Saturday, March 5, 2011

UK Rarities

There are two versions of this LP with the same title. Both have different covers, track listings and one is a gatefold while the other is not. This post will deal with the first version from EMI in the UK and it's exclusive American (non commercial) counterpart.

The Beatles "Rarities" was first issued as part of an eloborate box set released on December 02 1978 entitled "The Beatles Collection" with the catalogue number BC-13. This was basically the British LPs re-issed on the respective Parlophone/Apple labels and the first issue of "Rarites" was included as a bonus LP in the box set with the catlogue number Parlophone PSLP 261. The LP contained tracks that were not issued on EMI UK configured LPs or single B-sides, unique EP tracks as well as the two German sung tracks.

The front cover of this and the later general version feature a blue background with gold coloured logo showing the band's name and the LP title. It is also interesting to note that the version of "Rarities" that came with the box set had some errors on the label: The following tunes were written as stereo mixes but the mono mixes are heard on the record: "I'll Get You", "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)", "She's A Woman", "I'm Down" and "Long Tall Sally".

EMI issued a statement at the time explaining that the bonus "Rarities" would not be available as a separate entity. To get the bonus LP, you had to buy the box set. Obviously this was a stupid move by EMI.

Needless to say, demand for the LP was large and eventually the "Rarities" LP was available commercially almost a year later sometime in October 1979. This version of the LP had a few differences though. First the catalogue number was changed to PCM 1001. Also, the label had the stereo mix mistakes corrected by stating that 12 of the 17 tracks were mono. The same master was used for this version and the back cover added a "review" of the LP by Hugh Fielder of the music paper "Sounds".

In the United States, Capitol Records also released "The Beatles Collection" with their own version of the "Rarities" bonus disc. On this version, Capitol used the same front cover design with the blue background and an almost white logo of the band name and the title of the LP. The cover for this version was a paper cover rather than a cardboard cover which was used in most other countries where this box set was released. The imported LPs for the box set were imported and used the Parlophone/Apple labels as well. The US box set version was limited to 3,000 copies although numbers higher than that have been confirmed. It has also been said that the US "Rarities" bonus box set LP had an extra 2,000 pressed for promtional purposes. The bonus "Rarities" LP in this case for the US market was given the catalogue number Capitol SPRO-8969 and the track listing was the same as the UK track listing with the exception of the two German songs. On the US version, the two German sung songs were replaced with the original English versions. This particular LP was not released separately from the box set (officially). The box set in the US was also released in December of 1978. This LP has not been available on compact disc.

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