Following the recent agreement between Paul McCartney's MPL and Concord Music Group, the first installment of a multi-album McCartney reissue program has begun, with the venerable 1973 effort from Paul McCartney and Wings, Band on the Run. Reissued last week on multiple formats, including a super deluxe cd/dvd edition (including a code for downloading a hi-res 24/96 digital version of the album), as well as a deluxe two-record vinyl set, each version includes remastered versions of the original album tracks, three bonus cuts--including Helen Wheels (originally not on the UK version), as well as six live cuts from the One Hand Clapping television special.
I've spent the past week or so playing three of the better incarnations of the album--two on vinyl, one on compact disc. Of the two vinyl versions, the original U.K. vinyl bests the later UK EMI 100 reissue, with an upper midrange energy that brings the listener right back to 1973. The DCC compact disc, however, may very well be the best sounding version of the album to date, trading some of that upper midrange energy for more lower midrange richness. McCartney's voice comes through on the DCC, with a clarity, warmth, and presence that is simply unmatched by the other issues of the album. If you own either the UK vinyl or the DCC, you would probably never need another copy of the album.
|(Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine in Laos)|
This new two-record deluxe set, however, will interest both hardcore fans of McCartney as well as those who haven't picked up the original UK vinyl or DCC compact disc. Mastered at Abbey Road, under the supervision of Allen Rouse, who was also in charge of the Beatles Mono and Stereo boxsets, hopes are high that this vinyl mastering will be of similarly high standards.
Furthermore, given that hi-res 24/96 downloads of the BOTR tracks are available, it suggests that at the very least the hi-res files were also used for this vinyl transfer. While Concord has been tight-lipped about the source for the vinyl, it will be interesting to see what sources are used as it will likely fuel speculation about the much-rumoured Beatles remastered vinyl boxes.
Stay tuned this week, for a full review and comparison of the Band on The Run deluxe vinyl set, including what I hope to be full disclosure of source and vinyl mastering credits. Click here to read the full review.