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

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6 thoughts on “The Beatles Australian 20th Anniversary Singles Collection

  1. Nice box set. As a Brit I find it extra fascinating to see the listing of 45s which were released in Australia. In the UK, songs like Nowhere Man and I Should Have Known Better (let alone Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand!) were never released as singles. Are there any chart stats available do you know? (The link to Beatles Australia doesn’t seem to work by the way. Don’t know if the chart stats are there?)

    The Parlophone/Apple variations are interesting too. Is it possible to find all the Beatles’ Apple singles with Parlophone labels? And vice-versa?

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  2. Since I have have Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da/While My Guitar Gently Weeps in the black and white photo sleeve but with the silver on black Parlophone label (the early 1980’s version), I presume that there has been a swapping.

    At present, all the photos from beatlesaustralia.com are not loading.

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    • Hi Alan. Thanks for the question – it looks like your Ob-La-Di, Ob-la-Da/While My Guitar Gently Weeps is correct in that photo sleeve from the The Beatles Australian 20th Anniversary Singles Collection.
      Just checked on http://www.beatlesaustralia.com/AB34_index.html and their copy has ALL black and silver Parlophone labels for the entire set.
      Ours however has two of the singles (Ob-La-Di, Ob-la-Da/While My Guitar Gently Weeps and The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe) on the Australian Apple label…..
      So, you have thrown up a bit of doubt about whether it is our copy which has had two of the singles swapped for Apple when they should all be black/silver Parlophone. There may well have been some boxes issued with some Apple labels though. We’ll have to do a bit more digging on this. Suffice it to say – hang on to your copy as it is correct. Cheers.

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  3. Hi – I recently opened the cellophane wrapping on mine. It was a mint set, totally original plastic wrap and all singles inside had never seen the light. All of mine are silver & black labels, except Ballad of J&Y is Apple, and Rock and Roll Music/Honey Don’t is Parlophone Orange! No swapping could have occurred, this box has been stored since being bought new. Also I thought it was interesting that the Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand is credited to Die Beatles.

    If anyone is interested in photos, I’m about to list it on eBay. Seller name is wooltonvillagefete

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  4. Hi – I’ve just opened my box. It’s been wrapped since being bought new, so nothing could have been swapped out. I have The Ballad of J&Y on Apple; While My Guitar on Silver/Black – and Rock and Roll Music…on Orange Parlophone!
    I doubt this is unique but I thought it was interesting that the german language single still credits Die Beatles.
    My box has never been stored in the sun, or opened until now – so if anyone wants a mint copy I’m about to list it on eBay. Seller name is wooltonvillagefete Cheers

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    • Hi Mearsi, thanks for that info. Really special to have a box opened from new. Sounds like EMI may have just popped in those singles that were to hand – and so there are some label variations out there from box to box. Good luck with the auction. It is a beautiful item.

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