About beatlesblogger

Adventures in collecting Beatles music.....Beatles Blog is a page dedicated to the avid Beatles music collector, with regular updates about new Beatles releases and collectable vinyl, CDs and DVDs – either by the Beatles as a group, or as solo artists. It's also about those artists associated with the band. There'll be information about books and magazines too. As new items come into our collection we update the blog with details, cover photos, catalogue information and stuff like that. Please feel free to contribute information – especially if it'll assist other collectors in their knowledge of things Beatle.

New Book: The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 1

A fascinating and well-researched new Beatle book has just landed. It’s rather lengthy title is The Beatles Recording Reference Manual- Volume 1: ‘My Bonnie’ through ‘Beatles For Sale’ (1961-1964). The book is written by musician, recording engineer, producer and Beatle afficionado, Jerry Hammack:

As the front cover says: “From the first take to final remix, discover the making of the greatest pop recordings of all time”. It is the first installment of what will be a four-book series.

Volume 1 takes us in great detail through the albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles For Sale.

Over eight years in the making, Jerry Hammack has collected and analysed hundreds of recordings (takes, outtakes, remixes and the officially released versions), read hundreds of books and magazine articles, scoured photos, film and videos, and interviewed key personnel who worked on Beatle sessions to compile a definitive statement about just how each of their classic recordings was made.

From his home in Toronto, Canada, Hammack explained, “I’d be working on a session and an artist would ask for McCartney’s bass sound on Sgt. Pepper, or Clapton’s solo guitar sound on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. While I could eventually track down the details that brought those sounds to life for them, it required a lot of detective work sorting through outdated, or even worse, unsubstantiated misinformation on the topic. As The Beatles influence is as present now as its ever been, I thought it was important to put those questions to rest.”

And put them to rest he does. The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 1 – ‘My Bonnie’ through ‘Beatles For Sale’ (1961-1964) includes song-by-song descriptions of the entire recording process, complete with diagrams to visually describe what happened with each song. This allows the reader to follow the critical milestones of each work. Every entry has detailed session by session breakdowns of the people involved, instruments and studio tools used. Plus there are numerous appendices at the back of the book covering release versions, gear, and more.

You’ll find in this book minute detail – right down to to the studio gear in the control room at the time – like this beautiful old Telefunken M10 Master Recorder (which was the model used to record masses of the band’s earliest songs):

The book also has what I very much like to see in reference works of this nature: a Glossary of Terms, a thorough Bibliography, and a comprehensive Index, making things easy to find and cross reference.

Future volumes in this definitive, four-volume series will be released approximately every 6 months. Jerry Hammack has created a great website to support the book series, and you can purchase his book direct from the site, or through Amazon (where you can also take “Look Inside” peek at the contents). Here’s the rear cover of Volume 1 (click the image for a larger version): 

Volume 2 will take us from Help! to Revolver (1965-1966); Volume 3 will look just at 1967 (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour); and the final in the series Volume 4 takes in the LPs The Beatles (aka The White Album, through to Abbey Road (1968-1970). Really well worth getting hold of if you love to delve into how Beatle magic was made in the recording studio.

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The Beatles DeAgostini Vinyl Collection Has Been Extended

Looks like the newsagent and mail order Beatles Vinyl Collection series from DeAgostini has recently been extended to five more countries: Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and Japan.

These re-issues (all beautifully pressed on 180gram vinyl at the French MPO plant) are still going strong in Italy (where they are now up to On Air – LIve at the BBC Vol.2, which is issue 18 in the 23-issue series), and in the United Kingdom (where they are up to issue 15 –Anthology 2).

Another Beatle Podcast Worthy of Your Consideration

We’ve just discovered another great Beatle podcast. It’s called Fabcast – A New Way of Talking About The Beatles…

Fabcast is three highly opinionated but very well-informed Beatle fans sitting together and discussing a set topic at length. The three are music writer Howie Edelson, musician Stephen Bard, and veteran record company publicist and executive Dave Morrell.

Their podcast started last year and they are now thirteen episodes in – and counting.

The trio begin each show with these words: “The only home of intelligent, cool and forward-thinking Beatles discussion…”, and yes – they have very strong and often unique opinions. But they back this up with great knowledge, a passion for the band and, in Dave Morrell’s case, first-hand insider experience having worked with and for a number of the Beatles directly – notably John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Overall, across this podcast there’s a reverence for and love of the Beatles’ music throughout.

Episode Thirteen is one of their longest, and best. They had as their guest eminent Beatle historian Mark Lewisohn. The Fabcast trio talked with him (and sometimes at him) for nearly two and a half hours! Yes, it’s a long episode, but it is great stuff. 

Hear all the guy’s podcasts on Soundcloud, or subscribe using Apple iTunes.

P.S. The other great podcast we’d highly recommend is Something About The Beatles by Richard Buskin and Robert Rodriguez. They’re now 120 episodes in and counting and we reckon they too are a “…home of intelligent, cool and forward-thinking Beatles discussion”!

Absolutely Amazing Sgt. Pepper Photo Research

We saw this page a little while back in the lead-up to the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary reissues, but it has since been added to substantially and grown even more comrehensive.

The “Sgt Pepper Photos” website is a project dedicated to locating the exact source images for all the photographs and items used on the cover of The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It is very much worthy of mention. In fact, the more that word gets around, the more likely that additional original photographs and information will emerge and the site can be updated and added to.

Here are just a few examples of what the page is trying to do:

(click on images to see larger versions)

Above each image is some research about the celebrity or person and why they were chosen for the iconic cover.

We agree wholeheartedly with the person in the “Comments” section below the research who says:

“All of this amazing research deserves to be compiled into a physical book, a full-colour coffee table-sized volume, the annotated Sgt. Pepper cover. Have you considered doing this? This is the book that should have come out on the 50th anniversary of the album. Well done, sir!”

Chris, the owner of the site, has also added a lengthy article about the photographoc assistant one the day, Nigel Hartnup The Man Who ‘Really’ Took The Photo. Also fascinating and well worth reading.

More Beatle Podcasts for Your Listening Enjoyment

More than two years ago the ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) began hosting an ongoing series celebrating the 50th anniversary of each British Beatle LP.

As each album marks its anniversary ABC Radio presenter Rod Quinn speaks to US John Lennon biographer and amazing Beatle expert Jude Southerland Kessler. Jude is the author of the extraordinary (and ambitious!) nine-volume John Lennon narrative biography. The last instalment in Jude’s series was Volume 3: She Loves You, but Volume 4: Should Have Known Better is due out soon – in March, 2018 we believe.

It’s been quite a while since we gave you an update on the ABC Radio podcast series. There have been quite a few, so here goes.  

The Rubber Soul LP is discussed in two parts. Part One (examining Side One of the LP) is here.

And you can find Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) is here.

Revolver is also in two parts. Part One (examining Side One of the LP) is here.

And Revolver Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) is here.Rod Quinn and Jude Sutherland Kessler discussed both Side One and Side Two of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in one long podcast here.These are all great podcasts. Very insightful and well worth a listen. Previous broadcasts have covered Please Please MeWith the BeatlesA Hard Day’s NightBeatles For Sale and of course, Help! – in two parts: Side One here, and Side Two here.

Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever RSD

Thanks to a very kind reader of beatlesblogger.com (Koen in Belgium – you know who you are!), we now have an elusive, limited edition Record Store Day ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7-inch single re-issue.

Only 7000 copies were issue worldwide, but very few made it to Australia.

Front cover:

Rear cover (complete with original fold-over flaps):

And the RSD sticker up close:

Thanks again for sourcing and sending this to us! So good to have this in the collection.

(See also this RSD Update, and as usual, click on images above to see larger versions).

 

Sgt. Pepper – Japanese 50th Anniversary Re-issue Extras

Got to admit, this is pretty cool and tempting:

In Japan, as they usually do, the forthcoming deluxe box set edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, will come with some neat additional extras – including a cut-out diorama of the classic cover image. Here’s what the diorama will look like when constructed:

As you can see on the advertising flyer above “assembly takes 2-3 hours (so you can enjoy the Sgt. Pepper album 3-5 times!)”. There’ll also be two mini gift cards, and this A2-sized poster included as a “first pressing bonus”:

Fianally, the CD’s inside will be in the high-fidelity SHM-CD format – something audiophiles believe gives higher quality sound than just the usual CD pressing. This is also exclusive to the Japan edition of Sgt. Pepper’s.