Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Beatles Christmas Record

The second Beatles Christmas flexi was released in the UK on December 18 1964. The flexi was manufactured by Lyntone and issued within a cardboard cover with the Fan Club newsletter included (National newsletter No. 4 Christmas 1964). The paper material was supplied by MacNeill Press Ltd, London. The catalogue number for this issue is LYN 757.

The front cover of the flexi shows a photo of the Beatles with the fan club logo above them, the record speed (45 rpm as opposed to the previous year's 33 rpm) and the title in red. The back cover has the title in red once again and liner notes written by Tony Barrow.

The folded paper newsletter consists of a photo of the Beatles with Ringo sitting on a stool with their first names on the left and the message "Merry Christmas" coming out of John's mouth in cartoon balloon type print. The back has a photo from the same session. The inside of the newsletter contains the text of the letter with the Beatles Fan Club logo above it. Lastly, the opposing page has four individual photos of the Beatles from a recording session (unknown which session). These photos seem to be from the same session as the ones on the back of the US "Beatles VI" LP. I'm assuming they were taken during the "Beatles For Sale" sessions.

The flexi has the same label as the previous year with the exception of the print being in red rather than blue and the record speed changing from 33 to 45 rpm. (See previous post for label details).

The flexi is one sided and the tracklisting is as follows: "Jingle Bells", "Paul Talking", "John Talking", "George Talking", "Ringo Talking", "Can you Wash Your Father's Shirts", "Happy Christmas". The entire message was recorded on Monday October 26 1964 at EMI studio two. It took five takes to record and the editing was also done at this session. Also recorded on this day were the songs "Honey Don't" and "What You're Doing"(remake). Some mono and stereo mixing for the "Beatles For Sale" material was also completed at this session (see details for the individual songs in my previous posts).

In the USA, 1964 was definitely the year of the Beatles conquest in that country. The USA also had a Fan Club entitled "Beatles (USA) Ltd." This Fan Club issued a flexi to it's members in December 1964 (detailed date unknown). The flexi package was constructed by Allied Creative Service, Inc. from New York. The package contained a tri-folded mail out which included "The Beatle Bulletin". The mailer has the title "The Beatles Bulletin" as the title with a large blurb screaming: "Christmas Issue" and the date December 1964. The bottom has a place for the Fan Club member's address to be attached. There is also the photo of the Beatles with Ringo sitting on the stool similar to the UK issue (although it's cropped). The text of the "Bulletin is written by Lynn Hargrave and Bernice Young and also promotes the Brian Epstein Fan club within the text. Another section promotes the Fan club Fact Sheet as well as a blurb for Pen Pals. The next section features the words: "Seasons' greetings from the Beatles" with four individual photos taken from the same session as the back cover of "Beatles VI" and during recording for "Beatles For Sale" at EMI studio two. Finally, the flexi itself has the year 1964 at the top and "Seasons' Greetings from the Beatles" once again. The record speed is also on the label as 33 rpm. A banner states "The Official Beatles Fan Club" and the printer's address at the bottom right.

The material on the USA flexi is actually the UK 1963 message !!! (See previous post for tracklisting). All recorded Christmas messages for 1963 and 1964 were produced by George Martin.

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