For an album that was basically an experiment, Paul McCartney has really taken his “Kisses on the Bottom” album way beyond testing the waters with Tuesday’s release of “Complete Kisses.” The huge library of “Kisses” releases in just a few months says that not only does he love it, but he won’t hesitate to sell it.
First there was the free online preview. Then there was the album in several editions, including a deluxe version and a deluxe Target-only edition that added two tracks.
Then there was the live broadcast on Feb. 9, the night he was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Then there was the free download of the four tracks from the live broadcast from the CD coupon. Then there was the download of eight tracks from the live broadcast.
Then PBS broadcast “Live Kisses,” the film of the live broadcast. Next, add the cover of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) on “Holidays Rule.”
Two weeks ago, “Live Kisses” came out on DVD with bonus features. And this week, there’s the “Kisses on the Bottom — Complete Kisses” on iTunes with the album, the full live broadcast, the previously added tracks PLUS the Christmas track and a new version of “My Valentine,” AND a separate vinyl single with “The Christmas Song.”
Whew. I’m sure we missed something in there.
If anyone might be grumbling that all this is a bit much, they have good reason. Marketing is an accepted practice in the music business. Over marketing gets very tedious. How many of you have bought into most of this?
The good news is that the “Live Kisses” DVD is the best showcase for this music, even better than the CD, where, in retrospect, he sounds hesitant. If the DVD is your first introduction into this album, it’s really all you need. A very relaxed McCartney and the studio crew, headed by Diana Krall, take the atmosphere of the music and make it a reality that proves it was all a good idea. If you like the music, or even sort of liked it, “Live Kisses” will win you over.
On the other hand, “Kisses on the Bottom – Complete Kisses” is a fire sale. Even though the new version of “My Valentine” on it is McCartney’s best version yet of that song, putting “The Christmas Song” from the “Holiday Rules” album, which came out at the end of October, into this compilation just a month later, even with a bargain price of $13.99 for 32 tracks and an eight-page digital book with an interview and session information, is going way overboard. A better idea would have been to release “Complete Kisses” first and then “Holiday Rules.”
UPDATE: The version of “The Christmas Song” on “Complete Kisses” is different than on “Holidays Rule.” Read more about it here.
The “Kisses” project was something that McCartney should have done years ago and it’s had some fantastic moments, like his reworking of his own “Baby’s Request”. Are there even more tracks from the “Kisses” sessions waiting to be released and what will be done with them? We’re almost afraid to find out. (And where are the reissues, Paul?)
(Copyright Stan. Please do not reprint in full on other sites without permission. Headlines with links, though, are fine. Posting any of our links to Twitter and Facebook is much appreciated.)
If you’re not subscribed to all of our Beatles columns on rootshed.com, you’re missing out on the most complete online coverage of the Beatles. Our Beatles columns are Beatles Examiner, Paul McCartney Examiner, George Harrison Examiner and Ringo Starr Examiner. And don’t miss our weekly discussion of Beatles news on our “Things We Said Today” podcast co-hosted with Ken Michaels available on iTunes, Fab 4 Radio.com or Podbean.com.
To subscribe to this column and get first word of our stories when they happen, click the button above. And follow us on Twitter at @stevemarinucci with the hashtag #beatlesexaminer. We’re also Stan on Facebook, on Ufollow.com and Pinterest.com.