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

Four Recent Ebay Purchases

We got an email from PayPal the other day saying we’d earned a $10.00 credit that could be used on any Ebay purchase, and so we delved into the collection to uncover some items that were missing.

Turns out we’re drastically under-represented when it comes to early Ringo Starr Apple singles. For some reason or other these were a blind spot in the collection and so these three items have now been added:

Ringo Beaucoups of BluesRingo It Don't Come EasyRingo Back Off Boogaloo

These 7″ 45 rpm singles are all Australian Apple Records releases.

“Beaucoups of Blues” is taken from the 1970 album of the same name.

“It Don’t Come Easy” is a 1971 non-album single produced by George Harrison, and “Back Off Boogalooo” (also produced by Harrison) came out in March, 1972.

The same seller also had a Wings single we didn’t have and hadn’t previously been aware of:Wings Arrow Through Me 2

“Arrow Through Me” is b/w “Old Siam, Sir”, and both songs come from the 1979 album Back to the Egg.

The Rutles – LP

As their website says:

The Rutles are a legend. A living legend. A legend that will live long after other living legends have died. This is the semi-legendary story of the Prefab Four who made the sixties what they are today!

For such a huge cultural phenomenon the Beatles have attracted surprisingly few parodies and send-ups over the years. That is until The Rutles came along…..

We’ve just scored a nice vinyl copy of their 1978 LP The Rutles:IMG_9939IMG_9940IMG_9946

Created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes for British television, The Rutles first appeared in 1975 as a sketch on the BBC TV comedy series called Rutland Weekend Television. The sketch presented a mini-documentary about the 1960s band “The Rutles”, and featured Innes singing “I Must Be In Love”, a pastiche of a 1964 Lennon-McCartney tune.

The Rutles gained more fame after their 1978 mockumentary television film, All You Need Is Cash (in which George Harrison actually appears). The Rutles LP is the soundtrack album from that film and it contains 14 of the film’s 20 songs.

The Rutles comes with a gatefold cover and pasted inside is a lavish 16-page, full colour book containing text and images detailing the history and (imaginary) releases of the band. Here’s a selection:IMG_9941IMG_9943IMG_9944IMG_9945

And there’s an inner sleeve containing more band parodies, too:

IMG_9947

What we have here is the US pressing. Released on the Warner Brothers label in 1978.

If you’d like a taste of what The Rutles are about:

Two Beatle-related Second-hand Finds

A couple of weeks back we got the chance to re-visit the harbour city of Newcastle in New South Wales. We’ve previously scored some Beatle goodness there (click here, and here) and this time was no different.

The first item came from Rices Bookshop on Hunter Street:DSC03469DSC03470

The Long and Winding Road – An Intimate Guide to the Beatles is a soft cover book (124 pages) by Ted Greenwald*. Published in 1995 in the USA, it details the history of the band from different perspectives. There are biographies, discographies, details of major stage appearances, films, significant books, as well as details about Beatle family and friends. As you can see, the layout inside is rudimentary, but there is a lot of information here:DSC03471

The book is mostly chronological and there are lots of Beatle photographs, record cover images, and examples of memorabilia inside: DSC03472 DSC03473 DSC03474

Just up the road from Rices is the Indigo Bookshop. They usually only sell second-hand books, but this visit they also had some boxes of used LP’s on display which we’d not seen before. In one box we found this little Beatle-related rarity:DSC03475DSC03476

As you can see this example has some water damage to the cover (which looks worse in the photo than in reality), but the vinyl itself is in mint condition. Denny Laine of course was a long-time McCartney collaborator and member of Wings. It’s no surprise then that Paul and Linda McCartney feature on a number of tracks of this 1984 solo album by Laine. Also represented are fellow ex-Wings members Steve Holly, Denny Seiwell, Lawrence Juber and Henry McCullough.

The song ‘Send Me the Heart’ was co-written by Laine and McCartney in 1974 and has Paul on bass. It was recorded during the same Nashville Wings sessions for ‘Junior’s Farm’.

‘I Would Only Smile’ was made at the same time as the sessions for the McCartney/Wings release Red Rose Speedway (1972). Similarly ‘Weep for Love’ was an out-take from the recording sessions for the Wings 1979 LP Back to the Egg. It features backing vocals by Paul and LindaDSC03478DSC03477

So, once again the second-hand stores of Newcastle come up trumps!

* Ted Greenwald is also the author of The Beatles Companion – The Fab Four in Film, Performance, Recording and Print, published in 1992:Beatles Companion 2