An Open Letter to Sir Paul McCartney: ‘Listen to What The Fans Said’


McCartney should listen to fan feedback and change the Flowers in the Dirt deluxe edition, argues SDE Editor, Paul Sinclair…

Sir Paul McCartney
MPL Communications
1 Soho Square
London W1D 3BQ

RE: Flowers in the Dirt deluxe: Download-only files.

Dear Sir Paul,

You don’t know me, but let me start by saying that I’m a big fan of your work. I grew up in the 1970s listening to The Beatles and Wings from my parents’ record collection and once a teenager, started buying your solo albums in the 1980s. I’ve been buying them ever since. I’m an enthusiast and collector. For example, I remember buying the 12-inch of Ou Est Le Soleil? when travelling in America in 1990 (very exciting, because it wasn’t issued in the UK), and ended up having to cart it around with me on a Greyhound bus for weeks! I also picked up all three UK 12-inch versions of Figure Of Eight as well as both CD singles (three-inch and five-inch)… I think you get the idea.

So that was me. These days, I’m editor of a popular reissue and box set music blog – SuperDeluxeEdition.com. SDE (as regular visitors call it) provides news and reviews about music box sets and reissues and offers a place for fans to discuss the pros and cons of the latest releases. It has been running for almost six years and I like to think we’re influential. The blog is certainly well-read. One and a half million people have stopped by to read SuperDeluxeEdition in 2016.

I’ll get to the point… those singles I mentioned are both from Flowers in the Dirt, of course, and I had been looking forward to the official ‘archive collection’ reissue announcement since you indicated it was ‘coming soon’ in last year’s Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace reissues. I expected we’d get the usual mix of album, plus demos and period B-sides and remixes. You’ve delivered this, but for some reason, you have treated the B-sides, remixes and single edits differently to the rest of the audio. The album and the McCartney/MacManus demos get to travel ‘Club Class’ and enjoy the full blown CD treatment, while the studio B-sides, single edits and remixes (and the cassette tape demos) are just digital downloads – and are stuck in Economy, if you’ll allow me to extend the metaphor.

And that’s precisely why I’m writing you this open letter. I believe you’ve made a big mistake by doing this and I would like you to strongly reconsider your decision to deliver 16 of the 47 audio tracks on the forthcoming Flowers In The Dirt set as ‘download-only’ digital files.

Like most of the SDE audience – and I imagine a large proportion of your fanbase –  I’m a lover of physical product, but I won’t deny that digital downloads have a place in the world. They are good at the following:

  • • DELIVERING MUSIC to people do not want to own any kind of physical product
  • • Allowing people to ‘PICK & CHOOSE’ which tracks they wish to buy from an album
  • • Making ENORMOUS QUANTITIES of music available on portable devices
  • • Giving VINYL FANS a way to play their music, digitally
  • • Offering a way for upcoming artists to cheaply SELL/DISTRIBUTE music
  • • INCENTIVISING AN AUDIENCE to pre-order from an artists’ store

But your use of digital downloads for the Flowers In The Dirt deluxe has nothing to do with any of the above. So what’s the point, exactly? It feels very ‘gimmicky’, if you don’t mind me saying. As if someone in a meeting thought ’let’s do something quirky’ without consideration as to WHY you are actually doing it and what the impact would be. I’d go so far to say that it’s actually a mis-use of the medium.

You may well shrug and say ‘so what’. But the music – YOUR music – is too important to be lost to gimmicks. Newly remastered versions of great songs like Back On My Feet, Flying To My Home and The Loveliest Thing don’t deserve to be relegated to a ‘download-only’ zone. Why so casual with your output? Your legacy? You haven’t done this with any previous archive collection, so why do it now?

Surely a pre-requisite of a physical music box set is that you should be able to play all the music on a physical medium (CD, primarily) without resorting to bits of paper with download codes. Like many people, I don’t want two thirds of my Flowers deluxe set on the shelf and the rest in my laptop!! It’s like splitting up a pair of socks and keeping one in your top drawer in the bedroom and the other in your office filing cabinet. Think about it, you’ve diluted your own concept. Your self-styled ‘archive collection’ no longer starts and ends at the boundaries of the sturdy slip-case or the hard covers of a book. Do you really want people to be messing around registering codes at websites, unzipping files, working out how to keep them backed up, dealing with corruption issues, wondering how they are going to listen to them properly when their computer isn’t connected to anything that can match their hi-fi set-up? The books, photo-books in these sets are lovely – and you’ve deservedly won awards for past releases – but let’s not have the music marginalised to such a degree.

[socialpug_tweet tweet=”Hey @PaulMcCartney. Read this ‘open letter’. I agree with @sdedition. Don’t limit your music to download-only!” remove_username=”yes”]

I recognise that it’s now likely to be far too late to change the design of the box, the disc wallets etc.. So let’s be clear, I’m not asking you to pulp 50,000 sets and start again – my practical and cost-effective suggestion is as follows:

Issue an instruction to your team to get those 16 downloads onto an audio CD. Package the CD within a simply-designed card sleeve and find a way to include this as part of every Flowers in the Dirt deluxe package that is purchased.

Why should you bother to do this? You’re Paul McCartney, you can do what you want… but consider the following reasons:

  • • YOU WILL BE LISTENING TO YOUR FANS. They spoke, you listened. That sounds pretty satisfying!
  • • YOU WILL BE PRESERVING YOUR MUSIC physically, for future generations. Fathers can give sons their Flowers deluxe sets without worrying about explaining how to find/access those downloads.
  • • YOU WILL SELL MANY MORE BOX SETS. You only have to read the hundreds comments on SuperDeluxeEdition to see that the download issue is just too much for loyal fans who have – thus far – happily bought all your previous deluxe sets. For the first time they are thinking the unthinkable… that maybe they won’t bother this time. They don’t want to pay £120 for the new set which contains an enormous amount of music from this era that they simply can’t play on their CD players.

To conclude, I really do hope you do give this some serious consideration. I will put false modesty to one side and suggest that I’m as close to a subject-matter expert on these things as you’ll find. I know what I’m talking about. I spend all day, every day writing about, discussing and reviewing music box sets. I’ve curated many music box sets myself for major artists. I have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to knowing what fans want. Like many Paul McCartney fans I genuinely care about this particular issue and I can assure you, this ‘open letter’ isn’t some kind of publicity-seeking posturing – a random blogger making noise for the sake of it.

If you don’t believe me, consider the following. In the last few months I have interviewed Trevor Horn, Mitchell Froom and Chris Hughes for a forthcoming SDE feature on Flowers In The Dirt. This was months before I knew anything about the details of this new deluxe set.

I love the album and your music, so I urge you to read the fan feedback in detail and then do the right thing and give it the treatment it really deserves and correct this ‘download-only’ folly.



Paul Sinclair
Editor, SuperDeluxeEdition.com


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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[…] know they made them.  Couldn’t he have put all the demos on it?  Maccaficionados are incensed that all these demos aren’t included on a physical disc within the box set, and putting just […]

[…] 13 download-only tracks on the Flowers deluxe remain download-only. Paul McCartney chose NOT to listen to what the fans said and didn’t take up SDE’s representations about offering buyers of the deluxe edition […]

[…] Scott Rodger, who manages Paul McCartney (and other major artists, including Arcade Fire) reached out to SDE last week to discuss the less than positive fan feedback left on this blog over the 16 ‘download-only’ tracks included in the forthcoming Flowers in the Dirt deluxe edition. The ground rules for the conversation (with SDE Editor, Paul Sinclair) were that this wasn’t an ‘interview’ and wouldn’t be reported as such, but that Scott was keen to convey his general points to McCartney fans and the SDE audience about Paul’s Archive Collection releases and hopefully try and put into context why certain decisions are made, including the controversial one not to include the B-sides, remixes and demos on CD, in the Flowers in the Dirt box set (see the open letter to Paul McCartney). […]

[…] as digital downloads in the forthcoming Paul McCartney Flowers in the Dirt deluxe edition and I wrote that ‘open letter’ to Sir Paul. So has anything happened? Will anything […]


He is old now and doesn’t control things.

Jan Spring

I think Paul McCartney is not listen at all to his fans, nothing on his site nothing on this site. It’s not good what he does, if only he said something but no.

adam shaw

If you go to his site , it goes straight to a FITD advert for the new box set which states the download inclusion .
So looks like hes not listening to fans .

Wayne Klein

Add me as someone who feels this set is incomplete. Whomever came up with the idea of the digital downloads didn’t think it through.

It’s a bad use of resources. I want ALL the stuff physically Paul McCartney. As a long time Beatles fan (when I was five I got my first record player in 1965 and the records I wanted with it were…you got it Beatles singles and/or a record) who has seen you play 15 times beginning in 1976 with Wings, we, the fans, are thrilled to being having much of this stuff officially and appreciate the extra effort your team goes to In putting these together that’s why the curious omission of these tracks (some of which are superior to other material in the set) is perplexing. Those who buy physical media usually won’t download or will do so ONLY if something isn’t available elsewhere. Give. The quality of the tracks (three of your best songs from the era) makes this essential. I don’t drop this amount of Money idly on music I have in other forms and, without this set being complete, (the decision strikes me as a middle management decision from someone who doesn’t buy physical product) I’m unlikely to purchase the set–not in a tantrum or protest but because it IS incomplete and I shall search other ways to get it.

Here’s what you can do if you don’t want to take Paul Sinclair’s first suggestion — included a post card to order physical disc and have it mailed out. Thst way those who want it can get it (and trust me that will be everyone that buys this set). Until we have resolution my set is on hold.


Wayne Klein

Paul Hillier

Any news on a response from Capitol or MPL, Paul?

Ben Williams

Just sent another message to MPL. I’m getting more desperate as the March release date beckons. I still can’t get over not only not having the download-only stuff not on CD in such a beautiful, lavish and expensive set but to not include all the session material from 1987-89 (as they did with previous Archive sets like Venus And Mars and McCartney II).

I have been thinking of just how much is missing and it is excruciating.. Same Love, Love Come Tumbling Down, Once Upon A Long Ago, Love Mix, Don’t Break This Promise, Atlantic Ocean, Squid, Return To Pepperland, I Love This House, Loveliest Thing, Back On My Feet and on and on and on.

If anyone reads this, please keep emailing MPL and Capitol/UMe!!!

Julian H

“I have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to knowing what fans want.”

Except when it comes to live tracks ;-)

Otherwise, I applaud you for the courage (again) to write this letter and for actually doing something.


I see the above was posted on the original post’s comment section, but I think it belongs here, too! Thanks, Paul.

willem stegeman

I still intend to buy the boxset, as i did with the 9 stes in the past, but reading that lots of songs are only available through download, i am disappointed. Please add it to the boxset in a simple case….


Well said but one minor quibble. The father will be passing on his vast collection to his daughter, not his son.

Bob Dudek

Im a little wary of his digital downloads to begin with , and not for any of the reasons stated . I have downloaded the Hi Rez files offered ( and paid for ) with each super deluxe edition , and I own them all . The problem is except for Ram , I had a problem downloading the first sets up to Venus And Mars . The codes on the cards never worked , but thru writing to eveyone concerned these issues finally got resolved until …. I bought V&M / Speed Of Sound / Pipes Of peace / Tug Of War brand new and sealed thru Amazon , and not a single code works . I ahve reached out to all who helped before and they now wash their hands of the problem , telling me I need to go to Amazon with it . Amazon is only interested in offering me the standard download of each album . You can see why Im now nervous as I wait for my Flowers In The Dirt to be delivered . ( by the way , if anyone can help me out , this issue still isnt resolved ) .

Ben Williams

Usually, the super deluxe box sets bonus tracks are exclusive to the box set and any autorip Amazon may offer will be the 2 disc version. Amazon have a history of offering incorrect autorips of CD’s you buy from them.

I would stick to the 2CD version of Flowers though…Amazon are definitely not going to offer the download-only B/Sides etc as downloads/autorips and if you can’t get any downloads from McCartney’s website, I wouldn’t give them your money.

Ben Williams

Also, should point out – Amazon should replace the boxes for you with valid codes (have you checked if they are case sensitive?) – or go back to MPL/McCartney and point out they manafacture these sets…

I had an issue with Venus And Mars high-res but MPL or TopSpin were actually very helpful.

Mike the Fish

I recently got the What’s That You’re Doing email which contained a link to McCartney on the Mastertapes programme in which he talked about being concious of offering value for money (e.g. non album As and Bs as the Beatles, and performing material that he might prefer not to at concerts as he’s aware people have paid a lot to see him) so it’s a shame that principle has not been brought forward to some of these sets. Band on the Run was a great start with the three disc option (although not so good for the super deluxe buyers), Mc II had lots of bonus material, although again it’s frustrating to have such a large leap in price to go from 2CD to 3CD and DVD. Wings Over America at some store in the U.S. had the bonus audio from the deluxe set as a card sleeved extra CD – not good value for everyone by any means, although it was for those who could actually get hold of the thing. His deluxe sets have been pricey for the actual audio/video media in them, although the one book set I bought was lovely. This one is taking the mick, and it’s given me space to stand back and think, “Hang on, I don’t actually like this album very much anyway.” I struggle to see where his value for money ethos works out here.

Hans Jörg Herbst

This is disappointing to see that no one has replied so far. It seems that they then don’t have a problem with people getting the songs via an alternative way and only buy the small version.


Be interesting to see how this pans out. A lack of response would indicate to me a total lack of respect for fans and would display a certain arrogance which I think is unforgivable. I love FITD but the outcome of this excellent letter will b the decisive factor in purchase. On a matter of principle.

peter wolf

Paul an absolute brilliant letter and well thought out, i often wonder with a number of artists whether they actually think about their fans and most of us are loyal or if it’s a last ditch effort to resurrect their career{s} by releasing special anniversary editions, i have to agree these musicians in our time i would call legendary but at times what goes into some of these box sets can be pretty lame and as you suggested the worst one was The Stones GRR Hi Fidelity that sounded like a tin can that was a shocker! Once again thanks for your daily information, i just hope too Paul Mack will sit down and have a read and listen to what the fans have said. The one thing i have noticed how expensive the box sets are that’s another thing i don’t quite understand Paul have a great New Year and once again appreciate the updates, although it’s only early stages a huge box set with plenty of extras towards the end of 2017 a massive Toto box set all the best Paul!

Bill C

Paul-thanks for the long letter and hope it gets the desired results. First the price of this set is massive IMHO-and I have Ram, Band on the Run, McCartney, and McCartney 2—but this is over the top. Next I want PHYSICAL-so I can play it when I want where I want, on my stereo, my car CD player-not MP3 SHITE. We will see how this plays out…and I was really looking forward to this release-had to wait for EMI and then they do this?

Dejan Dozic

As always Paul S. you are really going the extra mile for us every time.
I really do hope Paul McC. does respond and really takes this seriously.
For what is an artist without his fans support ?!
Se you all on the other side – 2017
So I wish you Paul and all other supporters for SDE – A Happy New Year !

Paul E.

I’m 46 now and my Dad gave me his entire Beatles collection last year. The number of vinyl records (45 + 33) total over 200 pieces. When my friends come over to view my music library assembled in my home office they breeze by the three large CD wall shelving units holding some 5,000 CDs and head strait for…yes, that Beatles display. Fact is, you can’t show off a hard drive loaded with music files. There is no way to dress up the content stored in a plastic shell – I can talk all I want about ripping all my music to FLAC, the hours spent tracking down hi res artwork, properly tagging each song/album/etc. – none of that matters when it’s hiding in storage. Folks that pursue deluxe, super deluxe, or otherwise sets want to display (my translation: enjoy) the physical media. Downloads inclusive in box sets should be complimentary at this point in time and NOT the sole means for offering (or subsidizing) the audio. Offering two thirds of a set physically and the remaining portion digitally is simply phoning it in. It’s as if someone broke into the box set and stole the product…”Sunday’s on the phone to Monday” anyone?


You buy music to display it? I think you’ve confused music with art.

If you listen to music then it doesn’t matter how it’s stored or played back as it’s a medium you listen to with your ears. What it looks like is irrelevant. It seems you, like a lot of people, want to be seen to like certain artists rather than enjoying their music, hence your need to have it on display for the benefit of your friends.


It isn’t ‘silly’ at all, you’ve just failed to grasp the point, probably on purpose. I don’t need a lesson in formats thanks, I’m quite aware what the differences are.

The point, again, is that you listen to music, you don’t look at it, so regardless of the format it will always be best experienced with you ears rather than your eyes. That is clear enough no?

If you all prefer handling music and looking at music on your shelf rather than listening to it, you’re missing the point of music altogether.


I think your post is missing the point. The topic here is the PURCHASE OF A PHYSICAL RELEASE. Physical sales of music stretch back to the late 1800’s. Of course we listen with our ears, but physical product has been part of the equation for over 100 years. Taking your statement a step farther – I guess record sleeves have been a waste of time, sleeve notes are pointless, and any other add-ins are silly. Huh?

If you’re not interested in physical product, then I think you’re at the wrong site. This site is all about physical product.

I’ve never bought a download. I’m not about to start. If I was happy with a download, there are plenty of nefarious web sites where I could fill my boots. Instead I pay my hard-earned on physical product because music releases are far more than simply the music, and have been for over 100 years.

Paul E.

@”Paul” (not Mr. Sinclair of course) – Paul, I started “collecting” and simultaneously listening to music at the age of 7 [at the launch of cassettes and the end of the 8 track era). I’ve amassed a nice collection of compact discs over the years and simply have them organized on wall units not to show off – but to easily reference so that I know what I have in my collection, where the gaps are, can lend out to a friends, etc. If the number of items is bragging than, so be it. I’m quite proud of my collection and listen to something I have “on the wall” everyday. Diving into my hard drive for music is only for portability (to load my hi res DAP, iPod, iPhone, etc.). Fact is, those tunes came from physical purchases primarily and NOT downloads. I’m not keen on spending $9.99 US for a download when more often than not, the same physical CD can be had for the same price [willing to pay 10% more for liner notes and the CHOICE to rip the audio to my portable listening standards. I know people who spent the same on albums back when iTunes offered only 128 AAC “quality”, than ponied up more for iTunes Plus 256 AAC – what’s next iTunes Super Plus FLAC? Point is, you are at the mercy of the site offering the download and why waste the time shopping for the best digital format when that can be had most of the time with the physical product. By the way, music is art from my vantage…for the ears and eyes.

David Furst

Very simple: fans buying a multi-disc box set like this should expect those B-sides to be included with the physical product. And at this price? It comes across as almost obnoxious to not include all relevant B-sides from the era – especially when there is likely to be plenty of extra room on each CD in the set. (OK, I can understand the 17 remixes of Ou Est Le Soleil being download-only. But everything else should be there.)


Paul, I think your open letter to Sir Paul McCartney may have had some effect. I just saw this update on Amazon USA (copied and pasted hereto), indicating a 5th disc of B-sides is included in the “Flowers in the Dirt” SDE, excepting 3 cassette demos, which are available as downloads as stated in the product description. The stock photo of the box set still shows 3 CDs and 1 DVD.

Track Listings
Disc: 1
1. My Brave Face (2017 Remaster)
2. Rough Ride (2017 Remaster)
3. You Want Her Too (2017 Remaster)
4. Distractions (2017 Remaster)
5. We Got Married (2017 Remaster)
6. Put It There (2017 Remaster)
7. Figure Of Eight (2017 Remaster)
8. This One (2017 Remaster)
9. Don t Be Careless Love (2017 Remaster)
10. That Day Is Done (2017 Remaster)
11. How Many People (2017 Remaster)
12. Motor Of Love (2017 Remaster)
13. Où Est Le Soleil? (2017 Remaster)

Disc: 2
1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
2. Tommy s Coming Home (Original Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
7. Don t Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)

Disc: 3
1. The Lovers That Never Were (1988 Demo)
2. Tommy s Coming Home (1988 Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (1988 Demo)
4. So Like Candy (1988 Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (1988 Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (1988 Demo)
7. Don t Be Careless Love (1988 Demo)
8. My Brave Face (1988 Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (1988 Demo)

Disc: 4
1. My Brave Face (DVD)
2. My Brave Face (Version 2 DVD)
3. This One (Version 1 DVD)
4. This One (Version 2 DVD)
5. Figure Of Eight (DVD)
6. Party Party (DVD)
7. Où Est Le Soleil? (DVD)
8. Put It There (DVD)
9. Distractions (DVD)
10. We Got Married (DVD)
11. Paul And Elvis (DVD)
12. Buds In The Studio (DVD)
13. The Making Of This One (The Dean Chamberlain One DVD)
14. Put It There Documentary (DVD)

Disc: 5
1. Back On My Feet
2. Flying To My Home
3. The First Stone
4. Good Sign
5. This One (Club Lovejoys Mix)
6. Figure Of Eight (12′ Bob Clearmountain Mix)
7. Loveliest Thing
8. Où Est Le Soleil? (12′ Mix)
9. Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub Mix)
10. Où Est Le Soleil? (7′ Mix)
11. Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental)
12. Party Party (Original Mix)
13. Party Party (Club Mix)
14. I Don t Want To Confess (Cassette demo)
15. Shallow Grave (Cassette demo)
16. Mistress And Maid (Cassette demo)

darryl sayers

this is what i want!! NOT DOWNLOAD> PHYSICAL DISC. forget original demos , disc2, replace and release DISC. since when are demos released, not for me? what happened to music?


I bought Love Me Do at real time and ever since I bought any odd item by all 4 beatles but Sir Paul has to understand that admiration is elusive and a very thin line. I know many people like me who are going not only to ignore this release but anything else macca in going to release in the future.


I can’t decide whether the FITD debacle is bothering him from these photos….

Here comes the sun! Shirtless Sir Paul McCartney, 74, and daughter Stella, 45, soak up some rays as they go for a Christmas Day dip in St Barts | Daily Mail Online »

DJ Boji

It’s a bit Strange that Sir Paul Mccartney has not reacted yet to the Open letters and The Record company remains silent on The issue. Well at least dropping a line like ” we will look into it” would have been polite. Hopefully Paul is not too busy shifting his pounds from one account to another :)
Hopefully he will listen to the what the fans said.

Larry Geller

My real problem with it is that the liner notes and the books won’t deal with any of these tracks, just like the previous downloads were not dealt with in the other sets.

Steve Scott

Well said Paul S.

Sir Paul – like many on here, I have collected everything you have out out over the years and in pretty much every format. Flowers is possibly your best solo album and the b-sides particularly some of your best material and could/should have been on the main album. Please make them available in a physical (remastered) format.

Gary Grizzle

No need to redesign the box for the physical cd that your fans so greatly desire. Make a simple envelope that looks like a flower seed packet you would buy at the local gardening store. Insert physical disc. Drop into the box set. Bam!! Fans can plant that in their aural landscape.

I’ve been collecting PHYSICAL McCartney product for 42 years (yes, I’m set in my ways). And I’ve seen you live in 7 different cities.

Please, please “don’t let me down”……


Well said Paul.
With about 3 months to go, isn’t there still time to move the 16 tracks onto the demo CDs? [As I mentioned previously.]


Nice one Paul, nice lobbying :)

This made me chuckle: ‘It’s like splitting up a pair of socks and keeping one in your top drawer in the bedroom and the other in your office filing cabinet.’


Thumbs up & fingers crossed! Thanks for your passion & expertise, Paul.
Merry Christmas


Big fat thumbs up, Sinclair!

Paul Trotman

Great letter. Not a big PMc fan, but loathe downloads.
PS: The Fish deluxe reissues are fabulous, worth checking them out.

Gregory Cheeseman

And Moses came down from the mount for a second time and addressed the Israelites, “I know, I know! A reissue and still only ten.”


thanks come on macca get it all out before i get to old to hear it all i own all the deluxe re issues and looking forward to london town and red rose.

Marshall Boswell

Hi Paul,

New poster here, though a longtime visitor. Check the site at least once a week. Anyway, thanks so much for writing this letter, and for all you do here at Super Deluxe Edition.


Great letter. They (Paul & record label) can start pledgemusic campaign to see how many people would give money if they are so skeptical with physical products.


Just want to join the masses in saying that I hope someone, if not Paul himself, takes note of what the fan base are saying.

Steven Roberts

Wow, it’s amazing the rumpus this Macca SDE has caused – makes me appreciate all the more just how well thought out and what fantastic value for money the XTC and Tull sets are.

Perhaps Sir Paul should take note?


Vinyl lasts forever. Cassettes don’t (about half of them do) ;)


Digital files last forever…..CDs sure as hell don’t

Mike the Fish

Neither are permenant. Some CDs have lasted since manufacture in the mid 80s, though. Files can be lost or corrupted easily, drives (solid state and mechanical) can fail without warning.


Bold statement. Why, what do you do to your CD’s, that they stop working? I have a very extensive collection stretching back 26 years and I can’t say I have ever experienced one that stops working. Also, you know for a fact that you will still have your audio files in the same time length of time?

Mike the Fish

David – some CDs naturally decayed. One way this happened was known as bronzing which is probably documented nicely on Wikipedia.


You’ve touched on what I believe are all the major points. This situation with the downloads has kept me – for the first time – from making this an automatic week-of-release purchase. Thanks Paul for putting the letter together; I hope Sir Paul considers your argument and moves forward in a way that satisfied us long-time fans.

Nuno Madeira

Great letter.
Daily visitor of your site and admire your great effort promoting the physical format. Im not a fan of pmcC but i was surprised the decision of this deluxe edition
Keep the good work, all the best.
Cheers from Portugal


By all accounts, members of the Beatles don’t like being told what to do; I do hope this letter will do the trick, though…

Jim Breeds

Well said Sir! Glad you put on Your Brave Face. I’d considered this box set, albeit turning white at the price, but the download only content puts me off. I bought it on first release and only have it on cassette which my brand new Fiesta car seems reluctant to accept!


Dear Paul. I found the Beatles on the Beeb in 1963 Christmas. Been in love with that Paul Beatles exquisite sound, rings in my mind daily. Nothing ever since to take the place of that sound. I supported and bought all 33’s, that are all but extinct now. Since this new tech way to listen.
Now I am 65, on Social Security. No dough you see to buy this new format crap.
Unreasonable, hyped up and rediculously priced, out of 85% of who have supported Paul for 45yrs! The record company, is only thinking of the Bottom line MONEY!!!!!.
They do Not care which songs we want on any CD. Or it’s arrangements!
It is Marketing that is responsible for this BS! Not Paul!
My suggestion, release all on CD or 33,s!
Great letter to Paul. Thanks blessings to all


I certainly hope for the fans this makes a difference.

I suppose ultimately this has to be aimed at the product manager at the label who’s job it will be to sort this out.



Really like the letter and you’ve got all of the based covered…
As a purchaser of many boxed sets I just don’t understand the dichotomy of their pricing…
As an example, how can King Crimson put out a 27-disk CD (inc. 2 Blu-rays) set “Starless” with tons of liner notes for about $150 yet Pink Floyd has their Early years out for such a staggering initial price (~$700) and this “deluxe” set with 4 disks (+ the, so far, download) for about $150….Agreed, PF & McC are “bigger” more popular acts but if King Crimson (which has a much smaller-run operation) can do it for such a low price, why can’t the “big guys”? Perhaps there are just too many hands in the pot (more layers of groups of people who need their cut) with these bigger acts but it’s just not viable when you get into these expensive sets.

Rick R

“14 April 1970

Dear Mr. Klein,

A few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song The Long And Winding Road, with harps, horns, an orchestra and women’s choir added. No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn’t believe it. I would never have female voices on a Beatles record. The record came with a note saying you thought the changes were necessary. I don’t blame Phil Spector for doing it but it just goes to show that it’s no good me sitting here thinking I’m in control because obviously I’m not. So I’m writing you this letter asking for these things – or at least some of these things – to be altered.”

I haven’t received an answer yet.


No, you didn’t receive a reply but Let It Be Naked was released!