Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Beatles 1967-1970

The second set of the "Greatest Hits" package consisted of a double LP to compliment the "red" album entitled "The Beatles 1967-1970". This double LP set featured a blue background rather than the red one and is henceforth known as the "blue" album.

This double LP set was released simultaneously with the "red" album set. In North America, "The Beatles 1967-1970" was released on April 02 1973 with the Apple catalogue number of SKBO 3404. The set was released in the UK on April 19 1973 with the Apple catalogue number of PCSP 718.

The song selection on this set is much more balanced than the previous "1962-1966" line up. Side one opens with the first single of 1967 (both sides) and four tunes from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The side ends with the A-side of the second single of 1967.

Side two opens with the third single of 1967 (both sides) and two songs from "Magical Mystery Tour". The side ends with the first single from 1968 (A-side) and the complete second single of 1968.

Side Three has three songs from "The Beatles (White Album)" and the two early singles of 1969 (both A and B sides).

Finally, Side Four has four tunes from the "Abbey Road" sessions including the two songs pulled out of the LP to create a single in 1969. Three tunes from "Let It Be" conclude the set: two from the LP and the A-side to the 1970 single.

There were still problems with the North American version of the set: For instance, the mix used on "Penny Lane" was duophonic and the song "Hello Goodbye" used the mono mix. Both song had already been mixed in stereo and could have been used if EMI had simply send a copy of the tapes over. Once again as in the previous set, all mixes on the LPs in North America used their own "in house" tapes. The "Get Back" and "Let It Be" versions were from the single mixes and not the LP mixes although the timing on the labels reflect the LP versions.

The cover of the set had the Beatles "Get Back" Angus McBean photo on the front and the "Please Please Me" outtake photo on the back of the cover. The set was originally issued with Apple labels and a blue back ground.

Both the "1962-1966" and "1967-1970" set have been re-issued as Apple/EMI 2-LP/2-CD in 1993 with a much clearer print of the "Get Back/ Please Please Me" cover photos from the previous issue ( issued on vinyl as coloured vinyl in the UK) as well as a remastered Apple/EMI 2-CD version remastered in 2010.

Speaking of coloured vinyl, "The Beatles 1962-1966" (Capitol SEBX-11842) was released in North America on August 21 1978 on two red coloured vinyl LPs. "The Beatles 1967-1970" (Capitol SEBX-11843) was released on the same date on two blue coloured vinyl LPs. In the UK, "The Beatles 1962-1966" was released on red vinyl September 30 1978 (Parlophone PCSPR 717) and "The Beatles 1967-1970" was released on the same day on blue vinyl (Parlophone PCSPB 718).

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