Paul McCartney has released a previously unheard, acoustic version of ‘Calico Skies’
On July 31, Paul’s critically acclaimed and universally beloved tenth solo album Flaming Pie will be the latest to receive the Archive Collection treatment, being released on formats including a 5CD/2DVD/4LP Collector’s Edition, a 5CD/2DVD Deluxe Edition, plus 3LP, 2LP and 2CD edition
The acoustic version of ‘Caico Skies’ was first recorded on February 25, 1997 when a hurricane struck in the US where McCartney was staying at the time
McCartney added: “We were in America and they’d just had a big hurricane – Bob, I believe – and it’d knocked out all of the power so there was no light, everything was candlelit, all the cooking had to be done on a wood fire. And we like all that enforced simplicity. It’s very primitive.
“So, we had a few days of that and because I couldn’t play any records, I spent a lot of time on my acoustic guitar, making up little bits and pieces and ‘Calico Skies’ was one of them. It’s just a simple little song to play to people when you’re sitting around in candlelight, powerless after a hurricane. It’s a primitive little powercut memory.”
All digital pre-orders for the Archive Collection release of Flaming Pie will include ‘Young Boy’ EP. Also available as a stand alone purchase, the EP recreates the 1997 ‘Young Boy’ maxi single and features the remastered Flaming Pie single ‘Young Boy,’ a home recorded version of the song, the original B-side ‘Looking For You,’ and excerpts of ‘Oobu Joobu Part 1’ also from the original single. The two music videos for the track have been restored and will also be published on the same day.
Two additional EPs will be available for pre-order with ‘The World Tonight’ arriving on June 26 and ‘Beautiful Night’ on July 17.
Originally released May 5, 1997, Flaming Pie ended a four-year gap between McCartney studio albums. Recorded largely in the wake of Paul’s involvement in the curation and release of The Beatles Anthology series, Flaming Pie was shaped and inspired by that experience, with Paul remarking at the time “(The Beatles Anthology) reminded me of The Beatles’ standards and the standards that we reached with the songs. So in a way it was a refresher course that set the framework for this album.” Produced by Paul, Jeff Lynne and George Martin and featuring a supporting cast of family and friends including Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, Linda McCartney and son James, Flaming Pie is equal parts a masterclass in songcraft and a sustained burst of joyful spontaneity. With highlights ranging from the uplifting and inspirational opener ‘The Song We Were Singing’ to the raucous title track (named for a quote from an early John Lennon interview on the origin of The Beatles’ name:
“It came in a vision – a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them, ‘from this day on you are Beatles with an A.’”) to the pensive ‘Calico Skies,’ and featuring singles ‘Young Boy,’ ‘The World Tonight’ and ‘Beautiful Night,’ Flaming Pie would represent yet another pinnacle in Paul’s solo catalogue: Released to rapturous reviews, the album would be Paul’s most commercially successful release of the ‘90s, achieving his highest chart positions since the ‘80s and would receive gold certifications in the US, UK, Japan and more.
As the thirteenth release in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, Flaming Pie will be available in formats including a numbered, limited seven-disc (5CD/2DVD) Deluxe Edition Box Set comprised of the original album remastered at Abbey Road Studios, 32 bonus audio tracks including unheard home recordings and demos, alternative studio recordings.
Rough mixes and B-sides including selections from Oobu Joobu parts 1-6, Flaming Pie At The Mill CD (Paul’s hour-long tour of his studio), video content including the In The World Tonight documentary, original music videos, EPKs, interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes material.
A 128-page book containing previously unpublished images by Linda McCartney, expanded album artwork from the archives and the story behind the album written by Chris Heath – including track-by-track information, recipes and new interviews with Paul, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Steve Miller and key album personnel, studio notes, handwritten lyrics, the 1997 Flaming Pie issue of Club Sandwich, the official newspaper of the Paul McCartney Fanclub, downloadable 24bit 96kHz HD audio, and more.
A 4LP/5CD/2DVD Collector’s Edition — strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies issued in a cloth wrapped two-piece collector’s box — will feature everything in the Deluxe Edition plus a marbled art print portfolio of six silkscreened Linda McCartney art prints, exclusive vinyl versions of the remastered album cut at half speed across 2LPs in an exclusive gatefold sleeve, an LP of home recordings in a hand-stamped white label sleeve, and “The Ballad of the Skeletons” – Paul’s 1996 collaboration with Allen Ginsberg, also featuring Philip Glass and Lenny Kaye – released for the first time on vinyl and cut at 45 RPM with vinyl etching and poster.
Additional Flaming Pie Archive Collection formats will include 2CD (remastered album + 21 tracks of bonus audio), 2LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gatefold sleeve with booklet), and 3LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gatefold sleeve with booklet, plus single 180g LP of unreleased home recordings in hand-stamped white label sleeve both housed in a slipcase). The release will also be available on streaming platforms.