Perhaps surprisingly, it’s now been a decade since Paul McCartney started his Archive Collection reissue campaign. There have been 12 albums given the Archive treatment so far, and they are about to added to in July with the release of Flaming Pie.
To mark the tenth anniversary, Paul Sinclair at the Super Deluxe Edition site has put together a special 52-page keepsake booklet featuring reviews of all the reissues to date and some additional analysis and features. The booklet is the same size and format as the books that come in the Archive Collection box sets, so it can be easily stored alongside them.
McCartney: 10 Years of Archive Reissues will feature in-depth illustrated reviews of the McCartney reissues via a combination of archive content from the SuperDeluxeEdition.com website (some of it updated), alongside new reviews and fresh insight.
Sinclair has a bit of a track record already with these booklets. You might recall the one he issued for the Flowers In The Dirt Archive Collection releases. If that was anything to go by, this new one will be well worth getting hold of too.
There will be only 1000 numbered copies of McCartney: 10 Years of Archive Reissues produced, and it’s only available via the SDE shop.
To mark what would have been George Harrison’s 75th birthday in February there’s to be a major re-issue of the great 2003 Concert For George recordings and film.
For the first time the concert will be available on vinyl (as a four LP box set); new CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray combo packages; plus not one – but two – super deluxe boxed special editions.
On the official George Harrison site you can pre-order now two different “Exclusive” deluxe limited editions.There are just 1000 copies worldwide of the “basic” box:
Both boxes come with these contents: a gold-colored, fabric-wrapped box with a die-cut mandala window to display a numbered cutting from the original hand-painted on-stage tapestry backdrop used during the Royal Albert Hall concert on November 29, 2002; the complete sound and film recordings from the concert (on four 180-gram audiophile LPs, 2 CDs, 2 DVDs and 2 Blu-ray discs); plus a 12”x12” hard-bound 60-page book. The sets also include a note from Olivia Harrison, explaining the story behind the tapestry. The “basic” set costs US$350.
However, for an extra $100 you can get that same deluxe box, plus what is described on the site as a complete set of “…authentic Test Pressings (4-discs), pressed at Quality Record Pressings (QRP)”. There are only 15 copies of these Test Pressing sets available worldwide.
For those after the new vinyl pressing of the Concert For George here’s the pack image with its contents:
As you can see above the four LP set only stretches across 7 sides, and so Side 8 on LP 4 features a cool-looking etched mandala.
The new 2CD sets with either 2 Blu-ray or 2 DVD included look like this:
These bundles are identical in content except for the Blu-ray which contains an additional ‘Drummers’ featurette not available on the DVD version.
The original two CD set is also being re-issued:All these Concert For George versions will be reissued on February 23. Proceeds from the sale of these products support The Material World Foundation.
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]
These re-issues (all beautifully pressed on 180gram vinyl at the French MPO plant) are still going strong in Italy (where they are now up to On Air – LIve at the BBC Vol.2, which is issue 18 in the 23-issue series), and in the United Kingdom (where they are up to issue 15 –Anthology 2).
A friend just sent us this photo – a news agency window in Spain:
Since our post on Monday about the UK and Italy DeAgostini Beatle re-issues, this additional video featuring historian and broadcaster Kevin Howlett has emerged. Also highlighted is the work of Sean Magee, the Abbey Road Studios engineer who worked on the project cutting the masters and overseeing pressing quality control:
If you live in the UK (and in Italy – see below) you can now sign up to receive a series of 23 Beatle LP’s in the post every four weeks. Or you could pop down to your local news agents every two weeks to pick them up in person.
International partwork publishing company De Agostini has signed a deal with Apple and Universal Music to manufacture and issue the 180gram pressings. While all the content and cover art will be the same as the 2012 stereo LP remasters for the core catalogue titles, the small-print on the rear of each of the LP covers (and on the labels) will indicate that these pressings are licensed to be published by De Agostini, making them collectable for those completists out there. In addition to the core studio albums and Past Masters, the De Agostini titles will include the three Anthology LPs, Love, the two Live at the BBC sets, as well as the 1963-1956 and 1966-1970 double albums, plus the Beatles 1.
Also, each album will be accompanied by a colour magazine written by well-known Beatle author, Kevin Howlett detailing the background to the recording.
Here’s the official UK press release:
NEW COLLECTION OF THE BEATLES’ ALBUMS ON 180g VINYL LPS LAUNCHED IN THE UK
On 1 March 2017, global partwork publisher DeAgostini is launching, in association with Apple Corps and Universal Music Group, The Beatles Vinyl Collection. Featuring 23 albums, it will be available to purchase online and in news agents all across the UK.
Issue by issue, The Beatles Vinyl Collection of single, double and triple albums builds into a comprehensive library of the momentous music made by The Beatles. Presented in exact replicas of the original sleeves, the specially pressed 180-gram vinyl LPs ensure the music will be heard in the best quality sound. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, The Beatles’ reissued LPs have been universally acclaimed by sound experts and the group’s fans. Produced by George Martin in the 1960s, the albums contain some of the most celebrated recordings ever made.
The Beatles Vinyl Collection includes such groundbreaking albums as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, Revolver and Rubber Soul, as well as intriguing compilations like the three volumes of The Beatles Anthology and two Live At The BBC collections.
Amanda Honeybun, Marketing Director at DeAgostini, said: “We are so excited to launch The Beatles Vinyl Collection, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to collect on vinyl the greatest albums in the history of music. Our Beatles Vinyl Collection makes it possible to buy these wonderful records from the comfort of your own home or at your local newsagent. Then all you have to do is put the needle on the record to enjoy the best recordings ever made by the best group of all-time!”
Each album also includes an illustrated magazine containing the stories behind the group’s renowned recordings. Written by Beatles historian and award-winning radio producer Kevin Howlett, each issue reveals details about the creation of an album and an assessment of its significance within not only The Beatles’ legacy, but also the history of music.
Kevin Howlett said: “It was such a privilege to write about this joyous music. The Beatles have inspired generation after generation of music fans, songwriters, artists and producers. I’m also delighted that there is a resurgence of interest in collecting records. For music lovers, nothing can beat the look of a stylish LP cover and the authentic experience of listening to a classic album on vinyl.”
The global vinyl market is booming. Sales of records in 2016 reached a 25-year high as music buyers embraced this attractive physical format. More than 3.2m LPs were sold in 2016, an annual rise of 53% and the ninth consecutive year of growth.
The Beatles Vinyl Collection is DeAgostini’s fourth vinyl collection. The company’s previous collections of Jazz, Blues and Classical Music proved very popular. This new collection establishes DeAgostini Publishing as one of the leading vinyl album market producers and distributors.
The Beatles Vinyl Collection is a 23-part series. Issue one will be priced at £9.99 for a limited time only, with subsequent single album copies retailing at £16.99; double and triple albums will sell for £24.99. Issues are available fortnightly in shops, with subscribers receiving two issues in one delivery every four weeks. Subscriptions can be purchased online at www.deagostini.co.uk/beatlesvinyl (ends).
The release is accompanied by a TV campaign in Britain:
And this one in Italy:
The first issue contains a binder for the 23 magazines, a poster representing the 23 original album covers of the collection, and some pamphlets and other information about the product. “Premium” subscribers will receive two quality storage boxes to hold all 23 albums, plus a range of free gifts.
The collection includes the following albums – and this appears to be the release order as well:
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles (or ‘The White Album’)
Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles For Sale
A Hard Day’s Night
1962 – 1966
With The Beatles
Live At The BBC
Please Please Me
On Air – Live At The BBC Vol. 2
Let It Be
1967 – 1970
This chap has purchased the first UK instalment – which is Abbey Road. His video is quite a drawn out reveal, but stick with it – it contains some good information. He gets there eventually….!
Flipping through a recent copy of Mojo magazine we noticed this small article:
Being interested in anything Beatles and Apple Records related we decided to do a bit more research.
Yoko Ono’sPlastic Ono Band site has this small promo tile (complete with a grapefruit) – but no links when you click on it:
Same for her Imagine Peace site. Again, there’s the same promo tile on the page but no other information or links, although there is a tiny bit more info as the tile at least lists two record company names:
Chimera Music is Ono’s (and son Sean Lennon’s) record label. A search revealed no further information on their site though. Not sure what Secretly Canadian has to do with the releases (it’s an American independent record label based in Bloomington, Indiana) because there’s no reference to Yoko Ono or Plastic Ono Band on their site either….
Of course these titles have been released previously. The details of that 1997 reissue project are in this MTV article:
“….beginning on May 20th, the label (Rykodisc) will present 11 different Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band albums, all of which are being remixed and remastered as needed by Ono herself…..The first wave of releases will be unleashed on May 20 with the four titles, Unfinished Music #1: Two Virgins, an album or tape manipulation and random noises reportedly made the night before Ono and John Lennon made love for the first time; its sequel, Unfinished Music #2: Life With the Lions, which deals with Ono’s subsequent miscarriage and also contains a “song” called “Radio Play,” 12 minutes of random radio dial-turning; the collaborative The Wedding Album, whose second song is a 22 minute drone consisting of the couple calling each other’s name and, finally, the first Plastic Ono Band album, Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band.
The next set of four releases (June 10) contains what many considered to be the first post-punk record (ironic, since it pre-dated punk), the noisy, experimental Fly, credited to Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. Also released on that day are two other Plastic Ono Band Yoko titles, Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space. Also included will be Ono’s cathartic, personal album, Season of Glass. July 1st will bring the last set of three releases,It’s Alright (I See Rainbows), Star Peace and A Story, a previously unreleased album that was included in the box set. Ono is currently searching for some appropriate bonus tracks for the releases…”
Rykodisc were also involved with this 1992 6-CD set, Onobox:Yoko Ono herself writes about the contents of this box set extensively here. Onobox is a kind of a “best of” compilation, with tracks from across her own (and John Lennon’s) output from 1968 to 1985.
It’ll be interesting to see what the 2014 project brings….