Sunday, July 17, 2011

Intermission again.

Well, folks. That concludes that part of the blog. Now onto the special Christmas releases from both the UK and North America including the flexi-discs and the fan club LPs issued for all to enjoy !!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Let It Be for the USA and Canada

The soundtrack for the Beatles final United Artists' film "Let It Be" was released in the USA and Canada on or about May 18 1970 (10 days after the release of the UK version). The tracklisting for the LP is the only constant and the cover packaging for the LP varied for both American and Canadian copies.

In Canada, the LP came in a box set containing an outer slip case, an inner slip case which held another cardboard inner tray for a 160 page colour book plus the LP (cover and vinyl). In the USA, the LP was distributed by United Artists yet manufactured by Apple. This meant that the LP was issued as a gatefold cover without the book.

The LP was part of the Capitol "6000" series in Canada and was issued the catalogue number Apple SOAL-6351. The outer slipcase features the four photographs used for the front cover of the UK LP but no text and not title/artist. The back of the slipcase is black with the catalogue number on the upper left, credits for the design and photographs in tiny letter on the lower left. "Distributed in canada By Capitol Records (Canada) Ltd." in the lower center and the printer's logo on the lower right. The LP front cover jacket has the four photos and text with the LP title "Let It Be". The back cover consists of four black and white photos of the individual Beatles with either a white border or no border. The original SOAL-6231 version has the liner notes at the top and is followed by the tracklistings (no songwriter's credits). Thanks are given below the photos and once again the design and photo credits appear on one line. The Apple logo is centered and the distribution blub mentioned above appears in either white or light blue. The whole thing is framed by a white line. The lables are the green full Apple on side one and the half Apple on side two. "Dig A Pony" is announced as "I Dig A Pony" both on the LP cover and the side one labels. The labels were either pressed at RCA in Smith Falls or Compo in Cornwall, Ontario. A photo of the Canadian example is shown above.

The USA LP was issued as a gatefold cover. The catalogue number is Apple AR 34001. The front cover of the LP has the four colour photos of the Beatles and the "Let It Be" text above it. The back cover of the LP has the blurb at the top with the tracklisting underneath the blurb. The tracklisting consists of the songs in order of appearance and once again does not include the songwriters credits. The four black and white photographs of the individual Beatles do not have white borders around them. The thanks and design/photo credits are below followed by a red Apple to signify the United Artists distribution and finally the words "Manufactud by Apple Records, Inc. 1700 Broadway, New York, New York 10019, an ABKCO managed company" follows (I'm sure Paul was impressed..haha). The whole back cover is framed by a white border. The inner gatefold features photographs taken during the "Get Back/Let It Be" sessions including a large colour photo on the left gatefold of the Beatles at Twickenham Studios in London, some smaller colour photos of the Beatles at either Twickenham Studios or Apple Studios in London as well as a photo of the Beatles playing on the rooftop of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, London. The labels on the US original copies are a red-tinted full Apple on side one and a red-tinted half Apple for side two. (Red-tinted to denote the United Artists distribution). "Dig A Pony" on both label and back cover appear as "I Dig A Pony".

Most original copies of the label in the USA have the last song on side one "Maggie Mae" credits as (P.D.) meaning public domain whereas later copies may have the credits as (P.D. arr. Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey).

The inner sleeve for this LP is usually generic white or none at all. This release is only available in stereo as mono had been phased out by then.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In The Beginning (Circa 1960)

Almost six months after the release of the "Very Together" LP in Canada, Polydor released the LP "In The Beginning (Circa 1960)" in the United States on May 04 1970. The catalogue number for this LP is Polydor 24-4504.

Although the title states Circa 1960 - the actual recording dates for this material stem from June 22, 23 and 24 1961 as well as May 24 1962. The "Mersey Beat" newspaper cover featured on the front is actually from January 1962. It would have made a bit more sense and placed it all in context if the title had been changed to Cira 1961-62. There ya go.

The tracklisting for this material is exactly the same as the earlier Canadian "Very Together" LP (see previous post) which includes seven tracks by The Beatles (with and without Tony Sheridan) and five tracks by The Beat Brothers/Tony Sheridan. Original labels for the LP have the red Polydor labels and black print with white perimeter print. The "Half record" logo and Polydor written in white underneath.

The front cover features the artist(s) in white and the LP title undernearth in a light blue-green. The front cover photograph consists of a cobblestone street with a tied bundle of "Mersey Beat" newspapers showing the Beatles portrait taken by Albert Marrion the previous year. The Polydor logo and catalogue number are featured on the bottom right of the front cover.

The back cover features the same quote from George Harrison during an interview on September 1969 conducted with Ritchie Yorke for the "Globe Magazine". Of course, this quote is the same as the previously released Canadian "Very Together" LP except that on this issue it is blown up considerably. There is also an uncredited blurb at the top of the back cover explaining the justification of such a release. Original issues of this LP featured a gatefold cover. The left side of the gatefold has liner notes by the one and only Tony Sheridan. The right side of the gatefold features three photos of the Beatles (two from Hamburg; one from 1960 and one from 1961; and one from Liverpool 1960). The detailed tracklisting is above the photos and the Polydor logo and catalogue number in black and white is at the upper right hand side.

The LP was only released in stereo. The LP was originally only released in the United States until 1972 when the LP was also reissued in this form and cover in Canada.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Very Together

A unique Canadian release was issued on or about November 17 1969. The title of the LP is "Very Together" and was issued by Polydor Records with the catalogue number Polydor Special 242.008 (stereo only). What made this LP interesting was the front cover of the album. The contents for the LP contained mainly the same track listing as "In The Beginning" released six months later in the US. Side one consisted of: "Ain't She Sweet "(Beatles), "Cry For a Shadow" (Beatles), "Let's Dance" (Sheridan/Beat Brothers), "My Bonnie" (Sheridan/Beatles), "If You Love Me, Baby" (Sheridan/Beatles) and "What'd I Say" (Sheridan/Beat Brothers). Side two consisted of: "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Sheridan/Beatles), "The Saints", "Ruby Baby" ( both Sheridan/Beat Brothers), "Why" (Sheridan/Beatles), "Nobody's Child" (Sheridan/Beatles) and "Ya Ya" (Sheridan/Beat Brothers).

The front cover consists of a photograph of a candleabra holding four candles. The second candle from the left has been snuffed out and you can see the smoke eminating from this ca ndle. At the top of the front cover, the words "The Beatles" and "Very Together" have the same font featured on the front cover of the "Yellow Submarine" LP in white.

The back cover features interview quotes from George Harrison talking to Ritchie Yorke of "Globe Magazine" in September 1969. There are two versions of the back cover: the first credits Jean-Patrick Amish as photographer for the front cover. Later back covers feature an extension of the credits with the addition of "W. Birkenfeld, C. Risch & Friends". the back cover also features the title and artist as well as the tracklisting.

The labels used for this release are the Polydor red labels with the Polydor logo at the top of the labels and "special" printed below in box style. The font is the typical one used similar to earlier Beatles releases from Compo. Both my copies are machine stamped and are pressed by Compo.

I don't believe (but not 100 percent sure) that inner sleeves were included in this package. This type of "cash in" LP was priced lower than most LPs of the era.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Abbey Road (US And Canada)

The Abbey Road LP was released in the United States and Canada on October 01 1969. Here we have a very simple front and back cover single LP pocket jacket. The LP carries Apple labels with the full Apple on side one and a half Apple on side two. The front cover / back cover and tracklisting are exactly the same as the UK issue.

The catalogue number for the LP is Apple SO-303 and is available only in stereo. The mono concept for the 1960s had finally come to an end and this LP was never mixed nor issued in true mono. You may occasionally see Brazilian LPs that claim to be mono mixes of this material, but it is essentially stereo "folded down" to one channel.

The manufacture of the cover in the United States was originally posterboard and the art printed directly onto the cardboard. There are also versions that used slicks but for the most part originals are posterboard. On the back cover, the catalogue number is in the upper right hand side.

The manufacture of the cover in Canada are paper slicks onto cardboard with the front cover wrapping around to the back. At the bottom of the back cover, the words "Distributed In Canada By Capitol Records (Canada) Ltd.". Canadian covers also have the "split dot" at the top of the front cover.

Original pressings of the LP did NOT include the song "Her Majesty" written as part of the tracklisting on the back cover nor on the side two label. Later pressings include "Her Majesty" on the labels and the back cover was eventually modified to include the song "Her Majesty" written as the tracklisting credit. As a personal note, I have found it extremely difficult to find Abbey Road covers with "Her Majesty" included on the back cover. Some re-issues have used the original art for the back cover and still not included "Her Majesty".

The inner sleeves for this LP were usually generic white sleeves or no sleeve at all.