McCartney Archives speculations

Wings coasters

From the ongoing McCartney Archives series, the rumour mill has been reporting about upcoming releases of the two final Wings albums, “London Town” and “Back To The Egg” for a couple of years now. Fuelling speculations of late has been a series of coasters available as tour merchandise at McCartney’s current “Got Back” tour. The series are depicting the label design of “Wings Over America” minus the writing, a sticker for the promotion of “Venus & Mars” and the labels of the two rumoured upcoming archival releases.

The series has been going on in a slow pace, it’s been twelve years since the initial release of “Band On The Run” in 2010 and so far 14 albums of the original titles and one special new album have been released. A few of them have been released in pairs, but still as separate boxed sets. A special, very limited edition in 2018 featured an additional title, which concentrated on Wings tour of Europe in 1972. That giant boxed set also included the “Wild Life” and Red Rose Speedway” boxed sets inside the package.

The gigantic Wings 1971-1973 boxed set included the “Red Rose Speedway” and “Wild Life” boxes as well as an extra release: “Wings Over Europe”.

Apart from the inclusion of a new mix of Paul’s solo “Tug Of War” album, remixing have been avoided – unlike the ongoing John Lennon “Ultimate mixes” series. With “Tug Of War” you also got the original 1982 mix in the boxed set. Here are the releases so far:

“Band on the Run” – 1 November 2010
“McCartney” and “McCartney II” – 13 June 2011
“Ram” – 21 May 2012
“Wings over America” – 27 May 2013
“Venus and Mars” and “Wings at the Speed of Sound” – 23 September 2014
“Tug of War” and “Pipes of Peace” – 2 October 2015
“Flowers in the Dirt” – 24 March 2017
“Wild Life” and “Red Rose Speedway” – 7 December 2018
“Wings 1971-73” contained a special new release: “Wings Over Europe”, included in the box were also the “Wild Life” and “Red Rose Speedway” boxed sets – 7 December 2018
“Flaming Pie” – 31 July 2020

As always, people are discussing what they want in the DeLuxe boxed sets from the upcoming releases. There’s especially a lot which could have been included with that final Wings album, “Back To The Egg”, as there were a lot of stuff going on back then, audio- and videowise.

The TV Special which essentially was a string of music videos for songs from “Back To The Egg” and the preceding single, “Goodnight Tonight” is one thing, but people are so hoping for a full Wings concert film from the December tour of 1979 in Great Britain. Or at least a concert CD. Another thing that was never out, was a documentary Paul commissioned from KeefCo about the making of the two Rockestra tracks. Someone managed to smuggle that film out on a VHS bootleg back in the day in crap quality, and these days it can be found on YouTube. Footage from the documentary was used to create a music video for “Rockestra Theme”, which was included on the 2001 Wingspan DVD release.

12 Responses

  1. Rick says:

    The coasters are waaaay too expensive

  2. William Campbell says:

    Tug Of War was an analogue recording, but it was mixed digitally. (ADD on the CD.) A digital mix at that time would have been at 44.1 or 48 kHz. Probably 48 kHz. So the only way to offer a true 96 kHz, high resolution version with the Archive set was to go back to the analogue tapes and remix them at a higher resolution. It was a good call, and a surprising one. I think the same thing was done with Pipes Of Peace. So there was a very good reason to remix Tug Of War: they had no choice if they wanted to offer high resolution downloads. It isn’t that remixes of other albums were ‘avoided.’ There was no reason to do them in the first place. Lennon’s remixes are a totally different situation. Yoko just wanted more money.

  3. dpannell666 says:

    Given the prices of the last two archive releases, it seems like Paul’s management is also focused on extracting money from devoted fans too. After buying everything up to that point, they finally went beyond my tolerance for paying big money with Flaming Pie. It’s a shame because it’s one of my favourites. If the next ones are similarly expensive, I can’t see myself succumbing.

    • David J Harvey says:

      There are standard versions of most of these – as in standard single CD or vinyl versions – for those who either can’t afford the box sets or simply just want the original albums.

      • debjorgo says:

        The two disc sets are great! Most of these albums have already been remastered using the recording masters, so they sound great. But getting the second disc with the alt tracks and bonus songs are reason enough for excitement. Zeppelin, Bad Company, Oasis…, have all released two disc sets. The Stones have done it as well, although they tend to use too many live tracks that I’m not too into. With McCartney, like the Beatles, I want the big multi-disc sets.

  4. Hugh says:

    I just bought a less expensive version of these archive releases when they came out. I wanted the deluxe but I had a hard time spending that much for it. I guess I settled but the additional songs and demos is whaf I really wanted anyway. Looking forward to the next one.

  5. debjorgo says:

    I thought Tug of War was all digital. They could not offer a cleaned-up, upgraded audio (no tape hiss), so they did a remix.

  6. debjorgo says:

    I’m wrong. I pulled my original disc out, which I should had did before I posted the above. I just always thought it was recorded digitally.

  7. vern gibbons says:

    i’m done with it all. i’ve purchased everything they made how many times now? enough is enough.

  8. Chris says:

    It’s been nearly two years since the last Macca reissue (Flaming Pie), and yes we are all still waiting on the next reissues. I guess the pandemic put that on pause, but I could be wrong.

    Please let it be London Town and Back To The Egg for 2022!

  9. Yes, I’ve been dreaming of London Town/Back to the Egg mega-sets for ages. So….Wings Over Europe was *never* released separate of the giant Wings 1971-1973 set….right? That stinks. I have several, ahem, “unofficial” shows from that time and they are so much fun to listen to. Feels like I’m being denied some important history.

    • William Campbell says:

      For what it’s worth, the Wings Over Europe disc is outstanding! I wonder how much more live material McCartney has in the vaults from the early and late ’70s. Hopefully there will be lots included in the London Town and Back To The Egg archive releases.

Leave a Reply