Sleeve notes

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The Independent Culture
Weak but persistent rumours that Paul McCartney is alive are fanned by the cover of his new concert album, released next month. In a partial re-staging of the Abbey Road sleeve from 1967 - interpeted by some Beatle fanatics as documentary proof that Macca popped off prematurely and was thereafter represented by a lookalike - McCartney is again seen on that familiar north London zebra crossing. This time he's wearing boots (in 1967, his barefootedness was read as a Mafia sign of death) and the number plate of the white Volkswagen parked up the street reads '51 IS' (last time '28 IF' was thought to signal the age he would have been, if John hadn't buried him). Make what you will of the dog on the lead.

Meanwhile, what happened to Ringo? The writer Geoffrey Giuliano publishes three glossy biographies this week - The Illustrated Paul McCartney, The Illustrated John Lennon, The Illustrated George Harrison - but not so much as a squeak on the other one. 'There just wasn't the material,' according to the publisher's publicity person.

Those Frank Sinatra duets in full. On his forthcoming album - his first for 10 years - the Chairman of the Board sings the following big numbers with the following glossy guest performers: 'The Lady Is a Tramp' with Luther Vandross, 'What Now My Love' with Aretha Franklin, 'I've Got a Crush on You' with Barbra Streisand, 'Summer Wind' with Julio Iglesias, 'Come Rain or Come Shine' with Gloria Estefan, 'New York, New York' with Tony Bennett, 'They Can't Take That Away from Me' with Natalie Cole, 'You Make Me Feel So Young' with Charles Aznavour, 'Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry / In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning' with Carly Simon, 'I've Got the World on a String' with Liza Minelli, 'Witchcraft' with Anita Baker, 'I've Got You Under My Skin' with Bono, 'All the Way / One For My Baby' with Kenny G. They are not worthy - especially Bono. Duets will be released by Capitol on 25 October.

(Photograph omitted)

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