It's been a very good year for Beatles fans, especially those with deep pockets! First came The John Lennon Signature Box and reissue campaign, then George Harrison's Collaborations box set preserving his work with Ravi Shankar. Last Tuesday delivered a sparkling batch of Apple Records remasters, and after months of anticipation, Concord's Paul McCartney reissue campaign finally kicks off next Tuesday with the reissue of Band on the Run. The 1973 Wings smash takes flight in four configurations: a single-disc remaster available on either LP or CD, a two-CD/one-DVD edition and a three-CD/one-DVD box set. Or at least we thought there were only those four configurations. Word has arrived that Best Buy will have a store exclusive for Band on the Run: a bonus DVD "featuring interview footage."
Best Buy's weekly ad shows the bonus disc as being included with the two-CD/one-DVD edition at the sale price of $14.99; Best Buy's website, however, appends it to the $9.99 single disc remaster.
The length of the DVD or origin of the interview footage is likely to remain a mystery until someone actually buys the set. That said, this release is sure to be greeted by many McCartney completists with the same frustration that accompanies most news of store exclusives. Other than in its packaging and 120-page book, the box set (listing at $99.98) only bests the much less expensive two-CD/one-DVD version with a previously-released CD that most McCartney fans already own (from the 25th anniversary edition in 1999). Now, thanks to the Best Buy exclusive, a purchaser of the $14.99 set from the retailer will now have more video material than a buyer who plunks down many times that for the ultra-deluxe (but apparently incomplete) box set at Best Buy or anywhere else.
(UPDATE 11/2: Further details of the Best Buy exclusive bonus DVD have been revealed. The DVD runs nearly 25 minutes, and contains four chapters. The first of these is the eight-minute EPK (Electronic Press Kit) created to promote this remaster. The disc is rounded out by three live performances of Band tracks which, although unidentified on the sleeve, appear to be taken from last year's Good Evening, New York City concert film: "Jet," "Mrs Vandebilt" and "Band on the Run." In store, the bonus DVD is bundled not with the single-disc remaster, but rather with the 2-CD/1-DVD edition, at a sale price of $14.99. It comes in a paper sleeve replicating the album's cover and is attached to the top of the digipak, but it is able to be removed cleanly.)
Still, with retailers struggling to remain competitive in a challenging sales climate, these ever-controversial retailer exclusives are here to stay. For those who haven't yet pre-ordered Band on the Run and planned to purchase the "mid-sized" edition anyway, two CDs and two DVDs for $14.99 at the big box giant might just be a viable way to go.