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Macca targets a UK number one with a slew of new ‘McCartney III’ CDs

Paul McCartney / McCartney III coloured CDs

Four new CDs available, each with exclusive bonus audio

It has been over 30 years since a Paul McCartney studio album hit number one in the UK album charts, and the ex-Beatle is hoping to change that next month by tempting fans to buy multiple CD editions of his forthcoming album McCartney III.

Paul reached number one in the USA with his last effort, 2018’s Egypt Station, and although he has come close a few times over the years (Flaming Pie hit number two) you have to go all the way back to 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt to find a UK chart-topper. But with apparently no restrictions at the moment on how many physical formats ‘count’ for a new album in terms of the charts, team McCartney are taking full advantage.

As previously noted on SDE, there are already NINE different coloured vinyl editions of McCartney’s 18th studio album available globally, and by SDE’s reckoning, five of them are chart eligible in the UK: black, white, red, blue and the Spotify ‘coke bottle clear vinyl’.

But until now we’ve only had one version of the humble CD and no format has offered any bonus audio. That changed yesterday, when McCartney launched “McCartney III Colour Collections” a series of “limited colour edition secret demo edition CDs” and “Dice Merch Box Sets”.

So what is this exactly? Putting the merchandise to one side for a moment, at its core, this is four new CD editions of McCartney III that are colour-coded (white, red, blue, yellow) and each CD contains a unique ‘secret’ demo bonus track. You are encouraged to collect them all to ‘complete the series”. This will give collectors four new McCartney tracks not available elsewhere.

Available only from McCartney’s online store, the ‘softpack’ version of these CDs is £10.99 in the UK and around $14.33 in the USA. However, the US also get a cheaper version of these new CDs (in addition to the ‘deluxe’ softpack) at $7.33 which comes in a ‘mini-jacket’ (i.e. card sleeve). The latter isn’t available in the UK, it seems.

That’s not the only difference. America has different bundles, including CD-with-dice, CD-with-a-cap, CD-with-a-T-shirt and CD-with-a-mask. In the UK, only one big £60 bundle is available with ALL of those items together (although you can buy the individual items – T-shirt, dice, etc. – separately without buying a bundle). All bundles get the cheaper ‘mini-jacket’ version of the CD incidentally; to get the ‘deluxe’ soft-pack version you have to buy that separately. Confused? You will be.

This will mean there are 10 different physical editions of McCartney III that will count towards the UK chart: the five vinyl mentioned above and now five CDs (the original CD and the four new ones). A cassette is available in Canada but has not made it to the UK or the USA yet (curiously).

McCartney III is due for release on 11 December 2020, although it’s worth noting that the UK store lists these new CDs with an 18 December release date.

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270 responses to Macca targets a UK number one with a slew of new ‘McCartney III’ CDs

  1. Randy Layton says:

    Interestingly, CDJapan now announces the release with four bonus tracks, so there you go-one stop shopping. Considering that, though I always thought eventually these bonus tracks would wind up somewhere.

    • Kevin Hemingway says:

      Just bought this, equates to just over £24 for the Paul McCartney “McCartney III” Special Edition [Japan 4 Bonus Tracks] [SHM-CD] [Limited Release] also with 2021 A4 calendar. (That excludes any possible customs charges), so not a bad price. Just realised, hope it’s actually a Paul calendar you get with it and not a CDJapan one!

  2. Wk says:

    Think I will wait for the super deluxe edition with all the demos. Sorry Macca.

  3. Simonp2 says:

    I see release date for all formats in now December 18th. So thats the plan- Macca wants a Christmas No 1

  4. Wayne Olsen says:

    The PT Barnum remixes will be available in January.

  5. Jim says:

    As someone earlier in the comments predicted, it looks like there’s going to be a Japanese edition with all four bonus tracks included

  6. Stephen Moran says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading the reaction to this on a site populated by fans being targeted by this staggered reveal of multitudinous versions. My first reaction has lingered longest – this is an insult to fans and a waste of resources. This type of cynical marketing should be criminalised so that we never see it again.

  7. AdamW says:

    Just as a marker, AC/DC’s newest album “Power Up” (or PWR/UP if you prefer) debuted at #1 in the UK, US and Australian album charts today, with far fewer gimmicks. Let’s see if Sir Paul can duplicate the trick.

    • Jarmo Keranen says:

      AC/DC doesn’t sell demos as bonus tracks and make the fans pay for them!

    • SimonP2 says:

      Not sure about that – the AC/DC title was released in picture disc, black vinyl, 2 different red vinyl, yellow vinyl, silver vinyl and six different coloured cassettes! You could even buy a bundle from the webstore which included a Revell model kit to make your own AC/DC tour truck……

      • AdamW says:

        1. Still fewer gimmicks than Sir Paul.
        2. None had chase tracks like these CDs do.

        Anyways, #1 in 18 countries. McCartney III has its work cut out for it, I’d say.

    • Gary says:

      In any climate, but particularly in the current eco and social upheaval, this McCartney driven lust for sales and profit is obscene!

  8. Alan B says:

    UDiscover Store now advertising an exclusive orange vinyl. Beyond silly now. On top of which these vinyl albums are very expensive. The HMV blue vinyl is £35 – for a single LP.

  9. Nowhereman says:

    And now there is an orange one as well!

  10. Francis H says:

    The inherent problem with this multi-issue within formats, is that Record Labels have taken advantage of the demographic of Fans that collect different Issues and Pressings of releases. As we know, Local Divisions of Record Labels issue pressings with unique bonus tracks/alternate artwork/extras; typically intended for regional distribution to entice fans to purchase the item. Fans that collect these pressings from around the world do so because they choose to. Regarding PMIII, I’ve not seen a release of late featuring bundles with such superfluous ‘Items’ that doesn’t have a Cassette version ‘as yet’. The ‘You don’t have to buy it’ notion can’t apply when the Record Label have clearly curated this multi CD issue; with the intention of ‘Collecting them all’.

  11. Vince Williams says:

    And people wonder why bit torrent sotes and VPN’s are still being used when artists do things like this to their fans. I don’t want to buy 4 full priced cd’s just to get an extra track and if I am going to download the bonus demos then why bother buying even 1 of the CD’s?

  12. patrick DELFORGE says:

    Before spending extra money I have a question : the four CDs have different colors OK . Are you sure that the four secret demos are all differents ?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      McCartney’s blurb states “each colour CD contains a unique secret bonus demo track”. If they were all the same the track it wouldn’t be unique.

      • DaveM says:

        It’s been confirmed on the last email from Macca’s site as follows:

        Each colour CD contains a unique different bonus demo track – collect them all to complete the series.

        Phew.

      • Francis Coop says:

        But you can rest assured that they’ll all remain part of a chart manipulating ‘rip off’….is this really how low Macca needs to stoop to attain a number 1 Album?

  13. Klaus says:

    At least he’s No. 1 already (again) in getting the most comments for an SDE-post this week…

  14. Jules(Rules) says:

    Waste of plastic. Simply put. Paul should step forward and be a good example on how to use less resources, not more. Put all the demos on a CD single and be done with it.

  15. Aaron says:

    The new Steve Hackett studio album will be available in 6 different vinyl versions!

  16. Paul Wren says:

    Good grief – I’m glad I’m not a McCartney completist.

  17. Nowhereman says:

    My first reaction was that this is a bit of a rip-off. Then I remembered I had five versions of No More Lonely Nights and five versions of Figure of Eight and numerous other multi variations of the same release. It’s nothing new. What I do find odd is that this release seems to have provoked more negative comment than the various coloured vinyl versions. At least with the cd’s you are getting different music on each one.

  18. I For Detail says:

    I notice that the dice dots on the merchandise link are black but the dice on the covers have white dots (apart from the white one of course). Shame. I might otherwise have been tempted …

  19. CJ says:

    It’s easy to make fun of a release like this for being a “cash in,” and I’m just as guilty of doing it as anyone (see below), but in all honesty, it’s only a “silly” thing for people not interested in it. There will be people who will NEED to own it all, and I don’t begrudge them that. I’m not that level of fan for McCartney, but lord knows I bought around 11 different versions of Kylie’s Fever album to get all the various bonus tracks, remixes, cover variations, and what not back when that came out. And I’ve bought all the different editions of Madonna’s last few albums, even though you got all of the tracks of you bought just the super deluxe version (but there were different COVERS!!!!). And I still kick myself for only buying one of the four cover variants for Tori Amos’s Strange Little Girls. Plus last week I was beyond excited to discover a used copy of The Beautiful South’s Miaow album with the original cover art (the auditorium full of dogs listening to the gramophone instead of the boat full of dogs at sea) at the record shop.

    So, in reality, those of us making fun of Macca for what feels like a cash grab just aren’t the audience that he’s designing this for. I can make fun of him all I want, but at the end of the day, I’m living in my own glass house considering the amount of money I’ve spent just to get one more track or a different cover or a collector’s version that still had the same content in terms of track listing.

    • Joel Calderone says:

      I like the way you look at this!! Too many people out there see it their “right” way. I give you high marks for saying basically this is not for me, but I can understand why someone would want to do this. I by the way pre-ordered all four color dice. I am not happy about this at all. I get Paul wants to be #1 in the U.K. I wanted to also but the new Elvis Costello, the Clapton Crossroads concert and the John Lennon remaster, but because of Paul McCartney and his antics (which I say kudos to you for knowing how to milk us for more money which you don’t need) those purchases will have to wait.

  20. MATT SPARKES says:

    I have only one question. how involved is Macca in this multi-edition profiteering?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I’m not sure he gets involved in the nitty gritty of what goes in a bundle… but his manager once said to me that ‘he approves everything’. Clearly an idea that involves Paul supplying four unheard demos HAS to involve him, by definition.

  21. Geof says:

    And don’t forget: there might be an exclusive version at Target, not to mention what bonus track(s) will be on the Japanese version(s), and then a year from now, a massive box set with all the demos plus more.

    Sigh … I miss the days when an artist would just record a new album and release it. McCartney and Deep Purple are in a tie as to how many times they can release a new album in different versions to entice fans to buy the basic album over and over to get a few additional extras with each new “deluxe” edition.

  22. Ex-Oligarch says:

    I wonder how the many unhappy commenters would feel if more than a single bonus track were added to the album? Suppose a half-dozen songs from a live concert were added to each cd. Pick the one with the songs you like best, or buy all four, and you wind up with a full set. (Aztec Camera did something similar on a series of cd singles back in the day.) Would the complaint about milking the collectors still stand?

    Someone above mentioned experiments with multiple sleeve art variants from the early 1980s. I don’t think anyone but the totally compulsive attempted to collect the dozens of variants on “Synchronicity” by the Police, or “abacab” by Genesis, and I don’t remember anyone complaining about the variations at the time. If anything, people looked on it as a bit of fun to choose the one you liked. Is the problem here just that the musical content varies?

    The Zep “In Through The Out Door” package was different in several ways. For one thing, it was released inside a brown paper sleeve, so you couldn’t tell which variant you were buying if you bought your copy new. The six variants each had different front and back photos of a tableau in a bar: the shots were from the perspectives of six people in the bar, and hinted at some sort of cryptic story. To add to the impression of a puzzle, the inner sleeve features two shots from the perspective of the seventh person, and although printed in black and white, featured “paint with water” color inks impregnated into the paper. What all this meant to teenage fans in 1979 Southern California was that you got together with your friends and had a good laugh comparing the sleeves of each other’s copies and trying to detect some sort of secret message.

    • Rupert says:

      Lots of artists have sold CD singles with 3 different live tracks on each of 3 issues. I can think of Pearl Jam, Coldplay Dutch release and Keane. The difference is the singles cost between £2-£4 and your getting 3 different tracks on each.

      The problem with McCartney’s variant is that there is only one demo on each album. If you want the music in your hand, you will have to spend £40, a big difference for four demo’s.

  23. Jim says:

    The album has been pushed back a week due to “unforeseen production delays”. Who’d have thought releasing an album in a million different formats would be difficult?

    • Gareth Pugh says:

      Jim, the cynic in me (which I usually try to keep at bay LOL) makes me wonder if they have decided to do this so they can hopefully not only claim a number one album, but the Christmas number one album. Sure it’s not quite as prestigious as the Christmas number one single is/was, but it gets you a by-line for many years of future press releases to come (number one albums across X decades, first Christmas number one album of the 2020s etc.) I guess that all helps the narrative. I’ve happily ordered a couple of formats (red vinyl, green-cover CD from Germany) but that will probably do for me. I also have a feeling the 4 demos will resurface on some other release sooner rather than later (Deluxe 2CD reissue next Summer maybe, or a Tour edition CD if circumstances make that possible again soon-is?)

  24. J says:

    From the artist’s point of view whether this release is perceived as positive or negative only one thing matters at the end of the day: Did they spell your name correctly?
    J

  25. Michael says:

    I guess we need to roll the dice to determine which “McCartney III” version to buy :-)

    I still haven’t been able to sample any songs off PM’s new album, other than the teaser promo video. So, I for one plan to wait until after 11 December when I might be able to preview some of the music on-line, and see if it’s worth investing in multiple coloured copies of the same record.

    I do like artist, Ed Ruscha’s simple design for “McCartney III.” I’ve always admired Ruscha’s pop art, especially after seeing a fantastic exhibit of his “Standard Gas Station” painting series in Los Angeles some years ago.

  26. Publius Enigma says:

    Hidden? Im excited.

    The 4 CDs could have phase differences – and, when added together in a DAW give surround sound, instrumentals, messages and even images (using a spectrogram).

    Apologies if this sounds ridiculous, apologies to the Macca camp if I pre empted the secrets.

    Id be astonished if this 4CD campaign IS in fact daylight robbery.

  27. Johan H says:

    I have no problems with the gazillions of versions and I certainly don’t begrudge the man if he wants to score a number one. I’ve pre-ordered the black vinyl and might go for one of the box sets and that will be about it for me. That said, we don’t have to buy any of these versions so why get upset? Some people will no doubt enjoy collecting all of these, others not so much. In a few years he’ll be gone and you won’t have to worry if he’s making more dough upon dough. Doesn’t affect me in the least if he makes millions or billions. I’m just extremely grateful that he’s still around, active, and that we still have the opportunity to hear new music from him. Doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that, I would think.

  28. bruce kelso says:

    how come all the excitement for this when no one has heard a note of music? isnt that whats it all about. THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Joe Donato says:

    At first I had to look at the calendar to see if this was an April Fool’s joke! Paul, I remember your wonderful “Club Sandwich”/Macca rarities prank. LOL. As ridiculous as the numerous vinyl colors being released for McCartney III, I surely thought they would not go this far. But as echoed earlier, we are not forced to buy it. I will most likely stick to the one green Target CD here in the US.

  30. Peter Muscutt says:

    Makes you wonder – if the “incentive” to purchase the different CDs was better, say, four different full archive concert recordings (unreleased) from over the past forty years or so, would the backlash be as bad? Is it a value for money thing that you’re being in essence asked to fork out four times for just a few bonus tracks? Would getting four full live concerts as “extras” with the variant CDs make a difference to folk? Or is it the cynical “buy all these editions” that irritates more?

  31. Tom says:

    Ive been a fan and loyal collector since the beginning. attended many expensive shows also. this is a disgrace , He should be streaming this new lp for free as a thank you for all the fans that have supported him. I think his family is in a great financial position. Enough already . Next month he will put out the super deluxe edition. Give back to the people that need a little hope in this shit whole of a world we have become. To quote Paul. ( Let It Be )

  32. Tony says:

    I thought this was a dreadful scam of fans, had a look at the store and ended up buying that very cool looking blue t shirt, I’ll end up getting the cd on a deal soon enough, all the songs will be in one place on a box set before we know it, I’ve had this with having to buy teenagers 4 different versions of 5sos releases over the last few years, it’s not a great way to sell records and CDs but it seems to be a default setting now. Bought a black vinyl Metrobolist for £12 from some guy on eBay who bought a load hoping for a gold or white one, this is all getting a bit daft but if we didn’t enjoy it we wouldn’t be here.

  33. Thierry says:

    I think that’s fun and we need fun at the moment…
    What a shame the only format I could be interested doesn’t exist (a mini lp cd !)

  34. Beechlander says:

    The CDs all have a release date of 18 Dec – a week later than the vinyl releases. Sounds like a ploy to consolidate and secure the “coveted” Christmas No.1 spot from the might of Chris Kamara, Now Xmas, etc etc. Another line for his marketing team to add to the Macca CV I suppose. Truly sad.

  35. Dennis Yardley says:

    This whole thing stinks – I will not buy even if it is the greatest thing since BOTR

    • Harcourt Fenton Mudd says:

      BOTR……. what is this?

      BTTE
      FITD
      KOTB
      MAF
      RRS
      GMRTBS
      TTLF
      R
      CACITBY
      ?

      Band On The Run…I got there in the end!

      As for PM3…..n case some other versions are announced, Iwill wait …..what I hope for is a pm1,2,3 collected super deluxe , although I balk at what it might cost me, money-wise.

      Otherwise, it is the standard pm3 cd for me on my next trip to HMV (in 2022 ).

      Everyone enjoy whatever pm3 variant you choose!
      We are all different and the same at the same time!

  36. Chris H says:

    All I can think of is the scene from Breaking Bad in the storage locker, where in front of a stack of 80 million dollars Skylar asks “how much is enough? How big does this pile have to be”?

  37. Brett says:

    On the upside, with all of those formats it should be easy enough to pick up a copy for a fiver in a few months time!

  38. Edward Fitzgerald says:

    Think the Abbey Road song foretold this.

    So that you’ll give me your money
    There will be 20 versions of McCartney III

    If the Beatles had a version of Abbey Roads with dice they’d have been laughed at.

  39. Edward Fitzgerald says:

    Bought the Coming Up live single when it was 1st released as a 45, that was as close to McCartney II as I needed to get.

    Bought everything else from McCartney through Flowers in the Dirt (bought that for: “Ou est le Soleil?”). Ou est le Soleil was probably the last great energetic song Paul’s made. Will probably pass on McCartney III.

    If this grab for money works it is probably time to put out the Beatles catalog with the next gimmick, maybe on less song on each version because this sure isn’t about the music.

    Still waiting for an expanded London Town but overall getting less interested in McCartney with each scheme (thinking now that James Corden probably did Paul a favor, not the other way around).

    • John MC cann says:

      Was coming up live at the Glasgow Apollo? spent my early teens in that place,, mostly for free!,, Pushed the old doors in the lane and their you where , synchronicity for free,also bucks fizz but it was better than hanging around the streets,

  40. ken.e says:

    It cracks me up that people get upset by this. I will admit that I get tempted to buy some of these marketing schemes and few I have caved into getting. But we all have choice that we can make. If I bought the demos on a stand alone disc I would like listen to them out of interest once or a few times at most then store it away. Perhaps (I hope) they will come out on a deluxe set and like the Traveller’s Edition that I will buy it (which ever one wasn’t in a suitcase with a puzzle). If not I will forget about them one day and move on.

    I am sure for some they will get them all and be happy. One of my friends has 30+ copies of Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers they are all different pressings. He will gladly explain the differences and importance of each. It makes him happy and good for him.

    I for one am so happy to see Paul putting out an album again. Great way to spent time in Rockdown!

    I would love to see the album go to #1. Good luck Paul

    • Jarmo Keranen says:

      Let’s spend time in Real Rocktown and put the new AC/DC record Power Up to # 1!

    • Dave H says:

      I don’t think everyone is upset with how many releases there are like the different colour vinyl because as far as I know, they all contain the same tracks. Reading from the other post, some people are happy just to get one of the coloured vinyl, others want to collect all of them. Musically, you’re not missing out if you didn’t get the colour you wanted.

      It becomes a bit different when a different track is spread out on four CD’s. Fortunately, I’m not a big enough McCartney fan to want all four demo’s so am not going to purchase all four CD’s. I’ve already purchased the standard CD and I’ll be fine with that. However, for those who physically want all four tracks, they will have to spend an extra £30 for 3 tracks on top of the initial £10 for the first CD.

      Is it really value for money?

      • Richard Z says:

        This is exactly it. I ordered two lp versions, the black one and thought it would be nice to get one coloured version as well. I am not upset about missing all the other lp variations, with different colours and sleeves. But I do want to have all the music without having to buy the same Cd many different times. A deluxe edition a year later was already iritating, but at least you would be complete then.

    • Jarmo Keranen says:

      I can understand why somebody collects 30+ copies of Sticky Fingers. One of the all time classic rock albums. But collect new Paul Mccartney album i can’t understand. Same goes with the new Rolling Stones album if they someday release it. And i’ve been Rolling Stones fan 45 years!

  41. Andy says:

    What’s the difference with the softpak and the cardboard sleeve versions, other than almost being double the price?

  42. Rett Russell says:

    Recently Sir Paul had a photograph taken with Taylor Swift, who has racked up 7 number one solo albums.
    Paul has had 8 number one solo albums (27 if you count his membership in an earlier band).
    Can it be (!) that he desires another number 1 to stay comfortably ahead of her…?

    I concur with other commenters about the greatness of SDE’s recent book on McCartney archive reissues….but of course, now that I have mine, I selfishly don’t wish to see another printing….unless, as per Neil Young Archives Volume II, a distinction is made that it’s a reprint.
    (would we be here if we didn’t have some collector DNA in our system?)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      If we ever do reprint the McCartney booklet it would be to add Flaming Pie and (hopefully) London Town/Back to the Egg, so it wouldn’t be an identical edition. I’d probably choose a different cover too, to differentiate it.

  43. Tom Walsh says:

    A number 1 means not much if you’ve got trick your way to it. Why not release some great songs and get ttere..especially if you’re Paul McCartney. Not all number 1’s are kids..plenty of classic/middle of the road artists can get there.

    • WayneUK says:

      The Specials got to #1 , and that was 40 years since their first single, and l believe with just one coloured vinyl version of the album at the time(think there were a couple of different editions afterwards). Paul Weller regularly reaches #1 or #2 with his LPs, all be it with a few coloured vinyls. There really isn’t any reason to release so many versions that PM has to get a number one. I’d say some of it is down to the record company, not sure even Macca has all the say.

  44. Jabber says:

    To this CD marketing scheme, I take my cue from MACCA’s last CD…FUH YOU.

  45. MichaelM says:

    Just how much money does McCartney think he needs? One of these mundane grandad “rock” collections would be enough to put me to sleep.

  46. Shane says:

    Wow at Macca’s balls to unashamedly lure his fans into having to buy the same CD just to get 6 extra tracks! Not even pretending to mask it into territorial releases, but instead PURELY to sell more copies. Now this is daily robbery if I ever saw one.
    Yes I know, nobody forces you, but he knows very well that if in 2020 a fan buy his album he probably wants all new tracks he can get so he is abusing his power over his fans, and that is just disappointing.
    At least if you say, Kylie issuing like 15 different versions, it was just visuals, hell even a die hard fan like me said enough at some point, but here we are talking about the primary goods of a singer, music, not some silly novelty gadget (yeah let’s not get into the dicey area) like vinyl of a different color or the cassette.

  47. Jason Brown says:

    Given the sheer variety of formats, I might pick up a copy. Probably blue or yellow.

    I think it’s a pretty good promotion, actually. Going by the sheer number of comments, it’s getting conversation going!!

    Back in the multipart CD single days, I usually bought the format that, on balance, I’d like more (live tracks, usually). Buying the same core product more than once was only very rarely on the cards.

    As many have said, no one has to buy them all. You just don’t.

    Also ironic that the McCartney albums are back to basic affairs…where as this promotion is anything but.

  48. David Robinson says:

    Demos – though the whole thing was a demo ! Or is a demo for a McCartney cd where he gets a session band in to record it in splendour, complex musicality, 10 producers and veneer so he can then remake them home stylee ! Just waiting for the dub and Temporary Secretary ; Check My Machine vintage remix

    • Stan Butler says:

      The demos that have come out on the Archive series over the years, have been (apart from FITD & BOTR One Hand Clapping) very lo fi and drab. Basically sounds like Paul and Linda sitting at the kitchen table, Paul strumming and the kids banging pots and pans. Given that was him in his peak years, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the quality of these demos at 78 years old.

  49. Fogarrach says:

    I think this is because Paul is aiming to get McCartney III to number 1.

    And that’s great.

    Releasing an album as McCartney means an awful lot to Paul, it shall link him to times spent with the Beatles and time spent with Linda and his family near Machrahanish, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

    I don’t want an album I’m scared to play, I’ll pick up one of the cheaper ones. Yet there are collectors who will adore their rare version. Good luck to us all. I hope Paul gets number one and I’ll do my tiny bit to help him.

    Remember, there could come a day when nothing new from a beatle will on created or in charts.
    Like Bowie wrote, I’m delighted that a beatle is on sale again. As my wife says, Paul owes us one more great album. I’m quietly hopeful.

  50. David Rubin says:

    I think it may be Paul’s way of having a bit of fun. If you are an everyday fan then all you really need is the cd or lp. If you have been collecting Paul and his other bands for eternity then yes you can be happy hunting down all the different versions. But to start being mean to a man who has given the best of the best music then that’s just wrong. He has been part of our collective for over 55 years and has given so much. Yes it is a lot to collect and yes it will cost a large sum but that is your choice. We the fans have placed Paul McCartney on a very high pedestal, and to knock him for this is not right. No one if forcing you to spend money you may or may not have .
    I for one will just get the plain version and try and find the downloads. It will be FUN to try and find them on line or from friends.
    This man is still giving us music to live and love by.
    GOD BLESS HIM

  51. Darren Linklater says:

    As if numerous coloured vinyl editions wasn’t enough, now we have 4 separate CDs all with individual bonus tracks.
    Has one man ever been so desperate to get to number 1?…..
    It’s not about money because he has more than he could ever spend, it’s about ego.
    I have a fair few McCartney albums but I think this is exploiting those big fans who collect everything for the sake of his ego.
    No one has to buy, and I won’t be until they are on sale at a lower price than £30 for a single LP.
    After Egypt Station, which I bought three versions of, I didn’t think he could exploit fans even more.
    I will be so pleased if he gets to number 2.

  52. Thomas Beattie says:

    Its not about the music any more it seems lets get as many formats on the market and make as much money as possible its not just macca almost everyone seems to be at it if the music mattered then one cd/vinyl would be enough check out costellos web site and enjoy a chuckle at his overpriced bundles

  53. Paul A says:

    I’m prepared to give Macca the benefit of the doubt. I think he wants to make a shitload of money AND get to No.1 …

  54. Straker says:

    It seems like a lot of work/money to be a Macca fan. Thankfully I’m not but I do enjoy SDE Paul’s periodic rants at his namesake. Highly entertaining.

  55. David Ace says:

    This is the final straw for me, I’m a massive Beatles/Mccartney fan, even before today I was putting off pre-ordering the basic black vinyl currently selling at 40 euros on amazon.fr for a single disc, where the same site is selling Beatles 1’s on vinyl for 34 euros. Now this is really taking the p**s . They have overhyped this so much that I really don’t care about the release or the music anymore and I’m not losing sleep over it either.

    Discraceful

    • Gary says:

      This will be the final straw for a number of McCartney fans I suspect, as it will be for fans of other artists or bands whose catalogue is exploited in this fashion. When you become a collector of any band you will make unnecessary purchases, but the sheer variation of the same product on offer in this instance will alienate many fans for whom their collection is somewhat incomplete and with the limited numbers of some of the vinyl editions, somewhat unattainable. Consequently, music fans could well turn from the collecting aspect of their music library and then we will all be losers in the long term, not that McCartney will be concerned, he will be long gone, as will be the availability of musical product to a dwindling mass market. How long will it be before we have a ‘pick any personalised colour/splatter version’ of a release at equally inflated cost? I fear that exploitative marketing in this fashion could signal a decline in music fans ‘collective’ thinking and their purchasing of physical product which becomes increasingly worthless.

  56. Jarmo Keranen says:

    “Millions” of different versions. Big question is, are there any decent track you could listen? I think the only joy of this record is to them, who are collectors. Glad that you could always listen The Beatles records. Those were the days, when Paul McCartney was something special!

  57. noyoucmon says:

    I had all “cheap pack” demo CDs in my cart and at $37.71 USD it sounded practical, and then I was even thinking about adding some dice that will simply clutter my room, but then I stepped back and considered things for a moment and closed the browser without purchasing. I thought of all the times people have said “They’ll keep doing this kind of thing if people keep buying,” and concluded that was correct and I just couldn’t do it. I’m not begrudging anyone of buying as many versions of McCartney III as they wish–this is just a personal decision and insight into one man’s experience. If you wanna buy them all, go ahead, roll the dice, take a chance (as an old favorite barman of mine was known to shout).

  58. leemer says:

    Wow! What? No hat, dice, shirt, CD super deluxe combination? That would preempt you from having to buy multitudes of products. I guess he’s not Dylan. I really question this whole campaign as being a bit of a dodgy scheme to milk his fans from as much money as possible.

    Alternatively, one can look at it as giving as many of his fans an option to have something unique as possible. But that really puts hurt on the completists out there.

    Oh well, I give up, I am buying no more – unless he releases the much coveted 8-Track!!!

  59. Bill says:

    Not a fan of Macca as an album artist. Not got into him TBH. Got a greatest hits & thats it. However as a collector of a couple of artists I can see the plus on this. I have been & will probably again collect verions to complete the set if im that invested in an artist. It’s only because I have some disposable income that I can do this. I’m lucky!

    As a kid with limited £££ it was “what do I get”? 7″, 12″, Album, Picture disc, Cassette or CD. I wanted the lot but £££ was the issue. I suppose i’m making up for it now.

    I’m not worried about chart positions anymore like I used to be, listening to the top 20 to see who was where!

    I’m interested in collecting versions as a hobby. Probably over done it myself on the buying from around the world but its what collecting is about? Especially if you are a major fan.

  60. Harcourt Fenton Mudd says:

    I honestly believe that if getting a number one was the goal for this release, then the cd variants would be £5 each, not £11. I would buy 4 at £5 each! …and probably frame all the covers and put them up in Chateau Mudd.

    As it is, I might cancel my amazon cd preorder and wait until they are in the 2 for £10 section at HMV.

    Surely money can’t be Sir Paul”s goal either, otherwise it would say “proceeds to charity” or similar. . . .that would help boost sales for a £11 cd…
    . . . .and I don’t suspect he or Nancy are in dire straits . . . . . . .or Dire Straits.

  61. Philip Brennan says:

    I’ve been a huge Paul McCartney fan for the last thirty five years or so.
    This all seems a bit daft but does it bother me? Not at all!

    I’ve really enjoyed his recent output so I’m very much looking forward to McCartney III.
    In fact, his last release that failed to impress was Driving Rain (signs you’re getting old – 19 years ago seems “recent”).

    I’ve pre-ordered the standard CD and I’m happy with that. If there’s a special edition a year or two down the line I’ll most likely buy that too. Let’s face it, Paul’s not the only one to get up to these kinds of shenanigans.

    I can’t understand why people are getting so angry about this. I’d like to hear the demos but I’m not going to buy the CD four times. Nobody should do, nobody has to!

    As for a previous poster who compared him to Trump … Come on now, there’s no need for that kind of language!

    While I’m here, a word of congratulations for SDE’s superb McCartney booklet – it’s very highly recommended. Well done, Paul (Sinclair)!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Philip for the kind words on the booklet!

      • noyoucmon says:

        I want to echo Philip about your McCartney booklet, Paul. I was beyond impressed by that item. It is thorough, intelligent, well designed and laid out, looks classy, is a good read, and the attention to detail is amazing. I oversee production of countless documents and publications in my work and sadly it is rare to get all of these qualities in one item. I really believe you deserve some sort of recognition for this publication. I’m so glad I bought it. Well done.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I’m blushing here… thanks so much for your kind words! It started out as a fun idea and turned into a big ball of stress towards the end (because I was writing it and doing the layout), but I’m really pleased I did it and Lucy’s wonderful illustrations made all the difference. We’re sold out now, but might possibly consider doing an updated edition after the next archive reissue.

          • Straker says:

            I used to be a graphic designer in another life and your innate/learned design skills shine through Paul.

  62. kenneth tilley says:

    this reeks of desperation and greed

  63. Wincki says:

    Calm down, everyone. It’s just a marketing strategy – you could buy or leave it! It’ your own decision. Maximum attention guaranteed!

  64. MüllerMüller says:

    Do not take it seriously – itˋs good fun to me in these times….
    NO ONE must buy anything!
    I order the blue cd with the blue dice – FUN

  65. John says:

    I am just going to stream it! Paradoxically there is too much choice and scarcity at the same time. But what I would buy is six different sleeves of The Wild Boys 7” single by Duran Duran with the same two songs.

    • Michael says:

      certainly if they came in a plastic pack I could hang on the wall!!! I have the 6 singles but the pack has evaded me… Duran could make loads via the exhumation of their back catalogue but that has been much discussed here!

  66. J Douglas says:

    With every new pre-release iteration of this album, the less optimistic I am the (unheard) music will stand on its own merits.
    Also, it is easy to say about this and many other dodgy/over-priced/not desired format products, “Not a fan, an easy pass”. However what do you say and do when you are a die-hard fan?
    The 2020 SDE misses (Metrobolist, Armed Forces, NY Archives Vol. II, McCartney III) for a variety of reasons are rivalling the SDE hits (The Seeds of Love, the DC box, Sign o’ the Times) that are near universally loved. A number of others are well-liked but flawed (the presciently-titled Hard Luck Stories, due to production issues). Very few SDE releases offered great value this year. Jewel Box comes to mind. A bit pricey but you can at least see where the money was spent. With a Blu-ray instead of DVD, Vienna would have been one.
    My point is, every time we settle for a little less in an SDE, we will get less again next time and at a higher price. At the risk of heresy in a forum like this, I just want to say we will all benefit over time if we can resist the more transparent attempts to sell us second-rate goods – especially when we are fans.

    • Rashers says:

      It baffles me why SDEs contain DVDs – virtually everyone has had a HDTV for at least a decade – and video at 480p looks awful on them along with dated lossy Dolby digital. For the kind of money being charged for SDEs – there is only one video format – BluRay (which isn’t even close to state of the art for video but at least the audio is good). Why would anyone pay £200 for a SDE and not £40 for a Blu Ray player?

      • Straker says:

        Last time I checked DVD still outsells blu-ray and BD players are backwards compatible whereas DVD players cannot play blu-ray. Important not to confuse your personal preference with how the mass market consumes physical media.

        • Andy says:

          But the mass market isn’t the target demographic for a £200 SDE release. Like Rashers said if you can afford a big, expensive, box set containing blu-ray disks – which is already a 14 year old format – you can at least afford a cheap and cheerful player.

        • Nigel Pond says:

          Straker, whilst you are correct to point out that Blu-ray Disc (BD) players can play DVDs and DVDs outsell BDs (by quite a margin), there are many more BD players available than DVD players now.

          Nearly everyone I know has a BD player, but the vast majority of them still buy DVDs to watch on their 65in + UHD TVs – go figure! Some actually didn’t know that BD players play BDs. (Frowns)!

          I agree with those that suggest that BD should be the SDE format. Some artists have grasped that, but some still live in the dark ages.

          It made me think that we now have more BDs than we had LaserDiscs (PAL and NTSC) and DVDs (PAL and NTSC) combined, but then we’ve collected BDs for longer. LD 1988-1999, DVD 1999-2007, BD (incl 3D/4K) 2007 to present.

  67. Stuart says:

    Is it any better, or worse, than bands who release a new album with the only difference between versions being a different sleeve (this used to be all the rage with ‘special’ lenticular type covers); at least this time there’s an extra/different bit of audio to be had?

    I agree that it’s a bit cynical as McCartney collectors (of which there are many) will want every version on day 1, however I also take my hat off to what is a genius bit of marketing of a physical product in a time where the physical market is struggling, as it’ll be a race to be one of the first to have/post about all 4 secret tracks. Bottom line is, if this were my favourite band I’d be all over all 4 versions on day 1.

    As others have rightly mentioned, there will no doubt be a special/deluxe edition before the year’s out (following the pattern set by both New and Egypt Station) that will have all 4 of these bonus tracks and probably a few more left overs, so the option will also be there for those who wish to hold on.

    McCartney has already proved that this sales tactic works with vinyl, so why not extend the fun/exploitation (delete depending on your viewpoint) to the humble CD.

    Me; I’ll just take my chance and order the one with my favourite colour in the hope I get a decent secret track!

  68. Steve White says:

    This really is getting into “you don’t have to buy it” territory. I know, as a collector that is irritating to hear as there are often releases that I just have to have if I can get hold of but who is really going to need any of these CD’s in their collection? There is just not enough about them (or the bundles) to make me even consider them. I don’t begrudge Paul’s attempt at the No.1 slot though as he is a product of the day’s when it really did mean something and it is nice to think that he/the record company believe they can achieve it with the help of physical release sales.

    What is more sad in these times is the marked increase in output this year by artists who I won’t name (or their estates to be more exact) who have the gravitas, that when they release a “new” product their fans just feel they have to buy. There are a lot of great artists really struggling and it feels like they are being a bit crowded out a bit by some of these. We all have limited budgets even in the best of times so if we can only buy one thing or the other will we buy the 10th re-release or rebadging of something over a new artist. Don’t get me wrong as fans we are often calling for re-issues like the Seeds of Love boxset for example but we simply don’t need to buy something we have basically bought before because it has a new name, or new colour vinyl, picture disc right at this time.

  69. Michel Banen says:

    Does McCartney STILL need his ego stroked by wanting that #1 spot that desperately ? I thought he had quite a carreer to proud of already.

  70. Peter Muscutt says:

    Surely some bright spark will have the nous to put the demos up online or on Soundcloud/ YouTube, where they can be easily grabbed/downloaded ready to append to your own McCartney III – Complete (For Now, Until More Bonus Tracks Emerge) Edition?

    Not that I’d condone such a thing…

    Makes you wonder why McCartney didn’t focus group this whole project before announcing it, then he might’ve thought “oh blimey, the fans don’t like that idea – let’s try and market it in a different way that might not piss them off and put them off buying it altogether.”

    You think he might have learnt from the Egypt Station deluxe editions disaster!

  71. John Bobo Bollenberg says:

    and then these kind of artists ask themselves why so many people download their music!

  72. Wayne C says:

    Why not put all four sleeves in one package with one cd and all the Bonus tracks and charge £4.99 then you can guarantee you’ll get to number one. Then you wouldn’t be rolling the dice and be a shoe in!.

  73. chris dachel says:

    i really, really am looking forward to this album. i’m just going to appreciate a new paul album and leave it to my therapist to sort out my collector completeness obsessions. ;)

  74. CJ says:

    In January: an “expanded” edition released with three of the four demos, plus two new demos
    In April: a special 2-disc release with the four demos hear, dropping the two new demos, but adding “single mixes” of some of the song, plus one new track
    In July: an “artist’s edition” with a different order to the track list, incorporating re-recordings of half the tracks
    In September: The back-to-school edition, featuring all the previous bonus material on two discs, housed in a pencil case with a McCartney III eraser set
    In November: The Holiday Gift Edition, which drops half the bonus material, adds a 2021 version of “Wonderful Christmastime,” a surprise snow-globe (1 of 10 different designs, randomly inserted into each pack), and an ugly Christmas sweater made from animal-safe acrylic yarn, pre-wrapped in a gift box
    In 2022: The Legacy edition, with the original album, a CD of previously unreleased songs, and all the previously released bonus material as download-only content, packaged in a cardboard dice replica
    After Paul’s death: The Ultimate McCartney Version, which comes with the standard editions of McCartney I, II, and III, no bonus tracks, but a small urn with a teaspoon of his ashes and a certificate of authenticity

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The last one is in pretty poor taste.

      • CJ says:

        True, I have a tendency to step over the line. But isn’t there some part of you that can picture a record company doing something like that (or equally morbid) for an artist? And there being people who would snatch it up despite (or because of) all the outrage around it?

      • Klaus says:

        You’re right Paul, but nevertheless that’d
        certainly be a number one on release date…

  75. Roberto Bessa says:

    Note for Paul McCartney : What about a box set like “Jewel” Elton John ?

  76. Phil G says:

    First singles from McCartney III have been announced:

    – Coming Up (With Even More Ways To Fleece The Fans)
    – Waterfalls (Of Incoming Cash)
    – Monetary Beneficiary

  77. Ern says:

    Hey pop pickers,
    I’m the one and only artist you should be spending your hard earned cash on. To ensure that all of your pocket money goes to me, I will release my album 4 times and the only difference is the colour of the album sleeve and one different demo track on each.
    So don’t forget, buy all 4 albums of 3??? with the same tracks bar one so that I can get to the top spot, the big numero uno, for the first time in the 21st of centuries because you, my fans, are number one in my heart. My pocket. My bank balance.
    Remember other artists come and go but I’m worth spending all of your pocket money on than them.
    Thumbs aloft.
    PMC

  78. Prince Fan says:

    Do you really think this is all about getting a No.1 album? The charts have been redundant for a few years now. It’s most likely a money making exercise – they know there are collectors who will buy multiple formats of the same release.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Do you think Paul cares about making more money at this point in time? Believe me, it’s ALL about getting to number one.

      • Quante says:

        Hi Paul,

        I’m more cynical than you as regards motive. Yes he doesn’t need the money, but that’s not stopped any of his recent products costing a small fortune. I view it that the corporation McCartney is out to make as much money as possible, rather than McCartney the individual needing it.

        Selling the line that it is all about getting to number one is a brilliant red herring to the real objective of filling the coffers. Of course, if getting to number one is a by-product of making money then that’s a major PR success story, and I don’t doubt McCartney would like a number one album, even though it is utterly irrelevant in 2020.

        There is of course nothing wrong in making money, but this is a crass and obnoxious way to do it.

      • H says:

        Didn’t realise a number one album was still such a big thing. Showing my ignorance by asking why it matters so much.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I don’t think we care much, but artists and record labels (in particular) do. It’s one of those things that can’t be taken away. A number one album. No one remembers or cares how many copies you sold, but people do remember if it got to number one.

  79. Jon says:

    It all seems so desperate. It’s like Lady Gaga begging fans on Twitter to buy multiple copies of ArtPop when it first came out.

  80. Rashers says:

    So many options. Hmmmm. Has anybody actually heard the album yet?
    Normally B sides demos and all that stuff is released at least a year after you have heard the original album – and they get you to buy it all over again.
    Physical product is dying a death with this kind of nonsense.

  81. Mark H. says:

    I’ll just do what I usually do in such an instance: wait until they are all released and not buy any of them.

    Then a few weeks after Christmas, like new CD versions will show up at the used stores for a fiver.

  82. Mazzy says:

    Aren’t the color demo CDs just one track each ? Not the full album too ?

  83. Timm Davison says:

    Just reading this made my head hurt…

  84. Paul E. says:

    @ Paul Sinclair – Please keep us posted on the inevitable “McCartney III” appropriately colored brown CD that will gather all of bonus tracks from the white, red, blue, and yellow editions.

    Shouldn’t these be turkey shaped?

  85. Tim Abbott says:

    The guy responsible for some of the most famous music of the 20th century is now reduced to peddling crummy demos in a desperate bid to look popular.

    Embarrassing.

  86. Todd G says:

    When will he release the 8-Track and Reel to Reel versions of McCartneu III? They could be released in different color cartridges and reels. How fun to collect!!!

  87. Bill says:

    The only downside I see is there is so much variety in so many countries for a McCartney collector to purchase. It reminds me of Elvis’s Colonel Parker‘s hundreds of promotional items. Look at Kiss , early Beatles, the Monkeys…on and on….and on…I mean Beatles lunch boxes? Kiss dolls? Really?
    Relax..enjoy McCartneymania!

  88. What? McCartney? Laughing? says:

    Piss off Paul (not Sinclair)

  89. Yani P says:

    When you think he has gone too far he just has to go that little bit further. What utter nonsense..

  90. Bill says:

    Paul-what’s the difference between a mini jacket and a soft pack? I never heard of the later.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      A ‘soft pack’ is similar to how he releases his CD/2CD reissues. A mini-jacket looks very much like a CD-single card sleeve to me. Probably no booklet with the latter, but you should get one with the former.

  91. Steven Roberts says:

    Oh FFS.

    Talk about desperate. :(

  92. Cristiano says:

    Paul! What a shame! I don’t know if it’s you or the guys at your record company, but forcing us fans to buy multiple versions of the same cd once again should put somebody to shame …someone. I will abstain from all this and will only buy only one copy,and it doesn’t matter about demos, hidden or whispered songs and so on. I imagine a new edition will arrive in the spring, perhaps in a nice box of toilet paper …

  93. Jeremy says:

    I’m all in favour of choice. I had no problem with the coloured vinyl releases and chose the one I liked best. One album sale. But seriously, how many crazies are there out there who would feel they have to buy every possible version of this album? There can’t be more than a few hundred at most. Ultimately the album will sell on its merits. I’d rather see a Macca album with sustained selling power than one which leaps into the top of the charts only to sink like a led balloon the following week.

  94. Ian Harris says:

    This is rather old fashioned for modern with-it Macca!

    He should ‘drop’ (as they say these days) the bonus tracks on different platforms / media

    One on Spotify.

    One on a cassingle only available in Japan

    One on a flexi disc only available in Poland

    One on MySpace

  95. Carlos says:

    Inevitable deluxe 2CD incoming will Carlos III demos. This is a ripoff, I know no one is forced to buy the 4 CD editions, but considering music is what (supposedly) matters you’ll have to buy them all to own those tracks.

  96. bruno says:

    Paul McCartney is one of the most ethically aware artists on the planet and supports many important causes. Ethics is a personal matter and personally I find this drip drip of special releases and “red vinyl – limited to 3,000” then once sold out “limited edition – red vinyl” does not show the highest regard for his fans or ethics. Of course no one forces anyone to buy any of this – and fortunately I am not a McCartney solo fan so I am not vaguely tempted. Surely the music should propel the album to number 1 – but I guess that is like believing in Father Christmas.

  97. Quante says:

    You have to laugh at an insane record industry. Young bands can barely, or literally don’t make a living due to streaming royalties and the decline of physical sales. Conversely, heritage acts who were brilliant in their youth are now able to milk their loyal fans for everything they can.

    The McCartney camp didn’t learn, or more likely, care about the recent disappointments from Paul’s fans over the recent expensive releases. They and others like Young and Costello seem to have adopted a Trumpesque ‘sod you’ attitude to the regular fan who wants to enjoy buying and playing their product.

    Sometimes you just have to move on and give it a miss, and you know what, your life won’t be any the worse for it.

    There is still a lot of joy in supporting bands and acts who are busting a gut to make great music and develop a fan base. They’ll get my money.

    P.S. good on Elton John for doing his own un-boxing video on a well priced, well conceived box set. He’s always been a fan of new music and his fans, and is a noticeable exception to the three amigos mentioned above.

    • Shawn C. says:

      Quante. Great comment on Elton John. I agree completely. Pretty amazing when you compare what I view as McCartney’s constant milking of the fan, and this blatant chart manipulation , with EJ’s willingness to just get the music out there. As you say, beautiful, reasonable priced box set, with accompanying vinyl packages split into 3 releases to let fans buy only what they want.

      I’m glad I’m not a McCartney solo fan, so there is no real conflict for me – but it still saddens me to see a guy pushing 80 going to such lengths to get an album to #1. EJ will readily admit he gave up on getting radio play at least 10 years ago. All the more admirable for it, I believe. Just my opinion, obviously.

  98. Wayne Olsen says:

    Paul may be crazy, but none of us are FORCED to buy them. I’m going to pass on all these color combination CDs and save my money for the next Who greatest hits.

    • BSR says:

      Paul, PLEASE add a “like” option for replies made. Wayne’s note above has me laughing like a loon, great classic comments need to be recognized and commended! I’m dying here laughing.

  99. Kauwgompie says:

    I’m a sucker for this stuff so I ordered all colour deluxe CD’s and one big bundle from the English site. Went for the blue bundle. I know it’s ridiculous but couldn’t help myself. My fingers just did it.
    By the way, I don’t think it is sad -as some are saying here- that Mecca goes thru all this trouble. I have criticized Mecca plenty of times, especially for the downloads in the Flowers In The Dirt box but I like that the old fire is still burning in him and that he is ambitious enough to shoot for a number 1 album. I hope I have his ambition and energy when Im that age. My only criticism is that they couldn’t even be bothered to replace the white cover of the special edition CD’s with purple or brown or whatever, anything but white. Now the regular cd is white and one of the “coloured” CD’s is white too! Makes no sense.

    By the way, for all Americans, Target has the bright green cover so if you want all colours, don’t forget to buy the green :-) I don’t believe it comes with a bonus track but at least you have all colours.

  100. AdamW says:

    This looks absurd, but is it any more absurd than the “chase tracks” on retailer-exclusive editions? At least this way you can buy them all in one place.

    As a US resident, back in the day I remember buying UK and European import CD-singles to get an otherwise-unavailable track, and $7.33 would have been cheap for those.

    Not making excuses, but I don’t think this is as over-the-top as the number of colored vinyl editions.

  101. Christian says:

    Just wait for the CD to be issued in Japan and it will probably have all secret demo tracks on there (more than likely, but who knows?).

  102. Desbug says:

    There seem to be two things wrong here, one is announcing this once other pre-orders have already been placed, and secondly, 4 additional formats with a different track… I think it would feel less like a rip off if it had been just a 2CD deluxe with additional tracks announced at the original launch, even if that was at the cost of the 4 coloured CDs together it might feel costly but less wasteful.

    I do like all the different coloured versions of the packaging though, they are fun – just I think that if you offer extra tracks it should be an inverted pyramid – each more expensive version should contain everything from a cheaper version plus the extra value for the additional cost.

  103. Stan Butler says:

    I’m a huge McCartney fan, but this is beyond the pale now.
    As someone else said, I’m also thinking of giving the album a miss, or at least I can wait until it turns up at £5 on Amazon, which it will eventually.
    I can get hold of the audio for free to satisfy my curiosity over its content.
    Hopefully it will kept off No.1 by a last minute issue of Jive Bunny’s Greatest Hits.

  104. Otto says:

    If you really want a number one album, make an amazing album. Don’t frack your fans for greed and vanity.

    • Stan Butler says:

      Bruce Springsteen managed it this month without resorting to numerous variations on his new album. I think there was an alternative grey vinyl, but that was it.
      Letter To You is a good album and stands on its own two feet.

  105. Ken A.! says:

    I’m under the impression these are one track CDs, hence the low price and simple card sleeve. That wouldn’t count toward chart placement, would it?

  106. chill says:

    Didn’t they put a stop to this sort of marketing with CD singles many moons ago? (If you released too many versions you weren’t eligible for the chart).
    They should really consider doing something similar again for albums, it’s not fair on the fans. Look at what Taylor Swift did with her last album – many of her younger fans might want all versions of her album but can’t afford them all.
    I love a limited edition, but it’s getting crazy!

    • WayneUK says:

      They did stop different versions of CD singles, yes. It was how Blur beat Oasis to #1 in that Brit pop battle. It’s never mentioned, but Blur released 2 different versions of the CD country house, which both counted. Where as Oasis only released the one version.

  107. Fogarrach says:

    Does anyone know which album was the first to offer significantly different multi formats?

    I recall my Genesis Abacab album LP was available in three or four colour combinations.

    (Significant differences won’t include the individually numbering on Beatles white albums)

    • georg says:

      Wasn’t Led Zep’s In Through the Out Door available in six different cover variants, but it was wrapped in a paper bag so you had no idea which one you were getting?

    • Caroline says:

      Led Zeppelin did multiple sleeves of “In Through The Out Door”. Six, I think. Not only that but they were in a brown paper bag so you didn’t know which sleeve you were getting. Reminiscent of recent adventures in vinyl colour for Bowie fans, eh?

    • johneffay says:

      In 1978 Virgin’s UK release of Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! came in 7 different colours, plus a picture disc.

      • Glen says:

        According to discogs.com, Synchronicity had 36 variants.

        • Ex-Oligarch says:

          This brings to mind the cover designed by Robert Rauschenberg for the Talking heads “Speaking in Tongues” LP. It included a picture disc and several round acetate slides, all of which were partially transparent, in a clear plastic case with a central spindle. You could rotate the various layers independently, or reorder them, for a near-infinite number of image combinations.

          The packaging design won a Grammy, but unfortunately the outer plastic case was poorly manufactured, so finding one today that isn’t cracked or discolored to an ugly yellow brown is nearly impossible.

  108. gwynogue says:

    Poor Macca must think he’s a K-Pop star and all his fans are obsessed tween girls happy to throw all their (dad’s) money on multiple editions of one release. Each edition only very slightly different to the others.

    But even K-Pop stars know when to stop – no more than 6 or 7 editions, while Macca is at 13 (at least!). Eventually some bright spark in Russia or China is going to make a bootleg edition with all the bonus tracks.

    • Roland says:

      Yes. I am reminded of my Bulgarian bootleg CD of the Traveling Wilburys which had – on one CD, mind you – both volume 1 and 3, and also a couple of b-sides. It makes me roll my eyes when I see pretty much the same thing now reissued as a 3-disc set (2 CDs with a bonus DVD which you’ll likely watch once)…

  109. Alexey says:

    I wasn’t bothered with the array of coloured vinyl versions – for me it’spick the one you like. But now with these “collect them all” CDs it’s really starting to get ridiculous.

    But what really bothers me is that it’s the first hint for yet unreleased material that would be arranged for the deluxe version of McCartney III the next year.

    I was dissapointed that Egypt Station II wasn’t made available separately like some kind of RSD release for those who bought the original edition and made the album number 1 in the first place. I really liked that John Lennon’s Imagine Raw Studio Mixes was made available separately.

  110. John Berry says:

    If folks don’t buy the multiple format options, they will soon stop being released. It’s the Music BUSINESS after all.

  111. Dale says:

    What a hideously cynical ploy that just reeks of desperation. Especially when the stature of the artist is taken into account.
    Just an idea . Why not try releasing an album that people will waqnt to buy on it’s merits.

  112. David B says:

    Anyone actually heard any tracks yet? It may be brilliant. . But maybe not.

  113. Guy says:

    I await news of an ‘Egypt Station’ type suitcase (empty of course, a la Bowie’s estate selling empty boxes) where the beleaguered and soon-to-be penniless McCartney completists can store their 437 different versions.

    Still, he must be struggling to make ends meet in the midst of the pandemic affecting the livelihoods of musicians.

  114. stephen king says:

    Definitely one of those occasions when you are glad not to be a fan of a particular artist! If it was by one of my favourites (not saying who in case the record companies get ideas!) I would not be able to help myself but as it’s only Paul McMarketing I can save myself the huge amounts that his fans will be parting with. They have my sympathies.

  115. Nick says:

    Does this imply that we will get a “Special Edition” half a year later which will contain all the bonus tracks? This was the case with “New” and “Egypt Station”. I seriously consider cancelling my pre-order of the “regular” CD, not least to not support this sort of release politics to be quite honest..

  116. johneffay says:

    Seems like a lot of effort to get a to no. 1 when all he really needed to do was stick some dodgy old Beatles demo on the end of the album.

  117. Mudslideslim says:

    I think the £60 uk bundle is pretty cool.
    Yellow bundle ordered for me

  118. MARK LEVY says:

    We’ve had Lennon this year, McCartney this year. But no Let It Be

  119. Zachary says:

    McCartney really wants to piss off his fans.
    I am expe3cting sometime next year a deluxe edition with the album and all the demos. Then after that the album, demos and additional tracks

  120. Hugh Hall says:

    I think we need a term for this sort of bullish*t, for that is what this is. A two fingered salute to the fans whilst their wallets are raided. I know no-one is forcing the fans to buy these but no-one is forcing Sir Paul McMoney to release them either.

    I suggest we refer to these sort of projects as “Golden Fleeces”. Golden because a) the artists are often in their golden years and b) because they want their album to go gold. And Fleece because fleecing their fans seems to be their singular aim.

    One demo track per CD is ripping the fans off. Pure and simple. The guy should be ashamed of himself.

  121. Chris Woods says:

    A black vinyl and a download from iTunes will suffice for me.

  122. Garax says:

    The Kylie album is a lot of formats it’s true – but damn it’s her best album since the early naughties. The jury is out on Paul – I liked a couple of tracks off of Egypt Station – as has often been the case with his albums post 1990 – it’s not normally more than 2 or 3 tracks per album I like – so whilst these vinyls look cool he needs to actually let us hear some of it before I’m going to make that sort of buying commitment.

  123. FrenchDuke79 says:

    Is a Number 1 album that important these days? Surely the kudos from a Number 1 album is that you have made a cracking collection of music that appeals to lots of people and transcends niche markets. Should they not be trying achieve this on the quality of the music itself? I can’t help but suspect that the album itself is an absolute turkey and they are going to all of this effort to compensate for that.

  124. Webvan says:

    Biggest Macca fan here for decades but this is disgusting…I’m actually about to cancel my pre-order of the “Exclusive Green CD” in protest and just friggin’ stream it and then buy the “collected MCIII” or something.

  125. Steve says:

    it doesn’t actually say on his website (that I can find) that there is a different demo on each of the different coloured discs. If you hadn’t have said that Paul, I’d never have known. Not great marketing comms.
    Also, no way I’m spending about £50 on 4 demos. lol

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It says “each colour CD contains a unique secret bonus demo track” – that is on a big banner on the US store.

  126. Martin says:

    This feels very wrong – but no one has to buy them and collectors can make a decision. Personally would not touch it with etc etc. I fancy a copy of the vinyl but amongst the myriad number of coloured vinyl’s highlighted previously by Paul I will wait – You can see the deal prices already just based on numbers of releases and if you want a bog standard vinyl or cd there is absolutely no need to rush in with this strategy.

    You can almost hear his advisors or marketing team – Hey Paul I have a great idea what if we……..

  127. Luc says:

    It clearly depends on the country, but some bundles have the deluxe softpack version …

  128. Steve W says:

    Oh Come on! That’s just plain ridiculous!

  129. Pete says:

    Macca is taking format fleecing to even greater heights than Paul Morley did with ZTT releases!

  130. Dave H says:

    Pathetic. Sad. This man does not need the money. He does not need the kudos. He remains a talented musician, but to be honest these redundant, wasteful acts of sheer unadulterated gouging of those who still appreciate him are making him a laughing stock. Remember when The Beatles didn’t even include singles tracks on albums because they did not want to rip off fans. How times change. He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. If nothing else for the grossly wasteful use of resources. Will be avoiding all of this tat, like I did the suitcase. Still looking forward to the music but if he thinks I am going to take part in this shambles of a marketing plan gone made then he is sorely mistaken. Bonkers!

  131. Kauwgompie says:

    Paul, do you know if the colour CD’s with the bonus track are limited (i.e. like the vinyl colour editions)?

  132. DaveM says:

    Call me soft lad (as they would in Liverpool), but I just ordered all four soft packs and I am someone bewildered by the coloured vinyl resurgence and associated collecting. I just can’t get over the Macca completist in me. Eff it, they can go under the tree.

  133. ironbelly says:

    And people used to call The Rolling Stones money grabbers ;)

  134. Jan says:

    Don’t they look like the Hits compilations?

  135. Paul Gray says:

    I look forward to seeing this album in its many iterations in Poundland in a couple of years. What utter tosh.

  136. Ken says:

    Continually trying to fleece your most passionate and dedicated fans with pointless limited editions is a very poor way to go.I always find it sad when artists go just a bit too far in exploiting their hardcore fanbase.It would be less cynical if they at least offered all the various editions in one much cheaper bundle,rather than full price every one of them.Even sicker when you grasp that Paul is so rich he could even afford the goodwill boost gained from giving some away to his hardcore fans without much loss to his £pocket!Also worth noting that chart manipulation does have a very long history!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The story goes that The Beatles chart career kicked off with some ‘Love Me Do’ chart manipulation skullduggery…

  137. Whilst I think this is completely ridiculous no-one is forced to buy any of the CDs let alone all four. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Quite simply, if no-one buys the set of four CDs I doubt that Macca’s marketing team would they pull the same prank again. Might come up with something different perhaps?

  138. Mark says:

    The really disappointing thing about this is that of all artists, Macca doesn’t need to do this. So many of us have followed him for our whole lives. Shouldn’t he make it easy for fans?

  139. pietroflavio says:

    It’s really sad note that this is really close to collect stamps…
    I’ve delete my order, waiting for a double cd that collect all, as happened for Egypt travellers cds

    • Dean says:

      Same here. I’m a massive McCartney fan but getting tired of jumping in on release day and then an expanded version coming out in a few months time.

  140. Ronnie says:

    he’s gone bonkers

  141. Ed says:

    I’m surprised he hasn’t also gone down the cheap cassette route offering some sort of bundle . Kylie sold around 4,000 cassettes for disco . If he’s doing multiple vinyls and cds he may as well do cassettes as well

  142. John V says:

    I have no doubt he will (as per last album) release a deluxe version at some point with all four bonus demo’s collected on one cd in a 2 cd set. I’m waiting to see what his super deluxe will include this time after the Egypt Station suitcase…a backgammon set? Marbles…they have to get Pink Floydesque marbles in there surely?…

  143. Beechlander says:

    So tacky and (if this really is an attempt to get to number 1 in the album charts which doesn’t have the same impact as it used to) sadly desperate. Feel the same about Kylie’s recent flogging exercise. The way it’s going this album will be remembered more for the silly amount of versions knocking about rather than the actual musical content. The mystique and class of a Bowie/”Next Day” 2013 campaign a long and distant memory. Just wait a few months and the McCartney III dice-themed board game box set will be out with all the demos..thumbs aloft!

  144. Gary Hunter says:

    No fluffy dice included so it’s a no from me, seriously this is taking the urine!

  145. Alastair says:

    A dilemma I wasn’t expecting. I don’t buy vinyl, so I wasn’t affected by the multiple coloured versions being made available. I wouldn’t even have bitten at the different CDs being made available if they had just had different coloured dice. But, I am a sucker for extra audio content, so I’ll probably plump for at least one of these, and try to resist getting more.

  146. Rich H says:

    Seems a touch cynical

  147. Andrea Grasso says:

    From Italy, I could buy all 4 mini-jacket CDs ($7.33) from the US site (but judging by the low shipping costs, they won’t be shipped from USA).

  148. Mark says:

    Enough, already.

  149. Peter Muscutt says:

    Huh????????????????? Too many variants spoil the broth, Mr. McCartney! If you have to resort to this, just resign yourself to the fact you’re probably not getting a No.1 album. This all seems a bit, dare I say it, desperate?

  150. Jabber says:

    If this is the starting level for the initial CD release, I’m gonna hate to see what the deluxe and super deluxe versions are gonna have when they come out in six months. Get your super deluxe McCartney III in four different versions: white kitchen sink, blue kitchen sink, red kitchen sink, and yellow kitchen sink.

  151. Fredpostman says:

    Next they will be offering different coloured vinyl editions but you don’t know what colour you will be getting because it’s sealed…
    A box to put them in [at inflated price]…
    A [very]limited edition that sells out quickly [on the official site]…..

    • Peter Muscutt says:

      How about a random format – you don’t know if you’ll get a CD/LP/cassette/8-track/reel to reel/wax cylinder edition!!

    • Caroline says:

      Which still would be as offensive as his use of the term “Rockdown”. I’m sure you had fun Sir Paul, but millions really didn’t.

  152. Colin Harper says:

    Where does one even begin… Nope, discussing everything that is rotten about this isn’t worth anyone’s time.

  153. Ant Prr says:

    How about getting a number one by just not rekeasing your LP in December?

  154. paul cutts says:

    That’s one way of making yourself even richer, if the additional income went to the NHS it would be fine, but it won’t.

  155. Rare Glam says:

    So Mr Costello, the CD is not a medium that has had its day yet after all?

    • bob says:

      yeah im a big Costello fan too and Im po’d at no cd release for armed Forces deluxe. BUT after seeing the unboxing video on Utube, Im glad i dont need it as pretty much ever track i have is on one of the 4 cds that I own and dont need the boxed 9 vinyl records(since i dont own a record player anyway). and over 200 for a box is ridiculous. They should have thought about a Blu-ray audio disc, then maybe i would have at least considered the purchase at some point in the future.

      As for MCartney, Ill buy the standard US cd without a fuss, and DL the bonus tracks later no biggie.

  156. Michael says:

    I am assuming at some point the Official Charts Company will move to limit versions as this case and the Kylie Disco / Little Mix Confetti issues, where there were at least 10-20 versions of each (incl signed), is leading to devalued chart positions where 5000 people are buying 10 versions each compared to albums where there is only standard versions. Bit like 1982/83 in the UK singles charts, where it led to constraints on versions and ‘length’.

    1 extra track for £10 each doesnt seem good value but then Team Macca appear not to care about that recently. usual caveats of you dont have to buy it apply!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I agree that the Official Charts Company will probably do something… although I’m more offended by streaming creating number one albums, so while it is definitely getting a bit ridiculous, I still prefer actual physical sales contributing to the success of an album. What I am trying to say is what’s the difference between 5,000 people buying 10 versions of something, and teenagers streaming the shit out of something and also getting it to number one.

      • EW99 says:

        Well, the teenagers streaming shit are actively listening to the music. If you buy these 4 copies of McCartney III then you’re only really listening to one of them and one track off each of the other three. And if you’re buying multiple coloured vinyl versions you’re only able to listen to one at a time.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          True, but I still have an fundamental issue with ‘listening’ becoming sales and beyond that I don’t really agree with how they calculate it.

    • Andrea Grasso says:

      Well, and what about streaming albums for free that counts towards chart? This is the first thing that should go away from the charts rule…

      • Michael says:

        I agree wholeheartedly, the charts have been devalued by streaming, which is exactly what everyone fought against 40 years ago about the airplay elements being planned to be added to UK charts (a la US). My 15 year old and her friends also consider the Big Top 40 to be the defacto chart, so the Official Charts are not even considered the main one by some markets. Sales charts are still available I believe but the current version is just nonsense. Macca will make number one and the BBC will proclaim it to us all via Breaking News, but actually what has happened and whether it matters will be sadly lost. I think this lockdown is getting to me…

        Lets look forward in 2021 to some proper well priced SDEs.

  157. Kevin says:

    I’m sure there are folks who love this sort of approach to album releases , but similar with the nonsense around the recent Neil Young Archives sets, this sort of shenanigans is actually putting me off buying. I can foresee a dramatic decrease in my music purchases in 2021 as the pantomime around a release is all becoming a bit tiresome, when really it should be so simple.

  158. Paul says:

    Confused !

  159. Tim Sell says:

    How about bringing out four CD singles of the same song with a bonus hidden album on each one. No colour coding just pot luck.

  160. Cédric B says:

    I’m looking forward to reading the comments on this one ;) Thanks for the infos, Paul.

  161. GRAHAM says:

    He’s going bonkers now with all these different cds and coloured vinyl. Just wait for all the coloured cassettes.

    • Kevin from Edinburgh says:

      I wonder if Mr McCartney is at all troubled by the environmental impact of these decisions to flog multiple copies of largely the same thing to his fans? I’m all for owning physical media, but surely now is the time to stop manufacturing more than is necessary. This could have been a deluxe 2-disc edition, rather than umpteen discs that are 90% the same and 10% different each time. I would argue that he/the record label are knowingly creating thousands of plastic items that the world really doesn’t need. I appreciate that each of us on here is guilty of buying plastic stuff when we don’t need to (we could simply download/stream), but I’m personally fine with anything in moderation. Doubtless, there are many more significant contributors to the planet’s excessive reliance on plastic etc. It’s a subjective view, of course, but I can’t help but feel that this has gone too far. For some reason, I thought that McCartney would be above all this. It seems that ‘despite repeated warnings’, the message hasn’t got through to him.

  162. Caroline says:

    That’s dreadful. It’s one thing to have different vinyl colours as they all have the same music but to tell your fans they need to buy 4 copies of your CD to get all the new tracks is – in the midst of a pandemic and its accompanying recession – plain rude.
    It’d planned just to nab myself a plain CD but this actually out me off buying the album altogether.

    • Paul Deards says:

      Just wait a few months for the inevitable ‘special edition’ (available in 11 different formats?) with all the hidden tracks, b-sides, demos etc on it. Seems to be the way record companies work now (see Sting etc..)

      • Geoff Wint says:

        As Graham Jones pointed out in his book Last Shop Standing this was one of many ways record companies and artists shot themselves in the foot with from the late 90s onwards
        Having died out it sadly does seem to be on the rise again.

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