McCartney kicked off February by treating fans to a sneak peek of his deluxe reissue of Flowers in the Dirt with the unveil of the unreleased demo “Twenty Fine Fingers,” an energetic acoustic song bursting with classic macca-style hooks and structures.
Previously only available on bootleg albums under the incorrect title “Twenty-Five Fingers,” McCartney co-wrote the rare demo with Elvis Costello. “Twenty Fine Fingers” was one of many collaborative tracks between the pair that didn’t make the final cut for McCartney’s 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt. The original album was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 80s, with nominations for both Brit and Grammy Awards.
Costello wrote about his experience working with McCartney on Flowers in the Dirt in his memoir Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink. He gave the impression that the two worked well together and confirmed the title of the original demo when he briefly mentioned it writing, “then we dashed off a little rock and roll tune called “Twenty Fine Fingers.”
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The vibrant demo will be presented twice on the reissue of Flowers in the Dirt, which is due to be released on March 24th. The remastered album will be available on two CDs, two vinyl discs or as a deluxe box set which includes a DVD, a 32-page notebook of McCartney’s handwritten lyrics and notes, a 64-page photobook, a 112-page book featuring exclusive new interviews, and a catalogue from Linda McCartney’s photo exhibition for the album. In addition to the four McCartney and Costello collaborations from the original album, the reissue will include five other demos written by the fellow Liverpudlians.
“The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this box set,” McCartney said of the Costello tracks in a statement. “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 has 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.”
Although Costello collaborated with McCartney on one-third of the original 1989 album, including the hit single “My Brave Face,” Flowers in the Dirt featured appearances by other noteworthy artists such as Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Producers George Martin and Trevor Horn.
McCartney has been personally supervising the remaster of Flowers in the Dirt, and the original demo version that was released by him on Wednesday can be enjoyed above