The releases are available in a number of formats, the most collectible ones being the deluxe editions, which are accompanied by hardcover books, various amounts of paper memorabilia and a DVD. It seems to us that much more emphasis is given to the hardbound books and paper items, whereas the extra discs seem to be treated with less care and often have short playing times.
Macca Needs to Open the Vault More for His Reissue Series, said Beatlefan's Something New blog in April. And we agree. McCartney has used the extra space provided by the CD format and by extra discs to release B-side material, as well as rehearsal versions, demos and live recordings associated with each original album. What he hasn't so far touched very much on, have been various different mixes of songs (including the quad mixes of "Venus and Mars" and "Band on the Run") which could originally be found on various original releases. An extended edit of "Letting Go" and a new version of "Rock Show" were not part of the Deluxe "Venus and Mars", but were released like an afterthought as mp3-files from Paul McCartney's website. A version of "Junior's Farm" was released on another site.
Granted, the extra material released on the discs is very interesting - and new to the fans - but we all feel that the discs could have been both longer, and expanded to even more discs - at least on the deluxe editions of the albums. Of course, the regular 2-disc releases are probably all the general public will bother to get, but the core fans will collect the expensive editions, the ones with a hardbound book. I think that extra discs with even more material is needed to truly fulfill the fans' expectations when it comes to these releases.
This is something enterprising McCartney fans have taken it upon them to accomplish. Recently, we stumbled upon such a "release", freely shared among McCartney fans. The goal here is simple: to "release" the ultimate versions of every single Paul McCartney album that will include as bonus tracks
- every released song/mix/edit
- any significant outtakes (with upgraded sound wherever possible)
The series commenced with "Flowers in the dirt", here is the back cover for that 4-disc album:
|Fan version of "Flowers in the Dirt".|
|Fan version of "Venus and Mars"|