Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Beatles "LOVE" CD Sampler

Another project, another sampler. This time Apple released a CD Sampler for the "LOVE" project in both the UK and North America in the fall of 2006. The catalogue number on my copy is Apple 0946. My copy is a North American description with the major differences (as in most cases) is the placement of the "Capitol" or "Parlophone" logos and the "FBI" warning on the North American version but not on the UK versions.
The front cover has the Beatles logo in dark, dark brown (almost black) against a white background. The Beatles jumping silouettes are in red with the "LOVE" logo in red and black. There is small print along the bottom of the front cover stating "Licensed for promotional use only. See package for details".
The back cover features the artist and title written in the dark brown/black followed by the tracklisting, composer credits and publisher. The production credit of George Martin and son follows the tracklist. The Apple logo is to the left and the Capitol logo (in North America) or Parlophone logo (in the UK) is on the right. This is followed by the wetsite address and trademark information. On the North American copies, the FBI logo follows. Underneath all this at the bottom of the back cover is the copyright information. All the text is written against a white background.
The disc itself is silver with white perimeter print containing the all right /manufacturing information. The bottom of the CD has the "LOVE" logo in outline alont with the jumping silouettes. On the left is the Capitol and Apple logos (Parlophone for the UK) and to the right is the Compact Disc logo.
The CD contains four tracks from the commercial CD/2-LP: 1. Strawberry Fields Forever (Love Version). 2. Octopus's Garden (Love Version). 3. Lady Madonna (Love Version). 4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Love Version).
Each Beatle is represented beginning with John, then Ringo, then Paul, then George.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Beatles "LOVE"

A new project released by Apple/EMI was entitled "LOVE". The tracklisting consists of mash-ups for the soundtrack to the Cirque Du Soleil Vegas show using re-mixed Beatles songs. The soundtrack was first released in CD format for the UK on November 20 2006 and for North America a day later on November 21 2006. The catalogue number for the CD is Apple 09463 and there are two choices in format : one being a regular CD and other being a CD/DVD-Audio (which plays in 5.1).
The 2-LP vinyl version of "LOVE" was released five months later on April 30 2007 worldwide although the vinyl was manufactured in England. The catalogue number for the vinyl version is the same as the other formats: Apple 09463 - the sub numbers vary depending on the format.
The front cover for this project shows a colourful yellow and red swirly background. The band logo is on the left in a dark brown (almost black) colour, the "LOVE" title has the letters in dark brown/black with the out lines of the letters in red and this is surrounded by the band members in red silouette from the original Dezo Hoffman photograph taken on Monday March 25 1963 at Allerton Golf Course in Liverpool. The band members have been re-arranged with the original line up on the black and white Hoffman photo as John, Ringo, George and Paul from left to right. On the "LOVE" front cover the member have now become Ringo, Paul, John and George from left to right.
Let's start with a description of the CD/DVD-Audio which I happen to own: there is an outer slip with the front cover as described above. The top and bottom of the slipcase have the front cover logo, the title of the project, Apple, Capitol and catalogue number. The back of the slip contains the tracklisting, the UPC code, the FBI logo and warning (all on the left side). The back also contains the band member silouettes, the website address, various logos, trademarks, composer information and copyright information (all on the right side).
The digipack opens has the front cover and the back is simply the yellow/reddish background with the internet address, composer's credits, copyright and various logos ; FBI, Dolby, DTS, DVD, Apple, Capitol at the bottom. The digipack opens up to reveal more of the background and then opens to reveal the two discs with the tracklisting on either side of the openings. The disc labels feature the background colours and the front cover logos in yellow on the CD and in brown on the DVD-audio. The Apple logo is featured on the left hand side. (The Capitol logo is above it on my North American copy). Copyright information is printed on both discs in white along the perimeter of the disc (s). The CD format also contains a 28 page booklet with an introduction by George Martin and Giles Martin with credits and copyright information. The rest of the booklet features various colourful images and the band members, scene images from the Cirque Du Soleil stage show and various montages.
The LP version features two discs and a gatefold cover. The front cover is the same as the CD, the back cover has the tracklisting under the individual sides in brown, the internet address, the Apple, Parlophone UPC code and Cirque Du Soleil logos from left to right. Underneath are the copyright information. The spine contains the catalogue number, the artist/title, "music from EMI" and the Apple logo. The inner gatefold photo reveals a colourful montage with the band members. The large book has the same information as the CD booklet but much, much more colourful, larger and nicely designed.
The two records come in white inner sleeves, Side A and B have a red label with the yellow front cover logo, the tracklisting for each side, the side letter on the right, the parlophone and Apple logos on the left and the copyright information written in yellow along the perimeter. Side C and D have a yellow label with the red front cover logo, same as above with the exception of the perimeter print being red instead of yellow. Both records are on black vinyl.
The tracklisting is as follows:
"Because"/"Get Back"/ "Glass Onion"/ "Eleanor Rigby"/ "Julia (Transition)"/ "I Am the Walrus"/ "I Want To Hold Your Hand"/ "Drive My Car/What You're Doing"/ "Gnik Nus"/ "Something"/ "Blue Jay Way (Transition)"/ "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite/I Want You (She's So Heavy)/Helter Skelter"/ "Help!"/ "Blackbird/Yesterday"/ "Strawberry Fields Forever"/ "Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows"/ "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds"/ "Octopus's Garden"/ "Lady Madonna"/ "Here Comes The Sun"/ "The Inner Light (Transition)/ "Come Together/Dear Prudence"/ "Cry Baby Cry (Transition)"/ "Revolution"/ "Back In The USSR"/ "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"/ "A Day In The Life"/ "Hey Jude"/ "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)"/ "All You Need Is Love".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Beatles' The Capitol Albums Vol. 2 Sampler

In early April 2006, Apple/Capitol/EMI released a CD sampler for the Capitol Albums Vol. 2. The catalogue number for the CD is Apple/Capitol DPRO 0946.
The front cover is similar to the previous volume 1 sampler; the middle has the large black label with rainbow perimeter print and the white playhole in the middle. The center of the label has the band logo in yellow and red with the title underneath in white along with the Capitol logo. The four front replica covers are as follows: "The Early Beatles" in the upper left; "Beatles VI" in the upper right; "Help!" in the lower left and "Rubber Soul" in the lower right.
The back of the sampler has the same colour design as the previous volume 1 sampler: purple into red into orange into yellow etc. The band logo is at the top in white followed by the title. Underneath is the tracklisting twice (once for stereo and once for mono), the production credit to George Martin in black followed by the composer credits. The blurb "From The Capitol Albums: Vol. 2" in black and indicated which songs appear for the first time in stereo. At the lower left are the Apple/Capitol/Compact Disc/ and FBI logos appear. Finally, at the bottom is the catalogue number and copyright information.
The CD has the black label with rainbow perimeter. The artist and title are at the top in white, the tracklisting in white under the playhole. The Capitol logo is at the left and the catalogue number, compact disc logo and EMI logo are at the right. At the bottom is the Apple logo and in the perimeter rainbow colours are the copyright information and FBI warning.
The tracks include "Baby It's You" and "Boys" from "The Early Beatles" collection; "What You're Doing" and "'I Don't Want to Spoil The Party" from the "Beatles VI" collection; "The Night Before" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" from the "Help!" soundtrack; "Think For Yourself" and "I've Just seen A Face" from the "Rubber Soul" collection. All tracks are offered in stereo followed by (mainly fake) mono mixes.

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.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Beatles' The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 Sampler

Yes folks, the release of a new project and the obligatory CD sampler which was at this point becoming a habit (probably used more as collector's items than radio fare at this junction of time). The CD sampler for "The Capitol Albums Vol. 1" was released in early November 2004 and contains selective tracks from the upcoming 4-CD commercial set. The catalogue number for this sampler is Apple DPRO 7087.
The front cover consists of the round logo for the project with a black background and the artist logo in yellow and red with the rainbow perimeter colours. A playhole in the middle of the cover is white. The surrounding four front covers of the Capitol LPs contained within the project are shown with "Beatles '65" at the upper left, "Meet The Beatles" at the upper right, "Something New" at the lower left and "Second Album" at the lower right. No format designations are shown on the front covers.
The back cover consists of the same colours as the commercial version with yellow on top slowly morphing to orange, red, and purple (top to bottom). The band logo is black followed by the project title. The track listing follows with the stereo designation first and the mono designation second. The production credit "Produced by George Martin" is next. Under that, the composer's credit and a blurb promoting the upcoming project. Finally at the bottom, the Apple logo, Capitol logo, compace disc logo and FBI logo are all there as well as the copyright information.
On the CD label, the background is made to look like the classic Capitol label. the black background and the rainbow perimeter. The copyright and "all rights" information is written inside of the rainbow perimeter. The title is at the top, the Capitol logo on the left side and the catalogue number and compact disc logo on the right side. The track listing and the Apple logo are underneath the center hole.
The track listing is as follows: "All My Loving"/ "I Wanna Be Your Man" (from "Meet the Beatles" LP); "I Call Your Name"/ "Roll Over Beethoven" (from "Second Album" LP), "Things We Said Today/ "If I Fell" (from "Something New" LP) and "She's A Woman"/ "I'm A Loser" (from "Beatles '65" LP). All tracks are played first in stereo and then repeated in mono. Why "She's A Woman" was listed as a featured USA mixed track by Capitol I will never know to my dying days.