Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yellow Submarine Songtrack Sampler

Another Apple release, another Apple sampler. This time the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" project came with a sampler in CD form with the catalogue number DPRO 13853-2. The sampler was released in late 1999 - probably early September.
The sampler contains four tracks: 1. Hey Bulldog; 2. Yellow Submarine; 3. Eleanor Rigby; 4. It's All Too Much. The mixes are the same as the regular "Songtrack" release.
The front cover is basically the same as the commercial release with a few exceptions. The construction of the sampler is digi-pack while the commercial version comes with a jewel case. The back cover has the Apple logo raised a little to the top right of the cover as compared with the commercial release. The tracklisting is on the upper left and the writing is much larger due to the fact that the sampler only carries four tracks rather than 15 on the commercial issue. The Capitol logo on the commerical issue is between the tracklisting and the production/copyright blurb. On the sampler, the Capitol logo is to the bottom right of the copyright blurb. At the bottom of the back cover, the sampler has the following: "promotional use only/not for sale" and finally as the catalogue number: DPRO 7087.
The digipack opens up as a gatefold. On the left panel in yellow submarine font are the words: "The Beatles' Boat is Back..." the panel explains that the classic movie is to be re-released and also mentions the sound improvement to 5.1 . It goes on to say that the home video/DVD are to be released on September 14th. The second paragraph explains the release of the songtrack as well as the remastered and remixed versions on the sampler. Lastly, the third paragraph explains that the new movie will be premiered in Liverpool on August 30th and will be known as "Yellow Submarine Day". It say to watch for the Yellow Submarine Eurostar, taxies and merchandise and warms that there is a seven foot Blue Meanie out there somewhere....
The right side of the open gatefold digipak contains the CD. The label has the copyright perimeter print, the Yellow Submarine similar to the front cover, the Beatles logo with the "Promotional Use Only/Not For Sale" print directly underneath the logo. To the right is the title with "Songtrack" between the two words in white and the catalogue number of the sampler.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yellow Submarine Songtrack

On or around September 14 1999, EMI/Apple released a soundtrack LP and CD containing new mixes of the tunes presented in the re-issue of the "Yellow Submarine" Apple film. The catalogue number for this LP and CD are Apple UK 21481. The LP and CD contain 15 songs. including all 6 songs from side one of the original Apple "Yellow Submarine" LP. The rest of the tunes are from the snippets of songs used in the film. There is no George Martin music on the "Songtrack" version.

A very simple front cover for both the LP and the CD. Both feature a large drawing of the animated submarine with the exception of the last quarter of the sub containing the propellor and back directional flap. The Beatles' logo is large at the top of the front cover and the title of the LP/CD "Yellow Submarine" is written in large yellow letters with the word "Songtrack" written between the two former words in small white spaced lettering.

The back cover is different for the LP and CD. The LP was only manufactured in the UK. The LP back cover has the Apple logo at the upper right side along with the UPC code. The tracklisting is separated between side 1 and side 2 and appears on the left. The production credits and the copyrights appear at the lower left hand side. The CD is similar with the exception of the tracklisting which appears with no separation between side 1 and 2. My CD copy is Canadian therefore I have the Apple logo as well as the EMI Canada logo to the left of the UPC code. The US Capitol logo is just below the tracklisting on the left side. The production and copyright credits are at the bottom of the CD.

The inner part of the LP gatefold cover opens up to feature drawn scenes from the animated movie with reference to all of the songs from the LP. The CD features an insert that fold out and shows the same drawn scenes and references as the LP. The inner tray of the CD has the front cover drawing without the artist and title.

The label on the LP is also the same as the front cover including artist and title logo with either "side 1" or "side 2" and "all rights reserved" perimeter print. The CD label is similar to it's LP counter part with the exception of no side designation and the Apple logo is present.

This is the only Beatles LP that I know of which has had all the songs professionally re-mixed to stereo. The reason for the remixes is simply the fact that the re-issue film/DVD requires a 5.1 surround sound mix. In fact, to my ears...these mixes are absolutely amazing and sound wonderful. Quite an improvement from the original 60s mixes in many cases.

"Yellow Submarine" uses the stereo intro and mono Lennon voicing in the last verse. "Hey Bulldog" uses a mix whereby the bass is brought more to the center. "Eleanor Rigby" has the vocals more pronounced although there seems to be a split second sync problem. "Love You To" has the electric guitar a little more pronounced. "All Together now" has the finger cymbals brought up in the mix. "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds" has the bass drum quite up front. "Think For Yourself" has the vocals more centered. "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends" also brings the instruments closer to the center. "Baby, You're a Rich Man" brings the piano to the fore. "Only A Northern Song" is in true stereo and the vocals are much cleaner. "All You Need is Love" brings the mix centered. "When I'm Sixty Four" brings a clearer mix. "Nowhere Man" centers the vocals. "It's All Too Much" completes the LP/CD. Although these are only quick samples of the mixes, they must be heard to be believed. Good job !!

All of the tracks were re-mixed at Abbey Road (which took two years) by Peter Cobbin, Paul Hicks, Mirek Siles and Allan Rouse. The original LP came with a yellow sticker on the front cover claiming "Yellow Submarine" feature film available on video and DVD. My later copy does not have the sticker. Also, the original LP was on yellow vinyl. My later copy is black vinyl. My Japanese copy (Apple/EMI TOJP-60145) also comes with the OBI and the four page lyric sheet and black vinyl. The LP and DVD are no longer in print (as far as I know).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Anthology Three CD Sampler

The last of the CD samplers for the Anthology series, number three was released somtime in 1996 according to the copyright information. I'm pretty sure it was released around the same time as the commercial release. The catalogue number for the Anthology Three CD sampler is Apple/Capitol DRPO-7087.

The layout is very similar to the previous Anthology Two CD sampler. The CD comes in a jewel case and has the bass drum on the front cover similar to the previous CD sampler with differences in colour (the back ground is cream coloured and the white lettering is on black). The angle of the drum also changes. The front cover contains the Beatles' logo and the title "Anthology 3". There are four black and white photos of the individual Beatles on the left side of the opening in the front jewel case. All photos taken during the "White Album" sessions with the exception of George Harrison who's photo looks like it was taken in 1967 (he has his strat and coloured shirt). John is on top with his Epiphone, Paul is next with headphones and guitar, George and then Ringo at a microphone. The spine of the jewel case is balck and contains (from top) the catalogue number, the artist and title and the words "promo CD" and finally the Capitol and Apple logos.

The back of the jewel case contains the blurb: "Promotional Use Only/ Not For Sale", the catalogue number on an angle in tiny print along the top right, the track listing, the production credits , the Apple and Capitol Logos followed by the copyright information. Finally; mono and stereo differences are noted.

An eight page booklet is contained within. The booklet contains the tracklisting and a photo from the final August 1969 photo session, a quote from Derek Taylor, the tracklisting with detailed liner notes along with photos of the Fabs from various sessions and colour photos of the Beatles from the period 1968/69. The bottom last page contains the catalogue number/ promo markings/ copyright information along with the Apple logo on the left and the Capitol logo on the right.

The CD has the large full Apple with a silver background. The "promotional use only/not for sale" blurb is at the top followed by the catalogue number. The Beatles' logo is on the left hand side along with the Capitol logo underneath. On the right side of the CD are the words: "Taken from the album The Beatles Anthology 3" and "See booket for details". The tracklisting is at the bottom. The perimeter print contains the "all rights reserved" print along with the Capitol west coast Hollywood address. The back of the inlay card is cream coloured along with the title and artists' logos.

The tracklisting contained within are as follows: "Helter Skelter" (take 2 edited), "Cry Baby Cry" (take 1), "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (original July 25 1968 version), "Because" (remix - vocals only) and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (outtake).

These CD samplers contain very nice packaging (especially the first one) and are quite collectible.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Anthology Two CD Sampler

The second CD sampler promotes "Anthology Two" and was released sometime in early 1996 (according to the copyright information). The catalogue number for this release is Apple/Capitol DPRO-11200.

Although the packaging is not as elaborate as the first promo disc, this release is presented in a very colourful jewel case. The front of the CD pictures the Beatles' bass drum circa the "Pepper" era along with a yellow background. The Beatles' logo and the title "Anthology 2" are printed on the bass drum. On the left side of the bass drum and within the see-through section of the jewel case in front are four black and white photographs of the individual members of the band. From top to bottom are: John Lennon circa 1965/Paul McCartney circa 1965/George Harrison circa 1967 and Ringo Starr circa 1966. The spine is blue with (left to right) the catalogue number, the artist, title, and the words "promo CD" along with the Capitol and Apple logos.

The back of the CD is dark pink with the catalogue number inscibed along the top right edge. The top of the back cover has the catalogue number followed by the tracklisting/ production credits/ Capitol and Apple logos/ photo credits/ copyright information and lastly the words "Printed in USA".

The promo comes with a 12 page booklet containing photographs and liner notes for the tracks contained on the CD. The pages range from yellow, blue and dark pink with photos from the Pepper cover sessions, stills from the promo films for "Paperback Writer/Rain", "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever" and "I Am The Walrus" as well as the "Lady Madonna" photo session. The back cover of the booklet contains the promotion use only/not for sale blurb at the top with the Apple and Capitol logo at the bottom as well as the copyright information.

The inlay for the CD is similar to the front cover with a yellow background and the artist logo and title. The CD has the full Apple with a silver background, perimeter print with the manufactured and all rights reserved print. The left side has the Beatles' logo with a small Capitol logo underneath. The left side has the words "Taken from the album The Beatles Anthology 2" also "see booklet for details". The top has the not for sale comment and the catalogue number. The tracklisting is at the bottom.

The tracks contained on the CD are as follows: "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (take 5), "Yesterday" (take 1), "Help!" (live performance from "Blackpool Night Out"), "I'm Looking Through You"(original version before re-make), "Taxman"(take 11), "Eleanor Rigby" (instrumental mix), "I'm Only Sleeping" (rehearsal/take 1), "Strawberry Fields Forever"(take 1), "I Am the Walrus" (take 16) and "Across The Universe" (take 2).