SDEtv looks back / Paul McCartney aka The Fireman: Electric Arguments box set

The rare 2009 Electric Arguments box set unboxed 

In 2008 Paul McCartney released a third album with musician/producer Youth as ‘The Fireman’. Electric Arguments broke the mould inasmuch as unlike the previous two albums, it was openly promoted by the record label as being the work of the ex-Beatle. A limited box set edition was available only via McCartney’s website and arrived six months late, in July 2009. SDE now looks back and explores this rather special package with an SDEtv unboxing video…

This box is long out-of-print, but the CD and vinyl are still available.

Electric Arguments box set track listing

Disc 1 – The original album on CD

1. Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight 4:55
2. Two Magpies 2:12
3. Sing the Changes 3:44
4. Travelling Light 5:06
5. Highway 4:17
6. Light from Your Lighthouse” 2:31
7. Sun Is Shining 5:12
8. Dance ‘Til We’re High 3:37
9. Lifelong Passion 4:49
10. Is This Love? 5:52
11. Lovers in a Dream 5:22
12. Universal Here, Everlasting Now 5:05
13. Don’t Stop Running (Includes hidden track, ‘Road Trip’, starting at 7:57) 10:31

Disc 2 – bonus tracks

1. Solstice Ambient Acapella 15:11
2. Travelling Light Instrumental 8:16
3. Wickerman Ambient Dub 12:41
4. Morning Mist Instrumental Dub 5:40
5. Equinox Instrumental 8:22
6. Sawain Ambient Acapella
7. Sawain Instrumental Dub 4:51

Disc 3 – DVD – Hi-definition audio recordings and videos

Album in hi-res stereo

1. Sing the Changes
2. Dance ’til We’re High
3. In the Studio

Disc 4 – DVD – Multi-track session files
Multi-track session files.

1. Dance ’til We’re High
2. Highway
3. Light from Your Lighthouse
4. Sing the Changes
5. Sun Is Shining


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The outer bag in which it was delivered also tied in to the same colouring in that it was a large padded buff envelope with red tape around it to seal it. Also is your Rushes a digipack because I don’t think mine is?


Thanks Paul, my eyes must be going.


To Adam Shaw:
I think you got things mixed up a bit. The vinyl edition of Strawberry does not have an elastic !
But what DOES have an elastic is the promo 12” of ‘Bison’, one track from the Rushes album.
Interesting enough, the version of ‘Bison’ on this 12” is different than the one on the Rushes album, in that it lasts more than 7 minutes :)


I wanted to purchase this box set just to rip the high-resolution tracks, but didn’t find out until it was too late. If anyone would like to loan me the DVD that would be great! [smirk, nudge, nudge, wink, wink]

Secret Friend

I still have this, and somehow managed to keep the paper F bag too. I don’t think I’ve opened it in 10 years, must go check so see if it has rusted! One of the LPs arrived with a massive scratch and when I emailed support about it they sent me a replacement LP at no charge, which was unexpected.


Hello Paul , thanks for these unboxing videos , a tonic in strange times . Regards to you and all SDE viewers .

Ian Moore

Thanks Paul, great video – I’m a big Macca familia I didn’t even know this SDE existed!
I too prefer “Rushes”, although this third Fireman álbum was particular in that two songs (Sing The Changes and Highway) became part of Macca’s setlist for his next tour (check the album Good Evening NYC).
Stay safe!

Geoff G

Like an idiot, I ripped off the top of the bag as I didn’t think of another way to open the bag. As a result, I threw away the bag. Oddly though, I don’t remember it having an F on the bag. I thought it was just a plain bag. But I only had it for one day, so my memory can’t be counted on.

One thing of note, my case has never rusted. It still looks brand new. I see that yours in the video shows wear, and another poster says these are known to rust. I wonder if it’s because I’ve never kept it in the bag. Who knows? Interesting thought, though.

I’ve always loved this set. Just because it’s very unique. And I’ll second the Lifehouse Chronicles request. That was another beauty. Unfortunately, I no longer have that one in my possession. It’d be nice to see that one again.


I went to HMV to meet Paul McCartney on Oxford Street for this release.
One thing I remember was we were asked for a dedication,
I assume this was so we didnt sell on the net for profit.
I remember asking him how his family were doing, he seemed shocked, but pleased I’d asked.
Great days in the bricks and mortar shops in London.


I did actually buy it from Newbury Comics from USA, but I received it without the “F” outer cover. Did it happen to someone else?

adam shaw

I’ve got the strawberry on vinyl.
The cover has an coloured elastic band around it , I never touch it cause after all these years I’m afraid the elastic will break . I got mine and Electric Arguments from my friend who owns a record store , the give away at the time was the MPL sign on the back cover .

Rick B.

Great unboxing. Thanks! Does anyone recall the price/cost of the set when originally released?

Paul Soper

I own this box, but not the outer bag. Not sure what happened to that – maybe I threw it away, not thinking it was part of the packaging!


I have two of these and they have identical defects – circular scratches on the DVD, if I recall correctly. That said, it does not seem to affect play. Anyway . . .



Duncan Phillips

Anyone got any idea if any of the pre-concert mixes of Beatles and McCartney music has ever been made available?


@ Duncan; this ROLLING STONE article has a still working link to Soundcloud:


….and there’s McCartney’s TWIN FREAKS Album worth to check out.

Don Balfour

I wonderful video.
As always..
I would like to add something to this blog.
There are a lot of us who got A damaged boxes set. My outer paper bag had a hole in it.
If you all may remember it was full of shredded paper. ☹☹☹
The tin had a dint in it. One of the DVDs had a scratch.
And the record was The one of the records was warped in and playable.
It took 10 months to get another record.
If my memory is correct there was an on-line forum about how bad they were.
I have finally got a mint box set now..
How ever, the tin box is still rusting.


I love this album and am lucky enough to have this SDE. What I don’t have are the two previous Fireman albums. Now very intrigued to hear and find a copy of Rushes. Thanks Paul, really enjoying SDEtv.


I used to like those odd dilemmas with open it for the music & ruin the packaging or keep it, best one is the Inspiral Carpets 7 inch Uniform, in camo canvas fully stitched all four sides, still got mine untouched, we certainly made our own fun in the 90’s, I can remember someone around that time releasing an album which on opening would release sealed up paint cartridges so you would have your own unique cover art, once you’d open the packaging and release the paint, haven’t got a clue what it was.


That has made me so jealous, but can’t justify what these are going for now as I really only want the second CD. Back in 2009 I wasn’t such a Macca completist. That Discogs price would be worse than paying £275 for Pink Floyd’s Later Years box and at least I’d get five CDs for that.


Had to look through my CD collection to check which Fireman albums I actually had.
Turns out I have Strawberries, Oceans, Ships, Forest and Electric Arguments (in the slip case as you showed in the video). I must have somehow missed the second one and as you say it is the best one I am intrigued. I’ll have to try to give it a listen…

Thanks for the video Paul. I believe my close friend Simon has a copy this deluxe version but as he now lives on the other side of the world I have never actually seen a copy (other than in photos).


Yeah, Rushes is an amazing album, you are in for a treat.

Geoff Kavanagh

Thanks for these videos Paul, I’m enjoying them immensely! Two requests for this series of unboxing videos: the (in)famous Layla set and Pete Townshends Lifehouse box set. Both of these are hard to find for different reasons and so might be of interest to the readers of your site.

Take care,


Great article; was cleaning my place and still have that big bulky brown bag hanging around!


Hola, Paul, from the south end of Miami! I, too, have always had a soft spot for Nick Heyward’s “Kite” (having had the US cassingle). It was definitely worthy to be a bigger hit globally but, thankfully, it did enjoy success here on the college radio charts. And Nick was always just so damn cute!


Damn! My first ever comment is on the WRONG thread! Please forgive me! LOL


Thanks for the history. I’ve always loved the album. Could you say what a “stem” is? Thanks!


Love this album. My favourite of his since ‘Flowers in the Dirt’. ‘Sing The Changes’ always makes it on to any of my Sir Paul playlists. ‘Dance Til We’re High’ is great too.

Dennis Mosen

Hi I’ve got that set wonder how much it’s worth now I wouldn’t sell it thou regards Dennis

Ben Williams

Bought this album the day it came out and have loved it ever since. Every time people say Macca isn’t cool I want to hand them this album.