Capitol 75 and the Elusive 2017 Reissue Series

Late last year Capitol Records announced an ambitious range of projects to take place across 2017 in celebration of it’s 75th anniversary producing, releaseing and distributing music.

Principle among the plans was the release on vinyl of 75 titles from their vast catalogue that best represented the wealth of talent signed to, or associated with Capitol over the last 75 years.

The label convened an advisory board to decide on the final list of albums, and of course amongst them are a number of titles of interest to Beatle and solo-Beatle record collectors and readers of beatlesblogger.com.

Despite the fact that the year is just about done, it seems that there have not been any/many of the five Beatle titles on the list released as yet – at least from what we can tell. Nor has the John Lennon Imagine album, George Harrison’s All Thing Must Pass, or Wings Band on the Run shown up anywhere identified as part of the celebrations.

According to the press release the US store Crate and Barrel is the main outlet and you can see a swag of titles that have already been issued here (some with a “Celebrating 75 Years of Capitol’s Music” logo on their front covers, some without). There are seventeen titles on that page – still far away from the seventy-five total.

However, Amazon in October listed a 2017 re-issue of James Taylor’s eponymous 1968 Apple Records release, James Taylor and this one of the titles on the Capitol 75 list too:The front cover image Amazon shows doesn’t have any “Celebrating 75 Years of Capitol’s Music” logo or sticker, but the rear clearly shows it to be an Apple/Capitol/Universal Music release. Look below the barcode:

(Double click the image for a larger version)

Just by the way, according to The Daily Beatle site there is a problem with the pressing of this record. Side Two should have a song called ‘Brighten Your Night With My Day’. It is listed on the label, but is not present when you play the LP! Maybe that’s why when we ordered a copy for our collection, Amazon is saying they cannot give an exact delivery date. Maybe all copies have been withdrawn and corrected pressings are being prepared?

Meanwhile, still over at Amazon, a pre-order listing has appeared for Ringo Starr’s Ringo LP. This album is on the Capitol 75 list too, and the image below seems to have a Capitol 75th Anniversary identifier on the front cover (though we are not sure if this is genuine or has been photoshopped in by someone else):Amazon says that Ringo will be released on January 19, 2018.

Curiously, Amazon is listing Goodnight Vienna for a January 19 release as well, but this title does not appear on the Capitol 75 list……not sure what is going on there.We’ve contacted Crate and Barrel directly and asked for some more background on the Capitol 75th Anniversary releases – especially around Beatle and Beatle-related titles. We’ll update you when they get back to us – or feel free to share any info you have by using the “Comments” section.

UPDATE:  On 8 December we had an email back from Crate and Barrel customer service saying: “We have double checked our stock of the 75th Anniversary re-issue vinyls. Unfortunately, we either never carried some of those vinyls you mentioned [Beatle or Beatle-related], or we no longer have them in stock. At this time, it does not look like we are getting in any new shipments of the anniversary vinyls. Our website is updated often, so feel free to check in to see if anything will get added to our current collection of the 75th Anniversary Records collection. Currently, we only have 12 records that are listed under the anniversary collection. If you have any further questions, feel free to call our customer service at 800-237-5672.”

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Paul McCartney Cover Story on ‘The Big Issue’

The Big Issue is a fortnightly, independent magazine that is sold on the streets of Australian capital cities by homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people. It is very good reading and contains some high-quality journalism. The idea is you give them $7 bucks, they give you a great magazine, and they get to keep $3.50. Everybody wins.

This month, on the eve of his Australian tour, their cover story features Paul McCartney

Issue 550 of The Big Issue contains a very personal ‘Letter to My Younger Self’ where Paul reflects on his teenage years, the music, the girls and an amazing dream he shared with John Lennon.

The magazine also invites three Beatle tragics – Yon from the band Tripod, Davey Lane from You Am I, and former Big Issue editor, Alan Attwood – to write about the Paul McCartney song that most inspired and impacted them.

So, if you are out and about and spy one of the sellers on the streets, why not grab yourself a copy.

Black Friday – McCartney’s ‘Holidays Rule Vol.2’

Getting up early to go into Red Eye Records this morning for the two different RSD Black Friday releases of Paul McCartney’s Holdays Rule Vol.2 has paid off.

This time around we got ’em both:

(Double click images to see larger versions)

This is in marked contrast to Record Store Day proper earlier this year and the quest to find The Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’/’Strawberry Fields Forever’ single – which you can read about in two parts here and here…..it has a happy ending, but was painful at the time!

UPDATE:  The Black Friday RSD singles above are Made in the U.S.A. We were not aware that versions of these coloured discs were also pressed in Europe – until one of our very knowledgable and well-connected readers, Andrey in Russia, sent us through scans of the EU pressings:  

If you click on the images you can pull up larger images. In the small print on the rear covers you can clearly see that these are Made in the EU. The hype stickers on the front are different to those on the US copies as well.

Badfinger – Finest Moments Rare LP

The British online second-hand collectables dealer eil.com has listed for sale one of the the most scarce Apple Records vinyl releases.

It is a Badfinger LP called Finest Moments

This was a ‘best of’ disc compiled by EMI Australia in 1989. But it seems they didn’t get the correct permissions from head office, and so only ten copies were ever pressed. These were sent out for review purposes. The project was then hastily scrapped and the record withdrawn from their catalogue.

The disc, dedicated as ‘A Memorial to Pete Ham, Tom Evans and Mal Evans’, has sixteen tracks. The copy they have for sale (for a cool £1,995.00, or $3,271.00 Australian) reportedly comes from a former EMI senior executive and has the catalogue number SAPCOR 28.

eil.com says: “Because of ongoing legal problems that Apple were having at the time, the project was scrapped even before any sleeves were printed, just a 12″ insert on green paper [was included].” Presumably they got that part of the story from the EMI executive who owned the record. The Applelog Book says that the song ‘Without You’ is incorrectly titled as ‘I Can’t Live (If Living Is Without You)’.

Interestingly that same catalogue number (SAPCOR 28) was later utilised by Apple for a different Best Of Badfinger double LP (and single-disc CD) that it officially released in 1995: The great site The Worldwide Apple Records Discography has some more (small) images of the Finest Moments LP if you are interested.

Beatles Sgt. Pepper Picture Disc – and More

Along with the news about the Beatles’ Christmas Records box set (due out on December 15), there’ll also be available – on that same day – a picture disc edition of the 2017 stereo re-master/re-mix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

To date there is no information about how the picture disc will be packaged. However, we do know that it will be joined by a single-disc black vinyl version of the 2017 re-mix of Sgt. Pepper (the initial vinyl release was a two record set):

Plus, if you fancy yourself as a bit of an audiophile and into the best sound you can get, there’ll be a high definition digital audio download version of Sgt. Pepper’s available in 96 kHz/24 bit quality.

It will basically be the same running order as the two-disc Deluxe Anniversary CD which features the new Giles Martin 2017 stereo mix, plus 18 additional tracks.

These include complete alternate takes for each of Pepper’s 13 songs, plus the 2017 stereo mix and an instrumental take of ‘Penny Lane’, and the 2015 stereo mix and two complete alternate takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – all in 96 kHz/24 bit…..

All of the above are out on 15 December.

The Beatles’ Christmas Records – Box Set

The Beatles’ Christmas Records were last officially released together in one package (a single LP issued to fan club members only) way back in 1970:

Prior to that, starting in 1963, the Official Beatles Fan Club in Britain and in the US sent members a one-sided flexi disc each December containing Christmas greetings and lots of larking about by the Fab Four. The flexidiscs were each housed in unique covers:

Now, Apple Records and Universal Music are reissuing all seven discs as coloured vinyl 45’s:

The Christmas Records ‘limited edition’ box set will be accompanied by a booklet and will be released on December 15 this year.

The seven individually coloured vinyl discs are:

1963: “The Beatles’ Christmas Record” (one-sided, duration: 5’00)
Recorded: 17 October 1963 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1964: “Another Beatles Christmas Record” (one-sided, duration: 3’58)
Recorded: 26 October 1964 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1965: “The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record” (one-sided, duration: 6’20)
Recorded: 8 November 1965 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1966: “Pantomime – Everywhere It’s Christmas: The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record” (one-sided, duration: 6’36) Recorded: 25 November 1966 – Dick James Music, New Oxford Street, London
1967: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again): The Beatles’ Fifth Christmas Record” (one-sided, duration: 6’06) Recorded: 28 November 1967 – Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1968: “The Beatles’ Sixth Christmas Record” (two-sided, duration: 7’48) Recorded: 1968, various locations
1969: “The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record” (two-sided, duration: 7’39) Recorded: 1969, various locations

 

If you want to get a better idea of some of the Christmas Records frivolity check out this medley of all seven discs, mashed together by Tom Teeley.

The official Beatles press release is here.

Selections from Paul McCartney’s ‘Liverpool Oratorio’

Here’s another recent addition to the collection.

We’d been aware of course of Paul McCartney’s numerous foray’s into the world of classical music. Over the years there have been a number of his compostions released, including his first major work Liverpool Oratorio – which dates back to 1991. 

This was issued on 2 CDs, double cassette (remember them?), and as a two LP box set.

There were also two CD singles released from the work, ‘The World You’re Coming Into’ and ‘Save The Child’: 

What we weren’t aware of for quite some time was that a year after these initial releases there came a further CD called Selections From Liverpool Oratorio. This was issued in October, 1992. Despite the fact that the album is clearly represented on McCartney’s   official discography we’d completely overlooked it’s existence.

Selections From Liverpool Oratorio gathers together on one CD all the most important songs for those people who don’t want to buy the full double CD version – which has a lot of connecting pieces and incidental music included.It comes in a single jewel case with a very thick booklet containing an introduction by Paul McCartney, a longer article about the background to the work, plus a liberetto with all the words to the songs:The track listing:The CD’s rear cover, and it’s distinctive yellow spines:The EMI Classics logo is prominently displayed throughout, but so too is McCartney’s own mpl company logo.