Beatles With Records – Part Twenty Five

It’s not often we get video of the Beatles with records. We have had only a couple over this course of this series (see: Part 6,  Part 14,  and possibly Part 23….although the jury is still out as to whether John Lennon is actually carrying a record up the steps on his way into the Abbey Road studios). Now comes film from way back in 1964. It was shot at Brian Epstein’s NEMS offices on May 30 that year, with the Beatles just beginning to enjoy their first taste of really big success. The first part of the YouTube clip below is fairly mundane – colour film of the band sitting in the office with various members of the press, fans and hangers-on milling about. Then at about the 2 mins 50 seconds mark a record executive (who looks to be an American) brings over some 45s and LPs for Paul McCartney to peruse. These appear to be US test pressings, and maybe even a gold record that’s yet to be framed…    At approximately 4 minutes into the video we see a copy of this US album flash by – which Paul looks quite pleased with: Meet the Beatles Just after that John Lennon joins Paul and they continue to examine the stack of discs. Quite apart from the records, it’s an interesting series of clips showing the natural, easy charm the band possessed – particularly John, and also Paul. In this photo below, taken during the band’s first “world” tour (which took in Denmark and saw drummer Jimmy Nicol briefly fill in for an ill Ringo Starr), we can see Paul McCartney holding the Danish pressing of the single “Long Tall Sally/I Call Your Name”, released on the Odeon label:long tall sally 1 long tall sally 2Here’s another photograph, this time from the first US tour in 1964. We know from other photographs taken on this tour that the band took the opportunity to pick up some US albums by their favourites. This one is George Harrison with an LP by one of his guitar idols – the great Chet Atkins:Pop Group The Beatles February 1964 George Harrison Beatle George Harrison 21st birthday sorting through the 52 sacks full of gr 2181295 The Beatles were always very generous with the time they gave to their fans, frequently stopping in the street or in their cars to sign autographs. Here’s George again, signing what could be a record – but it could also be some sort of a concert program or booklet: George Beatles with RecordsStaying with George, here he is much later during the Apple Records days with members of one of his signings to the label – the Radha Krsna Temple. They’re holding a copy of their 1971 Apple single called “Govinda”:George with Hare Krsnaradha-krishna-temple-govinda--apple_25-singleHere’s another amazing photograph of George – showing off his impressive guitar collection. It contains a number of mysteries which you might be able to help solve (click on the image below to see a larger version):clapton, badfinger, roger Probably taken at his home at Friar Park, we can see up on the mantle piece (up high and to George’s left) artwork for the cover of The Apple E.P. This was released in 1991 and was a 45 containing four songs, one song each from the first four non-Beatle artists ever to be released on the label. They are Mary Hopkin, Badfinger, Jackie Lomax and Billy Preston. It was a promotional release to mark the first round of Apple re-issues (on vinyl and CD) back in 1991:The Apple E.P. Also high up, and to the right in the photograph of George above is an image of Eric Clapton from around the time of the release of his album 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974). It looks like an album – but it is difficult to identify because it’s partially hidden by a box also on the shelf. There’s lettering across the top left of the photo which says “Eric Clapton”. The image of Clapton is very similar to the on the inside of the gatefold of 461 Ocean Boulevard: eric-clapton-461-ocean-boulevard-insideLower down from the sideboard, still on the right-hand side of the photo, there’s a pile of two or three LPs. On top is what looks like an older style cover. It seems to be by a singer from the 1930’s or 40’s, maybe a famous tenor or baritone? It is hard to make out the name – but it looks like the writing says “Robert….(something)”, with his picture in an oval shape below. Anyone with any information or ideas on what this album might be please let us know!Unknown Then to the far left of the photograph (i.e. to George’s right), on the floor and leaning up against the wall is a large image of his Dark Horse Records logo. It is lying on its side – so all we can see is the horse’s tail:darkhorsesticker1 There is an LP or a box obscuring the full logo, but it is impossible to know what this might be. To finish off this post, a topical one with the soon-to-be-released Archive Series re-issue of Paul McCartney’s Venus and Mars (1975). It’s Wings – sitting with what looks to be a proof sheet for the front cover artwork for the album:vamVenus and Mars frontThe 2014 re-master of Venus and Mars will be released on November 3 (November 4 in the USA).

You can see more in the Beatles With Records series here (just go to the links at the bottom of the page).

Microsite Launched for Venus and Mars/At The Speed of Sound

In celebration of the forthcoming Wings reissues, Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound, PaulMcCartney.com has created a new interactive microsite telling the story of Wings; its members, their influences and of course – the music. It’s pretty good! Click here to go there, or just click the the photo: Go Behind Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound_0110_NewsBody The site also contains a new lyric video by artist Thomas Hicks for the Venus and Mars track ‘Call Me Back Again’. To see it, and to read the press release, click on the image below:Call Me Back Again:

Another Edition of “New” Is On The Way

Paul McCartney has confirmed that his 2013 album New will be reissued (again) on CD and DVD.

This time around it’ll be as a special three disc collector’s set on October 28, exactly 12 months on from its original release date.

This ‘new’ edition of New will be a 2CD+DVD set. It comes in hardback book packaging. The first CD repeats the deluxe edition of 2013 with 14 tracks plus the ‘hidden’ track “Scared”.

The second audio disc will contain “Struggle” – previously a Japanese-only bonus track – plus two brand new previously unreleased tracks from the album sessions: “Hell To Pay” and “Demons Dance”. Four live tracks from McCartney’s Tokyo Dome gig in 2013 complete this CD.

The final disc is a DVD that is effectively an expanded version of the video disc that came as part of the 2014 Japan Tour Edition of New (although it doesn’t include everything from it) which was issued in the Far East earlier this year. Like that, this DVD includes the ‘Something New’ documentary (47 minutes) and the “Queenie Eye” video. New to this collector’s edition are the videos for “Save Us”, “Appreciate” and “Early Days” along with various ‘making of’ clips. Curiously the ‘lyric video’ for the New single which was on the Japanese Tour Edition appears to be absent here.

A significant section on this new DVD is devoted to Paul’s various ‘pop up’ promo appearances on both sides of the Atlantic, including London and New York, as well as live spots at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas and two concerts in one day at BBC’s Maida Vale Studios. The total running time of this DVD amounts to nearly two hours.

The New Collector’s Edition will be released on October 28, 2014. Looks like it will have all blue cover:New 2014 Deluxe Ed

McCartney’s “Destiny” Credits and Closing Theme Song

Paul McCartney’s work on Destiny, the long-awaited new blockbuster in the video game world, made its public debut when the game hit store shelves for the first time earlier this week:McCartney Destiny-Hope credits

As you can see in the screen grab above, there are two main McCartney contributions. There’s his joint composing credit (with Martin O’Donnell) for the instrumental passages used throughout the game called “Music of the Spheres”, and there’s a new song recorded specifically for the game which is played across the extensive closing credits – much like those at the end of a movie. That song is called “Hope”. Produced by Giles Martin, and utilising members of McCartney’s current touring band, the song was recorded in Abbey Road and at Sir Paul’s own Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex, England:

It has been confirmed on McCartney’s official site that “Hope” is to be released as a single, but no date has been announced yet.

Previously Unreleased McCartney Song for Diana Krall

Those completists among us will be looking to acquire a copy of Diana Krall’s new CD called Wallflower. Due out on October 21, it will contain a previously unreleased tune from Paul McCartney called “If I Take You Home Tonight”.

Wallflower

Diana Krall, jazz pianist, vocalist, and wife of Elvis Costello, played a significant role on McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom standards CD and LP from 2012.

“I still had a copy of the music,” Krall said, “and I asked him if he was O.K. if I did the song for my record and he said, ‘Sure’. So we recorded that and it came out just gorgeous. It’s a new Paul McCartney song that’s never been recorded that I’m pretty honored to have.”

Beatles With Records – Part Twenty Four

One of the most difficult items to identify in photographs of the Beatles with records are vinyl test pressings or acetates. These are cut at the studio and often contain demos or finished versions of songs or albums for them to listen to privately to gauge the quality of the pressing or the mix.

At EMI in the 1960s these were pressed onto 45rpm singles or 331/3 LP’s using labels which looked like this: emidisc recording blankThe labels were left blank for the producer or engineer to hand-write or type information about the track including the title, which take it was, duration, name of the artist, etc.

That brings us to this great picture of George Harrison, taken in the studio at about the time of the recording of the The Beatles (or The White Album) in 1968:George with ACETATE 2First thing to say is that is a really cool watch he has on…..

Second point of interest is that acetate or test pressing of a single he has at his left elbow. It’s in a plain white paper sleeve with writing on it, and it’s on the Emidisc label – just like the example in the picture shown above. If we rotate the picture and adjust the contrast a bit we get this:George with Acetate

This makes the writing on the sleeve a little easier to make out. If we rotate it just a little bit more we can see a bit more clearly:George with Acetate 3It is fairly clear that the hand-writing on the sleeve says: “with love  from  Paul McCartney“. His signature is very distinctive – it features on his official website even now – and here we can see that familiar looped “l” in the word “Paul”, and the trailed off “y” at the end of “McCartney”. Here’s another random example:Paul autograph

The tougher task is to identify what is hand-written onto the Emidisc label. We reckon it is this: under the word Emidisc there’s something like a number (maybe the duration of the track), then comes the song title. We think two words and, given this picture was taken during recordings for The White Album, our guess it’s the McCartney song “Honey Pie”. The writing looks a bit like that, too. Under that, just above the spindle hole, are some more letters or code numbers. On the left of the spindle hole it says “45 RPM”. On the right it looks like the duration of the track in minutes and seconds (which is difficult to make out). Then at the very bottom the writing clearly says “The Beatles”.

Was this a test cut for George to take home and have a listen to “Honey Pie”? Any further insights, thoughts or suggestions are very welcome.

There is one fly in the ointment with theory though……It is this photograph from the web of Ringo Starr, clearly taken at around the same time, also holding an acetate/test pressing:2RingoWithGetBackAcetate

The person who posted this says it is Ringo holding an acetate recording of “Get Back” -which would place it in early 1969, not 1968. We’d prefer to go with this website that clearly places it as a photo session from September, 1968. It is pretty likely therefore that this is the exact same disc as the one seen with George. The plain paper sleeve has the same greeting written in the same position: “With love  from  Paul McCartney“. It is difficult to make out the writing on the label, but it has a very similar set-out to the previous one….again, thoughts and theories are welcome!

 

Next McCartney Archive Series Releases – Dates Pushed Back

Seems the never-ending announcements about releases for Beatles or Beatle-related product in the month of September has forced Paul McCartney to delay the release of the next two instalments in his Archive series. We just had an email from Amazon saying that the dates for Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound have been pushed back.

It’s not that surprising that something had to give.

We’ve just had the new DVD and BluRay of A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles Japan Box CD set, and the vinyl re-issue of Lennon’s Shaved Fish. Then in September comes The Beatles In Mono vinyl box set (September 8); the Icon series CD’s for John Lennon and Ringo Starr (both September 9); and the news that a George Harrison The Apple Years CD box set is due for a September 22 release.

The schedule was getting very crowded….not to mention the strain on collectors’ wallets!