McCartney’s manager reaches out to explain Flowers in the Dirt downloads

Paul McCartney / Flowers in the Dirt 4-disc deluxe edition

The Flowers in the Dirt deluxe set caused controversy by not including all audio on CD

Scott Rodger, who manages Paul McCartney (and other major artists, including Arcade Fire) reached out to SDE last week to discuss the less than positive fan feedback left on this blog over the 16 ‘download-only’ tracks included in the forthcoming Flowers in the Dirt deluxe edition.

The ground rules for the conversation (with SDE Editor, Paul Sinclair) were that this wasn’t an ‘interview’ and wouldn’t be reported as such, but that Scott was keen to convey his general points to McCartney fans and the SDE audience about Paul’s Archive Collection releases and hopefully try and put into context why certain decisions are made, including the controversial one not to include the B-sides, remixes and demos on CD, in the Flowers in the Dirt box set (see the open letter to Paul McCartney).

If we are going to cut to the chase, I will put you out of your misery and tell you that unfortunately, nothing will change regarding this Flowers in the Dirt deluxe edition.

I’m going to summarise the key points that Scott made below. To stress, these are not direct quotes from Scott and these aren’t necessarily the exact questions I asked, but I’ve created the questions and answers below to try and simplify and clarify the points of view. In my opinion, it is a very fair summary of the conversation.

Why not include the ‘download-only’ content on a physical fourth CD in the Flowers in the Dirt box set?

The main reason why there is not a fourth physical CD is because Paul didn’t want any more than four discs in the set. What Paul says, ultimately goes. He wants to look to the future and embrace new technology and drive people to streaming. 100m people are signed up to streaming services right now and that is projected to double in the next three to four years. This is seen as the future. Paul’s team want to look to the future and their research shows that more people are excited about the streaming catalogue. If that wasn’t the case then many more box sets would be sold.

Surely one extra CD wouldn’t have cost that much?

The cost wasn’t the main issue (see above) although Scott was at pains to stress that while Paul’s organisation is not losing money from these reissues, they are not that far from it, so even something like licensing some TV footage for the DVD element could make the difference between profit and loss. Physical music retail is a challenging marketplace with limited options (Amazon, Best Buy, Target. etc.) and Scott also pointed out that despite the costs of these sets, there is a lot of retail mark-up and label margin in the £120 price-tag.

Does this mean that Paul doesn’t value his fans?

Scott was very keen to underline that Paul values his fans very much but also trusts the team that is in place (headed by Rodger) to put these releases together. The whole Archive Collection series is one big preservation project and Scott is thrilled that they’ve managed to deliver what they have with projects that, in his opinion, go above and beyond. Paul is very involved and checks everything and listens to all the remastered audio.

If there isn’t a market for multi-disc sets, how come Sony issued a 60-disc box set for Elvis and a 36-disc set for Bob Dylan?

This is a different prospect. Scott agreed that there probably is a market for a 25CD set of Paul McCartney & Wings and MPL could do that. Indeed, they are talking about it. But for one title, one album, it’s different.

Why fill the box sets with so much printed material (books etc.) and not focus more on physical music?

Scott pointed out that Paul has an archive of over 1.2 million photos – he kept virtually everything. People within MPL are digitising every day. Preserving the world around the key titles in his catalogue via photos, memorabilia, lyric sheets is considered a core part of the process.

Doesn’t Paul realise that there’s some great music amongst those B-sides, remixes and cassette demos?

The physical discs in the deluxe set (Flowers in the Dirt remastered, Elvis Costello demos and band demos) are considered to be the crème de la crème. The other audio in the opinion of Paul and MPL is of interest, but not considered to be central to the narrative of the making of Flowers in the Dirt.

Are all future Paul McCartney Archive Collection deluxe sets going to be like this?

The answer to this was that nothing is set in stone. This doesn’t necessarily define what will happen in the future.

Will the 16-tracks being supplied as downloads be MP3, CD quality or high-resolution?

The additional tracks will be 16-bit standard WAVs since they were sourced from EQ’d CD production master Umatic tapes, which are limited to 16-bit 44.1 kHz. So they aren’t hi-res but neither are they MP3s.

What’s does the future hold in terms of the physical deluxe editions of archive collection titles?

Paul’s team work on one project at a time because there may come a point where the record label says there is no demand anymore. Despite this, I was assured that loads of potential projects are being discussed such as Wildlife and Red Rose Speedway.

Paul Sinclair of SuperDeluxeEdition would like to thank Scott Rodger for getting in touch personally to respond to the issue directly. 

284 responses to McCartney’s manager reaches out to explain Flowers in the Dirt downloads

  1. Jeff Hoppa says:

    I was able to download two tracks from the bonus material but no more. Now, years later, I would love to have the “complete” recordings associated with this set, without buying the box set again (I certainly paid for all associated recordings), but that seems … impossible. Anyone have any suggestions?

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  3. william d wolford says:

    Download only is the future, but he releases a CASSETTE on Record Store Day????? Yeah, o.k. I think the guy has Kelly Conway beat. I hope the idiots realize their mistake after they see all of us bitching. We’re not buying it because we like it, but because there is no other (legal) way to get it. I hope they’ve got the hint, DON’T DO THIS AGAIN!

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  5. Ray says:

    Sounds like Scott Rodger studied with Kelly Anne Conway!!! How about making those B-side available on iTunes???

  6. Petter says:

    Agree with Uncle Albert. The download-only -content is the least interesting part of this reissue and I have no intention to listen to the stuff at all. The demo material is historical making-of content of the shaping of the main album. Elvis Costello had a huge impact and was a lead voice on the tracks and could’ve been the reason NOT to release the demos by the main artist. I like this bravery actually.

    Yet still why not release it on one more disc, it would cost nothing. I agree with everyone. But for me, no reason to skip this release of an album that means something to me.

  7. Uncle Albert says:

    I can’t understand why people are getting so upset about this. Anyone would think the ‘Flowers’ b-sides were up there with McCartney’s best work.

    They’re really not. ‘Back On My Feet’, ‘Flying To My Home’ and ‘Loveliest Thing’ are decent enough but in all honesty, they were b-sides for a reason and none of them would have warranted a place on the album. The rest are mostly tossed off bits of fluff, such as ‘The First Stone’, ‘Good Sign’ and the dreadful ‘Party Party’, or dated house remixes which frankly, were ropey enough the first time around. (The best of the lot was probably a new version of ‘The Long and Winding Road’ but that hasn’t even made it onto the download list.)

    If the mp3 option seems like an afterthought, perhaps it’s because that’s exactly what most of the material in question was: format-filler, tossed off to provide extra material for various CD, cassette and 12″ singles. A whole disc of this stuff would hardly constitute a holy grail of lost classics.

    Besides (no pun intended), those of us who still have the original singles hardly need a separate compilation of all those tracks; personally, I’m happier to pay for the demo recordings which I’ve not heard before. Maybe I’m alone in despising ‘deluxe’ reissues that merely bundle up a load of music I’ve already got but this one (!) actually looks pretty appealing to me.

    At least, it will once the price has come down a bit…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      In Club Sandwich – Paul’s own fan-club magazine at the time (reprinted in the Flowers in the Dirt book) – it states that Flying To My Home was “a strong contender for the album”.

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  9. Dave says:

    After reading Mr Rodgers response I was struck by the attitude that downloads and or streaming is becoming more popular. I’am sure this is true. But most of the people that prefer streaming are the same ones that said “Who’s that old guy with Kanye “.I have loved Mr McCartney’s work my whole life and still do. If you’re going to sell a product, know your market. You are selling a 30 year old album. Who do you think your customers will be? It’s like trying to sell birth control to a 60 year old.

  10. william d wolford says:

    It COULD be a four disc set. Just take the two discs of demos and put them on one disc. They’ll fit I bet, and then the download only material could be disc four. Whatever Paul, you old bastard. Keep making us spend big bucks for these archive releases PLUS having to go out & spend MORE big bucks tracking down the CD singles you left off of it. THAT’S the way to ensure continued success of the Archive Series……

  11. Corey. says:

    Nope. That’s complete rubbish. The one and ONLY point to ANY deluxe edition is that it is made for the superfans. Period. That means it is made for the people who WANT hard copy. Nothing else will do. Every creator of a deluxe edition knows this fact so this guy is not connecting with reality and possibly, neither is Paul. Memo to Mr. McCartney: As a basic rule of box sets, disc one: Album proper. Disc two: B-SIDES & 12″ MIXES. Disc Three: unreleased/demos/alternates. Discs four and five: More of the same, or live tracks, etc. Finally, don’t try to force your fans into something they have absolutely NO INTEREST IN. If they cared so little about the music so as to be excited about streaming, they would not be in the market for a deluxe edition in the first place.

  12. Wayne Klein says:

    The entire rational is a cop out. Streaming as the future has nothing to do with this set beyond the fact that they want fans that don’t want to stream this but buy it stream it by withholding tracks.

    Stupid, short sighted poor business decision.

  13. Harve says:

    If anyone has been paying close attention to the history of Paul McCartney’s Archive Collection releases, with a couple exceptions, each one has been extremely underwhelming with many missed opportunities (i.e. bonus material). A couple examples: On the ‘Pipes of Peace;’ reissue, the rare track “Simple as That” (which was a bonus track on the 1993 release) was not included in the archive reissue. Ironically, there was a demo included with the same title, but was a completely different (and weaker) track. The ‘Wings Over America’ Archive release only included 8 songs live as bonus material. From what I know of the Wings 1976 tour, every show was recorded and there were opportunities to feature more than 8 songs from one show (San Francisco).
    Also, of the bonus content, there is far too much printed material (‘Ram’ included a frickin’ note pad!). Some of the archive releases have made bonus tracks available as downloads. The Archive release of ‘Band on The Run’ had “Band on the Run (Live in Glasgow, 1979)” & “No Words (Live in Glasgow, 1979)” as instant downloads when one ordered this reissue. This has been inconsistent throughout the entire campaign.
    To hear the (paraphrased) responses from Paul McCartney’s man-in-charge was disappointing and gave me the impression that they “just don’t get it”. There is a history of Paul McCartney just not knowing how to compile a proper collection of material to suit most his fans. I have seen repeated failures on the track listing for EVERY compilation dating all the way back to 1978’s “Wings Greatest”.
    This history of missed opportunities even extends to video compilations and live DVD releases, but that is a whole other topic altogether.

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  16. Neale says:

    Ok, I am a Paul McCartney / Beatles tragic….

    Will I buy the deluxe box set. Yes, I’m a tragic!!!

    Am I happy that I about having to download the “extras” rather than having them supplied to me in a physical format. No!!!

    Do I feel let down. Yes!!!

    I am a fan of Paul because of his music.

    Paul publicist says that Paul believes streaming (downloading) is the way of the future, so following this to it’s logical conclusion…. (if Paul TRULY believes this) …..

    ** This will be Paul’s (and The Beatles) FINAL release in physical format it any form **

    So my recommendation is to go out and buy this set…. it will become part of history, and a 100% bankable investment as his last EVER physical release!!!

    Sorry, I shouldn’t take his beliefs too literally…..

    Two questions, if I am a fan of Paul’s because of his music….

    1. Can I have all the songs in a physical format, and the photos/booklet that are in a PHYSICAL format as a downloadable bonus?

    2. If downloadable music is the way of the future can I have a code to download ALL of the music in 24-192 hi-res format… none of that 16-44 std-res format ( I am sorry, I don’t buy that some of the download only tracks for FITD are out there in higher res than 16-44, even if they were recorded in the late 80’s….

  17. Nick says:

    Definitely be nice to have it on CD, but, as a fallback, I know I can always take the tracks use them to burn one myself anyway. With what these cost, I haven’t taken one out to play. I make copies and play those – for example, the mono RAM cd. I do wish they’d been made available in a hi-res download form.

  18. GaryB says:

    Even before the missing disc controversy I was going to pass on this one because of the price.
    There are several albums I was waiting for but…
    Now I’m pretty much done with this reissue series.

  19. Shawn says:

    “A Post-Truth World”. Perfectly stated!

    I not a huge Macca fan. I like some of his albums, not all. I certainly wouldn’t pay that kinda money for what your getting; a fancy booklet(lots of important pictures!), a remastered album (loud and compressed), and…some downloads of the most interesting material. ‍♂️

    I feel the frustration of the fans. And the double talk from management is funny. And sad. What business does this “team” have in “driving” consumers toward anything?

    I encourage Macca fan to let this monster sit on in the warehouse until they understand. As consumers we need to drive them toward physical products. They want us to rent the music and streaming is just that, renting.

    Let’s see how they feel with hundreds or thousands of these turkeys sitting. Bet the price would come down.

    Oh…the point about the digitizing of the important picture was rich. Want to get those pictures to us in a physical format. Not the music. That’s just a minor point. But those pictures…that’s a big deal. ✌️

  20. Philip Cohen says:

    It’s worth noting that many pop stars have separate public and private personas, and that their public personas aren’t their real ones. Musician/Producer Todd Rundgren recently recalled his experiences meeting each of The Beatles, and said that they were not the clever and happy-go-lucky characters of the movies “A Hard Days Night” and “Help”.
    Oddly, Rundgren found Ringo to be the most approachable. Rundgren conceded that he only met George Harrison briefly (during production work on Badfinger’s “Straight Up” album), but described Paul McCartney as “Totally Dour” and John Lennon as “Drunk and Inanimate”. To be fair, Rundgren met Lennon during the time when Lennon was separated from Yoko Ono. Lennon had serious addiction issues during that time.

  21. Mick says:

    In saying that streaming is the future, Scott Rodger is highlighting a very sad truth: the record companies go out of their way to shove downloads and streaming down the public’s throat for a reason. Their greed is peerless. They want nothing more than to make profit with absolute no manufacturing, packaging, and distribution overhead. Eliminate physical product and goal achieved.

    The only two positive things I read here were:
    1) “The additional tracks will be 16-bit standard WAVs” (MP3 would have been a worst-case scenario).
    2) “…potential projects are being discussed such as Wildlife and Red Rose Speedway.” (glad Macca has the sense to revisit Wings for the upcoming projects).

    Thank You for Your tireless work on our behalf Paul S.

  22. jay elliott says:

    I’m 62, I have never stopped believing that Paul was for us (empathy, appreciation, humble)……but I did not hear him or any other Beatle related peace “icons” come out Against Donald Trump……..for what it’s worth. Lying, cheating and Alternate Facts seem to be concurrent with the times. Just Like Scott Rodgers spin using Alternate and made up Facts = Lies. All You Need Is Love…..yeah, right. Oh Ringo, Peace and Love isn’t just a brand. Less talk more action? Where were you YOKO? remember Power To The People? Thanks Sean.

  23. Keith Wright says:

    Never buying it at any price, I will not be downloading at any time soon, good luck to anyone who is prepared to pay top dollar for Crapital records low quality downloads.

    If this isn’t below £40 within a year, I’m the Pope.

    I’m not angry Paul mcCartney , just very disappointed.

  24. Ben Williams says:

    I’ve made my own Flowers In The Dirt deluxe this week:

    1993 Remaster CD (had this for years, cost me £5 new)
    1989 original LP vinyl (bought on ebay for £7 delivered)
    ‘Put It There’ DVD (bought on Amazon for £2 last week)
    3x 7″ picture sleeve singles (My Brace Face, This One & Put It There – ebay, £9 total)
    4x music videos from FITD are on ‘the McCartney Years’ DVD
    Flowers In The Dirt chord book (bought years ago; fantastic design and pictures – includes Flying To My Home.. – £6)
    All the non-CD b-sides, remixes and 1987 sessions collated on a CD-R with a custom sleeve (called it “Downloads In The Dirt” – blank CD pack, £1)

    Stick all that in a box of your own.

    Total cost: £30

  25. john says:

    this reminds me of that other genius idea of not including any tracks from FITD on Pure McCartney because it was going to be the next the super deluxe release

  26. Michael says:

    If Sir Paul McCartney wants to encourage us to steam his music (according to Mr. Rodger’s response to Paul Sinclair’s inquiry), then why even bother to put out this FITD boxset? Preferring download technology as part of this deluxe package may be ‘My Brave Face’ for Paul McCartney, but it may also cause him to ‘lose face’ with some of his longtime fans.

  27. Kenny says:

    Well done Paul in getting the response.

    Thankfully I have the Japanese 2 CD set and the original singles/CD singles and the Tour Edition set

    Like others I will cancel my order and wait for an Amazon deal

  28. Kenneth Tilley says:

    Macca and Scott can take this box and shove it. They obviously couldn’t care less for the views of the fans, It’s the arrogance that annoys me. As for streaming being the future Bxxxxxks is it, streaming is an out and out rip off I’m not paying over and over again for something i don’t own.
    This is one money grab too many from Macca and co.

  29. Mike appleby says:

    I have read all the comments, and initially thought it was a bit of an over reaction to a clearly flawed decision.

    On reflection, I really am struck by how stupid and out of touch the decision was and even more so in the extremely poor explanation offered as rationale.

    Firstly the ‘drive people to streaming’ statement is insane. Streaming does not even match the issues of a chunk of content in a physical box being download. The sets are not even on stream sights. Bonkers!

    Secondly, the gall to say they wanted to keep to four discs when they have two half length cds that could have fitted on one disc infers they are so out of touch that they actually have made me go enough is enough. I am cancelling my order and buying the two disc set and will get the rest elsewhere on the net, which is where charging outrageous prices on box sets pushes people.

  30. Geoff G says:

    This is unfortunate, but I do agree the Costello/McCartney is more enticing than the b-sides and remixes. So I have no problem there, as these songs are the ones I am very excited about hearing. I am a huge Costello fan, and when Flowers came out, I was very excited that Elvis was working with McCartney. To me this was a huge deal, and I still find it to be one of McCartney’s more interesting collaborations in his history. But I also understand that I’m biased. I also like the books, and I am glad that there are a lot of these, with this release. Yes, I’m one of those people who look at and read these things. I find them fascinating. In fact, The Archive Series sits on my bookshelf, rather than with my other SDE’s on my Media shelf, because of the books that are included with each release. So, I’m still happy with this release and think it’s pretty solid.

    But I am not happy with the download only stuff, and I am not happy with the price. In fact the price is absolutely ridiculous. I have it on preorder, but I might cancel that and wait for the price to drop. In fact it has already dropped in the US. Amazon initially had it at $144 or something, and now it’s down to $128. Hopefully it continues to drop.

    Anyway, props to Paul for the open letter, and to Scott for answering.

  31. Nowhereman says:

    Let’s face it. We are talking about someone who releases a ‘definitive’ best of collection but doesn’t include any tracks from Flowers In The Dirt as it is due to be re-released the following year. Hardly artistic integrity. And I say that as someone who buys everything that’s released.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      That decision and the downloads issue for FITD creates the impression that common sense has flown out of the window at Macca HQ.

      • David M says:

        Exactly. Driving people to streaming so that McCartney will get 10s of dollars royalties instead if 10s of thousands of dollars. Yeah, sure that’s what he wants!

    • Matt says:

      Ha, yes: “definitive.” There still hasn’t been a decent McCartney collection – and by that I mean one that doesn’t pander completely towards the hit singles and count-them-on-one-hand selection of album-only cuts (‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ e.t.c, e.t.c.).

  32. Dave S says:

    thanks for the informative article. I cancelled my pre-order. might pick it up later when its 1/3 current price because it doesn’t sell.

  33. Muninman says:

    I have ordered the 2 disc set and I will carry on buying these reissues, but I won’t pretend I am not disappointed and confused by Rodger’s replies.
    I am not a Macca completest, but I did buy virtually all of the mid price McCartney CD series in the early 1990s and I was often impressed by the bonus songs that were new to me – especially, ironically enough, those included on FITD. So where does this leave us? If we don’t get a set of full releases in this series then what was the point of starting (given that I for one have bought all of them so far)? And while streaming probably is the long term future, why not make that decision at the start and stick with it? This is a cock up from every angle. One thing I will predict is that Macca’s complete back catalogue will have to be reissued in complete form at some point, probably after he is no longer with us to be indecisive. One thing is for sure: nothing happens at MPL without his say so.

  34. Will says:

    I think it’s great that Paul managed to get something out of the industry to explain this decision.
    I’m not a McCartney fan but I am a huge Bowie fan and if this happened with one of his releases I’d be livid!
    Out of curiosity I looked up the price of this set. I live in Canada so I checked Amazon.ca. $176 for 47 tracks???!!! That’s pretty well $4 per track!! If I’m using this saying properly, it seems to me that Paul (and/or label) are really “taking the piss” with their fans!

  35. mr. roberts says:

    why is he not releasing them in the order he recorded them? there are other albums that are better than wings over AMERCIA and this one, like red rose speedway.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      He’s doing ones he likes and/or there is some kind of ‘narrative’ that makes them easier to market (for FITD it’s working with Elvis Costello).

  36. Erica says:

    If they want to focus on the future, I’d love to see them get back to the apps for each of these deluxe albums. I’m a huge fan and a completist yet I only own one of these box sets in physical form right now. They’re expensive and I already have most of the music. What I did buy was every single iPad app. They are are a nonphysical version if that’s what they’re wanting to move to, and I’m sure profit margin is better that way. They’re also a better deal for fans who already own most of this music. I can still look at the photos, written materials, and listen to all of the deluxe content on my iPad, but for a much better price. Why did they stop creating apps?

  37. Jeffrey says:

    Well then, I guess my last Macca purchase is behind me. I won’t be buying this or any future product. Thanks for thinking about the fans that supported you for over 50 years Paul.

  38. Steve says:

    Guess what, Scott Rodger ?! We’re not buying the ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ Box Set since you and Paul both insist on not giving the fans what they want with the 4th Disc as a physical CD ! No downloads ! We pay enough for these sets. If we had wanted to stream we would do that in addition to the physical discs. Good luck from here on out with that look to the future attitude.

  39. J says:

    I have not kept up with this post since the new year but, WOW what a response you have here Paul. Nice job!! Mr. Rodger can be elusive when he really wants to. What he meant to say is “We want to drive you to streaming thru downloads”. Say What?? If you want to understand his attempt at logic go here:


    100,000,000 (or 5) vs 216 comments? From a marketing perspective: DUH

    Have no doubt that Sir Paul cares very much about his fans. Thinking otherwise is nonsense. The problem is that SDE readers keep making way to much sense from a collectors perspective. Stop it now and that’s an order (RIP Mr. Cohen). In my last post, I said they “think they are doing you a favor”. And they do. Just go with it or not.

    • Philip Cohen says:

      Music rental/hire via streaming is terrible for musicians and fans. The whole implication is that none of today’s music is good enough for anyone to want to posess it permanently. And from a financial standpoint, music rental/hire is almost as bad for musicians as illegal downloading.
      Not everyone listens to music exclusively through smartphones. Believe it or not (despite what computer industry hype would have you believe), there are still people who want to listen to music at home on Hifi systems , and these people want to posess the music permanently.
      The consumers who collect music on “physical product” and who strive to accumulate all of the recordings by their favorite performers have kept the music industry afloat during hard times. It would be foolish for the industry to jettison these consumers. And I would note that in Japan and Germany, consumers are unmoved by streaming. In those countries, the bulk of music consumption is still on physical product.
      If the previous poster is suggesting that I should drop dead, then he is showing a very mean spirit; one that is, unfortunately, very prevalent on the internet.
      Just because one performer is going to issue a boxed set that is overpriced and a poor value, and many will wisely opt not to buy it, doesn’t mean that we won’t continue to enthusiastically buy superior products by other performers. There’s no shortage of good boxed sets already on the market or in the release pipeline.

  40. Carolyn Hurwitz says:

    Don’t know if it’s been pointed out due to the vast number of comments, BUT….

    I bought MCCARTNEY II in the Deluxe Edition primarily to get the extended versions of tracks that were not included anywhere else. Six years later, all of those tracks are available on iTunes as individual downloads. So it may well be that these bonus B-sides show up later there as well.

    Has anyone pointed out that he’s missing some songs?

    Lastly, the sound quality of iTunes downloads is comparable to CD quality to my ears, and is within the range that the human ear can detect variances in frequencies. So I’m fine with downloads, particularly WAV files. Your mileage may vary.

  41. Roberto Bessa says:

    Maybe we need to wait until 2019 for a Bluray Audio with all tracks !

  42. Philip Cohen says:

    I am finding increasingly little reason to buy this boxed set. I’ve already got the Laserdisc of the “Put it There” video programme and I could easily “burn” it to DVD-R (If I haven’t already).
    As for the download-only selections, (excepting the 3 home-recorded demos) I’ve got all of the other selections, 80% of them on original EMI CD singles or 12″ singles, and the remainder via perfect sounding sources that I found on the internet. In fact, via various sources, I have all of Paul McCartney’s non-L.P. songs, edits and mixes. I don’t need multiple variations on “Ou Est Le Soleil” (in my opinion, Paul’s all time worst song)
    The other McCartney archives boxes came with a coupon to obtain a 24-bit download of the boxed set. This box won’t have such a coupon, because the original masters from this period of McCartney’s career are 44.1Khz/16-bit. These recordings, inherently, can’t be presented as high resolution audio.

    • Ben Williams says:

      PUT IT THERE is available for an absolute steal price on Amazon. I got my copy last week for £2 ‘like new’!

  43. Jim Cargill says:

    The comment by Scott that “there may come a point where the record label says there is no demand anymore” may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The sheer cost of this set and the dissatisfaction with the contents may well cause true fans to boycott this issue and at the same time become jaundiced against future, lesser releases. I suspect that FITD would be expected to be one of Paul’s biggest box set sellers. If that proves not to be the case – and I certainly will not now buy it – that could be bad news for the viability of the series. There is still time to slip a lightly packaged ‘bootleg CD’ of the download tracks into the set or make it available for a nominal cost for box set buyers. Take that route and any money raised could go to some of Linda’s causes. Please think again, both Scott & Paul.

  44. Ian says:

    They can’t stream all the books etc, so why not release a box with all the books, papers, lithographs etc, but no discs, no music?

    Just a space for the buyer to put the discs that they have created from their downloads.

    (I’m not being serious here!)

  45. LouAnn says:

    Too much name calling here. Too much invective. It’s rude and disappointing. In short, you people are screaming at Paul about downloads most of you already own on a “physical medium.” The amount of sheer ugliness in these comments — the spoiled temper tantrums of grown men who didn’t get the version of the toy they wanted — is dismaying.

    • Daran says:

      LouAnn. Macca has a right to try and flog us what he wants, of course he does. It’s a free world. But we equally have a right to tell him why we are not buying it, and no we don’t have any responsibility to wrap up the criticism of what he is doing (wrong – in our opinion) in cotton wool terms, as he won’t ever read this anyway. Doesn’t that sound like a fair deal between both parties? Nobody is saying he or his songs suck, so it’s not really that dismaying is it. That was a bit of an OTT statement.

    • Chris Squires says:


      I have read every single post here and in general people have been more than polite. The majority even calling him Sir Paul, which is polite as it gets.

      The edition that we are being asked to pay over £130 for is very poor, not only by Sir Paul’s previous standards (other box sets in the series) but just about every other decent SDE release from a decent artist. It’s more than twice the cost of most similar SDEs and in the case of the upcoming George Michael SDE more than 4 times the cost. I think just about everybody here would be thinking a 10 to 15 CD set for this kind of money. OK, it is Sir Paul and not Paul King or Nik Kershaw, he has some cache, granted, but not the right to treat us like mugs.

      They offered, we spoke, they listened, they ignored and patronized, so, in all probability, FITD will be ignored also, I won’t be parting with a penny until it hits sub £50 at best and I have every other one in the set bar the equally poor “McCartney”. I would rather give my pennies to Mr. Mick Fleetwood and Ms. Christine McVie for what they are offering.

  46. Jürgen says:

    So Mr. PM won’t get a single cent from me, neither for physical nor digital medium, point.


  47. Alex says:

    No one tells me I should switch to streaming. I prefer the physical releases. Listening and sometimes browsing the booklet or whatever, that’s how I enjoy music.

    Besides that, the downloads for a previous box failed. Tried to contact PM’s website a couple of times, but never got a reply. Still no download for me. That’s not what I consider customer friendly.

    So I’ll pass on this one.

  48. Paul Murphy says:

    I had 10 cents going spare, so here they are. It appears nobody on this site is going to buy this set, this however will have the unfortunate side-effect of proving Mr Rodgers correct about the [alleged] poor sales of physical product. We just can’t catch a break!

  49. Gisabun says:

    As I have stated before, if Paul doesn’t want to add another CD to the set then either:
    Combine both demo CDs onto 1 CD and the 16 tracks on a separate CD [if both fit]. *or*
    For each demo CD, add the 16 tracks to the end of the CD.
    16 WAV files [uncompressed could amount to more than 700MB to download.
    Also mentioned before that I don’t care about the copies of memorabilia stuff. Release that in a book.

  50. Andy S says:

    Too expensive, wrong content: pass! Excluding real estate I think that music is the thing where I have spent most of my money in my life but now they have completely alienated me as a customer.
    Pink Floyd boxset full of errors: £400, Flowers with incomplete contents: £135. Endless re-issues of the same stuff on vinyl, then CD, then SACD, then DVD-A, then vinyl again at crazy prices.
    I am not going to buy this boxset. Maybe if it shows up on a Black Friday deal at less than half price I will… but just maybe.

  51. Soren says:

    Hi Neil thanks for the good news regarding Tango In The Night – the tracklisting looks great (-:

  52. Rough cut says:

    Sounds like nonsense. Profits? Put it out as a limited edition of 10 000 copies (or something) printed on the back cover and then charge 59,99 US$ for it in Macca’s own online shop. How hard can it be?

  53. Pupton Blueton says:

    This thread is raising some very interesting points about the future of physical product. Obviously everyone here prefers physical over streaming, but as some have rightly pointed out, the two are not mutually exclusive. Much as I love physical and deluxe products, I also stream now and again, as a way of listening to new artists (remember them?) and also as a convenient way of listening to music that I own physically.

    But, as a few people have said, streaming is only a possible future, and the ongoing demand for vinyl and CD is not solely, but largely, fuelled by middle-aged consumers who pre-date the streaming model. If physical is to have a future it can’t just rely solely on endlessly repackaging ‘classic’ albums which everyone originally bought in some sort of physical format, which is what has undoubtedly become the case, because eventually the consumer for that model will cease to exist.

    When it comes to reissuing material, it is artists such as the aforementioned King Crimson, XTC and Jethro Tull (to name a few), who have really made an effort to understand what their fans want when it comes to physical/deluxe issues, and have delivered an excellent value-for-money product that ticks all the boxes for the hardcore fan. It also can’t be a coincidence that they all those artists have a large or complete amount of control over their own back catalogue, something that not every artist has the luxury of.

    In the case of Macca, I have to say that I’ve not purchased any of his deluxe editions as I thought they all represented pretty poor value for money and am not enough of a fan to stump up so went for the 2CD versions instead. From the outside then, the problem for me here is the same with the Beatles reissues. Macca has the final veto on what he wants to come out officially and, in his bid to maintain control over his public image, he won’t let anything be released that doesn’t meet his exacting criteria (Let It Be being the obvious example). However, that doesn’t really explain the completely baffling decisions regarding FITD. It’s not an album I’m interested in, but I can understand the frustrations vented here, and the explanations given just somehow make it even worse. Like everyone else, I really can’t fathom how they reached such a bizarre decision, and the price is just outrageous. The only effective protest here is not to purchase….

    Still, nothing ventured and all that, so well done to Paul for at least getting a response. Keep up the great work with SDE!

  54. Neil says:

    I could never understand back in the day when you used to get the message home taping is killing music and then they sold hifis with twin cassette decks. As for McCartney avoid this release and the less people buy it the better and try and hunt down a bootleg called Flowers In The Dirt (Ultimate Archive Collection).

  55. Inge Kjetil Bratset says:

    Call me a cynic, but a part of me thinks that this was done on purpose, knowing that it will result in low sales, and therefore giving Sir Paul and the record company a reason for stopping the archieve series all together. Only time will show.

    I’ve bought all deluxe sets so far, and have enjoyed them thoroughly, especially Ram, Venus And Mars and McCartney 2. Hoping that Wild, Red Rose, London and Back will be next in line for deluxe treatment, but if not, at least as 2 disc versions. Then, that’s it for me.

    • Matt says:

      Maybe you’re right. Maybe it is being done on purpose… That thought crossed my mind too. – but not to drive down sales. Picture this possible scenario; It was done to cover up the record company’s decision not to pursue future SDEs due to their low sales? To save red-faces, Macca and his ‘manager’ have come up with this explanation to explain something that is going on in the background but that we’re not aware of. It’s not too ‘out there’ (ahem) to consider the possibility that McCartney’s fan-base has dwindled to the point where it’s simply not financially viable enough for a record-company to invest in these packages? Yes, The Beatles will live forever and McCartney’s solo/Wings back-catalogue is not to be scoffed at – however, how huge – really – is Macca’s fan-base when it comes to folk forking out hard-earned cash to buy an album that only – let’s be honest – Macca fans and – at best – die-hard music fans of old will be aware of? Dare I suggest, even when when ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ first came out in 1988, the majority of those interested in it would have been his fans and Beatle-related admirers. 1988 – it was the year when teenagers and people in their twenties were dancing to Acid-House and embracing its culture (a culture we still feel the effects of), a year that was percieved to be 1967 all over again – indeed, it has been dubbed ‘the second summer of love.’ My point? ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ – although a success then – would have gone largely unnoticed by the majority and isn’t exactly in the ‘classics’ now (and – incidentally – this comes from a Macca and FITD fan). Maybe there just isn’t the market for these reissues any more?

  56. Jurgen says:

    From a Belgian reader:
    Don’t know the numbers for 2016 yet but According the BEA (Belgian Entertainment Association) in 2015
    Cd sales rose with 2%. From 26,8 million to 27,39 million euros,
    Streaming rose with 30,6%. From 7,43 million to 9,70 million euros.
    Digitale download rose with 4,6% to 9,62 million euros
    Vinyl rose with 47,1% to 1,89 million euros.
    Maybe we should check the facts and see that cd’s are still big sellers!

  57. Graham says:

    I don’t normally comment and I am not a Paul McCartney fan but….

    Unfortunately, streaming is a coming. Like it or not.

    It’s the same with film and TV programmes. Have you noticed quietly over the last couple of years the amount of Blu-ray DVDs being released dropping. TV programmes are rarely available on blu ray (Sherlock is I believe), the only ones that seem to be, are the ones made not in this country (The Tudors, Versailles, Big Bang). Also the limited amount of time these are available to buy. Films the same, limited amount of time. I can count how many times gone to an assistant, have you got this on DVD, they fiddle on the computer, to be told, deleted. Then being told you can stream it. Only at Christmas do you get the “Limited Edition” boxsets.

    One reason and maybe someone can find another reason. Pirating.

    I remember back in the day (way back), when I listened to the Top 40 on Radio 1, in my bedroom, with a cassette player, waiting for the DJ to stop talking and hitting play/record. I remember school break time, lending my CD to a friend for them to borrow!!!

    Record companies hated it. I remember they tried to get cassette records/cd recorders banned at one point. Same with the film industry, the VHS/DVD recorders.

    Then the internet came, and people started sharing online and downloading. The modern day of what I did as a school kid with my cassette recorder.

    Film and record industry started playing catch up.

    Solution streaming. We will NEVER own the music. The listener NEVER has the physical copy to experience the artwork, the feel of the product, to play on what ever system they have, to pass around and share.

    The Film and Record Industry will say they are protecting their product. Ideally they would like PAY to PLAY.

    The only winners are both Industries and the internet providers. We would have to increase how much we can download, and play for the privilege of having fibre or a decent broadband.

    We the paying public have a choice. Sit back and let it happen or take a stand. Don’t stream, demand physical product

    Come on people vinyl was brought back!

    • Daran says:

      You can of course record a stream and convert it to the format of choice…. The only issue comes if nobody makes playback devices to buy. Ironically though digital audio players are a booming business right now. It is a messed up scene for sure. I don’t know that the industry knows who will win out, but would not bet against streaming not winning out for a decade or more, if ever. Everyday more and more people buy physical playback devices. Rega sell thousands of turntables per year alone.

  58. Carl says:

    This is absolutely appalling!! McCartney and his management are completely out of touch with the fans. People purchase these deluxe editions because they want the physical product. To impose downloads because that’s the way they think the industry is going (or more precisely the way they think the industry SHOULD go) is incredibly condescending to the fans. This is the beginning of the end for deluxe editions because enough fans won’t buy them and they will indeed lose money in the future. I have no interest in paying for a deluxe edition where I have to download some of the music and don’t have the physical product. Sorry but count me out if this is indeed the future trend for deluxe editions.

  59. Tim says:

    McCartney’s an idiot…so is his manager. The simple fact is that if streaming were the way forward cd’s would have been phased out by record companies but they haven’t been…as per this site, people still like to have a physical product in their hands. Neither are thinking of the consumer, but rather what will cost the least money and reap the biggest financial rewards. No physical product and millions of downloads/streaming equals money for nothing. Literally.

  60. Gruff says:

    “and Scott is thrilled that they’ve managed to deliver what they have with projects that, in his opinion, go above and beyond”.. really?? Like the seven bonus tracks on “McCartney” of which only three had never been heard before??

    And they wonder why fans turn to illegal downloads etc…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Credit where it’s due, generally speaking this have been very well presented packages although it’s true they’ve been a bit stingy with the bonus tracks. Nevertheless RAM deluxe, McCartney II deluxe, and Wings Over America were pretty great.

  61. Mike the Fish says:

    That went well.

  62. Soren says:

    Hi Paul thank you for your work to get these mixes on cd.
    I hope it not will be neccessary to send a new “open letter” if we neither get the Tango In The Night mixes too.

  63. Gary C says:

    Breezing through the comments here, there is a real sense of entitlement on some of the commenters part. You are entitled to assess the product, comment of course, and make a decision on buying it. What you can’t dictate is what the artist puts on the product and how it is delivered . Kudos to SDE on the occasions when such a campaign has had a positive outcome. Well done Paul and keep up the sterling work. With Macca/Capitol, it’s a different beast we are dealing with, but it’s acceptable to comment when the release does not fit our wishes.

    First things first, the old line about ‘if you don’t like it, don’t buy it’ still rings true. We will see how many of you ignore a price drop on this set etc, as a lot of the issues that people speak out about when something is mooted do eventually get ignored when the price comes down or there is an SDE alert.

    Two, I buy boxes and I stream and I am sure I am not alone. I just don’t have the cash these days to justify buying everything that I want physically. I also do not need pristine sound quality every time i listen to something. I have the box at home, the vinyl on the shelf etc all my ducks in a row occasionally.

    Three, this is a purely commercial proposition like any other. Macca and Co are wrongly fudging what has largely been a good reissue campaign, but they have chosen to cut corners and hell mend them for making that decision. They won’t get my money for the physical reissue but yes I will stream the content should it come online like I have with the last Beatles thing which I didn’t think was worth owning physically, or the Crowded House expanded versions, which for some, I did.

    Four, If you think Spotify is populated by little more than Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift tracks then you are very much mistaken. My MP3 player is dutifully loaded up with plenty of rare tracks and bootlegs which will never be available physically or ever see the light of day on streaming. But it also has Spotify, and Amazon’s music offer. So if i want to hear a track commercially available, new or old, then it is there, or it is on Youtube.

    Five, let us pause for a moment.. The invective shown here towards a man who is now in his 70’s is a bit sad really. Remember your comments will last forever online, and personally addressing one of pop and rocks true originals in this way is quite shoddy and i think some of you should be…actually it is up to you, it is a comments section and you conduct yourself as you see fit.
    But Macca owes us nothing, and has given us 50 years plus of music. Sure, we stuck by him in leaner years when his muse may have deserted him, but taken as a whole, he has given us so many classic songs, so great moments in popular music.

    Six, cranberry sauce

    • Philip Cohen says:

      Really, by the time of “Wings-London T0wn”, his best music was behind him. Yeah, there’s a “sense of entitlement”. We expact good value for money. Other artists provide that good value, but McCartney thinks he’s above all that.
      Throughout the year, archival projects by many “Classic Rock” artists and groups will be vying for our pounds and dollars. I know that I’m not alone in saying that I will buy the sets which provide the most value for the money. Goodbye to the “Paul McCartney Archive Series”.

    • Daran says:

      Not sure the sympathy for Macca’s feelings is justified. He is a big boy now, will likely never read these comments, and would not care even if he did. If he did care he would have done something about it.

      • Chris Squires says:

        That’s the nub of it Daran.

        It would be a simple, small thing to change. Burn and label a few thousand CDs. Peanuts to a machine like theirs. But the impact would be huge. “We listened”. It is such a small thing and yet, apparently, too much. It’s the Roald Dahl…”We are big, you are small”.

        They don’t care, they say they have a direction they want to go down (and to be honest I don’t think they do have an actual direction) and even though 99.9% of people who might buy this think they are wrong, that does not matter.

        This is a £40-£50 box set being sold at £134. It might be worth it at that lower mark. BUT the way this has been handled has been atrocious. Original poor, muddled thinking and then latterly bull, bluster and obstinacy in the face of (mostly) constructive criticism. Let’s face it there would have been less of a furore if nobody had mentioned downloads and those tracks had disappeared.

        Like many here I feel there is a massive difference being offered what we want to buy and being sold what they want to sell, two Venn diagrams with a tiny crossover of people who don’t care and will buy anything at any price. Most people would seem to be fairly ambivalent about 1.2 million photographs. I can’t remember the last time I bought an album for the booklet. To paraphrase Clinton. “It’s the music stupid.”

        It’s such a shame that they didn’t come up with some kind of template and have the bravery to stick to it. Each and every one of these packs is different and whilst some might like that, I would have preferred something where the packs were even remotely homologous.

        I don’t think people have been too rude either. We are being asked to part with 100s of pounds, 1000s more to buy into the whole shebang. We, ultimately, deserve a say and to be heard and, as it is, we are being treated like cashpoints….

        One final point and it does relate to Sir Paul in a way too. Companies are VERY guilty of providing multi pack SDEs with content that would go on a much smaller number of CDs. 5 CDs can hold what…400 minutes? I am getting sick of bonus CDs / DVDs with 31 minutes of material on them.

  64. El Nino says:

    I can’t agree with Macca’s logic. Even if he is right and streaming is the future we want something we can hold in our hands.

    Putting out a box set aimed at us and then adding downloads makes no sense. If we had wanted downloads the whole set could have been done like that!

  65. Joachim says:

    Well, anyone agitating for streaming or downloading on SDE would be at the wrong place. So Daryls result ist not suprising.
    I learnt that music industry (although milking the SDE/Vinyl cow as much as they could) considers us a the dying dinosaur, who has to cope or die. I already knew this thinking, but I was hoping for a more crowdpleasing answer. It might be a polite answer but it was the middle finger.

  66. Daryl says:

    From my count, 1 person out of 166 comments so far agrees with this decision.

    Therefore, streaming (or downloads, to give them their proper name!) is not the future. Fact.

    • Bassel says:

      Daryl, I respect what you’re trying to do, but polling people who are on a website ABOUT the importance of physical release is not really the best sample population to use for such a fact….

  67. Klaus says:

    Sir Paul, to put you out of your misery: Nothing has changed. I won’t be buying this.

    Paul S.: Thanks for trying anyway.

  68. DaveM says:

    Paul, well done for getting the response for SDE and I see you are receiving Kudos on Hoffman as well and so you should. It has made my decision easy; get hold of the Japanese 2 CD special editon, keep my 93 master, buy the 2 CD version in March and wait for an SDE deal alert for the Deluxe edition which I am certain will happen because of low sales.

    You Gave me the Answer, but not the one I really wanted..

  69. Dean says:

    These ideas of Scott are scary. For example: “He wants to look to the future and embrace new technology and drive people to streaming. ” WTF?

    I appreciate that’s not a direct quote, but the sentiment is shocking. Looks like they’re throwing in the towel on physical releases.

    I would caution Scott – the music industry has been wrong at just about every technological change. Sure there are people who like to stream, but it’s come at the gradual demise of digital downloads. Physical sales overall, are down, but the people still buying are pretty hard core – I personally buy 3 to 5 CD’s a week, every week.

    I’ve written it before, but I’ll repeat myself. I will not pay for a digital download. Ever. I tried streaming. Streaming was fun. I also figured out, very quickly, how to capture the stream for free – essentially creating MP3’s of what I listened too. Piracy with streaming is a simple task. If I’m forced to stream, I’ll just pirate it. It’s that simple.

    Now, if we’re talking physical product, then I’m in. I’ll pay. I have no issue with buying music in a physical format. Been doing it for 50 years. I’ll continue to do so. There has always been a relationship between the music, and it’s physicality. If you break the ties, then people like myself are lost. You won’t get my money.

    We all know that these digital downloads will hit the pirate sites 24 hours after being released. It’s naive to think otherwise.

    The dilemma is that new generations of music fans are growing up without a tradition of buying physical media. For them, streaming is something that will be natural. Perhaps physical media isn’t part of their future. But they’re only PART of the market.

    Beware of industry people who proclaim what the future will bring – they’ve never been right yet. Home taping didn’t kill music, MP3’s didn’t kill music. The Internet didn’t kill music. And streaming won’t kill music. The only body killing music is the industry itself, who lumber from one idea to another, always years too late. The sentiments attributed to Scott here are shocking, short-sighted, and sad. I can assure you, they won’t force me into paying for digital files. It won’t happen. I don’t want to pirate music – but I feel as though the labels are forcing me too. Trust me, if you’ve got people like me thinking this way, you’re in big big trouble.

    • joseph maffei says:

      Just buy the bootlegs of FITD. Their all over the internet. Stop this madness, until we get physical cds. Thanks Paul.

  70. TK says:

    Hi SDE, thanks for doing this. Does sourced from eqd cd production mastered tapes mean that the b-sides have been remastered? Thanks

  71. Marton says:

    Do you remember the Secret Website on the Back in the US DVD?
    Does it work today if you insert your DVD into your computer? No!
    That’s the value of a download compared to a physical disc…

  72. Ian Moore says:

    There was a time when The Beatles proudly made sure they got the best “value for money” for their fans. They always showed great respect and care towards all of us who bought their records with our hard-earned cash.
    Now, comparing Macca’s archival campaign to current reissues by Jethro Tull, Yes and King Krimson gives us eloquent and sad proof of how far Sir Paul’s and his management team (who is this Scott Rodger, a modern-day Allen Klein?) have moved from this and just simply don’t give a damn.
    Thanks Paul, for your effort towards letting ya know the sad truth “from the horse’s mouth”. Great job!

  73. Bob Dudek says:

    My concern with the downloads is that I bought 4 of the deluxe boxes from Amazon , and the enclosed download codes for the Hi Rez files dont work . I have reached out to Paul McCartney.com and they have told me no such product exists . Really ?? Then why is the a
    “redeem” page that the enclosed cards indeed direct me to ? Aside from telling me its an issue Amazon needs to resolve ( they are doing the hi-rez downloads ?? really ?? ) PaulMcCartney.com stopped communicating . Amazon has offered to replace the box sets , but what good will that do ? I have paid a lot for Flowers and dont want to find I wont even get 20% of the package since “Paul McCartney.com doesnt have any hi-rez downloads on its site” . I think Im now officially done with these over priced books with a cd or 3 enclosed .

    • Gareth Pugh says:

      Hmmm, I think I read somewhere that there was a time limit / expiry date on the hosting of the Archive Collection box sets. Which is a strange strategy for an item that might be (and, I believe, still is for the previous PMAC releases?) in print and on sale for some years to come…

  74. Marc Hocker says:

    I don’t understand why at a £120 this deluxe set is so expensive. Look at George Michael’s soon to be released deluxe edition of Listen Without Prejudice. With that you get 3 CD’S and a DVD plus hardback book as well as rarities AND b-sides all for £30. Is the Flowers In The Dirt deluxe edition encased in gold or something? Are the CD’s made of crushed diamonds?

  75. peter chrips says:

    As Paul Mac has suggested along with his manager, whether we like it or not, and most of us don’t like the avenue Paul Mac is going towards in the future, but that’s what he has chosen, and judging by the comment from both parties if you don’t like it sti_f shi_. I remember a few years ago when streaming and or downloading was punishable if caught you would get a slap on the wrist or a fine but gee how times have changed. We all know Paul is worth $$$$$$$$’s and more than that. A good solution i guess would be to have a choice, but in this case there is none.
    With Spotify, Itunes and i would imagine there are more, it does make it very easy to copy download, and we all know most artists despise this way of music as they rarely make any money. Ages ago i used to use a Russian site where you could download literally anything for free. Could not believe it, in this day an age the best way is to support your fave artist. I just hope this is a one off and hopefully other muso’s don’t get the same idea? As what Robert Plant has said Heaven Knows!

  76. ken.e says:

    First of Paul thank you so much for your efforts in trying to get us that extra disc that obviously means a lot to us Paul McCartney fans. PM will likely not remember the excitement of get a record anymore or the disappointment of not getting the songs you so much enjoy. Perhaps he was never a fan to that extent so he can’t understand the level of how passionate his (super) fans are about this.
    I read the commentary and just though blah, blah, blah… I guess they are too far down the path to put a disc in a cardboard sleeve stick it in under the shrink wrap. I’d be good with that.

    The only positive news was the glimmer of hope it might be a lesson learned and that RRS and WL may one day see the light of day.

  77. Warren Mason says:

    Streaming vs physical format does not have to be an either/ or type decision in this situation. Streaming is not the future, it is the now as is physical format. Part of what defines the current marketplace is customized segmentation. Consumers want products formatted to suit their preferences. While I prefer physical format, I also stream music in situations where convenience prevails. I think the strategic mistake here is positioning the product as an incomplete physical product instead of angling the additional content as a sweetener. For instance, if this were marketed as this four discs is the complete deluxe edition, but you can stream additional bonus content this probably would not be as contentious an issue. The tactic employed makes you the consumers feel as though you are being short-changed or possibly worse, victim of a bait and switch. Not effective marketing to the primary engaged audience, a group that psychologically feels entitled to preferential treatment in exchange for loyalty and higher margin spending.

  78. John Higney says:

    Paul McCartney is just hyping his return to Capitol and his quest to get his catalogue back for nothing under USA copyright law he does not give a toss about the fans it’s all about image and who can he get to promote his songs and music time to grow up Paul we lost Bowie Prince and a whole host of other stars in 2016 their catalogues were virtually resurrected overnight and are still selling in huge quantities maybe you should consider your own mortality instead of fleecing fans for one cd.PS his manager stated that he has 1.2 million photos as he kept everything well I have one he doesn’t have it’s a Polaroid taken by his wife and he’s not getting it.

  79. Jules says:

    A few years back a session musician mate of mine was privy to Sir Paul wanting to make a gesture to some hard working day & night recording studio staff for their trouble. Guess he was a bit out of touch with inflation as he gave the aghast recipients a tenner each…….mind you back then, a little earlier in the 21st century, a tenner might have gone towards one disc of an sde box set.

  80. I have to admit that the worst thing about the whole situation is that some things just don’t add up AT ALL.

    As some folks have mentioned, the contents of discs 2 and 3 could easily have been combined, leaving room for the 18 download tracks to be included on a physical disc in the box. But, that said, why do we really care whether Capitol/MPL gives us a disc of this material, or whether we burn one ourselves from lossless files, in whatever running order we deem appropriate?

    I’m just happy that some of the Macca material that I love (and, like a few folks on this blog, I think ‘Flying to My Home’ is a classic of the era) has been remastered. The distribution model is irrelevant. I DO agree that the ;ricing is high on the deluxe issues, and that there should be three versions of each release that are made up of: 1) a single CD remaster of the album, 2) a deluxe audio set with ALL of the remastered tracks from the period 3) a package containing everything in set #2 but with additional visual material. McCartney would then sell enough copies of version 2 to offset the cost of releasing set 3, the one that HE wants to release.

    Most disturbing here, though, is that while we will now have the hardly circulated “That Day Is Done” demo, we’ll still be missing the demo for “Veronica”. Again, a lack of completion in a package that is catering to … you guessed it … completists!

    It also blows me away that the two titles mentioned for future consideration in the Archive series are “Red Rose Speedway”, which is great since this one was originally intended as a two-LP set and there is a ton of interesting stuff from the period), and “Wild Life, which is a huge “WTF”?!

  81. Joe W. says:

    As popular as streaming music and downloads are these days, I don’t think that’s the audience for a release like this. Collectors are buying box sets, people who want to own a physical object. Sir Paul is missing the mark on this one. It’s unfortunate. Thanks SDE Paul for voicing our concerns!

  82. Isaías says:

    Let me share my own point of view with all of you about Flowers In The Dirty deluxe box set and the forthcoming ones: Do not buy them !! Leave them in the shelves !!


  83. James King says:

    When I find myself in a situation like this , I look to my music friends in the Far East who always seem to provide what I need on a factory pressed silver CD. Recently , when The Rolling Stones 2005 club opener for The Bigger Bang failed to appear on the physical media I prefer, it was not a long wait before the desired disc was in my CD player. There are still those out there who love music and have the resources and the passion to provide their fellow music lovers with the media they desire. I thank them.

  84. Andy K says:

    What happened to ‘The customer is always right’?

  85. Ravi says:

    Alternative Facts. Get used to them.

  86. Sean Lawler says:

    Complete rollocks !

  87. Marko G. says:

    This is just great. Only one person who will buy it so far. Fantastic reasoning and market strategy, Sir Macca! Also, 120 UKP or 160 USD for this? Are you ill in the head? Thank God I’m not a big fan so I won’t be shelling out on this.
    And the excuses/”explanations”… The only logical explanation is that Paul’s manager couldn’t share the real reasons for this majestic flop in the making… Because what he said makes no sense whatsoever. Too bad for the die-hard fans. I’d be pissed off as hell too if my favorite artist decided to pull something like this…

  88. Schu says:

    Again, as has been said over and over again:

    People who stream are not the ones who will buy a box set.

    Please provide a contact where people who buy this set can go to have a free CD sent to them with the download content.

  89. Carl Noonan says:

    I posted my own thoughts about this fiasco earlier but reading through all the posts it’s obvious everyone thinks the reasoning behind the downloads decision is bull. The more I read though, the more I got annoyed. PM is one of the wealthiest people on the planet. He could give 50,ooo copies of the box set (with an extra cd of the b sides etc) away for free and he wouldn’t miss a penny. Here’s what really pisses me off though PM is a scouser from a working class background and he was lucky to be able to break away from not having much to becoming a billionaire. Now he very well knows only a small number of people will ever have wealth like his, the rest of us have to work bloody hard to have any sort of decent living standard and as a scouser, who are revered for being generous he should give the fans what they want. It’s absolutely no skin off his nose whatsover, it’s pure greed and taking the piss out the people who have contributed to his superstar lifestyle. As a fellow scouser I am disgusted in this rip off approach. PM I hope you read this and are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

    • Philip Cohen says:

      You said it quite well. I’m still stunned by his defiance towards the fans. A boxed set is inherently marketed to avid fans, who are completists. But he’s a billionaire and he just doesn’t care.
      He forgets that fame can be revoked, overnight. Just ask Donovan, Peter Frampton and the members of Twisted Sister. But McCartney has a remarkable instinct for career self-preservation. When it became common knowledge that McCartney perceived the release of Beatles vault material as a commercial threat to the sales of his then-recent solo recordings, UK fans sent his “Paul is Live” concert album plummeting off the UK album charts after a humiliating one week stay. McCartney then relented and permitted the release of “The Beatles-Live at The BBC”. He knows that he can only go so far in angering the fans.
      And , by the way, I know (from having asked an EMI executive at the old Manchester Square offices in the early 1990’s), that McCartney prohibited the release of the Beatles outtakes collection “Sessions” because it would “clash” commercially with his album “Give My Regards to Broad Street”. In the end, all of the recordings from “Sessions” were later released on the Beatles “Anthology” CD series.

  90. Darren Dutton says:

    Very Big Bummer
    Now I will have to wait to see If someone bootlegs
    This material I don’t dig downloads at all and I’m not
    Crazy about CD-R’s so my hands are tired I would have rather given Capitol
    and MPL the money but from this they say I have no choice

  91. Howie says:

    I seem to have a couple of things in common with Paul McCartney. I myself spent all last weekend archiving all my families pictures onto a removable drive before they were all lost and like Paul, nobody gave a shit.

  92. Gino says:

    I will not be buying. Macca and his team sound stupid.

  93. Simon F says:

    Flowers In The Dirt? More like fans in the dirt, ground down there by Macca’s jackboot…

  94. Tim-Meh says:

    Hands up who has ever been excited about streaming… yep, thought so.

  95. Kauwgompie says:

    I like PM. I have met him twice by accident. He got out of a car on Fifth Avenue and I happened to walk by. Immediately a crowd of people surrounded him and asked for autographs, including myself. He very politely agreed and we all got autographs. Years later I was in Anguilla and he frequented the same beach shack as we did. My 14 yr old daughter asked him for a pic and he very politely answered he doesn’t do pics but would gladly shake her hand. He is a true gentleman. Totally besides the point but it came to mind when I was starting to write a response to Paul’s acticle above.

    As far as Scott Rodger’s comments:

    1. May be I’m ignorant but as far as I know, streaming is not the same as downloading. In fact it is entirely different. Downloading is almost the same as buying a physical product in the sense that you own it. With streaming you just play it on an app, you don’t own anything. So if PM is in favor of streaming, they should make this set available on the various streaming sites. That has nothing to do with adding a bunch of songs as downloads on your SDE.

    2. If you want to embrace new technologies, print a limited amount of box sets on CD (enough to make a profit) and make the SDE version available for download and for streaming. That way everyone is satisfied. The old geezers like me who prefer the physical format, the kids who still want to own something and play it on their phones and the kids who have an Apple Music subscription and only stream.

    Sorry but Scott’s explanation does not make sense to me. If I were to buy the FITD SDE (which I’m not bc of the downloads), I would download those last songs and burn them on cd and put it in the boxset so I’ll never lose it, and most importantly, it’s all together. That is what people will do who buy the physical product (mostly). As PM, you are not promoting or embracing new technology this way. And since when is downloading new technology? I downloaded 12″ versions not available on CD from Napster more than 15 years ago already. Old technology.

  96. David Rubin says:

    I guess Paul forgot that most of his fans have EVERYTHING he has ever put out including the classical stuff. We are not 15 – 30 year olds any longer and we are not fans of downloading or streaming music. Why not make your next box set some books and little cards with codes to download ALL the music. Or better yet, just send codes to people who pay you directly for all the items. You can email us the digital books, and send us codes for MP3 music files and be done with it. I guess that would make the next box set about $5.95, because that is all it would be worth. But, lets not forget the tee-shirt, litho, keychain bundle to boost the price to $49.95. Now we’re talking.

  97. Shane says:

    What a load of crap these answers were! I hope nobody buys this silly excuse of a box and teach Paul and his “trusted” team a lesson.

  98. Mick Gossling says:

    I like steaming only because it is convenient, I like CD’s because of the higher quality sound, with a decent player, I still like Vinyl on my Record Deck because the sound is warm and full, I am of the “old School” as is Paul, I have been a fan since 1962/3 and still am but re releasing all the time isn’t about the new technology alone it’s about the fans and in my opinion I prefer something physical like a CD to OWN, all of my Cd’s are on my laptop to stream through my Sonos but the sound is nowhere near as good as my Hi fi system is, but, at the end of the day, the music is Paul’s to do as he wants to do with it, all we can do is buy what he decides to let us buy.

  99. Bevan James says:

    Big thumbs down to Paul McCartney and the team of people behind these sets.

  100. Kenneth says:

    Paul, this is bullshxxxxx.

  101. RJSWinchester says:

    There’s no reason to withhold the tracks from the CD release but streaming is the future. Within a few years streaming super high resolution sound to your home stereo set-up will become the norm. No bulky box sets taking up shelf space and gathering dust and pointless limited edition yellow vinyl releases that afford you the opportunity to buy the same album for the umpteenth time. Music listeners will be able to focus on the most impirtnat thing – the music! Collectors however are going to find it very hard to readjust.

    • Charles K. says:

      I have no problem with digital even as a collector of traditional packaged music. My problem with going digital on some stuff is that I know for sure the digital tracks will sound like cr@p compared to disc and neither can replace vinyl. So if there is significant improvement in sound, which there won’t be due the file sizes needed, then OK. Otherwise I will continue to prefer traditional product until they stop making them.

      I realize most music listeners are passive, have fleeting tastes and have blown their ears out on buds but that isn’t me.

    • Daran says:

      Yes but that argument does not hold up in human behaviour or characteristic terms. If if did then books would already be no more, after all how long have we had the chance to do away with paper and ink? Must be a decade or two nearly. Have we got rid of them – no. Because humans like ‘things’. We are Magpies too. You could also argue that art / paintings / pictures or even antiques need not be obtained any more. Just have one digital picture frame showing images on rotation, or view an image file of a painting on your tv rather than the need for a physical product hanging on the wall or sitting on a sideboard. Well, artists are still creating works of art and last time I checked art galleries and auction houses are still doing a great trade selling. This need to collect will not change. It is too deeply routed in us I suspect. Hence vinyl’s increasing popularity. It makes no sense on any level, sound quality, practicality or otherwise. But it fulfills the need to ‘have’.

  102. CJ says:

    Just a thought–how are they “barely making money” on a 4 disc set at $130 when the Dead or Alive set, which presumably had a much smaller market, was able to sell 19 discs for $140? Is it really only ten bucks more to put in 15 additional discs?

  103. Jens says:

    This is a deluxe edition??? Ha Ha Ha

  104. I’m a fan since 1963, and collect all Paul McCartney does, dvd’s, cd’s, records, vhs, LP’s & singles. I feel the same as Mr sinclair wrote and regret that the b-sides arent’t on cd ! I’m not from the streaming generation, I don’t have that reflex ! I’m also sure that there is much more to put out on dvd than the shows most of us fans have on bootleg dvd’s ! Why isn’t there a concert dvd from the Wings over Europe Tour (1972) ?…because it wasn’t musically good ? Luckily we have the bootlegs ! they are much completer than the official cow milking archives. Why aren’t songs like ” I wanna come home” or the 6 different versions of “Hope for the future”, and the collaboaration with Dave Stewart ” Whole life”….out on a cd ? where are they ? I’d like to go in the vaults, and help Paul McCartney to choose what the fans need , and not what the new youth must like but doens’t ! I could go on much longer but…..the answer of Scott Roger pisses me off !

  105. Joseph Self says:

    I have a full set of McCartney albums, save the classical forays and needless compilations. I haven’t felt the need to buy an of the deluxe editions, because I have looked at what was included and the price. I demand value for my money, and buying an album I already have in order to get outtakes and demos and unreleased songs I will listen to a time or two just doesn’t seem like a good value to me. YouTube, Spotify and other such sources provide me what I want.

  106. Robert says:

    Nothing like giving the fans what they want! Just another non-hitmaker acting like they forgot who bought all their houses for them. I’m sure PM has plenty of money to take a hit from the profits off of box sets. Regarding the photos … there’s this crazy medium that’s called books! Have him go to a library and check it out. Shame on you Paul McCartney. John was the better half, after all.

  107. mike says:

    Utter rubbish. Scott Rodger is clearly the word my phone has autocorrected his surname to. So definitely 102 people not buying currently. It’s a massive judgement error as the streaming market isn’t the audience for an archival release, those who love physical product are. It’s another misguided Macca effort to be relevant and reminds me of his justification on Mastertapes behind Kanye’s mangling of their jamming session in the studio and saying it was cool. It wasn’t. The irony is he made such a big fuss of the Ou Est Le Soleil remixes as relevant in 1989 and the same argument to block their release in 2017. I also think he is indirectly saying his b sides are crap and not relevant. Odd thing to indicate…

  108. Tiago says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It surprised me that someone form the McCartney field actually got back to you.

    However, this limitation of 4 discs is very weird and to me it still does not make any sense that allowing people to do the downloads will cost less than adding a CD. You are paying the rights anyway !

    Also more and more bands are investing in the boxset format. I read not long ago from a Heavy Metal artist that re-issues are very profitable.

  109. Eric says:

    Kudos to Paul S for getting somewhere with this fiasco, if only to relate back the idiotic thought process behind the Flowers SDE from people who ought to know better.

    Sadly it just proves how out of touch, deluded and vain the top man at MPL actually is (and we don’t mean Scott). Yes, everyone really wants your 1.2 million photographs digitised and presented at a premium price…in place of actual music on CD.

    Total poppycock.

  110. FRED says:

    I am not interested in streaming and download digital music … I buy mostly 10 cd per month, and i don’t buy this reissue becase it’s a shame !

  111. DP Stalnaker says:

    Paul is right, streaming is the future. I seem to be in the minority, but I will buy this release and probably never put one of the CDs in a player.

  112. Tim says:

    I don’t see how offering downloads is going to drive fans to streaming. Does he not realise they are two different things?
    I haven’t checked on P.Mc’s output but most superdeluxe editions are NOT available on streaming sites.
    XTC and King Crimson are the current gold standard in how to do things.
    I would prefer more music (on disc) and less paper – McCartney has not been exactly generous or completist with his sets from a music/video point of view. I have them all so far (buying when the price falls), But as many have said, I want a product I can hold not something that can disappear with a faulty hard drive.

  113. Art says:

    Also, compared to the previous deluxe box/book sets, this one is overpriced.

  114. Mark Reed says:

    No, Paul. You’re wrong.

    *Paul scratches elbow*

    Um. Time for me to leave…

  115. Ern says:

    It seems to me that the terms download and streaming are in contradiction to the thin excuse made by Macca’s team. You download to play those 16 tracks offline and play them where or when you want. Streaming as someone already pointed out here is for those who do not want to own said songs or album. The whole point of these reissues is that everything to do with that album is in the one place and accessible without turning on your wifi or streaming service. If Macca wanted to be an advocate of streaming through his own website, he would do SDEs of each album with its own unique code for the purchaser and therefore see all those archived photos while the songs are streaming on your computer or phone. That would be unique in itself and I’m sure they could make it interactive if they put their mind to it. Instead let’s waste the length of a cd and get the fans to do that downloading streaming thing, thumbs aloft. Siskel and Ebert would vote this two thumbs down.
    Paul, as always, great work.

  116. greg says:

    Well if you are looking toward the future why not go the bluray audio route,higher capacity and would be less discs.You could include all the photos and liner notes on the disc also and better sound quality

  117. Mark Wardle says:

    Firstly, well done Paul S for fighting for this and getting to speak to Scott, shame he clearly can’t be a**ed about what the fans think. I won’t be spending £120 on 4 paltry discs and lots of paper.

    There are 1.2 million photos – STILL being digitized? I thought that when they trumpeted the HP Cloud thing (that, ahem, never came to anything!) they were digitizing everything some 7 years ago.

    They barely make any money? Then don’t waste our time taking the next 20 years to release the rest of them. And as for a 25 CD set – if the 4 disc set is £120 how much will that cost once they’ve added lyric sheets, photos and other c**p – £1000? Put all the stuff on iTunes and streaming sites now – and then bring back the paid for website (I was one of those poor souls who spent money on the ‘deluxe’ membership and got very little for it) where you can put some of the 1.2 million pictures rather than print them all out and charge a small fortune for them.

    The sets have got more and more expensive and seem to offer little rarities – it’s clear he doesn’t want to share the huge collection of out-takes he has in his vaults. I get so frustrated seeing cheaper box sets with more rarities from other artists..Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd etc..unfortunately my favourite artist couldn’t care less about his fans and clearly is going for awards first before value.

    My guess is that this could be the last proper archive release..especially after the uproar over the mess of this set. Shame. It’s a sad day for Macca fans.

  118. Keith T Brittain says:

    It’s mind-boggling for Paul’s manager to say that the B-sides, and 12 inch versions aren’t core or key to the box set – but that the 18 demos are. He sounds completly tone deaf, and has no feel for what Paul’s fans want. As for Paul’s self-imposed “four discs only” rule, they could have easliy included the original album and 18 demos on two CD’s – leaving the third disc for the b-sides/12 inches. In being so arrogant and bone-heades, Paul may be dooming any future releases as well.

  119. noyoucmon says:

    If Paul is so concerned about the future, why has he repeatedly made boneheaded decisions like putting QuickTime videos on the Beatles’ reissue CDs? He sounds about as in-touch with the future as when Prince announced fans could download and print their own artwork for the Crystal Ball set. Streaming audio is not an appropriate medium for archiving or for protecting a legacy. Some of these legends need better advisors.

    • Philip Cohen says:

      And, by the way, the version of Quicktime video used on those 2009 Beatles CD’s is no longer playable. The last few generations of PC’s & MAC’s don’t support that version of Quicktime any more. Luckily, the boxed set of 2009 Beatles CD’s also includes a DVD of those brief album documentaries.

  120. Keith T Brittain says:

    So this is McCartney and MPL telling the fans to sod off. What we want doesn’t matter, because this is what they – being the all-knowing and enlightened Patricians – want us mere unwashed Plebs to have. It would have been better if they had not included the b-sides and 12 mixes at all, than expect us to act like trained seals to get the music we want (by downloading it). I certanily won’t buy this Archive release (I own the others) and may never buy another one since I know that the opinions of the fans don’t really matter to Sir Paul and MPL.

  121. Jonny Morris says:

    Sigh. Rule #1 of any reissue programme should be: be consistent. Consistent packaging, consistent content. All the previous releases have included all the related b-sides on the second disc. Taking a different approach mid-stream is gonna kill the whole programme dead.

    • Philip Cohen says:

      Maybe killing the whole programme dead is what McCartney, Scott Rodger and Capitol Records ultimately want. Capitol intends (starting in 2019) to no longer offer music on any physical format.

  122. StevieB says:

    Here’s a link to that unofficial schedule of McCartney re-issues


    • David M says:

      Which has little basis in fact.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Indeed. Talking to Scott it was obvious there was no massive gameplan or ‘list’ to work through. They do these projects one at a time. They may have a good idea what the *next* one will be (after the current ‘live’ project) but that’s about it.

        • RikTheHib says:

          Hi (again)
          If anyone does buy this SDE – please let us know what the little card says will be the next in the set (if any).


    • Robert says:

      Thanks Stevie, for posting this link !

  123. Straker says:

    Don’t forget folks, we live in a Post-Truth world and you just read an excellent example of that from Macca and his minion. Despicable!!!

  124. Steve F says:

    This is the first solo box I would have been tempted to buy, as it is the first Macca LP I bought (at the time for the Costello input – I’m the same age as you, Paul). But not if I have to download anything.
    I’d also be tempted to buy the Hi-Res downloads (like I did with Band On The Run), but not if the b-side tracks are going to be at 16/44.1 resolution.
    So I won’t bother – I’ll spend my dosh on something else. It won’t be a streaming subscription, though!

    Paul: thanks for trying, anyway.

  125. Scott says:

    Not buying it this time. I don’t care about what the future entails, my collection is CD. I would think most of McCartneys true buying base are not the millennials. Bought each reissue so far, but not this time. No sale to the topline.

  126. CJ says:

    I want to thank Paul (Sinclair) for all of his efforts in exploring this issue on behalf of fans, but I also want to be clear to Paul McCartney–no discs from you, no money from me. Period. Flowers in the Dirt was going to be the set that “broke the seal” for me on McCartney deluxe editions, because it was my introduction to him as a solo artist, and the album means a great deal to me–including all the b-sides and remixes that were a part of that era for me. And once I buy the first SDE, I tend to follow through with buying he others as well. But if FITD isn’t worth it, then I’m not bothering, and that includes the other albums as well. McCartney is essentially saying that, as a fan, I don’t get to celebrate and remember the era in the highest quality in the way I remember it, because there’s other material he prefers I listen to. And what I place a premium on only warrants a download to some shitty CD-R that I get to shove into an envelope in the set?

    Sir Paul, where you can cram your flowers is not exactly filled with dirt, but they’ll do just fine there. You might have trouble pulling your trousers on though.

  127. Bassel hassouna says:

    I’ve previously bought all of mccartney’s archive edition. But honestly I’m passing on this one. It will probably be overstocked and there will be a price cut to sell it. MAYBE then I’ll get it. And honestly the reasons we were given are BS. Not to repeat what many people said but why would you want to push streaming to a target audience that is looking for physical.

  128. Charles K. says:

    Yeah, whatever Paul, poo or get off the pot. You either embrace the future and make all of your output relegated to poor sounding digital downloads or don’t. Hilarious that he talks about margins being tight on these box sets then turns around and does the one thing that will cause most to not buy it at all. Brilliant move by a man who doesn’t care about the money or what the fans want. This is straight up trolling if you ask me.

    • Andrew Edwards says:

      Yes that is what I thought. If margins are tight then you provide as many options for buying as possible. Doesn’t it make sense then that revenues would increase as sales go up and then margins wouldn’t be as tight. It all defies logic and rationality. I think there is something else going on and this manager is being stupid but diplomatic

  129. AnthonyC says:

    Deluded!!! It’s a CD for goodness sake!!!

    Why not want more than 4 CDs! That is so random! Just because ‘Paul says so’ means nothing. Does he not have the backbone to challenge decisions. Challenging and questioning is good! It’s called democracy!

    Steaming is not the future!

    As a result of streaming, paid for digital downloads are down 20 percent.

    Record companies and artists are not making money from streaming.

    If streaming does continue in it’s current form, many labels will be out of business or won’t have the money to develop new artists.

    …and this is coming from a manager!!!!


    PS, I’m not a Beatles nor McCartney fan, as I’m too young, but I do like great box sets and I hate daft reasoning for things.

    • J T says:

      Nobody old enough to post on a blog is “too young” to be a Beatles fan.

      Classic rock or any art or product created before your time is either your thing or it isn’t, I don’t say that as a music snob, or for that matter as a Beatles fan, but it’s about what experiences and influences drive your tastes and interests, not about how many years you’ve been around. The Beatles were before my time, too, and Paul McCartney is still producing new music, but neither of those things factors into why I loved a lot of Beatles songs when I first heard them long after their release (and bought The Beatles Box Set a couple of years ago), and have never bought McCartney solo material.

  130. Frank Weber says:

    Conclusion: Not buying this set is the future! Mission accoumplished. Keep it!

  131. Yani P says:

    Scott was very keen to underline that Paul values his fans very much but also trusts the team that is in place…

    Not sure there is much evidence that he has ever valued his fans over and above the bottom line of sales.

  132. Adam says:

    Thanks to Paul and Scott.

    The explanation is illogical. There is no need for ANY physical product to if the goal is to move people towards streaming. The whole purpose of creating physical product in the first place is to delight the people who want it!

    I would rather have the books as PDFs than have the music as WAV files; while I don’t discount the atmosphere that pictures, stories and liner notes convey, they are still secondary to the music, which should be the star attraction in any super-deluxe single album music release. (Plus think of all the trees you would save!)

    Very sad.

  133. Eric W says:

    The fact that the entire box isn’t available for a download says a lot.

  134. Mr X says:

    Problem is, no one I’d willing to risk their job saying “no Paul, you’re wrong”.

    So instead they spend time coming up with bullsh*t reasons to insult the fans intelligence!

  135. tom says:

    In summary…….Yeah but no but yeah but….trying to justify a bad decision, damage limitation with no coherence.

  136. Ben Williams says:

    The deluxe Archive box sets are designed specifically for people who want music on disc and a record sleeve to hold. I like what somebody said up top – “its like turkeys voting for Christmas”. How is buying a £120+ box set pushing labels to go toward streaming-only?

  137. Simon says:

    Interesting someone as wealthy as Sir Paul still considers costs to be more important than pleasing the fans who, by buying the original album and singles at least once before, have helped to make him or keep him this wealthy. Whatever happened to customer service?

  138. Daryl says:

    …and another thing ;)

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if there had been a physical CD planned to be released somewhere down the line, though I suspect the outrage surrounding this release means that if there was, it will never see the light of day now.

    When The Stones released ‘Hyde Park Live’ on iTunes as a download only release in the Summer of 2013, I reluctantly bought it despite not having a physical product to cherish (something I rarely do, but I was feeling saucy at the time). Lo and behold, November 2013 comes around and we get ‘Sweet Summer Sun’ – the same recording only with a DVD to boot – so I purchased it AGAIN.
    It’s a sad fact, but one us collectors have to accept – our favourite artists are more than willing to squeeze every last penny out of us die-hard fans. They know we’ll pay, and so will continue to fleece us :(

  139. Michael C says:

    Thanks for all the info Paul, much appreciated.
    Bit of a dissapointment, but what to do eh?

    This hasn’t even touched down yet, but I hope the one after this is “Off The Ground”.

  140. Paul Ramon says:

    Absolutely right, Alan Hansen! One only needs to look towards the amazing “Ultimate Archive Collection” of McCartney’s entire catalog which was crafted by Voo-Doo Records to see a perfect example of how fans are SO much better in handling McCartney’s catalog than the man himself. Sad, really.

    • Michael K says:

      Can’t agree on VooDoo being the way to go. Although he rounds up things and packages them ‘just so’ that’s missing is some kind of sense of the material. I mean his FITD has versions of Long and Winding Road because they were performed in the same year…or something.
      I don’t get anyway why people who are complaining about the artist deciding what to do with his work should be listened to.
      As the band said in the Eight Days A Week movie when faced with a very early version of ‘We’re the fans who made you. Do what we want!’ their answer was ‘If that’s the trade-off, don’t buy our records’.
      The social media age has made a mob of fans before. Prince had to hose them down a few years back when they actually formed an organisation against him over his YouTube policy.
      Frankly, f em. I like the artist not the fans and if Macca ain’t puttin out it would be news but ‘not putting out on my preferred format’? F off and pronto.

  141. Stephen K. says:

    Certainly I prefer CD’s, but record labels have always been less than happy with what happens once that CD is sold. Say you sell that CD you bought. Someone else picks it up used, but the label doesn’t make any additional revenue. At one point, labels were trying to ban selling used CD’s.

    The label releases a successful album, but then that’s it. You’ve got the album, and the revenue stream ends. You’re not going to buy a second copy of the album, are you? Oh, that’s right, you actually will… when the album gets remastered, gets a few tracks added, gets a deluxe edition, gets a super-deluxe edition…

    If you value the music, you’re going to listen to it. A lot.

    If labels and artists can make streaming work, you might think this would be their ideal goal: getting paid every time you listen to their music.

    In Canada, Milli Vanilli’s Girl You Know It’s True achieved the Diamond certification for sales, as did George Michael’s Faith. The two albums were presumably priced the same. In a hypothetical world where re-releases and streaming don’t exist, Labels might have earned an equal amount off of both albums. But which of these albums are you still listening to nearly 30 years later? Probably not both of them. I’d guess you’re listening to Faith, and you tried to sell Girl You Know It’s True, but the record store already had more copies then it could sell in its bargain bin. It’s nice to think that with the streaming model, there’s a way to acknowledge and reward an album’s staying power.

    But really. Digital media only exists for me to burn it to CD.

    • HS says:

      You raise some good points. But I think that streaming “works” only for the consumer really, at least at this point. You pay a very low fee for unlimited music each month. I don’t think people would be willing to actually pay for each time they play a certain track. Downloads are on the down slide now, since you buy 10 or 20 tracks a month for a similar amount as a monthly Spotify subscription – playing whatever songs as many times as you like. The labels and artists do not get paid much for the streaming at the moment and I don’t see how that could be changed really. Tidal offered songs in much better quality but the subscription fee was higher to make sure that the artists would get paid a little more from the streams. I don’t think Tidal has been doing that well because people were furious of the “artists mafia” actually wanting to get paid for their work!

      I bought Faith on vinyl. Then on CD. Then as a deluxe CD. And finally, just this month – the super deluxe box set. I have never sold a single copy of the album and I have never streamed or downloaded that album (or any other for that matter). I would imagine that Sony have gotten a lot more money from me through the years from that album than if I was streaming it…

      Oh, and I do have that Milli Vanilli CD – never sold that either ;)

    • alan hansen says:

      …labels trying to ban selling used CD’s? labels AND paul anka! no kidding – look it up. it’s worth a chuckle. as if when i sell my used civic, i send a check to honda.

  142. daveid76 says:

    This doesn’t concern me hugely in that I’m not really a Macca fan, but I feel the utter frustration of the fans here. We buy physical sets because we want the music in a self-contained object that we can enjoy without resorting to messing about with computers and all the annoying bollocks that goes with it. The idea that streaming is the future sounds like a load of nonsense and it’s a non sequitur as the issue was to do with downloads. Streaming is one option, but it is the most casual and uncommitted way to listen to anything. Real fans don’t want to go on to the internet and fight their way through the swamp of sound and fury just to hear music. They want to be able to get the record / cd off the shelf, stick it in their player and enjoy it. I’m disappointed for the Macca fans here.

  143. alan hansen says:

    i will be certainly on the lookout for a beautifully crafted bootleg cd to accompany my SDE of FITD. draw whatever conclusion you’d like; but mark my words, this is the future for those beloved tracks from sir paul’s FITD.

  144. Charles Hodgson says:

    I admit to zero interest in this product, but also to feeling anger at the way fans are being fobbed off. They want to push people towards streaming services via an expensive physical product with a bunch of songs – whch were considered worthy of release back in the day – only provided by cd quality download?!

    Mind boggling logic being applied here.

    I’d recommend a boycott, but that’ll only nix future physical projects and – in their minds – prove their pount.

    What a conundrum. What a totally unnecesary clusterf**k. What a bunch of a-holes.

    Omnivore screwed up on the packaging for Big Star Complete Third. But at least we got all the music on the cd’s. Therefore no major outcry. It’s not Rocket Surgery…

  145. DJ Boji says:

    What a big nonsense. So many fans have raised their Voice why they want this extra tracks on CD As they want to buy a complete Box and not Bits and pieces and someone ist trying to find a “proper and logical” explanation why things should stay like this.

    If you want something you can do it Mister. Especially if you care about The target group to which you address this product to. Surely you can also address this issue to Sir Paul Macca properly.
    For me it is fact that the Music industry lacks of a clear direction for The future Music Distribution. The Same started when Mp3 came to life and when The streaming started couple of years ago. I do spend lots of money on buying boxes and Special editions on CD as I collect them, but also pay for a streaming services and Listen to mp3s on The go. But when I have to spend 120£ I will do to buy a complete product and pay so much and Download extra.
    Sorry this is a no Go for me.

  146. OMAR says:

    Bummed and happy at the same time. Upset cause the remixes are download only but happy that the main album is being remastered again. Didn’t care for the 1993 reissue that much.

  147. Sylent Syd says:

    Paying $176 for this won’t encourage me to stream

  148. Paul Ramon says:

    P.S. I love how Scott Rodger tries to impress everyone by saying how “100m people are signed up to streaming services right now and that is projected to double in the next three to four years”. Big deal!! That would mean that in a world filled with over 8 BILLION people, that 7.9 BILLION of them (which should drop to “only” 7.8 BILLION in the next three to four years” are NOT signed up for streaming services. Way to reach the masses, guys!

  149. Glenn Roger says:

    Someone needs to ask Scott Rodger and Paul McCartney that if streaming is the future then how do they explain the resurgence of vinyl for example? I make no secret about my disdain for streaming music online. It is so not personal. I am old school and like to have the music in hand, like a record album or cd box set. I love the complete package. You do not get that with streaming.

  150. B_Mag44 says:

    Just a shout out to Paul for your great website and for looking out for all of us CD/vinyl lovers of physical product. Way cool that you reached out to Scott Rodger and were able to gather the answers and insight, despite it not being what most of us wanted to hear. Kudos and props, mate!!

  151. John Wede says:

    It would be my guess that most of the people who would purchase an archival release are people who have already purchased the music at least twice over already…lp/cd/12″/cassette.

    Notice…all physical product.

    I would doubt that most of those people have purchased the music as a download.

    I will be passing on this release, as well.

    • CartoonCoyote says:

      In my case, you would be correct: I bought the original CD when it first came out, and over the years added the 1993 Collection reissue, the Japanese 2CD tour package, and the “flight case” one with ‘Party Party’ on a 3″CD, not to mentiom most of the CD singles. (Not much of a vinyl guy, I’m afraid.) I was seriously looking forward to an official CD release of ‘Good Sign’, just to name one thing.

      His reasoning is completely impenetrable here. Consequently, this will be the first deluxe edition I take a pass on, and if he follows the same logic (?) in the future it won’t be the last.

    • RikTheHib says:

      I have waaaay too many physical copies of FITD already to really justify this one. Though if I do come across a streaming version of the demos I might take a gander. ;-)

      I just cancelled my Amazon order as well.

      (This is actually the first time I have EVER cancelled ANYTHING from Amazon and I have been with them for YEARS!).

      Sad times indeed.

  152. Paul Ramon says:

    Hoo-boy! Paul has always proven himself to be the type to do whatever the hell he wants to do, everyone else be damned – so WHY is it a surprise that’s exactly what he’s doing here? There are so many inconsistencies throughout this series, but things really came to a head with ‘Flowers’. To try and force people into streaming isn’t going to make it happen – it’s only going to alienate an already declining fan base, which for many have more important things to do with their money (rent, family, retirement) than to spend it on an incomplete (and ridiculously expensive) box set. This whole streaming thing seems like a ploy to get people to pay for the same material on an ongoing basis because they realized that by allowing folks to actually OWN said material in high quality (on blu-rays, CDs and the like), it will prevent them from ever needing to purchase it again. So this idea of “renting” material to them seems like a no-brainer, but nature abhors a vacuum, and so if MPL/Capitol refuses to release the material on a CD, rest assured that there will be some enterprising bootlegger who WILL. This just seems like a lose/lose scenario for everyone involved, but Paul is always going to do what he want to do, God bless him. Who cares what the fans want, right? Anyway, this Archive set will be a big pass for me. No thanks, Paul. Maybe next time.

  153. Darren Briscoe says:

    Well Mr McCartney…if you can’t be bothered then neither can i. If one part of a boxset is download only then I shall just download the whole set illegally. After all its not like you need the money is it?
    Just retire so you don’t continue to be embarrassing.

  154. Kevin says:

    Streaming is the modern equivalent of listening to the radio. Radio sucks.

  155. Richard Allen says:

    Right on Paul….why the hell should we be ‘driven’ to streaming ? You sound like a corporate muppet.

  156. Nick Preece says:

    What a load of Rubbish Mr Mccartneys manager is no doubt the latest in a long line of clueless just out of University Wannabees…..

    100 million people signed up to streaming services? Where does he get this information from? If you want to stream then do a completely stream only version…. why won’t they do a completely stream only version I wonder? Because No one would pay good money for something you can’t physically hold….. well I wouldn’t – I’ve never streamed / downloaded anything in my life and certainly won’t start with this…… Shame on You MR MCcartney!
    That’s coming from a massive fan who has many thousands of pounds worth of physical Vinyls be it Beatles / McCartney items, like many of the other Fans On here!
    Shame on You May your Streaming Bubble Burst….. let’s hope you don’t Alienate too many Real Fans!

  157. andrew R says:

    Streaming is theoretical storage you own nothing like digital books
    if something should happen like a major computer meltdown? Also for a man who obsesses about production they sound like shit. Fail mr mcartney fail mr mcartney’s manager .
    Sorry won’t wash .

  158. Robert says:

    I find it interesting that Paul and company are working on Wild Life and Red rose Speedway, but only work on one project at a time, but are considering a 25 disc Wings collection. However, if streaming is the future why would he (Paul) let lose a 25 disc collection? As it is I fear being too old to actually complete my collection.
    When this started in 2010 there were rumours of a couple sets a year. In fact someone “in the know” had printed up a timetable that had the series ending in 2016 at around 45 individual releases. That, can safely be said, is pure fallacy.
    Honestly Paul, create a streaming service for the Archive Collection. You can update, add tracks, add photos, It could be weekly. A new song or post every week and the folks out here pay a monthly fee or whatever. Yes I will be sad to give up my CD’s, but its time to give the people what they want. If you have decided it is streaming, then at least give us the music.

    • Robert says:

      Hi Robert,

      I remember seeing such timetable too for these releases. But I don’t know where I have seen it. Do you know where I can find this timetable ? If somebody else knows this, please post the timetable here, or post the link here.

      Greetings, Robert from the Netherlands

  159. Wheaters1 says:

    I know it’s not from FITD but,

    Oh yes, indeed we know,
    That people will shout and moan and groan,
    Don’t listen to what the fans said,
    And streaming’s fine, the future’s bright,
    Who needs CDs? I’m feeling tight!
    Stuff what the fans said,
    So I won’t listen to what the fans said.
    I said

    Do do do, do do do do do (as Macca wanders off with his fingers in his ears…)

  160. Marshall says:

    Well, thanks Paul S. for the article. I really think McCartney should do some focus groups with various constituencies of his–the hardcore fans, the casual fans–to find out what we really want, from our own mouths. Up until the last pair of his Archive Series releases I bought both the box set and the 2LP vinyl of every one. Now, he finally does FITD and I’m only going to spring for the vinyl. Yes, the photos are nice (Linda was a great photographer) but the music is most important. Going back to SDE’s original headline, Paul ought to listen to what the fans said when putting these together. I fear that Back To The Egg is doomed!

  161. Olivier Northern Son says:

    Décevant et absurde!

    Very interesting, thanks for asking the questions and sharing. It will be hard for a fan not to buy the box, but it will be a half-joy buy!

  162. Avitom says:

    That’s really patronising on Sir Paul side, do you really think that you can change my attitude to the manner of which I like to listen to my music? You’re the second great musician in the world and I wonder what number 1 who used to be with you in the same band would say of your “driving people to download”.
    I don’t tell you what to eat, don’t tell me how to consume music.
    I shall pass on “Download In the dirt”

  163. Daryl says:

    Having said that, nice article Paul! Good job at putting his views across!

  164. Daryl says:

    Actually, the reason more box sets aren’t sold is because of the ridiculous overpricing (not just Paul – almost all box sets are overpriced, and I say this as a huge Stones fan!), not because ‘more people are excited about streaming’. That is quite a glaring miscommunication and proof that they don’t quite ‘get’ the mind or purpose of the collector.

    Ultimately, the answer he gave to fans regarding why the download tracks aren’t on a CD (almost certainly the biggest issue among fans/collectors) is ‘because Paul doesn’t want to’. And I think that sucks. I’m not a McCartney fan really, but if I was I would be even more pissed after this than I was before!

    • Ben Williams says:

      I wonder how that conversation went with Sir Paul in regards to the B-sides being on CD… How could you suddenly decide after 9 previous Archive sets to say “no” to that content on Cd but “yes” for some 1988 band demos to have its own Cd. I still cannot get my head around it!

  165. mark turrell says:

    no logic to this.
    you can release all the tracks on physical media, downloads and streaming at the same time. then people can pick and choose the medium they like the most. i don’t stream at all and rarely download. this won’t convert me to streaming, any more than releasing a box set will make my son buy physical media (all he does is stream).
    this box is a miss for me.

    • Ben Williams says:

      That is a very good point – release on all 3 ways of listening to music and the consumer picks their desired format. Those who want the box would always buy the box, and those who want it on their iphone or mp3 player would choose download or stream.

  166. Inge Kjetil Bratset says:

    Ah well, that’s £120 saved. Thanks for your effort Paul, but it wasn’t to be this time.

  167. HS says:

    To me, streaming is for people who do not really want to own music or pay much for it. Sound quality means nothing. Packaging, lyrics etc means nothing. It’s all about having access to (almost) everything at once, as cheaply and conveniently as possible. Streaming is a future like someone on this site said – not THE only future.

    Doing a super deluxe edition of an album is in an entirely different category. A project like that is aimed at fans of the artist – people who cherish the archival factor and the sound quality. They want to actually OWN the music. Luckily I am not a fan Of Mr McCartney at all and I was never planning on buying this. Thankfully, since I would have cancelled my order after this turn of events!

  168. Karl Siniak says:

    So basically Paul McCartney is being a **** (insert your own term).

    Whilst I appreciate his reasoning… there really is NO reason to not just include the extra disc with the download tracks on it. I’m sure they could even just put the price up £10 to cover it too to keep people happy.

    This move will just annoy the fans who will then stop buying the reissue content altogether.

    As a true artist Paul should surely appreciate the physical format more so… I mean the reasons he and his team gave should surely mean they’d be better off (and it being more cost effective) to put all the audio on CDs and have no booklet or paper content at all but instead include it on a digital download file / CD-ROM?

  169. Stefano says:

    Again, I am reading lots of frustration. A lousy Macca start for Capitol, I’d say.
    Just combine the content of CD 2 and 3 and produce CD 4 with the bonus material. How difficult is that to figure out?

  170. Otto says:

    Thank you Paul Sinclair for the writeup and thank you Scott Rodger for taking the time to explain why decisions are made.
    What I get out of it is that it is very much considered as a niche product that is extremely expensive due to retail. I’m wondering why it isn’t sold straight to the fans, maybe as a kickstarter construction. The profit would be greater and the product could contain all content.

    It’s also disappointing that Sir Mc didn’t get the memo of how well records are selling and that there is still a valuable group of devote fans who want physical media. It’s also greatly in contrast from bringing out collectors editions in the first place. For me digital is worthless and I won’t pay for it.

  171. Mark Hanson says:

    I guess being heard and ignored is supposed to be better than not being heard. Doesn’t feel like it, though.

  172. tom says:

    This must be one of the most stupid PR pamphlet ever. We do not include physical CDs but downloads because we want to boost streaming? Did anybody with a brain @ Universal read that over? Well, just my two cents. Be safe everyone.

  173. Grimble says:

    The logic just doesn’t make sense. It’s a physical release. I hope Mr Rodger takes time to read these comments because what he’s come up with as a response just stinks of BS to me. Streaming is not the same downloading and I’d take serious issue with the assertion that Paul’s ageing fanbase want to stream. I’m probably not going to buy this and I don’t care if the archive releases stop if this is the way ‘fans’ are going to be treated. Does he seriously picture a bunch of Macca fans sitting down with their big box of FITD and playing 3 CDs then fiddling with their phones or whatever to listen to the rest of the set? Utter BS.

  174. Chris Squires says:

    Ah, the joy of “Alternative Facts”. Someone has been taking lessons from Spicer & Conway.

    This is plainly nonsense, and whilst I trust Paul S. to have been as faithful as possible to the discussion that took place the words just don’t make any kind of sense.

    I have spent….oooh, about a grand, give or take a few quid, on physical McCartney music in 2016. Vinyl, CDs and SDEs. I know many more people will stream than buy physical music but they will get pennies per person, rather than £100s or, like me £1,000s from people who buy physical product. Yes it’s still down to profit margin and they don’t get all that money straight into their pocket but it is the same with spotify. I wonder, in a typical month at 9.99 for spotify how much McCartney will see of that if I stream a couple of tracks or maybe an album. a month.

    IT is short sighted and so devoid of all romance, effort and thought that I can barely be bothered. If they aren’t bothered….why should I be. Sod ’em. I will pile my money in else where.

    What grieves me, and it is hard to put your finger on but I think this is the nub of it for me, It is such a small thing. One CD in a multi million pound project run by a multi-millionaire (or close). It is a pathetic cop-out at the miniscule level which reveals their thinking. Rather like a Millionaire pinching a pound coin from the tip plate at a restaurant. They don’t need it, it’s nothing to them, it affects the people they deal with but not them and it reveals much more of their character than mere words……

    I am by no means a cheapskate socialist, so it’s not the “something for nothing” brigade, I have paid and would pay, but their thinking is dire. You can stick streaming and downloads where the sun don’t shine.

    Rant mode off….

  175. Kevin says:

    Interesting. Thanks, (SDE) Paul.
    I will admit to not having the biggest dog in this fight (I would prefer all physical, but I’m not going to pitch a hissy), but this is clearly Paul digging in his heels and thinking his audience is no different from Taylor Swift’s. I also don’t understand the 4-disc rule, but clearly, agreed-upon decisions had to be adhered to.

  176. Ben Williams says:

    So many issues with what Scott Rodger has explained here.. Some points below..

    1) If streaming is the future (and ok, with the majority of folks it is, I’m no denier of that) then why aren’t all the so-far released super deluxe editions of McCartney’s work available on streaming websites? All the pre-order/download-only aspects and video/super-deluxe-only aspects of RAM, Band On The Run, Tug Of War and Venus And Mars are not on streaming services nor available to buy on digital stores. [e.g. the 3rd disc in McCartney II or the 3rd disc in Wings Over America]

    2) If MPL are looking to have all their material (music, video and photos) available digitally, then why bother with making these massively over-priced sets in the first place. Why not save us all the heartache of them not being ‘exhaustive’ of that albums’ sessions (B-sides, live, etc) and just go down a different route (answers on a postcard what route that should be).

    As I said on a previous article – more and more people are moving away from desktop computers (most laptops and certainly tablet computers not only do not have disc drives but are not able to download MP3 directly. This is a very antiquated thing now).

    3) If these massive sets are too expensive to make and not enough people are buying them as they are too expensive to buy, why not go down the more wallet-friendly (for both maker and buyer) smaller ‘book’ format of PURE MCCARTNEY (4xCD) and the NEW Collector’s Edition, which (in my opinion) offered great value for money and felt deluxe?

    4) If they are making these sets purely for the fans, why on earth do they not listen to what we actually want? If fans don’t want them with download-only aspects, then why bother producing them at all? It boggles my mind to create something intended for the ‘few’ if the ‘few’ are not interested or not listened to.

    5) Why would McCartney only want 4 discs in this set when RAM had 5 discs and Venus & Mars had 3 discs – why the hell should he care? Why is it suddenly an issue, the quantity of discs? They only hold 80 mins of audio and from what MPL have put out on McCartney CDs, I don’t think MPL quite understand this fact [think Speed of Sound bonus disc]

    6) They offer the 2 disc versions on vinyl – how is that heading for the future, a format that has been around since before the Beatles?

    7) I’d be more content if Scott had said that the download-only aspects of this box would be available at some point physically on disc (e.g. an anthology-like set, “Rare McCartney”)

    8) How come the price of this Archive set is so much more than the RAM super deluxe which actually contained 5 discs? I really really really want to buy a deluxe edition of all of McCartney’s albums but at £120 I have to say no. It is crazy for 3 CDs and a book and some pieces of paper.

    Sorry for the rant but I for one am still p***ed of about all this. I will bet my car that the ‘download-only’ content will not be available to stream or buy from digital outlets.

  177. Gav says:

    I doubt very much that anyone streaming Paul McCartney in years to come out of curiosity would be drawn to b sides from a late 80’s album when competing with his vast catalogue of solo work as well the Beatles – in my experience most casual streamers go for the obvious greatest hits and singles that are 1st on the explore links – physical purchasers of expensive box sets want the obscurity demos b sides etc- not streamers ( had a painful experience at a friends house recently who only uses Spotify telling me he had discovered the cure catalogue and knew all the works, which consisted of endlessly playing the greatest hits set on random over and over- disintegration was reduced to lullaby in his opinion and wasn’t worth checking the album in full are listening to 10 secs of each song ) streaming is for casual music fans who want ease of use and little effort

  178. RJSWinchester says:

    I read an online interview with Scott Rodger a while back and he seemed like a thoroughly decent chap. A strange decision by McCartney regarding the four CD limit. I’m not bothered because I have no interest in his music whatsoever but a timely reminder nonetheless that the future, like it or not, appears to be streaming. With physical media the future where boutique labels produce HQ physical media in limited quantities that costs an arm and a leg is, in many ways, here already.

  179. richie says:

    Thanks for your time and work on this FITD debacle Paul. Streaming is the future? What bollox.

    I`ll obtain what`s not on the 2 disc set from the usual places Mr McCartney.

    • Ben Williams says:

      I agree. How do they combat piracy if the only place you can get hold of B-sides and the like is illegally. How does that solve anything for MPL?

      • joseph maffei says:

        The bootlegs do a better job than the artist most of the time. The Paul McCartney Collection of FITD came out in 1993. It has Back on my feet, Flying to my home and Loveliest thing are on it. It is not a bootleg. Buy this, and the Put it there dvd.

  180. Gareth says:

    Streaming is a future, not the future. There will always be a market for people like us who are happy to spend good money on physical product. Likewise there will always be a market for people who will never own any physical product and will get their music via Spotify, tidal etc. Both can exist happily together. I’d be keen to see what the size of the expected streaming audience is for the club mix of ‘Party Party’. Don’t think Macca will be retiring on the funds from that one.

    Disappointing but not surprising. Well done though Paul for being so persistent (and to Mr Rodger for getting involved).

  181. Ronnie says:

    Just a load of bollocks. Disc 2 & 3 could’ve been combined if 4 discs is max (which is a stupid rule by itself offcourse). This will be a pass for me, certainly at the current ridiculous price.

    • Terry Toner says:

      Agree Agree Agree – this set is way too expensive – I think in the words of others – I’ve had enough !! As a weak sign of protest I’m off to cancel my order for the set – I don’t think PMC has his fans in mind at all – maybe it’s an element in the company has a target sales figure to meet – who knows – who careas – as a fan I feel as if I’ve been given the two finger/one salute in a VERY painful place.. in this case – it’s my wallet !!

  182. Mark says:

    Paul, thanks so much for making the efforts you have towards trying to rectify this sad situation. I still feel that Macca and Scott are full of shit, though. There is no logic whatsoever in any of the statements regarding number of discs in the box, “creme de la creme”, and so forth. Also, the statement that Macca has so many photos and that efforts are being made to archive them, versus archiving the music which is a bit more important to the man’s legend (the amount of unreleased material in his vault is staggering), says it all. It’s all about style over substance. Very sad. I shan’t be purchasing ‘this one’.

    • Julian H says:

      That’s an important point. Sure, we all appreciate nice packaging, but in the end a book or even a website might be a better way of displaying all those pics instead of making them the main attraction in a set that’s supposed to contain music data…

  183. Rob says:

    I am definitely not a fan but this seems typical of these artists, they think they know what their fans want but they are completely out of touch with reality.

  184. edward says:

    an interesting read thanks for this, it does seem odd mentioning streaming as being part of the reason because clearly they know that people buying these products want a physical copy…..if there’s not enough interest they wouldn’t be releasing the box-sets in the first place.
    I find it hard to understand why that extra disc couldn’t be included when they say cost wasn’t a problem.

  185. Ken Moore says:

    My favorite Paul McCartney song from the “Flowers In The Dirt” era is “Flying To My Home,” which is going to be part of the “download only,” so I’m pretty disappointed. My concern with the downloads is what happens, in the future, if my computer crashes and I lose the downloads? I’m sure the code is a one time use. I’m afraid these artists are just out of touch with what their fans want. If part of these Archive Collection had ALWAYS been a download only content, it would be expected and more acceptable. Why change mid-stream? I would have the same issue if the current large size box / book format was changed to a smaller booklet / digipak format. There should be consistency all around. Sounds like Paul McCartney is setting up for the demise of this project continuing by creating a lack of interest. I really am not high on “Wild Life” either. I want “Back To The Egg!”

    • Neil says:

      Concerning your computer crashing and losing the downloads you do know don’t you how to back up files by copying them to a USB stick or an external hard drive or even burn them to a cdr and the great thing is you can make as many copies as you like.

  186. Sean Murdock says:

    Thanks for being an advocate for the fans, Paul — and congrats on getting Scott Rodger to discuss the issue with you on our behalf. I still think this represents short-sighted thinking on MPL’s part — those b-sides ARE part of the “narrative” of FITD, and what happens a couple of years from now when the download link is dead? It’s good to hear, though, that at least the downloads are CD-quality — now it is on the fans to not only buy this very expensive box set, but also make multiple backups of over 25% of the music so it doesn’t get lost.

  187. Jeff Robbins says:

    If Sir Paul did not want more than four discs in the set, then the material on discs 2 and 3 could be combined on one disc. Clearly the 18 total tracks could fit on one CD. As you pointed out, they should be focusing on less printed material if they aren’t making enough money on these sets. In the end, it’s the music that matters.

  188. Ollie Carlisle says:

    Nice that Paul’s manager got in touch but it doesn’t really explain things.

    1. Fine to want to encourage streaming so release stuff there as well or in advance rather than instead of.

    2. Fine to limit to four cds but why put so few tracks on them when there is space for a lot more?

    3. Fine to want to limit to four discs but I’m pretty sure there are five in my Ram box set.

    I’m sure the ‘only just made money with the past box sets’ fact will bear interesting comparison with this box set’s sales figures. I suspect it may not make a profit this time. Hopefully this will encourage a return to the previous standard rather than an unnecessary and self-imposed end to this otherwise impressive archive series.

    • RikTheHib says:

      What a kerfuffle!

      If the box doesn’t sell then maybe there wont be any more boxes, just, gulp, downloads.

      If the box does sell then the format of this one will continue……….

      Just get the box ‘cos that’s how it is.

      Or don’t get it because it’s not what you want.


  189. colin says:

    Appreciate the trouble you and Scott have gone to hear. WAV files need to be transferred to MP3 files before they can be played (or put on disc) on some formats so some will have to do that before being able to put them to discs!

    • colin says:

      ooopps! (here)

    • Tim Lindsay says:

      This is not true; CD-resolution lossless WAV is universally cross-compatible. However, in past downloads on Paul’s website they have been offered in ZIP archives which will need to be extracted first before burning TO audio CD.

    • Philippe says:

      Colin: Wrong… WAV files is the format that can be directly burnt to discs, no “transfers” are necessary.

  190. vikerii says:

    I sincerely hope streaming is NOT the future. Physical sets for me. If not, then at least have downloadable purchase options. If the industry were to sink to streaming only, I would rather go without.

  191. Alan says:

    He wants to drive people to streaming? That’s like turkeys voting for Christmas isn’t it?!

  192. Piotr says:

    16-bit standard WAVs since they were sourced from EQ’d CD production master Umatic tapes. So there is a production master, which just wasn’t used. The fifth disc would probably have nowhere to reside in the set. At least it’s WAVs so people can burn their own CDs.

  193. Peter says:

    Well … if the downloadable files are 16 bit 44.1 kHz, I would burn a CD and include it as an ‘extra’ in the box. Not the best solution, but maybe second best – as nothing in the plans is going to change … Thanks for the explanation and your efforts Paul!

  194. Thomas Sutter says:

    “He wants to look to the future and embrace new technology and drive people to streaming. 100m people are signed up to streaming services right now”
    Ridiculous, just ridiculous.
    The people which stream are not the same like the people who buy this kind of boxsets. McCartney can offer the whole boxset as a download if he wants to “embrace new technology” AND at the same time, make a physical box set that includes ALL of the content on CDs as well.

    • HS says:

      Agreed! I don’t know how people in this business think that the people streaming the latest Justin Bieber single are they same audience as for Paul. It seems that several artists and labels (I’m looking at you, Universal) just expect fans of, say The Supremes, to trip over themselves because something has been “released” as a download or streaming. Then they don’t understand why it doesn’t do well.

      The focus should be on the physical products, putting EVERYTHING on a physical format – especially when it comes to releases by more seasoned acts that people have been buying music from for decades. It can be a limited run on physical formats – just get it out there for the fans. Paul may want to “drive people to streaming” – well, I for one will absolutely not let him or anyone else drive me towards a vastly inferior “format” just because it may be more convenient for the labels. Buying a box set, only to then have to download or stream additional tracks not included in the set is ridiculous. Same goes for new albums, with digital-only bonus tracks. When I buy and album on CD I expect to get everything, especially since I paid more money for the physical format.

      Thanks for the article Paul.

    • Ronald Mc GREGOR says:

      People who «stream» are not the ones who naturally buy a box set. The streaming generation hears quality in cassettes, old vinyls and MP3s.
      I won’t buy Flowers.

    • Michael says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Utterly ridiculous. While I have no interest in this boxset, it is the mentality that bugs me. Isn’t this what Garbage did when they reissued their debut? Infuriating.

      And I find it VERY hard to believe McCartney wants to drive people towards streaming. Why would he want that, considering the era he started in, and now with more and more vinyl being released? I may stream BUT only to see if I want to own it.

      Looks like you were fobbed off Paul. No disrespect of course.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        The object really was to give Scott a right of reply, rather than get into a big argument about how he is wrong and I/we are right. I wasn’t going to ‘win’ that kind of an argument anyway.

        • adam shaw says:

          Hi Paul
          When this issue first came up I pointed out that Macca loves new technology as he sees it .
          And I got vilified for saying it .
          Now Scott has confirmed that is the way his thought process is . We all know it’s wrong and these sets are not for that market , just a shame that won’t admit it .
          Also my friend who owns a record shop says the dealer price for £120 set is usually about £100 , so it’s not retailers making the money on them .

        • Julian H says:

          Did you show him the over 1000 people who signed the petition already, though?

  195. elliott buckingham says:

    sounds like being fobbed off to me. if people are streaming why go to the trouble of putting sets like this together I suppose for any decent reissues regarding mixes and rare stuff we will have to wait until paul is no longer with us. this seems to be the norm nowadays when a artists dies flood the market with unreleased stuff

  196. Webvan says:

    Very interesting, thanks for asking the questions and sharing. Hard to see why Paul would insist on 4 discs only, it makes no sense.

    As expected though they’re spinning the whole reissue around the Costello sessions, not something that really reflects how FITD came to life, but it’s probably an easier “sell”…to the general public who won’t be buying this anyway!

    Did you get a chance to ask what on earth where these Costello/McCartney “band demos” as they’ve never been documented anywhere AFAIK ?

  197. Craig Hedges says:

    In the words of Mr McCartney, ‘I’ve had enough’

    • Arthur Hillard says:

      This whole “interview” is a load of nonsense and seems to focus on why there couldn’t be a fourth CD. The remastered album, the two bonus discs and all the download-only tracks would comfortably fit on 3CDs anyway! Just a ripoff as it currently stands.

      I bought everything McCartney put out until these mega-expensive deluxe editions started. At that point I had to give up and now that my collection is incomplete it will stay incomplete – might as well just download anything else he puts out from “other sources” from now on.

  198. Geert De Wilde says:

    if streaming is the future, then downloads or boxsets aren’t. In fact, with the current resurgence of physical formats and the so-called future in streaming services, mere downloads are the most obsolete medium …

    • Carl Noonan says:

      How does offering these tracks for download only, encourage people to stream? I am not interested in streaming at all so if I bought this box I’d download the tracks and burn them to a cd. I won’t suddenly become a fan of streaming, that’s a totally different process. I really don’t see what streaming has to do with it. It’s a very lame excuse and as someone else said, put the whole box out as a download option if you want to embrace technology. I would wager there are are less than a handful fans paying the high price that will be happy with downloads.
      Wonder how long before another version of this album comes out with these songs on a cd.
      Very very disappointing.

      • joseph maffei says:

        I too am not interested in streaming and never will. I am a big PM fan, but he seems not to care about his older fans. I,m 62 and a first generation Beatles fan, I like a physical product. I will not buy the box set.

    • Daran says:

      Exactly. So to extrapolate the argument from MPL side why bother with an SDE of physical product at all? Especially if the margins are tight. Why not just do the restoration and archival work and have streaming as the transport mechanism to get content out his fans? It would make things logical and easier for MPL if they are so keen to embace the future. Keeping the set parity at 4 discs each is also a really lame reason too. Sorry Scott and Paul M, nice try but no cigar.

    • Chris K says:

      I tried to download the said songs, and 5 of them failed to download properly and now McCartney’s website tells me they have been downloaded and I cannot try again, I contacted the website and they have they not responded – doubly unimpressed

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