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Paul McCartney releases Wings remasters and New Ringo Starr tour dates

Wings remastered albums

Reissues of two Wings albums, Venus and Mars and At The Speed of Sound, were released last week. Both albums are available in a variety of physical and digital formats. Starting with a 2-disc (2 CD) Standard Edition, the first CD features the original remastered album and the second CD includes bonus audio made up of material including demos and unreleased tracks.

The 3-disc (2CD, 1DVD) Deluxe Edition is housed in a hardback book featuring unpublished photographs, new interviews with Paul, material from Paul’s archives and expanded track-by-track information. The deluxe version bonus DVD is comprised of filmed material from around the time of each release, some of which has never been seen before.

As with all the Archive Collection, Paul McCartney has personally supervised all aspects of the reissues.  The remastering work was done at Abbey Road by the same team who have worked on all the reissues as well as the Beatles’ catalogue.

Since launching the Paul McCartney Archive Collection in 2010, Paul has received two GRAMMY Awards for the releases.  In 2012 he picked up Best Historical Album for Band on the Run and this year Wings over America picked up an award (Best Boxed or Special Edition Package) on the same night that Paul set a personal best by picking up five awards in just one night. In 2013, RAM was nominated for Best Historical Album.

Other titles released to date in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection are Band on the Run, McCartney, McCartney II, RAM and Wings over America.  Is your collection complete?

(Source: Official Press release)

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New Ringo Starr Tour dates

Ringo-2014tourPRRingo Starr and his All Starr Band – Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren, Gregg Bissonette and Warren Ham – announced new tour dates beginning on February 13 in Louisiana and then onto Texas, Birmingham, South Carolina, and Orlando before traveling throughout Latin America with shows in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and more. The tour continues through March ending with 3 shows in California in Santa Ynez, San Francisco and San Diego and a show in Las Vegas.

This incarnation of the All Starr band is the same line up he has played with since 2012, and the addition of these new dates comes as no surprise to anyone who has heard Ringo talk about this band, with whom he loves performing. “We have so much fun playing together , we don’t want it to end!”  Ringo also loved touring in Latin America and said “the audiences were just great and so loving, we can’t wait to go back”.

RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL STARR BAND ON TOUR:

February 2015
13 Riverdome, Bossier City, LA
14 Cowan Center, Tyler, TX
15 BJCC Concert Hall, Birmingham AL
17 The Peace Center, Greenville, SC
18 Bob Carr PAC, Orlando FL
21 Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
22 Coliseo de Puerto Rico, San Juan
24 Van Wezel PAC, Sarasota FL
26 HSBC Brasil, Sao Paolo, Brazil
27 Vivo Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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March 2015
1 TBD
3 Movistar Arena, Santiago, Chile
6 Bogota Corferias, Columbia
8 Coliseo Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
10 National Auditorium, Mexico City
12 Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez CA
13 Masonic Theater, San Francisco CA
14 Pala Casino, Pala, CA
15 The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, NV

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For additional dates and on sale dates please check local listings and for more information please visit:
www.ringostarr.com

(Source: Official Press release)

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Paul McCartney’s ‘NEW’ album getting rave reviews

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Credit: MPL / Mary McCartney

Paul McCartney has been working overtime promoting his new album called ‘New.’ In the US, he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Howard Stern, plus he performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, did an impromptu mini-concert in New York’s Times Square last week and a surprise concert in Queens at the Frank Sinatra School for the Performing Arts.

‘New’, with a release date of October 15, is McCartney’s first album of original material in six years. With all the attention that ‘New’ is getting, the reviews are in: it’s a hit!

The UK Telegraph says “Paul McCartney’s jaunty, melodic 16th solo album, New, proves the former Beatle’s talent is timeless.”(5 out of 5 stars)

Rolling Stone says “New feels energized and full of joyous rock and roll invention.” (4 out of 5 stars)

The Irish Times says “New finds him in one of the best shapes of his life.” (4 out of 5 stars)

The Associate Press says “the end result is surprisingly cohesive, modern-sounding and, most of all, fun to listen to.”

Entertainment Weekly gives New a grade of A- : “[New] celebrates the idea that pop music can still invigorate, inspire, and surprise — even if you had a hand in inventing it.”

The Montreal Gazette: “Sir Paul delivers his most irresistible effort in decades.” (4 stars)

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Credit: MPL / Hear Music

Talking about the album, Paul said: “It’s funny, when I play people the album they’re surprised it’s me. A lot of the tracks are quite varied and not necessarily in a style you’d recognise as mine. I didn’t want it to all sound the same. I really enjoyed making this album.  It’s always great to get a chance to get into the studio with a bunch of new songs and I was lucky to work with some very cool producers.  We had a lot of fun.”

Songs receiving special attention include the title track, “On My Way to Work” and “Queenie Eye”.

There are also some mixed reviews of the album:

The Guardian gives New 3 out of 5 stars.

The Independent says “There’s an unsatisfying, piecemeal character to New, probably attributable to McCartney’s decision to use four producers.” (3 out of 5 stars)

Paul worked on the album with producers Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Giles Martin.

Commenting on the process, Paul said: “The original idea was to go to a couple of producers whose work I loved, to see who I got on with best – but it turned out I got on with all of them! We made something really different with each producer, so I couldn’t choose and ended up working with all four. We just had a good time in different ways.“

The album was recorded at Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles; Avatar Studios, New York; Abbey Road Studios, London; Air Studios, London; Wolf Tone Studios, London and Hog Hill Mill, East Sussex.

New_CoverCTracklisting for Paul McCartney’s “New”:

1.     Save Us (produced by Paul Epworth)

2.     Alligator (produced by Mark Ronson)

3.     On My Way to Work (produced by Giles Martin)

4.     Queenie Eye (produced by Paul Epworth)

5.     Early Days (produced by Ethan Johns)

6.     New (produced by Mark Ronson)

7.     Appreciate (produced by Giles Martin)

8.     Everybody Out There (produced by Giles Martin)

9.     Hosanna (produced by Ethan Johns)

10.  I Can Bet (produced by Giles Martin)

11.  Looking At Her (produced by Giles Martin)

12.  Road (produced by Giles Martin)

The deluxe version also includes two bonus tracks:

13.  Turned Out (produced by Ethan Johns with additional production by Giles Martin)

14.  Get Me Out Of Here (produced by Giles Martin)

Here’s a video of Paul McCartney performing ‘New’ on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

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Video: The Beatles to release new ‘On Air, Live at the BBC Volume 2’ CD set just in time for the holidays

The Beatles "On Air: Live At The BBC Vol 2" CoverApple Corps announced today that The Beatles will release a new two-disc CD set ‘On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2‘ on November 11, 2013, almost 20 years after Volume 1 came out. ‘On Air’ features 63 live recordings, none of which overlap with The Beatles’ first BBC release. According to the press release, ‘On Air’ includes 37 previously unreleased performances and 23 previously unreleased recordings of in-studio banter and conversation between the band’s members and their BBC radio hosts.

The Beatles appeared on various BBC radio shows including Saturday Club and Easy Beat. In June 1963, The Beatles got their own BBC weekly radio show called “Pop Go The Beatles.” Between March 1962 and June 1965, the BBC broadcast 275 unique musical performances by The Beatles in the U.K.

Ten of the songs on The Beatles ‘On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2‘ were never officially recorded by the group for EMI, including two never before released performances:  The Beatles’ direct-to-air performance of Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” and a rocking cover of the standard “Beautiful Dreamer.”  ‘On Air’ also includes different versions of six rarities heard on the 1994 BBC collection:  Little Richard’s “Lucille,” Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee,” Chan Romero’s “The Hippy Hippy Shake,” Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman,” and two songs they learned from records by Carl Perkins, “Glad All Over” and “Sure To Fall.”

Also included for the first time are the Beatles’ candid interviews for the Pop Profile series recorded in November 1965 and May 1966.

Along with the Volume 2 release, a remastered reissue of The Beatles ‘Live at the BBC’ (Volume 1) is also being released in 2013. When Volume 1 was originally released in 1994, it sold 5 million copies in the first six weeks reaching number one in the UK and number three in the US.

bbc-archivesbkAlso being released is the book, The Beatles: The BBC Archives: 1962-1970 by producer Kevin Howlett who compiled and researched the CD set along with Mike Heatley.  The booklets for both collections include Kevin Howlett’s essays on the history of The Beatles’ BBC radio sessions and his detailed commentaries on all of the tracks.

View FULL track listing of The Beatles ‘On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2’

View slideshow of photos of The Beatles at the BBC in London over the years

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The long and winding road of Yellow Submarine, now newly restored

Thirteen years after its first DVD release, The Beatles’ animated film, Yellow Submarine, was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 5. Yellow Submarine captures the heart and spirit of The Beatles and has become a classic animation film. The current restoration of the film allows viewers to see the most vibrant colors intended to evoke the mood of the psychedelic 60s. The film was restored by hand, frame by frame, because of the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork.

Hard to believe that a film which is so beloved by so many had such a rocky road to completion. Back in 1967 before his death, The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, convinced The Beatles to go along with the project to fulfill their film contract with United Artists. The Beatles hesitantly agreed even though they were fearful that the film may turn out like The Beatles ABC-TV cartoon series which they were not a fan of.

But as Production Executive John Coates describes in the bonus audio commentary, as the film began to take shape, The Beatles became more and more interested in the project. The Beatles’ suspicions that the filmmakers would “Disney-fy” them were put to rest when they attended advance screenings throughout the production process.

The film was completed under an ultra-tight schedule of 11 months. Designers and animators had to constantly work around the clock to complete the film in time for the July 1968 premiere date in London. Time was so precious that students from London art schools had to be brought in night after night to help with the coloring of the hand-drawn cells. Coates estimates that there were anywhere between 100,000 to 200,000 animation cells that were used to create the film.

The film became an instant classic upon its release receiving rave reviews like this one from the Daily News: “Thunderous applause! I doubt that the Beatles themselves can top their ‘Yellow Submarine’!” The film even received a special honor in 1968 from The NY Film Critics Circle Awards.

The new DVD/Blu-ray release includes a 7-minute bonus behind-the-scenes documentary called the “Mod Odyssey” from 1968. Additional bonus features include the film’s original theatrical trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, several brief interview clips with others involved with the film, storyboard sequences, 29 original pencil drawings and 30 behind-the-scenes photos.  Both Digipak packages include reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet.

Along with the DVD releases, the Yellow Submarine songtrack has also been re-issued, as well as the Yellow Submarine children’s book.

–Trina Yannicos

Editor’s note: Daytrippin’ issue #8 features a special behind-the-scenes look at Yellow Submarine

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Review: McCartney’s RAM remastered: A turning point for Paul

RAM may be considered Paul McCartney’s second solo album after the breakup of The Beatles, but it should really be considered his first album as “Paul McCartney, the ex-Beatle”. RAM was originally released 41 years ago on May 17, 1971 and today is being released as a remastered edition in several different formats.

In the summer of 1970, after the success of “McCartney”, Paul and Linda retreated to Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, where they wrote songs for the album. It was a turning point for Paul. This was the album where Paul made Linda part of his musical legacy, and openly criticized John Lennon.

RAM is credited to Paul and Linda McCartney as a pair, with Linda having co-written six of the tracks. In the bonus video segment called “Ramming” available on the Deluxe Edition Box Set, McCartney explains that he asked Linda if she wanted to join the new band he was putting together. Linda replied, “Yeah.”

This would be the first time Paul worked closely with female harmonies. Linda would serve as his backing vocalist for many years to come. On the deluxe release, you can hear just plain and simple that Linda McCartney had a good singing voice. Just watch the bonus video for “Hey Diddle” and you’ll hear Linda harmonizing with Paul while he plays acoustic guitar outside sitting on the grass.

RAM gave Paul McCartney his first number one US hit single post-Beatles with “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. The album also contained the song “Too Many People” which McCartney admits was a jab at former bandmate John Lennon.

“I did feel he [John] was preaching a little bit about what everyone should do, how they should live their lives,” Paul explains on the ‘Ramming’ video segment. “I felt some of it was a bit hypocritical.”

Reacting to John’s musical response of “How Do You Sleep” released on the Imagine album five months later, McCartney replies, “I nearly did a song ‘Quite Well, Thank You.'”

Other highlights from the original album include “Smile Away”, “Heart of the Country”, “Monkberry Moon Delight” and “The Back Seat Of My Car”. Music videos for “Heart of the Country” and “3 Legs” are also included on the bonus DVD from the Deluxe edition.

While the standard CD features the original tracks on the album remastered, the special edition CD contains a bonus disc which contains the single “Another Day/Oh Woman, Oh Why” as well as lesser known songs “Little Woman Love”, “Hey Diddle” and “Rode All Night”.

The Deluxe edition contains 4 CDs, 1 DVD, 112-page book, photo prints, handwritten lyrics and notes. This set includes two additional CDs of the remastered mono version of the original RAM album and the remastered “Thrillington” album from 1977 which was an instrumental version of RAM produced by Paul, a.k.a. Percy “Thrills” Thrillington.

The remastered edition of RAM also comes in digital and vinyl formats.

As Paul McCartney explains, RAM symbolized “pushing forward”. RAM was definitely the start to the second career of Paul McCartney, the performer who some people were surprised to know was in a band before Wings.

–Trina Yannicos

Enter our contest to win a copy of the standard CD edition of RAM…contest open now through Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday !!

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