Some Local Beatle Pressings From a Visit to Holland

As mentioned in our previous post, a recent holiday trip took us to Europe (including a first ever visit to the Netherlands) and this presented the opportunity to trawl through a few of Amsterdam’s specialty vinyl record shops – and there are quite a few of them!

Collectors will know that pressings from Holland are fairly common because once upon a time EMI had quite a large presence there and pressed a huge amount of discs (both LPs and CDs). These were not only for local consumption, but also for distribution worldwide.

So, as a travel memento, we wanted at least a couple of Beatle or Beatle-related pressings as a physical reminder of our visit to the Netherlands.

The shops we made it to in Amsterdam included Record Friend, in the city’s Niewmarket area (at St Antoniesbreestraat 64); the enormous Concerto Records (at Utrechtsestraat 52-60); and finally City Records, also in Niewmarket (at Geldersekade 100A). There are many more places to find vinyl – but we had only a limited time.

The Record Friend store is situated below street level and it’s pretty big – and a bit overwhelming when you first walk in:

But it was easy to find the Beatles section and we soon found a nice clean Dutch copy of this double LP in its gatefold cover:

R&R front

We already have this LP (in Australian and US pressings), but this one is made in Holland with unusual grey and silver Parlophone labels, so it’s different. And for us it serves as a reminder of a fantastic visit to a fantastic city:R&R rearR&R label

Country of origin detail on the rear cover:

R&R detailNext we called in to Concerto – which is huge. The store (spread over five shops all joined together in one long line – see photo below) offers a wide selection of new and used vinyl, CDs and DVDs. Surprisingly they didn’t have a huge amount of Beatle vinyl.Concerto_Records

So, after a lengthy browse of their many shelves we moved on to City Records.

There, in a small but very neat and clean store (fairly new and with the owner still in the process of setting up), we found three nice collectable items. We’re always on the lookout for different versions of the 1970 Apple LP John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. We have quite a few – but to now have an original Holland pressing in the collection is a delight:POB FrontPOB rear

This one had the (censored) paper lyric sheet inner:POB inner

POB labelPOB detailAnd a little surprise added bonus – the cheeky postcard insert from Lennon’s Imagine album which was meant as a rebuff to Paul McCartney’s Ram cover. Not sure how it ended up with this LP, but out it fell when we got home:POB extra

Next out of the crates at City Records was a Dutch pressing of George Harrison’s budget compilation LP The Best of George Harrison. We’ve been looking for a vinyl version of this for some time so it’s good to finally have one, pressed in Holland of course:

Best of frontBest of rearBest of LabelBest of detail

And here’s the final Beatle LP we found at City Records. This version of The Beatles Ballads is a really nice find. This release (which is a Beatles “Best Of” style LP also issued in the UK and Australia) is collectable because it has a front and rear cover unique to Holland and is titled De Mooiste Songs (which roughly translates as The Most Beautiful Songs):

Ballads front1Ballads rear1

Ballads detailThe British and Australian covers for this have a blue border on the front cover:Ballads front2

And a predominantly yellow rear cover:

Ballads rear2

Here’s the Dutch label:Ballads Label1

In Australia this came out originally on the orange and black Parlophone label:Ballads Label2

For more on the background to the special painting done for this cover have a look here.

The owner of City Records was very helpful. Realising these albums had to make the very l-o-n-g journey back to Australia, he offered to put the LPs into a sturdy cardboard mailer to help protect them more fully. A kind gesture very much appreciated.

Next time – what happened on our visit to France……

 

Three Great Beatle Auction Items

Over the years we’ve purchased a lot of pre-loved Beatle CDs (and vinyl) at online auctions (e.g. Ebay), but never before at a real, live auction – until now.

The Mossgreen Auction house in Melbourne, Victoria recently held a major sale of collectables. Part of it was a significant offering of Beatle items – memorabilia, books, records and CDs. You can view the catalogue online (the Beatle items start on page 8 at Lot No. 715. They continue to Lot No. 836).

These all came from one collector who was downsizing….pretty impressive.

For a while now we’ve had a hankering to get the previously-released CD boxed sets of the Beatles singles, and the CD EP’s. These came out way back in 1992 – and in the Mossgreen auction there was one lot containing both box sets: IMG_1006

There was also another separate lot with all the CD singles in a special box, all on 3-inch CD’s. This was issued in 1989:IMG_0993

Figuring we’d take a chance we put a pre-auction bid on both lots. It was one of those auction sites where you could watch and also listen in live online as the auction actually proceeded. The auctioneer steadily worked his way to our first lot (for the 3-inch CD single set). We won it in quick time – with nobody else bidding at all. The set was ours.

It comes in a very dark blue-black cardboard and brass-hinged hinged box:

IMG_0996

Each of the 22 tiny CDs is housed in an individual folder:

IMG_0995IMG_1001IMG_1005IMG_1003These 3-inch CD’s were also issued individually over a period of time (late 1988-1989), ut it’s nice to have them collected in one box. There’s a small black folder in the box detailing each single.

Next up in the auction was the lot of two boxed sets. One was the Beatles EP’s, and one the CD singles again, this time on individual, regular sized CDs. Again, our pre-auction bid was the only one made, and again we won. It was all over so very fast:IMG_1010

Each of these boxes is in mint condition. They’re both dark grey-black in colour with gold lettering and they’re hinged at the top. These boxes are quite beautifully made with a cloth-covered, thick board. In the photo above you can see the brass rivets holding them together. On the EP box the outer top tilts forward and there is a secondary flap inside which lifts to reveal the 14 CD sleeves (including a double CD Magical Mystery Tour):IMG_1012IMG_1013IMG_1015The 22 CD singles box is very similar:IMG_1016IMG_1017IMG_1018IMG_1021So, expecting to win maybe just one auction lot if we were lucky – we ended up with two! Three great CD box sets in all, and in mint condition from a Beatle collector in Melbourne who was selling off some of their prized items…..

Ringo’s ‘Beaucoups of Blues’ – German Pressing

Another visit to Audiomania, the eclectic second-hand record store not far from our local area, and another Ringo Starr record find….

Audiomania is a quirky shop located in a run-down, semi-industrial area. It only opens two days a week (Thursdays and Saturdays), and then for only four hours at a time. One side of the premises contains blue crates full of good quality vinyl (pop, rock, and blues, as well as lots of jazz and reggae). On the other side they sell used hi-fi, restored motor cycles….and artworks made out of old motorcycle and hi fi parts.

Like we said, it’s an unusual place:Audiomania

After a thorough trawl here last Saturday we ended up with two items.

The first find was a nice clean German pressing of Ringo Starr’s 1970 solo release Beaucoups of Blues. This one is on the Hörzu/Apple label, making it quite interesting:beaucoups doublebeaucoups_shze_label aBeaucoups of Blues_LP_label_b

Starting in the 1960s Hörzu (principally a radio and TV listing magazine) began producing and releasing records as a subsidiary of the Electrola company. Electrola had the rights to release EMI product (including the Beatles) in Germany.

Like we said in the previous post, we seem to moving from not having much Ringo as a solo artist on vinyl to now having quite a few of his releases.

Vinyl is the specialty of Audiomania, but while at the store we found a couple of small crates with some CDs. In there we turned up an original 1986 UK copy of Paul McCartney’s Press to PlayPress to PlayPress to Play label

This is the disc without the bonus tracks (which were added for the 1993 re-issues called The Paul McCartney Collection). The lovely lady who runs the store gave this one to us for free!

Very Rare, Early Beatles 45

An auction has just concluded on eBay. It was for a very rare, early Beatle 45rpm vinyl single. Beatles Love Me Do Sd1

This is a UK demonstration/promo 45 of their debut single ‘Love Me Do’/’Please Please Me’.

According to the listing, just 250 copies were pressed for distribution to radio DJs & reviewers prior to its October, 1962 release. Only a handful survive today.

The thing which distinguishes it is the white label with the large red ‘A’ on the ‘Love Me Do’ side. Both labels also have the ‘DEMONSTRATION RECORD – NOT FOR SALE’ wording, and ‘The Parlophone Co. Ltd..’ around the rims. Paul McCartney’s songwriting credit on both sides is misspelt as ‘McArtney’.Beatles Love Me Do LabelBeatles Love Me Do Sd2

Listed by a Greek eBayer, the record sold for a sensational US$12,100.00 (A$14,699).

 

Beatles “Long Tall Sally” EP – Record Store Day 2014 Ltd Ed

Our copy of the recent Record Store Day Black Friday Beatle EP release has finally arrived. Copies were not brought into Australia, and so an overseas purchase was required.

This is a limited edition, and (like the recent Mono LP re-issues) faithfully reproduces the original British release, down to the labels and the old-fashioned tabbed rear cover:LTS Beatles RSD frontLTS Beatles RSD rearLTS Beatles RSD labelAnd here’s a close-up of that sticker on the front:LTS Beatles RSD sticker

The Beatles 20th Anniversary Singles

We know. Seems odd in the Beatles 50th anniversary year to be writing about what was done in the UK for the 20th anniversaries of each of their single releases, but as we recently acquired a complete set of those anniversary singles here goes…

Back in 1982, to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of “Love Me Do” – the Beatles first UK single, EMI released the record in a special picture sleeve. (They also released it as a picture discs as well, but that’s another story).love-me-do1Love Me Do LabelThen over the following eight years, on the 20th anniversary release date of each the official UK singles, they continued to do the same for each and every disc. That means it took some collectors eight years to complete the set! All singles were released on black vinyl and, as already mentioned, in picture disc versions too. (A 12″ single of “Love Me Do” was also released to correct an error made by EMI in choosing the wrong version for the 7″ single. Sound familiar?). They are all either on the Parlophone label (a red label for “Love Me Do”, and then in black and silver for the remainder), or on the green Apple label.

Here’s a small selection of the covers and labels used:The-Beatles-Day-Tripper---20t-462203 Day Tripper LabelBeatles_Get_Back beatles-singles-collection-label-2

R5722-Sl-A-1982 R5722-B-1976The release program for this set of singles was as follows:

Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You (Parlophone/October 4, 1982)
Please Please Me / Ask Me Why (Parlophone/January 10, 1983)
From Me To You / Thank You Girl (Parlophone/April 11, 1983)
She Loves You / I’ll Get You (Parlophone/August 22, 1983)
I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy (Parlophone/November 28, 1983)
Can’t Buy Me Love / You Can’t Do That (Parlophone/March 19, 1984)
A Hard Day’s Night / Things We Said Today (Parlophone/July 9, 1984)
I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman (Parlophone/November 26, 1984)
Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is (Parlophone/April 9, 1985)
Help / I’m Down (Parlophone/July 23, 1985)
We Can Work It Out/ Day Tripper (Parlophone/December 2, 1985)
Paperback Writer / Rain (Parlophone/June 9, 1986)
Yellow Submarine/ Eleanor Rigby (Parlophone/August 5, 1986)
Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane (Parlophone/February 16, 1987)
All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man (Parlophone/July 6, 1987)
Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus (Parlophone/November 23, 1987)
Lady Madonna / The Inner Light (Parlophone/March 14, 1988)
Hey Jude /Revolution (Apple/August 30, 1988)
Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down (Apple/April 10, 1989)
The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe (Apple/May 30, 1989)
Something / Come Together (Apple/October 30, 1989)
Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)(Apple/March 3, 1990)

Of course if you had the ready cash back in December 1982 you could have purchased all these singles at once in a blue and gold box set called The Beatles Singles Collection which contained each single with the same unique picture covers. The box was a limited issue and held twenty-six vinyl 7″ singles in all – each of the standard twenty two UK singles listed above, plus another four singles that had been released since 1976. These were: “Yesterday/ I Should Have Known Better”, “Back In The U.S.S.R./ Twist and Shout”, “Sgt.Peppers/With A Little Help From My Friends/ A DAy in the Life”, and “The Movie Medley”.The Beatles Singles Collection

This box was different to the 1976 black and gold UK singles box set (which had a different set of picture covers) and was only ever available via mail order. We have the 3rd edition of that particular box, which was issued containing 25 singles in 1978:

beatles-singles-collection-front

Tripping the Live Fantastic – Triple LP Vinyl

Wings Over America (originally from 1976, and released again this year as part of the Archive Series) isn’t the only triple live LP set Paul McCartney has released. He also did it in 1990 with Tripping the Live Fantasic.TTLF Cover

I’ve just picked up a nice Spanish pressing of this for the collection.

The stripped-down, single disc Tripping the Live Fantastic – Highlights vinyl has been in the collection since it was first released, but never the full triple vinyl deluxe package, complete with its 26 page full-colour booklet, three individual coloured inner-sleeves and custom labels:

TTLF rearTTLF Label

TTLF inner1TTLF inner2TTLF inner3Here’s the front cover of the glossy booklet with some great live photography inside:TTLF booklet frontTTLF booklet2TTLF booklet1This is the cover of the trimmed-down single LP Tripping the Live Fantastic – Highlights:

TTLFH Cover

The giveaway of the single vinyl version is the addition of the word “Highlights!” on the front cover:TTLFH detailThis is the Australian vinyl pressing so no custom labels, just the standard black and silver Parlophone issue:

TTLFH LabelTTLFH rear

And the Highlights! inner sleeve:

TTLFH inner

Highlights! was also released as a single CD – but with quite a different track listing having 17 songs instead of just 12 for the vinyl version. The CD adds “Got To Get You Into My Life”, “We Got Married”, “All My Trials” [which is unique to this CD – it doesn’t appear on the vinyl Highlights! LP, or the more complete triple LP/CD versions], “Things We Said Today”, “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, and “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End”. However, the LP version has the song “Put It There” included. That makes both interesting, and also a little bit collectable for the completists among us.

The full Tripping the Live Fantastic set was also released as a double CD in a jumbo sized jewel case in most markets (though in the US it was also available in two separate jewel cases). It has the exact same track listing and running order as the vinyl LP.