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UPDATE 8/27: Listen To What The Man Said: Paul McCartney Announces “Venus and Mars,” “Wings at the Speed of Sound” Archive Sets

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Venus and Mars Box Set

UPDATE 8/27/14: We can now confirm that “due to production issues, the release of the latest albums in the Grammy Award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection will be delayed. The classic Wings albums Venus and Mars and At The Speed of Sound will now be released on November 3 in the U.K. and November 4 in the U.S. and not the previously announced September dates.”  Links provided below are still active for the new release dates.

7/28/14: BREAKING NEWS!

Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed links that appeared on Amazon this morning for the rumored upcoming Paul McCartney Archive Collection editions of d Wings’ 1975 and 1976 albums Venus and Mars and At the Speed of Sound, respectively.  Well, the rumor is now a fact, as Concord Music Group’s Hear Music label and McCartney’s MPL have confirmed the September 23 November 4 arrival in the U.S. of both titles.

True to form, both albums will be available in a plethora of formats including 2-disc standard editions, 3-disc (2-CD/1-DVD) hardbound book editions, gatefold vinyl and digital, each with a disc of rare and previously unreleased bonus material.

Venus and Mars, released in May 1975, had the unenviable task of following the phenomenally successful Band on the Run.  Though Band had been recorded by the slim, three-person line-up of Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine, Macca made the decision to bolster the group with the addition of Jimmy McCulloch on guitar and Geoff Britton on drums.  Before settling on Allen Toussaint’s Sea-Saint Studios as the recording venue of choice, Wings entered Abbey Road where early versions of three songs were cut for the new album.  After just six months in Wings, however, Britton departed the band, and American drummer Joe English completed the sessions for Venus and Mars.  Toussaint, Dave Mason and Tom Scott all guest-starred on the album which delivered on its promise of a true “Rock Show.”  If McCartney, indeed, had worried about building on the success of Band on the Run, he needn’t have.  Venus and Mars spawned a No. 1 single – the rollicking “Listen to What the Man Said” – and went to the top spot on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts. It also provided a platform for Wings to launch the Wings Over the World tour – which, of course, included the Wings Over America leg and album.

Between the Australian and European legs of Wings Over the World, McCartney and Wings entered Abbey Road to record the album that would become Wings at the Speed of Sound.  It was Macca’s first album wholly recorded in the U.K. since 1973’s Red Rose Speedway (still awaiting a deluxe Archive Collection reissue) and featured a number of lead vocals from singers other than Paul – Denny on “The Note You Never Wrote” and “Time to Hide,” Jimmy on “Wino Junko,” Linda on “Cook of the House,” and Joe on “Must Do Something About It.”  Of course, it was two songs sung by Paul that catapulted the album to another smash success: the endearing, childlike “Let ‘Em In” (No. 2 U.K./No. 3 U.S./No. 1 U.S. Easy Listening) and the unapologetically buoyant “Silly Love Songs” (No. 1 U.S./No. 1 U.S. Easy Listening).  The latter was a record-breaking 27th No. 1 for Paul the songwriter.  Released in March 1976, Speed of Sound went to No. 2 in the U.K. and the top spot in the U.S. for seven non-consecutive, becoming McCartney’s most successful album ever in America and setting the stage for the Wings Over America tour to take flight that May.

After the jump, we have more details courtesy the complete press release, plus pre-order links, the full track listings, and more!

PRESS RELEASE - MPL and Concord Music Group confirmed plans today to reissue Wings albums Venus and Mars and At The Speed of Sound as the next releases in the Paul McCartney Archive collection on September 23, 2014.

Both albums will be available in a variety of physical and digital formats. Starting with a 2-disc (2 CD) Standard Edition, the first CD will feature the original remastered album and the second CD will include bonus audio made up of material including demos and unreleased tracks. The 3-disc (2CD, 1DVD) Deluxe Edition will be 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 will be comprised of filmed material from around the time of each release, some of which has never been seen before. The albums will also be available on special gatefold vinyl editions (vinyl editions include a download card). Digitally, Venus and Mars and At The Speed of Sound will be made available as both standard and deluxe versions – including Mastered for iTunes and Hi-Res formats.

Wings at the Speed of SoundWings are one of the most successful acts the UK has ever produced, achieving no less than 14 US Top 10 hits and 12 Top 10 hits in the UK. Following 1973’s Band on the Run the mid ‘70s were a commercial heyday for Wings. Venus and Mars, the band’s fourth studio album was released in May 1975 ahead of the legendary Wings Over the World tour. Preceded by the US Number One single “Listen To What The Man Said,” Venus and Mars hit the Number One spot in the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic and went on to sell over 4 million copies worldwide to date.  At The Speed of Sound was recorded in the midst of the same tour and released in March 1976. In the US it enjoyed the same chart success as its predecessor. Including the international smash hit single “Silly Love Songs,” the album went on to become Paul’s most successful American chart album spending seven consecutive weeks at Number One. In the UK it charted at Number Two, narrowly missing out on the top spot. Sales to date exceed 3.5 million worldwide.

As with all the Archive Collection, Paul has personally supervised all aspects of the reissues. The remastering work was done at Abbey Road by the same team who has 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 RunMcCartney, McCartney II, RAM and Wings over America.

You can check out the track listings and order both titles below!

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Wings, Venus and Mars (Hear Music/MPL, 2014)

2-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Book Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Gatefold Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD 1 – Remastered Album (originally released in U.K. as Capitol PCTC 254 and in U.S. as Capitol SMAS 11419, 1975)

  1. Venus and Mars
  2. Rock Show
  3. Love In Song
  4. You Gave Me The Answer
  5. Magneto and Titanium Man
  6. Letting Go
  7. Venus and Mars – Reprise
  8. Spirits Of Ancient Egypt
  9. Medicine Jar
  10. Call Me Back Again
  11. Listen To What The Man Said
  12. Treat Her Gently – Lonely Old People
  13. Crossroads

CD 2 – Bonus Audio

  1. Junior’s Farm (Apple 1875-A, 1974)
  2. Sally G (Apple 1875-B, 1974)
  3. Walking In The Park With Eloise (EMI 2220-A, 1974)
  4. Bridge On The River Suite (EMI 2220-B, 1974)
  5. My Carnival (Parlophone RP 6118-B, 1985)
  6. Going To New Orleans (My Carnival)
  7. Hey Diddle [Ernie Winfrey Mix]
  8. Let’s Love
  9. Soily [from One Hand Clapping]
  10. Baby Face [from One Hand Clapping]
  11. Lunch Box/Odd Sox (Parlophone R 6035-B, 1980)
  12. 4th Of July
  13. Rock Show [Old Version]
  14. Letting Go [Single Edit] (Capitol R 6008, 1975)

DVD – Bonus Film (Box Set Only)

  1. Recording “My Carnival”
  2. Bon Voyageur
  3. Wings At Elstree
  4. “Venus and Mars” TV Ad

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Wings, At the Speed of Sound (Hear Music/MPL, 2014)

2-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Book Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Gatefold Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD 1 – Remastered Album (originally released in U.K. as Capitol PAS 10010, 1976 and in U.S. as Capitol SW 11525, 1976)

  1. Let ‘Em In
  2. The Note You Never Wrote
  3. She’s My Baby
  4. Beware My Love
  5. Wino Junko
  6. Silly Love Songs
  7. 7 Cook Of The House
  8. Time To Hide
  9. Must Do Something About It
  10. San Ferry Anne
  11. Warm And Beautiful

CD 2 – Bonus Audio

  1. Silly Love Songs [Demo]
  2. She’s My Baby [Demo]
  3. Message To Joe
  4. Beware My Love [John Bonham Version]
  5. Must Do Something About It [Paul’s Version]
  6. Let ‘Em In [Demo]
  7. Warm And Beautiful [Instrumental Demo]

DVD – Bonus Film (Box Set Only)

  1. “Silly Love Songs” Music Video
  2. Wings Over Wembley
  3. Wings In Venice
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Written by Joe Marchese

August 27, 2014 at 12:15

17 Responses

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  1. Speed of Sound is probably the first release in which most of the bonus tracks are really unknown tracks (meaning, not found on bootlegs) to surface on the series. Could be more, of course, but it give us hope for the next batches (hint: Wings Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway hopefully).

    Ricardo A

    July 28, 2014 at 13:19

    • That’s the one thing I can’t wait to see: a hint that Red Rose Speedway, Wild Life, London Town and Back To The Egg are all coming in the next waves — all of these deserve retrospectives, especially given the amount of material left behind in those sessions!

      bfromc

      July 28, 2014 at 19:39

    • Paul’s vocal version of “Must Do Something About It” has been booted before although the sound quality wasn’t that good. It was on “Paul McCartney & Wings – The Trevor Jones Collection Pt 1 1976-1987″.

      Ernie

      August 27, 2014 at 12:49

  2. Surprised to find the 1985 “party mix” of “My Carnival” not included in the V&M bonus material… but who knows? It might appear as an iTunes bonus track! I mean, Macca did that before with RAM on iTunes (two bonus tracks: “Eat at Home/Smile Away” live version and “Uncle Albert Jam”).

    Chris

    July 28, 2014 at 13:21

  3. Oh yeah! I will be all over these.

    Zubb

    July 28, 2014 at 14:32

  4. In addition to my previous comment… Both tracklists look great nonetheless! I mean, great content! I already have both deluxe book sets pre-ordered ($79.99 each at Amazon).

    Chris

    July 28, 2014 at 14:38

  5. I see they left out the 45 version of”Venus And Mars Rock Show”. Seems like they always manage to forget the obvious. A shame since it was such a great edit. I hope “Letting Go” is the promo mix.

    Ernie

    July 28, 2014 at 14:51

    • The single mix is also different from the album (different noises, better mixing). Not having heard the promo, I’d imagine we are talking about the same version, right?

      Ricardo A.

      July 28, 2014 at 17:38

      • No, the promo mix of “Letting Go” is different then the commercial 45 mix.

        Ernie

        August 27, 2014 at 12:51

    • I think the single mix from Letting Go is the same one from the promo mix. At least, my copy (which is not a promo) does feature very different noises and a slower pitch than the original. Unless there is a 3rd version of it, it is the same.

      Ricardo A.

      July 28, 2014 at 23:41

      • No, the promo mix of “Letting Go” is different then the commercial 45 mix.

        Ernie

        August 27, 2014 at 12:52

      • The Promo mix is exactly the same as the single mix. This myth comes from the fact that there were pressing issues for the Promo mix which makes it sound slightly different but it’s not. Nothing to see here. Move along.

        V. Mars

        August 28, 2014 at 12:47

  6. As much as we’d all love additional bonus tracks, I have to say that the SoS bonus disc is probably the most exciting one in the series so far. I do hope the remix of “My Carnival” shows up either on Broad St. or Press to Play because I’d like this series to be complete (though those iTunes-only Ram tracks need to be on disc as well). It’s also missing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae” which period-wise fits best on Venus and Mars…

    Anth

    July 28, 2014 at 15:25

  7. “Rudolf The Red Nosed Reggae” was actually recorded in the Red Rose Speedway sessions. The single mix of “Venus And Mars/Rockshow” is on Wingspan, as is the DJ edit of “Junior’s Farm,” so I’m guessing that Concord didn’t want to reduce the value of that set (just as Ram missed out on “Bip Bop/Hey Diddle,” filmed during the same sessions as “Heart Of The Country” promo film).

    I fully expect one or both will have a bonus track added to the digital version. “My Carnival (Party Mix)” was on the iTunes edition of Venus And Mars in 2007 and is no longer available — so that’s one option, as is the well bootlegged “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” from the Nashville sessions and “Proud Mum” from the 1974 Paris sessions.

    bfromc

    July 28, 2014 at 19:37

    • For some reason the “Wingspan” set is going for $56.21 on Amazon and that’s not for the deluxe limited edition version which is long out of print. I don’t know if Concord Music ever reissued it. The one on Amazon shows the label as Capitol Records.

      Ernie

      August 27, 2014 at 13:00

    • “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reggae” was recorded in 1975, by Paul alone in a special session at Abbey Road. For anyone interested there’s a very detailed book on McCartney’s sessions called “PAUL McCARTNEY: RECORDING SESSIONS (1969-2013)”

      Mayall

      August 28, 2014 at 10:33

    • Brian, you know better than this… Not true about “Rudolf The Red Nosed Reggae”. It was recorded late ’74 at the earliest as this is when Paul purchased the Harpsichord heard on this and the outtake “Karate Chaos”. The Paris sessions actually took place a year earlier in Nov. ’73 but “Proud Mum” was not a part of those sessions.

      V. Mars

      August 28, 2014 at 12:51


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