My post about the many label variations of Paul McCartney’s 1988 Russian album “Choba B CCCP” prompted a response from a reader named Vadim who gave me some links to an absolutely fantastic website that deals specifically with Beatles and Beatles-related releases from the former USSR and Russia.
You can find the site here and, if you’re not careful, it will open up a whole new world of Beatles record collecting to you. I don’t read Russian and so many parts of the site are a mystery – it looks like it has been created by three friends and Beatles fans: Andrey Lukanin, Vadim Legkokonets and Valentin Isaikin, who run something called The Beatles Association. It also appears that The Beatles Association puts out a regular magazine called “From Me To You”. There are links on the Foreword page of the site to download two recent issues.
The site is huge and so comprehensive with details of seemingly every USSR/Russian release and variation – complete with pictures of the covers, labels, catalogue numbers and heaps of other fascinating information for the collector. It is truly mind-blowing and well worth a look. Put aside some time – you’ll need it to have a good look around. Once you figure out how the site is constructed and linked you can delve into more and more detail about individual releases.
It got me thinking about other Russian releases I have in my own collection – apart from the McCartney “Choba B CCCP” ones. I had a bit of a look and found these (and I must say its very meagre compared to Vadim’s treasures). The first is “A Hard Days Night”. This is on EMI/Melodiya and comes in a single sleeve with a plastic inner. It has one less track than the British release. Its also stated that this is a “Direct Metal Mastered” pressing and it has a small official DMM logo on the rear cover:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. It looks like my copy is pressed at the Riga pressing plant.]
Then comes “Help”. This is on AnTrop Records from St Petersburg, and has a plain white paper inner sleeve:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. It looks like my copy came out in 1991 and is sleeve and label Variation 2.]
Also on AnTrop Records is “Let It Be”. This comes in a single, quite thin, cardboard sleeve with a plain white paper inner sleeve:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. This was released in 1992 and is sleeve Variation b., and label Variation 2.]
There are more “Let It Be” label variations on my site here.
The final Russian Beatles pressing I have is a unique compilation of early material called “A Taste of Honey” (1986). It is on the Melodiya label (and there’s also an EMI logo on the front cover). This is another “Direct Metal Mastered” pressing and it has an official DMM logo on the rear cover. Its in a single sleeve and a plain white inner bag:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here and here. It looks like my copy is pressed at the Riga pressing plant.]
There is one other in my collection. Its Paul McCartney – “Flowers in the Dirt” (1989). This is on the white Melodiya label and has a plastic inner bag:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. It was pressed in 1991, and it looks like my copy was manufactured at the Aprelevka pressing plant, with sleeve variation 1d., and label variation White 2.]
Finally, in my post about different versions of Paul McCartney’s “Band on the Run” from around the world there were two on Russian labels – the first a Melodiya pressing, the second from Santa Records:
Thank You for the replies!
FROM ME TO YOU is not ours – this regular magazine is released for Russian fans in Samara (city). Two 2010 issues are shown on the Foreward page because they contain our article (two parts) about the Soviet vinyl releases of The Beatles/Lennon (mostly about the sleeves and not the labels).
Also there are some links not in the discography but in the notes to it:
That additional information on the “From Me To You” magazine is very welcome. And thanks for the additional links. Great stuff. I really love your website!
Also You can watch the main updates on the news page:
Did McCartney play any live music in Russia, that he hasn’t performed elsewhere? That’s the only reason I might be tempted by another Russian album. I have the white album from Russia, but I think it is a bootleg, and sound quality isn’t good.
Leamington Spa, England
In Russia McCartney played almost usual sets like elsewhere.
Hello. It is beautiful! I am from Russia, too. And I love The Beatles very much.
I am just sixteen, but I also had blog about The Beatles.
Welcome – http://presedent94.blogspot.com/
The Beatles Forever!!!
Two items have been uploaded recently (Lennon and McCartney EPs released in 1983):
Thanks for the update Andrey. I love your site!
A new rare and unusual Soviet item has been uploaded: A HARD DAY’S NIGHT as a double album in a gatefold sleeve – http://beatlesvinyl.com.ua/ru/C60_23579_008_2LP.html
Hi again Andrey,
Thanks for sending this alert through. It is an interesting find and as you say very rare. I love the detail you and the website team go into making sure that all the different variations are captured.
Great web site and a subject Beatles vinyl collectors should get to know better. I got interested in the Russian releases probably about 15 years ago. The Russian industry is amazing. A whole different world to what we’re used to on the western side and the records are well worth collecting. Have a look at Denis Shabes web site, http://www.pnprecords.spb.ru/index.phtml or just google push n pull records. Denis is a collector and dealer and has lots of knowledge of the history of rock in Russia and how all the Beatles and related pressings come into being. He can tell you why the Russian sleeves are different, which company pressed what and why. I’ve bought several records from Denis and every one has exceeded my expectations. He’s a good guy and someone you can learn a lot from.
Thanks for this link Bruce. I’ll have a look around Denis’s site. Cheers!
I am Brazilian and I am going to be in Moscow on Sept 10, 11 and 12th. I wonder if you guys are in Moscow so I could by some vinyl records by The Beatles. Would you, please, reply!
Hi Vitor, you need to write to the owners of that Russian Beatles website direct. You can find their email address on the site here: http://www.beatlesvinyl.com.ua/pages/start.html
Hope that helps, and have a wonderful visit to Russia, and we hope you find some Beatle records! Good hunting.
Hi, there, Beatles friend!
My time has been crazy since I’m trying to get things together to leave to Russia a little later today, so I don’t want to seem rude by not replying. Thank you so much for your help and follow up! There is a Rodeo in Bryansk. I’m going there!
Hi again Vitor. In case you missed it, Andrey (one of the people who run the Russian Beatles site) has written to you. He says: Here is a website of vinyl shop in Moscow: http://sound-barrier.ru/En/Main.aspx But records are not cheap!
Here is a website of vinyl shop in Moscow: http://sound-barrier.ru/En/Main.aspx But records are not cheap!
Thanks, Andrey. Let’s see how they are charging for a record. Hope prices are within my budget!!!
I got into the website (http://sound-barrier.moscow/), but it is all in Russian. I couldn’t even locate the store address, let alone write him. Does he speak English at all? I speak Portugues and Spanish, too.
I assume you can speak and write in Russian, so, would you mind helping me, in case the owner doesn’t speak English? Would you get the store address for me?
Thank you so much.
Moscow, Leninsky prospect 70/11. Ten minutes by feet from UNIVERSITY metro (subway) station. Entrance is from “yard” territory – in the cellar of this big living house.