Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Capitol Albums Vol. 2

On or around April 11 2006, Apple /Capitol/ EMI released the second box set of USA versions of the Beatles' LP mixes on CD. This 4 CD box set contained the 1965 versions of "The Early Beatles", "Beatles VI", "Help!" and "Rubber Soul". The tracklistings for these versions are unique to the American market and as with the first volume, the songs are presented in mono (somewhat) and stereo. The catalogue number for this set is: Apple/Capitol/EMI CDP 0946.
The front cover of the box containing the 4 CDs has the same colours as the previous version with purple at the top changing to red and then yellow. The same large black "label" circle is featured at the top aling with the band logo, a white "playhole", and the title under the band logo in white. The Capitol dome logo is beneath the title. The label has the rainbow perimeter. Under the "lable" is a colour photo of the Beatles taken in late 1965 by Robert Whitaker. Actually, it's the exact same photo as on the cover of the Apple 45/CD single "Real Love" (right down to the fact that the cigarettes have been air brushed out).
The spine of the set has the band logo in white, the title in black and the four CD titles in white from top to bottom. This is followed by the Apple logo, the Capitol logo, "music from EMI" and the catalogue number.
The back of the box contains this blurb at the top..."For the first time on CD...the original 1965 Capitol albums presented in both stereo and mono". Under this are small replicas of the front covers to the 4 CDs follow by the tracklisting. On the bottom left are the Apple logo, Capitol logo, FBI logo and the compact disc logo. The UPC code follows. On the bottom right is the band website address, the catalogue number, FBI statement and copyright information. My set was made in the US.
The inner portion of the box slides out the right side of the outer box. This time the CDs are not released from the top or bottom but the inner section must be folded back to release the CDs. This is due to the fact that complaints from consumers having their CDs fall out of the inner box and onto the floor when removing the inner section on "vol. 1" caused the change for this volume. The inner box duplicated the front cover of the outer box on one side and the tracklisting on the left side and replica covers on the right side complete the inner section (it's similar to volume 1). The 4 CDs fit on the right section and the 58 page booklet with liner notes written by Bruce Spizer and photos from the Beatles' 1965 career (the second movie, Shea Stadium, etc.). What's also nice is the 45 picture sleeves shown in the book. All of the copyright song information is also contained in the book.
All of the CD labels are black with perimeter print similar to the original Capitol labels. All have the titles at the top and the tracklisting at the bottom. The Capitol logo is to the left and the Apple logo at the bottom. The catalogue number and compact disc logo is at the right hand side. The "all right" and FBI warning are writtin in black as the perimeter print within the rainbow colours.
All four CD cardboard covers replicate the front covers, the back covers contain the replicas but the tracklistings are listed twice (mono and stereo) and the addition of the Apple logo, catalogue number, compact disc logo and copyright information are added to the replica photos on the back.
First up is "The Early Beatles": the stereo mixes on the CD are the same ones used on the UK "Please Please Me" LP with the exception of "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You" which are issued in face stereo as there are no true stereo mixes of these two songs. The mono mixes used on this CD are not mono mixes. They are simply the fake stereo mixes collapsed to one speaker. Bizarre.
Secondly, "Beatles VI" uses the true stereo mixes with the exception of "Yes It Is" which has a duophonic mix with the highs on one side the lows on the other from the original mono mix. The mono version of "Beatles VI" uses the true mono mixes for all songs.
Thirdly, the "Help!" soundtrack uses the true stereo mixes for all of the songs with the exception of "Ticket To Ride" which is duophonic from the mono mix. The Ken Thorne instrumentals are also stereo. The mono mixes for the CD are not true mono mixes but actually consist of the stereo mixes collapsed into one speaker with the exception of "Ticket To Ride" which is the true mono mix. The Ken Thorne instrumentals are also folded down from stereo.
Lastly, the "Rubber Soul" stereo mixes are all true stereo; interestingly, "The Word" has a different stereo mix than it's UK counterpart with the vocals mainly on one channel and a harder stereo separation. Also, "I'm Looking Through You" contains a false start on the US stereo version not contained on the UK stereo version. The mono mixes for "Rubber Soul" are true mono mixes (a variation is used for "Michelle" which has louder percussion).
Initial copies of "The Capitol Albums Vol.2" contain an error for the "Rubber Soul" disc. The mono mixes for this version are not mono but folded down stereo. This error was corrected for subsequent issues. (Mine is the first issue).
Lastly: a bit of a complaint. There are three CD missing in action which would have made the set so much better: "The Beatles' Story" (which could have been issued in mono/stereo on the first set) "Yesterday...And Today" (which also could have been issued in mono/stereo on the second set) and "Hey Jude" (same as above). It's interesting to note that all issues released commercially were the work of Dave Dexter Jr. (wonder if that was a contractual thing). I would not include "Revolver" as the US version was simply the UK version with three tracks missing.

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