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In an astonishing unprecedented event, nearly 65 unreleased Paul McCartney tracks spanning 1971 through 1987 have been leaked online in 2010, totaling nearly four hours of music. Beatles fans have been trading information back and forth in a frenzy as to how all this music, music that McCartney has vigorously safeguarded for decades, has now been linked to the public for free over various websites.
Many of the songs are believed to be straight tape dubs from Wings’ original roadie, the late Trevor Jones, whose personal archives were auctioned off by Christie’s in 1998. Other speculation is that some of this material stems from early work tapes intended for one or more of the McCartney box sets which have recently been in production.
Among the many highlights on the set are: Acetates of Another Day, and Hi, Hi, Hi, full Wings rehearsals of songs performed on their 1975/1976 world tour, including Listen To What The Man Said, Blackbird, Hi, Hi, Hi, multiple takes of Junior’s Farm, Soily, Call Me Back Again, Picasso’s Last Words, Bluebird, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Magneto And Titanium Man, Little Woman Love/C Moon, Live And Let Die, and You Gave Me The Answer, the still-unreleased McCartney torch song Suicide, as well as an early live band run-through of Let ‘Em In taped prior to McCartney officially recording it.
Other gems include an early mix of Silly Love Songs lacking the signature string and brass overdubs with McCartney instead scat-singing the legendary horn part, a version of the 1976 Wings favorite Must Do Something About It, which was originally released with drummer Joe English taking the lead, but now features McCartney’s original unreleased “guide” vocal, an instrumental mix of Wings’ 1979 hit Getting Closer and the 1978 outtake Cage.
More rarities in the bunch feature 1980 Wings rehearsals of No Values, which McCartney eventually released on his 1984 Give My Regards To Broad Street soundtrack, full band rehearsals of 1971’s Mama’s Little Girl, and an extended take of McCartney on electric piano teaching Wings Take It Away, a tune they would never get to record. A particular highlight is the rarely-heard 1982 official recording of Runaway, a tune McCartney donated to the Barbados group Ivory.
For the first time, outtakes from Tug Of War, McCartney’s 1982 reunion with George Martin, have surfaced. The new batch of tracks include the previously unheard instrumental Newt Rack, as well as “offline monitor mixes” (tapes running while music is playing out of speakers) of Take It Away which features an extended coda, and a scaled-back, very rough mix of McCartney’s collaboration with Stevie Wonder What’s That You’re Doing?
Pristine sounding abbreviated outtakes from McCartney’s 1987 “Russian Album” sessions feature McCartney going full throttle on snippets of Elvis Presley’s Poor Boy, the Vipers’ No Other Baby, the Lonnie Donegan-adapted Take This Hammer, Carl Perkins’ Lend Me Your Comb, and an alternate vocal version of Fats Domino’s Ain’t That A Shame.
Beatlefan magazine publisher Bill King explained that there is a direct correlation between these tracks going public within days of McCartney announcing a catalogue overhaul through his new label Concord Music Group: “The leaking of these tracks, for whatever reason, whether it’s a disgruntled employee who’s upset about the box set reportedly being shelved for a while, or if these tracks perhaps had already leaked out and someone was just sitting on them for a while, y’know, there’s a lot of different theories. But for whatever reason that these things have suddenly come out, I think it’s not coincidental. I think that it happened a day or two after the Concord reissue program was announced is probably instructive. Y’know, there’s a cause and effect relationship there.”
Wings co-founder and original drummer Denny Seiwell shed some light on the late Trevor Jones, the man who might be responsible for all this material reaching fans over a decade after his death: “The roadies; Ian Horn and Trevor Jones, they were brothers-in-law, I guess. Ian married Trevor’s sister, something like that, I don’t know. But the next couple of years it was just me and Henry (McCullough) and Ian and Trevor. We were like always together. Trevor died. What year was it that Linda (McCartney) died? ’98. Well then, Trevor died just before that, I think. He had an alcohol problem. Paul told me about this. I had no idea. Paul said that he had to give him the ‘golden handshake’ because of his boozin’ and that he had passed away.”
Although McCartney has issued previously-unreleased work on various soundtracks and single B-sides, he’s shied away from releasing a full-on outtakes collection. In late-1980 he had been preparing an album called Cold Cuts featuring outtakes spanning his entire career up though that point. Following John Lennon’s 1980 murder, McCartney was said to have felt that releasing an outtake collection in what would be his first musical statement following Lennon’s death would be in poor taste. Although Cold Cuts has been booted numerous times since 1985, McCartney has yet to release an official version of it.
From Steve Hoffman Forums:
Trevor Jones’ McCartney related effects were sold at auction in 1998, and among the signed albums and press materials were 45 cassettes. Some of them contained rehearsals and outtakes, while the majority of them were filled with commercially released material. As Paul did not buy them, the sale moved the cassettes (and their contents) from a secure realm into the collecting community.
This is simply a case of one very generous collector deciding to share with everyone.Chip Madinger
From Bill King’s journal (Beatlefan fanzine editor):
As many of you already know, a digital deluge of unreleased Paul McCartney music hit the Internet last week, with nearly 70 tracks made available for free via various download sites by unknown parties. Included were alternate takes and mixes and live tour rehearsals, with the highlights including a take of “Silly Love Songs” in which McCartney scats what will be the horn part; a 1980 Wings version of “No Values,” later re-recorded for the “Give My Regards to Broad Street” movie; and an early version of Wings’ “Must Do Something About It” with McCartney handling the vocal rather than drummer Joe English, who ended up singing it.
It was an unprecedented flood of unauthorized material — and fans didn’t even have to buy bootlegs to get it! The fact that these tracks started showing up the day after it had been announced that McCartney had signed a deal with Concord Music to begin putting out remastered reissues of his album catalog with bonus tracks appeared to be no coincidence.
One rumor had a disgruntled member of the project’s team sending out the tracks in protest of the box being put on the back burner by the new Concord deal. Fans also speculated that some of the tracks (mainly the rehearsals from Wings’ 1976-76 tour) were from cassettes auctioned in 1998 that had belonged to the late Trevor Jones, the band’s original roadie.
Since a Beatlefan contributing editor received the outtakes directly in e-mails (just prior to them showing up on download sites) from a London source who had last year leaked information about work on the rarities box set, we were pretty sure these were tracks culled during the selection process, probably taken from test CD-Rs.
We published a Beatlefan/EXTRA! this week detailing all of this that’s still on its way to subscribers. Just after that report had gone to press, our contributor received confirmation of the above scenario from the London source, who says that the flurry of tracks that hit last week were indeed culls from what had been listened to and rejected from the boxed set that has been worked on for almost three years.
The London source said that McCartney’s MPL company knows about what happened last week and is furious about it and they are investigating, but since the tracks he sent were indeed done on CD-Rs and passed around, they were in others’ hands as well as his, so he feels safe at the moment. Some of that material was indeed on the so-called Trevor Jones tapes, but he said that MPL had the originals and what was auctioned off were second- or third-generation cassette copies.
The source is indeed very frustrated about the decision to delay the box release (which had been planned for late this year or early next year) in favor of the Concord remasters, and he said that they were indeed pulling some of the material from that project to use in the remasters series.
But he said that the Concord reissue series will please fans and probably will not lead to the box set being canceled. Rather, he thinks it will force the box set’s release due to demand.
He also said that one thing that is being seriously considered is a deluxe package for “Wings Over America” that will include the remastered “Rockshow” DVD. (He noted that the entire film was redone during work on “The McCartney Years” DVD set project and is ready to go.)
None of this has been confirmed, of course, but the source sent along a handful of additional MP3 treats, including a recording of Michael Jackson working on “The Girl Is Mine” with McCartney.
So the flow of unreleased music apparently is not finished yet …Bill King
Those 65 tracks are available on different bootlegs, like the Let ‘Em Out series or the misterclaudel release A Garden Full Of McCartney Roses – The Trevor Jones Tapes.
Last updated on May 12, 2020