'Tug of War' Remixed
Paul McCartney’s classic album is given new mix to give a fresh expansive sound
Until now the releases in the GRAMMY-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection series have been remastered versions of some of his classic albums from his vast catalogue. But with the forthcoming release of 1982’s Tug of War, fans can hear the music with fresh ears as the album has also been completely remixed.
Tug of War, Paul’s third solo album and his first release following the break-up of Wings, has been given the lavish reissue treatment and will come out on October 2, 2015, along with 1983’s Pipes of Peace.
As with all of the Archive editions – which have included Band on the Run and Wings over America - Paul has personally supervised all aspects of the release.
The painstaking work by Paul along with the project’s chief engineer Steve Orchard has enhanced the sound to make it more open, dynamic and expansive. At the time of its recording, digital mastering was still in its infancy and the 16 bit resolution which was then state-of-the-art has been overtaken by huge advances in the quality sound technology.
To fulfil the exacting standards of the Archive releases, Paul and Steve went back to the original tapes, using vintage equipment and carefully balancing the individual tracks to match the sound of the release for this 24 bit version, with Paul overseeing each step.
As Steve explains: “I was very conscious of retaining the original spirit of the mixes and wanted to emulate them in the best way possible. I used a lot of vintage equipment that would have been used on the original sessions to help me with the process. I also recorded the mixes onto analogue tape using Paul’s vintage valve Studer J37 one-inch tape machine, which sounds truly awesome.
“I would start each mix by making sure I was using all of the correct performances and then with a lot of careful referencing and listening I would methodically go through each section and match all of the aspects of the original mix - the balance of the instruments, the positioning of them in the stereo image, the tonal characteristics and then the effects. Once I felt I had the best possible match, I would play the mix to Paul and then we would work through it together. Paul would point out elements that could be improved on. Once we’d gone through that process we would then alter the mix slightly, improving elements and the balance where we felt we could.
“Each mix varied in the amount of time it took. In all, the mixing took roughly a month to complete. It was amazing going through the original multi-track tapes and listening to all the different performances from such incredible musicians. It was a fantastic project to be a part of and I really hope that people enjoy the new mixes.”
Tug of War was praised on its release for being “exquisitely crafted” by The New York Times and hailed as a “masterpiece” by Rolling Stone. It went to #1 in no less than nine countries and featured classic tracks such as Paul’s #1 duet with Stevie Wonder ‘Ebony and Ivory’, the top 10 single ‘Take It Away’ and ‘Here Today’, the conversation Paul never had with the late John Lennon that continues to be a staple of Paul’s live set.
Tug of War will be issued as a 2-CD Special Edition comprising the 2015 remix of the entire album, plus a second disc of bonus audio featuring eight previously unreleased demos of album tracks and outtakes. A 3-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Edition adds the original 1982 album mix and a DVD featuring original music videos for the album’s singles and the brand new 18-minute documentary Fly TIA—Behind The Scenes on Take It Away featuring previously unseen archive footage. In keeping with the Paul McCartney Archive Collection standards, the Tug of War Deluxe Edition will include a 112-page essay book and 64-page scrapbook, while the strictly limited run of 1,000 Super Deluxe sets will arrive in a limited edition acrylic slipcase with five hand-numbered prints of images from the Linda McCartney archive.