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:


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:


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:


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.

Garage Sale Beatles 45’s

It’s not often you see 7-inch, 45rpm Beatles vinyl for sale at garage sales anymore. There are occasionally one or two, but they are now getting few and far between.

That’s why I was surprised this week when I asked after records at a local garage sale and the guy went into his house and brought out crate after crate of the small, vinyl gems. He had literally hundreds of 45’s – all pop and rock artists ranging from the 60s, 70’s and 80’s.
It took me quite a while to look through them all but the task produced a couple of nice items. Some I already owned, but others I didn’t have in my collection – so it was very worthwhile.

Here’s what came out of crates (in release date chronological order). First up, an Extended Play – four songs – from A Hard Day’s Night (1964):

AHDN frontAHDN rearA Hard Day's Night 1964

Then came a copy of the Beatles Rock and Roll Music single (1965):Rock and Roll Music 1965

These next few have the release date displayed on the label:Happy Xmas 1971Give Me Love 1973Letting Go 1975Mull of Kintyre 1977Coming Up 1980

This next one, Yoko Ono’s Walking on Thin Ice (1981) comes in a picture cover:

Walking FrontWalking rearWalking 1981

Ebony and Ivory 1982Say Say Say 1983All the above are Australian pressings (except the John and Yoko Happy Xmas which is British). There was though one odd item in the crates. It was just the sleeve (no record inside unfortunately) of a French EP from 1964 with four songs:Les Beatles 1964Les Beatles rear

I’ll keep it – in the hope of finding the correct record to go inside it one day….

The Beatles “20 Greatest Hits” – plus an Australian “23 Number Ones”

I scored a couple of copies of the Beatles’ 20 Greatest Hits LP the other day – but not the typical British or US versions. One is Korean, the other from Brazil.

20 Greatest Hits was released in 1982 to mark the 20th anniversary of the group’s first record release “Love Me Do” in the UK. It was the last Beatles album to be released with different variations for the US and UK markets (because some Beatle hits in the US were not released as singles in the UK and vice-versa, such as “Eight Days a Week” and “Yesterday”).

The Korean and Brazilian versions I got both have the US artwork and the same running order of songs. First up the Korean cover, front and rear:20 Greatest Korea Front20 Greatest Korea rear

The Korean copy has a plastic “Oasis Records” inner sleeve. Oasis manufactured Parlophone records in South Korea:20 Greatest Korea Inner Bag

And here is the label:20 Greatest Korea Label

I don’t know if you can make out the small print around the outside, but is says: “Approved by the K.E.C.P.P. Ministry of Culture and Information Registration 16″. (Click on the image to see a larger version)

Next up, the pressing from Brazil:

20 Greatest Brazil Frony20 Greatest Brazil Rear

The Brazilian copy comes with a nice printed cardboard inner sleeve: 20 Greatest Brazil Inner bag

And it’s on the EMI label, not Parlophone:20 Greatest Brazil Label

Meanwhile, in Australia a very similar album with practically the same cover art came out a year later (in 1983) – but with a completely different title and running order of songs to both the US and UK versions. Here it was called The Number Ones, and our version contains twenty-three hit songs, not twenty. The extra three songs came on a special three-track 45rpm single included only with the set. Here’s the Australian cover, front and rear:23 Number Ones Aust FrontThe Number Ones Aust Rear

And here’s the label of the LP:23 Number Ones Aust Label

And this is the unique extra 3-track single:Aust Single 1

It came in two different variations. One with a printed sleeve with a cut-out (above) to show the label, and one variation (below) without the cut out:Aust single 2These are the labels of the bonus Australian single, A and B sides:

Aust Single Label 1Aust Single label 2And some copies in Australia came with a bright neon-orange sticker on the front:

Aust Sticker

Record Store Day, and a Record Fair…

I had a goooood Record Store Day last weekend.

For starters I managed to pick up copies of the Wings 12″ 45 of “Maybe I’m Amazed“, and I also scored the Ringo Starr three x 7″ box set. I got the Wings at one of Sydney’s longest-running, best-known and best-stocked independent record stores – Red Eye Records. We had to queue up in pouring rain outside the shop from opening time (9.00am Saturday) to get in. There were so many people hunting for RSD product it was a bit nerve-wracking wondering if they’d sell out of the Wings title. But, no problems. They still had some left when I finally got to the sales counter.

The Ringo box-set was another matter though. Red Eye hadn’t been able to secure any copies at all, and a quick phone around to just about every other likely outlet in town was the same story. I don’t think any copies of this actually made it into the country. So then it was a matter of just waiting for RSD to roll around in the USA and some copies to begin appearing on eBay. Which, due to the time difference between here and there, they eventually did late on Saturday night.Ringo Singles Collection Front-tiffRingo Singles Collection Rear-tiff

The Ringo Starr Singles Collection is three 7” vinyl singles in a lift-top box. You get “Photograph” b/w “Down And Out” / “It Don’t Come Easy” b/w “Early 1970” / “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna” b/w “Oo-Wee”, presented with replicated original picture sleeve artwork, a poster, and a bonus custom record spindle adapter.

Meanwhile….the rest of Saturday was taken up largely by attending the Glebe Record Fair.  This is one of the big second-hand record fairs on the Sydney calendar and this year it did not disappoint. The heavy rain on Saturday did not deter people coming out in their droves:IMG_0001IMG_0002Crate digging at the Glebe Fair I actually found quite a lot of things. First was a Beatles eight-LP box set I’ve been seeking out for some time – The Beatles Box – From Liverpool:

The-Beatles Liverpool

It’s the Australian edition from 1981 on the Parlophone label, and it came with the original poster too!  I already had the Readers Digest Australian edition of this set (with different labels) – but having a mint copy on the orange Parlophone label has been an aim for a very long time:

Beatles From Liverpool LabelBeatlesFromLiverpoolCollageFront

From the same dealer I also got what I think is a quite rare Ringo Starr LP from 1983 called Old Wave. You can read the story of why there aren’t a lot of copies of this one around on Wikipedia. Because I’d purchased The Beatles Box – From Liverpool set he sold this one to me for A$10 – which I think was a bargain:

ringo old wave

This copy is on the Australian gold RCA label:

Old Wave Label

I seem to be going from having hardly any Ringo Starr solo to now having quite a few. At the Glebe Fair I also spied a reasonable copy of the budget Music For Pleasure edition of his Blast From Your Past:

BlastMFPBlast MFP LabelThis “best of” compilation originally came out on Apple in 1975. In fact it was the last record to be released on Apple (before the label re-emerged in the 1990’s). This MFP re-issue comes from 1981. See the post Budget Beatles for more info on this and other budget labels which feature the Beatles as a group and as solo artists.

On the topic of budget Beatles, my final purchase for the day was a copy of The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl on the Australian EMI budget label Axis:Hollywood Bowl Axis

Hollywood Bowl LabelThis LP came out in 1987 in a single sleeve (as opposed to the original EMI/Capitol issue from 1977 which had a gatefold cover). This is nice copy in very good condition.

So, a really productive (if somewhat expensive) Record Store Day.

The Beatles Australian 20th Anniversary Singles Collection

It’s funny how Beatles records can end up wandering the earth. I just brought this thirty-four disc box set of Australian singles from a guy in France. It was made here in Australia – and now it has returned home after a long journey and a long time away…

It’s the 1982 release The Beatles Australian 20th Anniversary Singles Collection. They are all housed in a maroon coloured carboard box:

Beatles34 box1

As you can see, mine has been quite faded on the front and sides from exposure to the sun. It has the catalogue number AB34 stamped on the side:

Beatles34 box2

Here’s the rear of the box showing the deeper maroon colour which is closer to how it would have originally looked:

Beatles34 box3

The original box colour is more like this one:

Beatles34 BOX

Inside there are 34 singles, plus a six-page insert with the details of each single:

Beatles34 booklet1Beatles34 booklet3Beatles34 Booklet4Beatles34 booklet5

Despite the slightly beat-up outer box (it is faded, has a sticker mark on the front, and had some split seams on the lid – which I have repaired) the singles inside are in VG to EX condition. Each single comes in a unique (but quite flimsy) paper picture sleeve, and each one features different photographs (both front and rear) taken during the Beatles 1964 tour of Australia and New Zealand. I won’t show all thirty four (!) but here are just three favourites, front and back:

Beatles34 Please1Beatles34 Please2Beatles34 Komm1Beatles34 Komm2Beatles34 Ob-La1Beatles34 Ob-La2

To see the complete set of covers visit the wonderful and click on each catalogue number to view the cover plus the labels.

Each single in my box set is on the black and silver Parlophone label, except for two (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da/While My Guitar Gently Weeps and The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe), which are on the Apple label – green on one side and cut on the other:

Beatles 34 ParloBeatles34 Apple1Beatles34 Apple2

However, I notice on the site that all the singles they show, including the two I have on Apple (A8693 and A8793), are on the black and silver Parlophone label. An interesting variation….

Beatles34 BOX2

Beatles with Records – Part Fifteen

Masses of photos sent in recently – especially from Andrey in Russia. This series is about finding photographs of the Beatles actually holding the product they sold  so prolifically – either their own records or those of other artists. We also accept photographs of those close to the Beatles in the proximity of records or CDs.

Back in Part 8 and in Part 10 we identified a very early photo of the band playing on a stage that had a backdrop consisting of a black curtain with LP covers pinned to it.  Turns out these were taken in 1961 at a hall with the very grand title of The Palais Ballroom in place called Aldershot in the south of England. Pete Best is still their drummer and this was the band’s first foray to the south of the country. A mere 18 people turned up for the gig! Despite that, the Beatles look to be giving the performance their all. These were the photos we had so far:

Aldershot BWR10 Aldershot BWR8 2 Aldershot BWR8 1

From these we were able to identify the following records:

art-of-django-large john-lasalle-quartet modern-jazz-quartet-fontessa-4436821

Well, Andrey has sent a couple more photos from that same 1961 Aldershot show:


Aldershot3 Pete BEst

Aldershot4 1961

Aldershot5-jpg(Click on some images to see larger versions)

From these its possible to identify at least three more LPs pinned to the backdrop. From the first photo, just above Paul’s microphone you can see this one:

petite fleux

And in the final photo, hanging upside down at an angle just behind Pete Best and above the guitar amp:


Just below the Bobby Darin, also on an angle, is one called Sing It Again No.2. I can’t find an image of that exact disc, but did find Sing It Again No.4 which has very similar artwork:

Sing it Again

Also in Part 8 we had a small photo which was taken in 1963 at EMI headquarters for the launch of the Please Please Me LP. The band is on a stage with lots of album covers behind them:

Beatles 1963 PPM launch5

Here are a couple more from that same day – and much larger, too:Beatles 1963 PPM launch

Beatles 1963 PPM launch2Beatles 1963 PPM launch3Beatles 1963 PPM launch4please-please-me_the-beatlesimages_big307464352

This one below is also a fairly early photograph. Adoring fans seeking autographs on their Beatles singles. Maybe they are copies of “From Me To You”, the first 7″ single released in the plain green Parlophone paper sleeve?

Beatles Record Store NEMS?


These next two show the Beatles arriving back in the UK in 1964 after their tour to America – with Ringo, George and Paul each having records under their arms. To identify just what they are though will need your help:

BEatles Airport2 1964Beatles Airport1

If you can help identify Paul and Ringo’s records (its hard with George because his are in a paper bag!) please post a comment below or email me here

Once the band started to sell some records and earn some money they purchased the latest gadgets to play records – including in their cars:


Dick James formed the music publishing company Northern Songs (with Brian Epstein, John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and became the publisher of all the Beatles songs. As the photo caption says – he kept a close eye on the fortunes of his key partners:

Dick James For Sale


(That’s some letter opener he has there!)

Finally, a photo of Klaus Voormann, the man who designed the Beatles Revolver cover art in 1966. Here he is more recently signing a copy of the CD for a fan:Klaus Voormann RevolverBeatles-Revolver

As usual thanks to all those who have sent in content and further information. You can see the other parts in “The Beatles with Records” series here:  Parts 123467 , 89101112131416 and 17.

COMING SOON – The Beatles with Gold Records – and believe me there are LOTS of those.

(Click on many of the images above to see larger versions)

A Minor Wings Find

I have posted very rarely on Wings in this blog, but of course collecting records and CDs by (or related to) the Beatles and Paul McCartney means that the band is well-and-truly included. During a recent visit to Canberra (the capital of Australia) I came across a second-hand shop I’d not visited before in the city’s downtown area. They mostly specialise in CDs, DVDs and games, but on the floor there was a large amount of unsorted vinyl where I found a small but interesting addition to the collection.

I already have a German pressing of the Wings single “Good Night Tonight” (1979). It’s the 12″ full version (7 minutes 15 seconds) of the song, on a green EMI Electrola/Odeon label:

Good Night Tonight frontGood Night Tonight rearGood Night Tonight Odeon Label

As you can see, the cover is not in great shape but the vinyl is in mint condition. Anyway, in the Canberra store I found the Australian release of this same disc.  It came out here with an orange Parlophone label:

Good Night Tonight Parlo label

The two releases have pretty much identical exterior artwork throughout with the only real difference being the colour of the inner sleeves. The German inner sleeve is made from thin paper and is printed in black and white:

Good Night Tonight inner1Good Night Tonight Inner2

While the Australian inner sleeve is made of thicker cardboard and is more deep blue in colour:

Good Night Tonight inner3Good Night Tonight inner4

I also have the 7″ 45rpm edited version (4 minutes 18 seconds) of “Good Night Tonight” on an Australian black and silver Parlophone label:

Good Night Tonight 7 in single

Good Night Tonight Parlo2 label

It’s nice to have the orange Parlophone version, and at the cost of just A$3.00, a small but worthwhile addition to the collection.

Produced by George Martin – DVD, BluRay and Six CD Box Set

I’ve really been enjoying watching the newly-released BBC-Arena documentary “Produced by George Martin“. And it has been getting some very good reviews too. You might recall a little while ago we gave away a copy of the DVD to a lucky Beatlesblog reader, Eric Leon in France.

Produced by George Martin BR FrontProduced By George Martin BR rProduced By George Martin DVD

The DVD and BluRay contain the extensive documentary, plus over 50 minutes of extended interviews with Martin, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and many others. But it is not just Sir George’s work with the Beatles which is featured. “Produced by George Martin” is a history of Parlophone Records, which is a division of the huge recording conglomerate known as EMI. George Martin was the boss of Parlophone and so alongside the Beatles (by far his most famous signing) he was responsible for recording some of the top hit-makers in Britain (and the world) including Cilla Black, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Rolf Harris, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer, Matt Monro, Shirley Bassey, and of course Wings. Many who see the doco will be wondering if there’s a way to get hold of some of the great music and comedy featured which Martin produced. There is – it’s a six CD box set of his work that came out way back in 2001. Interestingly, although it was released more than ten years before this latest documentary, it carries a very similar title to this year’s DVD and BluRay: “Produced by George Martin – 50 Years in Recording”:

Produced by George Martin Cov F

Each CD set is individually numbered (mine is 08750) and comes in a fold-out, long-box length holdings which holds the six CD’s and a book. Here’s the rear cover and some of the inside fold-out panels:

Produced by George Martin Cov RProduced by George Martin Cov2Produced by George Martin Cov 3

The CD’s themselves contain tracks that date back to Sir George’s earliest work, beginning in 1955 and then traversing his entire career up to his post-Parlophone days recording acts like America, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Webb and John McLaughlin. Whoever designed the set decided to give each CD an authentic and historic Parlophone label. It’s a design idea that the Beatles themselves decided to copy in the their latest series of remastered re-issues of their own work, both for the 2009 CD remasters (mono and stereo), and for the LP box set which has only just been released:

Produced by George Martin CD1Produced by George Martin CD2Produced by George Martin CD3Produced by george Martin CD4Produced By George Martin CD5Produced by George Martin CD6

Glued inside the fold-out package is a 35 page book, with liner notes by Mark Lewisohn (who will be well-known to Beatles fans as the band’s most knowledgable and respected biographer). In it Lewisohn details the background to Sir George’s life and the multitude of artists and styles he produced over a 45-year span in the business:

Produced by George Martin Book Front CoverProduced by George Martin Book 3Produced by George Martin Book 4

For those who were not able to fork out the considerable outlay for the full 6 CD box set, EMI/Parlophone also produced a “Highlights” single CD version containing 24 tracks:

Prodused by George Martin Highlights CD FrontProduced by George Martin Highlights CD RearProduced by George Martin Highlights CD

And there was also a promo CD produced. It came in a simple cardboard slipcase with a further reduced selection of material (14 tracks). This would have been  sent to radio stations, and reviewers at magazines and newspapers to promote the box set:

Produced by George Martin CD Promo FrontProduced by George Martin CD Promo Rear

Produced by George Martin Promo CD

This 2001 box set from 2001 forms a great companion to the filmed “Produced by George Martin” DVD and BluRay documentary released in 2012.

produced by george martin

Label Variations Part Nine – Plastic Ono Band “Cold Turkey”

In Label Variations Part Eight an unusual New Zealand Parlophone label version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” was featured.

I’ve stumbled across another from NZ –  this time Lennon’s anguished drug withdrawal song “Cold Turkey“, performed by the Plastic Ono Band. It’s definitely original and as you can see pretty beat up, but interesting I guess – especially for one particular reason which will be revealed later:

Plastic Ono Band Cover 1

It is in it’s original New Zealand Parlophone bag – very faded, but the rear side is interesting with it’s groovy “Young Internationals” advertisement for Air New Zealand (only $397.50 one-way to Singapore or Hong Kong!):

Plastic Ono Band Cover 2

The main point of interest though is the black and yellow Parlophone label:

Plastic Ono Band Label 1

The printing on the A-side is kind of faded and difficult to read because the silver-coloured lettering does not stand out well on the black background. Like the UK edition, this 45 rpm single carries the catalogue number APPLES 1001, and as in other markets around the world the flip-side is the Yoko Ono song “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)”. However, this New Zealand pressing has a spelling mistake. It clearly says “Don’t Worry Kajoko”, and it has no sub-title printed on the label:

Plastic Ono Band Label 2

Some people quite like collecting label printing mistakes and so this makes it interesting as well. The spelling should be “Don’t Worry Kyoko….”:

cold-turkey-Don't Worry Kyoko

Here are some other label variations from around the world, starting with Australia:


These images following aren’t from my collection but gleaned from the web. Here are two different variations from Brazil:


The original UK version looked like this:


And the US and Canadian versions:


Here’s one variation from Germany, followed by one from the Netherlands:



And since posting this I’ve been contacted by Claude Defer in France with two French variations. He says: “In France, we have 2 types of labels : the first one has «Cold Turkey» on the white part of the apple and the second one has «Cold Turkey» on the green part of the apple. The first one was probably a misprint and the second one fixed it.”:

Cold-turkey-france 1Cold-turkey-france 2

Also, Andrey in Russia sent another France variation which is very similar to the one above, just a greener Apple:


If you have any other label variations you would like to share please email me.