Well, as promised in an earlier post, here are some photographs of my “un-boxing” of the remastered Beatles In Mono. It’s a white box that holds 10 CDs – that is each original mono album released by the group, plus a 2 CD set called “Mono Masters”. This is like the “Past Masters” double that is available either individually or in the stereo remastered box set. However, “Mono Masters” has a slightly different track list with four different songs unique to this package. These are from “Yellow Submarine” and have never previously been issued in mono on CD: “Only A Northern Song”, “All Together Now”, “Hey Bulldog” and “It’s All Too Much”.
The box also contains a 44 page booklet with lots of great photos and text by Beatles aficionado Kevin Howlett.
Interestingly the small print on the removable promotional flyer that is tucked into the shrink wrap on the outside of the box says “Made in Japan” – so I guess EMI commissioned their Japanese pressing plant to produce these sets. It was reported that only 10,000 box sets were made. Such was the demand though that EMI quickly moved to create more. I read that another 3,000 were being produced, though this is unconfirmed. I know these box sets are expensive but given the interest, another 3,000 doesn’t seem enough for the whole world. If you have any more details on this let me know.
The packaging for the individual CDs in this set is different to the newly-designed stereo remaster covers, recreating down to the finest detail how the original UK LP record covers would have looked back in they day had you purchased them when they were first released. This includes the paper inner sleeve for the disc, all original inserts and cover art. Even how the cover was glued together is authentic. There’s also a resealable plastic outer sleeve for the cover and a small, protective plastic sleeve for the disc itself – just like those you get on LPs (at least in Australia!). You can see examples of these in photos below. Notice also that the CD labels printed on the CD echo what the original LP labels would have looked like (in the photo of “Please Please Me” below check out the very early Parlophone label).
The “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” CDs here also contain the original 1965 stereo mixes of these albums (which are different to the 1987 George Martin stereo remixes done for the first round of CD issues of the Beatles catalogue. So, now we have three different versions to compare!)
Beatles In Mono
Label: Apple Cat.No: 5 099969 945120
JAPAN/2009/11CDs/book/boxed set/all original covers and inserts
Do you know where I can get the small semi-circle vinyl packages that the CDs came in?
No, sorry, I don’t know.
To be honest this is the first time I have ever seen CD’s housed in this way – like the old fashioned vinyl LP’s used to be. I really think it is just part of the special packaging to make these Mono releases absolutely authentic. I don’t think you can buy the little sleeves by themselves anywhere. Someone else may have some information on this – please let us know.
On further reflection, its a really good question you ask about the little plastic protective sleeves for the CDs from the Mono box because they’d obviously be really helpful to those who have the Stereo box set (or individual strereo releases) to help protect them from repeatedly being slid out from their cardboard sleeves to play as well.
Maybe someone knows a supplier?
Hi again Ihab,
I have been on the prowl looking for those small CD inner sleeves and have found this site you can order them from:
They seem to be reasonably priced. I just placed an order. They also have an Ebay store, but I think the prices on the direct website are cheaper. Good luck!
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I thought I was the only one who opens packages with a blade and trying to leave most of the shrink wrap on. I’ve seen YouTube clips where fans just rip the plastic right off their sets.
Even for my stereo set, I kept each album in it’s original shrink wrap and only made a slit (with a blade) to pull them each out.
Exactly! Is there any other way to open a CD? I also like to keep any stickers that come on the outside too. If the plastic has to come off entirely I carefully cut around these and keep them inside with the booklet. Good to hear I’m not the only one who does these sorts of crazy things….