By Tony Sokol
Paul McCartney sent an email blast announcing that he signed a worldwide recording agreement with Capitol Records, the label that issued albums and singles for the Beatles in the United States in the sixties.
“This is genuinely exciting for me,” McCartney said. “Not only was Capitol my first U.S. record label, but the first record I ever bought was Gene Vincent’s ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’ on the Capitol label.”
Capitol weren’t the first label to release The Beatles in America. They originally balked. The Beatles were signed to EMI’s Parlophone label in the U.K., Capitol’s sister, not to be confused with Ringo’s sister. But George Martin had to get the independent Vee-Jay label to release “Please Please Me” in February 1963 and “From Me to You” in May 1963 and Swan records to release “She Loves You” as singles before Capitol saw the potential for The Beatles in the U.S. market. And when they did release the albums they altered the sounds by piping the recordings through an echo chamber.
Then Capitol would leave three or more songs off the American Beatles albums so they could put three albums for every four the Beatles put out in England. For example the American album Something New only had five new somethings, everything else had already come out a month before on the album A Hard Day’s Night and two other songs already came out as singles. The songs were also reordered and otherwise chopped up.
Some people believe that the “Butcher Baby” photo that the band shot for the Yesterday and Today album was a comment on how Capitol butchered the LPs.
The Beatles finally put their feet down after the Sgt Pepper album.
McCartney is currently working on a new studio album, while a comprehensive plan for the artist’s catalogue is being conceived by Capitol and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) – in conjunction with the artist and his management team – and will be implemented beginning July 2017. The catalogue moves to Capitol/UMe from Concord, Paul’s previous label partner on such Grammy-winning albums as Band On The Run (Best Historical Album, 2012), Kisses On The Bottom (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, 2013) and Wings Over America (Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, 2014).
Paul McCartney’s signing was announced by Capitol Music Group (CMG) Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett.
“Paul McCartney’s association with Capitol has long defined so much of our historic legacy, and all of us here are extremely proud and honored that he has chosen to come back home,” Barnett said in a statement. “Paul’s indelible contributions to our culture are second to none, and his constant evolution as an artist and performer continues to inspire and enrich the lives of countless millions of people. We are overjoyed that Paul will be creating new music for years to come, and that Capitol will be helping to present it to the world.”
“This historic contract encompasses McCartney’s entire body of post-Beatles work, from his 1970 McCartney album, through his decade with Wings, to the dozens of solo and collaborative works that have continually reaffirmed his standing as the most popular, influential and acclaimed artist in the history of recorded music,” reads McCartney’s email blast. “In a career that spans six decades, McCartney has sold more than 500 million records worldwide. He was recently named the United Kingdom’s most successful albums artist of all time by the Official Albums Chart Company and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for his services to music.”
“It would be simply impossible to overstate what an honor it is to welcome Paul back to Capitol,” Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said in a statement. “It’s a homecoming of one of the greatest musical artists of all time to the label that first helped bring his incredible music to the world. Paul’s astonishing career has shown no limits – in creativity, in commercial longevity, and in its impact on people and cultures in every corner of the globe. We are thrilled at both Capitol and UMG to be able to contribute to the next chapter in Paul’s extraordinary career.”
Paul McCartney is the recipient of countless accolades and awards. He is a 21-time Grammy winner, two-time inductee into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, an Academy Award winner and honoree of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and France’s Légion d’Honneur.
“Paul’s vital and legendary body of work as a solo artist remains essential, relevant and so highly in demand,” said Michele Anthony, UMG’s Executive Vice President of U.S. Recorded Music. “We’re beyond thrilled at the opportunity to put the global resources of Universal Music behind Paul’s forthcoming work, as well as introducing his previous iconic albums to new generations of fans around the world.”