New John Lennon Vinyl Box Set Coming

Whenever new Beatle or Beatle-related vinyl is mentioned we get interested.

Yes, like most collectors we have these albums already (in some cases many times over….) but the completist in us has to have the latest. And the latest announcement is that a new box set of eight John Lennon LPs is due for release on June 8. For all the details go to johnlennonmusic.com – but in a nutshell these will be faithful reproductions on 180-gram vinyl of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band; Imagine; Some Time in New York City; Mind Games; Walls and Bridges; Rock ‘n’ Roll; Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey:Lennon_Box

All artwork, including inner bags, posters, postcards and original labels will be reproduced:plastic_labels 2plastic_labels 3mind_games_labels 2mind_games_labels 3double_fantasy_label 2double_fantasy_label 3

Looks like the LPs come in a white box with the same design cues as the John Lennon Signature Box from back in October, 2011:

John-Lennon-Signature-Box---S-536618

That set contains the same titles – only on CD – plus it has two bonus discs of non-album tracks, studio outtakes and home recordings:

Signature-box-insert

 

The Beatles “Help” – 50th Anniversary Podcast

As we mentioned in December last year, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) is hosting an ongoing series celebrating the 50th anniversary of each British Beatle LP.

As each album marks its anniversary presenter Rod Quinn speaks to US John Lennon biographer and Beatle expert Jude Southerland Kessler. Jude is the author of the extraordinary and ambitious nine-volume John Lennon narrative biography. The latest instalment in her series is Volume 3: She Loves You.

Last weekend the pair began a two-part series on the Beatles fifth studio album Help!.

You can find Part One (examining Side One of the LP) here.Help Label 1

And you can find Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) here.

Help Label 2Previous broadcasts have covered Please Please Me; With the BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles For Sale. Each is well worth a listen.

Record Store Day 2015 – An Epic Fail….

Record Store Day is already well under way here in Australia and we were very keen to secure a copy of the Paul McCartney soundtrack to the film The Family Way:family way

So we schlepped all they way in to the city to one of the biggest and best record shops in Sydney – Red Eye Records. They always get good stocks in of most Record Store Day releases and were opening at 9.00am. We got there about 20 minutes before hand expecting to see a small queue. Turns out that was an over-ambitious expectation. There was already a very long queue well down the block. So long that you couldn’t actually see the Red Eye store:RSD 1

We dutifully took our place and after an hour slowly shuffled toward the entry. They were basically letting one person in as one person left, so it was taking quite some time:RSD 2

We eventually got to within about 20 people from the sales counter and at this point an employee came out and was helpfully going down the line (which was still snaking its way down the block behind us) asking what people were looking for and advising them if they still had stock. “Any copies of Paul McCartney’s The Family Way left?”. “No”, came the answer. “We only got one copy of that and it went ages ago”. Damn……

The guy standing behind me said he thought Record Store Day caused more disappointment than joy. Maybe he’s right.  :-(RSD 3

Abbey Road Studios Revealed

Using Google today we accidentally stumbled across a fantastic interactive gateway they’ve created which takes you into the world of the historic Abbey Road studios in London – the place where so much Beatles history was created:Abbey Road 5

On the Google home page all you have to do is click on the link ‘Step inside Abbey Road Studios‘. When you do you’ll see this:Abbey Road 1Once inside you can choose to go to Studio One, Studio Two, or to Studio Three.

If you choose Studio Two (where the Beatles made so much of their music), have a look around. You can also click on a link to the making of Paul McCartney’sQueenie Eye‘ video, which was shot entirely in Studio Two:Abbey Road 4Don’t forget to go upstairs to the Studio Two control room. There you’ll find Giles Martin at the mixing desk and a number of interesting features to click on:Abbey Road 2There’s also an option to visit the Abbey Road Mastering Room. Have a look at what’s on top of the stack of LPs on the coffee table at the back:Abbey Road 3This is a fantastic resource, one you can spend quite a while clicking around on and finding our more about the famous Abbey Road. Thanks Google!

McCartney/Rihanna/Kanye ‘FourFiveSeconds’ CD Single

This just arrived from Amazon.

It’s the CD single of Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney singing ‘FourFiveSeconds‘:FourFiveSeconds1 FourFiveSeconds3

There’s just the one song, plus another track with the official video:

Have to say we really like the song.

One of the most interesting things about now having a physical copy of this release is the packaging – especially the detail contained in the prolific small print on the inside sleeve: FourFiveSeconds2

As you can see, for just one song, there is certainly a LOT of small print……

Turns out ‘FourFiveSeconds’ was indeed written by McCartney and Kanye West – but we learn they did it with (wait for it) seven other people. That’s a total of nine composers listed:FourFiveSeconds4(Click on the image above to see a larger version)

The rights to the song are administered by thirteen listed companies. And the song was recorded in New York, Santa Monica….and Mexico. Paul McCartney played acoustic guitar, but bass was provided by multi-instrumentalist and hip hop producer Mike Dean.

Oh, and apparently that Braille-like writing on the front cover is in fact Braille and it reads “four five seconds”.

Four Beatles-related Finds at Record Fair

We’ve just returned from the annual Glebe Record Fair – one of the biggest of the year – held in the Sydney suburb of Glebe:Glebe-April-2015

The two photos below were taken just after opening time at 9.00 am. This was before the venue really became absolutely packed with patrons hungrily seeking out vinyl, books and CDs. As you can see it’s already very crowded:Glebe 2015 1Glebe 2015 2

And the crowds just got bigger and bigger. In the melee that ensued we were lucky to discover four interesting little 45 singles. First up, a US white-label pressing of George Harrison’s ‘This Song’ from 1976 on his Dark Horse label, complete in its original outer sleeve. First pressings of this came with these white labels, while later issues have the traditional colour label:Harrison This Song1Harrison This Song2

At the same vendor’s stall we also discovered this unusual 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 is on a custom Apple label:Give Ireland Back

A little later in another pile of 45s we spied this nice US pressing (and original picture sleeve) of Mary Hopkin singing ‘Goodbye':Goodbye1Goodbye2

By this time we were feeling pretty weary, and the crowds had built considerably. We were just about to leave and doing one final trawl through some singles at another table when out popped this rare little gem:Seaside Woman1Seaside Woman2Seaside Woman3

It’s a 1986 UK pressing with re-mixes of the Suzy and the Red Stripes song ‘Seaside Woman‘ (a.k.a Linda McCartney and husband Paul). This was originally released on the A&M label back in 1980 with this cover:Seaside Woman4

Vale Cynthia Lennon

We’ve been traveling over the Easter break and unable to update Beatlesblogger – but really wanted a post for the late Cynthia Lennon.

Julian Lennon has issued a statement and marked her passing with this loving song and video for his Mum:

Lennon biographer Jude Southerland-Kessler has written this tribute, and Steve Marinucci also posted a tribute on his Beatles Examiner site.

Did you know that in 1995 Cynthia Lennon recorded and released a version of the Mary Hopkin song ‘Those Were the Days’? Many of her fans discovered she was a very talented singer:

Cynthia Lennon

Cynthia Lennon died on 1 April, 2015 at her home in Majorca, Spain at the age of 75 after a short struggle with cancer, with her son Julian by her side.