Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever RSD

Thanks to a very kind reader of beatlesblogger.com (Koen in Belgium – you know who you are!), we now have an elusive, limited edition Record Store Day ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7-inch single re-issue.

Only 7000 copies were issue worldwide, but very few made it to Australia.

Front cover:

Rear cover (complete with original fold-over flaps):

And the RSD sticker up close:

Thanks again for sourcing and sending this to us! So good to have this in the collection.

(See also this RSD Update, and as usual, click on images above to see larger versions).

 

Sgt. Pepper – Japanese 50th Anniversary Re-issue Extras

Got to admit, this is pretty cool and tempting:

In Japan, as they usually do, the forthcoming deluxe box set edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, will come with some neat additional extras – including a cut-out diorama of the classic cover image. Here’s what the diorama will look like when constructed:

As you can see on the advertising flyer above “assembly takes 2-3 hours (so you can enjoy the Sgt. Pepper album 3-5 times!)”. There’ll also be two mini gift cards, and this A2-sized poster included as a “first pressing bonus”:

Fianally, the CD’s inside will be in the high-fidelity SHM-CD format – something audiophiles believe gives higher quality sound than just the usual CD pressing. This is also exclusive to the Japan edition of Sgt. Pepper’s.

Another Addition to McCartney’s ‘Flowers’ Deluxe Box Set

In the lead up to the release the Paul McCartney Flowers In The Dirt deluxe box set, Paul Sinclair from Super Deluxe Edition was one of the people leading the charge to have a physical CD included instead of the proposed “Download Only” selection of B-sides, Remixes, Single Edits and Cassette Demos.

His role in the protest led to a call from Scott Rodger, McCartney’s manager, who laid out the reasons behind the download only decision.

It also led Paul Sinclair to publish on his site a series of interviews with the producers who, back in 1989, collaborated with McCartney on the original recordings for Flowers In The Dirt. They each gave a unique insight not only into what it was like to work on the project, but also what it was like to work with Paul McCartney.

The reaction to those interviews was such that Sinclair subsequently produced a limited edition printed booklet called In Their Own Words: The Producer’s on Paul McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt:Here’s a typical page (as usual, click on the images to see larger versions):

In a nice touch the booklet is designed to slip in alongside the other four books that come with the deluxe box set:

The booklet is a professionally designed and printed, 16-page document containing the original 9000-word interview feature (as published on SDE) along with 1200 extra words exclusive to the printed edition. Only 500 copies were initially produced and made available for sale through the Super Deluxe Edition site. Each was numbered and signed by Paul Sinclair. Ours is number 347/500:

The initial print run of numbered and signed copies sold out in less than 48 hours. In response to demand, there has been a second print run of this booklet. These are unsigned and not numbered, but otherwise identical. So if you’d like one, get in fast.

See also our solution to the “Download Only” issue.

Flowers In The Dirt – What Could/Should Have Been

As you’re no doubt aware, the deluxe Archive Collection box set of Paul McCartney’s 2017 re-issue of Flowers In The Dirt created quite an angry response amongst many fans and collectors.

The issue was around his decision to include a whole CD’s worth of B-sides, remixes and single edits, and three cassette demos as downloadable content only. No physical CD would be included in the four-disc set.

Well, no doubt many who purchased the box set have taken that download code provided and created their own CD burns to put inside the box. Here’s a look at the three CD’s and one DVD you do get (click on images to see larger versions):

And here’s what could have/should have been – one disc for the thirteen B-sides, remixes and single edits plus the three cassette demo songs:

Plus on the official Paul McCartney website there are a further three exclusive downloads (‘Distractions (Demo)’, ‘This One (Demo)’, and ‘Back on My Feet (Demo)’) not included in the box set at all, so why not a separate disc for these songs too?:

Call us pedantic and old-fashioned for wanting tactile, hard copies of this bonus material. And call us fussy for creating our own matching labels, but discs V and VI will now be filed inside our Flowers In The Dirt box alongside the other content provided in physical form to create a complete set. They’ll be in their own paper sleeves:

Russian Fake Beatle Records and Sleeves Exposed

If you collect Beatle discs from around the world then the Russian Beatle site beatlesvinyl.com.ua is a goldmine of information for records from that country:

Alongside their already impressive catalogue and detail about every official Beatle and solo release in that country, they’ve just added a massive new section on fake pressings and sleeves:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As usual, the detail and depth of their research and knowledge is first-rate. We’ve used it extensively to research our collection of different pressings of Paul McCartney’s Choba B CCCP for example (see here, and here).

The site is in Russian and English, and alongside all the local releases (both official and fake) it contains a comprehensive and up-to-date general catalogue of every Beatle and solo release from the UK/EU, and the US, plus a whole section on Apple Records as well.

There’s also a big section on Beatle cover versions over the years by Russian artists.

Sgt. Pepper Previews and Liverpool Sound Collage

Alternate versions of some of the songs from the forthcoming 50th Anniversary Edition of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are beginning to appear on the web.

There’s this one, a stripped-back example of the title track, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 and Speech]’:

It’s interesting on a whole range range of levels, not least because we now know exactly where Paul McCartney went for inspiration for his experimental album Liverpool Sound Collage, released back in the year 2000.

If you listen to the ‘Sgt. Pepper [Take 9]’ track at around 2’08” in, he’s singing the same words we hear on the track ‘Free Now’:

On the Liverpool Sound Collage album cover McCartney credits The Beatles (and collaborators the Super Furry Animals), but not exactly where the Beatle samples used across the album come from. Now we know the origins of at least one of them.

Alternate take tracks are being intentionally leaked to the media as part of the publicity for the big Pepper 50th Anniversary next month. ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9  and Speech]’ was played on the Chris Evans Radio Show (BBC Radio 2). It was also given to the British newspaper The Guardian, and to US radio station WCSX in Detroit, which has also played a preview of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 – False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]’:

 

 

Massive Beatles Record Store Day Fail – An Update

Well, our initial post on Record Store Day about a fruitless early morning hunt for The Beatles ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7″ single and Paul McCartney’s Cassette Demos release with Elvis Costello has garnered some reaction.

On social media we’ve copped some criticism for expecting there to be a copies of at least the Beatles RSD disc in one of the largest independent record stores in Sydney, Australia – which I might add is a city of over 5 million people. The store had two copies.

Roger Stormo over at The Daily Beatle has posted an interesting comparison.

He lives in a small town near Oslo in Norway. His local local store just down the road had two copies of ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Meanwhile, in the city of Oslo itself (population 1.71 million), a friend of Roger’s said that late into Record Store Day there were still plenty Beatles singles available in two of the participating stores there. They sent him this photo from one of the locations: 

As you can see above, there was a stack of the 7″ single left. I would estimate it to be at least 40 to 50 copies. They even had multiple copies of the McCartney/Costello Cassette Demos tape still available, and this was after the store had been open for about 4-5 hours:

To quote Roger: “So it seemed there were more of these Beatles and related items in Oslo than anywhere else on the planet! How very strange. The single was supposedly pressed in only 7,000 copies and the cassette just 2,500. So how come so many of them ended up in Norway?”

Indeed. 

Meanwhile, this eBay seller reckons he can get $75.00 US for the ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ RSD single (thats about £58.00 UK, €70.00 Euros, or $100.00 Australian).

Go figure.