Eleven Early Yoko Ono Albums to be Reissued

Way back in March, 2014 we flagged that there was a thorough Yoko Ono solo reissue program in the pipeline and it was to include all of her early, long-out-of-print Apple and Zapple Record releases. Since that time it has gone decidedly quiet….

Now comes news that it is finally going to happen – and soon:

Chimera Music and the Secretly Canadian label, have just announced that eleven solo Yoko Ono titles will be coming out in three groups of releases over the next twelve months or so.

The first grouping of three reissues is due out on November 11 – on CD, on vinyl, and as digital downloads. First titles are:

Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (originally issued on Apple in 1968):ono-unfinished-1

Bonus track on the CD, and on vinyl (via a download card), will be ‘Remember Love’.

Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With the Lions (originally issued on Zapple in 1969):ono-unfinished-2

Bonus tracks on the CD, and on vinyl (via a download card), will be ‘Song for John’ and ‘Mulberry’.

Yoko Ono: Plastic Ono Band (originally issued on Apple in 1970):ono-plastic-ono-band

Bonus tracks on the CD, and on vinyl (via a download card), will be: ‘Open Your Box’, ‘Something More Abstract’, ‘The South Wind’, and the never-before-heard ‘Why (Extended Version)’.

The release project overs studio albums issued between 1968 and 1985 and will painstakingly reconstruct the original vinyl packaging, along with never-before-seen photos and ephemera (although from these two “bundle offer” pack shots on the Chimera site it looks like the record labels and CDs will depict grapefruits instead of Apple, and that the vinyl will be white and/or clear):ono-bundle-vinylono-bundle-cd

The audio is re-mastered from the original tapes by Greg Calbi and Sean Lennon. In addition to making the vinyl available for the first time in decades, each album will also be available digitally for the first time. The complete list of titles and release groupings is:

1st group:
Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins
Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With Lions
Plastic Ono Band

2nd group:
Fly (1971)
Approximately Infinite Universe
Feeling the Space
A Story
(recorded in 1974, released as part of Ono Box in 1992)

3rd group:
Season of Glass
It’s Alright (I See Rainbows)
Unfinished Music No. 3: Wedding Album

Radha Krsna Temple – 1993 Vinyl Re-issue

Many people will know of the Fresh Form Apple box set of CD’s which includes most of the artists once signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records label. It came out in December, 2010 and gathered together sixteen original albums on CD, plus a “Best Of” CD collection of Apple singles, and a double CD of rarities from Badfinger, Mary Hopkin and Jackie Lomax.

But fewer will know that this wasn’t the first time that Apple attempted to do this.

Over a number of years (between 1991 and 1996) Apple slowly re-issued some twenty-two titles from its back-catalogue, not only on CD but also on vinyl, and included in many instances a wide range of bonus material.

These releases were done in a number of “phases”, and you can read all about this 1990s re-issue program here.

Over the years we’ve been steadily trying to add to our collection all the vinyl releases from that 1990s re-issue program – and just last week we acquired one more:


This is the UK Apple Records with the original catalogue number SAPCOR 18, The Radha Krsna Temple by The Radha Krsna Temple London. It was re-issued in 1993. Here’s the rear cover:Radha2

That this is a re-issue is immediately identified by the barcode you can see in the upper right-hand corner – something that just didn’t exist when this LP first came out in 1971. The album was produced by George Harrison.

Another distinguishing feature is that this release has additional liner notes written by long-time Beatle friend, confidante and publicist Derek Taylor. These begin inside the gatefold cover (alongside descriptions of what each track is about, and information about Krsna consciousness from the original release) and they tell the story of how Apple Records and the Krsna movement got together:Radha5

Taylor’s liner notes conclude on the inner bag which holds the record:Radha4

Here’s the other side of that inner bag:Radha3

And the 1993 re-issue Apple labels:Radha6


This particular release doesn’t have any bonus material and so is a single LP release that is true to the original.

The striking cover is designed by the English art director and album cover designer John Kosh. If his name looks familiar, that’s because you’ve probably seen it on a number of record covers from a wide variety of artists. Kosh was a bit of a favourite at Apple and was responsible for the design of Abbey Road and Let It Be LP covers along with numerous solo projects by John Lennon and Ringo Starr.

The Radha Krsna Temple was included in the 2010 box set Fresh From Apple.

For a couple more of the 1990’s vinyl reissues see John Taverner The Whale, Billy Preston That’s The Way God Planned It, and Badfinger Magic Christian Music.

Beatles Memorabilia and Records Auction

There’s an interesting auction of some cool Beatle items coming up at Heritage Auctions in the USA on June 24 and 25.

The auction is part of a much larger entertainment consignment. The Beatles section starts here.

Amongst the autographs, photographs, ticket stubs and records on offer are two items that caught our eye.

First was this unique poster prepared for Apple/Capitol Records in 1970. It was for distribution to record stores owners as a Christmas greeting:

Joy Poster

Second was this very rare example of a working prototype device that Apple employee (and so-called “electronics wizard”) Magic Alex actually produced:Magic Alex 1Magic Alex 2As the auction site says: Yanni Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas was associated with the Beatles during the 1965-1969 period, part of that time as head of Apple Electronics, which was a money-losing failure. He impressed the Beatles, especially John Lennon who coined his nickname, with his gadgets and big ideas to revolutionize the consumer electronics business. Mardas claimed he could build them a 72-track recording studio which never materialized. Other of his ideas that never quite worked out include: a flying saucer, loudspeaker wallpaper, a personal pocket force field, invisible paint, and color-changing paint…. 

Beatles Anthology CDs – In Thin Jewel Boxes

As we said in a previous post, our purchase history of late has been a little quiet but we couldn’t resist buying these two CD sets.

They are the Beatles Anthology 1 and Anthology 3 – but presented in 2 CD “thin” jewel cases, not the “fat box” doubles that you usually see.

Here’s the more common “fat box”: Anthology_Fat_Box

And here’s what we found:Anthology Thin 2

These have “Made in Holland” printed on the discs, and they have the exact same catalogue numbers and copyright information on them, only they are double CDs with the CD’s mounted back-to-back on a flip-out drawer inside a regular jewel case:Anthology Thin 6Anthology Thin 7The booklets in both sets are the same as those which come in the “fat box” editions.

We got Anthology 1 in this format:Anthology Thin 1Anthology Thin 3And Anthology 3:Anthology Thin 4Anthology Thin 5Now, of course, we’re on the hunt for a copy of Anthology 2! If anyone has any information on these odd re-issues please let us know.

Three Single Finds at the Glebe Record Fair

It has been distinctly quite on the purchase history front – not much out there recently that we’ve wanted to add to the collection. That changed last Saturday with a visit to one of Sydney’s biggest record fairs held in the suburb of Glebe, which is very close to the downtown area. The Glebe fair is always a pretty big deal and every year lots of people who love vinyl, books and CDs turn up to crate dig for a couple of hours to their hearts content:

glebeAnd that’s just some of the crowd. The room is actually about three times bigger than what you can see here. When you first walk in there’s an amazing – some would say daunting and overpowering – number of stalls to check out and make your choices.

We really tried to be disciplined and not go crazy and so walked away with just three vinyl 45’s that, until now, were not in the collection. They’re all Australian pressings, two from John Lennon, and one from George HarrisonIMG_1575IMG_1574IMG_1576

It’s good to have the original Apple Records custom labels for George Harrison’s “Dark Horse”, from 1974. (It’s wife Olivia’s eyes on the B side).

Each of these came in their original Apple paper sleeves too:IMG_1577

Here are some links to previous Glebe record fair visits and what we found: (i) 2012,         (ii) 2012, (iii) 2012, (iv) 2013, and (v) 2015.    

Happy Crimble from The Beatles

Very surprised to see this full page advertisement in my local newspaper (The Sydney Morning Herald) this morning:

Beatles streamingThe Beatles Youtube channel has this, too:

And The New York Times reports:

Happy holidays from the Beatles: As of 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 24, the band’s music will finally be available on streaming services worldwide.

The group announced the news in a 35-second video featuring a medley of its biggest hits that kicks off to the sound of the 1963 single “She Loves You.” An accompanying news release simply said: “Happy Crimble, with love from us to you.”

However, the surviving members of the group, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Universal Music Group, which controls the band’s recorded music, made no statements other than the fact that the Beatles’ catalog — 13 original albums and four compilations — will now be playable on nine subscription streaming music services: Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal, Deezer, Microsoft Groove, Napster/Rhapsody and Slacker Radio.

Known as singular holdouts in the digital era, the Beatles, the best-selling group of all time, resisted offering its songs on iTunes for more than seven years before coming to an agreement with Apple in 2010. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around,” Mr. McCartney said at the time. The band sold 450,000 albums and two million individual songs in its first week on the service, according to Apple.

Beatles 1 – 2015 Vinyl

Look what arrived in the post today:Beatles 1 2015 1

Yes, it’s the 2015 edition of The Beatles 1 on double vinyl, complete with the Giles Martin remixes and remastering.

This one is staying sealed for now so we can’t show you the detail of what’s inside (for that go to this post to see in detail the 2000 edition). The contents themselves for all editions are very much the same. What we can show are some of the key visual external visual differences between the 2015 edition, directly alongside those from 2014 and the one from 2000.

Firstly that front cover. Two things really. The words “The Beatles” are in yellow on the 2015, while for both the 2014 and 2009 versions those words are sort of a light pink. Also on the 2015 edition the big figure “1” is more solidly coloured in and is a much brighter shade of yellow. Compare the front cover image of the 2015 edition above with 2014 (which is also still sealed and came with a sticker attached to the plastic):Beatles 1 2014 1

And here’s the older 2009 (which has been opened and hence is not as glossy as the others in the photos). The printing of these two is very similar:Beatles 1 2000 1

On the rear all covers are very similar. There is just a simple track-listing running down the centre. The part where they differ is at the top right-hand side where logos, barcodes, and the small print about who has the rights to what appears. Firstly 2015 (note the references to Calderstone Productions, the Universal Music Group, and Apple:Beatles 1 2015 2

Here’s the 2014 edition (again, Calderstone, Universal and Apple):Beatles 1 2014 2

And lastly the 2009 (back when EMI held the reins):Beatles 1 2000 2

Finally the spines. Here they are stacked on top of each other. On top is the 2015 edition, then 2014, and on the bottom 2009: Beatles 1 spinesThere are quite a few variations. (Click on the image to see a larger version).