Sunday, August 21, 2011

Christmas 1968 - The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record

The Beatles Sixth Christmas record sub-titled "Christmas 1968" was released in the UK on or about December 20 1968. The catalogue number for this Fan Club flexi is LYN 1743/1744. Once again the flexi was manufactured by Lyntone.

The cardboard front cover of this release features the head and body of a woman in white, blue and red psychedelic colours. There is a white sideboard and the title of the flexi is in capital letters in blue at the bottom right of the front cover. The back cover also has a white, blue and red design and is in a more paisley design. The Fan Club logo is to the right and also includes the title as "The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record" with the sub-title "Christmas 1968" highlighted in red underneath. The record speed is present "33 1/3" with the liner notes appearing underneath. The notes give credit to the locations of the recordings for the individual members of the band (this being the first time that the flexi was not specifically recorded by all band members in the same location at the same time). John and Paul had recorded on their own at their homes, George Harrison recording from Los Angeles in the United States where he was also producing some music for Jackie Lomax of Apple Records. Ringo contributed his recording from his home in Surrey. All of the tapes were given to Kenny Everett who ended up editing and producing the flexi. It was the first year that George Martin did not get the production credit.

In the United States, the Fan Club Beatles (USA) Ltd. issued the flexi in a cardboard cover featuring the front cover and back cover to the Beatles earlier 1967 Christmas flexi with modification to the back cover changing the year 1967 to 1968 and eliminating some of the text. The cover was imported to the USA from the UK.

The flexis for this year were double sided due to the time of the recordings and this is why the UK catalogue number has double numbering. Side on and side two if you like. For the year 1968, the silver lettering was printed directly onto the flexi. The Fan Club logo at the top, the speed of the record at the left (33 1/3) with "Play first this side, then turn over for part 2". The "not for sale" disclaimer is on the right of the playhole. The title and the statement: "The Beatles record exclusively for the Apple label distributed by EMI Records" are underneath the playhole along with the catalogue number. In the USA, the double sided flexi has a drawing of the Fabs as they appeared during the year 1968 along with "side 1" and the record speed "33 1/3" to the right under the playhole. The disclaimer and "Side 2 on other side" appear together. Perimeter print state "Product of Americom Corp. NYC. Made in USA".

The tracklisting for this flexi is as follows: Side 1: "Ringo/Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Happy Christmas, Happy New Year (Paul)", Link Helter Skelter", "Jock and Yono (John/Yoko)", "Link", "George from America (George and Mal Evans)". Side two: "Ringo Starr", "Introduction/Ringo", "Happy Christmas, Happy New Year (reprise - Paul)", "Once Upon a Pool Table (John and Yoko)", "George and Tiny Tim", "Nowhere Man (Tiny Tim)", "Ending".

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