Earlier this week, observers noted that, while Apple is usually first to market with new-release additions to the iTunes Store, it has been beaten to the punch on the first ever digital reissues of Paul McCartney’s solo repertoire – Napster, Rhapsody, Urge and Zune Marketplace added the songwriter’s back catalog on Wednesday, while iTunes is blank. paidContent.org has learned the apparent delay is down to the preparation of “an exclusive” offering that will come along with the material.
A spokesperson for EMI, which holds McCartney’s back catalog on the Parlophone imprint, would not give further details of what the exclusive will be but repeated that it would appear with the 25-album archive on iTunes Store in keeping with Apple’s earlier claim the re-releases would be available “this month”. Asked for a progress update on delivery of its new, DRM-less repertoire, which EMI slated for a May release when it announced last month that Apple would get the line-up first, the EMI spokesperson confirmed that this development was also on course to make good on that schedule.
Join the dots together and it seems that McCartney’s material, plus something extra, will be the thing that finally fronts the launch of the DRM-free future for EMI and Apple next week (Monday is a public holiday in EMI’s native UK and in the U.AS., June starts on Friday, so mark Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). If McCartney figures in some further launch announcement or performance, that will give him a week’s publicity before his forthcoming album, the aptly named Memory Almost Full, is released on June 4 and 5.