Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anthology One CD Sampler



For all of the Anthology installments (one, two and three), Apple released a CD sampler for each. Let's start with the Anthology One CD Sampler. I'm not sure about the release date for any of these, but I'm assuming that the CD sampler was released around the same time as the commercial version so I'll put it at November-ish 1995. The catalogue number is Apple DPRO-10289. My copy states "printed in the USA".

There is an outer slip case that consists of what looks like a wall, with bits and pieces of torn up post paper all over it and you can barely make out the letters contained within the Beatles logo. The top and bottom of the outer slip also have this motif as well as the back. The difference is that on the back bottom, the lone Apple logo is present. There is no more information on the outer slip.

You pull out the CD case and it is tri-fold. The front cover consists of the Beatles' bassdrum in two layers. The outer layer is silver and the bass drum perimeter is also black and silver. The inner liner contains a faux type see-through cardboard featuring the "Ludwig" drum logo, the Beatles logo (large) and "Anthology" printed underneath. As you open the left side like a book, the white cardboard is embossed with the "Anthology" print in spaced letters. Upon opening this side to the right, you discover the CD and photos of the Beatles (one from early 1963 and the other from August 1969) in black and white. The CD itself has a rainbow multi-coloured perimeter and white background with the Beatles logo at the top in silver with the "Anthology" title underneath. The Apple logo is at the bottom. Written in silver along the perimeter is the catalogue number and copyright information.

The CD also comes with an eight page booklet consisting of a photo of the black and white bass drum with the Beatles logo and Anthology and the number "1" on the bass drum. The next page contains the Beatles logo/Anthology and number "1' as well as the tracklisting, Apple logo, catalogue number and copyright information. The inner pages of the booklet have liner notes for each track and the back cover features outtake photos for the cover of "A Hard Day's Night" (1964).

The tracks contained on the sample are as follows: "One After 909"(takes 3,4 and 5), "Leave My Kitten Alone"(take 5), "And I Love Her"(take 6), "Three Cool Cats"(Decca audition) and "I Wanna Be Your Man"( Around The Beatles television special).

The Anthology One CD Sampler packaging is by far the nicest CD sampler of any Beatles release so far (in my opinion). Quite collectible as well.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Anthology Three

The final installement in the series was released first on two compact discs on or about October 29 1966. The vinyl version which carried three records was released a couple of weeks later on November 12 1996. The November date may have been the release of the US version as the UK version may have been released beforehand. The catalogue number for "Anthology 3" is Apple 34451.
The front cover features the last section of the long painting by Klaus Voorman/Alfons Keifer with the same upper photo of Astrid from Hamburg. This cover features a large ripped poster of the front cover of "Let It Be" in the center with Paul's photo from this era ripped away to feature his photo from the "Rubber Soul" LP. Just above that you can see the US front cover version of "A Hard Day's Night". Surrounding the center piece are (at left) : the front cover of "Pepper" and a slice of the San Francisco poster for the last live performance. A small section of "Live At the BBC" in sepia is also present. At the right is John Lennon's face from the "Revolver" front cover along with a small drawing of Klaus Voorman from the mid-90s. The "P !" from the front cover of the US "Help!" LP is shown as well as the bottom right hand corner of the UK "A Hard Day's Night" LP. The "Yellow Submarine" LP is also presented within the large center section with the submarine drawing and a bit of the Apple bonkers. At the very top along with the Hamburg photo, is a section of "Revolver" as well as what I think is a Shea Stadium poster for a live performance.
The back cover has the same canvas motif as the previous installments. Both the CD and vinyl formats have the credits on the top left hand along with the Capitol and Apple logos for the North American releases and only the Apple logo for the UK releases. The UPC code is at the upper right. The tracklisting, artist logo and album title are all centered.
The CD version contains a 44 page booklet along with an advert in the middle for the future "Anthology" VHS tapes. The photographs cover the Beatles era 1968 to August 1969. Liner notes are also present for each song. The LP has a tri-fold cover (same as the others) with the photographs (edited) from the booklet on the center panel and the liner notes for the songs on either side panels. My inner sleeves for all three installments are white.
The CD labels have a silver back ground with the full Apple for CD1 and a sliced Apple for CD2. The Beatles Logo and the title are to the left while the copyright information and catalogue number is to the right. The bottom states "see booklet for details". There are no company logos on the CDs. The vinyl version has the full Apple on one side of the LP and the sliced Apple on the reverse. The labels have a black background with the same information on the left and right as the CDs with the exception of the blurb "see sleeve for details". The US vinyl version has the Capitol logo underneath the catalogue number on the right while the UK vinyl version does not have that logo.
The tracklisting is as follows: "A Beginning"(instrumental recorded July 22 1968 during the "White Album" sessions but never used until now), "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (Esher demo May 1968), "Helter Skelter" (take 12), "Mean Mister Mustard", "Polythene Pam", "Glass Onion", "Junk", "Honey Pie" (Esher demos, May 1968), "Don't Pass Me By" (vocal overdub), "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (reggae version), "Goodnight" (piano demo cross faded to commercial version), "Cry Baby Cry" (take 1), "Blackbird" (take 4), "Sexy Sadie" (take 6), "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (demo), "Hey Jude" (rehearsal July 29 1968), "Not Guilty" ( "Sessions" mix), "Mother Nature's Son" (take 2), "Glass Onion" (mono mix), "Rocky Raccoon" (take 8), "What's The New Mary Jane" ("Sessions" mix), "Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias" ("I Will" rehearsal tape), "I'm So Tired" (edit of takes 3,6 and 9), "I Will" (take 1), "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" (take 4), "Julia" (take 2), "I've Got A Feeling" (Jan 22 /69), "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" (Jan 21/69), "I Dig A Pony" (Jan 22/69), "Two Of Us" (Jan 24/69) "For You Blue" (take 1), "Teddy Boy" (edit of Jan 28 and 24 / 69) "Rip It Up/Shake, Rattle and Roll/ Blue Suede Shoes" (Jan 26/69), "The Long And Winding Road"(Jan 26 /69), "Oh! Darling" (Jan 27/69), "All Things Must Pass" (demo), "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues" (Jan 29/69), "Get Back"(rooftop performance Jan 30/69), "Old Brown Shoe" (demo), "Octopus's Garden" (edit take 2 and take 8), "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (take 5), "Something" (demo), "Come Together" (take 1), "Come and Get It" (demo), "Ain't She Sweet" (July 24/69), "Because" (vocal isolation mix), "Let It Be" (Jan 25/69), "I Me Mine" (Glyn Johns mix), "The End" (new fabricated mix).
As you can see, this is quite the eclectic collection and probably the most interesting one. A lot of studio outtakes and rehearsals.
My vinyl copy came with a yellow sticker on the upper left hand side of the front cover promoting unreleased versions of "Hey Jude", "Come Together" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and shows the Beatles logo and title on the left side.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Anthology Two

The next installment of the "Anthology" series was released on March 19 1996 with the very inventive title: "Anthology 2"( catalogue number 34448). This was released in the LP, CD and cassette format. Since I deal mainly with vinyl and CD, the post will reflex this fact. This release came as a 3-LP set or a 2-CD set.
The front cover of this "Anthology 2" release featured the addition of the centerpiece for Klaus Voorman's design and shows the Beatles circa 1966 on a Shea Stadium promotional poster for an upcoming show, the upperleft shows some of the cover for the "Please Please Me" lp, the bottom left show George and Ringo from "With The Beatles" and George from the "Rubber Soul" LP. The upper right shows the Beatles photographed in Hamburg by their friend Astrid, the US version of the front cover of the "Help!" soundtrack, John's eyes from the "Revolver" LP cover, the wax figures of the Beatles from the "Pepper" LP cover, John's mouth from the "Revolver" LP along with the portrait of the artist (Klaus), the start and stripes from what I'm guessing is the San Francisco promotional poster for the upcoming show with both John and Paul partly viewed.
The back cover continues with the "canvas" theme; credits are once again at the upper left along with the Apple and Capitol logos, the bar code at the upper right (for both formats) and the track listing below/ the Beatles logo/ the album title.
The CD came with a 48 page booklet including photos from the era along with liner notes on the origin of the songs with outtake/concert information. The LP came with a tri-fold sleeve featuring the Sgt. Pepper outtake photo along with all the photos from the booklet (cropped in order to make it all fit) and the same information on the tunes.
The labels for the CD contain the full Apple for CD 1 with the Beatles logo and title on the left and copyright information on the right. The bottom of the label explains that this is "disc 1" and to see the booklet for details. The second CD contains the sliced Apple for CD 2 with the same format as CD 1. The label backgrounds for the CD are silver. For the LP labels, the first side has the full Apple and the second side has the sliced Apple for each of the three vinyl records. The format is basically the same as the CD with the exception that the background is cream coloured and the labels for the LPs have the Capitol logo for the US versions along with "Made in the USA" while the UK versions have no Capitol logo and the "Made in the UK" blurb.
The recordings cover music recorded between February 1965 and February 1968 along with "Real Love" (which is the first track) . This is followed by: "Yes It Is" (take 2 into take 14), "I'm Down" (take 1), "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (take 5), "If You've Got Trouble" (take 1), "That Means A Lot" (take 1), "Yesterday" (take 1), "It's Only Love" (take 2), "I Feel Fine/Ticket To Ride/Yesterday/Help!" (live August 01 1965 from Blackpool), "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" (live August 15 1965 from Shea Stadium), "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (take 1), "I'm Looking Through You" (take 1), "12-Bar Original" (take 2 edited), "Tomorrow Never Knows"(take 1), "Got to Get You Into My Life" (take 5), "And Your Bird Can Sing" (take 2 overdub session), "Taxman" (take 11), "Eleanor Rigby" (instrumental re-mix), "I'm Only Sleeping" (rehearsal/take 1), "Rock 'N' Roll Music/She's A Woman" (live June 30 1966 from Tokyo Nippon Budokan), "Strawberry Fields Forever" (demo/take 1/take 7/ edit and remix take 26), "Penny Lane" (remix and edit), "A Day In The Life" ( take 1/ take 2/take 6 and back to take 2), "Good Morning Good Morning"(take 8), "Only A Northern Song"(remix), "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" (take 1/take 2/take 7), "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (take 6/take 7 and take 8 remix), "Within You, Without You" (instrumental remix), "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)" (take 5), "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)", (remix and edited), "I Am The Walrus" (take 16), "The Fool On The Hill" (demo), "Your Mother Should Know"(take 17 re-make), "The Fool On The Hill" (take 4), "Hello Goodbye" (take 16), "Lady Madonna" (takes 3 and 4 plus sax overdub remix), "Across The Universe"(take 2).
As you can see, the project at this stage used a lot of newly created mixes and edited from various takes from the master tapes. Nothing wrong with that, but not very organic (in my opinion). Interesting none the less.
The original release for this installment was late February, but was delayed due a change in the tracklisting when the song "I'm Down" was changed from being track 6 to being track 3. This change was suggested by Paul McCartney.



The front cover of my UK copy comes with a pink sticker glued to the upper left promoting the "new single" "Real Love".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Anthology Two LP Sampler



A very nice promotional item (probably one of the best Beatles' LP covers) was released about a week before the actual "Anthology 2" project. This promotional item was an LP sampler containing seven tracks taken from the upcoming project. This sampler was issued on or about March 14 1996 and the LP was limited to between 3,000 and 4,000 copies. The catalogue number for the Anthology 2 LP Sampler is Apple/Capitol SPRO - 11206/11207.

The front cover features the Beatles looking at transparencies of a previous photo session which would eventually produce the "butcher" cover. The fabs are at EMI studios for the promotional taping of the single "Paperback Writer/Rain". The black and white photo was taken by Robert sleyWhitaker on May 19 1966. The photo is surrounded by a paisley pattern in silver and white. The back cover is silver with black print. The Beatles logo, Anthology 2, side A tracklisting and side B tracklisting are all featured along with the production credits, the Apple logo and Capitol logo, promotional markings and copyright information at the bottom.

The labels has the full Apple for the first side and the sliced Apple for the second side. The Beatles logo is prodominant on the upper left along with the side number. The copyright information is to the upper right and the tracklising is at the bottom. Both sides feature the Capitol dome logo.

The tracklisting is as follows: Side A has take 1 of "Strawberry Fields Forever", take 1 of "I'm Down" and the rehearsal and take 1 of "I'm Only Sleeping". Side B contains the re-mixed orchestral backing of "Eleanor Rigby", a newly made remix of "Only A Northern Songs" from two January 1967 sessions and an April session, "Tomorrow Never Knows" take 1 from April 1966 and finally "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)" take 5 from April 01 1967.

A fairly rare collectible and a beautiful item from the Anthology series.



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Real Love

The second (and final) single for the Anthology project was released in early March 1996. It appears that the single was originally intended to be released the previous month but was delayed. The official release is March 05 1996 (as a CD single) with the 45 vinyl version being released a week later on March 12 1996. The catalogue number for the single is Apple 58544.

The vinyl single contained two track: "Real Love" which is another Lennon demo recorded in 1979 and containing vocals, piano and a drum machine. The other band members added various instruments, Paul doubling the vocal, and Paul and George adding backing overdubs. The overdubs were completed in February 1995. The production was by the band and Jeff Lynne. Engineers for this work are Geoff Emerick and Jon Jacobs. "Real Love" is not as strong as the first Lennon-demo-cum-recording, but a nice effort nonetheless. The B-side of the single is "Baby's In Black" - a live performance of the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl on August 30 1965 with the intro taken from the previous night's appearance.

The CD single contained two bonus tracks: the first being "Yellow Submarine" containing a different mix of the song enhaning the sound effects as well as adding the original spoken intro. This version takes the tapes from the May 26 and June 01 1966 sessions. The second being "Here, There And Everywhere" once again using various mixes from the original sessions. The song starts with a guide vocal from Paul recorded as take 07 and glides into the three part harmonies of take 13. Both bonus songs recorded at EMI studios.

The front cover of the single shows a Beatles photograph taken by Robert Whitaker from late 1965. Both Ringo's and Paul's cigarettes are brushed out of the photo to make it politically correct (boo !). The Beatles logo is at the top right and the title is at the bottom "Real" and "Love" are separated by a heart shaped red Apple.

The back cover has the canvas theme and contains the Beatles logo at the top left (vinyl ) or top center (CD) with the UPC code at the top right (vinyl ) or on the inner jewel case (CD). The title follows (same as above with the red heart shaped Apple) and then the track listing. The bottom contains the Apple logo and in the case of the vinyl version the Capitol logoo is added. The copyright information is at the bottom of the back cover.

The vinyl single has the full Apple for side one and the sliced Apple for side two. Both sides have a black background. The Beatles logo appears on the left as well as the side number and tracklisting. The right side contains the copyright information. The bottom contains production credits and the Capitol dome logo.

The CD has a full Apple with the clear background. The Beatles logo is at the left and the four tracks are listed at the bottom. Also contains the blurb: "See Inlay for details". The right hand side contains the copyright information and Compact Disc logo (my copy was made in Holland). My copy of the CD also contains a bright red sticker with the Beatles Anthology logo, catalogue number and promotion for the remaining tracklisting.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free As A Bird Single

"Free As A Bird" was a single released on December 12 1995 as a CD maxi single. This single was used to tie in with the "Anthology 1" release and featured the John Lennon composition as the first song. The "Beatles" version is credited to all four members. The original demo was recorded by Lennon in 1977 and over dubbed by Paul, George and Ringo at Paul's studio in Sussex February and March 1994. The second song on the CD is "I Saw Her Standing There" featuring the complete take 09 with count-in from the February 11 1963 session at EMI. The commercial version is take 1 with this count-in from take 09 edited at the beginning. The third song featured is "This Boy" outtakes 12 and 13 from the October 17 1963 session at EMI. The last song on the CD is "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" which is the instrumental part from the 1967 Christmas flexi. This is overdubbed (boo!) with greetings from 1966 for a pirate radio station and this is an example of how the future "Anthology" series would use re-mixes and created manufactured "outtakes" losing the original concept of hearing the actual tapes as they were originally recorded. This happened mainly on "Can't Buy Me Love" from the "Anthology 1" series where the guitar solo was flown from a different take as an example.

The CD front cover has the Beatles logo topa right, a drawing of Pete Shotton surrounded by birds by John Lennon from the book "In His Own Right". The title at the bottom and "CD Maxi Single" on the bottom left and the catalogue number on the lower right. "Apple 58497". The back cover has the canvas backing similar to the 3-LP/2-CD equivilant. The artist, title and barcode at the top with the tracklisting and recording information following. The Apple logo is at the bottom left and the Capitol logo is at the bottom right. Credits and copyright information is at the bottom. The CD features a full Apple with silver backing.

About a week later on December 19 1995, a vinyl single was released in the US by Capitol and Apple. The vinyl single contains "Free As A Bird" on side one and "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" on side two. The front cover contains the same drawing as the CD with the exception of only the artist name and title with no other writing. The back cover contains information on only the two songs contained within.

The label has a full apple on the a-side and a half label on the b-side. The labels have a cream coloured background. On the left side of the labels are the artist name and the song in question. The right side have the copyright information.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Beatles Anthology 1

Apple released a series of broadcasts, studio outtakes, private recordings, interview material, live material, unreleased recordings and new version of titles with three separate volumes consisting of 3 vinyl LPs / 2 compact disc installments.

The name of the project was The Beatles "Anthology" which included television broadcasts, 10 hours of material with interviews and rare film footage (released first on VHS tapes and later on DVD) along with the recordings and a book.

The first installment "Anthology 1" was released by Apple world wide on November 21 1995 (the morning after the first television episode aired on television). The catalogue number for "Anthology 1" is Apple 34445 for both the vinyl version and CD version.

This installment covers The Beatles' music from the years 1958 to 1964. The sole exception is the very first track which is titled "Free As A Bird" written by Lennon as a demo in the late 1970s and embellished with instruments and vocals by Paul, George and Ringo. Listed as a "Beatles" recording and producers credit is to all four Beatles and Jeff Lynne. This is followed by a statment by Lennon and is then followed by two 1958 Quarry Men demos: "That'll Be The Day" and "In Spite Of All The Danger" (written by Paul and George). After a Paul statement, the next 3 tracks consist of a taped 1960 rehearsal: "Hallelujah, I love Her So/ You'll Be Mine/"Cayenne". Another Paul statment follows and then followed by the June 22 1961 Hamburg Tony Sheridan sessions: "My Bonnie/Ain't She Sweet/Cry For A Shadow". There is a statment by Lennon and Brian Epstein followed by the following 5 Decca Audition tracks recorded January 01 1962: "Searchin/Three Cool Cats/The Sheik of Araby/Like Dreamers Do/Hello Little Girl". After another Epstien speech, two tracks are featured from the first EMI recordings of June 06 1962: "Besame Mucho/Love Me Do". Unused track "How Do You Do It" from the EMI Sept. 04 1962 session. "Please Please Me" outtake from September 11 1962 EMI session. Outtake/unused version of "One After 909" from the EMI March 05 1963 session follows. "Lend Me Your Comb" from a BBC July 02 1963 recording. "I'll Get You" live version from the London Palladium October 14 1963, Lennon speech, followed by 5 tracks from a live performance in Stockholm, Sweden October 24 1963: "I Saw Her Standing There/From Me To You/ Money (That's What I Want)/You Really Got A Hold On Me/Roll Over Beethoven". Three tracks from the live performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre November 04 1963: "She Loves You/Till There Was You/Twist And Shout". Three tracks follow from the Morecambe and Wise television soundtrack recording from December 02 1963: "This Boy/I Want To Hold Your Hand and some speech". This is followed by "Can't Buy Me Love" outtake from January 29 1964 recorded at Pathe Marconi in Paris (take 2 with guitar solo from take 1). "All My Loving" is a live performance from the Ed Sullivan show of February 09 1964. Two EMI outtakes follow: "You Can't Do That"(take 6) and "And I Love Her"(take 2) ; both recorded February 25 1964. "A Hard Day's Night"(take 1) EMI session April 16 1964. The next 4 tracks are from the IBC recordings for the mimed television special "Around The Beatles" April 19 1964: "I Wanna Be Your Man/ Long Tall Sally/Boys/ Shout". This is followed by takes 2 and 3 of "I'll Be Back" from the EMI session of June 01 1964. "You Know What To Do/ No Reply" ; two demos from EMI session of June 03 1964. "Mr Moonlight" (combination of takes 1 and 4) and unused track "Leave My Kitten Alone"(take 5) both from EMI session August 14 1964. "No Reply"(take 2) is presented from the EMI session from September 30 1964. "Eight Days A Week" (combination takes 1,2,4 and 5)is presented from the EMI session on October 06 1964. Finally, the album ends with a version of "Kansas City - Hey Hey Hey Hey!" (take 2) from the EMI October 18 1964 session.

These recordings were produced by George Martin. As you can see above, most of this was either available in inferior sound on bootlegs or unreleased. It was a real treat for Beatles fans. The front cover painting is by Klaus Voorman and Alfons Keifer. The front cover painting is the left side of a larger painting that was elongated once the other installments were released. This particular cover shows faded mainly black and white or sepia toned photos of the Beatles from the time period late 50s to early 60s. Ripped images from "The Savage Young Beatles", "Please Please Me", "With The Beatles" and "Live At the BBC" are featured. The back cover looks like the back of a canvas with the credits at the upper left, the UPC code at the upper right and the track listing with the artists' logo in the center. This applies to both the LPs and CD versions. The CD installment comes with a 48 page booklet including liner notes and merchandising information. The first CD has the full Apple with the artist and title on the left and copyright information on the right. The second CD has the sliced Apple with the artist and title on the left and copyright information on the right. The bottom of both CDs has the blurb: "See booklet for details". The three LP version has a tri-fold cover with the Derek Taylor liner notes at the center with a black background and "Hard Day's Night" era photos of the Fabs in each corner. Once opened, the gatefold contains the liner notes found in the CD booklet as well as all the photographs in the center gatefold. The LP labels have a full Apple on the A sides and the sliced Apple on the B sides. The background is black. The artist and title is on the left and copyright information is on the right. The bottom of the labels blurb states: "See sleeve for details".

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Remastered "Red" And "Blue" Compilation

With the re-emergence of Apple Records, the company decided to re-issue the greatest hits compilation "The Beatles 1962-1966" and "The Beatles 1967-1970" in CD form for the first as well as on vinyl. This series was issued sometime in 1993 (I don't have the exact date at the moment).

There was controversy at the time due to the fact that "1962-1966" was released as a two CD set when all of the music could have fit easily onto one disc. It was explained by Apple that the consistency of the release with the 2 CD/ 2LP format would remain unified by issuing these formats with the two physical discs.

The LPs are contained within the same cover design as the 1973 originals, with the exception of the copyright information on the upper left of the back cover, the upper center Apple logo has the word "APPLE" underneath and a bar code is at the upper right of the back cover. There is no script underneath the back cover photo. The inner gatefold contains the same photograph. Subtle differences from the originals include no credit on the left side of the photo, but the date and place of the photo is written at the bottom right of the photo as "July 1968 St. Pancras Churchyard". The photographs on the re-issues are much brighter and clearer than the originals.

The Apple labels on the vinyl have a different sliced Apple photograph for sides two and four of both compilations. The tracklisting is the same. The inner sleeves are sturdy cardboard which include the full lyrics to the songs. The "1962-1966" version is on red vinyl for the two discs while the "1967-1970" version is on blue vinyl for the two discs. My copy of the "1967-1970" vinyl version also came with an insert that has the Apple logo at the top,composers credits, publishing credits, remastering credits and copyright statements for LP 1 and LP 2. This is followed by a photo of the front cover of "1962-1966" with the tracklisting and the "now available" statement. On the flipside of the advert, there are five photographs of the Beatles including one from the "Revolution" promo film, one from July 1968, two from April 1969 and one from August 1969. An insert for the "1962-1966" version contains the same format with photos of the Beatles from 1963 (4), 1964, 1965 (2) and one from the "Paperback Writer/Rain" promo of 1966. The catalogue number for the Beatles remastered "1962-1966" is Apple 97036 while the catalougye number for the Beatles remastered "1967-1970" is Apple 97039. The 1962-1966 vinyl version has a black and white sticker on the front with the words: "Limited Edition Red Vinyl Digitally Remastered (and the catalogue number)". The 1967-1970 vinyl version also has a black and white sticker on the front with the words: "Limited Edition Blue Vinyl Digitally Remastered (and the catalogue number)".

The double CD counterpart have the same catalogue numbers as their vinyl cousins. Both come in coloured double jewel cases corresponding to the red for "1962-1966" and blue for "1967-1970". Same with the CD backgrounds and vinyl backgrounds. Since both packages have 2 CDs, the first CD features the full Apple (slightly altered from the original to my eyes) and the second CD features a sliced Apple (definitely altered from the original to my eyes). The front cover photograph for both compilations feature the same photo and logos as the original vinyl with better and clearer resonance. The back covers for both compilations have the corresponding logo, the UPC at the upper right, the tracklisting for CD1 and CD2, "Digitally Remastered" written in white on the lower left , the "EMI" logo, copyright information and the Apple logo on the bottom right.

Both CD compliations came with 24 page booklets containing the lyrics to the songs and photographs from the era described above as inserts.

This was (at the time) the first time that the following tunes were available on CD in stereo: "All My Loving", "Can't Buy Me Love", "A Hard Day's Night", "And I Love Her", "Eight Days A Week".

There were two promo items released with this re-issue: An interview with George Martin on a silver promo CD has the front cover with the Beatles font from the re-issue project separated by red on one side and blue on the other. Underneath is written "George Martin Interview" and "For Promotional Use Only". The other item is an album sampler on CD with a grey cover featuring a photo of the Beatles at EMI house in the stairway with the early 60s Beatles peering down onto the late 60s Beatles. On either side of the Beatles logo are the dates: 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. The catalogue number is Apple DPRO-79286. The back of the CD cover shows both red and blue covers and contains the following tracklist: "Hello, Goodbye", "Ticket To Ride", "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", "In My Life", "Help" and "The Fool On The Hill". All titles and timing are written on the back cover. The Apple and Capitol logo are on the disc. The promo "not for sale" print, printed in USA, All rights and manufacturing statement are all center bottom. The CD is split red and blue with the artist logo, Capitol logo and Apple logo on the disc.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The "Live At The BBC" EP "Baby, It's You"

Apple decided to release an EP from the "Live At The BBC" recordings and chose the song "Baby, It's You" as it's main title. The EP was released on March 20 1995 in the UK and on March 23 1995 in North America. "Baby It's You" was written by David-Bacharach-Willams and the Beatles covered this song for the BBC recorded June 01 1963 at the BBC Paris Theatre in London England and transmitted 10 days later. The other tracks on the EP do not appear on the LP/CD. These tracks are: "I'll Follow The Sun" which was recorded for the BBC on November 17 1964 and transmitted November 26 1964, "Devil In Her Heart" written by Drapkin and covered by the Beatles for the BBC on July 19 1963 and transmitted on August 20 1963 and the song "Boys" written by Dixon-Farrell covered by The Beatles for the BBC on June 17 1963 and transmitted on June 25 1963. Each song is sung by a different Beatles: The main title by John, "I'll Follow The Sun" by Paul, "Devil In Her Heart" by George and "Boys" by Ringo.

There are various formats and versions of this EP on vinyl and CD (also on cassette but since I know nothing about cassettes I have no comment on them and haven't included them on the blog).

The two vinyl versions come from the UK and the US: The UK version (72438 - 82073 - 7 -9)has the EMI logo on the back cover along with "mono". The US version (72438 - 58348 -7 - 5)has the Capitol logo on the back cover along with "mono" in addition to the catalogue number. Both front covers are the same with the Apple logo / tracklisting / and the mono designation (the US version has a line between the Apple logo and tracklisting whereas the UK version does not). There are also difference on the EP vinyl label. Both versions have the full Apple on side one and the half Apple on side two. The UK version has a white background whereas the US version has a cream background. The UK version has a small spindle hole whereas the US version has a large spindle hole. The UK version has the mono designation and "all rights" print to the left with copyright information to the right. The US version has the Capitol logo, mono designation as well as the manufacturing credits and "all rights" print to the left. Both US and UK versions have the same print on the right.

A CD EP was also released with the same back cover as the UK version (with the EMI logo) on my Canadian copy. My copy also includes the "Capitol" logo between the EMI and Apple logos along with the Capitol of Canada information. The CD has the full Apple logo similar to the vinyl (no background) as well as "see inlay for details" print. The front cover is the same as the vinyl (no line between the Apple logo and tracklisting). The front cover photo is the same as the back cover photo of the LP/CD.

A promotional single CD was released by Capitol Records in the US as a Valentine Day's card. The card opens up and contains the CD. The front of the card features a candy heart with the title, as it opens the EP photo is shown on the left and written in script on the right is: "Happy Valentine's Day From Us To You". The CD label has the full Apple with "Baby It's You" above written in script. The left side has the manufacture, "all rights" print and "printed in the USA" on the left with the copyright credits to the right. "The Beatles" drop T logo is at the bottom. The back of the card contains the title/artist and LP name, liner notes, the Apple and Capitol logos as well as all information manufacturing, rights, etc. The catalogue number for this CD single is DPRO-79553 Promotional use only/not for sale.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Live At The BBC" Album Sampler

Released in late 1994 (probably November), this promotional CD was issued by Apple with the catalogue number CDPCSPDJ 7261.

The CD has the full Apple silkscreen with the catalogue number, "mono", "Made in Holland" BIEM/STEMRA and the George Martin credit for executive Producer/ credits all to the left of the Apple. To the right of the Apple is the tracklisting with writer's credits and publishing credits. The Beatles' logo is at the top under the stem of the Apple and the title of the CD with the disclaimer "Album Sampler Promotional Copy - Not for Sale" under the title.

The front cover photo of he album sampler is the same as the commercial CD/LP back cover photo. "The Beatles" logo with the drop-T is at the upper right corner and the CD title is at the bottom right along with the disclaimer "Album Sampler Promotional Copy - Not For Sale". The spine of the cover has the title, artist and album sampler writings. The back of the cover has the tracklisting and song timings. The bottom of the back cover has the Apple logo, mono, the George Martin credit and copyright information

The CD cover opens with four panels each containing a sepia photo of the individual group members. The other side of the panels contain information on the tunes (similar to the commercial version). The last panel contains liner notes written by Derek Taylor in October 1994.

The tracklisting is as follows: "Beatle Greetings (speech)", "From Us To You (jingle)", "Soldier of Love", "Sha La La La La!(speech)", "Baby It's You", "Clarabella", "I Just Don't Understand", "Glad All over" and "Matchbox". Recording dates can be found on my previous post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Live At The BBC

Apple Records started to be active again in the early 1990's with not only a re-issue campaign of the original artists from the late 60s and early 70s (e.g. Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, etc.) but also added the Apple logo to the curret (at the time) Beatles CD catalog as well as the re-issue of the 1962/1966 and 1967/1970 greatist hits package as two double CDs and two double vinyl sets. The CDs caused a bit of a controversy as the first package could have fit on one CD.

Apple released a batch of BBC recordings recorded between 1963-65 and the Beatles compilation "Live at The BBC" was issued in England on November 30 1994. The compilation was also released in North America on December 06 1994. The collection is available as a two CD set or as a double vinyl set. The catalogue number for the CD is: Apple 7243 8 31796 2 6 and there are two variations of the vinyl set. One variation is the UK set released on Apple. The second varition is the US set released on Capitol/Apple. Both vinyl sets have the same catalogue number as listed above for the CD set.

The front cover for "Live At the BBC" was taken on April 04 1963 by Dezo Hoffman. The background images were digitally altered in order to make this photo more appealing to the consumer (LOL). The back cover on the vinyl editions also feature a photo of the Fabs from the same session. This time the bodies of each indivicual Beatles was brought closer together. There is an error where you can see Ringo's headshot from the front cover lightly leaking to the left of Ringo's headshot on the back cover (take a look; you'll see what I mean). The background image is blurred. The UK copy has the UPC code in the upper right corner while the US copy has the UPC code at the bottom right corner. The UK copy has the Apple logo while the US copy has both the Apple and Capitol logos.

The vinyl version come with inner sleeves. Each inner sleeve features photos of the Beatles on one side and tracklisting details written on the other. The UK version has thin carboard inner sleeves while the US version has paper sleeves. Both sleeves contain the same information and photos as the 48 page booklet supplied with the CD version.

The actual Apple labels vary depending on where you bought your CDs or LPs. In the UK, the Apple labels have the full and sliced sides with a black background. The blurb on the left of the Apple states: "Mono; the catalogue number; Made in UK. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, renting, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited." The blurb on the right side of the Apple states the record 1 or 2, the side number, "Released by arrangment with BBC enterprises" followed by the copyright information. The copyright information on the right of the Apple is present on the CD and both vinyl versions. A typesetting error occurs on the UK vinyl version whereby the words "broadcasting" and "of" are not separated. In the US, the Apple labels have the full and sliced sides with a cream back ground. The blurb on the left is different and states: "Manufactured by Capitol Records, Inc. Printed in USA. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws." This is followed by the oval Capitol Records logo. My copy of the double CD was bought in Canada and thus the background of the CD labels are white. The blurb on the left of the Apple on the CD has the same print as the UK version with the exception of the "Made in UK" print and instead has "Made in Canada" after the blurb. There is additional print "BIEM/STEMRA LC 0299" is written just between the catalogue numbe and the blurb. The right side blurb is the same as both US and UK versions. The compact disc logo also appears on the CD Apple labels. CD one has the full Apple while CD two has the sliced Apple. The back of the CD package has the UPC similar to the UK at the upper right but no photos. Instead is the tracklisting, credits, copyright information and the Apple and Capitol logos. My copy also has the EMI Canada logo at the bottom left. All of this against a brown background.

The tracklisting for "Live At The BBC" is as follows. Please note that all tracks are mono. "Beatle Greetings" recorded Oct. 09/63, "From Us To You" recorded Feb. 28/64,"Riding on a Bus" recorded Nov. 26/64, "I Got A Woman" recorded July 16/63, "Too Much Monkey Business" recorded Sept. 03/63, "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" recorded Jan. 02/63, "I'll Be On My Way" recorded April 04/63, "Young Blood" recorded June 01/63, "A Shot of Rhythm And Blues" recorded Aug. 01/63, "Sure To Fall (In Love With You)" recorded June 01/63, "Some Other Guy" recorded June 19/63, "Thank You Girl" recorded June 19/63, "Sha La La La La!" and "Baby It's You" both recorded June 01/63, "That's All Right (Mama)" , "Carol", "Soldier of Love" "A Little Rhyme" "Clarabella" all five previous titles recorded July 02/63, "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)" recorded July 16/63, "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" also recorded July 16/63, "Dear Wack!"/"You Really Got A Hold On Me" both recorded July 30/63, "To Know Her Is To Love Her" recorded July 16/63, "A Taste Of Honey" recorded July 10/63, "Long Tall Sally" recorded July 16/63, "I Saw Her Standing There" recorded October 16/63, "The Honeymoon Song" recorded July 16/63, "Johnny B Goode" recorded Jan 07/64, "Memphis, Tennesee" recorded July 10/63, "Lucille" recorded Sept. 07/63, "Can't Buy Me Love" recorded Feb. 28/64, "From Fluff To You" recorded Feb. 28/64 and the first CD/Record ends with "Till There Was You" recorded February 28/64.

The second CD and record start with "Chrinsk Dee Night" and "A Hard Day's Night" and "Have A Banana!" all three recorded July 14/64, "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Just A Rumour" and "Roll Over Beethoven" all recorded Feb. 28/64. "All My Loving" also recorded Feb. 28/64, "Things We Said Today" recorded July 14/64, "She's A Woman" recorded Nov. 17/64, "Sweet Little Sixteen", "1822!", "Lonesome Tears In My Eyes" and "Nothin' Shakin" , "The Hippy Hippy Shake" recorded July 10/63, "Glad All Over" and "I Just Don't Understand" recorded July 16/63, "So How Come (No One Loves Me)" recorded July 10/63, "I Feel Fine", "I'm A Loser" and "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" were all recorded Nov. 17/64, "Rock and Roll Music" recorded Nov. 25/64, "Ticket To Ride" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" both recorded May 26/65, "Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey" recorded July 16/63, "Set Fire To That Lot!"/"Matchbox" was recorded July 10/63, "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" recorded May 01/64, "Love These Goon Shows"/"I Got To Find My Baby" both recorded May 01/64, "Ooh! My Soul"/ "Ooh! My Arms" and "Don't Ever Change" recorded Aug. 01/63, "Slow Down" recorded July 16/63, "Honey Don't" recorded August 01/63 with Lennon on vocals. "Love Me Do" recorded July 10/63.

A great package and new material released since the 1977 "Live At the Hollywood Bowl" concert(s). My only critic is that more could have been added and it would have been nice to have been presented in chronological order.





Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Beatles CD singles Collection



On or about November 06 1989, EMI released a box set to the world containing CD versions of the 22 original Brtish singles. The catalogue number for this set is EMI CDBSC 1.

The actual box is black in colour with "The Beatles" in gold and "CD Singles Collection" also in gold although in smaller print. There are gold coloured lines: one above the artist's name and one below the title. The sides of the box contain the same logo as the front (smaller of course) with the Capitol records logo, the Apple logo and Parlophone logo. Below the logos is the box number: C2 077 7 15901 2 2.

All of the singles have the newer photo picture sleeves made of cardboard ad the discs themselves also have the silk screen photo corresponding to the picture covers. The following singles are included:

"Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You", "Please Please Me/Ask Me Why", "From Me To You/Thank You Girl", "She Loves You/ I'll Get You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand/This Boy", "Can't Buy Me Love/ You Can't Do That", "A Hard Day's Night/ Things We Said Today", "I Feel Fine/She's A Woman", "Ticket To Ride/Yes It Is", "Help!/I'm Down", "We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper", "Paperback Writer/Rain", "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby", "Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane", "All You Need Is Love/Baby, You're a Rich Man", "Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus", "Lady Madonna/The Inner Light", "Hey Jude/Revolution", "Get Back/Don't Let Me Down", "The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe", "Something/Come Together" and "Let It Be/ You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)".

The back of the box has a black sticker on it promoting the set and lists it's content. The songs are out of order and the sequence is back and forth. The singles are mono up until "The Ballad of John and Yoko".

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another Cool Beatles Box Set.



In late 1988 (and in time for the Christmas market), EMI and Capitol released a Beatles Box set containing all 13 remastered albums plus the "Past Masters" release(s) in various forms: this could be purchased in the LP format, the CD format or the cassette format. The EMI version was released on October 31 1988 and the Capitol version on November 16 1988. The catalogue number for the set is: EMI LP: BBX 1; TC BBX 1 (for cassettes); CD BBX 1 (for compact discs).

All sets came in an oak style black box with a roll-up opening. All the sets also contained a 60-page booklet with recording information written by our buddy Mark Lewisohn.

Included in the set are: "Please Please Me" "With The Beatles" "A Hard Day's Night" "Beatles For Sale" which were all originally re-issued on the remastered vinyl on July 21 1987 on the CLJ series for LP. "Help!" "Rubber Soul" "Revolver" were also originally released on the remastered vinyl on July 21 1987 and also on the CLJ series for LP. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was remastered sometime in 1988 and also included in the box set using the C1 series for LP. "The Beatles (White Album)" and "Yellow Submarine" were originally released as remastered vinyl in 1988. Both LPs have the C1 catalogue prefix for LP. The last three LPs "Magical Mystery Tour" "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" were originally released as remastered vinyl on July 01 1988 all on the C1 series for LP. "Past Masters Volume 1 and 2" are discussed in the previous post.

Early pressing of the box set are sequentially numbered.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Past Masters Volume One and Past Masters Volume Two



During the year of 1987, the Beatles UK LP catalogue as well as "Magical Mystery Tour" (Capitol LP configuration) had been released on compact disc and it was now available to the public. EMI had left-over tracks from the catalogue not yet released on CD due to the fact that singles, B-sides, an LP and various versions of tunes had not been released in the original LP formats.

This prompted a compilation of the left over tracks to be released. This situation was rectified when two compact discs were released with long boxes on or around March 08 1988.

The first compact disc is entitled :"Past Masters Volume One" (very original !!). The catalogue number for this release is C2 90043 2. The front cover of the long box has the artist name in gray and black. There is no mono/stereo designation at the bottom of the box. The artist and title appear white print with a black background on the side of the box. the back of the box has the tracklisting, UPC code and three black and white photos of the group from 1963 to 1965. "Produced by George Martin" is at the bottom as well as having the three "Capitol", "compact disc" and "Parlophone" logos.

The 12 - page booklet within the jewel case has the front cover with white print on a black background, the individual tracks and liner notes explaining their origin, four photos of the Fabs (same three as the long box with one added from 1962). The last page has the tracklisting, the production credit and the compilation by Mark Lewisohn credit.

The tracks for this volume are: "Love Me Do" (Ringo version), "From Me To You" (single), "Thank You Girl" (B-side), "She Loves You" (single), "I'll Get You" (B-side), "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (single), "This Boy" (B-side), "Komm, Gib Mi Deine Hand" (German single), "Sie Liebt Dich" (German single), "Long Tall Sally" (EP track), "I Call Your Name" (EP track), "Slow Down" (EP track), "Matchbox" (EP track), "I Feel Fine" (single), "She's A Woman" (B-side), "Bad Boy" (LP compilation track), "Yes It Is" (B-side) and "I'm Down" (B-side). The first four tracks and the two German tracks are mono and the rest are stereo.

Also released on the same day was "Past Masters Volume Two", the second part in this series of tracks not released on the original UK LP formats. The catalogue number for Volume Two is C2 90044 2. The longbox has the same design as volume one with black print on white rather than the other way around. The back of the box has the tracklisting at the bottom rather than the top and the box includes four black and white photos of the Fabs from 1966, 68 and 69.

The 12 - page booklet for Volume Two contains the same format as Volume one with the exception of black print on a white background. The middle of the book contains four photos of the Beatles (the same black and white photos as the back of the long box) and photo credits for only two of the four photos. The second to last page promotes Volume One (the booklet in Volume One promotes Volume Two).

The tracks for this volume are: "Day Tripper" (single), "We Can Work It Out" (single), "Paperback Writer" (single), "Rain" (B side), "Lady Madonna" (single), "The Inner Light" (B side), "Hey Jude" (the greatest single of all time), "Revolution" (the greatest B side of all time), "Get Back" (single version), "Don't Let Me Down" (B side), "The Ballad of John and Yoko" (single), "Old Brown Shoe" (B side), "Across The Universe" (Our World version), "Let it Be" (single version), "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" (B side). All tracks are stereo with the exception of the last track.

A double LP was released almost seven months later on or about October 26 1988. This LP was manufactured by Capitol Records and entitled "Past Masters Volume One and Two". The catalogue number for this double LP is C1-91135. The gatefold cover has the Beatles logo and title with white print on a black backgroud on the front and the same logo and title with black print on a white background along with the tracklisting. The left inside cover has the Beatles logo and title at the top, the tracklisting on the left and right, the introduction (same as the CD) on the bottom of the logo, the same four black and white photos and the liner notes underneath the photos. The right inside cover has the same thing except it is black print on a white background. Both the Capitol and the Parlophone labels are at the bottom of the back cover. The labels for these LPs are the Capitol purple labels. All 33 tracks are remastered as per the mid 1980s.

This made the entire standard/commercial Beatles catalogue available on compact disc for the first time (with the exception of various mixes and oddities that would be released in the future).



Monday, October 10, 2011

The Beatles On Compact Disc (Part Six)



The final two CDs released from the original UK LP catalogue were "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be". These were released on or about October 19 1987. The complete LP catalogue of the Beatles' music was now available and all had been released within the year. It was also a marketing campaign to get all the CDs released in time for the Christmas season. The compilation of non-LP tracks would follow shortly (see next post).

"Abbey Road" is one of the best sounding Beatles albums but the original 1987 CD had a lot of hiss in spots on tracks such as "Something" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and in the quieter passages. "Let It Be" sounds fab.

"Abbey Road" came with a long box and it features the artist name above the front cover reproduction in a light brown. The sides of the box also have the artist and title in light brown. The back of the box has the UPC code the tracklisting split in two with the brick wall background from the original LP back cover and the artist and title. The woman in the blue dress walking by is not present. The bottom of the back of the box has the three logos: Capitol, Compact Disc and Parlophone.

The four page booklet features the reproduction of the front cover, the inner left has the tracklisting, the inner right has the compact disc blurb and the back of the book is split in two with the tracklisting (again) on a black background for the top half and the lower half has a partial reproduction of the back cover (artist/title/blue dress). No liner notes. No Apple logos anywhere on the original release.

"Let It Be" was issued with similar traits to it's predessessor, with the long box featuring the artist's name in a purple colour which also appears on the side of the box, the back featuring the tracklisting split with a reproduction of the front cover photographs on a white background. The three logos are at the bottom of the box.

The measly four page booklet contains a reproduction of the front cover on the front page, artist/title and tracklisting on page two; the same front cover photos on a white background with Compact Disc blurb on page three and the tracklisting (again) on a black background with the back cover "Let it Be" short blurb and the four photos taken from the back cover of the LP. Very boring indeed. Absolutely no liner notes. No Apple logos to be found on the original pressings.

The catalogue number for the "Abbey Road" CD is CCT 7 46446 2 and the catalogue numberfor the "Let It Be" CD is CCT 7 46447 2.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Roll Up !! Roll Up !! The Beatles On Compact Disc (Part Five)



The release of the Beatles on Compact disc in the late 1980s were basically released in a chronological order with the exception of one disc: "Magical Mystery Tour". This CD was originally released on or about September 21 1987 in the latest of the series. The version of this CD was based on the Capitol version of the LP with the "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields", "All You Need Is Love/Baby, You're a Rich Man" and "Hello Goodbye/ I Am The Walrus" singles thrown into the mix along with the "MMT" television special soundtrack. The catalogue number for "Magical Mystery Tour" is CCT 7 48062 2.

The CD was released in a long box that features the artist's name in multi-colours "red, yellow, green, blue" respectively. The bottom of the front box graphics feature the word "stereo" in red. The artist and title on the side of the long box are also written in red. On the back of the box are the UPC code, the tracklisting split in two with the back cover of the Capitol LP in the middle. The Capitol, Compact Disc and Parlophone labels are on the bottom of the back of the long box.

The reproduction of the front cover LP artwork (Capitol version) does not include the words: "Includes 24-page full color picture book" as on the original LP front cover sleeve. With good reason. The CD booklet within the jewel case has only 8 pages and contains the front cover reproduction, a reproduction of the left inner LP sleeve (without the Capitol/EMI logo), lyrics, the middle section photograph of the Beatles miming to "I Am the Walrus", more lyrics and finally the back cover photo of the back LP cover (halfed) shared with the tracklisting. There is a Parlophone logo at the bottom right hand side.

When this CD was first released, it was a joy to hear the tracks in true stereo and nicely cleaned up. The original Capitol LP had done an amazing bad job on the whole sound of the second side including having some of tracks in duo-phonic and the EQ job was terrible. This made the release of the music on Compact Disc a nice reprieve from the earlier, dismal listening experience (unless, of course...you had the German Apple version which is a whole other subject coming soon...).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Beatles on Compact Disc (Part Four)



On or around August 24, 1987; EMI released two more compact disc versions of UK titles: "The Beatles (White Album)" and "Yellow Submarine". It should also be noted that the "Yellow Submarine" movie was released on VHS four days after the CD release. This version did not contain the "Hey Bulldog" segment. The 1987 VHS version was eventually discontinued and replaced with the 1999 version that included the "Hey Bulldog" segment and additional extras.

Anyway, back to the 1987 CDs. The white album was originally released in a long box that was totally white and the had a grey coloured "The Beatles" logo (similar to the LP) on a bit of an angle at the front of the box. There is nothing else written on the front of the box except for the word "stereo" in light grey. The sides of the box have the title and the catalogue number and "Capitol Compact disc". The back has the tracklisting for the 2 discs, the UPC code and the usual Capitol/Compact Disc/Parlophone logos on the bottom.

The long box for the white album contain two CDs in separate CD jewel cases. First issues have the booklets numbered. The first CD contains a 24 page booklet that features the four portraits shown on the inside cover of the LP version (in colour) and parts of the poster included in the LP verson (although only parts of it on various pages) and contains the lyrics to the songs. There are no individual mini portraits nor poster (these goodies would only be reproduced in 1998 on the 30th anniversary version). The second CD contains a 4 page booklet showing the name of the band the four individual portrait photos in black and white. Both booklets have the tracklisting on the last page. The CDs themselves have a white background with black print. The catalogue number for this release is CCB 46443.

The "Yellow Submarine" CD release was also originally housed in a long box. The design for this particular long box was a little more conventional with the earlier releases in the sense that it has the artist title half white/yellow/gold and a reproduction of the front LP cover with the word "stereo" in orange at the bottom. The sides of the box have the artist/title in orange along with the catalogue number (in white) and the "Capitol Compact Disc" designation (also in white). The back of the box has the track listing in white split in two with a drawing of the yellow submarine surrounded by the cartoon Beatles. The UPC code and usualy logos are also present. The eight page booklet contain within the jewel case has the front cover, the tracklisting, the Derek Taylor liner notes from the original LP as well as the entire "White Album" review by Tony Palmer of the London Observer which was part of the original LP as well. The disc itself is silver with black print. The catalogue number for this release is CCT 7 46445 2.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Beatles on Compact Disc (Part Three)



The so-called "Highlight" of the first batch of compact disc releases in the (back then) new format was the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" on or about June 01 1987. The release of the disc was to co-inside with the lyric of the title song and media tag for the release :"It was twenty Years ago today". EMI had originally released the LP version on May 26 1967 with the offical release date as June 01 1967 making the CD release exactly twenty years apart. Some fans and critics wondered if the timing of this release affected the earlier compact disc release efforts with the thin booklets and lack of proper liner notes. There were also complaints at the time of the mono only first four issues and lack of dual choice in formats between the mono mixes and stereo mixes. All of this would be rectified in 2009 with the remasters.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was originally released in a long box which featured the artist name in blue/white above the iconic front cover image. Under the image is the tracklisting and the word "stereo" all in blue. The sides of the box also have the artist/title in blue. The back of the box features a mini version of the LP "cut outs" with the green background, a UPC code on the upper right, composer's credits and producer/engineer credits. The bottom of the box has the Capitol and Parlophone logo, the Compact Disc logo and patent/manufactuing information. The catalogue number for this release is: CDP 7 46442 2.

The CD jewel case contains the silver disc with information written in red (all previous releases have the information in black). The spine and back are also red and have the writing in black. The spine contains the title while the back contains the tracklisting information along with the usual UPC code and technical information/ Parlophone logo. The 28 page booklet as the front cover reproduced on page 01, page 02 has the numbered characters of the front cover and the next page has the character text identifying all participants. page 04 to 06 have a quote from George Martin and recording notes by Mark Lewisohn. Page 07 has quotes from Peter Blake. Page 08/09 have outtake photos for the cover shoot from Michael Cooper and a drawing by Paul. Page 10/11 reproduce the inner gatefold photo of the LP. Pages 12 to 25 feature the lyrics and various official and outtake photos for the back of the LP cover. Page 26 contains the cut out information, another Peter Blake quote and compact disc information. Page 27 contains a reproduction of the original inner sleeve design along with credit information. Last page has the tracklisting.

I have to admit that this particular package (especially the work put into the booklet) is probably the nicest of all the CDs released during the year 1987.

Original releases did NOT have the Apple logo on the back.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Beatles On Compact Disc (Part Two)



The next series of compact discs to be released worldwide occurred on or about April 30 1987 were the following: "Help!", "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver".

All three of these releases (along with the previous four) were also issued in long boxes. Original "pressings" do NOT have the Apple logo on the back cover of the booklets. Interestingly, both "Rubber Soul" and "Help!" were re-mixed at Abbey Road in order to slightly mix the songs with less harsh separation. This is especially evident on "Rubber Soul" where some of the vocals are brought closer to the middle of the stereo spectrum. At this point of time, the three releases from April 1987 were issued only in stereo. For some unexplained (to this day) reason, some Canadian "pressed" CDs have the original stereo UK mix rather than the otherwise above mentioned "re-mix". Confused yet ?

"Help!" was issued with the tracklisting reflecting the original UK release: the long box for this release has the artist title in blue/white with the word "stereo" in blue at the bottom of the front box. The side of the box is also blue and the back of the box contains the UPC code, track listing, Capitol logo, Parlophone logo and the compact disc logo. An italic indicates which of the songs are from the movie "Help!". My copy was manufactured in the US as mentioned in small print at the lower back of the box. The catalogue number for "Help!" is CDP 7 46439 2. The eight page booklet within contains the front and back cover (the front cover having the parlophone logo, CD logo and "stereo"), the tracklisting and four photos of the individual Beatles from the back cover.

"Rubber Soul" was issued with the tracklisting reflecting the original UK release: this release has the artist title in brown/white with the word "stereo" in green. The side of the box has brown lettering and the back has the UPC code, tracklisting and same logos as "Help!". My copy was manufactured in the US. The catalogue number for "Rubber Soul" is CDP 7 46440 2. The eight page booklet contais the front and back cover - very oddly, I've never understood with the "Capitol" dome logo is shown prominently at the upper right hand side of the front cover/booklet while all the rest of the CDs have Parlophone logos. Inside of the booklet is also the tracklisting and individual photos of the group taken from the original back cover of the LP. No liner notes for all three issues.

Lastly, "Revolver" was issued with the artist's name at the front of the long box ain turquoise/white and the word "stereo" in white. The back of the long box contains the tracklisting and logos. It's too bad EMI didn't use the original back cover of the original LPs for these releases but repeated the tracklisting twice. The catalogue number for "Revolver" is CDP 7 46441 2. The eight page booklet features the front cover with the Parlophone logo, the tracklisting and close up photos of each member of the group taken from the original back cover of the UK LP.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Beatles on Compact Disc (Part 1)





In the 1980s, the popularity of the Compact disc format was growing rapidly across the world. It was decided to release the Beatles catalogue on this format in the mid 1980s and the CDs would be released in batches starting with the first four UK LP configuration. The Capitol LPs were abandoned (for the time being) and the EMI versions from the United Kingdom were used instead. The first four CDs released contained the material from the following LPs: "Please Please Me", "With The Beatles", "A Hard Day's Night" and "Beatles For Sale". All four were release simultaneously on or around February 26 1987.

The "Please Please Me" CD was originally packaged in a long box. The front of the box has "The Beatles" with the lower half in yellow and "compact disc" writtin in white underneath. A photo of the front LP cover is shown in the middle of the box. The spine on each side has the CD catalogue number, the artist and title in yellow and "Capitol compact disc" at the bottom. The back of the box has a UPC code, the tracklisting separated by a photo of the last page of the booklet contained within the jewel case of the CD; the Capitol logo is at the bottom left, the Parlophone logo is at the bottom right. The compact disc logo is in the middle and the US address is printed along the bottom. Some copies have a sticker at the top stating that the disc was made in West Germany as some CD factories (at the time) were still being prepped for manufacture and distribution.
The "Please Please Me" jewel case features an eight page booklet with the front cover, tracklisting, liner notes from the back of the original UK LP, compact disc information and four photos of the Beatles cropped from the front cover. There are no outtake photos nor are there any bonus tracks. All tracklisting follows the UK LP. The silver disc has the title and artist at the top, the ADD designation, Parlophone logo and patent on the left, the compact disc logo, catalogue number and manufacturer on the tight. The tracklisting and all rights perimeter print at the bottom. The CD catalogue number for the "Please Please Me" CD is CDP 7 46435 2.

The "With The Beatles" CD was also issued in a long box. The box has the sam design as the "Please Please Me" CD with the following exceptions. The front of the box has "The Beatles" in red, the spines have the artist and title in red.

The booklet inside in the jewel case features a twelve page booklet with the front cover, tracklisting, liner notes from the back of the original UK LP,CD information and individual half shadow photos of the Beatles cropped from the front cover. The catalogue number for "With The Beatles" is CDP 7 46436 2.

The third disc is "A Hard Day's Night". The long box has the same design but the Beatles and spine title/artist print are in blue. The back of the box contains the individual photos taken from the back cover of the UK LP "A Hard Day's Night".

Inside the jewel case, the eight page booklet features the front cover, the title/artist, the tracklising, liner notes from the original LP and CD information. The catalogue number for "A Hard Day's Night" is CDP 7 46437 2.

The fourth and final CD released in February 1987 was a copy of "Beatles For Sale". The long box appeared in the same style as the previous three with the exception of the artist/title in green this time on the front and at the spine. The back of the box contains the tracklisting and the back cover of the original UK LP.

Inside the jewel case, the eight page boolet features the front cover, the original Derek Taylor liner notes from the LP, the inside, the two group photos from the inside of the original gatefold cover (the Washington concert photo and the photo of the group at Twickenham), plus compact disc information and the back cover of the original UK LP. The catalogue number for "Beatles For Sale" is CDP 7 46438 2.

When all four discs were originally released in 1987, many Beatles fans were upset because these discs were available only in mono. I could understand the first two being mono due to the fact that these were basically recorded on twin track, but the latter two were four-track and have decent stereo separation on the UK records. Stereo mixes for the first four releases (selected) would not be available commercially until the release of a compilation in 1993 (more on this later).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Intermission

Well...let's see now. We've covered the commercial vinyl releases from the UK, US and Canada as well as the Christmas goodies. I think up next we'll take a look at the release of the first set of Compact Discs released in the 1980s.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Beatles Christmas Album



On December 18 1970 (the same day the UK "From Then To You" Beatles Fan Club issued thier Christmas flexi compilation), the Beatles Fan Club in the USA also released an LP containing a compilation of all the Christmas messages previously sent to Fan Club members. Entitled "The Beatles Christmas Album", this LP was not sold in stores but issed to Fan Club members through the mail in a single envelope !! The catalogue number for this LP is Apple SBC 100.

The LP was released in a cardboard cover with paper slicks (fakes have posterboard construction). The front cover is one of the prettiest of all Beatles LPs (in my honest opinion). The front has a series of 25 cubes against a dark blue background. Within the cubes are black and white photos of the Beatles individual and as a group. The first row of cubes (left to right) features photos of John from 1966, 67, 68, 69 and 1970. The sides and tops of the cubes reflect the various other photos within the row. The second row of cubes features photos of Paul in the same time frame. The third row of cubes features photos of George in the same time frame. The fourth row of cubes features photos of Ringo in the same time frame. Finally, the fifth row features group photos from 1966, 67, 68 and 1969 with the very last cube showing the LP title (due to the fact that there are no photos of the entire group together from 1970).

The back cover features the LP title taking over most of the cover "The Beatles" written in black with white border and "Christmas Album" written completely in white. At the top left of the back cover, six black and white miniature flexi cardboard covers from the UK are shown. If you were a member of the American Fan Club in the day, you probably would not have recognized four of the mini covers as they were never released in this format in the USA. The only two covers that the Fan Club would have recognized is the second row right cover ( being released in the UK for the 1967 message but issued to US Fan Club members in 1968) as well as the last two right (both released for the UK and US Fan Club members in 1969).

Underneath the "Christmas" part of the back cover there are the words: "The Beatles Fan Club" written in uppercase in black, "Copyright 1970" in upper and lower case underneath the above. The tracklisting for the LP is written for both sides with the address of the Fan Club written underneath the tracklisting on the back cover. Finally, the LP design is credited to "GROK IT!" and the photo creations are credited to Robert Bauman. "Not For Sale" and the catalogue number is written at he bottom left of the back ocver as well as the "all rights" print. The spine of the LP carries the LP title as well as the catalogue number.

Both sides of the LP carry the Apple label with a whole Apple on side one and a half Apple on side two. There is perimeter print on side one only which reads: "Mfd. By Apple Records, Inc.". The title for the LP is on side one above the playhole. The catalogue number and "side 1" are to the right of the playhole. The tracklisting and the "all rights" paragraph is written on four lines under the tracklisting. The title for the LP is on side two above the playhole and to the left. All information on the label is placed in the same position as on side 1. The trail-off area of the vinyl record contain the initials "sf" as well as the "Bell Sound" logo and a hand written triangle and line which indicates that this particular release was only pressed at the Capitol Winchester plant.

The tracklisting for this compilation is as follows: Side 1 :"Dec. 1963", "Dec. 1964" (which was the first time that American Fan Club members would have heard this message as the message released by the Fan Club in 1964 was actually the recording from the previous year), "Dec. 1965" (another new message and first release for the American Fan Club members as the Beatles (USA) Ltd. did not release the Christmas message for 1965", "Dec. 1966". Side 2: "Dec. 1967", "Dec. 1968" and "Dec. 1969".

There are a lot of fakes vs. real out there for this LP as it is fairly rare and quite in demand. The fake covers are made of white posterboard and the artwork is one piece printed directly onto the posterboard. Real covers are constructed of cardboard and the addition of paper slicks with the front cover wrapped around to the back and the seam can be seen on the back cover. The Apple labels on the vinyl should be sharp and clear. The indentation of the ring around the playhole should be five-eights of an inch away. Any ring indentation larger than that is a fake. Any coloured vinyl is fake.

Things to remember: Not all covers of fake copies have blurry print. This is why it is important to check the cover construction. Some fakes also contain the "Bell Sound" logo in the trail off area. This is why it is important to check the indentation ring.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

From Then To You



On December 18 1970, The Beatles Fan Club still existed although the Beatles had officially announced the break up of the band earlier in the year. Since recording activity had halted for the group as a collective unit, there would be no chance of a new Christmas flexi being prepared. Therefore, The Beatles Fan Club released a 12 inch vinyl compilation mailed out to it's members entitled "From Then To You" in LP form. The catalogue number for this LP is LYN 2153/54. "From Then To You" was only released in the United Kingdom.

The front cover consists of a white background with the LP title written in black above a facsimile of the 1963 UK Christmas flexi front cover (bent corners and all). The back of the cover is also a white background with the remaining six front covers of the Fan Club Christmas flexis in black and white. Under the photos of the covers are the words: "The Beatles Fan Club Christmas Record 1970". The tracklist follows: Side one consists of the Christmas messages from 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966. Side two consists of the Christmas messages from 1967, 1968 and 1969. A copyright 1970 statement follows and the Beatles Fan Club Liverpool address is used. The sleeve design is credited to "Joint Effort". The printers of the cover are West Brothers printers Ltd, London, SW19.

The LP has the Apple label. Side one has the full Apple with with title and subtitle appearing in black above the playhole. To the left is the blurb "An EMI recording", the record speed (33 1/3), Mfd. In U.K. and the side number. On the right is the catalogue number for this side. At the bottom is the tracklisting, artist, the "recordings first published" statement and finally "The Official Beatles Fan Club". Side two has the half Apple and the markings are in the same location as the full Apple side.

Fake copies of this LP do NOT have the Apple labels




Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Christmas 1969



The final Christmas flexi recorded by The Beatles for the their Fan Club was released in the UK on December 19 1969. The official title of the flexi is: "The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record" and the sub-title being "Happy Christmas 1969". The catalogue number for this particular release is LYN 1970/71.

The flexi was released once again in a cardboard sleeve (no newsletter once again) with a front cover design photograph credited to Ringo Starr under his proper name Richard Starkey and shows a blurry, psychedelic style photo with yellow, orange and green. The back cover of the release is credted to Ringo's son Zak under hi s propr name Zak Starkey and is a hand drawing of various people of various sizes along with a tree and leaves. A little kid's drawing, if you wish. Also on the back of the cover is the Beatles Fan Club logo, the sub-title "Happy Christmas 1969" in a pinkish colour, the "not for public sale" disclaimer underneath in a box, the Beatles Fan Club address and finally the record speed "33 and 1/3". The cover was manufacted by West Brothers Printers of London.

Like the previous flexi, the label writings are etched directly onto the flexi with the Fan Club logo at the top and above the playhole, the record speed and "Play first this side, then turn over for part 2" below it. On the right hand side of the playhole is the "not for sale" disclaimer. Underneath the playhole is the title: "The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record", under that the fact that The Beatles record exclusively for the Apple label distributed by EMI Records and Lyntone Recordings, side numbers followed by the catalogue number. This is a two sided flexi due to the length of the message(s).

For the second time, this flexi was recorded in various locations by the individual members of the group. By late 1969, the Beatles were basically a non-working group. John and Yoko recorded their message in Ascot, Paul recorded his at his home in St. John Wood on Cavendish Ave., George recorded his message at Apple in London on Savile Row and Ringo recorded his message in Weybridge, Surrey. The entire project was edited and "produced" and credited to Maurice Cole (which is Kenny Everett's real name) who also did the same for the previous year's recording. The recording dates and editing dates are unknown to me.

In the USA, the Beatles' Fan Club used the same cardboard cover as their UK counterparts. In fact, the covers were imported from the UK to use for the American versions. The flexi's, however are quite different.

The flexi's have the label etched directly onto the flexi like the UK version. The label features a drawing of the Beatles' faces (as they looked in 1969) for the top half of the label. The bottom half of the label has the following text: "H-2455", "1969 Side One 33 1/3". The disclaimer is underneath and finally the bottom perimeter print reads: "Product of Americom Corp. NYC. Made in USA".

The tracklisting for this recording is as follows: Side one contains "Happy Christmas (Ringo)", "John and Yoko Talking", "Wonderful Christmas (George)", "Ringo Talking", "Link: The End", "John and Yoo Talking some more", "This is to Wish You All a Merry, Merry Christmas (Paul)", "Paul Talking", "This is to Wish You All a Merry, Merry Christmas (Reprise - Paul)". Side two contains: "John and Yoko Talking even more", "Happy Christmas (John/Yoko)", "Happy Christmas/Magic Christian (Ringo)", "Ringo Talking", "John and Yoko Talking".

It's interesting to note that the entire flexi recording lasts over seven minutes and a half with most of the messages by John and Yoko. In fact, this flexi is basically a John and Yoko recording as Paul's message is less than a minute and a half, Ringo contributes less than a minute of chat and George graces us with his voice for only twenty seconds.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Christmas 1968 - The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record



The Beatles Sixth Christmas record sub-titled "Christmas 1968" was released in the UK on or about December 20 1968. The catalogue number for this Fan Club flexi is LYN 1743/1744. Once again the flexi was manufactured by Lyntone.

The cardboard front cover of this release features the head and body of a woman in white, blue and red psychedelic colours. There is a white sideboard and the title of the flexi is in capital letters in blue at the bottom right of the front cover. The back cover also has a white, blue and red design and is in a more paisley design. The Fan Club logo is to the right and also includes the title as "The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record" with the sub-title "Christmas 1968" highlighted in red underneath. The record speed is present "33 1/3" with the liner notes appearing underneath. The notes give credit to the locations of the recordings for the individual members of the band (this being the first time that the flexi was not specifically recorded by all band members in the same location at the same time). John and Paul had recorded on their own at their homes, George Harrison recording from Los Angeles in the United States where he was also producing some music for Jackie Lomax of Apple Records. Ringo contributed his recording from his home in Surrey. All of the tapes were given to Kenny Everett who ended up editing and producing the flexi. It was the first year that George Martin did not get the production credit.

In the United States, the Fan Club Beatles (USA) Ltd. issued the flexi in a cardboard cover featuring the front cover and back cover to the Beatles earlier 1967 Christmas flexi with modification to the back cover changing the year 1967 to 1968 and eliminating some of the text. The cover was imported to the USA from the UK.

The flexis for this year were double sided due to the time of the recordings and this is why the UK catalogue number has double numbering. Side on and side two if you like. For the year 1968, the silver lettering was printed directly onto the flexi. The Fan Club logo at the top, the speed of the record at the left (33 1/3) with "Play first this side, then turn over for part 2". The "not for sale" disclaimer is on the right of the playhole. The title and the statement: "The Beatles record exclusively for the Apple label distributed by EMI Records" are underneath the playhole along with the catalogue number. In the USA, the double sided flexi has a drawing of the Fabs as they appeared during the year 1968 along with "side 1" and the record speed "33 1/3" to the right under the playhole. The disclaimer and "Side 2 on other side" appear together. Perimeter print state "Product of Americom Corp. NYC. Made in USA".

The tracklisting for this flexi is as follows: Side 1: "Ringo/Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Happy Christmas, Happy New Year (Paul)", Link Helter Skelter", "Jock and Yono (John/Yoko)", "Link", "George from America (George and Mal Evans)". Side two: "Ringo Starr", "Introduction/Ringo", "Happy Christmas, Happy New Year (reprise - Paul)", "Once Upon a Pool Table (John and Yoko)", "George and Tiny Tim", "Nowhere Man (Tiny Tim)", "Ending".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Christmas Time (Is Here Again) - The Beatles Fifth Christmas Record



The Beatles Fifth (in the UK) Christmas flexi was released by the Official Fan Club on or about December 15 1967. This was once again manufactured by Lyntone and the catalogue number for this release is LYN 1360. Once again this flexi contained skits and pantomimes rather than the earlier vocal "messages" from previous years.

The UK release came once again with a cardboard cover and included a paper National Newsletter. The cardboard cover had the front designed by John Lennon and Ringo Starr and it features a collage of sorts with sunflowers and various antique type portraits of people. There is no writings on the front cardboard cover. The back of the cover is designed by Julian Lennon and features one of his drawings on the left side of the cover and the text information is to the right side. The text features the Fan Club logo, the title of the recording, the record speed (33 1/3) and "starring The Original Beatles". Credits are given to Victor Spinetti (who sang on the title song) and Mal Evans. A credit is also given to producer George Martin. The cover design credit is given, the disclaimer and finally the Fan Club address is at the bottom of the back cover.

The National Newsletter somewhat describes the contents of the recordings as well as the voices used for it. It also describes the tone-arm pressure of your turntable (haha) and it promotes "The Beatles Monthly" book. It is signed by Freda Kelly - Fan Club Secratary. The back of the newsletter features a caricature of the Beatles by Bob Gibson (the same guy who did the "Magical Mystery" drawings). It shows Paul as Santa, George as a Jack-In-A-Box, Ringo as a little drummer boy and John as a Teddy Bear. Mr. Gibson also added a Walrus at the bottom right hand corner.

The label for the flexi features a white background with red lettering. The Beatles Fan Club logo is at the top, the record speed (33 1/3) is at the left hand side of the playhole, the "not for sale" print is at the right hand side and below is the title, the blurb "The Beatles record exclusively for the Parlophone label" and finally the catalogue number is at the bottom.

This particular flexi was released as one sided. The whole recording lasting slightly a few seconds over six minutes. The tracklisting is as follows: "Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (Intro John, all singing)", The Boys arrive At BBC House (BBC Wise One/ Victor Spinetti)", "An Audition (John)", "Tap Dancing (Ringo/Victor Spinetti)", "Are You 13 Amp (Mal Evans)", "Get One of Those For Your Trousers (John)", "Sir Gerald" (Paul/John)", "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", "Onto The Next Round and Intro (George)", "Plenty of Jam Jars", "Quiz Show (John/ George)", "Get One of Those For Your Trousers", "Theatre Hour (Ringo)", "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", "They'd Like To Thank You (George Martin/All)", "When Christmas Time is O'er (George Martin/ Paul/ John)".

In the United States, the recording was also released to the Fan Club. Beatles (USA) Ltd. sent a large square postcard to it's members with one side vinyl coated ( as is the case with the previous year ) (see previous post). On one side of the postcard is the "Beatles Bulletin" which discusses the Christmas recording (mentioning the special guests) as well as discussing the newest Beatles project: "Magical Mystery Tour" and the Beatles appearence on "Our World". The bulletin is signed by Francis Firius and Sue Clark. The right side of the postcard features the blurb "Third Class Mail" and room for the postage and member's address.

The other side of the postcard carries the recording and has a large center type "Label" which is similar to the previous year's design with "Season's Greetings" in script and "From The Beatles" in upper case underneath the script. The year of issue is not on the label in contrast with the previous year's release. The record speed (33 1/3 rpm) and disclaimer are below the playhole.

The recording of the 1967 Christmas flexi was conducted on Tuesday November 28 1967 at EMI studio Three between 6 PM and 2:45 AM. It was produced by George Martin and engineered by Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush. The title song was recorded first in one take with Paul on Piano, George on acoustic, Ringo on drums and John on tympani. The vocals are credited to all four Beatles, Victor Spinetti and George Martin. The song is written by all four Beatles. After this take, the skit performances were recording between one to ten takes. The whole project was also mixed for mono at this same evening session.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas - The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record



The Beatles' Fourth Fan Club flexi was released in the UK on or about December 16 1966. Once again, the flexi was made by the Lyntone company in the UK. The catalogue number for this release is LYN 1145. This particular release contained a different idea format from the Beatles as they were entering their most creative and psychedelic phase.

As with the previous couple of flexis, this Fan Club release came with a cardboard cover/sleeve and included the Beatles Fan Club National Newsletter explaining the details of the Christmas recording.

The front of the colorful cardboard cover has a design by Paul McCartney with the word "Pantomime" in big red letters and yellow-gold bubbles surrounding the title. The sub-title is: "Everywhere It's Christmas" and this is written underneath the title contains in a drawed balloon surrounded by blue and red and black lines. The back of the cover has the official Beatles Fan Club logo and name and "The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record" in red underneath. The record speed (33 1/3) and the title logo follow; the sub-title and track listing underneath. The "not for sale" blurb is in red. This is followed by the George Martin credit and the fact that the Beatles record exclusiely for the Parlophone label. Lastly, the Fan club address is written at the bottom of the cover in black.

The newsletter folds open with the logo of the Fan club on the left, the Fan Club address underneath, followed by "National Newsletter" and "Christmas 1966". The text follows describing the session for this flexi and continues on the right with the signatures of the two fan club secretaries: Anne Collingham and Freda Kelly. At the bottom of the newsletter are the lyrics for the tracks "Please Don't Bring Your Bango Back" and "Everywhere It's Christmas".

The label for this flexi has the Fan Club logo at the top; the speed of the flexi on the left of the playhole (33 1/3); the "not for sale" blurb to the right of the playhole. The large title and sub-title is underneath along with "The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record" in smaller lettering. Thisis followed by the words: "The Beatles record exclusively for the Parlophone Label" and "Lyntone Recordings" and the catalogue number. The label is gold with a white background. The perimeter print has the "all rights reserved" statement.

This flexi contained two sides rather than the previous one-sided disc. Side A tracklisting is as follows: "Everywhere It's Christmas (all)", "Orowayna (Corsican Choir and Small Choir) (Intro/Paul/ All singing)", "A Rare Cheese (Two Elderly Scotsmen) (Intro/Ringo, George and John)", "The Feast (all)", "The Loyal Toast (Intro/George/ Toast/Ringo)". Side B tracklisting is as follows: "Podgy The Bear And Jasper (Intro/Paul, Podgy/John, Jasper/George)", "Felpin Mansions- Part One (Count Balder and Butler) (The Count-John, Butler-Ringo)", "Felpin Mansions - Part Two (The Count and the Pianist)", "Song: Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back (Paul, all)", "Mal: Everywhere It's Christmas" and "Reprise: Everywhere It's Christmas (all)".

In the US, the American Fan club also released a flexi containing the same material. The Beatles (USA) Ltd. sent the Fan Club members a seven by eight and a half postcard with the vinyl section of the message coated on one side and the text and address on the other side. The text side has the "Beatles Bulletin" on the left side of the postcard and also contains the lyrics for both "Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back" and "Everywhere It's Christmas". The right side of the postcard leaves space for the member's address and postage as well as having the words "Phonograph Record" in script and underneath having the words "Handle with care" in upper letters. The other side of the postcard is the actual recording with a middle section (label) that has the year, "Season's Greetings" in script and "from The Beatles" written just above the playhole. The record speed is 33 1/3 and is written just underneath the playhole. The "all right" information and "Made in USA" appear in smaller type at the bottom of the label. The label is black and silver.

The recording of this Christmas record was conducted on Friday November 25 1966 at a studio in a basement below the London location of the Dick James Music office at Dick James House located on New Oxford Street. The times of completion and number of takes have not been recorded, but it is known that George Martin produced the record. It is also stated in the Fan Club newsletter that Brian Epstein was present as well as Neil Aspinall and the Fan Club secretaries. There was a closed circuit television that went from the studio into the control room at the other end of the corridor, according to the newsletter.

Everywhere It's Christmas - Come and join the FUN !!