FIRST LOOK: “McCartney – I, II, III” Limited CD Box Set

Welcome back to my little side of the Web.

It’s been a bit since I was here so I thought it was time to say hello again – hello.

Today’s post may very well fall under the heading of “Totally Not Necessary But Cool Anyway” but what the hey, you only live once. As a collector I’ve been down this road before and here I go again (yes a blatant McCartney reference.)

This Friday a lovely set of three Paul McCartney albums is being re-released on both CD and vinyl. All three of them  – “McCartney”, “McCartney II” and “McCartney III” – feature McCartney as not only the sole songwriter but also the sole instrumentalist and vocalist (well mainly, Linda McCartney helps with background vocals on “McCartney” and “McCartney III” has a few tracks with McCartney’s band) – thus the McCartney titles.

I happened to receive this set in the mail a couple of days early (that usually never happens) so I thought folks might enjoy seeing what this set looks like.

Now you may ask so what’s so interesting about buying more copies of three albums I already own?

Are these new versions of those albums? No. Are there cool new bonus tracks to get excited about? No. Is there some new and wonderful mastering of these albums perhaps that will make it worth buying these albums yet again?  Well, no actually.

So who is this set for you may ask and why buy it? 

Well the answer is simply McCartney fans. Obsessive McCartney fans. You can’t see it but my hand just went up.

Seriously though this set may well in fact attract some younger fans who are just discovering McCartney’s wonderful solo catalog I’m afraid this set feels like it’s aimed at the obsessives who, like me, like label minutia and release variations. Though you probably already know that if you’ve read any of my previous blog posts.

Now that’s not to say that this isn’t a lovely set – it is. In fact it’s superbly put together and as far as presentation goes it gets an “A”. 

To start off with it comes in a nifty hardbound small case (okay, the cover art isn’t exactly stellar but serviceable) and the three albums are presented in mini-lp sleeves that replicate the original UK vinyl releases fairly well.

(Note: I only bought the CD version of this set as it was priced reasonably and I LOVE mini-lp versions of McCartney albums on CD)

All three albums sport their original gatefold covers and best of all they also sport the original LP labels from Apple and Parlophone which I don’t think have ever been released on CD. They may be incorrect, it’s been a long day and I’m getting old lol, but I don’t seem to recall that being the case.

The “McCartney II” CD also comes with a small fold-out poster that replicates the original inner LP sleeve and the “McCartney III” CD  contains it’s normal booklet.

There are also three small photo cards that have introductions on the back by Paul McCartney in which he recalls the circumstances in which each of the three albums were made. He briefly tells why he decided to go it alone with all three instead of using other musicians to flesh the tracks out.

Again nothing new really just an all around lovely small box set of all three of his homemade albums.

I really hadn’t intended to buy this set but after seeing that it included the reproductions of the original record labels I thought this made a nice variation to have on CD and really I would think that this may be the last time these albums make it onto CD.

(Note 2: I’ve said this very thing before when these albums were released as part of McCartney’s archive collection so who knows they may end up sneaking these out on CD one more time but I really doubt it. I think.)

If you’ve already purchased the McCartney archive issues of “McCartney” and “McCartney II” then you’ll already have these masterings so there’s really nothing new sound wise. “McCartney III” also sounds the same as the original CD release from just a few months ago so that again is really nothing new.

The main purpose of this post is for the obsessives out there like me who are on the fence about buying this set and want to see what you get if you buy it. 

Well there’s plenty of photos above and below so feast your eyes and who knows you may just feel like another version of these albums on CD is worth it.

I actually love this set though honestly I needed more versions of these albums on CD like I need a hole in the head but here we are – where are we? It’s worth it to me as at least the CD isn’t too expensive. The vinyl set on the other hand is a bit pricey but I’m sure all three pressings probably look and sound great but I wanted to stick to under $40 if I’m going to get these again.

Well, that’s all for now. Just a quick McCartney update.

As usual be well and safe and until next time I hope you have a great end to your summer as Fall is right around the corner.

Ta ta for now and see you soon!