The Paul McCartney Archive Collection of Flaming Pie, Collector’s Edition, is a work of art.
You could even display like a piece of art, if you have the room. For the 17” x 21” black box that the album is packaged in is adorned with an uncropped photo of the shot used for the album’s front cover; what appeared to be a headshot of McCartney is now revealed to be a picture of him holding a guitar.
The same shot is also one of six silkscreened art prints of Linda McCartney’s photos that appeared in the album’s artwork, packaged in a tasteful marbled print portfolio, tied with a ribbon.
The five CDs and two DVDs are packaged together in a hardback folder, which can be easily stored separately on a shelf, if you don’t want to dig through the box each time you want to play the album. The four vinyl records (two discs for the album, one discs of home recordings, and a bonus disc) are all packaged in beautiful sleeves. And that bonus disc is extra special; it’s a one-sided record featuring “The Ballad of the Skeletons,” McCartney’s collaboration with poet Allen Ginsberg and composer Philip Glass, recorded at the same time he was making Flaming Pie. In a nice touch, the record’s other side features etchings of skeletons in the vinyl, and the words to the track are available on a poster.
After the music, fans will be most interested in the accompanying 128-page book, which tells the story of the album’s creation, with new interviews, and plenty of previously unseen photos; these books are always a highlight of the McCartney Archive Collection sets. For a more contemporaneous view, there’s a reproduction of the Club Sandwich fan club newsletter that came out when the album was released.
Facsimile lyrics, a book with studio notes and photographs of some of McCartney’s instruments, and a Flaming Pie guitar pick round out the package.
Overall, it’s a lovely set, put together with great care and attention to detail. It’s a hefty price ($600 on paulmccartney.com), but you won’t be disappointed with the quality.
— Gillian G. Gaar