Paul McCartney / Flowers in the Dirt four-disc deluxe edition



Four discs, but also download-only content, in pricey deluxe set

Paul McCartney‘s 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt will be reissued in March next year in the usual ‘Archive Collection’ formats, including a four-disc deluxe edition which comes with lots of printed material (think Wings Over America).

Paul’s last album of the 1980s featured no less than nine different producers – amongst them Trevor Horn, Mitchell Froom and Chris Hughes – and includes four tracks co-written with Elvis Costello, including the lead single, My Brave Face (Paul’s last sizeable solo hit in America). The album was widely regarded as a return to form after the uneven Hugh Padgham produced Press To Play (1986) and served as a platform to launch Paul’s first tour in a decade – a jaunt around the world where he would abandon his previous reluctance to play Beatles’ tracks and embrace the Fab Four’s songbook.

Three further singles were issued in the UK – This One (#18, same as My Brave Face), Figure of Eight (#42) and Put It There (#32).

The audio has been remastered at Abbey Road Studios and in terms of bonus audio, the deluxe book edition includes nine demos of songs written with Elvis Costello, in both acoustic (with Elvis) and band (no Elvis) variations and a DVD which features promo videos, archive footage and Put It There, the 1989 documentary which covers the recording of the album and the preparations for Paul’s 1989/1990 World Tour.

Surprisingly, period B-sides and remixes aren’t being offered on CD at all, as part of the Flowers in the Dirt archive collection – there are 16 of them and they come as download-only tracks, but only if you buy the expensive deluxe set. This is inconsistent with all the other previous reissues, which started with Band On The Run in 2010. The content here includes Once Upon A Long Ago B-side (but not the A-side) Back On My Feet (the first Costello collaboration to be issued), My Brave Face B-side Flying To My Home, Figure Of Eight extra track The Loveliest Thing (produced by Phil Ramone) and all the commercially issued Ou Est Le Soleil? remixes. There are also three further demos taken from cassette.

The deluxe is a numbered edition and includes the usual 112 page ‘essay book’ (these are normally great), a 32-page notebook of Paul’s handwritten lyrics
and notes, 64 page photo-book featuring the music videos for This One, and a 32-page
Linda McCartney exhibition catalogue. The three discs are also included as downloadable high-resolution audio (it’s not clear what file type/resolution the download-only tracks are.

A word on the pricing. Amazon UK’s £170+ is clearly nonsense and this should drop dramatically. I’d expect it to settle at around the £100-£120. Undoubtedly expensive, which makes the ‘download-only’ element all the more unfathomable. Let’s have your views on not including this content on CD, by leaving a comment.

UPDATE: The deluxe is £104 on Amazon Italy.

Flowers in the Dirt will be reissued on 24 March 2017.

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Paul McCartney

Flowers in the Dirt - 4-disc deluxe book edition


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Paul McCartney

Flowers in the Dirt - 2LP Vinyl edition


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Paul McCartney

Flowers in the Dirt - 2CD edition




Deluxe 3CD+DVD book edition

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: (original Elvis Costello demos)
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)

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)

Original B-sides, remixes and single edits:
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)
Cassette demos:
1. I Don’t Want To Confess
2. Shallow Grave
3. Mistress And Maid


Music Videos:
01. My Brave Face
02. My Brave Face (Version 2)
03. This One (Version 1)
04. This One (Version 2)
05. Figure Of Eight
06. Party Party
07. Où Est Le Soleil?
08. Put It There
09. Distractions
10. We Got Married

Creating Flowers in the Dirt:
01. Paul And Elvis
02. Buds In The Studio
03. The Making Of ‘This One’
(The Dean Chamberlain One)

Put it There:
01. Put It There Documentary


Flowers in the Dirt / 2LP vinyl

LP 1
1. My Brave Face
2. Rough Ride
3. You Want Her Too
4. Distractions
5. We Got Married
6. Put It There
7. Figure of Eight
8. This One
9. Don’t Be Careless Love
10. That Day Is Done
11. How Many People
12. Motor of Love
13. Où Est Le Soleil?* digital download

LP 2 (Original Elvis Costello demos)
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)


Flowers in the Dirt / 2CD Edition

CD 1
1. My Brave Face
2. Rough Ride
3. You Want Her Too
4. Distractions
5. We Got Married
6. Put It There
7. Figure of Eight
8. This One
9. Don’t Be Careless Love
10. That Day Is Done
11. How Many People
12. Motor of Love
13. Où Est Le Soleil?

CD 2 (Original Elvis Costello demos)
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)

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Received yesterday, beautiful box set and Vinyl however the downloads are a BL@@DY nightmare! You can only download individual tracks in 24 and 16 bit, instead of a zip file as for previous sets. I had 3 tracks fail to download and now I cant access them at all, it states ‘This download is no longer available using this code’
There is a link to a help page that goes to –
The page you were looking for doesn’t exist
You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved


Im done!


I am unusual among SDE readers in that I collect standard edition CDs in physical format and my 160GB ipod classic is used to store all the super deluxe stuff – demos, b-sides, rarities and so on. I use my commute for listening to music and genuinely do listen to all the rarities rather than completism for the sake of completism.

This collection has rightly been criticised by those who are collectors of such box sets but it isn’t much use to me either. The only way that I can get the 1988 demos is to pay £135 for this box set. I can think of many better uses of £135! There comes a point where material gets so exclusive that it turns me off and I disengage.


I agree it’s highly annoying that the b-sides and remixes are download only rather than on CD. If this is supposed to be the definitive archive of the album then it has failed in its purpose. Also, my guess is that this type of product is aimed at an older audience who already have the album, prefer the physical product over downloads, and in buying the deluxe package are looking for something that gathers up all the relevant material from the period in physical form. A wasted opportunity.


Is this where my McCartney completism finishes? I want the contents of the 4 disc version on my Ipod. I’d be happy to pay for it on itunes. I don’t want a physical product and certainly do not want to pay £130. Short of this ending up on a torrent website my collection will be incomplete…


I just picked up the 2 cd edition @ Target for $14. I have never heard this before today and Disc 1 is not very good compared to his 70’s material. I think I like the 2nd disc more than the 1st. By the way, Target has the new Melissa Etheridge w/3 exclusive bonus songs & Norah Jones CD has 4 exclusive bonus songs. What a deal!!


This guy is overjoyed uboxing his FITD Deluxe Edition:

It’s a pity there’s no audio cassette inside – the cassette demos appear to be download only (((
But he seems to be happy anyway.


Watch the last line at 2:20 in this video:
“Digital download / Streaming”

Mo Lester

I could get an original White album LP for £170…..

Jim Galvin

They screwed us over with this one, so there’s no way I buy the Super Deluxe OR the vinyl. I will stick with the 2CD only. They can all drop dead in my opinion. This is a sign of what’s to come with the rest of the catalog.



Matthias Stolla

Ich bin raus. (I’m out.)
This is the first super deluxe package of Paul’s that i won’t buy.
B-sides for download only, c’mon!


Are we still talking about this? Bah!


Just too damn expensive! I’d love to buy this if only to complete my collection of the Archive series but as an album I don’t know at all I can’t bring myself to spend the money…

I’ll keep my eyes open for a deal alert.

Incidentally I have to say that I really think Press to Play gets an undeserved bad rap. I think it is a collection of really strong songs. For me the weak tracks are gathered together on Side 2 being: ‘Pretty Little Head’, ‘Move over Busker’ and ‘Angry’.
The ‘Collection’ edition also contains one of my favourite McCartney-post-Beatles songs ‘Once Upon a Long Ago’.
But I guess we will never see an Archive edition of this album since even McCartney himself seems to have all but disowned it (possibly in response to the critical savaging it tends to get).


Just a thought…
It might be much wiser from marketing point of view to release 2CD set edition with singles content on CD2 instead of duet demos, if Deluxe Edition will be released as is. At least Deluxe Edition buyers will receive an opportunity to buy 2CD set to complete the collection on physical medium.

Still it’s a very bad idea to make singles stuff as ‘download-only’ part of Deluxe Edition.

[…] in 2CD deluxe and 3CD+DVD+LP configurations on 31 March 2017, a week after Paul McCartney‘s Flowers in the Dirt […]

[…] Lloyd Cole‘s solo box (Lloyd Cole in New York), Paul McCartney‘s now controversial Flowers in the Dirt box set and reissues from the Pet Shop […]


Best Buy only has the Flowers In The Dirt: Super Deluxe Shm Edition listed for $309.


I will NOT be buying the ‘Flowers in the Dirt’ box set because of the cheapskate move by Capitol Records to place the ‘Original B-sides, remixes and single edits’ “4th CD/disc” material as a download only. Pink Floyd did it better with their box set ! Capitol and Paul McCartney, y’all know better than to treat your long time fans in this disrespectful and cheapo way. Keep it up and your fans may not buy the rest of the album reissues in the big numbers that you plan to roll out.


Hi Paul S,

It’s a brave thing to do. It’s a good idea of the extra CD with the download contents on. I wished they did that with the last Grace Jones release. I’m not a big fan. I did/do like some of Sir Paul’s songs. I do agree that putting the “most wanted/desired” mixes/songs on digital download isn’t correct. And those extreme high prices! I can only buy what I can afford. The rest I’ll skip or try my luck online (Grace Jones)! And the more and more artists (Phil Collins) find it’s more important to put demo’s/live versions on the CD instead of the 7″/12″ mixes! I believe in this case CD2&CD3 demo’s could be easily put on 1 CD! And the download contents on 1CD as CD2 in the cheaper 2CD-set! Perhaps I will buy that for the 12″mixes.

Those social media hub thingy might put on the right. On the left it’s annoying. It gets in the way for my reading. That’s why I didn’t read through all comments above.


I’ll wait on this set. I got my Band On The Run box set, brand new, for less than 1/10th the price of this set, and that is including the shipping and handling.


> as well as introducing his previous iconic albums to new generations of fans around the world.

Not sure which “new generations of fans” are willing to drop $150 for 3 CDs, 1 DVD, printed material they’ll look at once, and some downloads that probably could have fit on the CDs. That’s why I agree with the general sentiment here that McCartney and record company are somewhat oblivious to what the actual audience for this sort of deluxe product wants.

Paul, are there any record companies that come to you to get input on what people would want in a box set for a particular artist? Certainly through this site you’ve developed a pretty good sense of what ideas might be greeted with enthusiasm and which will cause a poop-storm.

It seems like when a deluxe package is hit with such negative comments, the artist or record company are taken by surprise (assuming they care). Some, to their credit, either fix it or at least try to explain why certain decisions were made. But I’m wondering how much grief and bad-will could be avoided if they were to talk to people like you who are hearing from fans all the time and seeing what’s working and what isn’t with other artists.


“We are thrilled at both Capitol and UMG to be able to contribute to the next chapter(…) put the global resources of Universal Music behind Paul’s forthcoming work, as well as introducing his previous iconic albums to new generations of fans around the world.” Capitol (08/17/2016)

Great start Capitol ! Great start !!! Have they already forgotten the reason for his departure in 2005?

Bob Preston

Like many others, very disappointed with this announcement. I want a physical disc when paying this sort of money, not downloads. I am sure all fans who buy this expect the same. I will not add this to the previous super deluxe editions.
Come on, sort it out.

Nick Preece

Over £100 for 4 CDs and a couple of Booklets! Absolutely ridiculous which would cost about a fiver to make… if that…..

I must admit I cannot see the point in paying extortionate amounts of money for the extra digital tracks you can’t physically hold like a record!

Whoever thought up this overpriced, rip off collection should be sacked!

I’ve never bought a digital download and won’t be here!


Is the album actually any good? I’ve only listened to his earlier solo work.


But this is just one fan’s opinion. It was a great comeback after a string of dismal 80’s albums. To me, it was his last truly great album (though it’s follow-up “Off The Ground” was quite good too). IMHO it was all downhill after that.
That said, I’d still far prefer to see a “Red Rose Speedway” SDE…


I am very likely in the minority here – but I would argue they shouldn’t include ANY media in the box sets, just the books and the other ephemera. ALL the other content should be download only.

I have purchased all of the Macca box sets so far and thoroughly enjoyed them, but the very first thing I do when they arrive is I grab the hi-res download code then file the tracks away in my NAS music library. I have never played any of the CDs, indeed I don’t think I’ve even removed them from the box. I’m not a hires snob or anything, my ears are not good enough anymore to tell any difference, I just find playing CDs so inconvenient.

As for the DVDs, the video content so far has not been very substantial and I don’t think I’ve played any of the DVDs more than once – again, it’s just so inconvenient. If the videos were also available as hi-res downloads I’d definitely watch them again. BTW, DVDs are such an antiquated media format, 1080p HD TVs are the bare minimum standard these days, and 4K is near ubiquitous, yet they’re still issuing 480p DVDs – meh, basically unwatchable on a 65″ 4K screen, no thanks.

At the rate they are issuing these box sets, we’re possibly looking at another 8~10 years (god knows maybe longer!) before they’re all done, and it’ll be such a joke then if they’re STILL offering CDs and DVDs. But I predict they won’t – they will fully switch to download only media before this series is finished.

Stan Butler

Inconvenient to slip a disc into a player? You’d have been a right help in the trenches.


Completely agree about the video content! It’s 2017 DVD is dead!

Tony Gubba

Price is ridiculous. THE FORTHCOMING kitchens of distinction 4cd box’s etc will be £38 and includes bbc session disc and bsides and all of the one little Indian albums remaster. Excellent value for money from the band themselves. But this is pure greed. I’m interested in the band demos and the bsides disc. Not interested ato all in the Costello demos as I can’t stick his tones. Priced out and irrelevant content on the 2xCD version means I’ll turn to an illegal down load and everyone loses out except me :-) I’ll defiantly pre order The Kitchens box set, such a great early 90s band.

Ronn van Etten

Finally! Another issue in this great Archive Collection! Looking forward.
But so sorry, if this price seems to be (and stays) that high.
A pity you have to download (and burn yourself on disc) some of the material.
Nevertheless: I’m looking forward to this edition and wait for a little price-drop.

Mike R

This will be the first archive release I will not purchase. I detest downloads and MP3.

Mike R

‘Download – only’ doesn’t even qualify as super deluxe content. I was so looking forward to this. The figure of 8 and ‘where is the sun?’ Remixes are fabulous. This has been delayed and delayed and for what? You’d think a decision like this would have accelerated the release. $150 initial price tag and you can’t put 1 friggin disc of bonus content. Somebody somewhere should be looking for a job today after this lame brained idea.


The ‘deluxe’ edition is a disappointing money grab.


As the guy who did the “Ultimate Archive Collection” series that a few of you have alluded to, I’m just as flabbergasted as you guys are about the lack of thought that went into this. I’ve timed out the download only tracks, and they would all fit onto a single disc if the three demos at the end were about four minutes each. Plus, where are Once Upon A Long Ago (and its remixes), the “Groove Mix” of Good Sign, P.S. Love Me Do, and the Put It There versions of The Long And Winding Road and Rough Ride? I like the content on this one overall (even with the omissions), but to not include everything on actual discs is a serious misfire (ESPECIALLY at the price being asked for it).

Mark Wardle

HOW MUCH???!!!!! No way can that price be justified in the light of larger and more impressive box sets. Would love to own this but I am out. The prices of these sets has risen way too much too fast….the cost of the recent “Pure McCartney” set was bad enough in comparison to other greatest hits sets from other artists…this is pure greed. Shocking. But, as many have said – MPL and Paul simply won’t care what anyone thinks.


Seems to me that this “download only” approach to the bonus tracks is only going to encourage bootleg CDR issues of the missing songs from the box.


People should stop whining here! It’s already a 3CD+DVD set (like the previous ones). Instead of adding another CD (which would make the set even more expensive) you get 16 free downloads, which you can then burn on a CD if you please. Easy as that!


Do you know how much it costs to press a music cd in volume quantity? Example, qty of 1000 in card wallet = £420 I can find on quick google. Adds less than 50 pence per SDE…. Macca can swallow that cost. Your argument is nonsense.


With plenty of space on all three CDs, they could of dumped the 16 tracks on them. Sure both demo CDs won’t add to 80 minutes. [This is Paul McCartney with 3-4 minute tracks – not a prog band like Marillion or Spock’s Beard where the average song is 6-8 minutes in length.]


I think if anything, one of the sets of demos of the McCatney/Costello collaboration could have been available as download only and put the B sides on a cd instead.
I’ll reiterate the lack of live material from his comeback world tour that followed the release of the album and as I said on another site, the formality of the release compared to the RAM boxset. When there is such a wealth of material available for such release, why not have books of various sizes, all cds and dvds in their own paper sleeves in a box compartment allowing more discs to be stored, lyrics sheets available separately instead of in a book, and photo prints in their own envelopes. I don’t think that the RAM box set has been surpassed and even that box set didn’t have any of the 20 odd demos of the period that were found at his Scottish Farm. What exactly is holding back the people behind these so called Archives sets. Why can’t these sets just be COMPLETE?


So I will NOT be getting this SDE release. For someone who gets sucked into buying pretty much every SDE box these days (I love and hate you Paul) that says a lot. It was already outrageous that they didn’t add the remixes of Say Say Say to the Pipes of Peace SDE release. Now again someone screws up a Paul McCartney SDE release with these ridiculous downloads. If I pay that much money for a SDE, I want it right. I don’t want any download nonsense when I pay $150 for the physical product!!! Even if it was $50, NO downloads pls.


Who comes up with these ideas? Someone at the meeting to discuss the contents for the deluxe set has a briljant idea? To make even more money we have no need to produce anything but let people download the music? This way we can lift the price up, as the set offers more content and at the same time lower costs because we don’t have to produce a cd. Briljant! Give that man (or woman) a big x-mas bonus. Bad marketing! These deluxe sets are produced for fans/people who like physical products. Wonder where this will lead? Deluxe cd boxsets with books only? Or even deluxe sets with just a download card, books included. Get a grip.

[…] As I said, that is just a taste. You can read all the full feedback here. […]


So he completely skipped remixes on previous releases, is putting them out on download for FITD, so maybe for his next album he will get it right and have them on physical media!


If the downloads are in high resolution audio, it might not be so bad. A person can burn their own CD. I do think that the “cassette demos” probably should have been on the CD with the other demos. I don’t think McCartney understands this. Perhaps the extra audio was just disregarded by the compilers and remembered after the CD’s went to press. Still I am not excited by this unless it drops to $50 or so. Even Ram, as fantastic as that was, had a real street price of about $75.

Chris Brown

I’m a bit of an outlier in SDE terms because I don’t actually object to downloads themselves and have in fact bought some of the previous McCartney reissues in this form. However I don’t really understand why you’d release in this way.

Sure, include downloads with vinyl because people can’t easily rip those and capacity is an issue. But it’s just bizarre to do it with CDs, especially in a big box where disc manufacturing costs are barely relevant. Let’s hope there’s a standalone digital release so people who do want to download the tracks don’t have buy a load of paper and plastic they don’t want, eh?

Ben Williams


Would it be worth sending a link to this page with all the negative comments to both Capitol and MPL? It may just work.. I might start writing this open-letter at lunch.

Anyone with points to be made in this open-letter, reply to this comment?

Power to the people!


What’s the point – really – of releasing a physical deluxe box set with (to fans) very important download-only content? This first Capitol release for Macca sure doesn’t make a lot of friends. A new Archive release should be a joyful experience. But if I was a Capitol executive, I’d be far from content reading all this anger.


Only one I intended to buy. Won’t be doing now Macca, sorry.


There are fan-made deluxe editions on various Beatles Blogs that are more definititve than any of the archive releases. I don´t want mp3, i want physical releases of all songs from that era.
Especially disappointed that the Clearmaountain Mix of Figure of Eight isn´t included. It trumps the album version in every way!


6. Figure Of Eight (12” Bob Clearmountain Mix)

Actual shame is that the unedited album version of Figure Of Eight wasn’t included.


Rubbing Fans Noses In The Dirt is a ready made title for your hopefully vitriolic appraisal of this release.


I agree with the general disappointment. I don’t know if it’s already been suggested (I confess I didn’t go through ALL of the 135 responses) but I think we should voice our disappointment on Macca’s page https://www.paulmccartney.com/news-blogs/news/paul-announces-reissue-of-flowers-in-the-dirt.
I just have.

It would be great if SDE would weigh in on this too… The more we are, more are the chances something may change before release date…


I have a feeling these download tracks just may turn up as some Record Store Day exclusive cd/lp. I mean, this being released late March, and RSD in April… who knows?