A fairly unique and unusual box set came into the collection this week.
We’ve written before about a UK singles box set we have called The Beatles Collection. It was released by EMI back in 1978 and contains twenty-five Beatle singles. These were housed in a textured black flip-top box that looks like this:
However, the copy of The Beatles Collection you can see below was officially released by EMI only in New Zealand:
This set, which dates from 1979, includes the same twenty-five top-selling Beatle singles as the UK version. They are also housed in a black and gold-embossed box. It’s not a flip-top box like in the UK, but a heavier, lidded one made of much thicker cardboard:
As you can see, there are a few age spots and marks on the front, but overall this one is in very good condition with no tears or splits.
All the green, white and black paper sleeves inside (including the “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” picture sleeve), weren’t printed locally. They’ve been imported by EMI from the UK and so are identical to the earlier UK release, with “Made in Great Britain” stamped on the front:
The big difference here is that all the vinyl inside the sleeves was pressed locally in New Zealand, making this set somewhat interesting, unusual and collectable:
As you can see from the label for “Love Me Do” above, some of the singles have the original UK catalogue numbers, but some (like “Hey Jude” below) have unique New Zealand numbers – with an “NZP” prefix:All except “Hey Jude” and “Sgt Pepper” are exclusive New Zealand pressings, made only for this box set. They weren’t sold separately. The “Hey Jude” and “Sgt Pepper” singles were apparently sold separately, but not in the picture sleeves you see here. All the labels are black and yellow Parlophone labels.
For a full set of scans and some more information about this New Zealand pressing go to the great 45cat site. It’s got more information and images.
The New Zealand Beatles Collection (1979) is a Parlophone box set with 25 x 45rpm records comprising all the Beatles’ singles 1962-1978:
1. Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You
2. Please Please Me / Ask Me Why
3. From Me To You / Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You / I’ll Get You
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy
6. Can’t Buy Me Love / You Can’t Do That
7. A Hard Day’s Night / Things We Said Today
8. I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman
9. Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is
10. Help / I’m Down
11. We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper
12. Paperback Writer / Rain
13. Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby
14. Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane
15. All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man
16. Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus
17. Lady Madonna / The Inner Light
18. Hey Jude /Revolution
19. Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down
20. The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe
21. Something / Come Together
22. Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
23. Yesterday / I Should Have Known Better
24. Back In The USSR / Twist And Shout
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / With a Little Help From My Friends / A Day In The Life
From “Love Me Do” to “A Hard Day’s Night” the UK picture sleeves used in this set have this image on the rear:
The singles from “I Fell Fine” to “Yellow Submarine” have this as the rear-cover image:
The sleeves from “Strawberry Fields Forever” to “Lady Madonna” have this photograph:
And from “Hey Jude” to “Back in the USSR” this image is used:
Like the UK release, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (which is a three-track single) comes in a different picture sleeve to the rest of the set:
A very interesting release! You state that the picture sleeves for Hey Jude through to Back In The USSR all have the same photo, one from the April 1969 photo shoot. Is that correct? That would make the sleeves for Yesterday and Back In The USSR quite different from the standard UK 1976 issues. The UK 1976 issue of Yesterday had Robert Whitaker’s ‘Spring’ photo on the sleeve and the UK 1976 issue of Back In The USSR had the white album colour portraits on the sleeve.
Hi there, I have a Beatles Collection Blue Box – NZ edition, all complete and I’m hoping to sell it. Would this be on a par with the Australian edition? Many thanks.
Hi Angela, depending on the state it is in – yes it would be similar to the Australian editions.
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These were all sold separately at the time, as well as in the box. I was working in a record store at the time and EMI NZ marketed these as individual releases to the public (not just broken boxes). More than that, they sold the boxes on their own encouraging people to fill these.
Great background Simon. Thanks so much for sharing.