At the end of 1966, a strange and unique situation happened. The Beatles had no new music to release to the general public in the UK for the Christmas market. "Revolver' had been released back in August in the UK and in North American but nothing had been recorded since.
Since EMI had no new product, it was decided that a "greatest hits" package would be release in lieu of any new material. This was the first time since the arrival of the Beatles (in the UK) that there would be no new Christmas-era single release and no new LP. In 1963, "With The Beatles" was released in November. In 1964, "Beatles For Sale" was released in December - the same can be said for "Rubber Soul" in 1965.
The title of the greatest hits package from Parlophone in the UK was "A Collection of Beatles Oldies" with the subtitle (listed on the back cover) "But Goldies". The LP was released on December 09 1966 and was available in mono (PMC 7016) and stereo (PCS 7016). The A side consisted of the following titles: "She Loves You", "From Me to You", "We Can Work It Out", "Help!", "Michelle", "Yesterday", "I Feel Fine" and Yellow Submarine". The B side consisted of the following titles: "Can't Buy Me Love", "Bad Boy(to be discussed in the next post)", "Day Tripper", "A Hard Day's Night", "Ticket To Ride", "Paperback Writer", "Eleanor Rigby" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
Some of the above titles had never appeared in stereo before (especially the unique single-only releases) and such tunes such as "Paperback Writer", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out" were all mixed in stereo in October and November 1966 in order to have the stereo version ready for the release of this unusual LP. (See my earlier blog posts for exact stereo mixing dates and locations).
The front cover of this LP was designed by artist David Christian. The design was in a "carnaby" style which was popular at the time. It features a "mod" looking cool dude with a big tie, purple and pink jacket with striped green and orangey pants and white and red boots. On the left, there are four guys (the Beatles?) surrounding a vintage European vehicle, a coke bottle with a rose sticking out of it and a victorian style movie still. On the right is a drawn gramophone, a couple dancing and rainbow style colours all over the front cover.
The back cover features a photograph of the Beatles while they were on tour in Japan. The Beatles are shown relaxing at the Tokyo Hilton wearing japanese kimonos. What is interesting is that the colour photograph on the UK LP taken by Robert Whitaker is printed backwards. On japanese imports of the LP, the exact same photograph is reversed thereby showing the photo correctly.
This LP was the first UK LP by The Beatles not to reach number one in the UK charts. It still made the top 10 and it's highest position was number 06.