Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free As A Bird Single

"Free As A Bird" was a single released on December 12 1995 as a CD maxi single. This single was used to tie in with the "Anthology 1" release and featured the John Lennon composition as the first song. The "Beatles" version is credited to all four members. The original demo was recorded by Lennon in 1977 and over dubbed by Paul, George and Ringo at Paul's studio in Sussex February and March 1994. The second song on the CD is "I Saw Her Standing There" featuring the complete take 09 with count-in from the February 11 1963 session at EMI. The commercial version is take 1 with this count-in from take 09 edited at the beginning. The third song featured is "This Boy" outtakes 12 and 13 from the October 17 1963 session at EMI. The last song on the CD is "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" which is the instrumental part from the 1967 Christmas flexi. This is overdubbed (boo!) with greetings from 1966 for a pirate radio station and this is an example of how the future "Anthology" series would use re-mixes and created manufactured "outtakes" losing the original concept of hearing the actual tapes as they were originally recorded. This happened mainly on "Can't Buy Me Love" from the "Anthology 1" series where the guitar solo was flown from a different take as an example.

The CD front cover has the Beatles logo topa right, a drawing of Pete Shotton surrounded by birds by John Lennon from the book "In His Own Right". The title at the bottom and "CD Maxi Single" on the bottom left and the catalogue number on the lower right. "Apple 58497". The back cover has the canvas backing similar to the 3-LP/2-CD equivilant. The artist, title and barcode at the top with the tracklisting and recording information following. The Apple logo is at the bottom left and the Capitol logo is at the bottom right. Credits and copyright information is at the bottom. The CD features a full Apple with silver backing.

About a week later on December 19 1995, a vinyl single was released in the US by Capitol and Apple. The vinyl single contains "Free As A Bird" on side one and "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" on side two. The front cover contains the same drawing as the CD with the exception of only the artist name and title with no other writing. The back cover contains information on only the two songs contained within.

The label has a full apple on the a-side and a half label on the b-side. The labels have a cream coloured background. On the left side of the labels are the artist name and the song in question. The right side have the copyright information.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Beatles Anthology 1

Apple released a series of broadcasts, studio outtakes, private recordings, interview material, live material, unreleased recordings and new version of titles with three separate volumes consisting of 3 vinyl LPs / 2 compact disc installments.

The name of the project was The Beatles "Anthology" which included television broadcasts, 10 hours of material with interviews and rare film footage (released first on VHS tapes and later on DVD) along with the recordings and a book.

The first installment "Anthology 1" was released by Apple world wide on November 21 1995 (the morning after the first television episode aired on television). The catalogue number for "Anthology 1" is Apple 34445 for both the vinyl version and CD version.

This installment covers The Beatles' music from the years 1958 to 1964. The sole exception is the very first track which is titled "Free As A Bird" written by Lennon as a demo in the late 1970s and embellished with instruments and vocals by Paul, George and Ringo. Listed as a "Beatles" recording and producers credit is to all four Beatles and Jeff Lynne. This is followed by a statment by Lennon and is then followed by two 1958 Quarry Men demos: "That'll Be The Day" and "In Spite Of All The Danger" (written by Paul and George). After a Paul statement, the next 3 tracks consist of a taped 1960 rehearsal: "Hallelujah, I love Her So/ You'll Be Mine/"Cayenne". Another Paul statment follows and then followed by the June 22 1961 Hamburg Tony Sheridan sessions: "My Bonnie/Ain't She Sweet/Cry For A Shadow". There is a statment by Lennon and Brian Epstein followed by the following 5 Decca Audition tracks recorded January 01 1962: "Searchin/Three Cool Cats/The Sheik of Araby/Like Dreamers Do/Hello Little Girl". After another Epstien speech, two tracks are featured from the first EMI recordings of June 06 1962: "Besame Mucho/Love Me Do". Unused track "How Do You Do It" from the EMI Sept. 04 1962 session. "Please Please Me" outtake from September 11 1962 EMI session. Outtake/unused version of "One After 909" from the EMI March 05 1963 session follows. "Lend Me Your Comb" from a BBC July 02 1963 recording. "I'll Get You" live version from the London Palladium October 14 1963, Lennon speech, followed by 5 tracks from a live performance in Stockholm, Sweden October 24 1963: "I Saw Her Standing There/From Me To You/ Money (That's What I Want)/You Really Got A Hold On Me/Roll Over Beethoven". Three tracks from the live performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre November 04 1963: "She Loves You/Till There Was You/Twist And Shout". Three tracks follow from the Morecambe and Wise television soundtrack recording from December 02 1963: "This Boy/I Want To Hold Your Hand and some speech". This is followed by "Can't Buy Me Love" outtake from January 29 1964 recorded at Pathe Marconi in Paris (take 2 with guitar solo from take 1). "All My Loving" is a live performance from the Ed Sullivan show of February 09 1964. Two EMI outtakes follow: "You Can't Do That"(take 6) and "And I Love Her"(take 2) ; both recorded February 25 1964. "A Hard Day's Night"(take 1) EMI session April 16 1964. The next 4 tracks are from the IBC recordings for the mimed television special "Around The Beatles" April 19 1964: "I Wanna Be Your Man/ Long Tall Sally/Boys/ Shout". This is followed by takes 2 and 3 of "I'll Be Back" from the EMI session of June 01 1964. "You Know What To Do/ No Reply" ; two demos from EMI session of June 03 1964. "Mr Moonlight" (combination of takes 1 and 4) and unused track "Leave My Kitten Alone"(take 5) both from EMI session August 14 1964. "No Reply"(take 2) is presented from the EMI session from September 30 1964. "Eight Days A Week" (combination takes 1,2,4 and 5)is presented from the EMI session on October 06 1964. Finally, the album ends with a version of "Kansas City - Hey Hey Hey Hey!" (take 2) from the EMI October 18 1964 session.

These recordings were produced by George Martin. As you can see above, most of this was either available in inferior sound on bootlegs or unreleased. It was a real treat for Beatles fans. The front cover painting is by Klaus Voorman and Alfons Keifer. The front cover painting is the left side of a larger painting that was elongated once the other installments were released. This particular cover shows faded mainly black and white or sepia toned photos of the Beatles from the time period late 50s to early 60s. Ripped images from "The Savage Young Beatles", "Please Please Me", "With The Beatles" and "Live At the BBC" are featured. The back cover looks like the back of a canvas with the credits at the upper left, the UPC code at the upper right and the track listing with the artists' logo in the center. This applies to both the LPs and CD versions. The CD installment comes with a 48 page booklet including liner notes and merchandising information. The first CD has the full Apple with the artist and title on the left and copyright information on the right. The second CD has the sliced Apple with the artist and title on the left and copyright information on the right. The bottom of both CDs has the blurb: "See booklet for details". The three LP version has a tri-fold cover with the Derek Taylor liner notes at the center with a black background and "Hard Day's Night" era photos of the Fabs in each corner. Once opened, the gatefold contains the liner notes found in the CD booklet as well as all the photographs in the center gatefold. The LP labels have a full Apple on the A sides and the sliced Apple on the B sides. The background is black. The artist and title is on the left and copyright information is on the right. The bottom of the labels blurb states: "See sleeve for details".

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Remastered "Red" And "Blue" Compilation

With the re-emergence of Apple Records, the company decided to re-issue the greatest hits compilation "The Beatles 1962-1966" and "The Beatles 1967-1970" in CD form for the first as well as on vinyl. This series was issued sometime in 1993 (I don't have the exact date at the moment).

There was controversy at the time due to the fact that "1962-1966" was released as a two CD set when all of the music could have fit easily onto one disc. It was explained by Apple that the consistency of the release with the 2 CD/ 2LP format would remain unified by issuing these formats with the two physical discs.

The LPs are contained within the same cover design as the 1973 originals, with the exception of the copyright information on the upper left of the back cover, the upper center Apple logo has the word "APPLE" underneath and a bar code is at the upper right of the back cover. There is no script underneath the back cover photo. The inner gatefold contains the same photograph. Subtle differences from the originals include no credit on the left side of the photo, but the date and place of the photo is written at the bottom right of the photo as "July 1968 St. Pancras Churchyard". The photographs on the re-issues are much brighter and clearer than the originals.

The Apple labels on the vinyl have a different sliced Apple photograph for sides two and four of both compilations. The tracklisting is the same. The inner sleeves are sturdy cardboard which include the full lyrics to the songs. The "1962-1966" version is on red vinyl for the two discs while the "1967-1970" version is on blue vinyl for the two discs. My copy of the "1967-1970" vinyl version also came with an insert that has the Apple logo at the top,composers credits, publishing credits, remastering credits and copyright statements for LP 1 and LP 2. This is followed by a photo of the front cover of "1962-1966" with the tracklisting and the "now available" statement. On the flipside of the advert, there are five photographs of the Beatles including one from the "Revolution" promo film, one from July 1968, two from April 1969 and one from August 1969. An insert for the "1962-1966" version contains the same format with photos of the Beatles from 1963 (4), 1964, 1965 (2) and one from the "Paperback Writer/Rain" promo of 1966. The catalogue number for the Beatles remastered "1962-1966" is Apple 97036 while the catalougye number for the Beatles remastered "1967-1970" is Apple 97039. The 1962-1966 vinyl version has a black and white sticker on the front with the words: "Limited Edition Red Vinyl Digitally Remastered (and the catalogue number)". The 1967-1970 vinyl version also has a black and white sticker on the front with the words: "Limited Edition Blue Vinyl Digitally Remastered (and the catalogue number)".

The double CD counterpart have the same catalogue numbers as their vinyl cousins. Both come in coloured double jewel cases corresponding to the red for "1962-1966" and blue for "1967-1970". Same with the CD backgrounds and vinyl backgrounds. Since both packages have 2 CDs, the first CD features the full Apple (slightly altered from the original to my eyes) and the second CD features a sliced Apple (definitely altered from the original to my eyes). The front cover photograph for both compilations feature the same photo and logos as the original vinyl with better and clearer resonance. The back covers for both compilations have the corresponding logo, the UPC at the upper right, the tracklisting for CD1 and CD2, "Digitally Remastered" written in white on the lower left , the "EMI" logo, copyright information and the Apple logo on the bottom right.

Both CD compliations came with 24 page booklets containing the lyrics to the songs and photographs from the era described above as inserts.

This was (at the time) the first time that the following tunes were available on CD in stereo: "All My Loving", "Can't Buy Me Love", "A Hard Day's Night", "And I Love Her", "Eight Days A Week".

There were two promo items released with this re-issue: An interview with George Martin on a silver promo CD has the front cover with the Beatles font from the re-issue project separated by red on one side and blue on the other. Underneath is written "George Martin Interview" and "For Promotional Use Only". The other item is an album sampler on CD with a grey cover featuring a photo of the Beatles at EMI house in the stairway with the early 60s Beatles peering down onto the late 60s Beatles. On either side of the Beatles logo are the dates: 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. The catalogue number is Apple DPRO-79286. The back of the CD cover shows both red and blue covers and contains the following tracklist: "Hello, Goodbye", "Ticket To Ride", "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", "In My Life", "Help" and "The Fool On The Hill". All titles and timing are written on the back cover. The Apple and Capitol logo are on the disc. The promo "not for sale" print, printed in USA, All rights and manufacturing statement are all center bottom. The CD is split red and blue with the artist logo, Capitol logo and Apple logo on the disc.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The "Live At The BBC" EP "Baby, It's You"

Apple decided to release an EP from the "Live At The BBC" recordings and chose the song "Baby, It's You" as it's main title. The EP was released on March 20 1995 in the UK and on March 23 1995 in North America. "Baby It's You" was written by David-Bacharach-Willams and the Beatles covered this song for the BBC recorded June 01 1963 at the BBC Paris Theatre in London England and transmitted 10 days later. The other tracks on the EP do not appear on the LP/CD. These tracks are: "I'll Follow The Sun" which was recorded for the BBC on November 17 1964 and transmitted November 26 1964, "Devil In Her Heart" written by Drapkin and covered by the Beatles for the BBC on July 19 1963 and transmitted on August 20 1963 and the song "Boys" written by Dixon-Farrell covered by The Beatles for the BBC on June 17 1963 and transmitted on June 25 1963. Each song is sung by a different Beatles: The main title by John, "I'll Follow The Sun" by Paul, "Devil In Her Heart" by George and "Boys" by Ringo.

There are various formats and versions of this EP on vinyl and CD (also on cassette but since I know nothing about cassettes I have no comment on them and haven't included them on the blog).

The two vinyl versions come from the UK and the US: The UK version (72438 - 82073 - 7 -9)has the EMI logo on the back cover along with "mono". The US version (72438 - 58348 -7 - 5)has the Capitol logo on the back cover along with "mono" in addition to the catalogue number. Both front covers are the same with the Apple logo / tracklisting / and the mono designation (the US version has a line between the Apple logo and tracklisting whereas the UK version does not). There are also difference on the EP vinyl label. Both versions have the full Apple on side one and the half Apple on side two. The UK version has a white background whereas the US version has a cream background. The UK version has a small spindle hole whereas the US version has a large spindle hole. The UK version has the mono designation and "all rights" print to the left with copyright information to the right. The US version has the Capitol logo, mono designation as well as the manufacturing credits and "all rights" print to the left. Both US and UK versions have the same print on the right.

A CD EP was also released with the same back cover as the UK version (with the EMI logo) on my Canadian copy. My copy also includes the "Capitol" logo between the EMI and Apple logos along with the Capitol of Canada information. The CD has the full Apple logo similar to the vinyl (no background) as well as "see inlay for details" print. The front cover is the same as the vinyl (no line between the Apple logo and tracklisting). The front cover photo is the same as the back cover photo of the LP/CD.

A promotional single CD was released by Capitol Records in the US as a Valentine Day's card. The card opens up and contains the CD. The front of the card features a candy heart with the title, as it opens the EP photo is shown on the left and written in script on the right is: "Happy Valentine's Day From Us To You". The CD label has the full Apple with "Baby It's You" above written in script. The left side has the manufacture, "all rights" print and "printed in the USA" on the left with the copyright credits to the right. "The Beatles" drop T logo is at the bottom. The back of the card contains the title/artist and LP name, liner notes, the Apple and Capitol logos as well as all information manufacturing, rights, etc. The catalogue number for this CD single is DPRO-79553 Promotional use only/not for sale.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Live At The BBC" Album Sampler

Released in late 1994 (probably November), this promotional CD was issued by Apple with the catalogue number CDPCSPDJ 7261.

The CD has the full Apple silkscreen with the catalogue number, "mono", "Made in Holland" BIEM/STEMRA and the George Martin credit for executive Producer/ credits all to the left of the Apple. To the right of the Apple is the tracklisting with writer's credits and publishing credits. The Beatles' logo is at the top under the stem of the Apple and the title of the CD with the disclaimer "Album Sampler Promotional Copy - Not for Sale" under the title.

The front cover photo of he album sampler is the same as the commercial CD/LP back cover photo. "The Beatles" logo with the drop-T is at the upper right corner and the CD title is at the bottom right along with the disclaimer "Album Sampler Promotional Copy - Not For Sale". The spine of the cover has the title, artist and album sampler writings. The back of the cover has the tracklisting and song timings. The bottom of the back cover has the Apple logo, mono, the George Martin credit and copyright information

The CD cover opens with four panels each containing a sepia photo of the individual group members. The other side of the panels contain information on the tunes (similar to the commercial version). The last panel contains liner notes written by Derek Taylor in October 1994.

The tracklisting is as follows: "Beatle Greetings (speech)", "From Us To You (jingle)", "Soldier of Love", "Sha La La La La!(speech)", "Baby It's You", "Clarabella", "I Just Don't Understand", "Glad All over" and "Matchbox". Recording dates can be found on my previous post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Live At The BBC

Apple Records started to be active again in the early 1990's with not only a re-issue campaign of the original artists from the late 60s and early 70s (e.g. Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, etc.) but also added the Apple logo to the curret (at the time) Beatles CD catalog as well as the re-issue of the 1962/1966 and 1967/1970 greatist hits package as two double CDs and two double vinyl sets. The CDs caused a bit of a controversy as the first package could have fit on one CD.

Apple released a batch of BBC recordings recorded between 1963-65 and the Beatles compilation "Live at The BBC" was issued in England on November 30 1994. The compilation was also released in North America on December 06 1994. The collection is available as a two CD set or as a double vinyl set. The catalogue number for the CD is: Apple 7243 8 31796 2 6 and there are two variations of the vinyl set. One variation is the UK set released on Apple. The second varition is the US set released on Capitol/Apple. Both vinyl sets have the same catalogue number as listed above for the CD set.

The front cover for "Live At the BBC" was taken on April 04 1963 by Dezo Hoffman. The background images were digitally altered in order to make this photo more appealing to the consumer (LOL). The back cover on the vinyl editions also feature a photo of the Fabs from the same session. This time the bodies of each indivicual Beatles was brought closer together. There is an error where you can see Ringo's headshot from the front cover lightly leaking to the left of Ringo's headshot on the back cover (take a look; you'll see what I mean). The background image is blurred. The UK copy has the UPC code in the upper right corner while the US copy has the UPC code at the bottom right corner. The UK copy has the Apple logo while the US copy has both the Apple and Capitol logos.

The vinyl version come with inner sleeves. Each inner sleeve features photos of the Beatles on one side and tracklisting details written on the other. The UK version has thin carboard inner sleeves while the US version has paper sleeves. Both sleeves contain the same information and photos as the 48 page booklet supplied with the CD version.

The actual Apple labels vary depending on where you bought your CDs or LPs. In the UK, the Apple labels have the full and sliced sides with a black background. The blurb on the left of the Apple states: "Mono; the catalogue number; Made in UK. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, renting, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited." The blurb on the right side of the Apple states the record 1 or 2, the side number, "Released by arrangment with BBC enterprises" followed by the copyright information. The copyright information on the right of the Apple is present on the CD and both vinyl versions. A typesetting error occurs on the UK vinyl version whereby the words "broadcasting" and "of" are not separated. In the US, the Apple labels have the full and sliced sides with a cream back ground. The blurb on the left is different and states: "Manufactured by Capitol Records, Inc. Printed in USA. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws." This is followed by the oval Capitol Records logo. My copy of the double CD was bought in Canada and thus the background of the CD labels are white. The blurb on the left of the Apple on the CD has the same print as the UK version with the exception of the "Made in UK" print and instead has "Made in Canada" after the blurb. There is additional print "BIEM/STEMRA LC 0299" is written just between the catalogue numbe and the blurb. The right side blurb is the same as both US and UK versions. The compact disc logo also appears on the CD Apple labels. CD one has the full Apple while CD two has the sliced Apple. The back of the CD package has the UPC similar to the UK at the upper right but no photos. Instead is the tracklisting, credits, copyright information and the Apple and Capitol logos. My copy also has the EMI Canada logo at the bottom left. All of this against a brown background.

The tracklisting for "Live At The BBC" is as follows. Please note that all tracks are mono. "Beatle Greetings" recorded Oct. 09/63, "From Us To You" recorded Feb. 28/64,"Riding on a Bus" recorded Nov. 26/64, "I Got A Woman" recorded July 16/63, "Too Much Monkey Business" recorded Sept. 03/63, "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" recorded Jan. 02/63, "I'll Be On My Way" recorded April 04/63, "Young Blood" recorded June 01/63, "A Shot of Rhythm And Blues" recorded Aug. 01/63, "Sure To Fall (In Love With You)" recorded June 01/63, "Some Other Guy" recorded June 19/63, "Thank You Girl" recorded June 19/63, "Sha La La La La!" and "Baby It's You" both recorded June 01/63, "That's All Right (Mama)" , "Carol", "Soldier of Love" "A Little Rhyme" "Clarabella" all five previous titles recorded July 02/63, "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)" recorded July 16/63, "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" also recorded July 16/63, "Dear Wack!"/"You Really Got A Hold On Me" both recorded July 30/63, "To Know Her Is To Love Her" recorded July 16/63, "A Taste Of Honey" recorded July 10/63, "Long Tall Sally" recorded July 16/63, "I Saw Her Standing There" recorded October 16/63, "The Honeymoon Song" recorded July 16/63, "Johnny B Goode" recorded Jan 07/64, "Memphis, Tennesee" recorded July 10/63, "Lucille" recorded Sept. 07/63, "Can't Buy Me Love" recorded Feb. 28/64, "From Fluff To You" recorded Feb. 28/64 and the first CD/Record ends with "Till There Was You" recorded February 28/64.

The second CD and record start with "Chrinsk Dee Night" and "A Hard Day's Night" and "Have A Banana!" all three recorded July 14/64, "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Just A Rumour" and "Roll Over Beethoven" all recorded Feb. 28/64. "All My Loving" also recorded Feb. 28/64, "Things We Said Today" recorded July 14/64, "She's A Woman" recorded Nov. 17/64, "Sweet Little Sixteen", "1822!", "Lonesome Tears In My Eyes" and "Nothin' Shakin" , "The Hippy Hippy Shake" recorded July 10/63, "Glad All Over" and "I Just Don't Understand" recorded July 16/63, "So How Come (No One Loves Me)" recorded July 10/63, "I Feel Fine", "I'm A Loser" and "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" were all recorded Nov. 17/64, "Rock and Roll Music" recorded Nov. 25/64, "Ticket To Ride" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" both recorded May 26/65, "Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey" recorded July 16/63, "Set Fire To That Lot!"/"Matchbox" was recorded July 10/63, "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" recorded May 01/64, "Love These Goon Shows"/"I Got To Find My Baby" both recorded May 01/64, "Ooh! My Soul"/ "Ooh! My Arms" and "Don't Ever Change" recorded Aug. 01/63, "Slow Down" recorded July 16/63, "Honey Don't" recorded August 01/63 with Lennon on vocals. "Love Me Do" recorded July 10/63.

A great package and new material released since the 1977 "Live At the Hollywood Bowl" concert(s). My only critic is that more could have been added and it would have been nice to have been presented in chronological order.