A Harrison Apple Single, and a White Album to Complete a Beatles Box Set

A few posts ago we wrote about some Beatle treasure discovered during a recent visit to the city of Newcastle in New South Wales. Here are some details about more finds from that same trip – which included a run up to the seaside town of Nelson Bay (45 minutes north of Newcastle) as well.

A second-hand book and record store called Rice’s Bookshop on Newcastle’s famous Hunter Street turned up this Australian George Harrison 45 which we previously didn’t have in the collection:Harrison What is Life 1-1Harrison What is Life-1Harrison Apple Scruffs-1

It’s a very clean copy of this 1971 single release, taken from the All Things Must Pass triple LP.

Quite some time back (many, many years ago in fact) we were given one of those black, wooden roll-top Beatles boxes, sometimes known as the “Bread Bin” box: Beatles Rolltop2Our box was perfect, but it was given to us without any of the CD’s…..

So, for some time now we’ve been gradually stocking it with Australian pressings of the 15 discs that should be in there. We had every one – except the White Album. It looked like a kid with a missing front tooth! That is until this trip to Newcastle.

In the seaside town of Nelson Bay (which is just a little bit further up the coast from Newcastle) we discovered the final piece in the jigsaw in a small second-hand book and CD store there. And for just A$13.00 it was a real bargain:Beatles White Aus frontBeatles White Aus rearBeatles White Aus Disc 1Beatles White Aus Disc 2

(click on the images to see larger versions)

The Beatles “Bread Bin” set was released in 1988 as a limited edition box containing fifteen CD abum releases. They are housed in a custom-made, fitted roll-top “bread bin” style wooden outer box with a 64-page colour booklet featuring rare photo’s and the stories behind every song. The booklet slots into a tray just under the CDs.

Our set is now complete!

Beatles Rolltop1

 

 

Three New Beatle Books

A couple of new Beatles book titles have come into the collection. Two were from a visit to the very well-known Berkelouw Book Barn in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales (in Australia). Berkelouw’s offer a huge selection and sell both new, second-hand and rare books. The two titles we found there recently are both “pre-loved”. First up was John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me – The Real Beatles Story by Tony Barrow:Tony Barrow front

This book is the paperback version and was released in 2006 by Andre Deutsch publishers. Barrow of course was a Beatle insider who served as their Press Officer throughout the height of their fame. As such he brings a unique view of the band, from the birth of Bealtemania through to the establishment of the Apple Records company. As with many others, Apple meant that Barrow and the Beatles parted ways. Google has one of those look inside pages if you would like to see more on this book.Tony Barrow rear

If the name Tony Barrow sounds familiar it’s probably because you know it from the back covers of many of the Beatles British releases. He wrote the sleeve notes (popular in the day) for the LP’s Please Please Me; With the Beatles; and A Hard Day’s Night, as well as for the EP’s The Beatles’ Hits; Twist and Shout; The Beatles (No.1); All My Loving; A Hard Day’s Night (Extracts from the Film); (Extracts from the Album) A Hard Day’s Night; and Beatles For Sale: The+Beatles+-+A+Hard+Day's+Night+No.+1+EP+-+1st+-+7%22+RECORD-500878500878b  Next book up was a biography of Paul McCartney which we hadn’t seen before:

McCartney frontLike the Barrow book this hard back also came out in 2006. It is published by Century Press (a division of Random House) and this is the Australian edition. Christopher Sandford is a prolific music writer and biographer, having also penned books on The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Clapton, Jagger, Sting, Springsteen and Kurt Cobain. I haven’t delved into the book yet, but some initial research using the web on this book doesn’t auger well. It is clearly not that well-liked by the fans….

FYI here’s another of those Google links so you can have a look inside Sandford’s McCartney if you wish to check it out more for yourself.

We also recently ordered online a copy of Jude Southerland Kessler’s latest instalment in her ongoing John Lennon project and it arrived safely in the post a couple of weeks back. She Loves You is Volume 3 in Jude’s ambitious nine-volume series on the life of John Lennon. It has only just been released and the timing is perfect because this book takes us right up to the Beatles US invasion – now being celebrated across this 50th anniversary year:She Loves You frontShe Loves You rear

Southerland researches exhaustively and writes biography in the style of a novel, telling Lennon’s life story like an unfolding drama. She tries to get beyond merely what happened when and into the complexity of his character, relationships and career. Like the previous two volumes, She Loves You is a very thick and weighty paperback. It is published by On The Rock Books. When you put the three volumes produced so far side-by-side they are impressive:She Loves You group

Each book has taken two to three years to complete. By the time we get to Volume 9 in the series we’ll need a very sturdy bookshelf to display them! Jude’s Facebook page is here.

Beatles With Records – Part Twenty Two

It has been a while since we’ve had a Beatles with records post. This is where we look for photographs of the Beatles actually holding those things they sold so many of – LP records, 45′s and CDs. And we try to do the detective work to identify the records they holding. Some are easier than others….

Our friend Lammert in France just sent through a set of John Lennon photos that were taken the same day as this photograph, which we published last time in The Beatles With Records Part 21lennon-epic-records

John seems to be holding either a big reel-to-reel tape box, or some sort of record box from the Epic Records company. You can clearly see the company logo on the front. In the 1960s EMI, the Beatles’ record company, had a distribution deal with Epic to release their titles in the UK – so maybe it was a box of sample records from them for him to listen to? Lammert has turned up a few more taken the same day which provide a few more clues:awardtumblr_m0uevr0B8s1qdvsg8o1_500

John has the same Epic box – and a Gold Record award award – in his lap in the photos above. Notice the photo of the band in the newspaper that is on the coffee table, just near his right boot! There is also a bag from Columbia Records on the lounge:tumblr_m54iagwPK51qdvsg8o1_500

We still can’t really see what’s in that Epic Records box, nor in the package from Columbia either. Here, Ringo lights up a cigarette while John takes a peak inside:tumblr_mg1742ccAA1qdvsg8o1_500

Lammert points out that these black and white photographs were taken the same day as this colour shot of John and Paul with LPs (which was included in our very first Beatles with Records post):

john-and-paul-with-lps

The photo above definitely confirms that the Epic box was in fact full of records. You can still see a couple still inside, and John and Paul are holding more. And this photograph below of George, counting his money and wearing a Beatles cap (from the Beatles with Records – Part Eighteen), was also taken that same day in the same room. Is that also the Epic Records box opened up in front of him?:

georgewithbenekingrecord

By the way, the framed gold record John has was for the US Capitol pressing of “I Want to Hold You Hand”. This is an original presentation white matte gold award. The single had sold over a million copies and was certified gold on February 3, 1964, just days before the band was to appear in New York at the start of their 1964 US tour. By March 28th Capitol Records reported sales in excess of 3.4 million copies. This and the following two singles are the extremely rare variety with the RIAA logo attached to the presentation plaque with glue. Only awards prepared before approximately September of 1964 use this format. Beginning in late 1964 the RIAA logo was etched into the presentation plaque. The plaque reads: Presented To The Beatles To Commemorate The Sale Of More Than One Million Copies Of The Capitol Records Pop Single Record “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. (Thanks to the whocollection site for the information):

IWantToHoldYourHand

Here they are in the same suits they are wearing in the hotel room in the photos above accepting the gold record from Allen Livingston, President of Capital Records at the Hotel Plaza:Allen Livingston, President of Capital Records presents the

Thanks to Lammert for sending through those additional photos.

You can see more in the Beatles With Records series here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17,18,19, 20 and 21.

 

Wonderwall – DVD and BluRay with Harrison Soundtrack

Collectors of Apple Records will know of the George Harrison soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall:Wonderwall LPWonderwall Label

The music for this LP was in part recorded in Bombay with Indian musicians and it was the first solo album released by any of the Beatles. Other players on the album include Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Peter Tork of the Monkees (uncredited).

Well, the movie has just been re-released on DVD and BluRay:Wonderwall BluRayIf you, like us, have never seen the film it might be the perfect time to rectify that. However, this film looks pretty 1960s trippy. It may or may not be something you’ll want to add to your collection. Try these three short official promo extracts from the current release to get a feel for it:

Hmmm……after viewing that one the George Harrison album cover makes more sense….

And this older one:

 

Strange Fruit – The Beatles’ Apple Records

A recent trip to Canberra, Australia’s capital city, afforded a visit to the second-hand store  Flip Side Exchange which specialises in CD’s, vinyl and DVDs.

Found this great DVD there:Strange Fruit frontStrange Fruit rear

It is a 2012 documentary on the Beatles’ record, film, publishing and electronics company Apple. Reviewer Carlos Gonzales wrote at the time of release: “….other than their music, the Beatles tried to do something good for their fellow man, in this case struggling musicians that needed a break, a chance. It was then that they created Apple Records, and the wonderful Strange Fruit -The Beatles’ Apple Records provides us with an honest view and great, historic information about the history of the label and its artists.

The film is quite long (162 minutes), and it is loaded with history and music…..Strange Fruit -The Beatles’ Apple Records [tells] how the label began working on projects, beginning with the production of the film “The Magical Mystery Tour.” They then signed singer-writer Jackie Lomax, Mary Hopkin, The Iveys, James Taylor and others. They also made the Beatles White album. By 1969, the Beatles — pushed by John Lennon — hired Allen Klein, who promised them that he would clean up their finances. That year they signed Billy Preston, The Iveys became Badfinger, and the Beatles began disintegrating as a group. From then on, the filmmakers examine year by year everything that happened to the label, ending in May 6, 1975, when Apple announced that it would cease operations. Along the way, we learn about other groups that were signed by Apple….for example, Ravi Shankar, Yoko Ono, John Tavener, Modern Jazz Quartet, and Brute Force. Of course, we hear some of their music along the way.

The movie has interviews with some of the players, such a Jackie Lomax (who said that Apple Records was ‘utopia’), Ron Griffiths (from the Iveys), Joey Molland (Badfinger), and others. There are also interviews with historians, like Stefan Granados, Chris Ingham, Mark Paytrees, and more. In the end, we are told that Apple was a “curious disappointment in the history of rock music. A revolutionary label that never reached its potential.” And the big lesson, perhaps, is that “artists can not take care of other artists.” You will be the judge. Strange Fruit — The Beatles’ Apple Records is a great document of our times. With no apparent help from or sanctioned by the Beatles, the documentary tells the history of this controversial — for lack of a better word — music label.”

It’s a must for all collectors of the Apple Records releases.Strange Fruit disc

For a sneak preview:

 

Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert Re-Issue

For those George Harrison completists among us comes a CD re-issue of the1992 concert held to mark the 30th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s recording career. This 2CD Deluxe Edition, with remastered audio, adds two previously unreleased recordings from the concert’s sound check to the original release. Our copy just arrived in the post:30th Anniv CD front30th Anniv CD Rear

George Harrison (then making his first US concert appearance in 18 years) is introduced on Track 7 of Disc 2 singing “Absolutely Sweet Marie”. As well we get him playing guitar and backing vocals on two other tracks. Sadly we don’t get “If Not For You”, though it was performed during the concert.30th Anniv disc 130th Anniv Disc 2

The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration is also now out on DVD and Blu-ray for the very first time. See WogBlog’s post for all the details on those releases.

The back of the CD booklet has a tribute to all the musicians who have since passed:30th Anniv Booklet rear

The original 1992 CD cover looked like this, with a photo of George pretty much front and centre:30th Anniversary Orig

A Hard Day’s Night Re-Issue Coming Soon

http://www.criterion.com/films/28547-a-hard-day-s-night

Criterion Films have announced a new re-issue of the Beatles A Hard Day’s Night film. It will have a new cover:Hard Days Night coverHard Days Nigh Rear cover

And will come in two versions – a DVD only, and a “dual-format” 3 disc box set edition which combines DVD and BluRay versions. What you’ll get is:

  • A new 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with two audio options—a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records (which Giles Martin worked on) — presented in uncompressed monaural DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray (dual-format only)
  • Audio commentary featuring various members of the film’s cast and crew (dual-format only)
  • In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining interviews with the Beatles from 1964 with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can’t Do That: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary program by producer Walter Shenson
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, and others (dual-format only)
  • New piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director (dual-format only)
  • The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film (1959), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short featuring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan (dual-format only)
  • Anatomy of a Style, a new piece on Lester’s approach to editing (dual-format only)
  • New interview with Mark Lewisohn, author of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years—Volume One (dual-format only)
  • Deleted scene (dual-format only)
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton
  • The film will be in a 1:75:1 aspect ratio, which is how it was originally shown in movie theatres in 1964
  • The re-issue is due for release on June 24

Yoko Ono and the World of Dance Music Remixes

When we posted about the forthcoming re-issues of Yoko Ono’s Apple Records back catalogue we were contacted by the people at Mind Train/Twisted Records asking if we were aware of Yoko Ono’s other considerable success over many years in the world of dance music and remixes.

No, we said – tell us more.

And so Rob at Twisted kindly sent through a signed (yes, autographed by Yoko herself), 2-disc promo set which gathers together a selection of the very best of her output in this genre from the last 10 years or so:ONO front coverONO rear cover

Under the monicker ONO she has had huge successes with DJ remixes of her work on the Billboard Club charts. Last year ONO had not one, but two consecutive Number 1 hits – making her one of the most successful dance artists of 2013 and prompting articles like this one in Time magazine.ONO CD1ONO CD2

Her product is prepared and released by the Yoko-associated Mind Train Records and the iconic New York-based house music label Twisted Records. For more on Twisted see their Facebook page.

Yoko Ono’s Imaginepeace site also has some info on these releases.

Gotta say, I quite like these. They’re creative, mesmerising, and make you want to move. It just goes to show that in the world of collecting Beatle and Beatle-related music there is always something new to learn….ONO inside cover

(for larger versions click on the images above)

Yoko Ono Albums To Be Reissued

Flipping through a recent copy of Mojo magazine we noticed this small article:mojo

Being interested in anything Beatles and Apple Records related we decided to do a bit more research.

Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band site has this small promo tile (complete with a grapefruit) – but no links when you click on it:reissue_yopob

Same for her Imagine Peace site. Again, there’s the same promo tile on the page but no other information or links, although there is a tiny bit more info as the tile at least lists two record company names:Reissue_Imaginepeace

Chimera Music is Ono’s (and son Sean Lennon’s) record label. A search revealed no further information on their site though. Not sure what Secretly Canadian has to do with the releases (it’s an American independent record label based in Bloomington, Indiana) because there’s no reference to Yoko Ono or Plastic Ono Band on their site either….

Of course these titles have been released previously. The details of that 1997 reissue project are in this MTV article:

“….beginning on May 20th, the label (Rykodisc) will present 11 different Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band albums, all of which are being remixed and remastered as needed by Ono herself…..The first wave of releases will be unleashed on May 20 with the four titles, Unfinished Music #1: Two Virgins, an album or tape manipulation and random noises reportedly made the night before Ono and John Lennon made love for the first time; its sequel, Unfinished Music #2: Life With the Lions, which deals with Ono’s subsequent miscarriage and also contains a “song” called “Radio Play,” 12 minutes of random radio dial-turning; the collaborative The Wedding Album, whose second song is a 22 minute drone consisting of the couple calling each other’s name and, finally, the first Plastic Ono Band album, Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band.

The next set of four releases (June 10) contains what many considered to be the first post-punk record (ironic, since it pre-dated punk), the noisy, experimental Fly, credited to Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. Also released on that day are two other Plastic Ono Band Yoko titles, Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space. Also included will be Ono’s cathartic, personal album, Season of Glass. July 1st will bring the last set of three releases,It’s Alright (I See Rainbows)Star Peace and A Story, a previously unreleased album that was included in the box set. Ono is currently searching for some appropriate bonus tracks for the releases…”

Rykodisc were also involved with this 1992 6-CD set, Onobox:Ono BoxYoko Ono herself writes about the contents of this box set extensively here. Onobox is a kind of a “best of” compilation, with tracks from across her own (and John Lennon’s) output from 1968 to 1985.

It’ll be interesting to see what the 2014 project brings….

Hear the Beatles Tell All – British Charly Records Re-Issue

With the Beatles 50th anniversary of the arrival in the US now well under way, it was intriguing to come across a re-issued example of one of the earliest efforts to cash in on that US success.

Hear the Beatles Tell All was an interview disc which consisted of two lengthy conversations between the Beatles and Los Angeles radio disc jockeys. On Side One Dave Hull interviews John Lennon, while Side Two was titled “Jim Steck interviews John, Paul, George, Ringo”. No Beatles music was included on this interview album, rather a quite odd but jazzy percussion backing edited and scored by Lou Adler, and played by then top LA session drummer named Hal Blaine.

Originally released in September, 1964 on the Vee-Jay Records label, what we have here is a 1981 re-issue by the British record label Charly Records:IMG_9948IMG_9949IMG_9950

Charly Records have faithfully reproduced the cover. If you have the original Vee-Jay release the label will look like this:HearTheBeatlesTellAlllabel

But if it is a fake, you might have this:HearTheBeatlesTellAllfakelabel