Limited Edition George Harrison Poster For Sale in Two Editions

In association with the release of George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-1975 box set, the official George Harrison site and the Obey Giant online store are offering for sale a limited edition print by artist Shepard Fairey.

The 18 inch x 24 inch screen print Poster For George (based on a photograph taken by Astrid Kirchherr) is offered in two editions, Red and Silver.

Both editions are limited to 400 signed and numbered copies. Each cost US$65.00.

The Red edition was available only from the Obey Giant web store on October 23 at a random time between 10am and 12pm PST. It looks to be sold out already.

The Silver edition is released today – October 24 – at the George Harrison web store at 10am PST / 6PM BST.  There is a limit of one poster per customer.Harrison-Red-500x666 Harrison-Silver-sm-500x666

 

Beatles With Records – Part Twenty Five

It’s not often we get video of the Beatles with records. We have had only a couple over this course of this series (see: Part 6,  Part 14,  and possibly Part 23….although the jury is still out as to whether John Lennon is actually carrying a record up the steps on his way into the Abbey Road studios). Now comes film from way back in 1964. It was shot at Brian Epstein’s NEMS offices on May 30 that year, with the Beatles just beginning to enjoy their first taste of really big success. The first part of the YouTube clip below is fairly mundane – colour film of the band sitting in the office with various members of the press, fans and hangers-on milling about. Then at about the 2 mins 50 seconds mark a record executive (who looks to be an American) brings over some 45s and LPs for Paul McCartney to peruse. These appear to be US test pressings, and maybe even a gold record that’s yet to be framed…    At approximately 4 minutes into the video we see a copy of this US album flash by – which Paul looks quite pleased with: Meet the Beatles Just after that John Lennon joins Paul and they continue to examine the stack of discs. Quite apart from the records, it’s an interesting series of clips showing the natural, easy charm the band possessed – particularly John, and also Paul. In this photo below, taken during the band’s first “world” tour (which took in Denmark and saw drummer Jimmy Nicol briefly fill in for an ill Ringo Starr), we can see Paul McCartney holding the Danish pressing of the single “Long Tall Sally/I Call Your Name”, released on the Odeon label:long tall sally 1 long tall sally 2Here’s another photograph, this time from the first US tour in 1964. We know from other photographs taken on this tour that the band took the opportunity to pick up some US albums by their favourites. This one is George Harrison with an LP by one of his guitar idols – the great Chet Atkins:Pop Group The Beatles February 1964 George Harrison Beatle George Harrison 21st birthday sorting through the 52 sacks full of gr 2181295 The Beatles were always very generous with the time they gave to their fans, frequently stopping in the street or in their cars to sign autographs. Here’s George again, signing what could be a record – but it could also be some sort of a concert program or booklet: George Beatles with RecordsStaying with George, here he is much later during the Apple Records days with members of one of his signings to the label – the Radha Krsna Temple. They’re holding a copy of their 1971 Apple single called “Govinda”:George with Hare Krsnaradha-krishna-temple-govinda--apple_25-singleHere’s another amazing photograph of George - showing off his impressive guitar collection. It contains a number of mysteries which you might be able to help solve (click on the image below to see a larger version):clapton, badfinger, roger Probably taken at his home at Friar Park, we can see up on the mantle piece (up high and to George’s left) artwork for the cover of The Apple E.P. This was released in 1991 and was a 45 containing four songs, one song each from the first four non-Beatle artists ever to be released on the label. They are Mary Hopkin, Badfinger, Jackie Lomax and Billy Preston. It was a promotional release to mark the first round of Apple re-issues (on vinyl and CD) back in 1991:The Apple E.P. Also high up, and to the right in the photograph of George above is an image of Eric Clapton from around the time of the release of his album 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974). It looks like an album – but it is difficult to identify because it’s partially hidden by a box also on the shelf. There’s lettering across the top left of the photo which says “Eric Clapton”. The image of Clapton is very similar to the on the inside of the gatefold of 461 Ocean Boulevard: eric-clapton-461-ocean-boulevard-insideLower down from the sideboard, still on the right-hand side of the photo, there’s a pile of two or three LPs. On top is what looks like an older style cover. It seems to be by a singer from the 1930′s or 40′s, maybe a famous tenor or baritone? It is hard to make out the name – but it looks like the writing says “Robert….(something)”, with his picture in an oval shape below. Anyone with any information or ideas on what this album might be please let us know!Unknown Then to the far left of the photograph (i.e. to George’s right), on the floor and leaning up against the wall is a large image of his Dark Horse Records logo. It is lying on its side – so all we can see is the horse’s tail:darkhorsesticker1 There is an LP or a box obscuring the full logo, but it is impossible to know what this might be. To finish off this post, a topical one with the soon-to-be-released Archive Series re-issue of Paul McCartney’s Venus and Mars (1975). It’s Wings - sitting with what looks to be a proof sheet for the front cover artwork for the album:vamVenus and Mars frontThe 2014 re-master of Venus and Mars will be released on November 3 (November 4 in the USA).

You can see more in the Beatles With Records series here (just go to the links at the bottom of the page).

Lennon and Starr “Icon” CD’s

This month John Lennon and Ringo Starr were added to Universal Music’s Icon series of budget CDs.

The label’s Icon imprint is “….a greatest hits series of the most popular artists in music history, all at a great low price”:Lennon Icon Front

Lennon Icon RearLennon Icon CDStarr Icon FrontStarr Icon rearStarr Icon CD

Interestingly the Ringo Starr rear cover, booklet, and the CD itself carry an Apple logo alongside the Capitol. It has a © and ⓟ of 2014, while the John Lennon is dated ⓟ 2010 and ©2014. It has no Apple markings.

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.

The Beatles in Mono Vinyl Is Here

Picked up our copy today!Beatles Mono Box1BEatles Mono Box2

As you can see, The Beatles in Mono comes in a protective outer cardboard shipping box, similar to the one the Stereo LPs set was delivered in back in 2012. The sticker shows our Mono box was packed on June 18.

Like the Stereo box it comes delivered essentially as a box-within-a-box, providing very good protection and padding while the set is in transit:Beatles Mono Box3 Beatles Mono Box4 Beatles Mono Box6

In Australia The Beatles in Mono was actually available in store from last Thursday (September 4). The reason for the delay in posting these photos is that we couldn’t physically get to the shop we’d ordered ours from (the fab Redeye Records in Sydney) until today….a frustrating four-day wait!

Once removed from its protective packaging there’s a printed cardboard slip-cover which wraps around the box. Here’s the front:Beatles Mono Box7

And here’s the rear of the slip-cover:Beatles Mono Box8

Slip it off and here’s what you see on the front of the actual box itself:Beatles Mono Box9

FYI on the rear of the box is a sliced Apple logo: Beatles Mono Box10

The Mono box is exactly the same size as the Stereo box from 2012. If they are sitting side-by-side on a shelf they are pigeon pairs – one black, one white: Beatles Mono Box30Beatles Mono Box 31

No need to go into hugely great detail about this set as there has already been a very early “unboxing” video released by Pete Nash of the Beatles Fan Club Magazine. That video is comprehensive and well worth a look, but here are a few photos of some of the detail contained in the packaging you might be interested in seeing – things that Pete Nash doesn’t show up close:Beatles Mono Box11 Beatles Mono Box12

First this out is the beautiful, specially produced hard-cover book (still sealed in its heat- shrink):Beatles Mono Box13

Of course first album out is Please Please Me:Beatles Mono Box14Beatles Mono Box16

(Click on images to see a larger versions)

Each album (except the triple LP Mono Masters) is in a re-sealable clear plastic sleeve. This is different to the Stereo box where each LP was in heat-shrink plastic which has to be cut open to get to the cover and the record inside.

Here’s some of the detail in the printing and sleeve construction – all exactly faithful to the way this would have looked in 1963:Beatles Mono Box15

All printing and pressing of the box set is done by Optimal Media, based in the town of Robel in Germany. It has to be said that the quality and attention to detail is absolutely first-rate. The cardboard used for the covers is thick, and the 180g vinyl feels chunky and solid in your hands.

Each LP comes with individual 2014 insert cards, complete with mastering notes specific to each title:Beatles Mono Box17 Beatles Mono Box18 Beatles Mono Box19

All the labels are authentic reproductions of what the originals would have looked like at the time of release:Beatles Mono Box20 Beatles Mono Box21

Magical Mystery Tour has the original booklet pasted inside the gatefold cover; Sgt Pepper is a gatefold with the cut-out sheet and a replica of the psychedelic pink inner sleeve; and the White Album is a top-loader, with The BEATLES embossed on the front, a limited edition number stamp, poster, four photos, and black inner sleeves – just like the 1968 originals:
Beatles Mono Box22 Beatles Mono Box23

Beatles Mono Box24 Beatles Mono Box25Last album out of the box is the Mono Masters triple LP, containing all the singles and B-sides not captured on any of the original albums:Beatles Mono Box26 Beatles Mono Box27A reader has requested we publish some shots of the record spines. Here they are – and yes, that is the way that Sgt Pepper is printed. It looks upside down, but that’s also faithful to they way the original LPs were presented: Beatles Mono Box32

Beatles Mono Box33There are only two bar-codes to be seen. One on the rear of the Mono Masters, and one on the outer slipcase for the box set:

Beatles Mono Box28 Beatles Mono Box29

(Click on images to see larger versions)

There’s a very interesting Billboard magazine article in which it is clear that these LPs are not “sanitised” versions of the mono releases like the mono CDs were all the clicks and pops and studio mistakes removed:

‘Five years after the Beatles mono recordings were released on CD, Capitol Records and Universal Music are fostering the notion that to hear the Beatles music the way John, Paul, George and Ringo did in the 1960s, a mono LP is mandatory listening….The mono CDs, which were cleaned up and re-EQ’d in a way that did not occur with the new set of LPs, “was an attempt to give the history its day in the sun,” said project supervisor Guy Hayden. “There was no hurry and, in true Beatles fashion, if you can do it better, you do it again,” says Sean Magee, an Abbey Road-trained engineer who oversaw the mastering of the albums.’

For a more in-depth review from a sound quality perspective have a look at this article from the audiophile magazine The Absolute Sound. Reviewer Neil Gader steps through a listen to of each album. As he says, “Spoiler alert: Wow!”.

There is also a great set of reviews of the sound at Analog Planet.

And who could have resisted this invitation to hear the Mono LPs launched at a function held in the actual place where these masterpieces were recorded – Abbey Road’s famed Studio 2:beatles-mono-sidebar

Apple Records, Universal Music and Mojo magazine hosted a once-in-a-lifetime gathering for a select few at Abbey Road in London last week. Not only did the lucky audience get to listen to tracks from the new records in-situ on a £300,000 sound system (that’s A$522,000!), but also to hear a panel of distinguished guests discuss how the group recorded and mixed their songs. Read more here.

It’s Official – George Harrison “The Apple Years 1968-1975″

The George Harrison and The Beatles official sites have finally gone public, announcing for certain and in detail the news that Dhani Harrison leaked on social media at the end of July. The full details of the new box set The Apple Years 1968-75 have been placed on both websites and information has been emailed to subscribers. It will be released in just under three weeks time on September 22 (September 23 in the US).

There’s also a stylish video to accompany the news:

In the video you can catch a glimpse of how the box and each of the six CDs and DVD will be packaged – although it goes by fairly quickly! The information on the website confirms that there will be six albums and a DVD, and says that the box set will contain eight discs in all – meaning seven CDs and one DVD. That is confirmation that All Things Must Pass will be on two CD’s, just like the 2001 re-issue. However, it will contain a miniaturised version of the poster which was included in the original triple-LP release.

Complete track lists are available, including for the first time what will be on the DVD, which will be (for the time being) exclusive to The Apple Years box set:

• George Harrison – The Apple Years Feature (2014)
• All Things Must Pass (bonus feature in 2001 album package)
• The Concert for Bangladesh EPK (2005) Produced by Olivia Harrison and Jonathan Clyde
• Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) (video from Live In Japan, 1991)
• Miss O’Dell (alternative version from 2006 deluxe edition of Living In The Material World)
• Sue Me Sue You Blues (acoustic demo version from 2006 deluxe edition of Living In The Material World)
• Living In The Material World (feature from 2006 deluxe edition of Living In The Material World)
• Ding Dong, Ding Dong (original promo video, 1974)
• Dark Horse (original promotional clip, 1974)