Friday, 31 July 2015

Tug / Pipes press release and commentary

For the first time since The Beatles, Paul hired George Martin to produce his albums.
MPL and the Concord Music Group are proud to announce two more landmark installments in the multiple GRAMMY-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection. On October 2, 2015, Paul’s early ‘80s back-to-back classics Tug of War and Pipes of Peace will receive lavish multiple configuration reissue treatment including exclusive 2015 remixes of both the entire Tug of War album and the Pipes of Peace classic collaboration with Michael Jackson “Say Say Say,” a treasure trove of previously unreleased tracks and never before seen video, and much more.

Released in 1982, Tug of War was Paul’s first album following the break-up of Wings and his third solo LP overall. Hailed upon its release as “exquisitely crafted” by The New York Times and a “masterpiece” by Rolling Stone, Tug of War went to #1 in no less than nine countries. Tug of War yielded such classic tracks as Paul’s #1 duet with Stevie Wonder “Ebony and Ivory,” the top 10 single “Take It Away,” and of course “Here Today,” the conversation Paul never had with the late John Lennon that remains a staple of Paul’s live set to this day. Pipes of Peace, Paul’s fourth solo album, followed in 1983 and continued Paul’s early '80s run of platinum records. Singles from Pipes of Peace included the title track and of course Paul and Michael Jackson’s timeless “Say Say Say,” a multi-format global chart-topping smash continually cited as a landmark of that or any year--as recently as 2007, Vibe magazine rated “Say Say Say” as one of the greatest duets of all time.
As with the GRAMMY-winning Band On The Run and Wings Over America Archive editions, Paul personally supervised all aspects of these releases and their various formats, which include:

Special edition of Tug of War
Tug of War will be issued as a 2-CD Special Edition comprised of the 2015 remix of the entire album, plus a second disc of bonus audio featuring eight previously unreleased demos of both album tracks and outtakes “Stop, You Don’t Know Where She Came From” and “Something That Didn’t Happen,” as well as demo and solo versions of “Ebony and Ivory” and more.
DeLuxe edition of Tug of War

The Tug Of War 3-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Edition adds the original 1982 album mix and a DVD featuring original music videos for the album’s singles and the brand new 18-minute documentary “Fly TIA—Behind The Scenes on Take It Away” featuring previously unseen archival footage. In keeping with the award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection standards, the Tug Of War Deluxe Edition will include a 112-page essay book and 64-page scrapbook, while the strictly limited run of 1000 Super Deluxe sets will arrive in a limited edition acrylic slipcase with five hand numbered prints of images from the Linda McCartney archive.

Super DeLuxe Limited (1,000) edition of Tug of War
The Pipes of Peace 2-CD Special Edition is made up of the original album plus a 9-track bonus disc with such exclusive gems as a 2015 remix of “Say Say Say” by Spike Stent, unearthed demos of three album tracks and outtakes “It’s Not On” and “Simple As That,” the previously unreleased “Christian Bop” and more.
Special edition of Pipes of Peace

DeLuxe edition of Pipes of Peace

The 2-CD/1-DVD Pipes of Peace Deluxe Edition features a bonus video disc comprised of the original promo clips for all three of the album’s singles, plus previously unreleased clips from Paul’s film archives. The Deluxe configuration will also include a 112-page essay book and 64-page book that takes the reader behind the scenes on the “Pipes of Peace” title track video shoot.

From the Pipes of Peace music video
Both albums and their companion bonus audio discs will also be released as 2-LP 180-gram audiophile vinyl editions complete with gatefold sleeves and download cards. The newly remixed and mastered Tug of War and remastered Pipes of Peace will also receive standard and Hi Res digital releases, as well deluxe digital and Hi Res releases featuring all bonus audio.
2LP vinyl edition of Tug of War

2LP vinyl edition of Pipes of Peace
Tug of War and Pipes of Peace are the newest installments in the acclaimed and ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection. The inaugural release in the series, the Deluxe Edition of Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1973 milestone Band on the Run, won the 2010 GRAMMY Award for Best Historical Album, while the Deluxe Edition Box Set of the 1976 classic live collection Wings Over America took the 2013 GRAMMY for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. Previous releases in this ambitious reissue program encompassing 41 years of timeless material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist of all time include solo works McCartney and McCartney II, Paul and Linda McCartney’s RAM, and Wings’ Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound.

iTunes pre orders:
Tug of War
Pipes of Peace
Pre order physical formats and non-iTunes downloads here.


Commentary:

What's new about this installment of the Archive Collection (apart from introducing the concept of a "super" deluxe limited edition), is that Paul has remixed an entire album. And it's the newly remixed edition which will be the only version available in the standard (aka "Special") edition of "Tug of War", as well as on the 2LP vinyl set. McCartney wouldn't have gone to the step of remixing "Tug of War" unless he was unhappy with the original mix. Of all his albums, "Tug of War" seems to have a special place in McCartney's mind. Unlike his other albums, both the original CD release and the 1993 remastered edition of the album was kept clean from bonus tracks, thus preserving the integrity of the song collection featured on the album. This is a step further, remixing this album to create the ultimate edition.

Remixing a stereo album means that you can tamper with each instrument's and each vocal's volume and placement in the stereo picture. You may also bring into the mix instruments or vocals that were mixed low or muted when the original mix was made. If the remix is a radical one, you may even record new, additional vocals and/or instruments to introduce into the mix. This has probably not been done here.

For The Beatles circle, remixing seem to be a temporary thing. The 1999 release of The Beatles "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" brought great, remixed stereo versions of the songs in the collection, 2000's "1" reverted to the old sixties stereo mix. Yoko Ono remixed John Lennon's entire catalogue back in the early 2000's but the catalogue reverted to Lennon's original mixes for the Signature box in 2010 and the most recent vinyl Lennon boxed set also uses the original mixes.

Initially, the 2006 soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil's Beatles tribute "Love" was going to feature original songs from The Beatles' catalogue in new stereo remixes, but the project developed further. Giles Martin: "To begin with, it was just going to be the Beatles remixed, and the idea of chopping and changing didn't really come to fruition until we tried stuff out. Apple are the four Beatles' families, so we played them to Paul, to Ringo, to Yoko, to Olivia Harrison, and they gave the green light for the whole thing to go ahead".
If you ask me, the entire Beatles catalogue should be remixed in stereo, as the sixties version of stereo mixing was highly experimental, as well as severely limited by the non-availability of multitracks, apart from the original twin, four and eight track consoles of the day. Now that Giles Martin has made multitracks by digitally separating instruments, a more modern version of stereo as well as surround sound can be accomplished.

But back to the "Tug of War" album. It's not mentioned in the press release who the remix engineer is, but it seems that Paul himself was remixing the album at his studio at The Mill, according to a May interview in Q magazine. He even sought the advice of the Q journalist, playing for him the remixed "Ballroom Dancing". Apart from the "Tug of War" album, another remix is being included with "Pipes of Peace", a 2015 remix of Paul's hit duet with Michael Jackson, "Say say say". remixed by Spike Stent. This does not replace the original mix of "Say say say" on the "Pipes of Peace" album, but is included as a track on the accompanying bonus disc.

As a video collector, I am always looking forward to see the track lists of DVDs included with the McCartney Archives Collection DeLuxe editions. And I keep getting disappointed. Where in the past we would get the unreleased "One Hand Clapping" film, we just keep getting ultra short documentaries and previously released music videos. What I'm most looking forward to see in this new collection is the behind the scenes look at the filming of the "Take It Away" music video. Wings Fun Club members were invited to participate as an audience for the concert scenes in the music video, and were treated to an impromptu concert by McCartney and his band, which were assembled especially for that particular scene. Paul sang songs like "Lucille,"  "Twenty Flight Rock,"  and "Searchin’" during the warm up. Fun Club member Margaret Dreyton reported from the event in the Wings Fun Club magazine, "Club Sandwich", and you can read her full report reproduced at the excellent "Meet The Beatles For Real" site.

I have to admit that I actually have bypassed the DeLuxe editions of "Venus & Mars" and "Speed of Sound" so far, although I'm still planning on acquiring them at some point in time. I wonder how many other McCartney fans have jumped off the Archives train during it's journey? Shelf space and economy are contributing factors in this equation. Hi-res digital audio files are the dominating formats for audio aficionados of today, and the source for modern domestic playback of music. I still plan on getting the new "Tug of War" DeLuxe, as it was a very important album for me back in 1982 when I was twenty. It was the soundtrack for that summer for me, a summer when I actually met Paul McCartney himself, the day after the "Take It Away" video had been shown on "Top of the Pops" for the first time. I'll pass on spending 85 extra £'s for five hand numbered photos and an acrylic box, thank you very much.

11 comments:

Helter Skelter said...

Tug Of War (Remixed for 2015) is already available for download :-) (see Amazon or iTunes)

Geert De Wilde said...

I've heard it mentioned that Tug Of War gets remixed because the original, while recorded analogue, was already mixed digitally. The old 'ADD'. Back in 1982, the standard of digital mixing was, apparently, still low - too low to be acceptable for modern standards (especially if you want to sell Hi-Res audio). So in that sense, remixing was necessary.
Ilistened to the audio of the videos, and to my surprise it was the Pipes Of peace songs that sounded more noticeably different than the Tug of War ones. But they all sounded good!

Helter Skelter said...

The new mix of 'Tug Of War' features extra vocal harmonies (starting at 1:00 in) and a rich remix.
Very nice. I can't wait to get my hands on the whole album.

Roger Stormo said...

Meanwhile, "Tug of War" has gone missing from Spotify, while "Pipes of Peace" still is there.

Mark said...

Roger, I'm hearing rumors that Paul actually hand signed the 5 cards in the 1000 edition Deluxe Slipcase version. Have you heard this??

Helter Skelter said...

And so the rumours begin...
I've ordered the Super Deluxe set, but I'd be very surprised if Paul has hand numbered 5000 cards (they are numbered, not signed).

Nicki said...

Few things -
1 - The Super Deluxe Tug set seems to be sold out. I wonder if future Super Deluxes will be less limited?
2 - To my mind, if you want outtakes etc, we all know where to find them. A few years ago, I would have had the completist urge to have everything 'officially' in one place, but now it seems unnecessary. While it would be nice for Paul to release more, if you really want to hear them, you can, and well before October too.
3 - What these sets have excelled at (to me at least) is the packaging and photography. I dearly wish the Beatles albums would be released in editions like these.
4 - All that said, I agree with Roger about the lack of video content and the seeming abandonment of the few old quad mixes (BOTR, V&M)

Brian Fried said...

1 - I think it depends on the content. Wasn't 5,000 the number of 12"s Paul signed for "Hope For The Future?" (5 x 1000 = 5000)
2 - An anthology was, apparently, already put together before this project, which is why it's not totally complete — the outtakes will come in a future release to ensure his children have something to offer. But you're right, Nicki, in that fans have discovered through the Internet a number of options for much of the missing content. :D
3 - Much as I'd love The Beatles to do this, the big issue is additional content. Led Zeppelin did some incredibly beautiful packaging on their book sets… but the additional content isn't there and I know a lot of fans who just don't see it worth spending all that much money more for nothing audible. Besides, it would take the agreement of the two Beatles and two widows… and they can't seem to agree on Let It Be!
4 - The quad mixes would have to be an additional DVD, and that raises the price on the box set; I doubt anyone at MPL really sees them as different enough to release. As for the video content, how much does Paul actually own?

The real issue should have been planning. I think HearMusic and MPL did a great disservice by not sitting down with all the material first, figuring out an order for the songs and then decided to explore what video went best with it. Why did McCartney, for example, go into so much detail about The Beatles' breakup and not include an interview clip from the time? Why not have news reports from Australia to go with Speed Of Sound?

Helter Skelter said...

There were a maximum of 200 Hope For The Future 12" discs. 100 in America and 100 in the UK.
And if the handwriting is to be believed, Paul only signed the UK discs. The U.S. discs were signed by someone else.
Though even this has yet to be confirmed, it again is speculation (though it is entirely believable as Paul signed copies of several other albums in limited numbers in the past, as well as copies of his books).

So 200 discs is very different to 5000 cards.

Paul McCartney Hofner said...

Is the any information on Paul hand numbering the Super Deluxe Edition of "Tug of War"?

Patsounds said...

I don't buy CD's or special editions anymore. I bought them once and now I'm only interested in the digital download. The archive serie is very pricy and I think it lacks to much songs and videos we all want to hear and see. The archive series is not worth the purchase. The music stands though.

Best regards from Holland