Where “Made in the EU” Vinyl Might Be Pressed

These days a lot of Paul McCartney’s and the Beatles vinyl LP’s and CD’s have the term “Manufactured in the EU” or “Printed in the EU” on the back cover – even some that are for sale in the US. Here are just a couple of recent vinyl examples from my collection:

(Rear of LP cover – click to enlarge)

And titles in the McCartney Archive series including:

(Rear of LP cover – click to enlarge)

There are CD examples as well (though some of these do say “Manufactured in the USA”).This means these albums are being pressed (and probably in quite large quantities) somewhere in a European Union country. Many might think that means Britain, Germany, Holland, or maybe even France where they have a rich tradition of pressing good quality vinyl and are geared up to do so.

But then again, maybe not….

I’ve had an email from Russian Beatles collector Andrey. Remember back to Record Store Day earlier this year when Paul McCartney, as part of the publicity in the lead-up to the “Ram” Archives Series reissues, released a limited-edition 45 vinyl single of the song “Another Day“?

This was a collectors item reproduction single (including a nice picture sleeve) especially made for Record Store Day. “Another Day” was a song which was recorded during the “Ram” sessions. However it didn’t come out on the original “Ram” album . It was only ever issued as a single and was a huge worldwide hit.  The RSD release from earlier this year looks like this:

Well, Andrey bought that 2012 RSD “Another Day” single from a Russian internet shop.  The interesting thing is that while the small print on the rear of the paper sleeve states (as it does around the world) that the paper sleeve was “Printed in the USA”, one of the two stickers on the back of Andrey’s copy says that the vinyl record itself was actually manufactured in the Czech Republic by a company called GZ Digital Media.

The rear cover of Andrey’s copy looks like this:

And here’s a close up of that sticker:

(click on images to see larger versions)

If you go to the GZ Digital Media website you’ll discover that they’re a well-established and very professional outfit clearly geared up to do high-quality vinyl and CD pressing runs in large numbers if need be. The company’s vinyl “Products” page lists everything from mastering through to the production of 7″, 10″ and 12″ vinyl; shaped and coloured vinyl; and they even do the printing of covers and production of box sets if required.

That got me thinking about some other releases I have with “Printed in the EU” on the back.  The Beatles vinyl editions of “1” and “Love” for instance:

(Rear of LP cover – click to enlarge)

Is GZ Digital Media in the Czech Republic the plant where these were manufactured too?  Could be.

One of the articles I read about the forthcoming box set of re-mastered Beatles vinyl stated that one of the big logistical challenges Apple faced in planning the project was to find processing plant (or plants) that could physically cope with the sheer volume of discs needing to be pressed. They all have to be high quality and stockpiled in very big numbers for distribution. Perhaps the GZ  Digital Media plant is playing a part?

If you have any more info please join in the conversation.

Label Variations – Part Five “Band on the Run”

I have to thank the very wonderful Chained and Perfumed blogsite for this one. Every now and then this site features photos of interesting record labels from their own collection. One recent post highlights a whole raft of great images – different versions of “Band on the Run” (on vinyl) from around the world.

Chained and Perfumed got these from Ebay from a seller who has on offer a large number of versions of Paul McCartney’s classic album, itself recently re-issued on vinyl.

Like Chained and Perfumed we like seeing different global variations – so here are few from the Ebay collection, followed by a couple from my own collection. First off a couple of different Korean pressings:

Then Greece and Italy:

And France (on nice yellow vinyl):

India and Sweden both used the traditional Apple:

While for some strange reason New Zealand used the same Apple colour as those used on George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” original vinyl:

The Japanese pressings used the original custom labels. Here are two versions, one with the Apple logo, the other with the Capital and MPL logos:

And now for Argentina and Mexico:

Here’s an interesting version on Odeon Records in Germany:

There are a couple of Russian versions on Ebay. Firstly one on Santa Records and then the more common Melodiya:

Next come a couple of UK versions. The first is a pretty standard issue, but without the Apple logo appearing:

The next is a special limited edition of the disc from 1997, released to celebrate the EMI Records Centenary – 100 Years of recording:

Here are some labels that are from my own collection which are not represented  above which you might also find interesting if you are into this sort of thing. First is a Canadian pressing – which I think is actually exactly the same as the US:

We had a strange example from New Zealand above. The re-issue of “Band on the Run” in that country came out on Parlophone Records:

Of course there is always the standard, original UK pressing with the Apple logo:

In Australia the original release also looked very much like the UK:

The re-issues in Australia though came out on the Capital label. Here are two variations, one on purple Capital the other on blue Capital:

Finally, in 1999 for the 25th anniversary of the release of “Band on the Run” there came a two-disc, limited edition, remastered version. This is the UK pressing of disc 1:

And here’s the second disc, which contained previously unreleased material featuring alternate versions and special interviews on the making of “Band on the Run”:

If you’d like to see some more Beatles and Beatles related record label variations you can go to:

Label Variations – Part One “Sgt Pepper”

Label Variations – Part Two “Let It Be”

Label Variations – Part Three – McCartney’s “Choba B CCCP”

Label Variations – Part Four  “Shaved Fish”

“All Things Must Pass” – Variations and Collectors Items

and

The Beatles “Love” collectable variations

Band on the Run – Deluxe CD and Vinyl

Finally, my copies of “Band On The Run” –  in both the 2 disc vinyl edition and the deluxe 4 CD bound-book special edition – have arrived from the United States.

They both came together, packaged in the same big cardboard box – and I have to say it was pretty beaten up by the time it got here to Australia.

As I opened it up I was really worried about what I might find inside. It’s not the first time I’ve had vinyl records in particular arrive in a less than optimum state. For example, when I ordered The FiremanElectronic Arguments” LP (direct from the official McCartney website back in 2008).  It was, to put it mildly, pathetically packaged up for such a long journey in the post. It’s a fragile vinyl double record that needed to travel from the United Kingdom half-way ’round the world to Australia. And how had they prepared it for such an epic journey? Simply plonked it in a loose-fitting cardboard box and put two of those large bubble “fillers” inside tho make up the volume. These didn’t stop the record moving around, being tossed from side to side when being dropped and bounced and placed at the bottom of piles of other packages along the way. Consequently the cover was bent and torn in places by the time it got here….I’d have expected more from the company charged with dispatching orders to collectors direct from the McCartney site….

Anyway, the box of “Band On The Run” goodies which arrived this week from Amazon was, I have to say, similarly packaged  – only this time for some reason both the LP and the CD set had survived unscathed! They were both enveloped in a tight shrink-wrap that really helped keep everything together. I’m very pleased with the results actually, though it could have been an entirely different story as again, the box they came in was bashed around considerably.

Here’s what was in the box. Firstly, the 2010 double LP – which is a gatefold cover. It is still sealed I’m afraid. I can’t bring myself to open it!:

Front cover "Band on the Run" 2010 vinyl LP - still sealed!

Here’s the rear cover, and its the same photo layout as the original UK version:

Rear cover "Band on the Run" 2010 vinyl LP

There is a sticker on the bottom left-hand side of the LP’s front cover:

Now onto the Deluxe, 4 disc edition – which comes as a large format, thick hardback book. This one I have opened up so you can see some of what is inside. Here’s how it presents when you first get it in its plastic seal:

Sealed front cover "Band on the Run" deluxe

Here’s a close-up of the sticker on the front right-hand side:

On the rear when the book is still sealed is a card insert:

Rear when sealed. This is a card that can be removed when the plastic comes off.

On the card you can see the MPL, Hear Music and Concord Records labels. Once you have the plastic off here’s what you have:

Deluxe edition "Band on the Run" book - front

It is a cloth-bound, hardback book. Really thick and solid and beautifully done. The photo is recessed and the printing of “Paul McCartney Archive Collection” and the signature are embossed into the cloth. On the rear there is a Limited Edition stamped number:

Inside, the 121 page book is richly illustrated with photographs and text. The chapter headings are: Introduction; The Songs; A Trip to Lagos; Return to London; The Photo-shoot; Release; Press; Film and Video; and Lyrics.

A page from the chapter "A Trip to Lagos"

A page from the chapter "The Photo-shoot:

A page from the chapter "Release"

Inside there is also a business card sized card which says: “This card offers you free access to the 24bit 96kHz High Resolution audio download of the remastered album….”, and gives you a code number to use:

One side of the free download card

Finally, right at the very back of the book are two thick cardboard pages that hold the four discs you get. Three CDs and one DVD:

As you can see, each of these discs has individual artwork to differentiate between them.

All-in-all its a very nicely put together item. It’s not cheap – but you can see the work that has gone into it and it will probably become a very collectable item in my view.

To close then, that rear, removable card says: “Look for future re-issues in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, including “McCartney”, “McCartney II”, “Ram” and more, coming soon”. It makes you wonder if that’s the planned release order by Paul McCartney and Concorde Records, and if so just how soon the “McCartney” re-issue will be available. How long will it be between this one and the next? You can imagine your bookshelf beginning to fill up with a line of these beautifully finished books….if you can afford them that is.

See also the very limited edition vinyl 45 released as part of the promotion for “Band on the Run” 2010.

If you like John Lennon see the “Signature Box” and the “Gimme Some Truth” collections.