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).

John Lennon “Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats”

Earlier this week we reported finally receiving a replacement copy of John Lennon’s Rock’n’Roll LP.

Well, the very next day we happened to be on the New South Wales central coast and popped in to one of the best second-hand vinyl stores around – The Sound Exchange Record Bar – at a place called Long Jetty.

And what should we find there but an almost mint copy of the hard-to-find, Australia-only, ultra-budget version of the very same record:Rip It Up

In 1988 EMI licensed the rights to Lennon’s Rock’nRoll album to the Australian specialty budget label, J&B Records:J&B Logo

J&B had a large catalogue back in the day, and sold most of their records through supermarkets and department stores. Everything from Glen Campbell to Connie Francis compilations. From Roy Orbison to the Village People. They had lots of well-known Australian artists in the catalogue as well: John Farnham, Glenn Shorrock (ex Little River Band), Dragon and Billy Field. So it was a surprise to see an artist like John Lennon in there too.

J&B called their record Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats. This is exactly the same songs and running order of the original 1975 Apple Records release. Just the cover was changed. Here’s the rear cover:Rip It Up Rear

And the J&B label:Rip It Up Label

As you can see, no expense was spared on the artwork! Even so, this is a really good copy for its age – still glossy front cover, no ring wear, and the record itself looks almost unplayed.

Teaser for The Beatles “1” DVD? – Part 2

The dearth of information in today’s mystery teaser announcement on the Beatles official page leads fans inevitably to snooping around the web trying to find something, anything, on what it might all be about.

Truth be told, there’s not much around. Word has it that there’ll be more official news on Tuesday….

But what is with that address given at the bottom of the image in the email sent out to subscribers of The Beatles.com? You can see it here:_theBeatles1

If you search in Google Maps for 1538 20th Street, Santa Monica, California 90404, and then go to Street View, you’ll see this very non-descript building:1538_20th_Street

Does that look like the US headquarters of a multi-million dollar Beatle empire? No, we didn’t think so either. Check out that hand-written wooden sign propped on the right-hand-side windowsill, with the 1538 street number.

The email image also credits a company called Topspin, and a service called The Topspin Platform. That’s an online, direct-to-fan sales and marketing tool used by a wide range of bands to promote their product, make online sales, sell tickets to gigs, etc. Check out the video on the page to find out more. They’ve done a lot of work with the Concord label in marketing Paul McCartney’s releases over many years, so it’s not that surprising that Universal and/or Apple and the Beatles have used the company to kick off this campaign. But Topspin isn’t at 1538 20th Street, Santa Monica either. Their address is 3120 W. Empire Ave., Burbank, California 91504 – in a much more salubrious part of that city.

So what is going on? The mystery deepens…..