Finishing 2018 into 2019

Paul and Capitol released the new double single “I Don’t Know/Come On To Me” as a downloadable stream on June 20th, 2018.

An exclusive record store day of 5000 (hand numbered) 7” vinyls were issued later that year on November 23rd.

August 15th saw the second single, “Fuh You,” released.

Lyric videos were released on YouTube for the first singles “Come On To Me”, “I Don’t Know”, and “Fuh You”. Eventually, official music videos were released for “Fuh You”, “Back In Brazil” and “Come On To Me”.

The music videos are a creative departure from many of McCartney’s previous music videos in that they each focus on the lives of ordinary people with McCartney only appearing briefly (on stage) in the conclusion of “Back In Brazil”.

On July 6th we saw the limited release of The Beatles “Yellow Submarine”/“Eleanor Rigby” 7” picture disc. The single was in conjunction to the new restoration of the film to 4k on its 50th anniversary.

Paul and his magnificent band took the new album on the road for the “Freshen Up” tour.

Before kicking it off he had his band play a warm-up “secret” concert at Grand Central Terminal that was live-streamed on YouTube. Music only videos of each performance were later uploaded to his YouTube channel.

It started on September 17th in Quebec, Canada. Four more Canadian shows followed, and onto four shows in Japan and five shows in Europe, finishing on December 16th at the O2 Arena in London.

He also headlined Austin City Limits Festival in Austin , Texas on October 5th and the 12th. In between he did a 14 song set at a private party for Patriots owner Robert Craft at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

The tour would continue in 2019 with five shows in South America in March of 2019 followed by sixteen shows in North America from May23rd, finishing on July 13th at Dodger Stadium…. And that was it..
World health events most assured cut what would have been more dates on an album that Paul was very willing to go out and promote.

The week after EGYPT STATION was released it became the first McCartney solo album to go to number #1 in the USA since 1982’s TUG OF WAR. The Target edition and European editions included two bonus tracks.

It was also released on…
Limited Green Vinyl by Spotify.

Limited Red Vinyl by Barnes & Noble

Orange Cassette

He did tons of interview and promotional appearances in support before and on its release.

It was was very well received by the critics as well.

I found the review by Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone as the definitive look. It starts…. ‘Make a list of all the songwriters who were composing great tunes in 1958. Now, make an overlapping list of the ones who are still writing brilliant songs in 2018. Your list: Paul McCartney.

May 7th, 2019 (just 8 months after it’s release) saw the release of EGYPT STATION, “Explorer’s Edition.” The Explorer’s Edition was comprised of the original record plus a second album, Egypt Station II.

The bonus disc collects all songs released during the Egypt Station voyage, from studio tracks including the surprise single ‘Get Enough’ to live performances captured at stops such as Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern and Grand Central Station. It was available in both black and limited multi-color vinyl.

As if this wasn’t enough….on May 10th, 2019 we would also see the release of EGYPT STATION “Travelers Edition.” It included three previously unreleased tracks. The “Traveler’s Edition” was limited to 3,000 copies.

The collection included the following:

  1. A Limited Edition Concertina Tri-Fold Deluxe 180G Vinyl Double Black Disc Pressing of Egypt Station.
  2. An Exclusive Limited Edition Bonus 180G Vinyl Pressing of Egypt Station II in “Night Scene” blue, featuring three previously unreleased tracks — ‘Frank Sinatra’s Party,’ ‘Sixty Second Street’ and extended cut of Egypt Station single ‘Who Cares’ — as well as four live performances of Egypt Station tracks taken from Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern Club, LIPA, and the performance at Grand Central Station.
  3. Limited Edition Egypt Station Concertina CD.
  4. Exclusive Limited Edition collector’s Egypt Station Blue Cassette.
  5. HD Audio of all tracks upon shipment.
  6. Additional rare performances footage hidden inside.

And then there were the “special features.”

1.Vintage-style embossed Egypt Station artwork suitcase.

  1. An exclusive copy of a handwritten note from Paul.
  2. A fold out, vintage-style Egypt Station illustrated map suitable for framing.
  3. Travel memorabilia including “travel itinerary”, postcards, baggage tickets and first class ticket.
  4. Egypt Station luggage stickers
  5. Travel journal featuring copies of Paul’s handwritten lyrics
  6. Two Egypt Station lithographs of Paul’s paintings
  7. 500+ piece jigsaw puzzle
  8. Egypt Station playing cards
  9. Additional hidden surprises and rarities.

Originally sold in the $250 range, it now averages between $500-$1000 online.

On October 19th, 2018 announcement of the next set of Archive Releases. This time it would encompass the entire late 1971- mid 1973 period, WILD LIFE/RED ROSE SPEEDWAY. More on these when we focus on 2019.
Being a first generation fan, I remember plunking down my $5-$7 for all the Paul’s albums when they came out, and then playing them to death on my tiny “sound system.”

Being a completest today requires credit cards with a large limit, or a bank account to match.

It is very hard to decide what to buy to listen to and enjoy and alter it’s pristine state OR buying and leave unopened and watch it’s cost become even more unreachable in time…

I find I fall mostly in the former.

More on this madness in the 2020’s.

Here then are my reviews of the studio tracks that were bonus to both the Explorer’s and Traveler’s editions. The bonus “live” tracks will be covered when all of Paul live is reviewed…

“Get Started” Acoustic bopper that leaps and bounds with Wings era vocal swirls and electric jangles. Filled with Paul’s sweet hooks and Tedder’s production is spot on. Finishes with a delightful “foxy lady”sounding coda, Paul howling us into the night. Rating – 8.5

“Home Tonight” Double tracked vocal and handclaps on this brassy ass shaker. Paul sounds like he’s having a blast. A homage to finding a safe place to land air the end of the day. Rating – 8

“In A Hurry” A woman story song that sounds much like his band from the 60’s. He notches up the tempo in the repeated chorus. A cascade of sound combinations that we’ve never heard from Paul, which combining studio and live performance sounds. It even features a mini sax solo. A short reprise ends this odd mix of sounds. Rating – 7.5

“Nothing For Free” I did three tracks with Ryan and “Fuh You” is the one on the album and then there’s two others, they’re nice.

We only had a week, because there was a time when Greg was doing something else and my manager rung up and said you could maybe get with another producer, just to switch it up a bit, so he sent me some suggestions and I liked Ryan’s stuff.

I rang him, and I think we decided he’d come to my studio for a week and we’d just see how we went. I said, ‘I’ve got a lot of songs we could do,’ but in the end, he just fancied making it up, so we just, you know, we went in with nothing, just got a beat, got a thing, got an idea for some lyrics and just built it up, you know, but he knows what he’s doing.

“Okay Okay, Okay”….. I absolutely love this song. It should have been on the album proper, but just having it here completes me. If this song had been on any album during Paul’s run of the charts years, this would be considered a classic. I’m starting to think maybe Ryan Tedder should produce Paul in 2022 if given the chance. The soundscape and thought on the final mix is one of the finest of Macca’s entire cannon. Paul’s slightly distorted vocals make it almost hard to realize it’s him. How did this song not gave any special attention other than in my being? Rating – 9

“Frank Sinatra’s Party”
The history of the song starts more than 40 years ago, the melody coming from “Fishy Matters Underwater“, a demo recorded in July 1976.

  • Only Paul could take a fragment from a home demo tape made 42 years earlier and revision it as a reggae soaked peek into the that early 1960’s time period when the Rat Pack were the kings of show business. Rating – 9

“Sixty Second Street” Acoustic ditty formed around the double meaning title. Could easily have fit on any Simon & Garfunkel album. A few interesting jazzy tempo changes keep your ears perked. Paul is the master of all. Rating – 8

“Who Cares” (full length) Paul cut the extended play-out from this version to include on the original album. So I love it based off that, and the added interplay between drums, acoustic, electric and bass for the extra 2 minutes are sweet, but not really needed. I however, also want this version for selfish reasons. Rating – 9

“Get Enough” Slightly fragile piano ballad that has Paul auto-tuning again, and even hitting falsetto auto-tune on the bridge. The intensity builds and then mid-way the song turns the chorus into a homage of Beach Boys wall of harmony.

Wow, didn’t see that coming. Would have loved an entire song of only that. Still, another like nothing we have ever heard from Paul, and repeated listens only makes you like it more. Rating – 8

I apologize for the length, but the motherfucker is just so busy working…. I feel he knows there are only so many sundowns left and he will spend each adding to the treasures he’ offered.

“I’ll leave my message in my song.”

Next….. 2019…. The world changes.

By tvnpsl

Woke up by my folks on February 7th, 1964 and sat in front of the TV and told "this would be important."
Like many, my life was never the same same after the first strains of "All My Loving." Love all things Beatles, but have always been drawn to the ethic and output of Paul.

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