Herewith Part Three in a series of posts on some unusual Beatles and Beatles-related items I was able to buy on a recent visit to Vietnam. I should say again here that all my collection of records, CD’s, books and DVDs have been, to date, the official record company releases. I don’t collect pirate or illegal Beatles material. However, I was presented with something of a dilemma in Vietnam by not knowing if these quite intricately produced items were illegal or the real thing. As they were all sealed in heat-shrink plastic and on the outside had official-looking logos, etc. it made it very difficult to tell. In the end because they were so cheap and I didn’t have ready access to the internet to do research on them I decided to buy and check out their credentials later. So far I have not found anything on the web about this next CD.
Its another one I got in Hanoi in the country’s north:
As you can see its called John Lennon “Definitive Lennon”. It has a shiny, iridescent almost 3D cover that is very nicely done in green, white, silver and black. It really looks expensively produced. The photo above is of the printed slipcase around the over-sized plastic CD jewel case, which contains two CDs.
CD 1 is exactly the same track list as an official EMI Asia and Australia-only release called John Lennon “Peace, Love and Truth” from 2005. The release I have of that CD was printed in the Philippines (see below for info and images).
CD 2 has the same track listing as the CD re-issue of John Lennon’s “Rock’n'Roll” which came out in 2004. It has the same bonus tracks as that CD.
The Vietnam CD has the same SHM-CD logos that are on the Beatles Double Golden Collection series I posted about earlier. SHM-CD seems to be a legitimate process to improve CD technology and they have quite a few authorised releases – you can read more about it here.
Here’s the front cover image of the CD jewel case for “Definitive Lennon”:
The rear cover contains the track-listing:
When you open the jewel case there’s a booklet (with song lyrics) and two CD’s on a swinging “door”:
Here’s a close-up of the printing on CD 1:
As with the “Beatles Double Golden Collection”, the CD box is oversized. Here’s a comparison with the standard CD jewel case for “Lennon Legend”:
You can also see this by comparing the spines of the CD cases. The unofficial one is much wider:
The is what appears to be an official-looking Universal records logo on the outer slipcase, though to my knowledge John Lennon never had a record deal with Universal:
As mentioned above CD 1 from this set is copied from an official 2005 release called “Peace, Love and Truth” which came out in the Asian and Australian markets only. It contains a number of (then) newly remixed version of some classic Lennon songs including “Give Peace a Chance 2005 (featuring Voices of Asia)”, “Gimme Some Truth (Remix), “Love (Remix)”, “Hold On (Remix)”, “Give Peace a Chance 2004 Y2K+”, “Imagine (Remix)”, “Bring On the Lucie (Remix)”, “Mind Games (Remix)” and “I Don’t Want to Be a Soldier (Remix)”. There are also versions of “Real Love (Slow Version)”, “Help ME To Help Myself”, “I Don’t Want to Face It”, “Bless You”, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”, “Listen the Snow is Falling” and the standard version of “Give Peace a Chance”. The cover of the official “Peace, Love and Truth” looks like this:
The rear cover:
The “Definitive Lennon” SHM-CD was amongst some other purchases made in Vietnam. You can see posts on those in Part One and Part Two. Again, there has been quite a lot of thought, expense and detail put into the production of the disc and its packaging, making it difficult to categorically rule it out as a fake.
I think this is the first detailed information about this release I have seen on the Internet.
UPDATE: I just realised where this CD cover comes from. It always reminded me of something I’d seen before – and its the artwork for the cover of the 2009 charity release “Make Some Noise – The Campaign to Save Darfur”:
If the South East Asian CD “The Definitive John Lennon” is a fake then not only are they ripping off the Lennon estate, they’ve stolen artwork probably donated to the Amnesty International cause……