Welcome to the final Beatles Rarity Of The Week for 2012! I’m hoping that whatever you have in store to bring in the new year turns out happy and that good music is not too far away. For BROW I’m looking back at the mid-eighties when vinyl LPs were quickly losing ground to the up-and-coming audio CD format. The music industry was doing all they could to encourage this newer technology including the incentive of often including extra tracks on CDs not offered on their vinyl LP counterparts. This was apparently to illustrate the superiority of CDs by the fact that they could accommodate a longer playing time without affecting the quality of the music.
One example of this was Paul McCartney’s Press To Play album released on August 22, 1986 and containing 10 tracks. The CD release contained three additional tracks not present on the LP: “Write Away,” “It’s Not True” and “Tough On A Tightrope.” Other albums by Paul from this era including Give My Regards To Broad Street and Flowers In The Dirt also had tracks on the CD that were not included on the albums. When Paul had his CD catalog remastered in 1993, more additions were added as bonus tracks making the difference between the CD and LP formats even more. In the case of Press To Play, “Spies Like Us” and “Once Upon A Long Ago” were added bringing the track listing up to 15.
The three songs omitted from the vinyl Press To Play LP were included as b-sides for three of the album’s associated vinyl singles (of the four listed below):
Singles from Press To Play LP:
1) “Press”/”It’s Not True” (rel. Jul. 1986)
2) “Pretty Little Head”/”Write Away” (rel. Oct. 1986)
3) “Stranglehold”/”Angry” (rel. Oct. 1986)
4) “Only Love Remains”/”Tough On A Tightrope” (rel. Jan. 1987)
Several of the songs on Paul’s 7 and 12-inch singles included different mixes than the versions heard on the LPs or CDs including this week’s BROW feature, “Tough On A Tightrope.” The version on the 7-inch “Only Love Remains” single and the Press To Play CD clocks in at about 4:40 and was mixed by Hugh Padgham who mixed most of the other tracks on the album. In December of 1986 a 12-inch single of “Only Love Remains” was issued with a nearly 7 minute version of “Tough On A Tightrope” that was a remix by Julian Mendelsohn. It leaves out the second verse heard on the shorter version and instead includes an extended intro and exclusive percussion segment. This special mix has not been issued since the vinyl single was released in 1986. That is why you’ll need to pardon my little bit of vinyl crackle on this forgotten relic from Paul’s singles catalog.
Extra info: The 12-inch single of “Only Love Remains” also included an alternate mix of “Talk More Talk,” another Press To Play track that was remixed by Paul and Jon Jacobs. Like “Tough On A Tightrope” it has not been released since the vinyl single was released in 1986. Similarly, an alternate mix of the Press To Play track “Angry” that only appears on an eighties 12-inch single can be read about and listened to on an earlier BROW here.
As I said up top, this will be my last entry for 2012. I want to thank all reading (no matter when you’re reading it!) for being a part of The Beatles Rarity. Your presence, your comments and all of the input, feedback and encouragement I have received are what keeps things going here. 2012 has been a very busy year on the site and I have some great plans and expectations for next year too, so I hope you’ll be here for it!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
See you here in 2013…
Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music related to this post:
1) Press to Play – CD issuance of Press To Play including standard mix of “Tough On A Tightrope.”