What’s the colour of money? McCartney limited edition vinyl hits the wallet hard

Last year Paul McCartney moved labels from Concord to Capitol Records, with Flowers in the Dirt being his first Archive Collection reissue with the famous American label. Now Capitol are taking the opportunity to reissue the remasters that have been put out over the last seven years, as ‘vanilla’ CD and vinyl releases with no bonus tracks. However, they haven’t missed the opportunity to tempt fans who’ve bought everything already, with some limited edition coloured vinyl pressings of all eight studio albums.

So while the single CD digipak and 180gram black vinyl single LP formats might leave you a bit ‘meh’, the limited edition coloured vinyl pressings look ace. One bonus is that they will be the only vinyl issues of the remasters that don’t have that annoying ‘Paul McCartney Archive Collection’ strip on the left hand side. The only trouble is, they are scandalously expensive, particularly in the UK.

Update 20.30 6/10/17: The information below has now changed. At 17.20 today all the overpriced vinyl was taken down. After pulling all the listings down, all eight of these McCartney records are now back up at £29.99 everywhere they are available in the UK. An improvement on £35, £43 and £52 but it’s still an £8 premium for coloured vinyl instead of black. I’m disappointed in this strategy of dual-pricing which just comes across as rather greedy. I say this not as just an observer, but as a retailer myself. When I sold 500 signed Sam Brown box sets on the SDE shop, there was no premium over the standard sets, despite the fact that it created a lot of extra work to get the sets signed and to open and re-pack every box set. Team Macca is making a profit on black vinyl priced at £21.99. The £29.99 price point is simply about making even more profit and feels a bit exploitative, given that vinyl copies of these albums have already been marketed to the core audience over the last six or seven years. – Paul, SDE.

You can only buy the coloured vinyl pressings at specific online shops, including The Sound Of Vinyl, uDiscoverMusic and Recordstore.co.uk (all in the UK). However, on both of these sites while the non-limited black vinyl is priced between £18.99 to £23.99 – not particularly cheap to start with – the retailers have added a huge premium for the coloured vinyl pressings. They are all £34.99 each, with the exception of Band on the Run which is an unbelievable £42.99!

For some reason, both uDiscover in the UK and The Sound Of Vinyl have neither Venus and Mars nor Wings at the Speed of Sound listed, but at Recordstore.co.uk the red/yellow vinyl copy of Venus and Mars is – wait for it – £51.99! I will remind you that this is ONE vinyl record we are talking about. It means the cost of buying all eight coloured vinyl pressings is £305.

Together, the two colour vinyl pressings of Venus and Mars and Band on the Run will cost UK fans £96!

Unlike the UK, the US uDiscover site has a bundle to buy all eight coloured pressings for $240, which equates to around £185 – over £120 less than in Britain. However any plans to buy these to ship to the UK will be thwarted since the site doesn’t deliver internationally.

I’m aware that this is another post on SDE that’s being quite critical of McCartney, but these prices are simply crazy. As way of comparison, the double LP glow-in-the-dark gatefold vinyl package of Michael Jackson’s Scream is £22 on the SDE shop. It’s starting to feel like a long time since Paul McCartney release ‘got it right’ either in terms of pricing or content.

Black vinyl LPs, coloured vinyl LPs and CD editions of these albums (see list below) will be released on 17 November 2017.

Albums being reissued by Capitol

  1. McCartney (1970). Limited version is RED vinyl
  2. RAM (1971). Limited version is YELLOW vinyl
  3. Band on the Run (1973). Limited version is WHITE vinyl
  4. Venus and Mars (1975). Limited version is RED and YELLOW vinyl
  5. Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976). Limited version is ORANGE vinyl
  6. McCartney II (1980). Limited version is CLEAR vinyl
  7. Tug of War (1982). Limited version is BLUE vinyl
  8. Pipes of Peace (1983). Limited version is SILVER vinyl

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