Features

Saturday Deluxe / 12 December 2020

Photo: Mary McCartney

The race for the number one album at Christmas in the UK took an interesting turn this week as Taylor Swift ‘dropped’ a surprise new album Evermore.

The follow-up to this year’s Folklore was released yesterday, digitally, and might well account for Paul McCartney moving the release date of the forthcoming McCartney III back a week to 18 December, even if this was officially put down to “unforeseeable production delays.”

Macca isn’t completely out of the woods, because Swift’s Evermore is released on CD on 18 December so there’s still a chance that week two streaming combined with week one CD sales might keep McCartney off the top spot, but with all his chart eligible formats (15 at the last count) Paul should have done enough. Probably. We will have to wait and see.

You can order Taylor Swift’s album on CD below. The vinyl isn’t being issued until well into next year. Read more about McCartney III, here.

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Steven Wilson / new album The Future Bites

Steven Wilson has officially confirmed what he mentioned to SDE a few weeks ago in that his The Future Bites Tour will now start in September and October next year. The London date is now at the Hammersmith Apollo on 16 September. See here for full details.

The album will finally be released at the end of January. Read more about that on SDE.

71 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 12 December 2020

  1. Matt Thurston says:

    I got into Taylor Swift in an attempt to better bond with my daughter, expecting it to be “work.” Wow, was I wrong! Loved her almost from the start. We’ve seen Taylor live twice — 1989 and Reputation, both incredible shows — and we had tickets for Lover in Los Angeles this past summer, but it got cancelled due to Covid. But Folklore and Evermore have been pretty great consolation prizes. I just received my lilac-color vinyl version of Folklore a few weeks ago, and ordered the evergreen-color vinyl version of Evermore the day it became available.

  2. Chris Squires says:

    Confession time.

    I have never, ever knowingly listened to a Taylor Swift song. But hey, this is SDE and y’all were talking ’bout it. I had 2,000ft. of film to unwind yesterday. So I put Evermore on Spotify, one of only two things it is actually good for. a) Stuff you have no intention of actually buying, b) Background whilst working.

    After about 4 minutes I had stopped work and was just listening. It is very good. I have nothing to reference it against as I stopped listening to new music in 1984 (I have the collection to prove it). I found it clever, deep and quite a few of the songs told a story. I mean, she’s no Kate Bush, but who is. But it was the story element that I liked.
    8/10 I shall, almost certainly, listen to it again at some point.

    When she moves from first person to third person, then she will definitely have something special.

    • John MC cann says:

      Next time your unwinding film , captain sensible,, women and captain’s first lp,
      Forget happy talk and wot,,,the rest of the album is class,Tony Mansfield production and amazing synth playing,,all the best John,

    • Seikotsi says:

      Doing the same now. It seems better than folklore even. May buy it.

  3. Graham G says:

    I’m sure Paul McCartney really cares about getting a Number 1 album, but if that was all he cared about, he wouldn’t be releasing it around Christmas time. It would be much easier for him to get a Number 1 with a January or February release but he’s chosen the lucrative pre Xmas market. More of a gamble getting #1, but undoubtedly more money coming in too.

  4. chibb says:

    Personally I am hoping Taylor does beat McCartney to the number one spot.
    Releasing so many versions of one album should be outlawed (although Swift did do it with etc release of ‘folklore’), and having listened to the new Swift album its actually very good – she’s growing on me over the years!

  5. JeffC says:

    Weirdly enough the jacket Taylor S is wearing in her cover photo was made by Stella McCartney.

  6. Triply says:

    Paul should release a limited edition super deluxe edition that has every physical version of the new album!

    Make it easy for the fans!

  7. Fogarrach says:

    This is the first time in decades that I’ve wondered which album could be Christmas number one.

    That’s a fun thing. Even if this is all hype about nothing it’s got me hooked. And the first track on Taylor’s cd is a cracker.

    As to the winner? Whilst my nostalgic heart wishes otherwise, I reckon bird over insect.

  8. Thomas Beattie says:

    if cliff can get into the top five by only releasing one format of his latest album you would expect macca with his multi formats to do better or maybe cliff simply dose not need to multi format to sell records

  9. Paul E. says:

    Surely an included shuttlecock, a ‘Choose Paul’ T-shirt, a teeth whitening kit and a 64-page hardcover photo book: I Know You’re Not A Fool: Paul! in 2020 would work well to boost McCartney III sales. Just wonder if a certain SDE editor might agree?

  10. Eamonn Mooney says:

    Cant see McCartney troubling the top of the chart. Who wants to shell out big bucks for every variation of that album? Very few especially coming up to Christmas. The multi coloured LPs will confuse the average fan. The worse his voice gets the fewer albums he sells.

    And outside the fanbase? No one seeks out a Paul McCartney album to give as Christmas gifts.

    As the album is by and large unheard and Christmas week usually proves difficult in terms of chart placings if he reaches the top 5 in the UK he will do well.

  11. Mark G says:

    It pretty much depends on how much Taylor Swift’s fans loved her previous album.

    If ‘not greatly’, she might be subject to a “Scott 4” style drop-off.

    • Michael Benstead says:

      Considering it was No1 for at least six weeks, it’s safe to say that lots of people like it…and not just her core fanbase.

  12. Poptones says:

    In the words of Chaz Jankel, Macca was probably inspired by Chaz Jankel’s 1985 hit song N°1:

    I’ll do (I’ll do)
    My best (my best)
    To beat (to beat)
    The rest (the rest)
    And be (and be)
    The best in the nation
    I’d give my all just to be number one
    Number one is a hard time in the making…

  13. Fredpostman says:

    I smiled when I saw the release date for Taylor’s album and thought of SDE,…

  14. Musiclover72 says:

    Completely off topic but a must for Prince fans !!! The official Prince store has released Hits 1 on limited edition purple 2 LP 180g with original liner notes. $44.98 and looks like immediate despatch.
    Thanks Paul for making 2020 bearable and your website pandemic free.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  15. Fogarrach says:

    Sunday morning….. gone nine. Rain. Just been listening to bbc radio four, broadcasting house with paddy O’Connell.

    Chris rea was on speaking about driving home for Christmas. It’s a lovely piece and try to check it out if you can.
    As someone who used to drive the road to Scotland on the 24th or even the 25th. Chris’ song means so much to me.

    In a fascinating sentence, he said that he’d written it with van Morrison in mind as the singer. That would be something, really something.

    And Chris sounded well.

    Chris, when you read this, (and who doesn’t read SDE).
    Thank you, your music is loved.

    • Andrew Abley says:

      The memories Driving home for Christmas brings. Great song and always reminds me of my father who passed away a couple of years ago.
      I spent many years working in the South, but the family remained in the North. The final drive home from work for Christmas would be accompanied with phone calls to make sure, i was going steady and didn’t do anything daft driving home. “As long as I was home from Christmas Day everything would be fine”. Sooner or later on the radio would be Mr. Rea and “Driving Home ….. ”
      great song and great memories added to the story he wrote it because he was driving home with his Mrs. and thinking about packing it in and getting a proper home to arrive home and find the royalty cheque that kept him going, adds a bit more magic.

  16. george glazener says:

    On the other hand, maybe Paul will ask Ringo to go round to Taylor’s house and ask her NOT to release her new album this month because HIS is coming out….

    After all, 50th anniversaries, and all that…..

  17. MelodicMusicIsTheBestMusic says:

    The new McCartney album is a let down compared to Egypt Station I’ve heard the this new one from a friend who downloaded a torrent of it on Thursday, Nothing really special perhaps that’s why there’s loads of different formats of it to try and boost a lackluster album oh well hey Ho.

  18. Marc says:

    I heard the complete McCartney album and I’m disappointed. The voice has gone! That fact could have been masked by the compositions, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The songs are mediocre at best. Some tracks remind me of Memory Almost Full, which is not my favourite McCartney album. The album gets good reviews in the British press, but I don’t understand it. I am a life long McCartney fan, but this is where the buck stops. Furthermore I really hate the merchandising hype! I cancelled all my pre-orders.
    Oh….BTW…..Taylor Swift made another great album! Cheers!

    • george glazener says:

      @Marc; agreed, from what I’ve heard so far tonight on her website. She’s an incredible talent of our times just as Sir Paul was from 1963 onward. He well knows the dizzying flush of success which Taylor Swift is experiencing right now. I believe that in his heart of hearts, Paul fully recognizes this and is happy for her. Taylor Swift is bringing sincere and heartfelt musical beauty to a troubled and worried planet. What greater Christmas gift can anyone offer? Sir Paul may want his Number 1 next week, but I’m sure he and Ringo are going to stroll over to Harrods and buy “Evermore” when it comes out.

      • The Golden Age Of The Phonograph says:

        Well said George Glazener Sir!

        I`ve not heard a single song by Taylor Swift but good luck to her.

    • Martin says:

      Similar here – I heard the Macca album and Memory Almost Full came flooding to mind – It isn’t bad as such but I definitely it is a little bit of over hype (Probably one for the die hards)
      I also heard the Taylor Swift – Not a preious fan but Foklore was superb and this one does not disappoint which forher fans must be a joy

  19. Gisabun says:

    I guess with the pandemic going on there is one good [right word?] thing: don’t expect any “Tour Editions” for a while.

  20. Gisabun says:

    Remember that Macca has multiple variations of each CD and vinyl – let alone a cassette edition – and digitally. Those Macca fanatics who must have one of everything will be one of each of the CDs and vinyl [that’s at least 8-9 editions right there].
    Ms. Swift tried to do something similar when she released a regular CD and then 4 different deluxe edition for the last [?] album.

  21. DW says:

    All of this would be silly if it wasn’t so cynical. The industry is insane. I don’t really like TS on any level but I wish her well on this one.

  22. Ken Croteau says:

    Get ‘im Taylor!

  23. Fogarrach says:

    Paul keeps us guessing and drives us crazy.

    Has he the new soundtrack for this new y.r……?

    (I’m working on the red dress bit…… )

  24. Phil Morris says:

    The Wilson ticket presale repeated the usual nonsense in terms of availability. I do wish (more) artists would desist from these: it only creates confusion and division. For one, calling it a “fan” presale is ridiculous. Ticket availabilty on Thursday and Friday (the day after “fans” could get them) for the gigs I am attending was significantly better – and also cheaper where buying them from the venues, plus with the ability to select specific seats – as opposed to the artist’s choice of agent for the “fans”. I don’t want to revisit the age-old ticket fees discussion, and nor am I advocating a return to the days of queuing at venues (seemingly always in the winter) – after all, how does that help multi-gig attendance? Yet it’s still something of a lottery and should be able to be managed more fairly and sensibly.

  25. The Music Bubble says:

    “Macca isn’t completely out of the woods yet” I see what you did there!

  26. smorrissey says:

    bahaha, my vote goes for Taylor i will be puying for her new cd.

  27. Steve says:

    Now I realise where Macca got his idea for loads of coloured vinyl versions from. Taylor Swifts Folklore was released on at leased 9 different colours with different sleeves. HE’s lucky she’s not doing the same again. :D
    But I am enjoying McIII though and my daughter is loving Evermore. Something for everyone this Christmas.

  28. Todd says:

    Imagine the guilt trip for Taylor if Paul doesn’t get the #1 after all this marketing effort. Paul Retires. (!!!!) At least then Taylor would always have to hold herself to this higher level of songwriting from hear on out (I’m never letting go of the RED onslaught at Target stores here in the US. never never never. never.

  29. Larry Davis says:

    Ordered 2 copies of TS’ “evermore” from her online store, along with a long sleeve t-shirt called “forever is the sweetest con”, mainly because there was no word on when it would hit stores…btw, the CD has 2 bonus tracks not on the digital, but unlike “folklore”, only 1 cover…as for Macca, I’m only buying the Target CD…as for the myriad of bonus tracks, I’ll wait for a deluxe where all will be in 1 place…and that pic was from the cover of Rolling Stone where they had a great convo, big selling issue…as for Steven Wilson, I don’t know how his stuff too well, but as he is quite popular on this site & a regular, I may have to check out the new record & work my way backwards…

    • Robert Atkin says:

      Good luck working backwards on Stephen Wilson. He has had a number of groups he has been involved in including Porcupine Tree, No-Man and others and has quite a number of releases. Wikipedia gives quite a lot of information.

  30. Jeremy says:

    It’s possible neither of them will get to No. 1 given the current mania for seasonal music. 7 of this week’s UK top 10 singles are Xmas songs.

    • Caroline says:

      That’s the singles chart though.

      The album chart isn’t affected in the same way as there are very few Christmas albums that stream well with Michael Buble being the only real perennial of the last few years. Otherwise both Robbie Williams and Dolly Parton are doing doing OK this year but no great shakes. The amount of actual sales in the singles chart these days is so small that endless Xmas playlists on Spotify/Amazon Music etc effectively create the charts for December. A couple of million people say: “Alexa, play some Christmas music” et voila – yr Xmas chart.

  31. Don Cooper says:

    TS’s cover looks like a girlie-swot who’s been banished by her boarding-school mates…

  32. Caroline says:

    Swift’s streaming “sales” will be vastly more than McCartney’s. and I mean, vastly. Remember “folklore” went to No 1 with no physical edition available at all. Macca’s streaming hit is Wonderful Christmastime and none of the tracks for ANY new album will challenge it for the next two weeks.

    Both Swift and McCartney are going for being this year’s last minute stocking-filler for different audiences. Even if McCartney gets the #1, he’ll drop like a stone because you can only sell the same people 10 copies of an album in the same week once. Swift will endure on streaming into the new year.

  33. Julian W says:

    If Paul makes No1, will he have had No1 albums (including Beatles) across 7 decades?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      No because he hasn’t had a number one album since 1989 in the UK… So he’s ‘only’ had three decades.

      • Clancy Tempura Rearranged says:

        I think the key word Julian was using was ‘across’… understanding that he had not had a number one ‘in’ each decade.

      • Mark says:

        But including Beatles material you’d have Live at The BBC (94), One (00) which made Number 1 and I think Abbey Road reissue went back to Number 1 last year?

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I think I reject the basic premise to be honest… Paul McCartney isn’t The Beatles, so what the Beatles did or didn’t do is separate to McCartney. Paul has had number one albums in the UK ‘across’ TWO decades… the 1970s and the 1980s and that’s it! Yes, if McCartney III goes to number one technically you could say he’s had number one albums ‘across’ six decades but I’m not really sure it means that much, other than he’s old and still quite popular.

    • Maxe says:

      A new decade will start on january 1st, the third one in this (third) millenium – that’s mathematics. You still can count “the sixties” to “the twenties”, but it isn’t mathematical decade, as counting started with 01.01.0001 nearly 2020 years ago.
      So maybe Mr McCartney will do another attempt to reach it next year ;)

  34. Ian Harris says:

    As for the most versions of an album on release day – it would take a lot to beat Ian Dury & The Blockhead’s Do It Yourself with around 34 different covers.

    Although in terms of formats I dare say it was just vinyl and cassette!

    • Toast says:

      If we’re talking variation in cover art then I’m pretty sure the Police’s Synchronicty wins with either 36 or 93 (depending on which sources you believe) variations as follows:
      1. The 3 coloured stripes exist in 3 different orders from top to bottom. (BRY, RYB and YBR)
      2, Each stripe features several images of one band member. (4 different orders from top to bottom found)
      (2 covers are found where all members are mix-pictured)
      3. A particular image may appear at various positions from left to right on a stripe.
      (a particular image on one front cover isn’t necessarily featured on another)

    • KevinK says:

      Seems there were only either 10 or 12 “Do It Yourself” wallpaper designs in the UK “on release day” in 1979.
      Record Mirror’s UK review at the time said there were 12 different covers, but in an early 1980 Music Week advertorial, Stiff claimed there were “10 in Britain, 4 in America, 2 in Canada, and one in every licensed territory (excluding Iceland and Denmark), making a total of 33 in all.”

  35. Nick says:

    A deluxe package with that pullover is something I would have considered to purchase :D
    Now waiting for the 1 yr anniversary edition that has all the bonus tracks on it.
    BTW: Haven’t Taylor and Paul forgotten something? (Hint: it’s available in the “McCartney III Colour Collections”)

  36. Tony Glyn says:

    “15 at the last count” – what’s the most versions of the same album someone has released on the day of release?

  37. Paul Taylor says:

    I was looking forward to McCartney III but another week won’t hurt. I presume all the preorders only go into the chart data when it’s officially released? I would imagine that presales will be fairly substantial so delaying might, as you say, scupper the No1 slot if TS’s CD is released on the same day.
    Unless, of course, it’s a stealth move to make it a popularity contest that he’s confident of winning……. ;-) :-D :-D

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