Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anthology One CD Sampler

For all of the Anthology installments (one, two and three), Apple released a CD sampler for each. Let's start with the Anthology One CD Sampler. I'm not sure about the release date for any of these, but I'm assuming that the CD sampler was released around the same time as the commercial version so I'll put it at November-ish 1995. The catalogue number is Apple DPRO-10289. My copy states "printed in the USA".

There is an outer slip case that consists of what looks like a wall, with bits and pieces of torn up post paper all over it and you can barely make out the letters contained within the Beatles logo. The top and bottom of the outer slip also have this motif as well as the back. The difference is that on the back bottom, the lone Apple logo is present. There is no more information on the outer slip.

You pull out the CD case and it is tri-fold. The front cover consists of the Beatles' bassdrum in two layers. The outer layer is silver and the bass drum perimeter is also black and silver. The inner liner contains a faux type see-through cardboard featuring the "Ludwig" drum logo, the Beatles logo (large) and "Anthology" printed underneath. As you open the left side like a book, the white cardboard is embossed with the "Anthology" print in spaced letters. Upon opening this side to the right, you discover the CD and photos of the Beatles (one from early 1963 and the other from August 1969) in black and white. The CD itself has a rainbow multi-coloured perimeter and white background with the Beatles logo at the top in silver with the "Anthology" title underneath. The Apple logo is at the bottom. Written in silver along the perimeter is the catalogue number and copyright information.

The CD also comes with an eight page booklet consisting of a photo of the black and white bass drum with the Beatles logo and Anthology and the number "1" on the bass drum. The next page contains the Beatles logo/Anthology and number "1' as well as the tracklisting, Apple logo, catalogue number and copyright information. The inner pages of the booklet have liner notes for each track and the back cover features outtake photos for the cover of "A Hard Day's Night" (1964).

The tracks contained on the sample are as follows: "One After 909"(takes 3,4 and 5), "Leave My Kitten Alone"(take 5), "And I Love Her"(take 6), "Three Cool Cats"(Decca audition) and "I Wanna Be Your Man"( Around The Beatles television special).

The Anthology One CD Sampler packaging is by far the nicest CD sampler of any Beatles release so far (in my opinion). Quite collectible as well.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Anthology Three

The final installement in the series was released first on two compact discs on or about October 29 1966. The vinyl version which carried three records was released a couple of weeks later on November 12 1996. The November date may have been the release of the US version as the UK version may have been released beforehand. The catalogue number for "Anthology 3" is Apple 34451.
The front cover features the last section of the long painting by Klaus Voorman/Alfons Keifer with the same upper photo of Astrid from Hamburg. This cover features a large ripped poster of the front cover of "Let It Be" in the center with Paul's photo from this era ripped away to feature his photo from the "Rubber Soul" LP. Just above that you can see the US front cover version of "A Hard Day's Night". Surrounding the center piece are (at left) : the front cover of "Pepper" and a slice of the San Francisco poster for the last live performance. A small section of "Live At the BBC" in sepia is also present. At the right is John Lennon's face from the "Revolver" front cover along with a small drawing of Klaus Voorman from the mid-90s. The "P !" from the front cover of the US "Help!" LP is shown as well as the bottom right hand corner of the UK "A Hard Day's Night" LP. The "Yellow Submarine" LP is also presented within the large center section with the submarine drawing and a bit of the Apple bonkers. At the very top along with the Hamburg photo, is a section of "Revolver" as well as what I think is a Shea Stadium poster for a live performance.
The back cover has the same canvas motif as the previous installments. Both the CD and vinyl formats have the credits on the top left hand along with the Capitol and Apple logos for the North American releases and only the Apple logo for the UK releases. The UPC code is at the upper right. The tracklisting, artist logo and album title are all centered.
The CD version contains a 44 page booklet along with an advert in the middle for the future "Anthology" VHS tapes. The photographs cover the Beatles era 1968 to August 1969. Liner notes are also present for each song. The LP has a tri-fold cover (same as the others) with the photographs (edited) from the booklet on the center panel and the liner notes for the songs on either side panels. My inner sleeves for all three installments are white.
The CD labels have a silver back ground with the full Apple for CD1 and a sliced Apple for CD2. The Beatles Logo and the title are to the left while the copyright information and catalogue number is to the right. The bottom states "see booklet for details". There are no company logos on the CDs. The vinyl version has the full Apple on one side of the LP and the sliced Apple on the reverse. The labels have a black background with the same information on the left and right as the CDs with the exception of the blurb "see sleeve for details". The US vinyl version has the Capitol logo underneath the catalogue number on the right while the UK vinyl version does not have that logo.
The tracklisting is as follows: "A Beginning"(instrumental recorded July 22 1968 during the "White Album" sessions but never used until now), "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (Esher demo May 1968), "Helter Skelter" (take 12), "Mean Mister Mustard", "Polythene Pam", "Glass Onion", "Junk", "Honey Pie" (Esher demos, May 1968), "Don't Pass Me By" (vocal overdub), "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (reggae version), "Goodnight" (piano demo cross faded to commercial version), "Cry Baby Cry" (take 1), "Blackbird" (take 4), "Sexy Sadie" (take 6), "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (demo), "Hey Jude" (rehearsal July 29 1968), "Not Guilty" ( "Sessions" mix), "Mother Nature's Son" (take 2), "Glass Onion" (mono mix), "Rocky Raccoon" (take 8), "What's The New Mary Jane" ("Sessions" mix), "Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias" ("I Will" rehearsal tape), "I'm So Tired" (edit of takes 3,6 and 9), "I Will" (take 1), "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" (take 4), "Julia" (take 2), "I've Got A Feeling" (Jan 22 /69), "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" (Jan 21/69), "I Dig A Pony" (Jan 22/69), "Two Of Us" (Jan 24/69) "For You Blue" (take 1), "Teddy Boy" (edit of Jan 28 and 24 / 69) "Rip It Up/Shake, Rattle and Roll/ Blue Suede Shoes" (Jan 26/69), "The Long And Winding Road"(Jan 26 /69), "Oh! Darling" (Jan 27/69), "All Things Must Pass" (demo), "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues" (Jan 29/69), "Get Back"(rooftop performance Jan 30/69), "Old Brown Shoe" (demo), "Octopus's Garden" (edit take 2 and take 8), "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (take 5), "Something" (demo), "Come Together" (take 1), "Come and Get It" (demo), "Ain't She Sweet" (July 24/69), "Because" (vocal isolation mix), "Let It Be" (Jan 25/69), "I Me Mine" (Glyn Johns mix), "The End" (new fabricated mix).
As you can see, this is quite the eclectic collection and probably the most interesting one. A lot of studio outtakes and rehearsals.
My vinyl copy came with a yellow sticker on the upper left hand side of the front cover promoting unreleased versions of "Hey Jude", "Come Together" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and shows the Beatles logo and title on the left side.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Anthology Two

The next installment of the "Anthology" series was released on March 19 1996 with the very inventive title: "Anthology 2"( catalogue number 34448). This was released in the LP, CD and cassette format. Since I deal mainly with vinyl and CD, the post will reflex this fact. This release came as a 3-LP set or a 2-CD set.
The front cover of this "Anthology 2" release featured the addition of the centerpiece for Klaus Voorman's design and shows the Beatles circa 1966 on a Shea Stadium promotional poster for an upcoming show, the upperleft shows some of the cover for the "Please Please Me" lp, the bottom left show George and Ringo from "With The Beatles" and George from the "Rubber Soul" LP. The upper right shows the Beatles photographed in Hamburg by their friend Astrid, the US version of the front cover of the "Help!" soundtrack, John's eyes from the "Revolver" LP cover, the wax figures of the Beatles from the "Pepper" LP cover, John's mouth from the "Revolver" LP along with the portrait of the artist (Klaus), the start and stripes from what I'm guessing is the San Francisco promotional poster for the upcoming show with both John and Paul partly viewed.
The back cover continues with the "canvas" theme; credits are once again at the upper left along with the Apple and Capitol logos, the bar code at the upper right (for both formats) and the track listing below/ the Beatles logo/ the album title.
The CD came with a 48 page booklet including photos from the era along with liner notes on the origin of the songs with outtake/concert information. The LP came with a tri-fold sleeve featuring the Sgt. Pepper outtake photo along with all the photos from the booklet (cropped in order to make it all fit) and the same information on the tunes.
The labels for the CD contain the full Apple for CD 1 with the Beatles logo and title on the left and copyright information on the right. The bottom of the label explains that this is "disc 1" and to see the booklet for details. The second CD contains the sliced Apple for CD 2 with the same format as CD 1. The label backgrounds for the CD are silver. For the LP labels, the first side has the full Apple and the second side has the sliced Apple for each of the three vinyl records. The format is basically the same as the CD with the exception that the background is cream coloured and the labels for the LPs have the Capitol logo for the US versions along with "Made in the USA" while the UK versions have no Capitol logo and the "Made in the UK" blurb.
The recordings cover music recorded between February 1965 and February 1968 along with "Real Love" (which is the first track) . This is followed by: "Yes It Is" (take 2 into take 14), "I'm Down" (take 1), "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (take 5), "If You've Got Trouble" (take 1), "That Means A Lot" (take 1), "Yesterday" (take 1), "It's Only Love" (take 2), "I Feel Fine/Ticket To Ride/Yesterday/Help!" (live August 01 1965 from Blackpool), "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" (live August 15 1965 from Shea Stadium), "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (take 1), "I'm Looking Through You" (take 1), "12-Bar Original" (take 2 edited), "Tomorrow Never Knows"(take 1), "Got to Get You Into My Life" (take 5), "And Your Bird Can Sing" (take 2 overdub session), "Taxman" (take 11), "Eleanor Rigby" (instrumental re-mix), "I'm Only Sleeping" (rehearsal/take 1), "Rock 'N' Roll Music/She's A Woman" (live June 30 1966 from Tokyo Nippon Budokan), "Strawberry Fields Forever" (demo/take 1/take 7/ edit and remix take 26), "Penny Lane" (remix and edit), "A Day In The Life" ( take 1/ take 2/take 6 and back to take 2), "Good Morning Good Morning"(take 8), "Only A Northern Song"(remix), "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" (take 1/take 2/take 7), "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (take 6/take 7 and take 8 remix), "Within You, Without You" (instrumental remix), "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)" (take 5), "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)", (remix and edited), "I Am The Walrus" (take 16), "The Fool On The Hill" (demo), "Your Mother Should Know"(take 17 re-make), "The Fool On The Hill" (take 4), "Hello Goodbye" (take 16), "Lady Madonna" (takes 3 and 4 plus sax overdub remix), "Across The Universe"(take 2).
As you can see, the project at this stage used a lot of newly created mixes and edited from various takes from the master tapes. Nothing wrong with that, but not very organic (in my opinion). Interesting none the less.
The original release for this installment was late February, but was delayed due a change in the tracklisting when the song "I'm Down" was changed from being track 6 to being track 3. This change was suggested by Paul McCartney.

The front cover of my UK copy comes with a pink sticker glued to the upper left promoting the "new single" "Real Love".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Anthology Two LP Sampler

A very nice promotional item (probably one of the best Beatles' LP covers) was released about a week before the actual "Anthology 2" project. This promotional item was an LP sampler containing seven tracks taken from the upcoming project. This sampler was issued on or about March 14 1996 and the LP was limited to between 3,000 and 4,000 copies. The catalogue number for the Anthology 2 LP Sampler is Apple/Capitol SPRO - 11206/11207.

The front cover features the Beatles looking at transparencies of a previous photo session which would eventually produce the "butcher" cover. The fabs are at EMI studios for the promotional taping of the single "Paperback Writer/Rain". The black and white photo was taken by Robert sleyWhitaker on May 19 1966. The photo is surrounded by a paisley pattern in silver and white. The back cover is silver with black print. The Beatles logo, Anthology 2, side A tracklisting and side B tracklisting are all featured along with the production credits, the Apple logo and Capitol logo, promotional markings and copyright information at the bottom.

The labels has the full Apple for the first side and the sliced Apple for the second side. The Beatles logo is prodominant on the upper left along with the side number. The copyright information is to the upper right and the tracklising is at the bottom. Both sides feature the Capitol dome logo.

The tracklisting is as follows: Side A has take 1 of "Strawberry Fields Forever", take 1 of "I'm Down" and the rehearsal and take 1 of "I'm Only Sleeping". Side B contains the re-mixed orchestral backing of "Eleanor Rigby", a newly made remix of "Only A Northern Songs" from two January 1967 sessions and an April session, "Tomorrow Never Knows" take 1 from April 1966 and finally "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)" take 5 from April 01 1967.

A fairly rare collectible and a beautiful item from the Anthology series.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Real Love

The second (and final) single for the Anthology project was released in early March 1996. It appears that the single was originally intended to be released the previous month but was delayed. The official release is March 05 1996 (as a CD single) with the 45 vinyl version being released a week later on March 12 1996. The catalogue number for the single is Apple 58544.

The vinyl single contained two track: "Real Love" which is another Lennon demo recorded in 1979 and containing vocals, piano and a drum machine. The other band members added various instruments, Paul doubling the vocal, and Paul and George adding backing overdubs. The overdubs were completed in February 1995. The production was by the band and Jeff Lynne. Engineers for this work are Geoff Emerick and Jon Jacobs. "Real Love" is not as strong as the first Lennon-demo-cum-recording, but a nice effort nonetheless. The B-side of the single is "Baby's In Black" - a live performance of the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl on August 30 1965 with the intro taken from the previous night's appearance.

The CD single contained two bonus tracks: the first being "Yellow Submarine" containing a different mix of the song enhaning the sound effects as well as adding the original spoken intro. This version takes the tapes from the May 26 and June 01 1966 sessions. The second being "Here, There And Everywhere" once again using various mixes from the original sessions. The song starts with a guide vocal from Paul recorded as take 07 and glides into the three part harmonies of take 13. Both bonus songs recorded at EMI studios.

The front cover of the single shows a Beatles photograph taken by Robert Whitaker from late 1965. Both Ringo's and Paul's cigarettes are brushed out of the photo to make it politically correct (boo !). The Beatles logo is at the top right and the title is at the bottom "Real" and "Love" are separated by a heart shaped red Apple.

The back cover has the canvas theme and contains the Beatles logo at the top left (vinyl ) or top center (CD) with the UPC code at the top right (vinyl ) or on the inner jewel case (CD). The title follows (same as above with the red heart shaped Apple) and then the track listing. The bottom contains the Apple logo and in the case of the vinyl version the Capitol logoo is added. The copyright information is at the bottom of the back cover.

The vinyl single has the full Apple for side one and the sliced Apple for side two. Both sides have a black background. The Beatles logo appears on the left as well as the side number and tracklisting. The right side contains the copyright information. The bottom contains production credits and the Capitol dome logo.

The CD has a full Apple with the clear background. The Beatles logo is at the left and the four tracks are listed at the bottom. Also contains the blurb: "See Inlay for details". The right hand side contains the copyright information and Compact Disc logo (my copy was made in Holland). My copy of the CD also contains a bright red sticker with the Beatles Anthology logo, catalogue number and promotion for the remaining tracklisting.