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 beatlesaustralia.com 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 beatlesaustralia.com 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 2012 Remastered Vinyl – Released (First Pictures)

Is Australia the very first country to see the new Beatles Remastered Stereo Vinyl Box Set delivered?

The new records aren’t due for release in the UK and the USA until next week (12 and 13 November respectively). However, today I got a call from my local record store in Sydney saying “Come on in – your order for the Beatles box set is ready for collection today“.  (That’s Thursday, 8 November)

Naturally I high-tailed it down there – and here are the first pictures of it being unpacked. It comes in a big protective outer box:

The large sticker declaring the contents is placed on both sides of the box:

The two shipping labels on the side. Both say “Deliver Thursday”:

 

When you open the box you see what looks like another box-within-a-box:

It is held in place by two thick white foam inserts that you usually see in packaging for large electrical goods like TV’s, etc.  At this point I should say this package is incredibly heavy. You actually have to lie it on its side to slide it out:

What initially looked like an inner box is actually a thick brown cardboard wrap around the main package (above). Once you take it off you see this:

It’s just like the Beatles Remastered Stereo CD box released in 2009. There’s a thin cardboard outer sleeve around the record box itself. As you can see above it has “The Beatles” and an Apple logo printed on the front. This is what’s printed on the rear:

The outer sleeve slides off to reveal the main, lidded box:

Opening the lid – there are two pieces of black foam and two large moisture absorbing packs:

The book and all the LPs are completely sealed in heat-shrink plastic:

“Let It Be” (below) has the green Apple on the rear:

The book is really heavy and looks amazing – even in its heat-shrink wrap:

It has black-edged pages:

One side of the outer sleeve has the record and book edges printed on it. I guess that’s so it’ll look good when sitting on a shelf with that edge facing out:

Well, that’s about it for now. Hope you enjoyed this. Haven’t had time to open up any of the records or the book. Just wanted to get this up quickly for all to have sneak peek at the new Beatles Remastered Stereo Vinyl Box Set. 

(Click on images to see larger versions)

Beatles Vinyl Remasters – New Promo Video

Thanks to Beatles Blog  reader scub75 for sending in the link to a brand new promo video for the soon-to-be released Beatles vinyl remasters. He says:

“Finally they’ve released the video of the vinyl remasters. This was posted on the official YouTube page of Norway EMI. I cannot wait for the release date to have my box set!”

If you look closely it confirms a lot of new details – including that the record labels will be accurate to the original time at which they would have been released, and that the book will be quite lavish with special printing techniques used.

For more see the official Beatles site.  It all comes out on November 12.

Where “Made in the EU” Vinyl Might Be Pressed

These days a lot of Paul McCartney’s and the Beatles vinyl LP’s and CD’s have the term “Manufactured in the EU” or “Printed in the EU” on the back cover – even some that are for sale in the US. Here are just a couple of recent vinyl examples from my collection:

(Rear of LP cover – click to enlarge)

And titles in the McCartney Archive series including:

(Rear of LP cover – click to enlarge)

There are CD examples as well (though some of these do say “Manufactured in the USA”). This means these albums are being pressed (and probably in quite large quantities) somewhere in a European Union country. Many might think that means Britain, Germany, Holland, or maybe even France where they have a rich tradition of pressing good quality vinyl and are geared up to do so.

But then again, maybe not….

I’ve had an email from Russian Beatles collector Andrey. Remember back to Record Store Day earlier this year when Paul McCartney, as part of the publicity in the lead-up to the “Ram” Archives Series reissues, released a limited-edition 45 vinyl single of the song “Another Day“?

This was a collectors item reproduction single (including a nice picture sleeve) especially made for Record Store Day. “Another Day” was a song which was recorded during the “Ram” sessions. However it didn’t come out on the original “Ram” album . It was only ever issued as a single and was a huge worldwide hit.  The RSD release from earlier this year looks like this:

Well, Andrey bought that 2012 RSD “Another Day” single from a Russian internet shop.  The interesting thing is that while the small print on the rear of the paper sleeve states (as it does around the world) that the paper sleeve was “Printed in the USA”, one of the two stickers on the back of Andrey’s copy says that the vinyl record itself was actually manufactured in the Czech Republic by a company called GZ Digital Media.

The rear cover of Andrey’s copy looks like this:

And here’s a close up of that sticker:

(click on images to see larger versions)

If you go to the GZ Digital Media website you’ll discover that they’re a well-established and very professional outfit clearly geared up to do high-quality vinyl and CD pressing runs in large numbers if need be. The company’s vinyl “Products” page lists everything from mastering through to the production of 7″, 10″ and 12″ vinyl; shaped and coloured vinyl; and they even do the printing of covers and production of box sets if required.

That got me thinking about some other releases I have with “Printed in the EU” on the back.  The Beatles vinyl editions of “1” and “Love” for instance:

(Rear of LP cover – click to enlarge)

Is GZ Digital Media in the Czech Republic the plant where these were manufactured too?  Could be.

One of the articles I read about the forthcoming box set of re-mastered Beatles vinyl stated that one of the big logistical challenges Apple faced in planning the project was to find processing plant (or plants) that could physically cope with the sheer volume of discs needing to be pressed. They all have to be high quality and stockpiled in very big numbers for distribution. Perhaps the GZ  Digital Media plant is playing a part?

If you have any more info please join in the conversation.

Lots of Beatles Vinyl News – Part 1

Well the news is well and truly out, and as usual Wogblog had it pretty much ahead of of anybody else (see his posts here, here, here, here, and here). The guy is amazing.

Apple and EMI are about to formally announce that the entire digitally remastered Beatles stereo back-catalogue (released on CD back in 2009) is finally to be released on vinyl. The albums will be available individually, or collected in a limited edition (50,000 copies) box set:

Accompanying the box will be a new 252 page hardbound book written by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett, with dedicated chapters for every album a wealth of photos – many not used in the 2009 CD booklets:

The box set will contain all twelve studio albums, plus “Magical Mystery Tour” and “Past Masters – Volumes 1 & 2″, all sourced from the original master tapes:

Pressed using 180-gram, audiophile quality vinyl, the individual albums will also faithfully recreate the original artwork and come with the same extras as the original albums – for example the poster and four individual photographs with the “White Album”, and the cutout sheet and psychedelic inner sleave in “Sgt. Pepper”. As you can see below the labels (Parlophone and Apple) will be faithful to the originals too:

All-in-all this looks like it will have been worth the very long wait as a lot of time and effort has gone into preparing the vinyl for re-issue. Music Direct has some further technical information on the painstaking process of getting the vinyl properly and authentically pressed to an exacting standard.

The individual LPs and the box set and book will be released on November 12 in the UK and Europe, and on November 13 in the USA.

UPDATE:  The official Beatles page has just added an official announcement and a special Beatles vinyl page.

SEE ALSO:  Lots of Beatles Vinyl News – Part 2

Ltd Ed Beatles Target Singles Box Sets

I’ve got a feeling that these are set to become quite valuable Beatles collectors items.

Target stores in the USA recently sold an exclusive and official limited edition of four Beatles 45 rpm singles. Each record was packaged along with a Beatles t-shirt in a box. The four vinyl singles are newly-pressed and digitally remastered using the same mastertapes as the 2009 re-issues. This makes these four singles (along with the Record Store Day “Paperback Writer” single released last year) the only vinyl available so far from the recent Abbey Road Studios remasters of the Beatles back-catalogue.

They are “Can’t Buy Me Love/You Can’t Do That“:

Help!/I’m Down“:

Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus“:

And “Let It Be/You Know My Name Look Up The Number“:

According to sources only 10,000 copies of each single were pressed by Capitol Records – very small numbers by Beatles standards. And only ever sold in Target stores in the United States:

All the vinyl singles have Capitol Records labels, except for “Let It Be” which is on the Apple Records label – just as it would have been back in 1970 when it first came out. The singles look like the original issues except that Sony/ATV is listed as the music publisher. The picture sleeves are in a thicker cardboard than the paper ones that were originally were issued. The contents of each box, deatiling the cover, the labels, and the enclosed t-shirt design are pictured on the rear of each package:

You can see from the packaging that these releases are linked closely to the recent re-issue  of the Beatles “1” CD, which has been released in digitally remastered form. Hence the familiar red and yellow theme and the prominent “1” logos on each box.

What do you think? Valuable collectors item of the future?

See also Steve Marinucci’s Beatles Examiner and the Beatles Target Ltd Release Singles Part 2.

The Beatles Collection – 25 Singles

I recently came into possession of a UK pressing of the Beatles box set called “The Beatles Collection”, their twenty-five British singles at the time, released by World Records and EMI in 1978. The singles are all encased in a black, textured cardboard box:

It was compiled and sold by World Records, EMI’s mail order division. It was never commercially released to stores – the only way you could get it was through ordering it via World Records.

The earlier titles are pressed on the EMI/Parlophone label while the later discs are on the Apple Records label.

Each single is in a picture sleeve – which are all green on one side but have a Beatles picture on the other. There aren’t different pictures for each and every single, but four main pictures are used multiple times, relating to the Beatles era in which the single comes from:

There are however different photographs used for the three additional discs in this set: one for “Back in the USSR/Twist and Shout”, one for “Yesterday/  Have Known Better”, and the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends/A Day in the Life” getting its own, unique picture sleeve:

Also included is a four-page booklet detailing the history of the group:

There’s also an additional, one sided sheet stating that the set now includes the addition of the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” disc, indicating that previous boxes came without this particular record:

The “Beatles Singles Collection” (UK – 1978 – World Records/EMI, 25 Original 45 RPM Records box set) comprises all the Beatles singles 1962-1978:

1. Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You (Parlophone/October 5, 1962)
2. Please Please Me / Ask Me Why
3. From Me To You / Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You / I’ll Get You
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy
6. Can’t Buy Me Love / You Can’t Do That
7. A Hard Day’s Night / Things We Said Today
8. I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman
9. Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is
10. Help / I’m Down
11. Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
12. Paperback Writer / Rain
13. Eleanor Rigby / Yellow Submarine
14. Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane
15. All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man
16. Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus
17. Lady Madonna / The Inner Light
18. Hey Jude /Revolution
19. Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down
20. The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe
21. Something / Come Together
22. Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
23. Yesterday / I Should Have Known Better
24. Back In The USSR / Twist And Shout
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Finally, you get a “World Records Guarantee” of quality: