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Paul McCartney signs to Capitol Records

Paul McCartney is back with a major record label after signing a ‘historic’ worldwide recording agreement with Capitol Records.

The new deal encompasses McCartney’s entire body of post-Beatles work, starting with his 1970 McCartney album and the label will be release new records (McCartney is working on a his 17th solo studio album) and reissues. In the press release it states that “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.”

This is a slightly strange statement because Paul and his team, headed by manager Scott Rodger, have been in total control of the catalogue releases since Band on the Run was reissued in 2010 and apart from a rather leisurely release schedule, you’d have to say it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it.

I’d be surprised, in terms of reissues, whether there was any material change in strategy. If they change the size of those deluxe books, they’ll be hell to pay! Inevitably, one has to question what impact this announcement will have on the Flowers in the Dirt reissue which is expected – but not confirmed – for later this year. Going by previous timelines, it should have been announced by now, so the behind the scenes label shenanigans may have already had an impact.

McCartney officially walked away from EMI in 2010 and likened the major label to a dinosaur watching a meteorite plunging to earth. He signed with the nimble and much smaller Concord Music who issued Band on the Run – the first of his Archive Collection releases – in 2010. The same label had also put out McCartney’s 2007 album Memory Almost Full. Since then, seven further Wings and McCartney long-players have been reissued, the latest being Tug of War and Pipes of Peace which were released in October last year.

 

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62 responses to Paul McCartney signs to Capitol Records

  1. don cooper says:

    Did this geezer pay his dues with some bands previously? :-)

  2. G.E.P. says:

    I hope, the reissues don’t go back to the beginning again. The 45th anniversary of Band on the run is comming. I want the other 70’s albums. A well curated singles collection is a dream far away. Maybe one day I’ll be amazed.

  3. Adam shaw says:

    A strange statement . I would hope Macca is not that callous to start going back to square one and start the archive series again .
    Will the Flowers box be held back so it comes out on the Capitol label ?
    It’s also quite amusing that he’s signed to Capitol as The Beatles hated what they did to their albums in the 60s.

  4. DaveM says:

    Maybe Pure was a last hurrah for Concord or a sampler for Capital:) Just had a feeling FITD wouldn’t materialise this year. Hope they keep the SDEs pretty much in line with whats gone before and don’t start over again, but FFS speed them up!

  5. Daniel L says:

    Is there anything left that Universal music doesn’t own? Seriously. Is there even one other major label left?

  6. AlexKx says:

    Maybe this would explain why they were not released on Blu-ray audio in 5.1 and seemed to be bare bone releases in all manners! Here’s to hoping if there are re-issues of everything again that there will be tons more stuff included! :)

  7. Ralph says:

    Who said that record companies no longer give young talents a chance to become famous? Good luck, Mr. McCarthy. ;-)

  8. mike says:

    Had to laugh really for all the reasons mentioned above. Hope it doesn’t change the Flowers reissue, beginning to get quite desperate since the announcement!

  9. Ben Williams says:

    Beach Boys and Macca now the same label. Pretty cool. I think this is good news and that actually the speed of reissues will increase. I think they will simply keep the existing reissues ‘as is’ and merely put any future represses out with a capitol logo rather than concord. As for Flowers, I would expect this be like the current Van Morrison catalog situation; announce a reissue campaign, get a reissue out there (Its Too Late To Stop Now) and then announce a new studio album (Keeps Me Singing). I expect Flowers to come out for Christmas still and then any future reissues will come out closer together, and after the new album (which I bet comes out im June!)

  10. Kevin says:

    I can’t imagine he’ll start up an entirely new reissue program on a new label. Who does he think he is? Elvis Costello?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The idea that he’ll go back and reissue anything that’s come out in the last 6 years is rather preposterous, in my opinion. The only exception is probably Band on the Run, which you could possibly see them do a really lavish box for (it was the first in the cycle and not as flashy as RAM, WOA, and even Venus and Mars/Speed of Sound). Still fairly unlikely though, given that they’ve already done it twice and the last one still managed to repeat elements of the first one!

      • RJSWinchester says:

        “rather preposterous, in my opinion”

        Doubtful that Capitol will share your opinion. They’ll want a return on their investment before all the affluent baby boomers who don’t mind buying the same music again and again die out. What’s the betting on a CD/vinyl combination box set?!

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          You don’t get a return on investment by putting out reissues that people have only just bought. Think they will work that out.

    • Paul says:

      Hahaha

      • RJSWinchester says:

        A handful of demo recordings, a poster, a few previously unseen photos from Paul’s private archive and another remastering and the usual suspects will happily buy it again

  11. Craig Hedges says:

    I shouldn’t think the reissue programme will restart as they were basically put out by Universal, so all Paul has done is changethe team up front. I’ve read though that Flowers in the dirt could be the last in the archive collection as when the programme was first announced the date for the completion was 2016. All of Pauls album which are deemed critically successfull have been issued and all that is left are Pauls near misses and fan favourites.
    Wings wild life
    Red Rose speedway
    London Town
    Back to the egg
    Give my regards to Broad street
    Press to play
    Off the ground
    Flaming Pie
    Driving Rain
    Memory almost full
    And then there’s live albums, firemen albums, vanity projects….

    • Ben Williams says:

      I’d say Flaming Pie was a critially acclaimed album, more so than Pipes of Peace? I reckon that Flowers will just be the last for Concord I reckon.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Agreed. I think they’ll do them all. Paul’s got a canny way to put a positive spin on albums that perhaps didn’t do quite so well. The big albums are ‘celebrations’ while lesser known ones are ‘re-discovery’ or re-evaluations.

    • Bill Hammell says:

      I recently shelled out some serious money for many of the old 1993 McCartney Collection Remasters which I later read were actually inferior in sound than the original issues. Some of them are just weak albums as it is, (eg. “Wild Life”) but my being a “compleatle”, I had to get them, because it doesn’t appear these are/were going to be part of the current re-release campaign. If Capitol decides to release 5.1 versions on the whole lot, I will surely have to rob Peter to pay Paul….

      :)

  12. Craig Hedges says:

    Maccas name has appeared on the Capitol label before. The Mull of Kintyre single was issued in the UK on a black Capitol label, most of his other singles around that time had picture labels based around the albums they came from and didn’t have a label name othe than MPL

  13. Philip Cohen says:

    Now some bad news: after 2018 Capitol Records will no longer release music on CD or L.P., and will offer its recordings only as files. Says Who? Says late 1960’s/early 1970’s Beach Boys engineer Stephen Desper, posting at http://www.smileysmile.net, in a thread about The Beach Boys’ “Sunflower” SACD.
    But where will Capitol offer those “Files”? By 2019, the largest download seller, Apple iTunes will have shut down, and Apple will have changed over to streaming-only. Apple has denied that they’re gradually going to shut down their iTunes download stores over the next 2 years, but they’ve already shut down the iTunes store in at least one Southeast Asian country.
    From the very start of recorded music in 1877, people have been able to buy music and posess it permanently as a collection, but the combined intended actions of Capitol Records and Apple Computers could produce a situation where new recordings released after 2019 could only be rented/hired (via streaming).
    I’ve been collecting recorded music since 1966, and if I can no longer purchase music to permanently posess it, then I’ll just enjoy the thousands of albums that i already own. Rent/Hire music? No way , Jose! I’ll be saying “goodbye” to the music industry.

    • RJSWinchester says:

      I think that whilst there’s still a market for box sets – which appears to be the case – they’ll keep releasing them. As for owning digital files, I think something will come along to fill the void if existing outlets do decide to ditch downloads in favour of streaming. I find Google Music to be the best of the existing (none lossless) digital download providers. MP3 files encoded at 320kbps.

    • Straker says:

      The same business model that Amazon wants to end up with in their quest for global domination via Prime and marketed to consumers under the guise of convenience. Emphasis on the “con”.

      • RJSWinchester says:

        Convenience is what most customers want. I’ve ditched DVDs and stream films nowadays. But I still buy on average 15 CDs every month.

    • EW99 says:

      If anyone else is interested in what Stephen Desper actually said on that board then here’s a link to the relevant post for your convenience…
      http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,24136.msg586114.html#msg586114

  14. Edu says:

    When Band On The Run was released back in 2010, someone in a website forum published this. He said that it was the schedule of the releases. Although it wasnt always correct in the release order – and I didnt believe in the list at the time – I was surprised when the number of discs in the subsequent releases was right. But I dont know the source of it or if it is still valid..

    1 Band On The Run 3 cds 1 dvd
    2 McCartney 2 cds 1 dvd
    3 McCartney II 3 cds 1 dvd
    4 Ram 4 cds 1 dvd
    5 Venus & Mars 2 cds 1 dvd
    6 Speed Of Sound 2 cds 1 dvd
    7 Wings Over America 2 cds 2 dvds
    8 Linda McCartney Wide Prairie 2 cds 2 dvds
    9 Wild Life 2 cds 2 dvds
    10 Red Rose Speedway 2 cds 2 dvds
    11 London Town 2 cds 1 dvd
    12 Back to the egg 2 cds 1 dvd (probably the Back To The Egg TV Special)
    13 Wings Live 1979 (NEW TITLE) 2 cds 1 dvd (Probably Glasgow audio and Hammersmith DVD)
    14 Tug Of War 2 cds 1 dvd
    15 Pipes Of Peace 2 cds 1 dvd
    16 Give my regards to Broad Street 3 cds 2 dvd
    17 Press To Play 4 cds 1 dvd
    18 Choba B CCCP + Prince’s Trust Birthday Party 2 cds 1 dvd
    19 McGear / Holly Days / Whippets / Country Hams and Surprises 4 cds
    20 Flowers In The Dirt 3 cds 1 dvd
    21 Tripping The Live Fantastic 3 cds 2 dvds
    22 Unplugged 2 cds 1 dvd
    23 Off The Ground 3 cds 2 dvds
    24 Paul Is Live 2 cds 2 dvds
    25 The Fireman Vol 1 & 2 ( Strawberry + Rusches ) 3 cds 1 dvd
    26 Oobu Joobu , liverpool collage, Daumier’s Law and crazy stuff 3 cds 1 dvd
    27 Flaming Pie 2 cds 2 dvds
    28 Run Devil Run 2 cds 1 dvd
    29 Driving Rain 2 cds 1 dvd
    30 Back In The US / World 3 cds 1 dvd
    31 Chaos & Creation in The Back Yard 2 cds 2 dvds
    32 Memory Almost Full 2 cds 1 dvd
    33 Electric Arguments 3 cds 1 dvd ( reissue )
    34 Liverpool Oratorio 3 cds 2 dvds
    35 Standing Stone 3 cds 2 dvds
    36 Working Classical / A Leaf 2 cds 1 dvd
    37 Ecce Cor Meum 2 cds 1 dvd

    38 The Studio Outtakes (NEW TITLE) 1970 / 1989 4 cds
    39 The Studio Outtakes (NEW TITLE) 1990 / 2014 4 cds

    40 The Rude Studio Recordings (NEW TITLE) 1970 / 1997 4 cds

    41 The Demos (NEW TITLE) 1960 1979 4 cds
    42 The Demos (NEW TITLE) 1980 2016 4 cds

    • Mike the Fish says:

      His predicted track listings were insanely inaccurate. You can’t change a track listing at the last minute, and have a formatted, printed, and bound hardback book, etc. maintain the accuracy. Changes would be made well in advance of release.

      • mike says:

        Interesting that Press to Play was estimated at 4 cds, there werent that many remixes i thought and no live material. So 1. Album. 2. Remixes 3. Demos 4. ?????. Or is there a 75 minute version of Pretty Little Head!

  15. scotty_G says:

    Well I think we all agree the good new is that Macca and Universal will speed up the archive series.
    There is so much good stuff to come and whatever the reason, the Concord process was just too slow for must of us.
    Universal are quick to spot opportunities and will put some wheels under this…and you know that cant be bad !
    Perhaps he will start over again with the archive process to have it all on Capitol which then means the Concord issues will take on a certain “collectability”.

  16. Mylene says:

    Outside the USA Macca was on Universal anyway.

  17. Paul says:

    I hope the deluxe sets continue, until at least everything through Flaming Pie is released. I tend to think with the big draw to the books being mostly Linda’s excellent photography, that “Pie” is where those could stop at. I am hopeful the move to Capitol means all of the solo and Wings albums will be available in deluxe form.

  18. Craig Hedges says:

    I really like the Press to Play album but it is considered his most eighties sounding and for some reason the big eighties production sound is now frowned on. This album has some great songs and after listening to the demos I realise how much they got buried by the production. Paul should get the tapes remixed pulling back some of the bombast and letting songs come through. Having said that I’d also like paul to issue all the 12″ remixes from the singles.

    • Ken C says:

      The last time I listened to Press To Play CD (I have the one with a few bonus cuts) is actually a good listen if you remove a two or three of the weaker songs.

  19. Mike the Fish says:

    Memory Almost Full needs remastering, it sounds horrible! A really hard listen ruins one of his better albums.

  20. Mark Wardle says:

    Assuming it will also mean that the new album won’t be coming out until next year as well….boooo!!!

  21. elliott buckingham says:

    a decent give my regards reissue is needed

  22. Michael says:

    In concurrence with what Mr Cohen has stated above, I believe the Boffins at Capitol Records and Apple need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    The day and hour that they even *try* to make renting music the *only* option is the day that their industry will cease to exist.

    I cannot see this scenario ever happening.

    If it does, that really will be the day, and they will rue it one hundred fold !

    Michael

  23. Paul Lewis says:

    While I would love to believe something good will come of this announcement, I have to fear the worst. The “comprehensive catalogue plan” reference in the press release is notable only in what it doesn’t say, and given that Universal will care about maximising their financial return over any thought for fans (other “persuading” us to buy the same album yet again), my guess is that all the yet to be released titles will remain that way for years to come, while all the previously release core titles (Band On The Run, McCartney etc) will be reissued with a few extra elements, new packaging and the Universal business affairs people rubbing their hands with glee at the expense of fans! I can only imagine it being different if Paul insists on staying the course with the Archive collection, but the release doesn’t exactly suggest that’s likely!

  24. Ken C says:

    I can’t help but wonder how this may effect the Archive Series that’s been dragging on the Concord label?

  25. AlexKx says:

    Have you all ever noticed the censoring that goes on in every Paul McCartney photo in order to conceal how disgusting he looks from his lifestyle of smoking, drinking, and drugs? The one above as do most for years now almost looks like animation. The bright white out glare covers a large part of the image. It’s bizarre and rather scary that the media would got to such lengths.

    • Philip Cohen says:

      Remember, Paul McCartney is old. He’s 74. All of The Beatles were into drugs at some point, though McCartney favored “recreational” drugs such as Marijuana. He no longer smokes marijuana, because he says that he wants to be a good example to his children. By contrast, John Lennon was a heroin addict from 1969-76, George Harrison was a heavy cocaine consumer(He once said, “I can get high with the rest of them, but really it’s a low”). And Ringo was an alcoholic from childhood until 1985. He didn’t tour as a solo artist until after his detoxification. He said “Alcoholics always talk about doing things, but never do.”
      As for tobacco use, they all smoked during their younger days, but George Harrison’s death from smoking-related brain cancer shocked Paul and Ringo into quitting.
      Some people age more rapidly than others. Paul had visible “crow’s feet” around his eyes even back in 1964.
      As for “recreational” drugs(drugs which are illegal, but not physically addictive). I would note, that with respect to my country(U.S.A.) 70% of Americans now in their 50’s, 60’s or early 70’s consumed recreational drugs during their high school or college years. This includes the 3 most recent United States presidents(Barrack Obama, Bill Clinton & George H.W. Bush) and it includes me. These are people who were the “hippies” of the 1960’s or (in my case) the 1970’s. The Beatles (though born 12 to 16 years before me) were of this generation too.

      • Stan Butler says:

        McCartney’s doing ok. Compared to Keef and Mick he practically looks middle aged. Anyway, God preserve us from a world of clean living rock stars. Now have a look at Mark E Smith. There’s a face that tells a story.

        • DaveM says:

          Despite what these old artists look like and I don’t give a sh@t personally, we should celebrate some of them are still around. I mean I have seen The Stones, The Who, Leonard Cohen, Macca, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison and Neil Young live in the last few years. At 51 I was either too young or too skint to even dream that I’d ever see them all, apart from one offs like seeing the Stones in 82 at Roundhay Park.
          Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means ‘era-locked’ as for example last year I went to twenty-odd gigs and most of them were emerging or recent artists. I guess what I am saying is I feel lucky that I can enjoy the best of both worlds. Long may they run.

  26. Mike the Fish says:

    I’m not sure what the alarm at Universal being more involved is based on. I think maybe there’s concern that the reissue series will be even slower paced with the move to another label, but Universal, the owners, have been eager exploiters of their back catalogue for a while now. We’ve been getting several multi-disc sets at reasonable prices from them (albeit with questionable quality control and subsequent customer service at times), they embrace 5.1 and even release seperate BDs. Possibly the best major to be under at the moment.

  27. Ben Williams says:

    If Capitol do reissue the already reissued Deluxe Editions, then the best thing for that already have them to do is not buy them again and wait, hope and pray that the albums yet to have the Archive treatment come soon enough, at least while we all care. To be honest, and I say this as a mega-fan, even my care and exitement of these deluxe editions has slowly disappeared since the announcement of them over 6 years ago now.. I kind of wished that back 2010 that they had just released a complete studio and live album collection all nice and remastered with the stray singles on a bonus disc(s) and then just done several anthology releases over the last few years and got all the extras we’ve had already, and more, out there.

    • Stan Butler says:

      I have bought all the 2CD versions of the reissues (plus BOTR 2CD + DVD) and I agree with the concern over the snail’s pace in reissuing the back catalogue. The Beatles were producing new albums in the 60’s at a faster rate that these reissues. The blurb from Capitol about “introducing his iconic albums to new generations” doesn’t seem to bode well for a natural progression on from the already reissued material. My generation may be gone by the time the series is complete.

  28. Kevin says:

    Hopefully, this means Concord will be able to fully focus on R.E.M.’s reissue program.

  29. Howie says:

    I never got any of the deluxe McCartney boxsets and very nearly ordered a couple recently. With this news, would it be sensible to wait and see what happens to any new releases just incase the whole back catalogue gets a reboot?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I would say no. Some of the deluxe books McCartney, McCartney II, Band on the Run, can be picked up for reasonable prices…

      • Heinz says:

        “McCartney” is the only one that’s missing in my collection,
        I could never find it at a decent price. Has anyone a good tip? Thanks!

  30. Bjarne Laastad says:

    This is comforting regarding Flowers in the dirt:
    Macca himself: – It’s our next big box set. We’re working on that at the moment … That’s one of the real exciting things. Those demos. We’re releasing them as part of this package. I’m not sure I’m supposed to be telling you this. . . . It’s great that you’re a fan of Flowers in the Dirt. Cause you’ve got a real nice release coming out. We showed it all to Elvis, and he was just tickled pink.”

    http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/news/mccartney-promises-flowers-in-the-dirt-demos-for-forthcoming-reissue/

  31. Gisabun says:

    Regarding Stephen W. Desper’s comments saying that Capitol Records will CDs in 2018, has anyone confirmed this? I went through the “News” section on their site and found nothing from mid June 2015 and on. Wouldn’t this be BIG news?
    While CD sales have dropped over the few years, I think the last report has the sales more like flat-lining [not losing].
    If this is true, I guess Capitol Records should change their name to Capitol Digital. :-)
    Digital sales only took over from CD sales in April 2015. So CDs are still being sold quite a bit.
    Regarding McCartney signing with Capitol, There will be some major complaining from fans if he or the label decides to release the recently released issues [BOTR, I, II, Ram, WOA, etc.] with new editions and new audio [and video] added.
    Not really surprised with the change. In Canada, HMV has placed many of the 2CD editions as part of a 2/$20 specials.
    Would never buy the box sets from McCartney because I don’t think it is worth shelling about an extras $60 for a DVD and some photos and stuff.

    • Tim says:

      Along the same lines, I recently read that Sting’s newest album 57th and 9th will be digital only, no physical sales. Or maybe that was just the singles. But still, a sea change is coming.

  32. Sean Murdock says:

    I found this announcement puzzling for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that Paul left EMI/Capitol in 2007 because he felt they were a “dinosaur” and failed to properly promote Chaos & Creation. The Concord relationship — while too slow (imo) in terms of the Archive Collection, seemed to be a success for both parties. My strongest hope is that not much will change, but maybe with Universal stuff will happen faster.

    As for the expected Flowers reissue, I still think it may happen this fall, under the Concord banner. Paul’s press release was unusually specific in stating that Capitol’s catalog work would start in June 2017, which makes me think that there’s still time (and releases) left on Concord’s deal. Since Paul signed with Hear Music/Concord in April 2007 and released their first project (Memory Almost Full) in June 2007, perhaps they had a 10-year deal and Paul and/or Concord is simply letting it expire without renewing. Otherwise I can’t see a reason for announcing the start of new catalog work so far in the future.

    For those who fear that the existing Archive releases will be re-done under Capitol, I don’t see that happening. It’s been too soon, and even though most of his most well-known titles have been released by Concord, I can’t see Capitol making much money off of yet another Band On The Run anniversary set. (All bets are off, of course, if Capitol takes a crowbar to Paul’s vault door, and convinces him to empty it.) There are still several titles that are either well respected (Flaming Pie) or nostalgic favorites (the 1970s Wings albums) for Capitol to sell.

    What I do think Capitol might do to piggy-back the existing Archive remasters is issue a “Complete Albums” set right away. Such sets have become pretty popular in the past few years, they can be simultaneously lavish and not too expensive to produce, and they can be sold for a decent profit. That’s where I think we’ll see the BOTR, McCartney, Tug Of War et al. remasters re-purposed by Capitol. This would also satisfy the fans who just want the core catalog to be remastered NOW, and allow MPL and Capitol to continue the leisurely pace of the deluxe Archive sets.

    A “Complete Singles” set would also be a no-brainer for Capitol, and a good way to cover all the stray radio edits / single mixes / 12″ remixes that haven’t been / won’t be covered in the Archive sets. Best of all is news of a new Paul album, which will probably launch the new partnership next spring. It’s easy to be cynical after so many decades of fandom, but this could also be REALLY good!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Very interesting comments. Thanks. An assessment I fairly much agree with.

      • Sean Murdock says:

        Thanks, Paul. This announcement with Capitol could also explain the existence of the Pure McCartney set as well. Maybe Paul owed Concord two more “deluxe” releases, and instead of giving them, say, Flowers and Off The Ground (several of the Archive sets have been released in pairs), he gave them Flowers and Pure Macca. Total speculation on my part, but for those of us who were scratching our heads when the so-called “road trip” comp came out, this could be the missing piece of the puzzle.

  33. DiscoDave2000 says:

    After Flowers, I am most interested in a deluxe Chaos and Creation set.

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