height of their fame, to come up with something special, something new, different and lasting.To say he was put under pressure is something of an understatement.Rev 50 Cover Resize

It looks like it’d be a really interesting read.

Pre-orders for The Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50, which will be hand-signed by Klaus Voormann, 
have a pre-sale price 46 Euro (+ shipping & handling costs).

“…it is good for me to see the other side of a story I know so well and to realize aspects like the sheer panic that Klaus must have felt at being asked to do our album cover. In the end, the Revolver cover was a classic and this book is another.”  Sir Paul McCartney

“…your Revolver book – it brought back such great memories – even farther back than Revolver…I hope it sells a million copies!…the Revolver cover was incredible and perfect for that album.” – Ringo StarrRev 50 Page 2 ResizeRev 50 Page 5 ResizeRevolver

McCartney’s ‘Pure’ – Place of Manufacture

The three iterations of Paul McCartney’s latest “personal favourites” compilation, Pure, are interesting.

The small print on the rear covers of each of the formats and editions (2 CD Standard; 4 CD Deluxe; and the 4LP version) reveal that each are manufactured in different places, and one of them is very surprising.

The 4LP sets come from Germany:PureMcCartney_VinylIMG_1680[Click on each “small print” image to see a larger version]

The 2CD version is made in Poland:PureMcCartney_StandardIMG_1679But the real surprise of the bunch is the 4CD Deluxe edition. A check of the small print on the back shows that these are manufactured in China: 

PureMcCartney_DeluxeIMG_1678Once upon a time any CD with “Manufactured in China” stamped on it immediately aroused suspicions amongst collectors. That usually rings loud warning bells.

Chinese manufacturers are famous for producing unauthorised editions, and also counterfeit rip-offs – entirely fake copies of official releases. Just ask anyone who purchased a 2009 Beatles Stereo or Mono remastered box set at an unbelievably low price. Many of them discovered later that they’d been duped and the quality was just not there:

And so China has been very much on the nose in the music business. But not anymore it seems….

Clearly the country is gaining a new credibility in the legit music business. It is definitely moving into the mainstream.

McCartney’s distribution company, Concord Music, must have shopped around for which companies internationally could deliver the best product at the best price – and a Chinese CD maker won the Pure contract – at least for the 4CD “book” style deluxe edition.

We are seeing this more and more as Chinese manufacturers gain a reputation for making high quality items at affordable prices. It’s happening in the hi-fi industry as well, with some Chinese brands turning now out first-class speakers, amplifiers and players now.

(If your’e interested in this sort of thing see also Where “Made in the EU” Vinyl Might Be Pressed and New John Lennon LP Box Set Pressed By Optimal Media).

You might also like Some Unusual Asian Beatle Items Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

A Couple of Beatle DVD Finds

We went “op shopping” recently and discovered a little bit of Beatle treasure.

First up a copy of Paul McCartney’s 2005 concert film In Red Square:

McCartney Red 1

It comes in an outer slip-case. Here’s the rear cover:McCartney Red 2

There’s also an inner booklet included with a range of images from the historic concert:McCartney Red 3

McCartney Red 4

The other DVD we found is a 2008 documentary called Magical Mystery Tour Memories:MMTM1

This is a documentary, a behind-the-scenes/memories of making the actual1967 Beatle film Magical Mystery Tour. Narrated by actor and Beatle friend Victor Spinetti (who not only appeared in MMT but also the films Help! and A Hard Day’s Night), there are lots of stories about what happened during the filming. They range from those who were officially there as part of the cast and crew, through to the many innocent bystanders who just happened to bump into the Beatle entourage as they travelled by bus around England making their largely improvised film. There are appearances and reminiscences from the likes of Paul’s brother Mike McCartney; Beatle Fan Club secretary Freda Kelly; former Beatle insider Tony Bramwell; their press officer Tony Barrow; and Neil Innes from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (and later The Rutles).     MMTM2MMTM3

It has to be said this is a fairly low-budget affair that received only mixed reviews when it was first released, but it’s an interesting documentary to have in the collection and contains some very nice stories and memories of what it was like making Magical Mystery Tour.

Pure McCartney TV Ad

Featuring a range of vintage and sometimes strange play-back formats – check out the cool robot-inspired 8-Track Cartridge player. It all ends with a current and very nice British-made turntable, a white Rega Planar RP1.

The Simpsons – McCartney Episode

Always wanted to get a copy of this for the collection, and now we have. It is part of a “Best Of” series of videos that has the episode starring Linda and Paul McCartney:Simpsons 1

The Simpsons episode of interest is called ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’, which was the fifth episode in season seven originally. It first aired in the US in October, 1995.

From Wikipedia: In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu, Paul, and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism. The pair’s condition for appearing was that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series. The episode makes several references to McCartney’s musical career, and his song ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ plays during the closing credits.

Simpsons 2Simpsons 3

During ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’, Paul says, “If you play ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ backwards, you’ll hear a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup.” The song is played during the closing credits, and Paul’s reading of the recipe can be heard if the sound is played backwards.

The recited recipe can be heard (played forwards) in the extra features on The Complete Seventh Season DVD boxset.