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Boxing Day Deluxe 2020

Paul McCartney / Hollywood Hall of Fame Star / Oscar story

Well, that’s it over for another year. I certainly hope you had a good Christmas Day and wish you all the very best for the rest of this festive period and beyond!

The Chart of McCartney

Paul McCartney‘s new album McCartney III (you may have heard about it…) entered the UK albums charts yesterday at number one. It sold just over 33,000 copies which is decent enough for this day and age. AC/DC hold the record this year, for week one sales, with just under 62,000 for their Power Up, album which gives you some comparison. Like McCartney’s album, that was available in various coloured vinyl editions (although not as many) and there was also a picture disc and two different CD editions.

This is Paul McCartney’s first UK number one album since Flowers in the Dirt. That album entered the chart at number three, in June 1989, but then rose to the top spot the following week, where it stayed for just seven days (displaced by Prince‘s Batman soundtrack).

Flowers in the Dirt was Paul’s fourth number one album of the 1980s (after McCartney II, Tug of War and Give My Regards To Broad Street). 1970’s McCartney is the only album in the McCartney ‘trilogy’ not to reach number one in the UK. It was number two for three weeks, thwarted by Simon and Garfukel‘s Bridge Over Troubled Water. By the time Bridge Over Troubled Water finally relented and fell to number two, The BeatlesLet It Be came in and snagged the number one spot! Simon and Garfunkel’s final studio outing was a phenomenon in 1970. It went back to number one many times and in total spent almost half the year (actually 24 weeks) at number one. As if that isn’t impressive enough, it was the best selling album in the UK in both 1970 and 1971.

If Paul McCartney’s team hadn’t resorted to what Steven Wilson called “deeply cynical” tactics, with eight or nine coloured vinyl and six different CDs, then he probably wouldn’t have achieved the feat of getting to number one, but the record books will not remember the details and will simply show that he was at the toppermost of the poppermost at Christmas in 2020. While, arguably, they took ‘things’ too extremes, you could argue that they weren’t guilty of doing anything that other marketing departments haven’t done this year. If you can’t beat ’em joint ’em.

Incidentally, Flowers in the Dirt was issued on three formats: cassette, CD and vinyl (a special edition ‘Tour Pack’ was issued in 1990) and eventually went platinum in Britain with sales of over 300,000 copies.


A great record, Mann.

If you are still feeling Christmassy and festive, then let me recommend Aimee Mann‘s One More Drifter in the Snow. This collection of classic Christmas tunes (plus a couple of original songs) was issued way back in 2006 and is a wonderful antidote to the usual compilations full of festive pop hits. I played it yesterday (a few times) while cooking Christmas dinner. There’s something about Mann’s voice and the arrangements that just elevates this collection. It’s not in print any longer, but it is available on Spotify.


How to spent your ‘Christmas Money’

If you have a tenner in a card from your Nan, then there’s some good albums on CD going cheap at the moment in the UK. For around the £5-7 mark you can pick up some good releases from 2020 including: Paul Weller’s On Sunset,  Elvis Costello’s Hey Clockface, Sparks’ A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip, the Pyschedelic Furs’ Made of Rain, Gorillaz Song Machine: Season One – Strange TimezLiam Gallagher’s MTV Unplugged, Travis’ 10 Songs, Cat Stevens’ Tea for the Tillerman 2, Haim’s Women in Music Pt III and more.


Finally, a little bit of politics….

As you are probably aware, Britain has a FREE TRADE deal with the EU. This means that EU music fans will be able to buy from UK stores (Amazon, the SDE shop, Rough Trade, Townsend Music etc.) with no tariffs or additional fees applicable when you receive you items. Likewise for those in the UK, you can shop online in Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc. and there will be no tariffs when the goods arrive in the UK. Effectively things stay the same, which is great news for physical music fans who like to shop around either to access great deals or because of limited availability in their territory.

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.

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“It’s not in print any longer, but it is available on Spotify.”

The same goes for Oleta Adams’ “Christmastime with Oleta” – also very recommendable, if you like jazz and gospel and that golden voice. Which it could be reissued with her older cover version of “The Christmas Song” as a bonus track.

Adey

Bringing out different cd singles (at reasonable cd single prices) to get all the mccartney bonus tracks would have been nice, but charging people full album prices to get them is just ripping off and showing a disrespect to fans imho….

Ed

It’s certainly going to be a very short chart run as it’s already down to no.32 in the midweeks . Still a number one is a number one

Romchik

I wish y’all Merry Christmas but don’t forget that for the rest of the world New Year is coming.

Dave H

VAT, handling fees and red tape. For some time it will likely be more complicated and expensive to order from the UK and vice versa but actual details about how this will work out are hard to come by. No big orders from me in the near future, I’ll wait and see.

Babis13

Sorry for maybe derailing the discussion, but taking into consideration the “How to spent your ‘Christmas Money’” part, i tried to order some of these from Amazon.co.uk (i am in the EU). Should i trust that the “Order Total” will be the final price i will be charged or i should expect any additional charges? Order shows like there should be nothing additional but not sure.
I tried to clarify with Amazon customer service but i got a very vague response that:
“Your Amazon shopping experience will remain unchanged throughout the transition period. You can continue to shop and return eligible items on our website according to our Conditions of Use and Sale, https://amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201909000. ” and when i asked for further clarification on their first feedback i received the following (and worrying response): “There will be a change coming in next month for brexit that’s why said this line :)”.

Any advice here?

Thanks a lot!

Al

Macca should have let the London Town / Back to the Egg reissues out instead of his tasteless new album. McCartney III may be at # 1 but the content is not inspired at all !!

Chris Woods

Interestingly McCartney III had the third largest one-week vinyl sales in the SounsScan era (since March 1991). That’s quite astounding and shows just much the multiple vinyl version artificially inflated sales.

Alan B

There is an even better article from the Guardian explaining what happens tp parcels shipped to and from the EU.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/28/brexit-customs-duties-to-apply-to-eu-goods-worth-more-than-390

Larry Davis

Hey Paul…thanks for reminding me of Aimee Mann’s Christmas album…I have pretty much all her stuff but somehow, missing that one…found a new copy on Amazon, decently priced…AM is clearly one of my all-time faves, since ‘Til Tuesday, but her solo stuff is on another level…hope your holiday was as good as it could be in these strange scary times…but 2021 looks to be on the upswing…

Carl Jacobs

Now I’m confused Paul,
You say that essentially all U.K. residents have same access to EU stores as EU to U.K. Putting the NI issue to one side; important and more than bothersome though it is, please can you add your weight of persuasion to those lovely people at specifically jpc.de.
Up to this Nov I have ordered several items and received same, so although we were in transition period from Jan 1 I was still able to successfully order the Bruce splatter vinyl. Previously I have ordered mainly Steve Hackett exclusives.
So naturally on reading of impending UAMS release by Hackett I checked for several days the web site and was able to place an order for the exclusive LP and it was acknowledged and payment duly processed. Only for the order to be cancelled and full payment refunded a couple weeks later.
They will absolutely not take orders from U.K. citizens and U.K. or Great Bri5ain is not on the list on the drop down; not even those resident in EU and even Schengen Countries but with a with a U.K. registered bank account; believe me I have tried in vain reserving with a view to paying all reasonable extra and shipping costs or having my daughter’s friend in Austria to purchase. They tell me that there is nothing that can be done.
However Inside Out are seemingly OK as the order I have with them has not to date been affected. BTW Hackett’s merch manager told me there is also nothing to be done artist end as it would impinge on the exclusive deal between record company and outlet in Germany.
What about you obtaining a few copies please. I’ll definitely order one and pay whatever’s reasonable paperwork costs are imposed, though you are resident in U.K. so you’ll likely have a similar problem.

By way of this forum anyone in Germany willing to help me please in sourcing the exclusive cream vinyl of U.A.M.S by Steve Hackett. eu 36.99 plus shipping etc. plus a little extra for helping me out with a well packaged insured posted item.

Here’s hoping.

Carl Jacobs

Tim

Hey carl,
This is also happening in the other direction with a number of UK retailers shutting down orders to EU (I’m in Ireland). Also a delivery company I use to get items from shops that don’t deliver outside the UK using a UK address (Parcelmotel) have shut down that service. I think a lot of this is just waiting for the dust to settle as no one is sure how this is all going to operateand what costs will be involved And add in the current logistics issues where shipping/Airmail costs have increased rapidly and you can see why not taking cross border orders at present might seem like a good idea. I’m still waiting for a Bob Dylan CD from Japan since February – I’m not willing to pay the extra charge for DHL or Fefex shipping which almost doubles the price and which will 100% attract VAT/Duty.
Tim

Ben

As far as I know, DHL and other German couriers do not ship to the UK and Ireland as all transport routes are blocked due to the new mutation of the corona virus. At least that’s what German newspapers said.

p britten

Another nice and slightly unorthodox Christmas album is “A Merrie Christmas to You” by the Canadian band Blue Rodeo. Released in 2014 on Warner, it’s got songs by Alex Chilton (Jesus Christ), Merle Haggard (If We Make It Through December), Joni Mitchell (River), Paul Simon (Getting Ready for Christmas Day), Gordon Lightfoot (Song For a Winter’s Night) and Robbie Robertson (Christmas Must Be Tonight), as well as one public domain traditional (O Come All Ye Faithful) and two original songs by Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy, the leaders of the band.
Thank you for your site, Paul, and happy new year to you and your family.

jimmyhoff

A decent analysis; the UK gained some control over its financial destiny, but the cost of (among other things) the need for frequent renegotiation (in other words, variability/instability) of trade deals.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2020/dec/27/britain-trade-deal-eu-arguments-brexit-renegotiation

Mark Franklin

Shows what a difference even 5 years can make. In 2015, Christmas week, Susan Boyle sold 60,000 of her album and it didn’t even make the top 10. Fast forward, and the pole position is just over 30,000 at number 1. Extraordinary.

Klaus

Next part of the success story that ” McCartney III” has become: ;-)

He’s currently number one on the album sales charts of German retailer jpc.de with the unlimited standard cd-release of the album.

As jpc.de counts sales for every released album variant separately this might even be a bigger success than getting to the top of the charts in Britain…

Also listed are the standard black vinyl gatefold edition at #7, the japanese SHM-cd with all four bonus tracks at #17 and the cd-edition featuring the song book at #31…

CJ Feeney

There is a poll on the Steve Hoffman Forums: “How many copies of McCartney iii did you buy (if any)”

“Zero” is the runaway leader, but quite a few have bought more than 10. Even the biggest option of “26+” has a few votes.

It’s clear that some bought 4 CDs to get bonus tracks because they weren’t aware of the Japanese deluxe CD.

Frank

What’s going to be the legacy of the album in the long run? It will be the mediocre album that reached number one because it was released in 20 variants and people had to have everything. Nobody will call it a masterpiece.

Colin Harper

Meanwhile, the not-for-profit label Jazz in Britain got an anthology entitled ‘Memorial’ by the (recently) late Ron Mathewson to No.1 in the Bandcamp worldwide jazz chart (yes, I know – who knew?) – purely by word of mouth.

I know which achievement I find more heart-warming.

Matthew North

I’d love to know the actual sales for the recent pink Floyd related products, and the over priced later years box. Does make me wonder of sales are in the lower thousands rather than the numbers that I assumed they would have been in.

Nigel Pond

I’ve purchased items directly from European labels, e.g. Nuclear Blast and Frontiers Records for a number of years. The prices shown on their sites are usually in Euros with the European equivalent of VAT included.

When I go to the checkout, the VAT rate is automatically recalculated to the UK VAT rate of 20%. I think Germany and Italy are both 18 or 19%.

Also, until now 80% of Customs charged (for larger imported items) went to the EU. The UK was ‘allowed’ to keep the balance of 20% as that was deemed by the EU as ‘reasonable processing costs’ that the UK paid in administering the Customs charges. It therefore remains to be seen whether UK Government reduces customs charges or raises some thresholds to suit. I suspect not. VAT has increased through the years, some increases were supposedly temporary. I don’t remember VAT rates ever reducing!

Don

Let’s hope the McCartney trick, to pus 6 cd’s on the market with each a different song on it, will not stick as a way to release physicals music to get a petty “number one” album. It would kill physicals media for me.

Jakob Rehlinger

Oddly when it’s six coloured variants I’m able to just buy the one I like or standard black and be happy—just not financially possible to drop $ for them all so it becomes instantly moot. If there’s only TWO I find myself irritated because obviously I need to buy one of each or have to choose and I’m more likely to buy neither in a huff (plot twist: I usually just buy the black and be done with it).

Dave W

The bonus track on the reissued Aimee Mann Christmas album is a fantastic cover version of Joni Mitchell’s River.
As for you Paul its a Christmas staple for me along with that Smith and Burrows Christmas album, Mark Lanegans recent repress of his Dark Mark Christmas album. That new Chilly Gonzalez one is decent too. All different from the standard fare.
Thanks for all your hard work on this site Paul, you have cost me a few quid along the way mind
All the best for the new year

Jules

To Stan Butler:

Appreciate your post re the registration deadline for
‘Hard Luck Stories’ disc replacements. Looks like I just missed it, which would explain the deafening silence from UMC.

Seems a bit crazy to give such a limited window to address such fundamental errors. Would love to know exactly what the ‘hand-packing’ process which causes playback/ripping problems actually entails…

On a more positive note I have just replayed the apparently faulty disc (‘…Bright Lights Tonight’) & now ‘The Great Valerio’ plays without skipping, so perhaps it’s the cd player ! Confused.

Anyway, all gremlins aside, definitely, a top five SDE release of 2020.

Thank you for the info Stan.

Stan Butler

No problem, Jules. Glad the discs seem to be playing ok now.
I’ve had the same situation where a a couple of the discs skipped, usually near the end of the disc, but they seemed to have ironed themselves out over time. Strange.
I like many others had ripping problems and Universal supplied a download code for WAV files if you contacted them with your proof of purchse, e.g. Amazon invoice. I think you should be still elligible for this. This was in October.
As for the deadline, whilst I can see from a logistical point of view why they set it, not everyone who bought the set may have been aware of it and they should have a duty to replace faulty discs, whatever.
There is talk of a second pressing release, but nothing confirmed yet.
An unscrupulous person may buy that, return it as ‘faulty’ with the first set of discs inside it.
Not that I would encourage such behavoiur.
A statement from Universal would be most welcome.

Pete Stanton

To Stan and Jules

I ordered my set from Amazon Holland, delivered to my daughter in Belgium. I have just got it as she has come home for Christmas (we are not sure if/how she will get back).

I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, so have fingers crossed. I don’t need to download it so just hope that it plays OK.

Shaun

All this talk of coloured vinyls, limited editions and marketing strategies. Have we gone back to 1979?

John Berry

Ha ha, trust me no one was talking about “vinyls” in 1979!

Martin

I think the main differenceis in circa 1979 coloured vinyl’s and pic discs were largely used for single and to extend chart lifespan of a single etc

Now you have multiple releases of albums often by retailer and this looks largely to be leveraging profit. Certainly when you look at the prices

Fogarrach

Paul has a new album out.

It’s a good album and he’s made number one with it.

I’m delighted for him.

Arcweld

I must be getting old, 33,000 sales gets you a number 1! I knew the world had changed, but that has actually surprised me.

Ceefax Datablast

Very few albums stay at no.1 for more than a week these days and in fact, if I’ve done my sums correctly, Macca 3 is the 42nd LP to reach UK number one in 2020! The number ones for Macca, Dylan, The Stones, Weller etc were all driven by those week 1 vinyl and CD preorder sales so heritage artists can have the advantage over the streamers for that one week, although – I don’t know if poptastic likes of Lipa and Taylor Swift also sell lots of physical units or get to number one on streams alone? Anyone know? Anyway it’s a fairly safe bet Macca will not have the first no.1 LP 2021, but he’s done what he set out to do.

Jakob Rehlinger

This is purely anecdotal, but from watching social media activity Taylor Swift seems to have a sizable cross-over appeal with hipsters who buy her vinyl, so I’m sure it helps her out a bit there.

adam shaw

I still haven’t received my Macca 3 red vinyl or cd from his own site ! I got my white vinyl on the day of release from the SDE shop .
Happy New Year to you Paul & your family

Andy

My red TMR printed red vinyl arrived today, no CDs as yet though.

Jules

Paul,

Probably being dense here, but does not the import fees deposit at Amazon Germany etc mean UK buyers will from now on be charged an extra 20% of the purchase value for EU sourced items ?

I agree great not to be subject to RM, DHL ‘handling charges etc’ + no additional duty as when importing goods from outside EU, but will VAT definitely now be applied ? Was it before Brexit ?

Apologies in advance for any dimness at this end.

Also whilst having access to your SDE expertise, I contacted UMC way back about faulty playback on on the Richard & Linda Thompson ‘Hard Luck Stories’ set (Disc 2), but no reply from them. Any suggestions ? Have not yet located any ‘customer services’ phone number…

Finally Paul, would just like to echo what a superbly designed informative site this is & how many great deals have been possible because of it.

In this especially uncertain era music has felt more vital than ever.

Very Best Wishes, Jules

p.s. Re your summary & the Steven Wilson quote above: naturally I admire Macca’s remarkable catalogue/achievements etc, but
this recent marketing tactic looks a little bit sad & needy. Guess we will never know if John would have gone down the same craven road…

Stan Butler

Jules, regarding the Richard and Linda Thompson set, did you register for replacement discs before the 15th November? That was the deadline Universal set. There were also WAV files sent out.
I had to wait until a week ago before I got my replacement discs and customer service from Universal has been almost non-existent.
It’s still an ongoing subject over on the Steve Hoffman forums and there is also a thread on SDE.

Chris Woods

For those of us in Northern Ireland there is an issue with purchasing items from UK websites. Due to the Northern Ireland Protocol we are still members of the Single Market and Customs Union. Additional paperwork and admin is required to post anything to Northern Ireland from GB. Various businesses, in many sectors, have already stopped sales to NI customers. This applies to Amazon who have been unable to fulfil a number of orders for me due to Brexit. Hopefully the situation will resolve itself in the short term.

Stan Butler

Ive ordered a few things in the last week from Amazon and had never problems at all with deliveries to Northern Ireland.
We’ll see if that changes after 1st January.

WayneUK

That Amiee album is indeed great. I have a copy on CD. There is a CD out there with an extra track called “river” on it. But lve never been able to get hold of that CD.

RichardL

Back to the EU deal. Does it follow therefore that punters in the UK no longer have to pay VAT to Amazon Germany, France etc like our US cousins?

Wayne C

Would be good if you could do an article please Paul?, as it’s completely baffling to me and maybe others as well?. I don’t know if things are the same since we made the deal or not?. Happy New Year to you in advance.

gwynogue

I think even the people creating these trade policies/rules don’t understand them.

SimonH

The deal will not give you anything you didn’t already have, so the best way to view it until more clarity comes is in that way. The purpose was to avoid new tariffs on goods and to maintain as close to the status quo as possible. What can’t be controlled is that some traders may take action, simply because they aren’t clear and want to protect their position by introducing restrictions.
Paul that took me a lot of self control to not make a political point:)

Richard

I’ve seen a suggestion that the £15 minimum value on smaller parcels from outside the UK has been quietly scrapped – so that even a single CD ordered from an EU reseller on Amazon or eBay will be liable for customs and fees?

Derek Langsford

The “US cousins” are now being charged US sales tax rates by European Amazons after substracting VAT. So for those who live in Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, nothing changes as those states have no sales tax – you get the full VAT % off. The rest of us pay our state sales taxes after VAT is taken off. Living in CA its 8.5%. So the savings from lack of VAT are reduced and combined with the increase in international mail charges, the cost to US buyers has risen substantially than pre-COVID days. Much of the change has been a result of pressure by the US Administration on Amazons to collect US sales taxes, and also changes in charges instigated by the UPU in response to US Administration threats of withdrawal. The changes may level the “Playing Field” between China and the US but the net result for US consumers is higher shipping costs to mail out of the US, and higher prices being paid to import an item.

The changes will definitely affect my music purchasing habits. So far I am giving more business to JPC who use DHL who are not part of the UPU, and who are subtracting VAT but not charging US sales taxes.

Hogs Belly Farmer

Well done, Macca. Who would begrudge him the accolade?

However… are we avoiding mentioning the elephant in the room? I would have loved a smart, inventive, largely instrumental set from McCartney but to have to listen to this increasingly strained, thin and wheezy voice attempt what once roared and soared in that same throat is, frankly, pitiful and painful.

Listen to Morrison’s ‘Three Chords And The Truth’ or Dylan’s ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’ and you hear men who have adapted their music to fit their diminished vocal capabilities. I mean, Dylan’s lyrical prowess even allows him to just recite his way through ‘Murder Most Foul’ and pull off a stroke of dazzling octogenarian genius.

McCartney’s voice, on the other hand, is painted into a genre corner. He is a ‘pop star’ making ‘pop music’ and everything he has done since (God, let me think…) ‘My Soul’ has exposed the asthmatic decline in what was once so powerful a tool.

I really wanted to love ‘McCartney III’. Really badly wanted it. It has some great ideas in it. But I dreaded the execution and my fears have all proved well-founded.

If you like this then good luck to you. I’m back off to ‘Ram’, ‘Wild Life’ and ‘Red Rose Speedway’ – to a place where the sun isn’t setting on greatness.

Catweazle

Couldn’t agree more – Macca these days couldn’t even ‘recite his way’ through a song – his speaking voice is nearly gone as well. I do like ‘When Winter Comes’ (from 28 years ago!) but that’s about it.

Kauwgompie

Well done Paul McCartney. A Christmas No 1 is usually more memorable than a number 1 during the year. Yeah, tactics may be questionable but no one forced me to buy anything and if you can afford it, it was kinda fun to collect the various releases.
Glad the deal between the UK and EU is done so music fans will not be “punished”.
I’m looking forward to 2021 (who doesn’t?), Paul, hopefully you will post an article again on what we can expect in the new year. Happy New Year everyone!!

Colin Harper

With 33,000 sales and X variations in the record, one could probably extrapolate how many hardcore fans he has – people prepared to buy something X (or some of X) times over. This could be the first example of around 5,000 getting something to No.1. If that’s important to you, Macca, your team has deserved a thumbs up.

Dan Abnormal

The multi-format approach has been going on for years – the main reason that blur’s ‘country house’ beat Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’ to number one in 1995 was because blur issued 2 CDs with different covers and content to encourage fans to buy the song on CD twice.

Caroline

True. Multiformatting was very rare with albums and most usually involved one limited edition at the point of release; picture disc and coloured vinyl LPs were fairly common, as were bonus 7″ singles with the first however-many copies. In the CD age, this wasn’t really embraced until the practice of reissuing an album with either bonus tracks or a second disc became popular, usually when an album was 3 or 4 singles into a campaign, making first-week fans feel cheated at having to buy a second copy for the new songs.

My feeling is that industry would be very unlikely to implement any curbs right now as they wouldn’t want to do anything that would harm physical sales at a time when shops are already struggling.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you, Paul and wishing you a great 2021. Same to all SDE readers. Onwards!

Poptones

I was living in Leeds at the time and I remember buying Oasis 7’’ single Roll With It for 99p. If my memory serves well, all formats (CD, cassette and 7’’) were all priced the same and cheaper than usual.

I would’t call it a battle of formats (more a battle of bands initiated by Damon Albarn to get back at Liam Gallagher for his arrogance at Some Might Say’s Number One single celebration party). Both bands were pushing their fans to buy all 3 formats : CD single, 7’’ single and cassette single. Oasis released a 12’’ and Blur didn’t. It was also a battle of labels (Creation vs EMI, Indie vs Major) and the marketing and sales department of EMI was obviously more powerful. In the end, both bands won. Blur won the singles war but Oasis won the albums war as What’s The Story Morning Glory hugely benefitted from the outrageous media exposure of this Blur vs Oasis summer saga.

It was pretty common at the time to release 2 or 3 limited edition singles of the same song in order to help the song enter the charts as high as possible. Fans would rush to buy the limited edition the first week of release. That’s why I wouldn’t call it a battle of formats as (just like Blur’s second cd single) these additional editions usually had different songs, live songs, unreleased songs, etc,. Depeche Mode, Cure and lots of other bands used to do that a lot in the 80s.

The problem with McCartney III and the other colored editions albums is it’s not about the music, it’s only a marketing strategy, only the color or package changes, it’s the same songs with no additional bonus except a poster or signed card or something like that. Not the same kind of music “bonuses’’ we were accustomed to.

Catweazle

Yes, but ‘Country House’ was also the better song of the two.

MARK LEVY

Definitely no new Beatles re-issues then. Well maybe in 2021

Lee

Thanks Paul, the voice of Aimee remembers me always to the fantastic movie ‘Magnolia’, she did the soundtrack.

Paul Anderson

Thanks for all of your hard work this year Paul. I’m really grateful for having been able to pick up some great bargains following advice on your site. Good news that we’ll still be able to use EU sites without any new tariffs.

Roland

And the same to you, Paul! :) Your site’s been both a joy to visit and a detriment to the pocket book, so I try to limit the number of visits per week. ;) Thanks for all the posts and good writing from this physical music fan.

“If Paul McCartney’s team hadn’t resorted to what Steven Wilson called “deeply cynical” tactics, with eight or nine coloured vinyl and six different CDs, then he probably wouldn’t have achieved the feat of getting to number one.”

So, so true! They should really break down individual variants. But then he might have had the record of holding the top five or even more spots at the same time, hah.

O(+> Peter B

Merry Christmas Paul and SDE.

Lee Williams

Just a point on the free trade deal. Goods coming into the UK from the EU will still be liable for UK VAT, and purchases from the UK to the EU will be liable for VAT in the receiving country. There just won’t be any additional duty levied. Whether the mail services decide to stop small packages and levy those charges, will remain to be seen.

Lee Williams

I did get a note from Amazon Italy and Amazon Germany to say that going forward the responsibility for cross border costs are mine.

Lee Williams

As a retailer myself the VAT conundrum was going to happen with or without a deal. It seems that you can only import less than £135 if the retailer is willing to register for VAT with HMRC. However, as Jules says, assuming Amazon Italy decides to register with HMRC so that we can buy, will they then be willing to create a GB price file which removes Italian VAT and only charges us GB VAT. Or should we all set up Northern Irish PO Boxes?

Morten Stryhn

What really happens after January 1st remains to be seen, but I have read that the Danish tax authorities will handle the UK like any other nation outside the common market – ie. VAT on all products above DKK 80 (approx GBP 9,40) and that it will be the buyers responsibility. The threshold are different from country to country – I heard rumours that in Sweden the threshold is SEK 0 after problems with packages from WISH and AliExpress. The VAT collection is accompanied by a collection fee on DKK 160 (approx GBP 17) so most Danes will probably stop buying in the UK or use services like Ebay who has a customs service.
It is true that there will be no tariffs but the UK will leave the common market for good and therefore it is not responsibility of the seller to claim VAT when shipping in or out of the EU countries.