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Paul McCartney’s remastered Band on the Run delivers great bonus material

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing — but we Beatles fans are up to our ears in the recent releases of remastered CDs — John Lennon’s entire solo catalog, the Beatles Red and Blue albums, the Apple Records Box Set, not to mention last year’s Beatles remasters in stereo and mono. And today, November 2, marks the release of Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run remastered CD coming in three different packages.

It seems like just yesterday when the 25th Anniversary Edition of Paul McCartney and Wings’ Band on the Run was released. In actuality, that version came out 11 years ago in 1999. While it may not seem like enough time has passed to warrant another Band on the Run release, the first release from the ‘Paul McCartney Archive Collection’ knows how to lure in its fan base — great bonus material, of course!

If you don’t have a CD copy of Band on the Run, getting this remastered version is a no-brainer. But for those of us who may already have previous versions of the album and/or the CD, it always helps when the powers that be add a few extras that most loyal Beatles/McCartney fans won’t be able to pass up.
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Case in point – the previously unreleased documentary, One Hand Clapping, filmed in Autumn 1974 at Abbey Road Studios in London. This (approx.) 45-minute film is a gem because it shows a rarely seen side of Paul McCartney behind-the-scenes and relaxed in a studio environment surrounded by his Wings’ bandmates including his late wife, Linda McCartney.
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The best moment in the film is during the performance of “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” when Paul sings while holding a microphone and stands in front of the camera without an instrument — a rarity indeed. We even see Paul dancing and bopping along to the song!
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The history behind Band on the Run is fascinating in itself and explained in the liner notes by Paul Gambaccini, who interviewed Paul on behalf of Rolling Stone back when Band on the Run was originally released. [Gambaccini would go on to publish the books “Paul McCartney: In His Own Words” and “The McCartney Interviews: After the Breakup.”]
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Gambaccini reveals some interesting trivia like the fact that at the time Paul and Linda had a black labrador puppy named “Jet,” and the song “Helen Wheels” is only on the bonus audio CD because it was originally released as a single and not included on the original Band on the Run album in the UK.
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Another fascinating piece of Band on the Run history can be seen in the short bonus video footage documenting the Band on the Run album cover photo shoot at Osterley Park. Paul recruited six celebrities to appear with Linda, Denny Laine and himself in the classic renegade/prison break shot. In this bonus footage you see Paul interacting with actor James Coburn, boxing champion John Conteh, Clement Freud (grandson of Sigmund), actor Christopher Lee, singer Kenny Lynch and popular British TV host, Michael Parkinson.
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The Band on the Run ‘Special Edition’ includes the remastered album, the bonus DVD described above and a bonus audio CD featuring several live performances from One Hand Clapping. While most of the tracks are live versions of the original Band on the Run songs, it would have been nice if a few of the songs on the bonus CD were the lesser known songs featured in One Hand Clapping like ‘Soily’ and ‘All of You’.
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For the true collector, the 4-disc deluxe edition offers even more bonus material including an extra CD featuring an audio documentary (originally included in the 25th Anniversary edition) and a 120-page book “containing many previously unpublished images by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith, album and single artwork, and a full history of the album, complete with a new interview with Paul” as stated on McCartney’s official website.
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If the 4-disc deluxe edition is not in your budget, the Band on the Run special edition 3-disc set is affordable and worth the price compared with purchasing just the standard edition. (Find it on sale at Amazon.com)

–Trina Yannicos

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One thought on “Paul McCartney’s remastered Band on the Run delivers great bonus material

  1. I have the 1993 Remaster of Band on the Run. You mention 1999 being the first remaster, but that is not possible if mine says 1993 Remastered. hmmm.