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A great expansion of a great album, with a two-hour DVD loaded with videos, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage.

Music Review: Paul McCartney – ‘NEW’ [Collector’s Edition]

You’d be forgiven for wondering if there could really be anything “new” about a NEW reissue. After all, Paul McCartney’s most recent album was released just one year ago—and in two editions: the 12-track standard edition (orange cover) and the 14-track “deluxe” edition (blue cover). Is this “Collector’s Edition” really worth the double dip?

NEW displayThe answer is an unequivocal YES. Concord Music Group’s new edition of NEW adds a second audio disc and a fully-loaded DVD. The bonus audio consists of three studio tracks: the previously unreleased in the U.S. “Struggle” (initially a Japanese exclusive) and the previously unreleased “Hell to Pay” and “Demons Dance.” Each of these inventive tunes easily could’ve made the final cut, especially the moody “Struggle.” There are also four energetic live cuts of NEW tracks, all recorded at the Tokyo Dome late last year.

As for the DVD, unlike the skimpy offerings included in the recent Paul McCartney Archive Collection reissues (Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound), this sucker is packed with great stuff. A 47-minute documentary charts the creation of NEW, including interviews with each of the four producers (Mark Ronson, Giles Martin, Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns) that McCartney tapped for the album. We also hear from McCartney himself, as well as each of his touring band members. Though it occasionally descends into promotional fluff, this is an outstanding presentation overall.

The “Music Videos” section not only includes four videos (“Save Us,” “Appreciate,” “Queenie Eye,” “Early Days”), but also “making of” featurettes for all but “Save Us” (which is merely a montage of concert clips anyway). The “making of” pieces are especially welcome given that these are some of McCartney’s most elaborate videos, especially the trippy, sci-fi surrealism of “Appreciate.” Those who enjoyed seeing McCartney and Johnny Depp’s interactions in the “My Valentine” videos on the Live Kisses DVD release will be happy to find more here as Depp appears in both “Queenie Eye” and “Early Days.”

In the “Promo Tour” section we find a slew of featurettes offering behind-the-scenes footage of McCartney at various promotional appearances that followed the release of NEW. Don’t expect the actual broadcast footage from shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; this is strictly B-roll material. While it might be initially disappointing to realize these pieces don’t include the live performances delivered at events like the aforementioned TV shows and the iHeartRadio Music Festival, there are still plenty of fun moments. If all that weren’t enough, there’s also the “Bang & Olufsen ‘The Living Room Tour’” interview, during which McCartney offers some solid insights into NEW.

Okay, so you might already own NEW. But you don’t own ALL of it unless you snag the new “Collector’s Edition.” Packaged in a compact, hardcover book (with expanded liner notes, including lyrics and recording info for the bonus songs), this special edition is reasonably priced and deserves space on every McCartney fan’s shelf.

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About The Other Chad

An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."

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