Saturday, October 15, 2011

Past Masters Volume One and Past Masters Volume Two

During the year of 1987, the Beatles UK LP catalogue as well as "Magical Mystery Tour" (Capitol LP configuration) had been released on compact disc and it was now available to the public. EMI had left-over tracks from the catalogue not yet released on CD due to the fact that singles, B-sides, an LP and various versions of tunes had not been released in the original LP formats.

This prompted a compilation of the left over tracks to be released. This situation was rectified when two compact discs were released with long boxes on or around March 08 1988.

The first compact disc is entitled :"Past Masters Volume One" (very original !!). The catalogue number for this release is C2 90043 2. The front cover of the long box has the artist name in gray and black. There is no mono/stereo designation at the bottom of the box. The artist and title appear white print with a black background on the side of the box. the back of the box has the tracklisting, UPC code and three black and white photos of the group from 1963 to 1965. "Produced by George Martin" is at the bottom as well as having the three "Capitol", "compact disc" and "Parlophone" logos.

The 12 - page booklet within the jewel case has the front cover with white print on a black background, the individual tracks and liner notes explaining their origin, four photos of the Fabs (same three as the long box with one added from 1962). The last page has the tracklisting, the production credit and the compilation by Mark Lewisohn credit.

The tracks for this volume are: "Love Me Do" (Ringo version), "From Me To You" (single), "Thank You Girl" (B-side), "She Loves You" (single), "I'll Get You" (B-side), "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (single), "This Boy" (B-side), "Komm, Gib Mi Deine Hand" (German single), "Sie Liebt Dich" (German single), "Long Tall Sally" (EP track), "I Call Your Name" (EP track), "Slow Down" (EP track), "Matchbox" (EP track), "I Feel Fine" (single), "She's A Woman" (B-side), "Bad Boy" (LP compilation track), "Yes It Is" (B-side) and "I'm Down" (B-side). The first four tracks and the two German tracks are mono and the rest are stereo.

Also released on the same day was "Past Masters Volume Two", the second part in this series of tracks not released on the original UK LP formats. The catalogue number for Volume Two is C2 90044 2. The longbox has the same design as volume one with black print on white rather than the other way around. The back of the box has the tracklisting at the bottom rather than the top and the box includes four black and white photos of the Fabs from 1966, 68 and 69.

The 12 - page booklet for Volume Two contains the same format as Volume one with the exception of black print on a white background. The middle of the book contains four photos of the Beatles (the same black and white photos as the back of the long box) and photo credits for only two of the four photos. The second to last page promotes Volume One (the booklet in Volume One promotes Volume Two).

The tracks for this volume are: "Day Tripper" (single), "We Can Work It Out" (single), "Paperback Writer" (single), "Rain" (B side), "Lady Madonna" (single), "The Inner Light" (B side), "Hey Jude" (the greatest single of all time), "Revolution" (the greatest B side of all time), "Get Back" (single version), "Don't Let Me Down" (B side), "The Ballad of John and Yoko" (single), "Old Brown Shoe" (B side), "Across The Universe" (Our World version), "Let it Be" (single version), "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" (B side). All tracks are stereo with the exception of the last track.

A double LP was released almost seven months later on or about October 26 1988. This LP was manufactured by Capitol Records and entitled "Past Masters Volume One and Two". The catalogue number for this double LP is C1-91135. The gatefold cover has the Beatles logo and title with white print on a black backgroud on the front and the same logo and title with black print on a white background along with the tracklisting. The left inside cover has the Beatles logo and title at the top, the tracklisting on the left and right, the introduction (same as the CD) on the bottom of the logo, the same four black and white photos and the liner notes underneath the photos. The right inside cover has the same thing except it is black print on a white background. Both the Capitol and the Parlophone labels are at the bottom of the back cover. The labels for these LPs are the Capitol purple labels. All 33 tracks are remastered as per the mid 1980s.

This made the entire standard/commercial Beatles catalogue available on compact disc for the first time (with the exception of various mixes and oddities that would be released in the future).

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