Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Beatles "1"

Apple decided to release a greatest hits package in the year 2000 which would put all the number one songs on one CD. Before the release, the only way to get the Beatles greatest hits was to buy the "1962-1966"/ "1967-1970" collections which contained 4 CDs on two sets or two 2-LP sets. This was expensive for someone with a minimal interest in the Beatles' music and wanted to simply explore the bare bones catalogue.
Another option was to seek out a used out-of-print version of the vinyl copy of "20 Greatest Hits" which was released nearly 20 years before "1" (1982). Since most comsumers now bought CDs or downloads, vinyl was not regularly played.
The "1" greatest hits package was released on November 14 2000. The catalogue number for the release is Apple 29325 and is available as one CD or as 2-LP set. This was a huge seller and consumers mainly bought the CD version although collectors (like me) love the vinyl version. A very colourful set and a nice package over all.
The front cover for both the CD and the vinyl version is simply a red background. The "Beatles" drop T logo is featured at the upper left hand corner in a pink/light red colour. A big stencilled yellow number "1" is the feature of the cover. The back cover of the 2-LP set has the side numbers in yellow followed by the song titles in white and the track number in yellow to the right hand side of the song titles. The back cover of the 2-LP set also has the UBC code with the catalogue number. Underneath are the copyright credits as well as the photography credit for Richard Avedon and a small Apple logo. The 2-LP set was only available as a UK product. Capitol did not manufacture any vinyl sets of this release. The back cover of the CD has the exact same back cover as the 2-LP set with the exception of the four individual Richard Avedon portraits to the right side of the tracklisting. The song titles are followed by a sequential number in yellow. Naturally, there are no "side" numbers on the back of the CD. My copy of the CD also contain information relating to Capitol of Canada (under the regular information and Apple logo).
The 2-LP set is a gatefold and the four Richard Avedon portraits are featured left to right on the inner gatefold. Against a red backdrop, left to right are portraits of John, Paul, George and Ringo. The 2-LP set also has the portraits individually on 8 x 11 posterboard stock. Each individual portrait has the "Beatles" logo at the top, a small Apple logo along with trademark information runs along the bottom left and the bottom right features the copyright circle, Richard Avedon, the name of the Beatles along with "The Beatles, London, August 17 1967" (the day of the session). All of these portraits were originally shown in the January 09, 1968 issue of "Look" magazine. The 2-LP set also contains a 24 x 36 poster showing various 45 picture sleeves from around the world. The top of the poster has the band logo and the bottom contains the yellow "1" symbol (as do the portraits) and there is a small Apple logo w/trademark information on the lower left. The lower right has the credit given to both Joachim Noske and Bruce Spizer who supplied the picture sleeves from their collection.
The inner sleeves for the 2-LP set are as follows: The side 1 and 2 inner sleeve has a lime green background with a 27 #1 singles = 1 logo as well as quotes from George Martin on the left side of one side. The right side has the track listing for both sides 1 and 2, the Apple logo and copyright information. The other side of the inner sleeve shows 16 45 picture sleeves for each track. The second inner sleeve for sides 3 and 4 has a purple background with the same 27 #1 singles = 1 logo as well as techinical information regarding the engineers on the project and original engineers on each track. The Apple logo and trademark information is on the bottom left. The right side has the track listing for both sides 3 and 4. The other side of the inner sleeve shows various 45 picture sleeves for each track.
The original CD comes in a jewel case and contains a 32 page booklet. Aside from the front cover, page 2 has the 27 #1 single = 1 logo, page 3 has the George Martin quotes, and rest of the pages are filled with 4 to 10 picture sleeves relating to the track listed on each page. Apart from the name of the track, information relating to the recording date(s), it's highest position in the UK and/or US with dates as well. The back cover of the booklet shows the individual Richard Avedon portraits and the catalogue number is at the upper right.
The LPs have custom labels with the red background and Beatles logo on the left, the huge yellow "1", the side number and the catalogue number. The perimeter print features a white Apple logo and copyright information. The CD labels are exactly the same with exception of the side number and catalogue numbers which is not present.
Interestingly, "1" has been re-issued in the CD format as of 2011 (exact date unknown) with the following differences from the original CD issue: the re-issue comes in a digipack rather than a jewel case. The front cover is the same with the addition on the re-issue of the Apple logo and "Beatles" logo running vertically along the upper left of the digipack. The catalogue number has changed on the re-issue to Apple 83070 and this change is reflected in the booklet (which otherwise is exactly the same as the original) and on the back cover replacing the original catalogue number. The re-issue contains the wetsite address whereby the original does not. Lastly, the digipack version has a huge Apple logo holding the booklet whereby the booklet of the original CD issue is held within the jewel case.
The original LP and original CD were remastered by Allan Rouse, Peter Mew, Peter Cobbin and Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios, London. The re-issue contains the 2009 remasters by Guy Massey, Paul Hicks, Sean Magee, Sam Okell, Simon Gibson, Allan Rouse and Steve Rooke. To tell you the honest truth, folks, my ears can't tell the difference between the original and re-issued CD sets (listening casually). The cover and booklet of the re-issue are much glossier.
All of the tracks are stereo with the exception of the first three: "Love Me Do", "From Me To You" (although I don't know why this one is mono as the stereo exists compared to the other two) and "She Loves You".
The rest of the track listing is as follows: "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Can't Buy Me Love", "A Hard Day's Night", "I Feel Fine", "Eight Days A Week", "Ticket To Ride", "Help!", "Yesterday", "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out", "Paperback Writer", "Yellow Submarine", "Eleanor Rigby", "Penny Lane", "All You Need Is Love", "Hello, Goodbye", "Lady Madonna", "Hey Jude", "Get Back", "The Ballad of John and Yoko", "Something", "Come Together", "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road".

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