McCartney to Reissue Professor Longhair’s “Live On The Queen Mary”

Back in 1975 when Paul McCartney and Wings wanted to launch their new album Venus and Mars they did it in style. They threw a huge party on board the famous cruise liner, the Queen Mary at Long Beach in California. The ship was (and still is) permanently moored there as a floating hotel, museum, function centre and tourist attraction.

Among the 200 guests on board were George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Marvin Gaye, The Faces, an Everly Brother (Phil), The Jackson Five, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Cher, and Monkees Mickey Dolenz and Davey Jones. The party was the first time McCartney and Harrison had been seen in public since the Beatle break-up.

Much of the Venus and Mars album was recorded in New Orleans at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studios and clearly Paul and Linda had soaked up a lot of the atmosphere of that quintessentially musical town. The launch party therefore saw musical performances from some Crescent City greats like Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe, and Chocolate Milk, as well as The Meters – and the amazing, legendary Professor Longhair.

McCartney had the forethought to have their gigs recorded, and in 1978 the Professor Longhair’s set was released as the album Live On The Queen Mary, co-produced by McCartney.

Now comes news that it is being officially reissued by McCartney’s MPL on the Harvest label across digital platforms, on CD and on newly remastered 180gram vinyl LP – in both standard and deluxe packaging:

The deluxe vinyl edition comes with a bonus double A-Side 7″ single featuring ‘Tipitina’ and ‘Mess Around’, and what appears to be a publicity folder featuring images of Professor Longhair and a facsimile letter signed by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney and Denny Laine. (As usual click on images to see larger versions).

Live On The Queen Mary will be released on April 5 and is now available for pre-order here.

(BTW – The Meters Queen Mary launch party set was also recorded, and has previously been released as Uptown Rulers: The Meters Live on the Queen Mary.)

Beatles Stuff We Found on a Visit to France – Part Two

Just back from a holiday in Europe where we picked up some Beatle and Beatle-related treasure along the way. This is the next instalment about what we found in France…

Last time we were in Paris (in 2012) we visited a great second-hand vinyl store in the Sorbonne area called Crocodisc (they’re at 42 Rue des Ecoles, Paris 5e) where we picked up some nice Beatle vinyl.

What we found this time though was a collectable Paul McCartney and Wings CD.

It’s the limited edition Advance Release of Venus and Mars. This came out in 2014 to promote the then latest instalment in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection series:

Venus & Mars Advance Front

You can’t tell from the front cover that it is in any way different to the two CD Standard Edition of Venus and Mars (for which we have the Best Buy version, and which came with a limited edition vinyl single – and a different catalogue number).

However when you flip over the cover of the Advance Release there’s reference to a third disc in this set called “Bonus Film”:Venus & Mars Advance Rear

Also, on the CD cover spine there are the words “Advance Release”:Venus & Mars Advance Spine

The Advance Release also has a different catalogue number: HRM-35652ADV.

When you open out the triple gatefold cover this is what you see. On the first fold out on the left are the album credits, and on the right an advertisement for the three different, official versions (Deluxe CD, Standard CD and vinyl):Venus & Mars Advance Inside 1

Then when you flip that open this is the inside of the set, fully open:

Venus & Mars Advance Inside 2

It contains three discs. Two CD’s and one DVD, each carrying the words “For promotional use only. Not for sale”:Venus & Mars Advance CD1Venus & Mars Advance CD2Venus & Mars Advance DVD

The two CDs are exactly the same in content as the Standard Edition, while the DVD contains four short films: Recording My Carnival; Bon Voyageur; Wings at Elstree; and the Venus and Mars TV Ad. These are the same as those featured on the DVD which comes in the Deluxe version of Venus and Mars.

By way of providing a side-by-side comparison here’s the packaging for the Standard Edition CD:Venus & Mars Standard FrontVenus & Mars Standard rear

Below is the Standard version’s first fold out of the gatefold cover. An 18 page booklet containing photos and album credits is attached to the left:Venus & Mars Standard Inside 1

The inside fully open:Venus & Mars Standard Inside 2And the Standard Edition CD’s:Venus & Mars Standard CD1Venus & Mars Standard CD2

So, another nice find in Paris, France.

See also: Beatles Stuff We Found on a Visit to France – Part One, and Some Local Beatle Pressings From a Visit to Holland

Best Buy Wings/McCartney Archive Series

It’s taken a while to feature these latest Paul McCartney and Wings items because of the convoluted process involved in securing copies for the collection.

These are the Best Buy limited editions of the latest Paul McCartney Archive series of CDs. The CD’s themselves are the standard US triple gatefold two-disc sets consisting of the remastered album on one CD, plus a Bonus Audio CD of rare tracks. Here’s Venus and Mars:Venus BB coverVenus BB rearVenus BB disc1Venus BB disc2

And here’s Wings at the Speed of Sound:ATSOS BB coverATSOS BB rearATSOS BB disc1ATSOS BB disc2

But as you can see by the stickers on the front of each – these were sold with a voucher inside to receive a bonus, limited edition 7″ 45 single – one from each album. The difficult (and time consuming part) for collectors living outside the USA was that these singles (reportedly limited to 5,000 copies each) were only available to customers of the Best Buy chain who were US residents. The process is that you mail back the voucher with a small postage and handling fee included, and Best Buy then mails you a picture cover replica of an original vinyl single from either album. Residents outside the States had to find an accomodating Ebay seller who would do this – and then post the whole lot to you…..hence the delay in being able to show these items on this blog…..ours have finally arrived.

For Venus and Mars the vinyl single is ‘Letting Go’/’You Gave Me the Answer’ (not ‘Venus and Mars/’Rock Show’ as original advertised by Best Buy back in October last year):Letting Go coverLetting Go rearLetting Go labelAnd from Wings at the Speed of Sound its ‘Let ‘Em In’/’Beware My Love’: Let Em In SingleLet Em In rearLet Em In label

Both these vinyl singles have front covers which are replicas of the originals, but the rear covers are dedicated to promoting the 2014 reissues of the Archive Collection CDs. And as you can see in the photos (if you look closely) there’s a sticker on the rear of each saying “Made in Germany”. It appears that subsequent to the Best Buy deal these singles were also made available in limited numbers to some independent record stores in Europe and the UK.

As with previous releases in this series, inside both CDs is a small paper insert advertising what could be the next two releases in the Archive Series Tug of War and Pipes of Peace:Venus BB insert

The other thing to note is that both the Venus and Mars and the Wings at the Speed of Sound Best Buy CDs have stickers pasted over the originals with different barcode/UPC numbers to the usual releases. These are 88072 36382 3 and 88072 36383 0 respectively. The non-Best Buy discs are 88072 35650 4 and 888072 35671 9.

For a video of how Venus and Mars and Wings At the Speed of Sound are packaged, the booklets, etc. have look at these YouTube clips prepared by Jose Miguel Grey:

One More Wings Bonus Track – Free Download

At paulmccartney.com there’s a further free, previously unreleased track which has been made available for download. That makes three so far….we’re heading towards the makings of an EP.

In November 1974 Paul and Wings were in the process of recording the album that came to be known as Venus and Mars. As with all recording sessions there are songs and different versions of tracks that don’t make the final release.RockShowAbsolute_MainNews

The exclusive Venus and Mars outtake track now available is a previously unreleased and unheard version of the song ‘Rock Show’. Listen to it below:

I think you can hear why this version was passed over in favour of the one that eventually made it to the LP, but it’s still great to hear how the song went through the process of being more finely crafted.

See also the exclusive versions of ‘Letting Go’ and ‘Love My Baby’ – both still available for download at paulmccartney.com

Another McCartney Bonus Track – Free Download

As part of the continuing publicity push for the Archive Series re-issues this week of Venus and Mars and Wings At The Speed of SoundPaul McCartney has made available another exclusive bonus track.

It’s a Wings track called ‘Love My Baby’ and is taken from the One Hand Clapping film:LoveMyBaby

Like the extended and remastered version of the song ‘Letting Go’ (released last week), ‘Love My Baby’ is not on the forthcoming re-issues of Venus and Mars or At the Speed of Sound, but is only being made available as a free download from paulmccartney.com

It’s short and cute. Sounds like Paul is playing a toy piano – long before that became fashionable!

One Hand Clapping was filmed in Studio 2 at Abbey Road in late summer of 1974. The documentary captures Paul playing numbers from Band on the Run with Wings.

He’s said of the film: “It’s nice to see that one re-surfacing. It was made by a friend of mine, David Litchfield; he produced a little magazine that was funky (Ritz, co-edited with David Bailey). We decided that he would shoot a very simple piece, on video. We would just go into Abbey Road and play basically what we had rehearsed. So we went in there and it was very simply filmed, absolute basic stuff, and I think its charm now is that there’s no pretence. It is what it is. We just called it One Hand Clapping, for absolutely no reason.”

Read more about the song on Buzzfeed.

Three New Beatle/Beatle-related Vinyl Singles

For collectors and completists there are not one, but three new Beatle and Beatle-related 7″ vinyl singles on the way.

The first two are from Paul McCartney and Wings.

In association with the Best Buy electronics supermarket chain in the USA, two 7″ vinyl singles – one taken from Venus and Mars, and one from Wings at the Speed of Sound – will be released on November 4 as limited bonus items with the purchase of the forthcoming re-issues of these two titles: Venus and Mars - Best BuyAt the Speed of Sound - Best Buy

From the description on the stickers (i.e. “DETAILS INSIDE”), it looks like there will be a coupon included to redeem these special vinyl singles after initial purchase, though we’re not sure about this.

Also, based on a tiny image on the Best Buy site, it looks like the singles will come in picture sleeves which re-create the original artwork:Best_BuyLet_'Em_In_(Wings_single_-_cover_art)The third 7″ vinyl item will be released on November 28 as part of the Record Store Day “Black Friday” celebrations at independent record stores. It’s a limited pressing of the Beatles EP Long Tall Sally (originally released in the UK in 1964):

Beatles Long Tall Sally

Songs on the EP are: “Long Tall Sally”; “I Call Your Name”; “Matchbox” and “Slow Down”.

Like the recent reissues of the Beatles original albums, this EP is being released in glorious mono. The Long Tall Sally 7” vinyl EP is being specially reissued for Record Store Day’s Black Friday in very limited quantities. Click here for the full list of special Record Store Day releases.

Microsite Launched for Venus and Mars/At The Speed of Sound

In celebration of the forthcoming Wings reissues, Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound, PaulMcCartney.com has created a new interactive microsite telling the story of Wings; its members, their influences and of course – the music. It’s pretty good! Click here to go there, or just click the the photo: Go Behind Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound_0110_NewsBody The site also contains a new lyric video by artist Thomas Hicks for the Venus and Mars track ‘Call Me Back Again’. To see it, and to read the press release, click on the image below:Call Me Back Again: