Sunday, May 29, 2011

Help ! (soundtrack LP)

Capitol Records released the second Beatles' movie soundtrack for their second film "Help!". The title of the LP was also "Help!". For this second movie, Capitol Records had the rights to the movie soundtrack. This must have been a change in the contract somewhere as to this day I can still not figure out why United Artists would be so hard-up to get the soundtrack exclusive for the first film but not negotiate the same for the second film. After all, it's been said that the first film was created by United Artists so that they could issue the soundtrack. Strange.

Anyway, the two formats issued for this LP were once again mono and stereo. The catalogue number for the mono issue is Capitol MAS-2386. The catalogue number for the stereo issue is Capitol SMAS-2386. The release date for the LP on or about August 09 (in Canada) and August 13 (in the US) 1965.

The top of the front cover has the words: "Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" in blue with the band's name in orange underneath. The band members are positioned in somophore letters in black in white with George, Ringo, John and Paul (left to right) and Paul extending his arms out and almost touching the Capitol logo printed to his right as opposed to the UK front cover which also features the band members in somophore letters in colour and in different positions: George, John, Paul and Ringo left to right. Stereo copies of the US/Canada copies have the blurb: "New Improved Full Dimensional Stereo" in orange and black at the top. Unfortunately, mono copies of this LP are not true mono mixes, they are simply the streo mixes folded down to one channel. Boo.

The back cover has the artist and title of the LP once again in orange with some film credits in green and brown. The tracklisting is underneath in black and orange with the instrumentals only listed as ..well..."instrumental". There is a full colour photo of the Beatles in Nassau and finally some black and white mini LP covers which promote "Something New", "Second Album", "The Beatles' Story", "Meet The Beatles", "Beatles '65", "The Early Beatles", "Beatles VI". Canadian copies promote: "Something New", "Long Tall Sally", "The Beatles' Story", "Beatlemania! With The Beatles", "Beatles '65", "Twist And Shout" and "Beatles VI". Once again, all LPs are in non sequence.

The cover was gatefold and sold at a premium price when first released (a dollar more than regular rock and roll LPs at the time !). The inside gatefold shows the Beatles on skis at the Swiss Alps, one of John and Ringo at the same location, an alternate photo of the Beatles in Nassau and finally four individual photos of John, Paul , George and Ringo in various film locations. The liner notes are simply silly hyperbole.

The labels used for this LP are the classic black with rainbow rim Capitol standards for the time with white or blue perimeter print above the rainbow rim. Canadian issues do not credit the Musical Score writer Ken Thorne. US issues have variations with some issues not have the Ken Thorne credits (B. Spizer explains that Capitol at the time didn't know who composed the score although it is clearly written in big letters on the back cover and I'm sure the answer was only a phone call away. Weird.), some issues have the score composer Ken Thorne credits. Some US copies have track 4 on side two as "The Bitter End" while other copies have track 4 on side two as "The Bitter End"/"You Can't Do That".

The song material for this LP is a mixture of side one of the UK Parlophone LP "Help!" and some music score "muzak" by Ken Thorne. Side one opens with the title track preceeded by a short blast of "James Bond" style musak. Next is "The Night Before" from the film. The third song is the first instrumental listed as "From Me to You Fantasy" which is also in the "James Bond" style of muzak. The fourth song is "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". The fifth song is the George Harrison composition "I Need You" and side one ends with the second instrumental "In The Tyrol" which is a Wagner style brass band fast arrangment of his Overture. So far, the order of the Beatles song (bar the instrumentals) follow the same order at the UK "Help!" LP.

Side two begins with "Another Girl". A sitar Indian style instrumental follows as the second track listed as "Another Hard Day's Night". Now the order slightly changes from the UK version with "Ticket To Ride" appearing as the next track. The fourth track on side two is another Ken Thorne instrumental listed as "The Bitter End". This is followed by the final Beatles' original song for this set: "You're Going To Lose That Girl" (some label copies have the song listed as "You're Gonna Lost That Girl". The end of side two features a final Ken Thorne instrumental listed as "The Chase".

The inner sleeves included for this LP contained the olive-green version in the US (see the previous blog entry for "Beatles VI") and red/white Capitol/Pathe sleeves for Canadian stereo versions while Canadian mono versions had not sleeve.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beatles VI

"Beatles VI" or "Beatles 6" was released in Canada and the United States on or about June 14 1965. Both countries featured the LP in two formats: mono and stereo. The mono copies have the catalogue number T-2358 while the stereo catalogue number is ST-2358.

Capitol records' choice for the title of the LP is a bit of a mystery to me. Yes, this is the sixth LP put out by Capitol that contains music only, but the back cover of the US LP promotes the two LP set documentary "The Beatles' Story" which was part of the official catalogue up to the end of vinyl. Therefore, this LP can officially be considered the seventh Capitol LP and not the sixth. A minor quibble.

This LP was made especially for the American market. So much so that the fact that the Beatles had to enter EMI studios and record two songs especially for this release: on the evening of May 10 1965, both "Bad Boy" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" were put on tape by The Beatles. "Bad Boy" was not released in the UK until the UK Parlophone LP "The Beatles Oldies...But Goldies" released in Great Britain on December 10 1966. "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" ended up being the last track on the UK Parlophone LP "Help!" on side two. Since both songs were not to end up on the movie soundtrack, the songs were sent to Capitol headquarters in Los Angeles and used for "Beatles VI".

The front cover of the LP features a colour photo of the Beatles holding a large knife to cut through a cake. The LP title is in a rust colour while the blurb "The world's most popular foursome! John Paul George Ringo". The 11 song titles are underneath and the Capitol logo to the right.

The back cover features four black and white photos of the Beatles at EMI studios: John in sunglasses holding a microphone, Paul at the piano, George with his Rickenbaker and Ringo at the timpani. The LP title and track listing are to the left. Some copies have the blurb: See label for correct playing order as the art work for the LP was completed before the order of the songs was established by Capitol. Other copies have the tracklisting in the correct order with the two distinctive sides printed in order. Five mini black and white LP covers are promoted below the four individual Beatles photos: In the US: "Something New", "Second Album", "The Beatles' Story", "Meet The Beatles" and "Beatles' 65". In Canada: "Beatles '65", "Beatlemania! With The Beatles", "Long Tall Sally", "Twist and Shout" and "Something New". Both versions feature these releases out of sequence.

The labels use the classic black with rainbow style with blue/white perimeter print. The material consists of the following songs: "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey" (shown as "Kansas City" on the labels and back cover for this release) from the UK Parlophone LP "Beatles For Sale". Next is "Eight Days A Week" also from the latter, "You Like Me Too Much" is from the upcoming UK Parlophone LP "Help!" as a non-film tune. "Bad Boy" which is mentioned above and side one ends with two songs from the UK Parlophone LP "Beatles For Sale": "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" and "Words Of Love". Side two opens with "What You're Doing" from the UK Parlophone LP "Beatles For Sale", next is a B side of "Ticket To Ride" entitled "Yes It is", after that is "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" which is mentioned above, "Tell Me What You See" from the upcoming UK Parlophone LP "Help!" as a non-film tune. The LP ends with the song "Every Little Thing" which is originally from the UK Parlophone LP "Beatles For Sale".

So you can understand that this LP is quite a mis-mash using LP tracks from two UK LPs, plus a B side, plus a unique recording.

Inner sleeves for this release feature either the white sleeve with gold and silver perimeter print of "Capitol Records Inc" (in the US) OR the olive-green inner sleeve featuring mini black and white LP covers including "Beatles' 65" and "The Early Beatles". In Canada, most stereo copies came with the Capitol/Pathe red and white inner sleeves and most mono copies didn't come with a proper inner sleeve.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Early Beatles

The first North American LP released in the year 1965 was this compilation of earlier material by the Beatles entitled "The Early Beatles". This LP was released on March 22 1965 in the United States by Capitol in mono and stereo: the mono catalogue number is Capitol T-2309 while the stereo catalogue number is Capitol ST-2309.

This LP could be considered an official "replacement" of the previous configurations of "Introducing The Beatles" on Vee Jay records. Vee Jay records rights to it's original 16 Beatles' masters reverted to Capitol records in mid October 1964 when Vee Jay stopped making and distributing LPs containing these early Beatles masters.

The 11 tracks on the LP are all pulled from the UK Parlophone LP "Please Please Me" with the exception of "I Saw Her Standing There" (which was already available on the US "Meet The Beatles" LP yet remaining unreleased on an LP in Canada), "Misery" (which would remain unreleased on an LP in the US until the 1980 Capitol release of "Rarities" but available on the Canadian "Long Tall Sally" LP), "There's A Place" (which would remain unreleased on an LP in the US until the 1980 Capitol release of "Rarities" but available on the Canadian "Twist And Shot" LP). Finally, the odd song out would be "From Me To You" which would see the light of day in 1973 on Apple's double LP compilation "The Beatles 1962-1966".

The front cover of the LP features a colour photo of the band in Hyde Park, London. The photo was taken by Robert Freeman. The photo was originally used for the back cover of the UK Parlophone LP "Beatles For Sale". The photo is cropped and the title of the LP in blue and red is above along with the songs contained within below the title in an olive green colour.

The back cover is white with black print with short liner notes to the left under the LP title, the track listing for sides one and two to the right and mini black and white LP covers below both the liner notes and tracklisting. The catalogue number for both formats appears on the top right corner.

The labels use the classic black background with rainbow rim and blue/white perimeter print. There are errors on both the US and Canadian labels concerning writers credits: On side two track three "Baby It's You" shows the last name as "Davis", it should be "David". Also, the next track "A Taste of Honey" shows the writer's credit as "Ric Marlow". The credit should have both "Bobby Scott - Ric Marlow".

The inner sleeves in the US were the rust coloured "teen set" inners similar to the ones used for "Beatles' 65".

In Canada, this LP was not released in that country until on or about June 03 1968. The simple reason for this is that all of the songs contained on "The Early Beatles" were already available on the Canadian LP "Twist And Shout". When "The Early Beatles" was released in 1968 in Canada, all copies were stereo. No mono copies exist (that I know of). The cover is the same both front and back with the exception of Canadian markings at the bottom of the back cover "Printed in Canada", "Manufactured...." etc. The labels are also the classic black with rainbow print and the errors on the labels are exactly the same as the earlier US version !! Canadian copies of this LP originally came with the red/white "Capitol/Pathe" inner sleeves.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beatles '65

This LP was released by Capitol Records in the United States and Canada on December 14 (in Canada) and December 15 (in the US) 1964. Just in time for Christmas, this LP featured fresh material from the Beatles at the time. The LP was available in both mono and stereo. The mono catalogue number for this LP is Capitol T-2228 and the stereo catalogue number for this LP is Capitol ST-2228.
The front cover of the LP features the album title in huge red letters at the top: this front cover also features a main colour photo of the group holding umbrellas and wearing dark jackets to signify winter; there are three smaller colour photos underneath with the left photo having the Beatles holding springs (signifying spring), the middle photo has the Beatles only in their shirts with the sleeves rolled up by Ringo and George wearing a towel over his shoulder and a beach umbrella present signifying summer and finally the photo on the right with The Beatles holding brooms and basket signifying fall. One of the more attractive covers for an early Capitol Beatles' release (in my humble opinion).
The back cover is a little blander with a white background and black print. The upper left holds the Capitol/EMI logo while the upper right has the catalogue number. The LP title is underneath. Liner notes on the left and the track listing on the right. The mini LP black and white covers are featured underneath.
The labels feature the classic Capitol black with rainbow rim and perimeter print in either blue or white above the rainbow rim.
The track listing for "Beatles' 65" consists of the following: side one mirros the first six songs (of seven) from the Parlophone LP "Beatles For Sale" with the first track being "No Reply" followed by "I'm A Loser", "Baby's In Black", "Rock And Roll Music", "I'll Follow The Sun" and last but not least "Mr Moonlight". Side two opens with the third track on side two of "Beatles For Sale" LP with the song "Honey Don't", next is the last track of side two from the UK LP "A Hard Day's Night" with the song "I'll Be Back", the next two songs are from the single and appear as "She's A Woman" and "I Feel Fine", lastly the final song on "Beatles' 65" LP is also the last song that appears on the Parlophone UK LP "Beatles For Sale" and is titled "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby".
Unfortunately, both the LP versions of "She's A Woman" and "I feel Fine" are drenched in over-loaded reverb and make the songs sound as if they were recorded at the end of a long, long tunnel. Both songs are duophonic on the stereo version of the LP and sound terrible. Part of this deed can be credited to a Mr. Dave Dexter Jr. who gets a production credit alongside George Martin under the track listing on the back cover of the LP !!
Inner sleeves for this LP originally came with the standard red and white Capitol/Pathe sleeves in Canada. In the United States, original copie came with a rust coloured inner sleeves promoting "The Teen Set" on one side with mini black and white covers of the Beatles' LPs: "Meet The Beatles", "Second Album" and "Something New" as well as Beach Boys' LP, Dick Dale, Peter and Gordon, The Four Preps, etc. The other side of the rust coloured inner sleeve features mini LP covers of Broadway LPs and easy listening titles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Beatles' Story

During the late summer and early fall of 1964, both VJ and Capitol were devoid of any new Beatles musical material. It is no surprise that two LPs appeared in November of 1964 that consisted mainly of interviews. My previous post dealt with the VJ records release "Hear The Beatles Tell All". This post will deal with the second of these interview LPs: "The Beatles' Story".
"The Beatles' Story" was released in the United States and Canada on November 23 1964 in the US and on December 21 1964 in Canada according to P. Hemmingsen discography (p. 35). This was also the Beatles' first double LP released by Capitol. The original working title for this LP was "The Beatles Documentary" which appeared on white Capitol acetate labels before the commercial release and name change. This double LP was released in mono with the catalogue number (Capitol TBO-2222) and in stereo (in the US only; Canada released the stereo version in 1968) with the catalogue number (Capitol STBO-2222).

Unfortunately, this release is shoddy and definitely a low point for Capitol. This is clearly a "cash-in" album and no input from EMI, Brian Epstein nor The Beatles themselves was even considered. Similar to the VJ "Hear The Beatles Tell all" which feature interviews from two DJs of KRLA in Los Angeles, this Capitol release features interviews put together mainly by Gary Usher and Roger Christian of radio station KFWB of Hollywood, California (who also get production credits). The material contains original music by The Beatles but only in short snippets. You never get to hear a complete song. Only forty seconds of a live version of "Twist And Shout" ; the opening number from the August 23 1964 live performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

The front cover features the LP title in red. A red, purple and white Union Jack appears with black and white head shots of the individual Beatles above the Union Jack.

The inside gatefold cover features the name of the band and a photo of The Beatles performing in Washington during their February 1964 visit to the US on the left. On the right, various black and white photos of the Beatles during their visit to the US are featured both as a group and individually. The track listing and catalogue number is to the right of the tracklisting.

The back cover is corny and stupid. There are two photos of the Beatles at the bottom of the cover (one being the February press conference from JFK airport and the other live in Washington DC) and tons of silly hyperbole. Here are examples: "It's like spending a very special evening in the company of The Beatles themselves!" (yeah, right!!). I won't even repeat the bullshit written all over the back cover.

Labels for this double LP are the classic black background with rainbow Capitol label. All original copies consisted of the sides 1/4 and 2/3 version in both Canada and the United States with the exception of the subcontracted RCA labels which have the 1/2 and 3/4 versions making them rarer. This is not to be confused with the Capitol of Canada RCA versions which had the standard 1/4 and 2/3 version.

Speaking of Canadian copies, the covers for "The Beatles Story" were imported from the US therefore it is common to see this LP with US marked covers and Canadian inners and labels. The manufacture of the vinyl also seems to have been imported from the US east coast factory in Scranton, PA due to the "IMA" union triangle etched into the inner groove area.

Original inner sleeves for the US had the light blue inner dust jackes with the mini LP black and white photos and "Caution!" information similar to the earlier royal blue inne sleeves. In Canada, the LPs were housed in the red and white Capitol/Pathe inner sleeves.

Incredibly, this double LP remained in the Beatles official Capitol catalogue until the 1980s and was re-issued i the various concurring labels.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hear The Beatles Tell All

In order to be somewhat consistent in the Vee Jay releases, I've included this interview LP released in the United States by Vee Jay records in early November 1964. In fact, November would see two interview records by The Beatles in the month of November '64, this one and one from Capitol records (see next post).

"Hear The Beatles Tell All" was originally released only in mono with the catalogue number VJLP 202 PRO (on the labels) or PRO 202 (on the cover).

The front cover states that the material on the record is "live in person interviews recorded during their latest American tour" and has the LP title underneath this blurb. Various coloured drawn question marks and exclamation marks are scattered throughout and small blurbs on "teaser" liner "what you will find inside" style questions are within coloured shaped boxes, circles, etc.

The back cover is black on white with the "VJ" brackets logo at the top and mini record covers for "Songs, Pictures and Stories", "Beatles vs. The Four Seasons" and "The Beatles & Frank Ifield (portrait version)" are shown. Also shown are picture sleeves (for three) and song titles (for one) of four singles on Vee Jay/Tollie: "Please Please Me/ From Me To You", "Do You Want To Know A Secret?/Thank You Girl", "Twist And Shout/ There's A Place" and "Love Me Do/ P.S. I Love You".

The labels for the records are on the Vee Jay "bracket" with the catalogue number either written as "VJLP 202 PRO" or "VJLP 202" (rarer version). There are no "side 1" or "side 2" markets (a double A side LP ??)

One side consists of radio DJ Dave Hull (from radio station KRLA in Los Angeles) interviewing The Beatles along with percussion sound effects from Hal Blaine. The other side consists of Jim Steck interviewing John Lennon and once again sound effects by Hal Blaine. The recordings were edited by Lou Adler. This is probably why the labels on the LP credit these recording as "A Dunhill Production".

Promotional labels exist for this LP. These labels are white with blue print and the catalogue number consists of "PRO 202". Both the words "promotional" and "not for sale" are written on the left and right of the VJ brackets logo respectively. VJ screwed up these labels with errors when they mistakenly credit Dave Hull interviewing Lennon and Jim Steck interviewing The Beatles ( it should be the other way around). This was obviously corrected for the commercial versions.

The LP was re-issued in 1979 with the same cover. The exception was that there is a "stereo" implication at the top of the front cover (although the record plays in mono). Also, the re-issued label has much larger print. There is no stereo designation on either the originals nor the re-issued labels.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ain't She Sweet LP

This "cash-in" LP was released in both Canada and the United States on or about October 05 1964 by the Atco record company. The LP was released in the mono format for Canada and the catalogue number is ATCO 33-169. No stereo versions of the LP were released in Canada.

Two formats were released in the United States. The LP was released in the mono format in the United States and the catalouge number is ATCO 33-169. The LP was released in the stereo format in the United States and the catalogue number is ATCO SD-33-169.

This LP contains only four tracks by the Beatles that were recorded in Hamburg, Germany with only one track that features vocals from a Beatle (John for the title track). The other three tracks feature Tony Sheridan on vocals with the Beatles backing. The remaining eight tracks on the LP are performed by a group calling themselves "The Swallows" and they perform cover versions of Beatles, Gerry and The Pacemakers and Freddie and the Dreamers tunes.

The front covers for both countries are identical with a black background and the title song and artists written in lined red, blue, green and prominent white. The entire title of the LP is actually: "ain't she sweet - The Beatles & Other Great Group Sounds From England". The ATCO logo is on the bottom and the catalogue number below it. The stereo version on the front cover has the word "Stereo" and the catalogue number at the top.

The back cover has a white background with black print. The ATCO and catalogue number are at the upper left and the ARCO logo at the upper right. The title and full name of the LP are below and the the track listing with side one on the left and side two on the right follow. The second, third and fourth songs list "The Beatles" as the artist. Some back covers in the US add "with Tony Sheridan" to the credits. Silly liner notes are written below the track listings. The US ATCO records address is printed at the center bottom whereas the Canadian copies have the blurb: "Distributed in Canada by London Records of Canada Ltd.". Stereo copies in the US have the stereo designation at the upper right of the back cover.

The labels for Canadian copies are black with silver print. The US mono labels are tan, white and blue-gray and the credits read either "The Beatles" or "The Beatles with Tony Sheridan" beside the second, third and fourth tunes. The stereo copies are not true stereo but simply re-channelled mono (highs on one end and lows on the other)!

This LP was re-issued approximately one year later (summer 1965;Spizer) as "The Amazing Beatles & Other Great English Group Songs" on Clarion 601 (mono) and Clarion SD-601 (stereo). This time the cover was a drawing of the faceless Fabs with a blue and purple background. The title is in white with the songs written in black against a red back ground. Stereo copies of the front cover have the "stereo" designation and catalogue number at the top rather than having the catalogue number at the bottom for the mono copies. The back covers are all white with 21 LP covers. Various versions abound with one version being generic, one version showing a British flag and one with the current front cover photo. The labels for the Clarion issue has red, white and blue labels for the mono copies and Green, white and orange for the stereo copies with the word "stereo" in green. This re-issue was only released in the United States.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Beatles Vs. The Four Seasons

Vee Jay Records released a double LP set on October 01 1964 entitled "The Beatles Vs. the Four Seasons". The catalogue number for this two LP set was Vee Jay DX-30 for mono versions and Vee Jay DXS-30 for stereo versions.

This double LP paired version two of the "Introducing the Beatles" record with the "Golden Hits of The Four Seasons" record. A whole new cover was (once again) created and this is simply a re-issue of the title already available with the "Introducing The Beatles" and "Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles" covers.

The front cover lists the two LP set as "The international battle of the Century" and the Vee Jay logo to the right. Underneath are "The Beatles" written in red and "The Four Seasons" written in purple. The blurbs on the front cover promise: Scorecards, Biographies, Pictures and Stories of all the contestants.

The track listing is below on the front cover with the "Beatles Line up" being the tracks from "Introducing The Beatles" and the "Golden Hits of The Four Seasons".

The back cover features a score card with the songs listed and you can write in the points for each track with a total at the bottom for each band. Also available is the total for the winner. The "rules" of the contest are written in purple. Get out your markers, kiddies !!!

The inside gatfold features colour tinted photographs of both bands (individuals and group) as well as short biographies (the individual Beatles biographies are copied exactly from "Songs, Pictures and Stories").

Also included in the double LP "The Beatles Vs. The Four Seasons" is a poster that measures 11 and half inches by 23 inches (the front cover of the album states that the free poster is 8 inches by 15 inches). This poster features the same drawings of the individual members of the Beatles as the ones used for the "Songs, Pictures and Stories of The Fabulous Beatles" cover !! The poster has the drawings horizontically surrounded by a gold frame.

The records inserted into the covers are usually the "brackets" logo of version two of "Introducing The Beatles" and the "Golden Hits of The Four Seasons".

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles

The next Unites States release is somewhat in question for me. I've consulted both Spizer's Vee Jay book and the Castleman/Podrazik "All together Now" discgraphy. Spizer tells us that this LP was released/distrubuted sometime in late July while Castleman/Podrazik places it's release on October 01 1964. I'll go with Spizer for this one just for the fact that his research indicates as many original documents within the legal perimeter as possible of this release. Remember that Vee Jay could legally re-issue their master recordings as they saw fit after a court ruling brought on by Capitol/EMI records in June 1964.

So, all in all, "Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles" is nothing more than a re-packaging of "Introducing The Beatles" with a different cover and catalogue number. The labels and the records packaged with this release are version two "Introducing The Beatles" vinyl with "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why" in the same configuration as the previous "Introducing The Beatles" posting.

The catalogue number on the cover is VJ 1092 for the mono version and VJS 1092 for the stereo versions. This LP was only released in the United States. The front cover uses a three-quarters length gatefold cover with the Dezo Hoffmann photograph featured on both the 45 single picture sleeve "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Can't Buy Me Love"/ and the back cover of the Canadian LP "Twist And Shout" also uses this photograph. Underneath the photo are a facsimile of the Beatles' autographs. The title; "Beatles" in large orange is at the top of the front cover with the track listing in red underneath and the VJ logo in blue.

The three quarters inner gatefold has the track listings for side one and side two separated and surrounded with various colour tinted photos of the individual Beatles as well as a group shot in the middle. The main inner gatefold has blurbs for each member of the band with a corresponding drawing of the member's face to the right of it. The drawings can be seen when the three-quarter cover is closed. Top to bottome order: Paul, John, George and Ringo.

The back cover is black with a large photo of Ringo to the left which is yellow tinted and the words in white: "Ringo Love" and a drawing of a perferated heart where you can insert or tape or paste your personal photo. To the right is Paul in purple tint with the same blurb and heart. Next is George in blue tint and then John in red tine. This was the typical marketing for VJ which I personally find treated their young girls like little children at this point but I guess this is the sign of the times when the Beatles were being treated by business more as a fad and boy band than serious musicians and ground breakers.

For the mono covers, the catalogue number appears on the bottom right side of the black background on the front. For stereo covers, "STEREO" appears in blue at the top center in blue along with the stereo catalogue number on the left of it in white. Some stereo covers are simply mono covers with a "STEREO" sticker stuck over the mono catalogue number.

Lastly, there are covers that were customized with "banners" that were stuck to the front cover indicating a concert location for the 1964 Beatles tour and marketed as :"Souvenir of their appearance at (city and date). These covers with the banners are fairly rare as they were limited and sold in record stores (not at the actual concert). Both mono and stereo versions had the banner on some of the covers. My copy is mono, version two brackets, no banner.

Fake covers for this LP exist with no gatefold and the title on the front cover is: "Songs and Pictures of the Fabulous Beatles" rather than the authentic "Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles". The four drawings of the individual Beatles on the fakes is also very washed out.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Something New

Well, not quite something new. This LP released by Capitol in North America contained only 11 songs while five of them had already been released just over a month previously. "Something New" was released on July 20 1964 in mono and stereo (most likely to compete against the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack put out by United Artists). The catalogue number for the mono version is Capitol T-2108 and the stereo catalogue number is Capitol ST-2108.

Capitol used a very colourful front cover for this release. On the left side of the front cover is a colour photo of the Beatles performing in New York City during their appearance in February 1964 on "The Ed Sullivan Show". The right side of the front cover shows the title of the LP in white with the artist below in orange. The Capitol logo is under that is white along with the "new" songs and then the blurb (in orange): " the hit vocals from the Motion Picture "A Hard Day's Night" (A United Artists' release)"...yes, folks. Lastly, the five previously release songs are written out in white.

The back cover features the title and artist in black with uncredited liner notes on the left of the back cover. A hilarious production credit states: "Produced in England by George Martin and in the USA with the assistance of Dave Dexter, Jr.". Dave Dexter, Jr. was the same guy at Capitol in the US to turn down the Beatles not once or twice...but three times !! He did absolutely nothing for "production" of the LP except for maybe the song selection and sequencing which is rather pityful. Hard to believe this guy got a "production" credit. This is the same guy that added tons of reverb to everything and it's been rumoured that he hated Beatles music !! A true Blue Meanie, in my books. Ok, Ok...enough ranting. Anyway, on the right side of the back cover are the track listings along with the timings of the songs. At the bottom of the cover are black and white photos of mini album covers for promotional purposes. The Canadian back covers featured four LP mini covers: "Beatlemania:With The Beatles", "Twist And Shout", "Long Tall Sally" and "The Beatles Songbook" by the Hollyridge Strings (Beatles musak, in other words). The United States back covers featured three LP mini covers: "Meet The Beatles", "The Beatles' Second Album" and "The Beatles Songbook" by the Hollyridge Strings. The US back cover also mentions three Capitol singles titles.

The labels for the North American "Something New" LP are the black with rainbow rim versions. Blue perimeter print runs alongside and above the rainbow rim.

The tracks for the LP contain the following: On side one: "I'll Cry Instead" (from the UK LP "A Hard Day's Night and previously released on the United Artist soundtrack), "Things We Said Today", "Any Time At All" and "When I Get Home" (from the UK LP "A Hard Day's Night"); side one ends with "Slow Down" and "Matchbox" both taken from the UK "Long Tall Sally" EP.

Side two: "Tell Me Why", "And I Love Her", "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" and "If I fell" (all four of these songs are taken from the UK LP "A Hard Day's Night and previously released on the United Artist soundtrack). Side two ends with the bizarre version of "I Want To Hold You Hand" sung in German for the German market and released as one side of a single on Odeon (O-22-671) entitled "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand".