Prince and Paul McCartney deluxe editions earn GRAMMY nominations

The US Recording Academy announce the contenders

Paul McCartney‘s mammoth ‘collector’s edition’ of his 1997 album Flaming Pie received a 2021 GRAMMY nomination yesterday for “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package“.

The collector’s edition was the £500+ ‘top of the range’ option when the album was reissued in at the of July this year and featured five CDs, two DVDs, four vinyl records and six silkscreened Linda McCartney art prints. You can watch the SDE unboxing video of this edition below.

Paul has been nominated in this category twice, since he kicked off his Archive Collection campaign in 2010. In 2013 the RAM deluxe edition was nominated but lost out to Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection. The following year in 2014 McCartney won for his Wings Over America deluxe set, which at that point was the most lavish deluxe edition he had issued (the original triple album was Grammy-nominated for ‘Best Recording Package’ back in 1978).

In the same category was Depeche Mode‘s MODE box set, which was issued back in January. This 18CD set quickly went out of print, making it very desirable these days. Again, SDE filmed an unboxing video, which you can view, below.

In the ‘Best Historical Album‘ category, Warner Music’s deluxe reissue of Prince‘s 1999 gets a nod. This set was compiled by Michael Howe, who regular readers will be familiar with, since he talked SDE through some of the tracks in September last year, more than two months before the box set was released. Of course, we unboxed that release as well, once it was available! Incidentally, if you are wondering why the Sign O’ The Times reissue wasn’t nominated, by the time it was issued the window of eligibility for the 2021 awards was closed.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark‘s Souvenir 5CD+DVD box set, issued in October last year is competing agains 1999 in the same ‘Best Historical Album’ category. Unlike 1999, Souvenir isn’t actually ‘an album’, but it seems that compilations still count, so it makes the cut. Sadly, for whatever reason, SDE didn’t unbox that particular set!

Interestingly, in 2012, Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run deluxe won for ‘Best Historical Album’ and not ‘Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package’ so it seems semi-random where things end up.

The other category that is pertinent to box sets are reissues is ‘Best Album Notes’. It’s an eclectic mix, but the one that jumps out at me is Bob Mehr’s notes for The ReplacementsDead Man’s Pop reissue.

The ‘Production, Immersive Audio‘ category has actually been postponed because according to the ‘Best Immersive Audio Album Craft Committee’ was “unable to meet”, due to COVID-19, so these will be announced at some point next year (separate to next year’s nominations.

The full nomination lists for all four categories can be found below.

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package

    Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith, Paul McCartney & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney)
  • GIANTS STADIUM 1987, 1989, 1991
    Lisa Glines & Doran Tyson, art directors (Grateful Dead)
  • MODE
    Jeff Schulz, art director (Depeche Mode)
    Lawrence Azerrad & Jeff Tweedy, art directors (Wilco)
    Michael Cina & Molly Smith, art directors (Various Artists)

Best Historical Album

  • CELEBRATED, 1895-1896
    Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Richard Martin, mastering engineer (Unique Quartette)
    Zev Feldman, Will Friedwald & George Klabin, compilation producers; Matthew Lutthans, mastering engineer (Nat King Cole)
    Lee Lodyga & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Mister Rogers)
    Michael Howe, compilation producer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Prince)
    Carolyn Agger, compilation producer; Miles Showell, mastering engineer (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark)
    Béla Fleck, compilation producer; Richard Dodd, mastering engineer (Béla Fleck)

Best Album Notes

    Tim Brooks, album notes writer (Various Artists)
    Scott B. Bomar, album notes writer (Various Artists)
    Bob Mehr, album notes writer (The Replacements)
    Colin Hancock, album notes writer (Various Artists)
    David Sager, album notes writer (Nat Brusiloff)

Production, Immersive Audio

“Due the COVID-19 pandemic, the Best Immersive Audio Album Craft Committee was unable to meet. The judging of the entries in this category has been postponed until such time that we are able to meet in a way that is appropriate to judge the many formats and configurations of the entries and is safe for the committee members. The nominations for the 63rd GRAMMYs will be announced next year in addition to (and separately from) the 64th GRAMMY nominations in the category”

17 responses to Prince and Paul McCartney deluxe editions earn GRAMMY nominations

  1. Dave Richards says:

    No love for OMD’s nod?

  2. Chris says:

    Prince for the win, and SOTT next year.

  3. Rutkins says:

    Grateful Dead for the win! Giants Stadium was nicely done. They lost out in 2016, 2018 and 2019, so hopefully 2021 will be their year. Also surprised none of the King Crimson sets have been nominated over the years.

    • David Bly says:


      Either you’re not American or you don’t know anything about the Grammys, or both.
      Of all the recording arts groups in the world, they are the most conservative and illiberal in their musical views.
      Most of us really serious lovers of music in the US totally ignore them as they are more of a popularity race than one seriously devoted to excellence in music. Some of us call them the Crammys. as in what they should do with their ‘awards’.

      They also are filled with mostly old dyed-in-the-wool fuddy-duddys who are able to handle things like the Grateful Dead (mostly cause they got high listening to them and never came down), but could not imagine something like King Crimson with it’s much harder, more innovative music (no offensive to the Dead here). They also appreciate Pauly cause he was in that Beatles group, but likely haven’t listened to any of his albums in decades (unless the record companies sent them promo copies).

      I only now looked at the nominations solely for this post (otherwise I would’ve never looked), and like most years, they are a mish-mosh of mostly terrible to barely passable dreck in the popular and rock categories. When you see that actor Renee Zellweger is up for a best Pop album (something I never heard about), you can sort of see how fame and popularity trumps quailty. There are literally only three records that I have, and only a few more artists that I have records of. This is par for the course.

      Also note that the awards mentioned above are gauged on the packaging, historical, and notes, not on the music within. Hence the oddness of Prince going up against Mister Rogers (a late children’s entertainer, for you non-Americans here). So don’t be surprised if Prince doesn’t win, as probably more of the voters grew up with Mister Rogers (no offence to him) than Prince

  4. Chris Thomas says:

    Flaming Pie looks remarkably good value next to fellow nominee, Wilco – Ode To Joy.

    $450 gets you an autographed 180 gm vinyl LP and a 22 page book featuring collages and hand assembled paper constructions. And a WAV download.

  5. AdamW says:

    “[I]t seems semi-random where things end up.”

    Based on who’s actually nominated, it’s not random at all. Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package is awarded to the art director, so it’s based on how the packaging looks. Historical Album is awarded to the compilation producer and mastering engineer, so it’s based on what songs are on it and how it sounds.

    So to go back to the quote’s origin, the Band On The Run deluxe won for the songs and how they sounded, and not how it looked.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Interesting, although from a song/compilation point of view the Band on the Run deluxe isn’t very good. It repeated an audio documentary from a set 10 years before and the rest was a right old hodge-podge of bonus tracks. And they ‘forgot’ to include the Quad mix. So for me, it really didn’t deserve Historical Album at all, although it was a well-presented deluxe set (at least for 2010) so maybe should have been in the other category after all. Flaming Pie is a much more impressive compilation from an audio/content point of view.

  6. CJ says:

    Especially nice to see Depeche Mode and Prince getting some Grammy love. I’m wondering if their induction into the R&R Hall of Fame will give Mode an edge in the category. I didn’t realize it had sold out. I’m glad I bought my copy when it came out.

    I’m becoming spoiled by the Prince estate. I’m already hungering for the next announcement, even though we JUST got Sign ‘O’ the Times. Each release has been better than the one before it. I’m greedy for more vault tracks.

  7. Otto says:

    I just love the Prince 1999 SUPER DELUXE EDITION. It’s high quality in both packaging and content. I hope they win, and next year Sign of the Times.

    • Prince Fan says:

      I don’t think the CD box set of Sign O’ the Times merits a Grammy nomination, let alone a win. Every disc in mine was scuffed on arrival. It appears to be widespread problem.

  8. Harcourt Fenton Mudd says:

    Lots of nominees I have never heard of there…….. good to see these lesser known candidates here and not just the usual suspects. I wonder what “limited” numbers these obscure releases are being manufactured in.

    I looked up Celebrated, 1895-1896 (The Unique Quartette)… 5.1, no FLAC, no lithographs, no lift off lid, no multi format, no belly band, no ribbon, …in fact it is only a solitary 10″ record…maybe 78rpm ? hahaha.

    VMP Anthology: The Story of Ghostly International – I have looked at this too and still dont know what it is! Just a bunch of lps in a arty designed box!

    Of course, if “best” means most lavish and expensive, then the £500 mccartney flaming pie wins. And if so, then next year Steven Wilson will win “best” with his £10k set !

    My best (favourite) “collection” this year was “Up all Nite with Prince The One Nite alone collection”…… affordable and neat and plenty of content, some of it top notch excellent and most of it unavailable outside of the NPG club until now…… it is definitely the “best” VALUE of all the prince collections (and I have them all – some vinyl some cd..some on both).

    Rock on dudes – new Dream Theater out next week! Boxset bonanza!

  9. Steve White says:

    Maybe a best album notes nomination for you next year fir the Seeds of Live deluxe Paul. You could then include the medal in a ultra deluxe edition of a Tears for Fears companion booklet.

  10. Julian Hancock says:

    Each to their own, but I can think of at least ten sets more deserving of a nomination than the Mode set.

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