Paul McCartney bucks tradition, offers cassette of 'Flowers in the Dirt' demos for Record Store Day
Paul McCartney/YouTube

Paul McCartney has announced a Record Store Day April 22 offering that won't be in the usual vinyl format. In a press release March 13, he said he will put out a limited-edition cassette of three demos from his “Flowers in the Dirt” recording sessions done with Elvis Costello. The cassette will be available at participating Record Store Day outlets.

The songs – “I Don't Want to Confess,” “Shallow Grave” and “Mistress and Maid” – are the same versions being released digitally as part of the deluxe version of the “Flowers in the Dirt” CD-DVD reissue on March 24, but here they'll be returning to their original format on cassette.

These three early versions, which were provided to the press, have a distinctly rough edge. “I Don't Want to Confess” starts with a bluesy acoustic riff, then mellows when the harmonies of McCartney and Elvis Costello take over. “Shallow Grave” sounds even more bluesier all through. Neither of these two songs were included on “Flowers in the Dirt.” “Mistress and Maid” sounds much like the version released, though with a delightful acoustic flavor.

McCartney, in a statement released today, was buoyant about the release. “The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set. What’s great about these songs is that they’ve just been written. So there’s nothing more hot off the skillet as I say. So that was the kind of great instant thing about them. I hadn’t listened to them in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out. We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment’s finally arrived.”

Besides the deluxe version of the “Flowers in the Dirt” reissue that includes digital versions of the cassette demos, McCartney is releasing less exhaustive configurations of the reissued album on CD, on vinyl and also an SHM-CD version. The reissue is also available also in the UK, in Canada and in Japan.