The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus – An Exhibition

If you’re a Beatle fan and are anywhere near London between March 16th and May 14th this year it would be well worth visiting the Proud Chelsea gallery.

The gallery (at 161 Kings Road, London) is presenting what looks to be a terrific new exhibition called The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus.

The exhibition features many previously unseen photographs and provides a fascinating and deeply candid insight into the band during what would become a landmark occasion at the famous EMI Studio 1 in Abbey Road: The Beatles were about to perform live for the historic Our World program, broadcast to a world-wide television audience of millions.

Photographer David Magnus had a close relationship with the band dating back to 1963 when, at the age of 19, he was invited to photograph a then relatively unknown band during a concert at Stowe School. This early work with the group allowed Magnus unprecedented access throughout their subsequent rise to fame, and he gradually built up a portfolio of many rare and unique images. That, and a friendship with their publicist, Tony Barrow, got him exclusive access to document a pivotal moment in their career 50 years ago. On the weekend of the 24th and 25th of June 1967, The Beatles performed and recorded their song ‘All You Need is Love’ during a live broadcast for the BBC’s Our World program, the world’s first live, international, satellite television production, reaching over 400 million people around the globe.

Magnus documented rare, behind-the-scenes footage of the historical event, including wonderfully frank photographs of the band relaxing backstage away from the recording studio:

George and John grabbing a cup of tea during a break from rehearsals,1967. (Image courtesy of Proud Galleries © David Magnus)

The Beatles in the EMI Canteen under the watchful eye of one of the EMI commissionaires, 1967. (Image courtesy of Proud Galleries © David Magnus)

Speaking of the intensity of the band’s influence during that time, Magnus said, ‘As I came from the EMI canteen, one of the female studio staff stopped me, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, “I must touch you as you’ve been in the same room as The Beatles.” It was as if I carried an aura from the Beatles. This to me sums up Beatlemania.’

The Beatles wanted the studio to have a real party atmosphere, and the band were all dressed in colourful clothes and were surrounded by flowers, balloons and placards. To further add to the atmosphere The Beatles invited a number of their friends to attend including Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Marianne Faithful, Eric Clapton, Jane Asher, Patti Boyd and Graham Nash – and Beatle manager, Brian Epstein. The images of him in this exhibition are the last ever photographs of Epstein with The Beatles as he died shortly afterwards.One of the last photographs of Brian Epstein with The Beatles before his untimely death just weeks later, 1967. (Image courtesy of Proud Galleries © David Magnus)

This collection is a captivating archive of an event that was not only a first for The Beatles but a first for the era of television, which ignited a social revolution and created the universal anthem of its era.The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus, Proud Chelsea, 16th March – 14th May 2017, www.proud.co.uk

Beatle Vinyl Via Mail Order and in Newsagents – in Italy and the UK

If you live in the UK (and in Italy – see below) you can now sign up to receive a series of 23 Beatle LP’s in the post every four weeks. Or you could pop down to your local newsagents every two weeks to pick them up in person.

International partwork publishing company De Agostini has signed a deal with Apple and Universal Music to manufacture and issue the 180gram pressings. While all the content and cover art will be the same as the 2012 stereo LP remasters for the core catalogue titles, the small-print on the rear of each of the LP covers (and on the labels) will indicate that these pressings are licensed to be published by De Agostini, making them collectable for those completists out there. In addition to the core studio albums and Past Masters, the De Agostini titles will include the three Anthology LPs, Love, the two Live at the BBC sets, as well as the 1963-1956 and 1966-1970 double albums, plus the Beatles 1.

Also, each album will be accompanied by a colour magazine written by well-known Beatle author, Kevin Howlett detailing the background to the recording.

Here’s the official UK press release:

NEW COLLECTION OF THE BEATLES’ ALBUMS ON 180g VINYL LPS LAUNCHED IN THE UK

On 1 March 2017, global partwork publisher DeAgostini is launching, in association with Apple Corps and Universal Music Group, The Beatles Vinyl Collection. Featuring 23 albums, it will be available to purchase online and in newsagents all across the UK.

Issue by issue, The Beatles Vinyl Collection of single, double and triple albums builds into a comprehensive library of the momentous music made by The Beatles. Presented in exact replicas of the original sleeves, the specially pressed 180-gram vinyl LPs ensure the music will be heard in the best quality sound. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, The Beatles’ reissued LPs have been universally acclaimed by sound experts and the group’s fans. Produced by George Martin in the 1960s, the albums contain some of the most celebrated recordings ever made.

The Beatles Vinyl Collection includes such groundbreaking albums as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, Revolver and Rubber Soul, as well as intriguing compilations like the three volumes of The Beatles Anthology and two Live At The BBC collections.

Amanda Honeybun, Marketing Director at DeAgostini, said: “We are so excited to launch The Beatles Vinyl Collection, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to collect on vinyl the greatest albums in the history of music. Our Beatles Vinyl Collection makes it possible to buy these wonderful records from the comfort of your own home or at your local newsagent. Then all you have to do is put the needle on the record to enjoy the best recordings ever made by the best group of all-time!”

Each album also includes an illustrated magazine containing the stories behind the group’s renowned recordings. Written by Beatles historian and award-winning radio producer Kevin Howlett, each issue reveals details about the creation of an album and an assessment of its significance within not only The Beatles’ legacy, but also the history of music.

Kevin Howlett said: “It was such a privilege to write about this joyous music. The Beatles have inspired generation after generation of music fans, songwriters, artists and producers. I’m also delighted that there is a resurgence of interest in collecting records. For music lovers, nothing can beat the look of a stylish LP cover and the authentic experience of listening to a classic album on vinyl.”

The global vinyl market is booming. Sales of records in 2016 reached a 25-year high as music buyers embraced this attractive physical format. More than 3.2m LPs were sold in 2016, an annual rise of 53% and the ninth consecutive year of growth.

The Beatles Vinyl Collection is DeAgostini’s fourth vinyl collection. The company’s previous collections of Jazz, Blues and Classical Music proved very popular. This new collection establishes DeAgostini Publishing as one of the leading vinyl album market producers and distributers.

The Beatles Vinyl Collection is a 23-part series. Issue one will be priced at £9.99 for a limited time only, with subsequent single album copies retailing at £16.99; double and triple albums will sell for £24.99. Issues are available fortnightly in shops, with subscribers receiving two issues in one delivery every four weeks. Subscriptions can be purchased online at www.deagostini.co.uk/beatlesvinyl  (ends).

The release is accompanied by a TV campaign in Britain:

And this one in Italy:

The first issue contains a binder for the 23 magazines, a poster representing the 23 original album covers of the collection, and some pamphlets and other information about the product. “Premium” subscribers will receive two quality storage boxes to hold all 23 albums, plus a range of free gifts.

The collection includes the following albums – and this appears to be the release order as well:

Abbey  Road
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Help!
The Beatles (or ‘The White Album’)
Rubber Soul
Magical Mystery Tour
Yellow Submarine
Beatles For Sale
Love
A Hard Day’s Night
1962 – 1966
With The Beatles
Anthology 1
Revolver
Anthology 2
Live At The BBC
Please Please Me
On Air – Live At The BBC Vol. 2
Let It Be
1
Anthology 3
1967 – 1970
Past Masters

This chap has purchased the first UK instalment – which is Abbey Road. His video is quite a drawn out reveal, but stick with it – it contains some good information. He gets there eventually….!

As mentioned, DeAgostini (which is headquartered in Italy) has also released the same series in that country. There the re-issue program began in January. If your Italian is good it’s worth a look at these videos:

And this one (in English):

Abbey Road Beatles Pianos Sampled

For any musicians out there looking to recreate the exact piano sounds found on many iconic Beatle recordings, it is now possible.

A company called Cinesamples, working directly with Abbey Road Studios, has been given complete access to two of the vintage upright pianos in Studio 2.

One is called the Challen Studio piano (as played by the Beatles on several albums), and the other the “Mrs Mills” piano (again used extensively by the Beatles). Both pianos have also featured on countless recordings by numerous other famous acts:Challen-IMG_9908The samples were recorded in-house by Abbey Road’s studio engineers, in the same studio the Beatles used as well. You can’t get any better than that! These samples can now be purchased and played by anyone – using software developed by Cinesamples:abbey-road

There are two pianos but three main sounds which can be reproduced: the Challen, the Challen Tack, and the Mrs Mills. Here Mike Patti from Cinesamples demonstrates the upright Abbey Road Challen pianos:

According to reviews, these two pianos – three if you count the harder-edged and more jangly Challen Tack version – sound flawless. These are really some pretty special instruments, with piano sounds that are just not available anywhere else. Given the impossibility of ever getting near one of these two pianos yourself, if you’re a musician this software provides a remarkable way to get the exact same sounds that the Beatles made onto your own recordings – or in live performances.

Another “Soviet Abbey Road” Cover Photo Contender

Last year Andrey, our reader and an avid Beatle collector in Russia, sent in an amazing historical photo which closely resembled one particular iconic Beatle LP image:xc1tylrv_jcAndrey has just sent another contender for Russian Abbey Road lookalike. It’s a beauty and was taken in Surgut town in 1976. The picture was called “To drilling site with concert”:

They sure do have a lot of muddy roads over there!

Fifth and Final Instalment of “Restoration of The Beatles 1 Video Collection” Released

The final instalment in the five-part series backgrounding the work done to restore the Beatles 1 video collection has been uploaded to YouTube:

In it leading Australian Director of Photography Mike Molloy reminisces about his time with the Beatles. In 1968 he’d been living and working in London as a freelance cameraman for about a year when he was asked to go down to EMI’s Studio Three at Abbey Road and film a promo clip for “Lady Madonna”. Instead, what he came back with was unique footage of the band recording what was then a brand new song called “Hey Bulldog”.

As Mark Lewisohn says in his book The Complete Beatles Chronicle, “While the cameras whirred, the Beatles recorded ten rhythm track takes of “Hey Bulldog” and completed it with overdubs. Then, at the conclusion of this 4.00pm-2.00am session, after the filming had ended, they watched as it was mixed into mono.”

Mike Molloy says he spent all day with the Beatles. Mike told me that they were very easy to get along with, very friendly. “In the film, for effect, I superimposed a shot of a paisley tie over George Harrison’s face. It was George’s tie! He was great, and very open to trying the effect to see how it turned out.”

Molloy went on to work in London as a cameraman and Director of Photography on feature films for 29 years, before returning to Sydney, Australia, where he now lives. He’s worked with some of the greats, including Stanley Kubrick (on A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon) and Nicolas Roeg (on Performance and Walkabout).

The Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+ DVDs and BluRays are released globally tomorrow, November 6. (Note that the “Hey Bulldog” video is only available on Disc 2 of the Beatles 1+ edition).

You can see the other four parts in the Restoration Series here. Just click on “The Restoration” tab at the top.

Abbey Road Studios Revealed

Using Google today we accidentally stumbled across a fantastic interactive gateway they’ve created which takes you into the world of the historic Abbey Road studios in London – the place where so much Beatles history was created:Abbey Road 5

On the Google home page all you have to do is click on the link ‘Step inside Abbey Road Studios‘. When you do you’ll see this:Abbey Road 1Once inside you can choose to go to Studio One, Studio Two, or to Studio Three.

If you choose Studio Two (where the Beatles made so much of their music), have a look around. You can also click on a link to the making of Paul McCartney’sQueenie Eye‘ video, which was shot entirely in Studio Two:Abbey Road 4Don’t forget to go upstairs to the Studio Two control room. There you’ll find Giles Martin at the mixing desk and a number of interesting features to click on:Abbey Road 2There’s also an option to visit the Abbey Road Mastering Room. Have a look at what’s on top of the stack of LPs on the coffee table at the back:Abbey Road 3This is a fantastic resource, one you can spend quite a while clicking around on and finding our more about the famous Abbey Road. Thanks Google!