I scored a couple of copies of the Beatles’ 20 Greatest Hits LP the other day – but not the typical British or US versions. One is Korean, the other from Brazil.
20 Greatest Hits was released in 1982 to mark the 20th anniversary of the group’s first record release “Love Me Do” in the UK. It was the last Beatles album to be released with different variations for the US and UK markets (because some Beatle hits in the US were not released as singles in the UK and vice-versa, such as “Eight Days a Week” and “Yesterday”).
The Korean and Brazilian versions I got both have the US artwork and the same running order of songs. First up the Korean cover, front and rear:
The Korean copy has a plastic “Oasis Records” inner sleeve. Oasis manufactured Parlophone records in South Korea:
I don’t know if you can make out the small print around the outside, but is says: “Approved by the K.E.C.P.P. Ministry of Culture and Information Registration 16”. (Click on the image to see a larger version)
Next up, the pressing from Brazil:
The Brazilian copy comes with a nice printed cardboard inner sleeve:
And it’s on the EMI label, not Parlophone:
Meanwhile, in Australia a very similar album with practically the same cover art came out a year later (in 1983) – but with a completely different title and running order of songs to both the US and UK versions. Here it was called The Number Ones, and our version contains twenty-three hit songs, not twenty. The extra three songs came on a special three-track 45rpm single included only with the set. Here’s the Australian cover, front and rear:
And here’s the label of the LP:
And this is the unique extra 3-track single:
It came in two different variations. One with a printed sleeve with a cut-out (above) to show the label, and one variation (below) without the cut out:These are the labels of the bonus Australian single, A and B sides:
And some copies in Australia came with a bright neon-orange sticker on the front:
I just bought the australian 23 number ones record, and am very happy with it, but noticed an odd fault ( I guess it’s a fault)… On side one, the first two songs, ‘I want to hold your hand’ and ‘I saw her standing there’ and also a later song (‘we can work it out’), the music plays perfectly, but the lyrics are nearly totally inaudible, they just sound like a faint background sound… Any ideas as to what this might be? I’ve had records for a while now, but never encountered this problem. Wondering if anyone else has had this problem with this particular record?
Hmm. Interesting problem. I’ll have to drag mine out and check. Will get back to you. Sometimes when they did the “fake” stereo they had all vocals on one side and instrumentation on the other. If you have the wires crossed on your stereo cartridge (on the tonearm of your record player) that may also have an effect.
Id be interested to know what the Australian 23 number ones is worth and when it was released. Regards, Darren
Hi, the ’23 Number Ones’ LP was issued in 1983 in Australia. It sold a lot of copies and so is not that hard to find in second hand record stores here. The Australian Records rarity guide in the book ‘An Overview of Australian Beatles Records’ lists it as being a 4 (on a scale of 1 through 10). A 4 means that it’s readily available on-line or through second hand record shops. I’d estimate a good clean copy that also has the bonus 3 track EP single with the additional songs would be worth somewhere around the $20 mark (although there is someone on eBay at the moment asking $125 for one with a torn cover, and missing the proper printed sleeve for the bonus 45 disc……).