Happy Crimble from The Beatles

Very surprised to see this full page advertisement in my local newspaper (The Sydney Morning Herald) this morning:

Beatles streamingThe Beatles Youtube channel has this, too:

And The New York Times reports:

Happy holidays from the Beatles: As of 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 24, the band’s music will finally be available on streaming services worldwide.

The group announced the news in a 35-second video featuring a medley of its biggest hits that kicks off to the sound of the 1963 single “She Loves You.” An accompanying news release simply said: “Happy Crimble, with love from us to you.”

However, the surviving members of the group, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Universal Music Group, which controls the band’s recorded music, made no statements other than the fact that the Beatles’ catalog — 13 original albums and four compilations — will now be playable on nine subscription streaming music services: Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal, Deezer, Microsoft Groove, Napster/Rhapsody and Slacker Radio.

Known as singular holdouts in the digital era, the Beatles, the best-selling group of all time, resisted offering its songs on iTunes for more than seven years before coming to an agreement with Apple in 2010. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around,” Mr. McCartney said at the time. The band sold 450,000 albums and two million individual songs in its first week on the service, according to Apple.

Beatles 1 – 2015 Vinyl

Look what arrived in the post today:Beatles 1 2015 1

Yes, it’s the 2015 edition of The Beatles 1 on double vinyl, complete with the Giles Martin remixes and remastering.

This one is staying sealed for now so we can’t show you the detail of what’s inside (for that go to this post to see in detail the 2000 edition). The contents themselves for all editions are very much the same. What we can show are some of the key visual external visual differences between the 2015 edition, directly alongside those from 2014 and the one from 2000.

Firstly that front cover. Two things really. The words “The Beatles” are in yellow on the 2015, while for both the 2014 and 2009 versions those words are sort of a light pink. Also on the 2015 edition the big figure “1” is more solidly coloured in and is a much brighter shade of yellow. Compare the front cover image of the 2015 edition above with 2014 (which is also still sealed and came with a sticker attached to the plastic):Beatles 1 2014 1

And here’s the older 2009 (which has been opened and hence is not as glossy as the others in the photos). The printing of these two is very similar:Beatles 1 2000 1

On the rear all covers are very similar. There is just a simple track-listing running down the centre. The part where they differ is at the top right-hand side where logos, barcodes, and the small print about who has the rights to what appears. Firstly 2015 (note the references to Calderstone Productions, the Universal Music Group, and Apple:Beatles 1 2015 2

Here’s the 2014 edition (again, Calderstone, Universal and Apple):Beatles 1 2014 2

And lastly the 2009 (back when EMI held the reins):Beatles 1 2000 2

Finally the spines. Here they are stacked on top of each other. On top is the 2015 edition, then 2014, and on the bottom 2009: Beatles 1 spinesThere are quite a few variations. (Click on the image to see a larger version).

Give Ireland Back to The Irish – Wings (1972)

A little earlier this year we found a New Zealand pressing of Paul McCartney and Wings controversial ‘Give Ireland Back to the Irish’ dating from 1972. As was the case in most of the rest of the world this was on a custom Apple label.

The other day at one of our local second-hand vinyl favourites (Audiomania) we found an original UK pressing, complete with its bright yellow custom Wings paper sleeve: Wings 1

The single itself, also on custom Apple labels, is in near mint condition:Wings 3

Beatles 1 Remastered and Remixed Double LP

Following on from all the excitement of the last week, next month will see the double vinyl LP edition of The Beatles 1 in 2015 form featuring the new stereo remixes created by Giles Martin:Beatles_1 2015 vinyl (1)

The 2015 version of The Beatles 1 CD was released last week, along with numerous Blu-ray/DVD video iterations. The gatefold, 2LP 180g vinyl set looks to be packaged exactly the same as the two previous releases of this title (in 2011, and again in remastered form only just last year). Like them, it will come with four art cards (11′ x 8.5′), two inner jackets packed with images of original single sleeves, and a huge poster (33′ x 22′) featuring examples of more single sleeves from around the world:Beatles_1poster-900x1351

Interestingly, all previous versions of The Beatles 1, featuring the 2009 remasters (first issued in 2011), are set to be quietly withdrawn and the new CD and vinyl versions with the new stereo remixes will permanently supersede them.

The Beatles 1 on 2LP vinyl will be released on 4 December 2015.

Fifth and Final Instalment of “Restoration of The Beatles 1 Video Collection” Released

The final instalment in the five-part series backgrounding the work done to restore the Beatles 1 video collection has been uploaded to YouTube:

In it leading Australian Director of Photography Mike Molloy reminisces about his time with the Beatles. In 1968 he’d been living and working in London as a freelance cameraman for about a year when he was asked to go down to EMI’s Studio Three at Abbey Road and film a promo clip for “Lady Madonna”. Instead, what he came back with was unique footage of the band recording what was then a brand new song called “Hey Bulldog”.

As Mark Lewisohn says in his book The Complete Beatles Chronicle, “While the cameras whirred, the Beatles recorded ten rhythm track takes of “Hey Bulldog” and completed it with overdubs. Then, at the conclusion of this 4.00pm-2.00am session, after the filming had ended, they watched as it was mixed into mono.”

Mike Molloy says he spent all day with the Beatles. Mike told me that they were very easy to get along with, very friendly. “In the film, for effect, I superimposed a shot of a paisley tie over George Harrison’s face. It was George’s tie! He was great, and very open to trying the effect to see how it turned out.”

Molloy went on to work in London as a cameraman and Director of Photography on feature films for 29 years, before returning to Sydney, Australia, where he now lives. He’s worked with some of the greats, including Stanley Kubrick (on A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon) and Nicolas Roeg (on Performance and Walkabout).

The Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+ DVDs and BluRays are released globally tomorrow, November 6. (Note that the “Hey Bulldog” video is only available on Disc 2 of the Beatles 1+ edition).

You can see the other four parts in the Restoration Series here. Just click on “The Restoration” tab at the top.

Apple to Reissue The Beatles USB?

Is Apple doing a limited reissue of The Beatles Stereo USB?

The UK online store Spin CDs has just listed it, with a release date of 30 October…… Beatles Stereo USBDetails on their site are sketchy so if anyone else knows about this let us know.

Originally issued in December, 2009 as a limited edition of 30,000 units, the small metal Apple contains a USB drive with all 13 of the band’s studio albums, plus all the Past Masters songs. Also included are the 13 album mini-documentaries which came with the remastered CDs, and the complete digital booklet artwork. The USB has all songs in stereo in both FLAC format (24 bit 44.1 kbps) and MP3 (320 kbps).

John Lennon “Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats”

Earlier this week we reported finally receiving a replacement copy of John Lennon’s Rock’n’Roll LP.

Well, the very next day we happened to be on the New South Wales central coast and popped in to one of the best second-hand vinyl stores around – The Sound Exchange Record Bar – at a place called Long Jetty.

And what should we find there but an almost mint copy of the hard-to-find, Australia-only, ultra-budget version of the very same record:Rip It Up

In 1988 EMI licensed the rights to Lennon’s Rock’nRoll album to the Australian specialty budget label, J&B Records:J&B Logo

J&B had a large catalogue back in the day, and sold most of their records through supermarkets and department stores. Everything from Glen Campbell to Connie Francis compilations. From Roy Orbison to the Village People. They had lots of well-known Australian artists in the catalogue as well: John Farnham, Glenn Shorrock (ex Little River Band), Dragon and Billy Field. So it was a surprise to see an artist like John Lennon in there too.

J&B called their record Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats. This is exactly the same songs and running order of the original 1975 Apple Records release. Just the cover was changed. Here’s the rear cover:Rip It Up Rear

And the J&B label:Rip It Up Label

As you can see, no expense was spared on the artwork! Even so, this is a really good copy for its age – still glossy front cover, no ring wear, and the record itself looks almost unplayed.