More ‘Revolver’ Cover Photo Mysteries Solved

With the 2022 remaster and remix of The BeatlesRevolver album due to hit stores next month, there’s renewed interest in solving some of the remaining mysteries of just where cover designer Klaus Voormann sourced all those little images that make up the collage he created for this now-famous cover:

As you know last year we published an article about the latest thinking. There were still at least four images (circled in yellow) that remain mysterious as to their source (click on the image to see a larger version):

Now at least three of those four yellow circles have been solved (to an extent) by German fan and YouTuber, Yaacov (Jack) Edisherashvili.

Jack actually took a trip to visit Klaus Voormann in person and spoke with him about the Revolver cover. While there he asked him about where he’d sourced some of those photos.

You can see that video below. It’s interesting because in this first video Klaus talks about the cover and how it will be explained in the new book that’ll be included in the new 2022 release:

After Jack visited Klaus he wrote to us to say:

The image on the top left corner – the three faces – was never published. This was given privately to Klaus by the band.

The one on far right – the tiny image of Klaus himself – was shot by the late Astrid Kirchherr while Klaus was in his band Paddy, Klaus & Gibson.

The Ringo image – on top right corner – Klaus says was shot on a boat trip.

The John Lennon image with cigarette – I forgot to ask, but looks to me taken from press conference pictures?

So, that’s more information than we’ve had previously. Following his visit to Klaus, Jack has also uploaded this comprehensively researched YouTube with a detailed breakdown of the Revolver cover:

As you can see still a couple of mysteries remain.

If anyone knows the origins of the John Lennon photo with the cigarette – please let us know.

Also, two other outstanding questions are around the origins of the image of Ringo that Klaus used as inspiration for the drawing at the bottom left of the Revolver cover. Where was it published and who’s the photographer? And also the George image on the right – same questions: 

Record Store Day – Black Friday 2022

The complete list of Record Store Day Black Friday 2022 titles has been issued and there are a couple of Beatle-related items of interest for collectors.

Black Friday titles will go on sale Friday, November 25 and are only available through at brick and mortar independent record stores.

For Dark Horse Records fans there’s an interesting LP Dark Horse Records – The Best Of 1974-1977 (not to be confused with an album with a similar title by George Harrison from 1989 called The Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989).

This one is a newly-curated selection exclusive to RSD Black Friday of the artists discovered by, and in some cases produced by George Harrison, and includes two tracks each from Ravi Shankar, Stairsteps (formerly known as The Five Stairsteps), Splinter, Attitudes (featuring Jim Keltner, David Foster, Danny Kortchmar and Paul Stallworth), and Henry McCullough (Wings and Joe Cocker’s Grease Band). There’s also one track each from Keni Burke, and the band Jiva.

Ringo Starr fans are well-catered for this time around. There’s not one but five Black Friday releases.

The most interesting of these is the re-issue of a fairly obscure Ringo release called Old Wave. This originally came out in 1983, but only in limited places. Looking at the Discogs site it appears to have been released on vinyl only in Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. It did get a CD release in the US in 1994. But that’s about it. Critically known as “Ringo’s most overlooked album” and “Ringo’s solo masterpiece”, it was produced by Joe Walsh and Russ Ballard. It is set to be re-issued in 2022 on CD and on LP. The vinyl package includes an OBI strip, single album jacket, printed inner sleeve, original record labels and comes in a special brown and white smoke color vinyl. It also includes a bonus track available for the first time on vinyl “As Far As We Can Go (Early Version)”:

Here’s the CD image for Ringo’s Old Wave. It gets the bonus track as well and, as yiu can see in the list above there will only be 500 copies made available (in the US at least):

Another RSD Exclusive is Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band with a double LP Live At The Greek Theatre 2019:

The other two RSD Black Friday releases on the list for Ringo are what is becoming the obligatory coloured vinyl editions of his 1977 LP, Ringo The 4th. This time they’ve announced two different colours. One in translucent orange (1000 copies) and the other in translucent blue (also 1000 copies). We are told the LP’s will be house in a gatefold cover with rare photos and lyrics.

But hey. Wait just a minute. Didn’t they also announce this exact same thing for RSD proper on April 23 this year!?

A ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ Collector Extraordinaire

Most collectors of Beatles (and solo) records, CDs, books, magazines and the like will have a broad cross-section of albums and items, ranging from the earliest Please Please Me LP in 1963, right up to the latest Paul McCartney coloured vinyl variation.

Sometimes though a collector will get fixated on one particular thing.

That’s what happened to one of our readers named Simon.

A few weeks ago Simon sent us a photograph of the cassette variations he owns of one particular album – Magical Mystery Tour. They are laid out on the floor and to reproduce them here it is going to take two photographs to show you:

And that is just the cassettes.

Simon has what he believes to be one of the world’s most extensive if not the largest collections of Magical Mystery Tour items (hereafter referred to simply as MMT).

He owns over 60 MMT EP records from different countries around the world, as well as around 150 different versions from the MMT LP. And that’s not to mention the piles of MMT VHS movie tapes, 4-Track and 8-Track recordings, PlayTapes, DVDs, and CDs….He also has Betamax video tapes of the movie, and Reel-to-Reel music rarities.

So, we had to ask him two things.

One is why did the Magical Mystery Tour become Simon’s main thing, the one he must have more and more copies of?

Two is could he send some images of a couple of the more interesting EP versions he has of MMT from around the world?

For the first question here is his answer:

The reason for me collecting Magical Mystery Tour items is because as children in 1967 my sister and I took part in the film as extras. We were in the “Tug of War” and “The Marathon” scenes, and also in “Your Mother Should Know” in the hanger at the RAF West Malling Airfield Base, in Kent, England.

However, my story actually took off in 1978. That year I had to have surgery on both knees. Because the ward where I should have been sent for recovery was being repainted I was instead operated on and put in a ward for children who were terminally ill with cancer. Needless to say these children died.

I said to myself if possible I will try to do something in my life to give aid to children with cancer.

I then met my wife in 1982 and she just happened to be a Beatles fan. Of course the subject of me being involved in the MMT film came up and my wife asked if we could see the film on video. So one day we went to a video store and bought a video tape.

This led to buying an LP, then an EP, and a cassette.….

During this time we were also both very much into Volkswagen Beetles and in 1996 I organized what was to become the largest, most well-known vintage VW show of its kind.

The proceeds were donated to a hospital ward in Hanover in Germany to aid children with cancer.

In the meantime my Beatles MMT collection was growing.

In the early 2000s I left the VW hobby and decided to concentrate entirely on my MMT hobby instead – and to try to put my collection to good use.

I  am always looking for  items that I don’t have yet from MMT. I do not sell anything from my collection. 

Any doubles are swapped for other MMT items that I don’t have yet in my collection.

So, I have been collecting MMT for the past 40 years and nothing else from The Beatles.

I have only ever looked at the entire film once in one go! But I’ve spent hundreds of hours going frame by frame through DVDs and outtakes looking for tiny details on the famous MMT bus as I bought an original Bedford VAL Plaxton Panorama (the exact same model as the MMT bus) from Liverpool. It’s being restored in the UK and hopefully will be used world wide in aid of different cancer charities. Today I also hold not for profit exhibitions of my collection to help charities, such as for children with cancer.

So, as you can see it is quite a story!

What about some of the gems, some of the rarities from just the MMT EP part of his vast collection?

As already mentioned Simon has over 60 copies of this release from different countries. Of course he’s got many of the Made in Great Britain variations (he owns around 15 different versions of these in Mono and in Stereo), but we asked him to show us some of the more unusual examples. You know this one, most often it comes in a gate fold cover with two 45rpm EPs (or extended play) vinyl discs and a booklet with the story and lyrics stapled inside:

To begin, Simon sent us images of four different examples from Argentina which has a number of different versions of the MMT EP. These below (in order) are from 1968, 1970, 1973, and one of unknown year of release. It’s the one on the red and brown EMI label (it is probably 1975). The song titles are translated from English to Spanish:

Greece has two different versions – one with a large jukebox center (which Simon doesn’t own yet), and the other with a smaller push-out centre: 

From Uruguay, Simon owns two versions. There’s the regular release, and this rare blue test pressing below that he has never seen for sale again in 40 years:

One really cool looking label is this Odeon version from Brazil, released in 1968. It is the Mono version:

Italy has a number of different pressings on Parlophon in blue, black, and this Juke Box one on a beige label:

Germany has at least three different versions, as does Denmark. Here’s one of them – a Stereo most probably from 1967:

One of the more unusual and hard to find is this one from Israel. Simon says Israel has two variations. One came as a 2 EP set in a cover much like the rest of the world. The records inside are like the Stereo example below). For the other Israel released the two discs as separate singles in picture sleeves (which Simon doesn’t have yet):

Holland two different editions, France has four versions at least, and Finland has two variations, of which Simon only owns one, this one – a Stereo pressing – is from 1967:

Japan has many different versions on both black vinyl, and this one, from 1968, on red wax:

Spain has at least three versions. This is one of the later re-issues on a teal coloured Odeon label. Notice it is the Mono edition:

Yugoslavia has at least four versions. Africa has several versions (with round and triangular push-out centres) that Simon still doesn’t own yet. But he does have this example from the Philippines, issued in Mono in 1967:

In regards to the lyric sheets stapled inside the MMT EP gatefold cover, these too have their variations from country to country, and across the different re-issue years. Simon sent us an image that illustrates this as well:

In the photo above you can see some of the different colour variations of the lyric pages. There are of course several different shades of each of the colours too.

This is just a taste of Simon’s collection, but he writes that there are still numbers more that he still does not own yet. For example Chile, Greece with larger centre, Rhodesia with the triangle push-out centre, and the very first Japanese version. He’s not sure if Turkey and India ever pressed a set.

Should anyone have an EP or anything else rare from MMT that may help Simon complete his collection he would love to hear from you. They will all be put to good use in aid of others less fortunate in the world. Drop us a line using the Leave a Reply link below and we can put you in touch.

Also, if you or someone you know has a specific area of Beatle collecting – where someone has concentrated on just one particular release – please let us know! We’d love to hear from you and see some of your collection too.

A New Beatle Book – ‘The Beatles’ Liverpool’

Now that international travel is slowly becoming more feasible for many of us again, a visit to Liverpool – the city where it all began for The Beatles – might just be back on your travel “must do” list.

If so, it’d be nice to have a guide to point you in the right direction when you get there.

Liverpool, on the banks of the River Mersey always looms large in any discussion about the formation of the band and their influences. Many of the physical places they lived or frequented have become key parts of the Beatle story. It is of course the city where John, Paul, Ringo and George were born, grew up in, and knew well.

Now a new guide book The Beatles’ Liverpool – just released – takes you there by gathering more than fifty Liverpudlian localities. The fully illustrated guide then explains why those particular places played such a key role in the band’s development and success.

Of course there are the obligatory entries for the childhood homes (Menlove Avenue for John, Arnold Grove for George, Forthlin Road for Paul, and Admiral Grove for Ringo); there’s the background to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields; The Cavern Club; and the well-known St Peter’s Church, Woolton where John first met Paul.

But there are many more obscure listings too. Like Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight; the Neston Institute in Wirral; and 4 Rodney Street, birthplace of Beatle manager Brian Epstein.

There’s also a handy two-page guide map pinpointing the location of all the places mentioned in the guide.

If you’re planning a Liverpool visit, this book would be an essential to take with you – and it won’t cost you any excess luggage fees. At just over 44 pages The Beatles’ Liverpool is compact and light enough to easily slip into a travel bag or backpack to have with you as you walk the streets of the historic city.

Even if you’re still a way off physically getting to Liverpool, you can dive into The Beatles’ Liverpool and pay a visit vicariously. It’s the perfect armchair alternative to actually being there.

Author Mike Haskins was himself born and raised in Merseyside – and he still lives there! He’s worked as a scriptwriter and researcher for TV, radio and the stage, and has published over fifty books.

WIN A COPY OF THE BEATLES’ LIVERPOOL

Courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books in the UK, we’ve have two copies of The Beatles’ Liverpool to give away to two lucky readers.

All you need to do is provide your name, email address and have a go at answering two easy Beatle Liverpool-related questions. Just click on the link below to enter:

https://beatlesblogger.survey.fm/the-beatles-liverpool-giveaway

Good luck!

The first two readers with the correct answers will receive a copy of The Beatles’ Liverpool book. We’ll publish the names of the winners and the answers soon.

The Beatles ‘Revolver’ – Full Details Announced

The Beatles, Apple and Universal Music have jumped a little earlier than expected. Overnight they officially announced all the details of the forthcoming Revolver re-mix and remaster project, due in stores on October 28.

The full story, complete with a full track-list for each edition is on the The Beatles official site, but suffice it to say that there will be a 4LP + 1EP vinyl super deluxe slipcase box set with a 100-page hard cover book:

There’s also a 4CD + 1EP CD super deluxe slipcase box, also with a 100-page hard cover book:

There’s a 2CD edition with the new stereo mix of the album plus a unique ‘Session Highlights’ disc:

A 1CD edition with the new stereo re-mix:

And a 1LP edition featuring the new stereo re-mix:

And, just as they did with the Sgt Pepper, the White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be re-issues, there’s to be a Revolver picture disc:

The rumoured Dolby Atmos Mixes will only be available as Downloads and on Streaming.

The original mono mix will be part of the super deluxe boxes and accompany never-before-released session recordings and demos, plus two singles from the era, ‘Paperback Writer’ and ‘Rain’ are on the four track EP that is in the vinyl and CD boxes (in 2022 re-mixed versions and in original mono too).

Each edition is available for pre-order now and all the the physical product hits stores on October 28.

The opening song on Revolver, ‘Taxman’, has been chosen as the teaser 2022 mix sample song and it is available now on streaming media and in Dolby Atmos where that is supported.

There’s also a second promo YouTube clip too:

It’s Confirmed: ‘Revolver’ is the next Box Set Re-Issue

A lot of people jumped on the Variety article published last week stating that The Beatles’ Revolver is to be the next album to get the full box set re-issue/remix treatment.

One key sentence in that article made us hang back: “An official announcement of the project is not expected to come until some time in September….”, meaning that while it was interesting (and probably true), the Variety article was still just speculation. There was no independent confirmation from someone within the Beatles/Apple Records circle.

But, over the weekend we got that confirmation – and from the horses mouth so to speak.

On Sunday none other than Giles Martin Tweeted:

We think you can take that as proof-positive a re-mixed, remastered Revolver will definitely be on the shelves sometime in October or early November.

Of course details of exactly what we’ll be getting are still scarce, so we await the official announcement with great interest.

A subsequent Giles Martin Tweet indicates that a 5.1 surround mix is definitely on the cards:

So, it’s happening!

MJQ ‘Space’ – South African Pressing

There’s a great little book/second-hand record store in the Sydney suburb of Manly called Desire Books and Records.

The store is a wonderful place to poke around in as its walls are literally stacked floor-to-ceiling with books while much of the floor space is taken up with wide selection of good quality used vinyl. There are two large “Recent Arrivals” bins, plus extensive Pop & Rock from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, a good selection of Jazz, and sections for Folk, Soundtracks, Hip Hop, Spoken Word/Comedy – you name it.

We visited there the other day and found this little treasure, an original South African pressing of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s album Space on the Apple label:

Here’s the rear cover:

Space, which was released in 1969, comes in a cool gatefold cover:

And of course comes on the famous green Apple label. Interestingly, the word STEREO plus the title and track information on many South African Apple pressings is printed in silver:

As usual, click on the images above to see larger versions, and if you’re interested in the many an varied Apple Records pressings from around the world why not visit the amazing Worldwide Apple Records Discograghy page. It’s an incredible repository of images and info on Apple, Dark Horse, and more.

More Billy Idol on Dark Horse

For those label completists among us, Billy Idol is set to issue another four-song EP called The Cage on the Dark Horse Records label. 

The EP will be released on September 23. It follows the release of Idol’s 2021 The Roadside EP, and a re-issue of his Christmas LP Happy Holidays, also on Dark Horse.

For The Cage Idol is again joined by longtime collaborator, co-writer and guitarist Steve Stevens.

For those who like physical formats, the new EP is available for pre-order on exclusive red vinyl from the Billy Idol website (though this is already showing as sold out):

And there are signed black vinyl editions – though these are showing as sold out too:

CD fans are not left wanting, with signed copies (also now showing sold out), and standard editions available:

The Billy Idol announcement comes hot on the heels of Dark Horse announcing a major box set for Joe Strummer called Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years.

McCartney III – Coloured Vinyl Chart Update

For those of you still keeping score, we’ve updated our McCartney III chart detailing all the many variations over the past 18 months.

With the release last week of the McCartney I/ II/ III limited edition box set, which collects McCartney (on clear vinyl), McCartney II (on white vinyl), and McCartney III (on creamy white vinyl), there are now no fewer than 14 different vinyl colour releases of this LP available:

Just click on the image above to go full screen………

To get the creamy white version you have to purchase the McCartney I/ II/ III box. It’s is being described as a ‘Limited Edition’. We’re not sure of the exact numbers though. If anyone does know please comment in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.

McCartney I/ II/ III is also available in a standard black vinyl edition.

New Joe Strummer – The Mescaleros Years – Box Set Available For Pre-Order

Dark Horse Records have just announced a new Joe Strummer box set, Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years. It will be released on September 16th as part of the celebrations honouring Joe’s 70th birthday year.

The press release says the set is “….the first-ever comprehensive collection highlighting Joe’s work with his post-Clash band, The Mescaleros. The collection includes remastered editions of all three of the band’s studio albums, plus 15 rare and unreleased tracks spanning the first demos Joe wrote for the Mescaleros, and outtakes of several tracks of Joe’s final recordings with the band.”

The box set was executive produced by Lucinda Tait (Strummer) and produced by David Zonshine and features exclusive new interviews with Joe’s friends, collaborators and Mescaleros band mates, plus never-before-seen handwritten notes, lyrics, and drawings by Joe taken from the Joe Strummer Archive. All the albums are remastered by three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks (The Beatles, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie) and are packaged with extensive new liner notes, unreleased images, and four reproduction lyric sheets and chord charts.

Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years will be available as a 4CD with 72-page book box set, and 7LP with 32-page book, special edition packaging and exclusive 12”x12” art print.

The first track from the collection, the previously unreleased version of ‘The Road To Rock ‘N’ Roll (Demo)’ is available to stream now. The video for the song was created using Strummer’s drawings and handwritten lyrics found in the Strummer archive:

If you’re wondering about the title it’s because this is the second installment in what looks to a series of career-spanning compilations. The first, Joe Strummer 001, was released in 2018 by Ignition Records. Since then, Dark Horse has taken over publishing and distribution rights for the Stummer legacy.

“There’s so much great music that Joe left us in his archive,” says Joe’s widow and the executive producer, Lucinda Tait. “We started this work with 001, so to focus on Joe’s work with The Mescaleros was the natural second step on 002 because those songs he made with them just seemed to resonate so strongly and reinvigorated his connection with his audience at a level he hadn’t experienced since his days with The Clash.”