Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas - The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record

The Beatles' Fourth Fan Club flexi was released in the UK on or about December 16 1966. Once again, the flexi was made by the Lyntone company in the UK. The catalogue number for this release is LYN 1145. This particular release contained a different idea format from the Beatles as they were entering their most creative and psychedelic phase.

As with the previous couple of flexis, this Fan Club release came with a cardboard cover/sleeve and included the Beatles Fan Club National Newsletter explaining the details of the Christmas recording.

The front of the colorful cardboard cover has a design by Paul McCartney with the word "Pantomime" in big red letters and yellow-gold bubbles surrounding the title. The sub-title is: "Everywhere It's Christmas" and this is written underneath the title contains in a drawed balloon surrounded by blue and red and black lines. The back of the cover has the official Beatles Fan Club logo and name and "The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record" in red underneath. The record speed (33 1/3) and the title logo follow; the sub-title and track listing underneath. The "not for sale" blurb is in red. This is followed by the George Martin credit and the fact that the Beatles record exclusiely for the Parlophone label. Lastly, the Fan club address is written at the bottom of the cover in black.

The newsletter folds open with the logo of the Fan club on the left, the Fan Club address underneath, followed by "National Newsletter" and "Christmas 1966". The text follows describing the session for this flexi and continues on the right with the signatures of the two fan club secretaries: Anne Collingham and Freda Kelly. At the bottom of the newsletter are the lyrics for the tracks "Please Don't Bring Your Bango Back" and "Everywhere It's Christmas".

The label for this flexi has the Fan Club logo at the top; the speed of the flexi on the left of the playhole (33 1/3); the "not for sale" blurb to the right of the playhole. The large title and sub-title is underneath along with "The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record" in smaller lettering. Thisis followed by the words: "The Beatles record exclusively for the Parlophone Label" and "Lyntone Recordings" and the catalogue number. The label is gold with a white background. The perimeter print has the "all rights reserved" statement.

This flexi contained two sides rather than the previous one-sided disc. Side A tracklisting is as follows: "Everywhere It's Christmas (all)", "Orowayna (Corsican Choir and Small Choir) (Intro/Paul/ All singing)", "A Rare Cheese (Two Elderly Scotsmen) (Intro/Ringo, George and John)", "The Feast (all)", "The Loyal Toast (Intro/George/ Toast/Ringo)". Side B tracklisting is as follows: "Podgy The Bear And Jasper (Intro/Paul, Podgy/John, Jasper/George)", "Felpin Mansions- Part One (Count Balder and Butler) (The Count-John, Butler-Ringo)", "Felpin Mansions - Part Two (The Count and the Pianist)", "Song: Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back (Paul, all)", "Mal: Everywhere It's Christmas" and "Reprise: Everywhere It's Christmas (all)".

In the US, the American Fan club also released a flexi containing the same material. The Beatles (USA) Ltd. sent the Fan Club members a seven by eight and a half postcard with the vinyl section of the message coated on one side and the text and address on the other side. The text side has the "Beatles Bulletin" on the left side of the postcard and also contains the lyrics for both "Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back" and "Everywhere It's Christmas". The right side of the postcard leaves space for the member's address and postage as well as having the words "Phonograph Record" in script and underneath having the words "Handle with care" in upper letters. The other side of the postcard is the actual recording with a middle section (label) that has the year, "Season's Greetings" in script and "from The Beatles" written just above the playhole. The record speed is 33 1/3 and is written just underneath the playhole. The "all right" information and "Made in USA" appear in smaller type at the bottom of the label. The label is black and silver.

The recording of this Christmas record was conducted on Friday November 25 1966 at a studio in a basement below the London location of the Dick James Music office at Dick James House located on New Oxford Street. The times of completion and number of takes have not been recorded, but it is known that George Martin produced the record. It is also stated in the Fan Club newsletter that Brian Epstein was present as well as Neil Aspinall and the Fan Club secretaries. There was a closed circuit television that went from the studio into the control room at the other end of the corridor, according to the newsletter.

Everywhere It's Christmas - Come and join the FUN !!


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