Looking Through You – A New and Very Special Beatle Book

An exciting new Beatles book Looking Through You (just out through Omnibus Press in the UK, and soon to be published in the US) has hit our desk – and it is a treat:LOOKING THROUGH YOU BOOK COVER

Looking Through You – Rare & Unseen Photographs From The Beatles Monthly Archive presents a selection of over 300 images taken from the pages of the precious The Beatles Book Monthly magazine photo archive. The Beatles Book Monthly was, as it’s name suggests, a monthly instalment detailing what the Beatles were up to. It started in August, 1663 and continued for six years:johnbbm66 paul.bb.Nov1966a George Harrison 001 ringo.bb.Dec1966a

The magazine, through the lens of photographer, Leslie Bryce, had unrivalled access to the group throughout the 1960s. Bryce captured the band at work and at play in public but also behind the scenes in un-rehearsed situations resulting in what are unique and candid images.

With a selection of photos from the magazine (all taken between 1963 and 1968), many of the photos gathered for the book are previously unpublished or unseen, often un-cropped and in their original form. The quality of the images is great too because they all are printed from the original negatives:

Beatles in the Mirror

One thing which strikes you as you flip through each of the carefully chosen and captioned images is that this new book will be a treasure trove for those interested in the band’s instruments and equipment. Take this photograph below of George Harrison for example. How many shots have we seen of the group using their customary Vox amplifiers – but here, in this rear view (taken at the Hammersmith Odeon Theatre in December, 1964), you can pick up some great additional details. You can almost read the amps actual model and serial numbers:

George and his Vox Amps

There are numerous shots like this – close-ups of the band’s instruments while on stage as well as a huge number of them at work in the studio, like this one taken at Abbey Road in November, 1965:

Beatles at Abbey Road

Looking Through You has only just come out in the UK and will see a US release soon. The UK edition comes as a cased and numbered 208-page limited edition of 3,000, designed by Lora Findlay with text by Andy Neill. Also in the package is a replica of a rare Beatles artefact associated with the magazine: the 1964 Beatles Book calendar, containing a further 12 photographs from the Beatles Monthly archive.

John and his Gretch Guitar

The book’s Facebook site is here.

FYI there is also a Beatles Book Photo Library available online with low-res, watermarked photographs available to view. There is a process for approaching the Archive about accessing high quality images.

McCartney Archive Series – Next Two Instalments Announced

The next two instalments in the long-running Paul McCartney Archive Series, personally supervised my Paul McCartney himself, will be the albums Tug of War and Pipes of Peace

As for past releases in the series these will both be issued as Special Edition double CDs, in a Deluxe edition with DVDs, books and inserts, and also as double LP vinyl sets:Tug SpecialPipes SpecialTug DeluxePipes DeluxeTug VinylPipes Vinyl

The big change this time around will be the addition (just for Tug of War) of a Super Deluxe Edition, with the same content as the Tug of War Deluxe set but with a limited edition red acrylic outer cover and five hand numbered Linda McCartney photo prints included. This will be limited to 1000 copies worldwide:Tug Super Special

There’ll also be a variety of digital downloads in high and low res – some with the bonus content and some without.

All are due for release on October 2. Here are two promo videos showing what’s inside:

Pete Best Live on a US TV Game Show in 1964

We were contacted recently by the Bloggerhythms site about one of their recent posts.

It’s all about former Beatle drummer Pete Best appearing on a then-popular US game show called I’ve Got A Secret. Panelists have to guess the back-story to a particular guest.

Fascinating to see this over fifty years since it was filmed and so relatively close to his departure from the Beatles. And of course so close to their meteoric rise….

At least he can manage a small smile.pete best secret

John Lennon – 8 LP Box Set

Here at Beatlesblogger we have a few items that we are always on the lookout for. When we first heard about the impending box set reissue of eight John Lennon LPs on 180 gram vinyl – we knew we’d have to eventually get a copy….

This is a deluxe box set of Lennon’s solo albums released between 1970 and 1984. The studio albums are remastered from their original analogue masters and have been newly cut to vinyl from 96k digital files with faithfully replicated original album art.

The albums featured in the box are John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970); Imagine (1971); Some Time In New York City – a double album (1972); Mind Games (1973); Walls And Bridges (1974); Rock’n’Roll (1975); Double Fantasy (1980); and Milk And Honey (1984). The albums, which feature the 2010 remasters, will be available separately on August 21st.

It’s taken a little while with this one, but we finally got up the courage to visit Sandy’s Records, a great local independent record shop with an impressive range of CDs and LPs, to invest in a copy (it is a very expensive addition to the collection):

Lennon Box Set 2015

Rather than uploading a swathe of photographs of each LP here, this collector named Jordan has recorded quite a nice unboxing video (unfortunately though he doesn’t show all the actual discs and their authentically reproduced labels):

If you are after more of what is inside this official video promo clip takes comprehensive care of that:

As you can see, in keeping with the authentic UK album artwork for each LP: Imagine contains reproductions of its two postcards, poster and inner sleeve; Some Time In New York City includes reproductions of its original postcard and inner sleeves; Walls And Bridges includes its sleeve with two fold-over flaps, the original eight-page booklet and inner sleeve; Mind Games, Double Fantasy, and Milk And Honey also include faithful reproductions of their original inner sleeves. Nice.

However, the thing that has become really collectable about this box set is that it’s been temporarily withdrawn from sale while Universal Music sort out a BIG mistake with one of the albums in the set. In first pressings Lennon’s Rock’n’Roll LP has a production error. The song “Sweet Little Sixteen” appears twice, and “You Can’t Catch Me” is missing altogether….making it something of an instant collector’s item.

The good news for those who’ve paid out the big $$ for the box is that Universal Music has acknowledged the mistake and set up a website where you can request a replacement copy of that particular album. You’ll need to provide proof of purchase: Claim.LennonVinylBox.com

Beatles Stuff We Found on a Visit to France – Part Two

Just back from a holiday in Europe where we picked up some Beatle and Beatle-related treasure along the way. This is the next instalment about what we found in France…

Last time we were in Paris (in 2012) we visited a great second-hand vinyl store in the Sorbonne area called Crocodisc (they’re at 42 Rue des Ecoles, Paris 5e) where we picked up some nice Beatle vinyl.

What we found this time though was a collectable Paul McCartney and Wings CD.

It’s the limited edition Advance Release of Venus and Mars. This came out in 2014 to promote the then latest instalment in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection series:

Venus & Mars Advance Front

You can’t tell from the front cover that it is in any way different to the two CD Standard Edition of Venus and Mars (for which we have the Best Buy version, and which came with a limited edition vinyl single – and a different catalogue number).

However when you flip over the cover of the Advance Release there’s reference to a third disc in this set called “Bonus Film”:Venus & Mars Advance Rear

Also, on the CD cover spine there are the words “Advance Release”:Venus & Mars Advance Spine

The Advance Release also has a different catalogue number: HRM-35652ADV.

When you open out the triple gatefold cover this is what you see. On the first fold out on the left are the album credits, and on the right an advertisement for the three different, official versions (Deluxe CD, Standard CD and vinyl):Venus & Mars Advance Inside 1

Then when you flip that open this is the inside of the set, fully open:

Venus & Mars Advance Inside 2

It contains three discs. Two CD’s and one DVD, each carrying the words “For promotional use only. Not for sale”:Venus & Mars Advance CD1Venus & Mars Advance CD2Venus & Mars Advance DVD

The two CDs are exactly the same in content as the Standard Edition, while the DVD contains four short films: Recording My Carnival; Bon Voyageur; Wings at Elstree; and the Venus and Mars TV Ad. These are the same as those featured on the DVD which comes in the Deluxe version of Venus and Mars.

By way of providing a side-by-side comparison here’s the packaging for the Standard Edition CD:Venus & Mars Standard FrontVenus & Mars Standard rear

Below is the Standard version’s first fold out of the gatefold cover. An 18 page booklet containing photos and album credits is attached to the left:Venus & Mars Standard Inside 1

The inside fully open:Venus & Mars Standard Inside 2And the Standard Edition CD’s:Venus & Mars Standard CD1Venus & Mars Standard CD2

So, another nice find in Paris, France.

See also: Beatles Stuff We Found on a Visit to France – Part One, and Some Local Beatle Pressings From a Visit to Holland

Paul McCartney’s The Family Way – Record Store Day 2015

Remember our 2015 Record Store Day failure to secure a copy of Paul McCartney’s limited edition The Family Way soundtrack vinyl reissue?

Well, thanks to good old eBay we now have a copy, and at only a small increase in price on what the LP would have cost new in Australia:Family Way Cover 1Family Way Cover 2

This Record Store Day edition is reportedly limited to 5000 copies worldwide. The small print at the bottom of the rear cover says:

 180 gram Vinyl – Limited Collector’s Edition                                                                                        Reissue Produced by Cary E. Mansfield and Chip Madinger • Mastered for vinyl by Steve Massie for Steve Massie Productions • Prepared for release in the U.S.A. by Tom Moulton. This release 2015 CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd., under licence to Varèse Sarabande Records, LLC • ©1967 CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd. • Package design ©2015 Varèse Sarabande Records, LLC. Originally released as Decca [U.K.] album LK.4847, 1967 •….etc.”

It is on the Verèse Sarabande label and these have the company logo in green and yellow on Side 1, but the colours are reversed on Side 2:Family Way Label 1Family Way Label 2

This release joins the CD re-issue (from 2011 – also on the Varèse Sarabande label and which includes a bonus track not reproduced on this 2015 vinyl release).

Also in our collection is the original Australian edition on the Decca label (we detailed this in May 2011):Family Way Cover 3Family Way Cover 4Family Way Label 3