Two More Apple Vinyl Re-Issues for the Collection

In our last post we featured a new series of books being prepared called A is for Apple, a history of the Beatles’ Apple Corps company. Volume 1 in the series will be released in the first half of next year.

Apple Corps was established not only to release the Beatles own records but also to promote new talent – to build a stable of newer and undiscovered artists. In the late 1960s and early 1970s they signed and released a series of albums and singles by a wide range of performers.

In 2010 Apple re-issued a selection of those artists on CD.

But well before that (between 1991 and 1996) they had a similar re-issue program under way – releasing on CD and vinyl a selection of the artists signed to Apple. There were 23 titles in all, re-issued in five main phases over the course of five years.

We’ve slowly been collecting examples of these re-issues on vinyl – the reason being that most of them (but not all) came with unique, additional discs on the Apple label containing bonus material, previously unreleased tracks, etc.

You can see some examples of these here (e.g. Jackie Lomax’s Is This What You Want?; The Ivey’s Maybe Tomorrow; Badfinger’s No Dice and Straight Up; and Billy Preston’s Encouraging Words), and also here (Badfinger’s Magic Christian Music). 

We’ve just added two more to the collection. They are John Tavener’s The Whale, and Billy Preston’s That’s the Way God Planned It.

The Whale frontThe Whale rear

The Whale was re-issued on vinyl in June, 1992. Like the original 1970 release it comes in a beautiful gatefold cover which opens to reveal a fantastic painting (click image to see a larger version):The Whale gatefoldThe Whale does not come with any bonus material and so it is a single LP disc. The labels look like this:

The Whale Label AThe Whale label B

Unlike the original release though this 1992 re-issue comes with an inner sleeve containing an article about the recording and how a modern classical composer like Tavener came to be signed to Apple. It is by Andy Davis (from Record Collector magazine). On the other side is some detail about the re-issue:

The Whale inner aThe Whale inner b

Our other recent find was a copy of Billy Preston’s That’s The Way God Planned It, which was reissued on vinyl in 1991: Preston God coverPreston God rear

Unlike the original 1969 release this one comes in a gatefold cover. That’s so that the cover can hold a second vinyl record with the three bonus tracks (click image to see a larger version of the gatefold image below). As you can see, That’s The Way God Planned It was produced by George HarrisonPreston God gatefoldPreston God Side 1

Preston God Side 2Preston God Bonus APreston God Bonus B

Note that while the bonus tracks come on a 12″ disc, it plays at 45 rpm.

The hunt for other vinyl examples in this 1990s Apple re-issue series continues!

A is for Apple – New Book On The Way

Our interest was sparked by a recent post on Wogblog about a new series of books (still in preparation – Part 1 is being readied for publication in 2015) called A is for Apple.

This looks to become the first comprehensive study of Apple Corps, the company which the Beatles set up to handle not only their own recorded releases, films, publishing and the like, but also to build a stable of new and established artists, a fashion label and retail outlet, an electronics division, a music publishing company, and a film production company.

A is for Apple is the brainchild of two authors: German Axel Korinth, and Dutchman Ed Dieckmann who have issued a general call-out for more information about all aspects of Apple and its operations, especially photographs, documents, memorabilia, etc.

If you have any items of interest you can contact them at: research@aisforapplebook.com, or via their website, where you can also pre-order the book, view some early sample pages, etc.

Specifically, Axel and Ed need help with good quality images for a couple of records. A is for Apple won’t be a straight discography but rather a cross between a discography and a narrative. Ed Dieckmann has already compiled a fascinating Apple Records discography on the excellent www.applerecords.nl, but a book like this goes well beyond releases just on the Apple label. This is because Apple Music and Apple Publishing were the rights holders to a wide range of songs, published by all sorts of artists on all sorts of labels. Here’s a typical example – it’s a song from 1968 called “Dear Delilah” by a London-based band called Grapefruit. They were on the RCA-Victor label, but as you can see (on the left side of the label below) their song was administered by Apple Publishing Ltd – a company owned by the Beatles. This is the British pressing (click the image to enlarge):$_57Below is a list of records that the authors of A is for Apple are urgently seeking out to include in their first volume. Of every record mentioned the authors have at least one image, but it’s their aim to show all aspects of a certain record release. In other words they need scans of both sides of labels, the back and front cover and – if available – of any inserts (like those found in Japanese records, for example). If you can help in any way, please do!

Argentina:
Grapefruit: Dear Delilah b/w The Dead Boot (RCA Victor 31A-1251)
Grapefruit: Elevator b/w Yes (RCA Victor 31A-1298)
Soundtrack: Candy (ABC Records ABCS-OC-9)

Australia:
Jigsaw: Mr Job b/w A Great Idea (MGM 33)
Paul McCartney: The Family Way (Decca SKLA-4847) – the original 1967 release, not the reissue!
Zoot: You Better Get Going Now b/w Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (Columbia DO-8438)

Brazil:
Black Dyke Mills Band: Thingumybob b/w Yellow Submarine (Apple 4)

Chile:
Grapefruit: Elevator b/w Yes (RCA Victor 94-0586)

France:
Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianna b/w Ain’t It Good (RCA Victor 49.914)
Grapefruit: Someday Soon b/w Theme For Twiggy (Stateside 2C 006-90029)
New Inspiration: I See No Reason Why b/w Grey Hair Wrinkled Skin (Disc’Az AZ SG 53)
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w Happy Charly Madman (Disc’Az AZ 10 428)
The Web: Hatton Mill Morning b/w Conscience (Deram 17.020)

Germany:
Denis Couldry: James In The Basement b/w I Am Nearly There (Decca DL 25328) white label demo

Greece:
Jackie Lomax: Sour Milk Sea b/w The Eagle Laughs At You (Apple 3)

Italy:
Byrds: Child Of The Universe b/w I Wasn’t Born To Follow (CBS 4834)

Japan:
Black Dyke Mills Band: Thingumybob b/w Yellow Submarine (Apple AR-2169)
Byrds: Child Of The Universe (CBS A-82077)
Grapefruit: Elevator EP (Victor SCP-1361)
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Stateside Dunhill HR-2276)
Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianne b/w Theme For Twiggy (Toshiba Dunhill HR-2193)
Dave Grusin: Candy (ABC Hit 1812S)
Jackie Lomax: Sour Milk Sea b/w The Eagle Laughs At You (Apple AR-2168)
Steppenwolf: Rock Me b/w Magic Carpet Ride (Stateside HR-2635)

Portugal:
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Stateside PSS 101)

Spain:
Grapefruit: Someday Soon b/w Theme For Twiggy (Stateside EMI SSL 414)
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w Happy Charly Madman (Decca MO 682)

Turkey:
The Web: Harold Dubbleyew b/w Monday To Friday (Deram 6903)

UK:
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w The Memory (Parlophone R 5772) regular and A-label demo
Paul Revere & The Raiders: Goin’ To Memphis (CBS S 63265) Stereo pressing only!

Uruguay:
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Odeon 20020)

USA:
Soundtrack: Candy (Capitol Record Club ST-91712)
Soundtrack: Candy 8 track (release number as yet unknown)

Ultimately A is for Apple will consist of four volumes in all. It is a huge undertaking. The first instalment (covering the years 1966-1968) is due for publication in the first half of 2015. Each volume of the fully illustrated book will be limited to 500 copies.

Here, There and Everywhere – Geoff Emerick

We recently purchased a nice, used hardback copy of Geoff Emerick’s fantastic Beatle book Here, There and Everywhere – My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles.

Not having read it before it’s currently our favourite, especially given the release in the last week of the The Beatles In Mono vinyl LPs as a boxed set (and also as individual albums).Here, There 1 Here, There 2Geoff Emerick was George Martin’s right-hand man in the control room at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London. At the age of 15 (on just his second day at EMI) he was present – as an assistant recording engineer – when a scruffy-looking quartet from Liverpool came in for their very first studio session. Emerick progressed from that recording (“Love Me Do” in 1962), to being directly involved with the majority of the band’s classic albums. He confirms on a number of occasions in his book that a lot more time was spent getting the mono mixes correct as compared to the time taken over stereo.

With his ability to interpret the sounds that John, Paul, George and Ringo had in their heads as they worked at getting their songs down on tape, Emerick made a huge contribution to their records. He wanted as much as they did to experiment – to take the recording process into new and un-charted waters. Here, There and Everywhere takes us into the famous Studio’s One and Two at Abbey Road as history was literally being made.

Amongst other things we read about the antiquated attitudes, policies and equipment at EMI Records during the 1960s. Given their strict and old-fashioned rules it’s incredible that the greatness of the Beatles was ever captured at all. EMI management back in the day seemed stuck in the 1940s and 50s. As an organisation it frequently stood in the way of creativity rather than fostering it. It was Geoff Emerick who was willing to go out on a limb and flaunt the studio rules at Abbey Road to capture the sounds we have today.

One of the other big surprises in the book is Emerick’s low opinion of George Harrison. There are frequent mentions of how stand-offish and surly Emerick found him to be, not to mention that he regarded George as a pretty lacklustre lead guitarist….

Here, There and Everywhere was published way back in 2006, but it is highly recommended if you are at all interested in the Beatles and their music. The copy we have is a signed copy. It’s not dedicated to us because this one is second-hand – but that doesn’t matter. There is the signature of Geoff Emerick (and his co-author Howard Massey), a man who had a significant impact on the Beatles legacy.

We wouldn’t have the Beatle canon without him.Here, There 3

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean

Stumbled across a John Lennon book that we were not aware of until today. It’s called Real Love: The Drawings for Sean.

Real Love- The Drawings for Sean

As the cover suggests, this is a children’s book based on drawings that Lennon made for his young son Sean. The cover blurb sums up this book best:

“John Lennon was many things to many people: singer, songwriter, poet, political activist, and, not the least, the most outspoken member of the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time. But to Sean Lennon, he was Daddy.”

“Fatherhood was a role he took on with as much humor, intensity, and enthusiasm as any he had tackled. John made the drawings in this book with and for Sean. Drawing pictures and making up funny captions was one of the ways they played together. It was how John taught Sean about the simple joys of creativity, and it was one of the many ways John was able to express his affection for his son.”

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean collects some of the funniest, cleverest, and most heartwarming images from those collaborations and provides a glimpse into the real love they shared.”Lennon-A Cat Napping Lennon-A Small Pig Lennon-An Elephant Forgetting Lennon-Collie Flower

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean was initially published in 1999. This edition is a reprint from 2011 under the Insight Editions imprint. It is a large format hard-back, in full colour, and very nicely produced. You can see more examples from the book at The Artwork of John Lennon – a special site (we also just discovered today) dedicated not only to Lennon’s children’s drawings, but to his entire catalogue of art.

With The Beatles: Inside Beatlemania

We were in the city of Sydney last week and dropped by our fave discount bookshop to see if there was any Beatle treasure lurking there. And there was. Stacked on one table where multiple copies of this very beautifully produced large-format hardback:01_Beatles

The book’s full title is LIFE With The Beatles: Inside Beatlemania, and it features hundreds of never-before-seen and rare photographs by Robert Whitaker, who was hired by the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein to document what was happening to the band for two crazy years between 1964 and 1966.

Typical of LIFE magazine, the book has a wealth of great and unusual images:09_Beatles04_Beatles

A Google search revealed a website for a company called Li’l Robin, the people who actually worked on the design and layout of the book. Their site has more images from inside. It’s very much worth a look. Li’l Robin has also produced a digital version of this book:03_Beatles_iPad-566x379Nice. Amazon has a “Look Inside” if you would like a further peek at the contents.

Four Second-hand Beatle Books

There’s nothing like poking around second-hand book and record fairs for an hour or two looking for Beatle treasure – especially if the monies raised are for a good cause.

Every year the Lifeline organisation holds a huge used book sale at Knox Grammar, a posh private school on Sydney’s upper north shore. It is BIG. A very large hall in the school grounds is filled to bursting with books – and usually a wide selection of CD’s too.

This year we were lucky enough to get there late on Day One of the sale before everything had been picked over too much. Here’s what we found:Winding Road frontWinding Road rearNeville Stannard’s The Long and Winding Road – A History of the Beatles on Record was first published in 1982. Back then (and you have to remember this was pre-Internet!) it gathered together for the first time knowledge about every Beatle record and song – for both the UK and US markets: who wrote each song, why, how and when; how, when and where each was recorded; how many copies sold; chart positions; cover images and other artwork. That sort of info was available – but never gathered together in the one place. In this sense Stannard’s book was a trail-blazer and remains a valuable reference work. The book we have here is the second edition (published a year later in 1983) and as such has many corrections and revisions to the original. Really good to have in the collection.

Next find was A Day in the Life – The Music and Artistry of the Beatles by Mark Hertsgaard.Day in the Life frontDay in the Life rear

Got to admit we don’t know much about this hardback. Mark Hertsgaard is a journalist and author better known for his writing on climate change and so this work on the Beatles looks to be born from a personal love and knowledge of the band and its music. It was published in 1995 and reviews posted online look good. Looking forward to reading it and learning more!

Mark Hayward, the author of The Beatles – On Camera, Off Guard (2009) is also responsible for this earlier Beatles work:Beatles Unseen

Hayward is an avid collector of Beatle images and over thirty years has built up one of the largest collections of Beatle photographs in private hands. The Beatles Unseen (2005) is a large, hardback book where the best and most interesting private photographs are curated and presented. Mostly informal, un-posed images, they shine an insiders light on the band – a “behind-the-scenes” look at their home and work life. It is a book you can flip through and dip into at random – sort of like a family album. Typical is this sequence. It shows the 1968 wedding of Paul McCartney’s brother Michael McCartney (a.k.a. Mike McGear) to Angela Fishwick in the village of Carrog in North Wales. Paul is with then girlfriend Jane Asher:Beatles Unseen1Beatles Unseen2Beatles Unseen3Beatles Unseen4“Unseen” family photographs are also the theme of the final book we walked out of the Lifeline second-hand book fair with:Lennon Family Album fronyLennon Family Album rear

Nishi Saimaru began working with the Lennon family in 1976 and served as their personal assistant and photographer until 1979. As a companion to the Lennons during their travels both in the US and in Asia he was able to capture family members in private moments while on the move – on holiday and at play. This sequence, taken in 1978, shows John, Yoko and son Sean with friends and neighbours at a birthday party held in Central Park, New York for both John and Sean (they share the same birth date). John was thirty-eight and Sean was three:Lennon Family Album1Lennon Family Album2Lennon Family Album3Lennon Family Album4Lennon Family Album5The John Lennon Family Album is a soft back book published in Australia in 1990. It was originally published in 1982 in Japan, and again in Japan in 1990. We believe there were also US and UK editions of this book.

 

Imagine – The Story of a Song

Charles J. Shields is a respected biographer and author. His literary studies of Kurt Vonnegut (And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life – 2011) and Harper Lee (Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee – 2006) have been widely recognised as significant works on these two authors.

Now he’s turned his attention to one song. And a significant song at that: John Lennon’s “Imagine”.imaginecover

“Twenty-two lines of graceful, plain-spoken faith in the power of a world to repair and change itself,” said Rolling Stone. Only 183 seconds long, the simple melody and poetry captured the wounded hopefulness of its moment–and transcended its time to inspire generations that followed.”

In Imagine: The Story of a Song Shields traces the song’s origins. Interestingly, he begins with the fire-bombing of Tokyo during Yoko Ono’s youth, and the violent death of Lennon’s mother during his adolescence. From there he moves through Lennon’s post-Ed Sullivan skepticism to John and Yoko’s “Bed-In” events of 1969 and unearths the secrets of this one song’s lasting import. If music can change the world, “Imagine” came as close as any song might. This short Kindle book (37 pages) is its story.

Imagine: The Story of a Song is available as an Amazon Kindle for US$4.99. You can even have a brief “look inside” before you buy.

Shields is also the author of this brief thought piece on John Lennon entitled “5 Surprising Ways John Lennon Changed the World“.  Worth a look.