Paul McCartney? There’s an iPad App for That Now

PaulMcCartneyiPadApp2Photo Courtesy of

If you’re reading this on an iPad, you might already know: Paul McCartney is re-releasing five of his classic albums, Band on the Run, McCartney, McCartney II, RAM, and Wings over America, as iPad apps. Released by Apple’s App Store, and labeled under Concord Music Group, the five albums are available for sale online currently, going for $7.00, which is actually less than the actual remastered albums sell for on the Apple iTunes music store. Purchase of each app includes remastered audio, interviews, videos of documentaries and rehearsal footage, album and single artwork and photos.
McCartney is not the only celebrity musician toying with the idea of releasing albums as apps, but he is the most recent one to do it.  Björk, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Snoop Lion have all jumped on the albums-as-apps bandwagon, with Björk leading the pack in 2011 when she released her album “Biophilia” as an interactive app that allowed users to play with mini-games, music creation tools and interactive visuals. In 2013, Lady Gaga released what she called a “companion app” for her album ARTPOP, promising, “a musical and visual engineering system that combines music, art, fashion, and technology with a new, interactive, worldwide community.” What her little Monsters actually got was an ArtHaus feature that created and shared animated GIFs of spinning slogans, pigs, and other things based on the lyrics of the album, and a virtual turntable to play the album’s songs from (if they had been purchased from iTunes).
Jay Z, on the other hand, released a million of his 2013 album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” to Samsung customers with Android devices for free (though he later distributed it commercially as well). Unfortunately, the app was heavily criticized since it drew a worrisome amount of personal data from fans’ phones. Snoop Lion put out a companion app similar to Lady Gaga’s for his album “Reincarnated,” in addition to a “Snoopify” photo-sharing app selling virtual items such as a “Golden Jay” spliff for $99.99. Some artists (Crosby, Stills & Nash, for example) have even started charging fans for monthly subscriptions of exclusive content from their CSN app.
Android users need not fear though, for the app was made compatible with Anroid 2013, and last month became the first app to be made part of the permanent app collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. McCartney (and The Beatles) remain loyal to iTunes with his apps for now, though his solo projects can also be found on other music service websites. Whether fans continue to buy the albums in this latest format remains to be seen. McCartney also recently released his new music video “Early Days,” and you can find a review of the video here on our Encyclopedia of Music. Beatles fans should also check out FDRMX‘s happy birthday to “Here Comes the Sunarticle here and our latest news about the upcoming Beatles documentary.