Band on the run politics
Paul McCartney has started to make some publicity for the first release in his new remastered album series, christened “Archive Collection”, which starts with the release of “Band On The Run” on November 1st in the UK and November 2nd in the USA. It was big news last year when McCartney took his back catalogue off EMI and brought them with him over to the American company Concord Music.
Word is that Concord Music was advised to release the various McCartney albums chronologically, starting with “McCartney” from 1970, an advice they chose to ignore in favour of starting with the album that has been McCartney’s best seller ever since it was first released in 1973, “Band On The Run”. He recorded it with his fledgling group, “Wings” in Lagos, Nigeria, after two of the group members deserted just before the group was about to leave England. The album is being made available in a variety of formats, besides the three different editions depicted above, there’s of course the digital download and the 2LP vinyl edition. Don’t hold your breath for that last one, Concord isn’t very proficient in delivering vinyl editions of their releases.
Long standing McCartney fans in the UK are probably wishing that he’d have stayed with EMI, as you’ll have noticed from the above picture, the various versions are quite a bit more pricey in the UK than in the USA. The cheapest one, the single CD remaster costs $13.99, which at current rates should have translated into £8.93. Instead, it’ll set the British fan back £15.49, which equals $24.26! Of course, the more money you spend, the greater the loss. The most expensive edition is priced at $79.99, which should have been £51. Instead, it costs £77.49, which is a whopping $121.35! This means that a British fan who buys the 4 disc deluxe edition will have to spend $41.36 more than the American fan. Why? Because Concord is an American company, and the editions sold in the UK has to be imported from the USA. The same holds true for my country, Norway. Here I’ll have to pay $231 for the deluxe edition, nearly three times the US price. If these releases had been made by the EMI, a pan-European edition would have been manufactured and distributed in the UK by EMI and in Norway by the Norwegian branch of EMI. Going “independant” may have been a bold move by McCartney, but we fans are as usual the ones who end up paying for it.
And by the way, Concord missed out on this opportunity of releasing the definitive edition by leaving out a surround sound version of the album. Those of us who has the possibility of playing SACD and DVD-Audio discs still has to purchase the 1997 DTS release on DVD-A, now a collector’s item.