An Open Letter to Sir Paul McCartney: ‘Listen to What The Fans Said’


McCartney should listen to fan feedback and change the Flowers in the Dirt deluxe edition, argues SDE Editor, Paul Sinclair…

Sir Paul McCartney
MPL Communications
1 Soho Square
London W1D 3BQ

RE: Flowers in the Dirt deluxe: Download-only files.

Dear Sir Paul,

You don’t know me, but let me start by saying that I’m a big fan of your work. I grew up in the 1970s listening to The Beatles and Wings from my parents’ record collection and once a teenager, started buying your solo albums in the 1980s. I’ve been buying them ever since. I’m an enthusiast and collector. For example, I remember buying the 12-inch of Ou Est Le Soleil? when travelling in America in 1990 (very exciting, because it wasn’t issued in the UK), and ended up having to cart it around with me on a Greyhound bus for weeks! I also picked up all three UK 12-inch versions of Figure Of Eight as well as both CD singles (three-inch and five-inch)… I think you get the idea.

So that was me. These days, I’m editor of a popular reissue and box set music blog – SDE (as regular visitors call it) provides news and reviews about music box sets and reissues and offers a place for fans to discuss the pros and cons of the latest releases. It has been running for almost six years and I like to think we’re influential. The blog is certainly well-read. One and a half million people have stopped by to read SuperDeluxeEdition in 2016.

I’ll get to the point… those singles I mentioned are both from Flowers in the Dirt, of course, and I had been looking forward to the official ‘archive collection’ reissue announcement since you indicated it was ‘coming soon’ in last year’s Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace reissues. I expected we’d get the usual mix of album, plus demos and period B-sides and remixes. You’ve delivered this, but for some reason, you have treated the B-sides, remixes and single edits differently to the rest of the audio. The album and the McCartney/MacManus demos get to travel ‘Club Class’ and enjoy the full blown CD treatment, while the studio B-sides, single edits and remixes (and the cassette tape demos) are just digital downloads – and are stuck in Economy, if you’ll allow me to extend the metaphor.

And that’s precisely why I’m writing you this open letter. I believe you’ve made a big mistake by doing this and I would like you to strongly reconsider your decision to deliver 16 of the 47 audio tracks on the forthcoming Flowers In The Dirt set as ‘download-only’ digital files.

Like most of the SDE audience – and I imagine a large proportion of your fanbase –  I’m a lover of physical product, but I won’t deny that digital downloads have a place in the world. They are good at the following:

  • • DELIVERING MUSIC to people do not want to own any kind of physical product
  • • Allowing people to ‘PICK & CHOOSE’ which tracks they wish to buy from an album
  • • Making ENORMOUS QUANTITIES of music available on portable devices
  • • Giving VINYL FANS a way to play their music, digitally
  • • Offering a way for upcoming artists to cheaply SELL/DISTRIBUTE music
  • • INCENTIVISING AN AUDIENCE to pre-order from an artists’ store

But your use of digital downloads for the Flowers In The Dirt deluxe has nothing to do with any of the above. So what’s the point, exactly? It feels very ‘gimmicky’, if you don’t mind me saying. As if someone in a meeting thought ’let’s do something quirky’ without consideration as to WHY you are actually doing it and what the impact would be. I’d go so far to say that it’s actually a mis-use of the medium.

You may well shrug and say ‘so what’. But the music – YOUR music – is too important to be lost to gimmicks. Newly remastered versions of great songs like Back On My Feet, Flying To My Home and The Loveliest Thing don’t deserve to be relegated to a ‘download-only’ zone. Why so casual with your output? Your legacy? You haven’t done this with any previous archive collection, so why do it now?

Surely a pre-requisite of a physical music box set is that you should be able to play all the music on a physical medium (CD, primarily) without resorting to bits of paper with download codes. Like many people, I don’t want two thirds of my Flowers deluxe set on the shelf and the rest in my laptop!! It’s like splitting up a pair of socks and keeping one in your top drawer in the bedroom and the other in your office filing cabinet. Think about it, you’ve diluted your own concept. Your self-styled ‘archive collection’ no longer starts and ends at the boundaries of the sturdy slip-case or the hard covers of a book. Do you really want people to be messing around registering codes at websites, unzipping files, working out how to keep them backed up, dealing with corruption issues, wondering how they are going to listen to them properly when their computer isn’t connected to anything that can match their hi-fi set-up? The books, photo-books in these sets are lovely – and you’ve deservedly won awards for past releases – but let’s not have the music marginalised to such a degree.

[socialpug_tweet tweet=”Hey @PaulMcCartney. Read this ‘open letter’. I agree with @sdedition. Don’t limit your music to download-only!” remove_username=”yes”]

I recognise that it’s now likely to be far too late to change the design of the box, the disc wallets etc.. So let’s be clear, I’m not asking you to pulp 50,000 sets and start again – my practical and cost-effective suggestion is as follows:

Issue an instruction to your team to get those 16 downloads onto an audio CD. Package the CD within a simply-designed card sleeve and find a way to include this as part of every Flowers in the Dirt deluxe package that is purchased.

Why should you bother to do this? You’re Paul McCartney, you can do what you want… but consider the following reasons:

  • • YOU WILL BE LISTENING TO YOUR FANS. They spoke, you listened. That sounds pretty satisfying!
  • • YOU WILL BE PRESERVING YOUR MUSIC physically, for future generations. Fathers can give sons their Flowers deluxe sets without worrying about explaining how to find/access those downloads.
  • • YOU WILL SELL MANY MORE BOX SETS. You only have to read the hundreds comments on SuperDeluxeEdition to see that the download issue is just too much for loyal fans who have – thus far – happily bought all your previous deluxe sets. For the first time they are thinking the unthinkable… that maybe they won’t bother this time. They don’t want to pay £120 for the new set which contains an enormous amount of music from this era that they simply can’t play on their CD players.

To conclude, I really do hope you do give this some serious consideration. I will put false modesty to one side and suggest that I’m as close to a subject-matter expert on these things as you’ll find. I know what I’m talking about. I spend all day, every day writing about, discussing and reviewing music box sets. I’ve curated many music box sets myself for major artists. I have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to knowing what fans want. Like many Paul McCartney fans I genuinely care about this particular issue and I can assure you, this ‘open letter’ isn’t some kind of publicity-seeking posturing – a random blogger making noise for the sake of it.

If you don’t believe me, consider the following. In the last few months I have interviewed Trevor Horn, Mitchell Froom and Chris Hughes for a forthcoming SDE feature on Flowers In The Dirt. This was months before I knew anything about the details of this new deluxe set.

I love the album and your music, so I urge you to read the fan feedback in detail and then do the right thing and give it the treatment it really deserves and correct this ‘download-only’ folly.



Paul Sinclair


200 responses to An Open Letter to Sir Paul McCartney: ‘Listen to What The Fans Said’

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  5. Max says:

    He is old now and doesn’t control things.

  6. Jan Spring says:

    I think Paul McCartney is not listen at all to his fans, nothing on his site nothing on this site. It’s not good what he does, if only he said something but no.

    • adam shaw says:

      If you go to his site , it goes straight to a FITD advert for the new box set which states the download inclusion .
      So looks like hes not listening to fans .

  7. Wayne Klein says:

    Add me as someone who feels this set is incomplete. Whomever came up with the idea of the digital downloads didn’t think it through.

    It’s a bad use of resources. I want ALL the stuff physically Paul McCartney. As a long time Beatles fan (when I was five I got my first record player in 1965 and the records I wanted with it were…you got it Beatles singles and/or a record) who has seen you play 15 times beginning in 1976 with Wings, we, the fans, are thrilled to being having much of this stuff officially and appreciate the extra effort your team goes to In putting these together that’s why the curious omission of these tracks (some of which are superior to other material in the set) is perplexing. Those who buy physical media usually won’t download or will do so ONLY if something isn’t available elsewhere. Give. The quality of the tracks (three of your best songs from the era) makes this essential. I don’t drop this amount of Money idly on music I have in other forms and, without this set being complete, (the decision strikes me as a middle management decision from someone who doesn’t buy physical product) I’m unlikely to purchase the set–not in a tantrum or protest but because it IS incomplete and I shall search other ways to get it.

    Here’s what you can do if you don’t want to take Paul Sinclair’s first suggestion — included a post card to order physical disc and have it mailed out. Thst way those who want it can get it (and trust me that will be everyone that buys this set). Until we have resolution my set is on hold.


    Wayne Klein

  8. Paul Hillier says:

    Any news on a response from Capitol or MPL, Paul?

  9. Ben Williams says:

    Just sent another message to MPL. I’m getting more desperate as the March release date beckons. I still can’t get over not only not having the download-only stuff not on CD in such a beautiful, lavish and expensive set but to not include all the session material from 1987-89 (as they did with previous Archive sets like Venus And Mars and McCartney II).

    I have been thinking of just how much is missing and it is excruciating.. Same Love, Love Come Tumbling Down, Once Upon A Long Ago, Love Mix, Don’t Break This Promise, Atlantic Ocean, Squid, Return To Pepperland, I Love This House, Loveliest Thing, Back On My Feet and on and on and on.

    If anyone reads this, please keep emailing MPL and Capitol/UMe!!!

  10. Julian H says:

    “I have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to knowing what fans want.”

    Except when it comes to live tracks ;-)

    Otherwise, I applaud you for the courage (again) to write this letter and for actually doing something.

    • Jeffro says:

      I see the above was posted on the original post’s comment section, but I think it belongs here, too! Thanks, Paul.

  11. willem stegeman says:

    I still intend to buy the boxset, as i did with the 9 stes in the past, but reading that lots of songs are only available through download, i am disappointed. Please add it to the boxset in a simple case….

  12. Jim says:

    Well said but one minor quibble. The father will be passing on his vast collection to his daughter, not his son.

  13. Bob Dudek says:

    Im a little wary of his digital downloads to begin with , and not for any of the reasons stated . I have downloaded the Hi Rez files offered ( and paid for ) with each super deluxe edition , and I own them all . The problem is except for Ram , I had a problem downloading the first sets up to Venus And Mars . The codes on the cards never worked , but thru writing to eveyone concerned these issues finally got resolved until …. I bought V&M / Speed Of Sound / Pipes Of peace / Tug Of War brand new and sealed thru Amazon , and not a single code works . I ahve reached out to all who helped before and they now wash their hands of the problem , telling me I need to go to Amazon with it . Amazon is only interested in offering me the standard download of each album . You can see why Im now nervous as I wait for my Flowers In The Dirt to be delivered . ( by the way , if anyone can help me out , this issue still isnt resolved ) .

    • Ben Williams says:

      Usually, the super deluxe box sets bonus tracks are exclusive to the box set and any autorip Amazon may offer will be the 2 disc version. Amazon have a history of offering incorrect autorips of CD’s you buy from them.

      I would stick to the 2CD version of Flowers though…Amazon are definitely not going to offer the download-only B/Sides etc as downloads/autorips and if you can’t get any downloads from McCartney’s website, I wouldn’t give them your money.

    • Ben Williams says:

      Also, should point out – Amazon should replace the boxes for you with valid codes (have you checked if they are case sensitive?) – or go back to MPL/McCartney and point out they manafacture these sets…

      I had an issue with Venus And Mars high-res but MPL or TopSpin were actually very helpful.

  14. Mike the Fish says:

    I recently got the What’s That You’re Doing email which contained a link to McCartney on the Mastertapes programme in which he talked about being concious of offering value for money (e.g. non album As and Bs as the Beatles, and performing material that he might prefer not to at concerts as he’s aware people have paid a lot to see him) so it’s a shame that principle has not been brought forward to some of these sets. Band on the Run was a great start with the three disc option (although not so good for the super deluxe buyers), Mc II had lots of bonus material, although again it’s frustrating to have such a large leap in price to go from 2CD to 3CD and DVD. Wings Over America at some store in the U.S. had the bonus audio from the deluxe set as a card sleeved extra CD – not good value for everyone by any means, although it was for those who could actually get hold of the thing. His deluxe sets have been pricey for the actual audio/video media in them, although the one book set I bought was lovely. This one is taking the mick, and it’s given me space to stand back and think, “Hang on, I don’t actually like this album very much anyway.” I struggle to see where his value for money ethos works out here.

  15. Hans Jörg Herbst says:

    This is disappointing to see that no one has replied so far. It seems that they then don’t have a problem with people getting the songs via an alternative way and only buy the small version.

  16. James says:

    Be interesting to see how this pans out. A lack of response would indicate to me a total lack of respect for fans and would display a certain arrogance which I think is unforgivable. I love FITD but the outcome of this excellent letter will b the decisive factor in purchase. On a matter of principle.

  17. peter wolf says:

    Paul an absolute brilliant letter and well thought out, i often wonder with a number of artists whether they actually think about their fans and most of us are loyal or if it’s a last ditch effort to resurrect their career{s} by releasing special anniversary editions, i have to agree these musicians in our time i would call legendary but at times what goes into some of these box sets can be pretty lame and as you suggested the worst one was The Stones GRR Hi Fidelity that sounded like a tin can that was a shocker! Once again thanks for your daily information, i just hope too Paul Mack will sit down and have a read and listen to what the fans have said. The one thing i have noticed how expensive the box sets are that’s another thing i don’t quite understand Paul have a great New Year and once again appreciate the updates, although it’s only early stages a huge box set with plenty of extras towards the end of 2017 a massive Toto box set all the best Paul!

  18. Bill C says:

    Paul-thanks for the long letter and hope it gets the desired results. First the price of this set is massive IMHO-and I have Ram, Band on the Run, McCartney, and McCartney 2—but this is over the top. Next I want PHYSICAL-so I can play it when I want where I want, on my stereo, my car CD player-not MP3 SHITE. We will see how this plays out…and I was really looking forward to this release-had to wait for EMI and then they do this?

  19. Dejan Dozic says:

    As always Paul S. you are really going the extra mile for us every time.
    I really do hope Paul McC. does respond and really takes this seriously.
    For what is an artist without his fans support ?!
    Se you all on the other side – 2017
    So I wish you Paul and all other supporters for SDE – A Happy New Year !

  20. Paul E. says:

    I’m 46 now and my Dad gave me his entire Beatles collection last year. The number of vinyl records (45 + 33) total over 200 pieces. When my friends come over to view my music library assembled in my home office they breeze by the three large CD wall shelving units holding some 5,000 CDs and head strait for…yes, that Beatles display. Fact is, you can’t show off a hard drive loaded with music files. There is no way to dress up the content stored in a plastic shell – I can talk all I want about ripping all my music to FLAC, the hours spent tracking down hi res artwork, properly tagging each song/album/etc. – none of that matters when it’s hiding in storage. Folks that pursue deluxe, super deluxe, or otherwise sets want to display (my translation: enjoy) the physical media. Downloads inclusive in box sets should be complimentary at this point in time and NOT the sole means for offering (or subsidizing) the audio. Offering two thirds of a set physically and the remaining portion digitally is simply phoning it in. It’s as if someone broke into the box set and stole the product…”Sunday’s on the phone to Monday” anyone?

    • Paul says:

      You buy music to display it? I think you’ve confused music with art.

      If you listen to music then it doesn’t matter how it’s stored or played back as it’s a medium you listen to with your ears. What it looks like is irrelevant. It seems you, like a lot of people, want to be seen to like certain artists rather than enjoying their music, hence your need to have it on display for the benefit of your friends.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        “It doesn’t matter how it’s stored or played back” – Your opinion. An 8-track cartridge is different to a blu-ray audio, which in turn is different from a vinyl record. To declare to people who have spent a lifetime buying physical music that “it doesn’t matter” is a bit silly. Especially on this forum.

        • Paul says:

          It isn’t ‘silly’ at all, you’ve just failed to grasp the point, probably on purpose. I don’t need a lesson in formats thanks, I’m quite aware what the differences are.

          The point, again, is that you listen to music, you don’t look at it, so regardless of the format it will always be best experienced with you ears rather than your eyes. That is clear enough no?

          If you all prefer handling music and looking at music on your shelf rather than listening to it, you’re missing the point of music altogether.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            The point is the physical delivery method has an impact on the sound, therefore it is relevant. You are claiming it is irrelevant “makes no difference”.

          • Dean says:

            I think your post is missing the point. The topic here is the PURCHASE OF A PHYSICAL RELEASE. Physical sales of music stretch back to the late 1800’s. Of course we listen with our ears, but physical product has been part of the equation for over 100 years. Taking your statement a step farther – I guess record sleeves have been a waste of time, sleeve notes are pointless, and any other add-ins are silly. Huh?

            If you’re not interested in physical product, then I think you’re at the wrong site. This site is all about physical product.

            I’ve never bought a download. I’m not about to start. If I was happy with a download, there are plenty of nefarious web sites where I could fill my boots. Instead I pay my hard-earned on physical product because music releases are far more than simply the music, and have been for over 100 years.

      • Paul E. says:

        @”Paul” (not Mr. Sinclair of course) – Paul, I started “collecting” and simultaneously listening to music at the age of 7 [at the launch of cassettes and the end of the 8 track era). I’ve amassed a nice collection of compact discs over the years and simply have them organized on wall units not to show off – but to easily reference so that I know what I have in my collection, where the gaps are, can lend out to a friends, etc. If the number of items is bragging than, so be it. I’m quite proud of my collection and listen to something I have “on the wall” everyday. Diving into my hard drive for music is only for portability (to load my hi res DAP, iPod, iPhone, etc.). Fact is, those tunes came from physical purchases primarily and NOT downloads. I’m not keen on spending $9.99 US for a download when more often than not, the same physical CD can be had for the same price [willing to pay 10% more for liner notes and the CHOICE to rip the audio to my portable listening standards. I know people who spent the same on albums back when iTunes offered only 128 AAC “quality”, than ponied up more for iTunes Plus 256 AAC – what’s next iTunes Super Plus FLAC? Point is, you are at the mercy of the site offering the download and why waste the time shopping for the best digital format when that can be had most of the time with the physical product. By the way, music is art from my vantage…for the ears and eyes.

  21. David Furst says:

    Very simple: fans buying a multi-disc box set like this should expect those B-sides to be included with the physical product. And at this price? It comes across as almost obnoxious to not include all relevant B-sides from the era – especially when there is likely to be plenty of extra room on each CD in the set. (OK, I can understand the 17 remixes of Ou Est Le Soleil being download-only. But everything else should be there.)

  22. Michael says:

    Paul, I think your open letter to Sir Paul McCartney may have had some effect. I just saw this update on Amazon USA (copied and pasted hereto), indicating a 5th disc of B-sides is included in the “Flowers in the Dirt” SDE, excepting 3 cassette demos, which are available as downloads as stated in the product description. The stock photo of the box set still shows 3 CDs and 1 DVD.

    Track Listings
    Disc: 1
    1. My Brave Face (2017 Remaster)
    2. Rough Ride (2017 Remaster)
    3. You Want Her Too (2017 Remaster)
    4. Distractions (2017 Remaster)
    5. We Got Married (2017 Remaster)
    6. Put It There (2017 Remaster)
    7. Figure Of Eight (2017 Remaster)
    8. This One (2017 Remaster)
    9. Don t Be Careless Love (2017 Remaster)
    10. That Day Is Done (2017 Remaster)
    11. How Many People (2017 Remaster)
    12. Motor Of Love (2017 Remaster)
    13. Où Est Le Soleil? (2017 Remaster)

    Disc: 2
    1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
    2. Tommy s Coming Home (Original Demo)
    3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
    4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
    5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
    6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
    7. Don t Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
    8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
    9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)

    Disc: 3
    1. The Lovers That Never Were (1988 Demo)
    2. Tommy s Coming Home (1988 Demo)
    3. Twenty Fine Fingers (1988 Demo)
    4. So Like Candy (1988 Demo)
    5. You Want Her Too (1988 Demo)
    6. That Day Is Done (1988 Demo)
    7. Don t Be Careless Love (1988 Demo)
    8. My Brave Face (1988 Demo)
    9. Playboy To A Man (1988 Demo)

    Disc: 4
    1. My Brave Face (DVD)
    2. My Brave Face (Version 2 DVD)
    3. This One (Version 1 DVD)
    4. This One (Version 2 DVD)
    5. Figure Of Eight (DVD)
    6. Party Party (DVD)
    7. Où Est Le Soleil? (DVD)
    8. Put It There (DVD)
    9. Distractions (DVD)
    10. We Got Married (DVD)
    11. Paul And Elvis (DVD)
    12. Buds In The Studio (DVD)
    13. The Making Of This One (The Dean Chamberlain One DVD)
    14. Put It There Documentary (DVD)

    Disc: 5
    1. Back On My Feet
    2. Flying To My Home
    3. The First Stone
    4. Good Sign
    5. This One (Club Lovejoys Mix)
    6. Figure Of Eight (12′ Bob Clearmountain Mix)
    7. Loveliest Thing
    8. Où Est Le Soleil? (12′ Mix)
    9. Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub Mix)
    10. Où Est Le Soleil? (7′ Mix)
    11. Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental)
    12. Party Party (Original Mix)
    13. Party Party (Club Mix)
    14. I Don t Want To Confess (Cassette demo)
    15. Shallow Grave (Cassette demo)
    16. Mistress And Maid (Cassette demo)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think Amazon have listed it like that from the start. Unfortunately, I don’t think this means anything.

    • darryl sayers says:

      this is what i want!! NOT DOWNLOAD> PHYSICAL DISC. forget original demos , disc2, replace and release DISC. since when are demos released, not for me? what happened to music?

  23. Avitom says:

    I bought Love Me Do at real time and ever since I bought any odd item by all 4 beatles but Sir Paul has to understand that admiration is elusive and a very thin line. I know many people like me who are going not only to ignore this release but anything else macca in going to release in the future.

  24. DaveM says:

    I can’t decide whether the FITD debacle is bothering him from these photos….

    Here comes the sun! Shirtless Sir Paul McCartney, 74, and daughter Stella, 45, soak up some rays as they go for a Christmas Day dip in St Barts | Daily Mail Online »

  25. DJ Boji says:

    It’s a bit Strange that Sir Paul Mccartney has not reacted yet to the Open letters and The Record company remains silent on The issue. Well at least dropping a line like ” we will look into it” would have been polite. Hopefully Paul is not too busy shifting his pounds from one account to another :)
    Hopefully he will listen to the what the fans said.

  26. Larry Geller says:

    My real problem with it is that the liner notes and the books won’t deal with any of these tracks, just like the previous downloads were not dealt with in the other sets.

  27. Steve Scott says:

    Well said Paul S.

    Sir Paul – like many on here, I have collected everything you have out out over the years and in pretty much every format. Flowers is possibly your best solo album and the b-sides particularly some of your best material and could/should have been on the main album. Please make them available in a physical (remastered) format.

  28. Gary Grizzle says:

    No need to redesign the box for the physical cd that your fans so greatly desire. Make a simple envelope that looks like a flower seed packet you would buy at the local gardening store. Insert physical disc. Drop into the box set. Bam!! Fans can plant that in their aural landscape.

    I’ve been collecting PHYSICAL McCartney product for 42 years (yes, I’m set in my ways). And I’ve seen you live in 7 different cities.

    Please, please “don’t let me down”……

  29. Gisabun says:

    Well said Paul.
    With about 3 months to go, isn’t there still time to move the 16 tracks onto the demo CDs? [As I mentioned previously.]

  30. Heath says:

    Nice one Paul, nice lobbying :)

    This made me chuckle: ‘It’s like splitting up a pair of socks and keeping one in your top drawer in the bedroom and the other in your office filing cabinet.’

  31. fisonic says:

    Thumbs up & fingers crossed! Thanks for your passion & expertise, Paul.
    Merry Christmas

  32. Ejner says:

    Big fat thumbs up, Sinclair!

  33. Paul Trotman says:

    Great letter. Not a big PMc fan, but loathe downloads.
    PS: The Fish deluxe reissues are fabulous, worth checking them out.

  34. Gregory Cheeseman says:

    And Moses came down from the mount for a second time and addressed the Israelites, “I know, I know! A reissue and still only ten.”

  35. tom says:

    thanks come on macca get it all out before i get to old to hear it all i own all the deluxe re issues and looking forward to london town and red rose.

  36. Marshall Boswell says:

    Hi Paul,

    New poster here, though a longtime visitor. Check the site at least once a week. Anyway, thanks so much for writing this letter, and for all you do here at Super Deluxe Edition.

  37. angeliczg says:

    Great letter. They (Paul & record label) can start pledgemusic campaign to see how many people would give money if they are so skeptical with physical products.

  38. Steven says:

    Just want to join the masses in saying that I hope someone, if not Paul himself, takes note of what the fan base are saying.

  39. Steven Roberts says:

    Wow, it’s amazing the rumpus this Macca SDE has caused – makes me appreciate all the more just how well thought out and what fantastic value for money the XTC and Tull sets are.

    Perhaps Sir Paul should take note?

  40. seikotsi says:

    Vinyl lasts forever. Cassettes don’t (about half of them do) ;)

  41. Eric says:

    Digital files last forever…..CDs sure as hell don’t

    • Mike the Fish says:

      Neither are permenant. Some CDs have lasted since manufacture in the mid 80s, though. Files can be lost or corrupted easily, drives (solid state and mechanical) can fail without warning.

    • David says:

      Bold statement. Why, what do you do to your CD’s, that they stop working? I have a very extensive collection stretching back 26 years and I can’t say I have ever experienced one that stops working. Also, you know for a fact that you will still have your audio files in the same time length of time?

      • Mike the Fish says:

        David – some CDs naturally decayed. One way this happened was known as bronzing which is probably documented nicely on Wikipedia.

  42. Ruben says:

    You’ve touched on what I believe are all the major points. This situation with the downloads has kept me – for the first time – from making this an automatic week-of-release purchase. Thanks Paul for putting the letter together; I hope Sir Paul considers your argument and moves forward in a way that satisfied us long-time fans.

  43. Nuno Madeira says:

    Great letter.
    Daily visitor of your site and admire your great effort promoting the physical format. Im not a fan of pmcC but i was surprised the decision of this deluxe edition
    Keep the good work, all the best.
    Cheers from Portugal

  44. Andy says:

    By all accounts, members of the Beatles don’t like being told what to do; I do hope this letter will do the trick, though…

  45. Jim Breeds says:

    Well said Sir! Glad you put on Your Brave Face. I’d considered this box set, albeit turning white at the price, but the download only content puts me off. I bought it on first release and only have it on cassette which my brand new Fiesta car seems reluctant to accept!

  46. Victoria says:

    Dear Paul. I found the Beatles on the Beeb in 1963 Christmas. Been in love with that Paul Beatles exquisite sound, rings in my mind daily. Nothing ever since to take the place of that sound. I supported and bought all 33’s, that are all but extinct now. Since this new tech way to listen.
    Now I am 65, on Social Security. No dough you see to buy this new format crap.
    Unreasonable, hyped up and rediculously priced, out of 85% of who have supported Paul for 45yrs! The record company, is only thinking of the Bottom line MONEY!!!!!.
    They do Not care which songs we want on any CD. Or it’s arrangements!
    It is Marketing that is responsible for this BS! Not Paul!
    My suggestion, release all on CD or 33,s!
    Great letter to Paul. Thanks blessings to all

  47. AnthonyC says:

    I certainly hope for the fans this makes a difference.

    I suppose ultimately this has to be aimed at the product manager at the label who’s job it will be to sort this out.


  48. BobG says:

    Really like the letter and you’ve got all of the based covered…
    As a purchaser of many boxed sets I just don’t understand the dichotomy of their pricing…
    As an example, how can King Crimson put out a 27-disk CD (inc. 2 Blu-rays) set “Starless” with tons of liner notes for about $150 yet Pink Floyd has their Early years out for such a staggering initial price (~$700) and this “deluxe” set with 4 disks (+ the, so far, download) for about $150….Agreed, PF & McC are “bigger” more popular acts but if King Crimson (which has a much smaller-run operation) can do it for such a low price, why can’t the “big guys”? Perhaps there are just too many hands in the pot (more layers of groups of people who need their cut) with these bigger acts but it’s just not viable when you get into these expensive sets.

  49. Rick R says:

    “14 April 1970

    Dear Mr. Klein,

    A few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song The Long And Winding Road, with harps, horns, an orchestra and women’s choir added. No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn’t believe it. I would never have female voices on a Beatles record. The record came with a note saying you thought the changes were necessary. I don’t blame Phil Spector for doing it but it just goes to show that it’s no good me sitting here thinking I’m in control because obviously I’m not. So I’m writing you this letter asking for these things – or at least some of these things – to be altered.”

    I haven’t received an answer yet.

  50. Ian Moore says:

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve been an avid silent reader of you site for (I think) the last two years. I really feel you do a wonderful, professional, honest and humble job in bringing news, reviews and information to us box set and SDE fans across the world. Regarding Macca’s FITD forthcoming SDE release, I couldn’t agree more with you letter to MPL – nor thank you enough for stepping forward for us all.

    I’m a 44-year old music fan living in Argentina, where we only get a very small fraction of deluxe / limited editions released locally, and import versions are only available bothering traveling friends or, if you agree / are able to pay prices that double or triple the original value, through small “boutique-style” stores in Buenos Aires. So, to fill gaps in my collection, my CD library is filled with home-burned CDRs of B-sides / remixes / “lost” live versions / etc. built around lousy mp3/wav/ape/flac (if available) versions of these tracks, and so far Sir Pauls “Archive Collection” (which, in the context I mentioned earlier, are so difficult to get in my country) has been a wonderful vehicle to get hold of all these lost treasures in an official / high quality / resistant-to-the-passage-of-time way (we all know how weak CDRs are and computers HDs can be). So I am really annoyed with this “download-only” situation and really hope our voice is heard this time.

    Best regards and keep up the good work!


  51. Kauwgompie says:

    Amen!! Great letter and very true. Hopefully this will get a propper response.
    By the way, there is a slight grammatical error in the first bullet point.

  52. j says:

    Be patient. It is only 4 days to Xmas & Sir Paul is a very busy guy. He just finished his contribution to the Tony Bennett 90th birthday bash, on Monday was @ the Onyx room in the Park Hyatt to celebrate the opening of his son in laws new film & Tuesday did an acapella version of Wonderful Christmas Time with Fallon, the Roots & the cast of Sing. It is awesome!!!
    I sure that someone will address @ some point. I am signing off for now as I will be doing a midnight horse ride on the Grindstone trail on 12/23 with cowboy breakfast @ 9,000 feet above sea level Xmas eve morning. Best of times!!
    Here is wishing all SDE readers & a pair of Paul’s a safe & happy holiday(s)

  53. Mikey Roberts says:

    Well done for trying to be proactive about this Paul, and nicely written too ;-) I adored this album when it came out originally – even bought the songbook to learn the chords – so would love a nicely thought out SDE. Here’s hoping!

  54. Matthew Collier says:

    I think for the very high price of this set, he should include everything on physical media (presumably, in most cases, CD), *AND* include a digital download of all the content too!

    Some boxes I’ve bought recently, have done this to some degree, and I think more should do it. I fall into the camp of having been buying vinyl (in the mid-late 80s) and then CDs and still do (it’s why I’m here ;) ). However, I rip everything myself (occasionally I go for the supplied/included download), as I do not ever use the actual media to do the actual listening, that is all done digitally across multiple devices (in full quality when on the main stereo system in my main listening room, and in lower quality when on the move…).

    So I’m kinda in both camps, but agree, the purchase of the physical item should include all the material, as a physical item, in the (expensive (overpriced IMHO)), box.


  55. Nick Preece says:

    Absolutely superb letter Paul, let’s hope the other ‘Paul’ takes the time and reads it and listens to you and the hundreds / thousands of fans and takes action! Or maybe we all will if it’s not changed and boycott buying it! Which by the sounds a lot of us won’t be!

  56. Pete {in Australia} says:

    THANKS Paul, for the letter and also for being a spokesperson for all of us, AWESOME JOB!!!! Yes I was super excited like others about this release, but not getting key songs on a disc, for me is just SILLY. Okay i maybe 52 in a month’s time, but Music has and always will be a huge part of my Life, and right down the bottom of the chain, are downloads…………………………………

  57. John Lim says:

    If I was Sir Paul I’ll “pulp the 50000 sets” and start all over again.
    Nicely written Paul. Enjoyed reading it and rereading it and…..

  58. Normand Tremblay says:

    Thanks Paul Sinclair. You are a great editor and a real music fan. Your letter is absolutly perfect.

    It is time to sing:
    “That’s what the man said
    So won’t you listen to what the man said
    He said”


  59. Mark Jensen says:

    I love this letter, though about bullet point 4, a free CD with vinyl is always way way better than a download card.

  60. Steve Beauchampe says:

    Thanks Paul, fingers crossed, would be quite an achievement if it gets changed..

  61. Rob says:

    Thanks for writing this open letter, Paul. Let’s hope that Paul McCartney is going to read this.

  62. Steve gilmour says:


  63. Randy Francis says:

    Wonderfully said Paul. Let’s just hope it is rad and acted upon.

  64. Si, Paul, queremos edición física

  65. Piotr says:

    If and that’s a big if you get a response I bet it will be something along the line of it was considered but decided to go with download only, we may consider a stand alone b-sides disc at a later stage.
    I still think there is more to the b-sides being relegated to download only than meets the eye.

  66. Mr X says:

    It will be interesting to see/ hear the reaction from his camp. If at all.

    It will be a defining moment I’m sure!

  67. Isaías says:

    Wow !!

    Thank you very, very much Paul for fighting for us (die hard fans) to have the download material in CD format in order to turn “Flowers In The Dirt” box set into something really special for real fans. Only you could write to Sir Paul with right words and feelings on behalf of all of us.

    Thank you very, very much once more !!!!

    PS.: I deeply wish the open letter change Paul’s mind.

  68. Amazing letter. Don’t understand why they couldn’t include the extra B-sides, Club, Instrumental 7″, 12″, and other Mixes of “Flowers In The Dirt” era tracks from ’87 to ’89 on the main album’s disc as part of this set (at least for the “Deluxe 3CD+DVD book edition”) or have them all on a fifth disc (including the DVD) or for those simply ask, I mean something than getting them lossy and even lossless, they should have been included in *some* way. Something, anything.
    Heck, I’m still baffled they don’t want to put the videos on a Blu Ray if most of the videos were “filmed on, well, film, than videotape”? If it can only be 4 discs, including the DVD, why not ditch some or heck just people for the Deluxe 3CD+Deluxe set a sampler of the demos and band versions of the McCartney/Costello songs previously released and unreleased. Release the band/demo versions of those tracks on a future “McCartney Anthology” set which I thought has been rumored and brought about from time to time like the “Beatles Anthology” for those that don’t know. We can wait, hope not that many plans have been dropped when Paul changed labels to Capitol/Universal. Everything else the books, possible mastering, releasing the demos is great, just download only b-sides/alt mixes, no Blu Ray of the video material, and including the silly “Paul McCartney Archive Collection banner on the 2CD and Vinyl releases” is oh-so unnecessary.
    Paul or anyone at MPL/Capitol/Universal Music, if you are reading this, just another disgrunted fan who won’t buy this set. I and others will buy if you send us with the set or if there’s some buying/freebie option on MPL’s site or Capitol’s or Universal’s to get ON DISC lossless digital audio of the “Flowers In The Dirt” B-sides/Alternative Mixes like 12″ or Single mixes of the main album’s songs on a fifth (potential, if you can) disc. At least please do this for us, the fans, consumers! Thank you and thank you, Mr. Sinclair for writing this letter, hope there’s some, if any, response from the man himself, MPL, Capitol/Universal.

    • Mike the Fish says:

      On CD the banner makes more sense as it squares off the cover (although Pipes of Peace is admittedly wonky), whereas on the vinyl it takes away from the original image.

  69. Neil says:

    I thought the bigger issue with this release was the actual price of this box set rather than downloads because at the end of the day if those downloads are lossless anybody could burn them to a CD.

  70. Steven says:

    I understand the intent (and indeed I support it), but the letter is too long.

    Personally, I didn’t even make it to the end.

  71. Friso Pas says:

    Great, well written letter. My compliments, Paul. I hope the ‘other’ Paul is going to do the right thing. This is the one deluxe edition I want to get, after only buying the Band On The Run set.

  72. Dirceu Guerra Martins says:

    Perfect Paul!

  73. Steve Calvert says:

    Outstanding Paul! But I fear Sir Paul won’t even see this. (It’ll probably be viewed by one of his “staff” and filed.) I hope I’m wrong because his fans are fiercly loyal and deserve it. (I know this after doing 18 years for HMV 82-2000).
    Kind regards

  74. Simon F says:

    “I’m not asking you to pulp 50,000 sets and start again – ” Did that not happen to Beatles Anthology 2? Either Macca or Harrison objected to the inclusion of one track so the whole lot was destroyed and repressed/reprinted… Jeez….

  75. Dave says:

    Great letter.


  76. Rodolfo Martin says:

    I love the letter Paul. I am a silent reader but I felt that I had to say something. For the sake of PMC catalog, he and his staff should be listening to those who bought (and will continue buying) his music. This new set has to be improved. I can understand that the deluxe edition comes with some extra music but not at this point. It is unfair for the loyal fan, collector and customer. Your letter to PaulMC is GREAT and it deserves an answer from the great PMC himself (maybe an interview? how about that?).
    With nothing said or known about the manufacturing process of this sets and their time frame, still the inclusion of and isolated extra CD can happen. Do you know who is coordinating this editions? Is there anybody at Condorde Music who can speak out officially? Is there anybody in between Paul McCartney and his fans that can be contacted? Is there anybody out there who can treat fans as a source of income and make us not feel as if we were trying to spy in the CIA or the KGB? It is my understanding that Paul loves and respect fans. We all love Paul and that is out of question. I honestly do not think that it is Paul’s decision but unfortunately it is only Paul the one who can spread light on what fans are considering unfair, mistreated and, why not, silly. I know that in a couple of weeks, you will be posting an answer to your letter that bring us all the answers we want to hear. You’ll see. I know that your letter is already in the hands of someone important, if it was not PMC yet.
    Kind regards. Merry Christmas
    Jacksonville, FL

  77. Fat Old Bloke says:

    I’m 100% behind you paul. But I can see this the start of the way music will be sold in the future. I bet we still pay big $$ for download files and a bloody PDF of the book.

    I have 1000s of CDs/Box Sets etc (physical items)

  78. Mikael says:

    I don’t really care about this particular issue, but I must say it was a very well-written letter, and I agree fully with you. Here is hoping that Sir Paul will listen, as well as other artists, who may wander into similar territory.
    You are doing great work, keep it up, love reading this blog and being on top of what’s coming out, and in what shape :)!

  79. Ralph says:

    Well written and I really hope that Sir Paul listens to his fans, the people who made Paul big and enables him to continue in doing what he does by making great music and giving memorable shows

  80. Mike R says:

    Some media on the release make it sound like it’s only the 3 cassette demos that are going to be ‘download only’. Anyone else see anything like that or read it that way? That would make much more sense.

  81. Richard Starkey says:

    Cheers Mates, Peace & Love and Happy Christmas. Never Poke a Beatle with a stick. Love it. No, honestly, we only wanted to provide as many options in the digital age as possible. No harm intended or omission planned. There’s something for everyone here. Love it or hate it, Peace and Love to our fans…RS

  82. mike says:

    Good letter. Let’s hope he takes action.

  83. don cooper says:

    How Do You Sleep,Paul?
    Ah…but which one?

  84. Chuck Salazar says:

    It is absurd that the faithful fans have these excellent works in downloads, hope Sir Paul, reconsider this great error.

  85. Dr Avalanche says:

    Great letter!
    Let’s hope they listen and reconsider.

  86. Tony Gubba says:

    Perfectly pitched Paul. Many thanks for your time and efforts.

  87. Hermen says:

    Hats off, well said Paul!

  88. Peter-M. says:

    Very well written, Paul! Thanks, and hope it helps!

  89. Jonny Morris says:

    Um… I’m not sure about the b-sides only being on the £100+ deluxe release. Surely better and simpler to just follow the precedent of the other releases and include them on the ‘standard edition’. Some of us would like the b-sides without forking out silly money.

  90. eric slangen says:

    Well written Paul and you made some very strong points. Now let’s hope it really works.
    Never underestimates the power of the real fans.

  91. Alex says:

    Hope this works. Otherwise this sde will not find it’s way to me. Good work, Paul

  92. RJSWinchester says:

    I can understand your frustration but I do think you letter is too critical in a “I know better than you” sort of way. Maybe you do and I hope you get the result you wanted but it’s hardly the end of the world if a handful of demos are only available to download.

  93. Straker says:

    They Knighted the wrong Paul! ;-)

    Macca’s not my cup of tea but a stand needs to be made and it might as well be here.

  94. Edgardo says:

    I completely agree with mr. Sinclair. I feel very disappointed with this box. I bought all of the others reissue, but I don’t think I’ll buy this one. It is an expensive deluxe edition just for demos.

  95. DavidG says:

    Thank You Paul Sinclair for this wonderful letter.

  96. Nick says:

    Agree 100% I’m NOT buying this underwhelming track list unless the Bsides etc make it to CD

  97. Ernie says:

    Thanks a lot Paul. Perfect letter, kind regards Ernie

  98. Keith Wright says:

    LEGEND Paul.
    That will get a positive responce, I can feel it.

    Keep up the great work.

  99. Jeff says:

    As all of you British used to say… Good Show Chap! All kidding aside from the Yank…. Paul, you have done a phenomenal job of culminating all of our sentinents along with your own concepts based opon your extensive knowledge on the topic and have generated a manifesto that is both worthy of reading and of action. Bravo!

    All the Best – Jeff

  100. Chris Merritt says:

    Succinct, heartfelt and well written. Let’s hope it makes it up the chain to him.

  101. vincent says:

    Nice try, but too wordy. Treat it like a letter to the editor: brief, to the point. After a Macca flunkie reads the first few lines, he will toss it to the garbage can.

  102. Mike R says:

    This has been a disappointing turn of events in the Archive Collection releases. Hope your open letter changes the trajectory.

  103. Dan Treview says:


    Aside from the obvious, what I most appreciated about the letter is your sense of self-awareness near the end. Most people would start off that way, but you didn’t. You let curiosity, interest, and humility guide your thoughts, and then concluded with your expert witness. And in the short time I’ve frequented SDE, I can back your self-assessment 100%. It is refreshing in today’s world to read from a person who can blend their humility and their expertise in an objective manner as you did here. It carries your message further, and galvanizes your observations to anyone who reads this.


    Dan T.

  104. Bridge says:

    Very well put Paul! Hope the other Paul listens. As owner of all the previous box sets, I would hate to have to give a 2nd thought to this one. Cheers, and have a ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’.

  105. Jan Burnett says:

    Nice one Paul. I’ve tweeted.

  106. alan hansen says:

    paul: bravo and many thanks! i sincerely hope your open letter replete with heartfelt effort and honesty receives sir paul’s positive response.

  107. Andrew says:

    I grew up as a teenager in the late 70’s listening to vinyl, then CD’s & now all the music I listen to now are downloads. I understand why some are upset but we are in a new age of listening to music. Perhaps in the future if their are other remastered albums maybe make them all downloads & retire the cd/vinyl format.

  108. fredpostman says:

    Well said Paul..but will he ‘Listen to What the Man Said’ [ouch]

  109. adam shaw says:

    Nice letter Paul
    Hope you sent him one of your t shirts .

  110. Gino says:

    I support this letter. So was this sent to Paul’s team? If do, what was the response?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Paul’s PR team have been alerted and have hopefully passed on to management etc. IF we get any response (a big ‘if’) it won’t be quick.

  111. Eric says:

    I hope everyone who’s dis-satisfied with the current state of affairs prints off a copy of this and mails it to the MPL offices listed at the top of the page. If they got a couple hundred copies of this in the mail, it might actually have some influence.

    Well argued, Paul.

  112. Peter Tiel says:

    That’s a very thoughtful letter! Sure hope it has it’s intended effect, thanks!

  113. Art says:

    I totally agree. To sum it up, download only disc, no. Also, with change of label (Capitol?), the price is now inflated more than the previous Concord boxes. Again, no.

    One more complaint to Paul. I bought downloads of some of the earlier boxes from iTunes like Ram and Band on the Run and I put them in my cloud. About 8 months later, they disappeared and iTunes just said the record label can delete them anytime and there’s nothing I can do and also no refund.

  114. Keith T Brittain says:

    Well said. I too am a Beatles and Paul/Wings fan from way back. In 1971, when I was 11, I bought the “Uncle Albert” single new and got the “Let it Be” album (also in 1971) because I the “Get Back” single from the summer of 1969, was still playing in my head. And I too, have bought all the “Archive” deluxe releases, but will pass on “Flowers in the Dirt” unless Paul includes the b-sides, single edits, and 12 inch mixes on a CD. Hey – I’ve wanted the “Ou Est Le Soleil 12 inch on CD for 26 years!

  115. ken.e says:

    Great post Paul!
    I was so happy despite moving to a new label that they made a decision to continue with the Archive series and will be releasing Flowers In The Dirt next year. Growing up and older with Paul’s music these sets have been very appreciated by me and I do hope they continue. I would very much like to see the release of Back To The Egg, Red Rose Speedway, London Town and Wild Life.
    I’ve heard rumbling in the past of people complaining about elements of the Archive series and not necessarily agreed with their thoughts. The complaints have been around the speed of the releases and lack of bonus tracks. At $100 per set I’ve enjoyed the slow pace and I’ve always felt it’s better to anticipate sometimes then actually have. Some of the sets have been light on bonus material yet others such as McCartney II and Venus and Mars have been very generous in my opinion.
    This is the first time I’ve been 100% on side with the complaints. I love the series, so happy we are still getting FITD along with the Costello tracks however I can not understand why an additional disc would not be included for the other tracks. As an old school physical media guy I was very disappointed the Flowers In The Dirt had the b-sides only available as download content. I would be so happy if this letter and other requests to have them rethink their strategy would work. Adding another disc would make me and so many other fans who are preparing a spot on their shelf for the release so happy. It just seems odd to have a release largely marketed to people who are likely not fans of downloads have to get these great tracks through download.

    Cross our figures and believe in the power of social media.

    • steven bakur says:

      Yes Sir Macca……I too, as no doubt many others would LOVE to see special editions of Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway, London Town, and Back to the Egg!!!!!!!

  116. Gary Thompson says:

    Good letter Paul, relevant & just enough detail to put over the message. There is a (sort of) precedent for the solution you propose; Pink Floyd dropped the ball on the Early Days box set by replacing the Obscured by Clouds disc with the music from’ At Pompeii’. This was rectified by inserting the correct disc into the package with the sealed box, so your idea isn’t unworkable. After all, it’s unlikely the sets have been manufactured at this stage, so an extra disc would add next to nothing to the process time.

  117. Colin H says:

    Compelling letter, Paul. And great comparison, Daveid! :-)

  118. Paul Hillier says:

    Personally, I’m not so bothered about the downloads, although I’m happy to support those who do feel aggrieved. What I AM frustrated about is the price. Most of us don’t have that sort of money to drop on ONE ALBUM. I recently bought the entire remastered Crowded House catalogue for less than that. I appreciate that these sets come with very well conceived bells and whistles but I suspect that most everyone who’s considering buying this box would gladly lose a book of video stills in order to reduce the price by £30.

  119. Timbo19 says:

    I am no fan of the work which is the subject matter of your letter but am glad to see someone actively championing the continued relevance of CDs as a recording medium. More power to you!

  120. Mark says:

    Tremendous job, Paul… now here’s hoping the right eyes see it!

  121. Jhonn says:

    Well done, but life is short and the letter is very long….hopefully Mr.Sir has time enough…;-)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      My English teacher always used to say I was ‘verbose’… but at least it shows him/them that some proper thought has gone into it.

  122. Catweazle says:

    You didn’t buy the Figure of Eight 7″?? I’m shocked, Paul ;-)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yeah, that is a bit weird, looking back on it. I have the ‘This One’ seven-inch which came with postcards etc.

  123. Eduardo says:

    Thank you, Paul, for express so well the feelings of all of us. Perfect~!!!!

  124. Jim Edwards says:

    Paul v. Paul.
    … And the winner is…

  125. gwynogue says:

    Hear hear, Paul S!

    Brilliantly written letter – and with a bit of tweaking (and time travel, lol) you could send it to Shirley Manson an co. regarding the (load of) Garbage re-issue from last year. I know that was a slightly different kettle of fish, but the download-only frustrations are the same. Especially as it was a whole seperate entity – there wasn’t a code with the ‘physical’ product, so download availability, pricing and quality varied depending on where you lived.

    I’d also like to ‘plus 1’ Paul W’s comment – as a not-very-wealthy completist it annoys me that I cannot support artists I truly love as much as I would like to. They (and their record companies) seem to think how much you love them depends on how much you have in your wallet and if you don’t buy the fancy-schmancy edition, you’re not a ‘true’ fan. Well the joke’s on them, because instead of getting my money for a reasonably priced item, I wait for a cheap second-hand copy (or illegal rip in extreme cases) of a ridiculously priced item and they end up getting NOTHING.


  126. andy says:

    Seems a bit arrogant to me, making demands and saying you ‘must’ to this.

    • Chris Squires says:

      I don’t think the letter reads like that at all. Paul is only trying to help. Someone, somewhere has misjudged something and rather than people just not buying the product and leaving the seller to ponder why. SDE is trying to fix the problem at an early stage.

      It’s a polite request to think again, far from a demand.

  127. daveid says:

    Wow. This is like writing to God during his creation of the earth and saying “pardon me your magnificence, I’m a big fan of yours but I think you’ll find what people want are real trees not cardboard cut-outs!”

    Well said and Good luck!

  128. Tom says:

    Great letter Paul. Thank You. If Macca trashes you then you have somethin in common with Phil Collins.

  129. Graham says:

    Great letter Paul,let’s hope the man himself see’s sense,and gives the nod to change the format.We’ll wait and see with bated breath.

  130. Matthias says:

    Great letter, Paul! As the boxset is not out yet, there’s hope that things still can change…
    PS: Thanks a lot for the signed Sam Brown boxset. Perfect service!!!

  131. Robert Frampton-Fell says:

    Agree entirely with what Paul Sinclair has suggested, come on Sir Paul you know it makes sense.

  132. JORGE PAU SIERRA says:

    I hope Paul is reading this, because people that buy this kind of expensive boxes are older people that want to get all the music in physical support and know all the Macca and Beatles music. Very great fans!.

  133. richie says:

    Hi Paul (McCartney), I first saw you with your band in 1963 at the Plaza in St Helens, I was 13 and my uncle who was also a mate and only 18 took me to the show. I was hooked, the excitement and atmosphere was electric!

    Since then I have been a fan of your band and yours and your 3 mates solo work. Paul who runs this site and who works bloody hard on our behalf has said for me and many others what we feel about the `Flowers In The Dirt` SE. Please show that you are still a man of the people and at least acknowledge what we have to say, thanks, Richie.

  134. Trash says:

    I’m one of the few who is less bothered by this (maybe I just have too many other things to worry about at the moment).
    Having said that I can see that this is a big issue for many so I hope that the letter achieves a good result. It would be a really nice to feel that fans opinion counts for something.

    And slight nitpick – I spotted one mistake:
    ” I believe you’ve made an big mistake….”.

    I believe it should be “.. a big mistake…”

    Minor point but it stands out in an otherwise superbly written piece.
    Good luck!!

  135. Rick Royston says:

    Perfectly put and very well argued. And your suggested solution is pre-eminently practical.

    And how could Sir Paul not identify with a young music enthusiast sitting on a bus with a 12″ record?

    “When we were kids, we’d take a half-hour bus ride to Lewis’s department store to buy an album, and then we’d come back on the bus, take it out of the brown paper bag and read it cover to cover…”

  136. Brendan Minchin says:

    Great letter Paul! Who buys a box set for digital downloads? Very bad move. Defies logic.

  137. Hans Jörg says:

    Perfectly written even if I only understood 95%. 5% go to the fact that English is only my second language.

  138. Will W says:

    I really hope this makes a difference. I only really want a 2 disc set. Album on disc 1, b sides and Costello/Macca demos on disc 2. A few remixes if any room too….

  139. CHDX says:

    In my opinion a better way to express our issues than to follow the “Simply don’t buy it ” posts: while low sale numbers could mean a thousand things (not enough fans of the guy, of this album, price to high etc…), this great letter is clearly stating WHY we will pass on this “faulty” one, despite our passion for collecting stuff, combined with our love this album and the fact that the price is ok (at least, market wise)…

  140. Jim says:

    He poked a Beatle with a stick! Everybody hide!

  141. Andrew Mogford says:

    Paul what a superb letter!

    I have an English degree and regard myself at being pretty good at communicating in writing but there is no way I could match that! Nice one, and crossed fingers!

    Sorry to bring it up and understand why you have them – but can you make the floating sharing buttons go to the top of the screen, rather than half way down? I’m reading this over brunch on my iPad Pro in landscape mode and it takes up a lot of screen real estate and makes it difficult to read.

    Thanks for all the great work both here and on the store in 2016 and have a fantastic christmas and new year!

  142. Pds says:

    Good letter. You could also have mentioned the ridiculous price £120-180 – yes we can choose not to buy it regardless of how many CDs are in the set – but surely the record company want people to buy it ! It’s far more than the Ram and Wings over America sets which are just as sumptuous if not more so. This needs to get under the £100 mark or it’s a no from me – and I’ve bought just about everything he’s ever released !

  143. DaveM says:

    Very well said. The more I have thought about this ridiculous download situation I have concluded that its either a simple bollock drop by someone and they were in too deep with the artwork etc to change it or they are testing the waters to see if an SDE can exist in the future with just a download option. If its the latter and they stick with it then I am forever out. Crapital indeed.

  144. Paul W says:

    Good luck with this Paul. I’m a big Beatles fan and have all Macca’s albums on CD, albeit I can’t afford the expensive box sets so have to go for the 2 disc versions, but I am gobsmacked by the decision to give the people who purchase the expensive sets exactly the same product as those who will download the music from an illegal file sharing site. Hopefully they will see sense.

    Having said that, I really do wish that artists would refrain from releasing such expensive sets, being that it’s the only format in which some of the music will be available. I am still a completist for several artists and used to be for all things Beatles related, but had to draw a line once these expensive boxed sets started surfacing. Like most things in life (and concert going is a very good example of this), there seems to be a market nowadays that is just aimed at the wealthier members of our society. Certainly with music boxed sets it is giving the less wealthy no alternative but to search filing sharing sites if they wish to listen to these exclusive tracks.

    It is a way of milking the fans one last time, but it really has been a kick in the teeth for the less wealthy among us.

  145. JL says:

    This was going to be the first Paul box I was going to buy. Then I was planning on going back to buy the others. Not happening anymore. I’ll just stick to my “downloads.”

  146. Mark says:

    Nicely done Paul, let’s hope for a positive outcome.

  147. Leemer says:

    Cheers! Well said. I hope that Paul McCartney, as you so aptly put it “Listens to what the fans say”.

  148. Charles K. says:

    Well put and representative of all the views, nic job.

    Is the new floating social media buttons permanent Paul? Is there a way to turn it off while visiting the site on a phone? Understand the need but man is it distracting, no biggie, just curious…

  149. Don says:

    Well said, I hope Sir Paul will listen.

  150. DJ Control says:

    Here here!

  151. Graham says:

    I am not really a PMcC fan but great letter & I hope it does the job. Unfortunately, this is not the first example of a poor release & I hope that collectively that we can use our influence to get these mistakes corrected.

  152. elliott buckingham says:

    well said. the only digital music I own ie mp3 is what gets sent with a pjysical product via amazon with auto rip other than that downloaded mp3s get put in a folder on the laptop and accidently deleted.

  153. Chris Squires says:

    ……drop mic….

    If “Drop mic” wasn’t sooooo last year.

    Here’s hoping…

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