Saturday, February 19, 2011

Love Songs

This is the second "themed" Capitol/EMI project that is basically a compilation of Beatles' recorded material that have a "Love" connection. The recordings were once again released as a 2-LP set and is not officially available on compact disc (just like the first "themed" project Capitol/EMI 2-LP "Rock 'N' Roll Music").

"Love Songs" was released in North America on October 21 1977 with the catalogue number Capitol SKBL-11711. "Love Songs" was released in the UK almost a month later on November 19 1977 with the catlogue number Parlophone PCS 7211/2.

The packaging for the cover of this set was much more impressive than the previous "theme" set. "Love Songs" contains two vinyl LPs inside a gatefold cover which is brown and textured to be alike a simulated leather feel with an oval logo consisting of the Beatles images as taken by Richard Avedon for "Look" magazine in 1967. The original photograph of the Beatles in 1967 was manipulated for the cover/logo by moving Ringo and Paul. Paul is left on the origina photo while Ringo is immediately to the right. On the cover, Paul and Ringo are reversed in position and Paul's portrait is enlarged while Ringo's portrait has been made smaller. Why this was done is unclear although there is speculation that Paul was enlarged due to the fact that he was the only solo Beatle at the time (1977) to be signed to EMI. John had let himself become a free agent, George was with Dark Hose/Warner and Ringo was with Atlantic/Polydor. There is also speculation that the big wigs at Capitol thought it would be better to have John and Paul "highlighted" since it was the two composers who's music was being prodominantly featured in the set (Reference: Spizer).

The original covers also came with a 28 page lyric book that featured the logo on the front cover and the calligraphy by Michael Manoogian. The lyric book was printed in the United States and imported to the other countries for release (Canada and the UK).

The inner sleeve for the North American releases included the logo on one side and the pertinent songs on the other side along with timings, LP of original (US versions) along with date of release for the particular LP. The UK pressings did not have custom inner sleeves.

The record labels for the North American releases included the Bealtles portait on a gold and brown background. The UK pressings did not have custom inner sleeves but rather the regular black/silver Parlophone labels.

Canadian copies offered all of the above along with gold vinyl colour pressings catalogued as Capitol of Canada SEBX-11844.

The song selection is a little bizarre. It's always difficult to define exactly what a "love song" is. Does it have to have "love" in the title or does it have to have love as a subject or is it a romantic lyric? Anyway, some of the tunes included on this set are questionable. "She's Leaving Home" for example.

A nice little set and collectible although it has not been listened to very much with my ears. I've always found compilations very subjective.

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