Saturday, March 12, 2011

North American Rarities

In late 1979, Capitol Records decided to release their own version of the "Rarities" LP different in art work and track listing from the first version issued with the "Beatles Collection" box set released by EMI. This only made sense as most of the tracks on the EMI version of "Rarities" had already been released on LPs from the North American back catalogue configurations making a lot of the tracks not very "rare".

"Rarities" was released on March 24 or 28 1980 and has the catalogue number SHAL-12060. The format for this set of music was originally released on vinyl and is not available on compact disc. The front cover features a small photograph of the Beatles taken on July 28 1968 against a grey background. The small photo is embossed. The original front cover was supposed to be the Bucher cover photo but this was instead put on the inside of the gatefold cover instead on the left. Original copies of "Rarities" have the butcher cover cropped while second issues have been cropped differently showing a set of false teeth on the floor. On the right of the inside cover is a photo of the Beatles during a 1966 press conference with ten small various photos of the Beatles laid over the red curtain behind them. The back cover has six small photos on it's bottom right side with liner notes on the left and the track listing. All are against a grey background. The small photos on the bottom right are embossed on the second issues.

The descriptions for the songs on the back cover had errors (DUH!) which are discussed below: "Love Me Do" is the mono take with Ringo on drums, this version being copied from the Canadian single (Capitol of Canada 72076).

The next two songs are "Misery" and "There's A Place". There is an error on the back of the cover which states that "There's A Place" was never issued in stereo in the US. This is not true as "There's A Place" was released on the stereo Vee Jay LP version of "Introducing The Beatles" (SR 1062). Second issues of the back cover of "Rarities" edited the line about the stereo version. On Canadian copies of "Rarities", "Misery" has an asterisk with the information that this song had already been released in Canada on Capitol of Canada ST-6063 (Long Tall Sally LP) and that "There's A Place" has two asterisks with the information that this had already been released in Canada on Capitol of Canada ST-6054 (Twist and Shout LP).

"Sie Liebt Dich" is in stereo on this LP. "And I Love Her" uses a German stereo version with the extended guitar riff at the end. I'm sure this track was extended rather than originally edited by the German engineers.

"Help!" uses the UK single mono mix with the different Lennon over-dubbed vocal. "I'm Only Sleeping" uses the UK stereo mix.

"I Am The Walrus" was created by Capitol in the following manner: they opened the song with the six riff intro (rather than four riffs) taken from the "Magical Mystery Tour" UK stereo EP. There are also extra bars of music after the "I'm Crying" section which were edited in from the original Capitol mono single.

"Penny Lane" was also a Capitol creation. This UK stereo mix was edited with the Capitol promo single (mono) taken from an actual 45 !! The version on the North American "Magical Mystery Tour" LP has "Penny Lane" in duophonic so this is a much better sounding mix.

"Helter Skelter" is the UK mono mix. First issue back covers of the "Rarities" attribute the "I've Got Blisters On My Fingers" statement to John Lennon !! It always astounds me that with all of the so-called "experts" compiling this LP, nobody caught the error. Second issue back covers edit the liner note description by editing out the word "Lennon".

"Don't Pass Me By" is simply the UK mono mix.

"The Inner Light" is presented in mono and not to be released in stereo until much later on the "Past Masters" series (which will be discussed in a later post).

"Across The Universe" is the early "No One's Gonna Change Our Word" version (see pertinent earlier post).

"You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" is also presented in mono. It would be much later before hearing a stereo version ( see pertinent post).

Finally, the LP ends with a snippet of the "Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove" which was included on the run out groove of the mono and stereo UK LP versions of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" but not released with this configuration in North America.

A grey inner sleeve with black and white photos of the Beatles at various stages during their career was included in the package. The labels on this release were the rainbow re-issue with perimeter print within the label on the black background.

Interestingly, the North American version of "Rarities" was one of three Beatles official Capitol albums NOT to achieve sales of one million (The other two being: "The Beatles Story" from 1964 (discussed in an upcoming post) and "Reel Music" from 1982 (discussed in an upcoming post).)

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