Strange/Unusual Find of the Month – George Harrison’s ‘Poor Little Girl’ Promo

Paid a visit this week to a new and second-hand record/book store we’d not visited before. It’s called Title, and they specialise in music, books and film.

One item in their “1/2 Price” sale bins caught our eye: 

It is a 12″ promotional-only single from Brazil containing two versions of a rare George Harrison solo song from 1989 called ‘Poor Little Girl’. Oddly enough the flip side of the disc is Rod Stewart singing a Tom Waits-penned song, ‘Downtown Train’:

Harrison’s ‘Poor Little Girl’ was only ever released on a 1989 compilation called The Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989, and it looks like this promo disc was issued to promote that album. The 12″ promo contains two versions of the song – an edited version that runs 3:25, and the LP version with a running time of 4:32.

As you can see, there was not great attention to detail by whoever prepared both the cover and label as they misspell George’s surname both times in the songwriting credits.

Strange to have come across this 12″ tucked away in the inner Sydney suburb of Surry Hills – but that’s sometimes the way record collecting goes…..

As usual, click on the images above to see larger versions.

Rare McCartney Acetate Fetches US$23,639

‘It’s For You’, the previously unknown acetate demo Paul McCartney gave to the late Cilla Black to help shape her recording of the Lennon/McCartney penned song back in 1964, has sold at auction in England for £18,000 (that’s about US$23,639 or AUS$31,229).

‘It’s For You’, which was never recorded by the Beatles, was given to Black who had a hit with it in Great Britain. It made the UK Official Charts’ Top 10 at No. 7 and was one of seven Top 10 hits she had in the UK between 1964 and 1966.

The disc was discovered last month by relatives who’d found it tucked away as part of Black’s personal effects while sorting through her estate. Wisely they took it to the The Beatles Shop in Liverpool for evaluation by owner Stephen Bailey, who immediately recognised it as a long-lost treasure. Bailey confirmed a report by the BBC that Paul McCartney had made a copy of the song for his archive before it was sold at the auction.

The auction was conducted in Liverpool last Saturday. Here’s the online catalogue.

 

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 Stuff We Found on a Visit to France – Part Two

Just back from a holiday in Europe where we picked up some Beatle and Beatle-related treasure along the way. This is the next instalment about what we found in France…

Last time we were in Paris (in 2012) we visited a great second-hand vinyl store in the Sorbonne area called Crocodisc (they’re at 42 Rue des Ecoles, Paris 5e) where we picked up some nice Beatle vinyl.

What we found this time though was a collectable Paul McCartney and Wings CD.

It’s the limited edition Advance Release of Venus and Mars. This came out in 2014 to promote the then latest instalment in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection series:

Venus & Mars Advance Front

You can’t tell from the front cover that it is in any way different to the two CD Standard Edition of Venus and Mars (for which we have the Best Buy version, and which came with a limited edition vinyl single – and a different catalogue number).

However when you flip over the cover of the Advance Release there’s reference to a third disc in this set called “Bonus Film”:Venus & Mars Advance Rear

Also, on the CD cover spine there are the words “Advance Release”:Venus & Mars Advance Spine

The Advance Release also has a different catalogue number: HRM-35652ADV.

When you open out the triple gatefold cover this is what you see. On the first fold out on the left are the album credits, and on the right an advertisement for the three different, official versions (Deluxe CD, Standard CD and vinyl):Venus & Mars Advance Inside 1

Then when you flip that open this is the inside of the set, fully open:

Venus & Mars Advance Inside 2

It contains three discs. Two CD’s and one DVD, each carrying the words “For promotional use only. Not for sale”:Venus & Mars Advance CD1Venus & Mars Advance CD2Venus & Mars Advance DVD

The two CDs are exactly the same in content as the Standard Edition, while the DVD contains four short films: Recording My Carnival; Bon Voyageur; Wings at Elstree; and the Venus and Mars TV Ad. These are the same as those featured on the DVD which comes in the Deluxe version of Venus and Mars.

By way of providing a side-by-side comparison here’s the packaging for the Standard Edition CD:Venus & Mars Standard FrontVenus & Mars Standard rear

Below is the Standard version’s first fold out of the gatefold cover. An 18 page booklet containing photos and album credits is attached to the left:Venus & Mars Standard Inside 1

The inside fully open:Venus & Mars Standard Inside 2And the Standard Edition CD’s:Venus & Mars Standard CD1Venus & Mars Standard CD2

So, another nice find in Paris, France.

See also: Beatles Stuff We Found on a Visit to France – Part One, and Some Local Beatle Pressings From a Visit to Holland

A Big Beatles Garage Sale Haul

In my previous post I was bemoaning the scenario where you make the effort to get out and about early on a Saturday morning on the hunt for Beatles vinyl – and return frustrated and empty-handed.

Not so this last weekend which produced a wealth of great Beatles treasure, including one LP I’d not seen before. My son has taken to joining me on these forays into others people’s garages and front lawns. He calls it “crate digging“. He’s on the lookout for jazz plus wide range of other artists he might be able to take samples from to load into his computer. He then uses short grabs from these to mix into new songs he’s creating himself.

Anyway, we go to this one house early Saturday morning and the lady says yes, she has some records, but as she hasn’t gone through them she doesn’t want to put them out right now. If we could come back after lunchtime she’d find them (somewhere up the back of a very packed garage) and we could have a private look through to see if there is anything we want. We like the sound of an exclusive “crate dig” and so return at the appointed time. By this time four very large plastic bins filled with records have been located and we begin to look through….

First out of the crate comes an Australian copy of Sgt Pepper. It is in the old-style gatefold cover with the fold-over tabs, plus it has the original paper inner and the “cut out” insert. Things are looking good. This one is on the old Parlophone black and silver “Stereo Banner” label. Jaesen Jones, the author of “An Overview of Australian Beatles Records“, says this label was used on some pressings of Pepper by EMI here between between the years 1967-1969:sgt Peppersgt Pepper Inner Sgt Pepper InsertSgt Pepper Aust BannerNice. Next find was an Australian copy of Let It Be. It’s not an original issue, but one of the many, many re-issues of this disc. This one is on the Apple label and is in pretty good condition – near mint. Here’s the rear cover and label:beatles-collection2-lib-rearLIB Label Aust

While flipping through the boxes we got talking to the lady and it turns out this collection of records (which was literally a couple of hundred discs across a wide variety of genres – but mostly rock and pop) came from a very well-known Sydney radio and TV personality. He was an old family friend and years ago when moving house asked the lady if she wanted his records…

Next I find, in quick succession, a Beatles White Album and an Abbey Road (both re-issues on Apple and probably about the same vintage as the LIB above). The White Album even has the poster and all four photos and is in very good condition: beatles-collection-beatles-all-insertsThe Beatles Aust LabelABBEY_ROAD_sleeveabbey-road-label

Further digging then reveals a red The Beatles/1962-1966, again an Australian copy, with the Apple label and a red background. It has both lyric sheet inserts and is in reasonable condition. Not mint, but OK:beatles_1962_1966-800x800Beatles Red Aust Apple LabelThe final Beatles treasure to come out of these crates is a bit of a rarity. It’s an album I’ve not seen before The Beatles – Birth of  Legend. A New Zealand release from 1983 on the budget Music World Records, it features twelve songs from the famous Decca audition tapes:IMG_0051IMG_0052IMG_0055As the liner notes on the rear cover say, the Decca audition refers to the now-famous audition by the Beatles for Decca Records before they reached international stardom. In what was considered one of the biggest mistakes in the music business ever, Decca decided to reject the band selecting instead a band called Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.

So, after a weekend before of nothing, this time around it is a different story.

Record Store Day, and a Record Fair…

I had a goooood Record Store Day last weekend.

For starters I managed to pick up copies of the Wings 12″ 45 of “Maybe I’m Amazed“, and I also scored the Ringo Starr three x 7″ box set. I got the Wings at one of Sydney’s longest-running, best-known and best-stocked independent record stores – Red Eye Records. We had to queue up in pouring rain outside the shop from opening time (9.00am Saturday) to get in. There were so many people hunting for RSD product it was a bit nerve-wracking wondering if they’d sell out of the Wings title. But, no problems. They still had some left when I finally got to the sales counter.

The Ringo box-set was another matter though. Red Eye hadn’t been able to secure any copies at all, and a quick phone around to just about every other likely outlet in town was the same story. I don’t think any copies of this actually made it into the country. So then it was a matter of just waiting for RSD to roll around in the USA and some copies to begin appearing on eBay. Which, due to the time difference between here and there, they eventually did late on Saturday night.Ringo Singles Collection Front-tiffRingo Singles Collection Rear-tiff

The Ringo Starr Singles Collection is three 7” vinyl singles in a lift-top box. You get “Photograph” b/w “Down And Out” / “It Don’t Come Easy” b/w “Early 1970” / “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna” b/w “Oo-Wee”, presented with replicated original picture sleeve artwork, a poster, and a bonus custom record spindle adapter.

Meanwhile….the rest of Saturday was taken up largely by attending the Glebe Record Fair.  This is one of the big second-hand record fairs on the Sydney calendar and this year it did not disappoint. The heavy rain on Saturday did not deter people coming out in their droves:IMG_0001IMG_0002Crate digging at the Glebe Fair I actually found quite a lot of things. First was a Beatles eight-LP box set I’ve been seeking out for some time – The Beatles Box – From Liverpool:

The-Beatles Liverpool

It’s the Australian edition from 1981 on the Parlophone label, and it came with the original poster too!  I already had the Readers Digest Australian edition of this set (with different labels) – but having a mint copy on the orange Parlophone label has been an aim for a very long time:

Beatles From Liverpool LabelBeatlesFromLiverpoolCollageFront

From the same dealer I also got what I think is a quite rare Ringo Starr LP from 1983 called Old Wave. You can read the story of why there aren’t a lot of copies of this one around on Wikipedia. Because I’d purchased The Beatles Box – From Liverpool set he sold this one to me for A$10 – which I think was a bargain:

ringo old wave

This copy is on the Australian gold RCA label:

Old Wave Label

I seem to be going from having hardly any Ringo Starr solo to now having quite a few. At the Glebe Fair I also spied a reasonable copy of the budget Music For Pleasure edition of his Blast From Your Past:

BlastMFPBlast MFP LabelThis “best of” compilation originally came out on Apple in 1975. In fact it was the last record to be released on Apple (before the label re-emerged in the 1990’s). This MFP re-issue comes from 1981. See the post Budget Beatles for more info on this and other budget labels which feature the Beatles as a group and as solo artists.

On the topic of budget Beatles, my final purchase for the day was a copy of The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl on the Australian EMI budget label Axis:Hollywood Bowl Axis

Hollywood Bowl LabelThis LP came out in 1987 in a single sleeve (as opposed to the original EMI/Capitol issue from 1977 which had a gatefold cover). This is nice copy in very good condition.

So, a really productive (if somewhat expensive) Record Store Day.

The Beatles Australian 20th Anniversary Singles Collection

It’s funny how Beatles records can end up wandering the earth. I just brought this thirty-four disc box set of Australian singles from a guy in France. It was made here in Australia – and now it has returned home after a long journey and a long time away…

It’s the 1982 release The Beatles Australian 20th Anniversary Singles Collection. They are all housed in a maroon coloured carboard box:

Beatles34 box1

As you can see, mine has been quite faded on the front and sides from exposure to the sun. It has the catalogue number AB34 stamped on the side:

Beatles34 box2

Here’s the rear of the box showing the deeper maroon colour which is closer to how it would have originally looked:

Beatles34 box3

The original box colour is more like this one:

Beatles34 BOX

Inside there are 34 singles, plus a six-page insert with the details of each single:

Beatles34 booklet1Beatles34 booklet3Beatles34 Booklet4Beatles34 booklet5

Despite the slightly beat-up outer box (it is faded, has a sticker mark on the front, and had some split seams on the lid – which I have repaired) the singles inside are in VG to EX condition. Each single comes in a unique (but quite flimsy) paper picture sleeve, and each one features different photographs (both front and rear) taken during the Beatles 1964 tour of Australia and New Zealand. I won’t show all thirty four (!) but here are just three favourites, front and back:

Beatles34 Please1Beatles34 Please2Beatles34 Komm1Beatles34 Komm2Beatles34 Ob-La1Beatles34 Ob-La2

To see the complete set of covers visit the wonderful beatlesaustralia.com and click on each catalogue number to view the cover plus the labels.

Each single in my box set is on the black and silver Parlophone label, except for two (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da/While My Guitar Gently Weeps and The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe), which are on the Apple label – green on one side and cut on the other:

Beatles 34 ParloBeatles34 Apple1Beatles34 Apple2

However, I notice on the beatlesaustralia.com site that all the singles they show, including the two I have on Apple (A8693 and A8793), are on the black and silver Parlophone label. An interesting variation….

Beatles34 BOX2

The Beatles Discomania – A Great Book

Time for another gem found during my recent brief visit to Paris (see the previous France visit posts here, and here).

At the Gilbert Jeune bookstore I found this wonderful book by French writer and Beatles fanatic Francois Plassat:

“The Beatles Discomania” is a fantastic career-spanning summary of the Beatles output as a band and also as solo artists. It brings the story right up to the end of 2011 with details of the John Lennon Signature box set and his other re-issues, the Paul McCartney “Archive” series gets a mention, Ringo’s “Y Not”, and the George Harrison documentary “Living in the Material World“.  As you can see in the images below this is a lavishly illustrated with extensive album cover images and memorabilia spanning a wide range of releases. It is a very attractive book to own – even though I don’t speak French!

It turns that François Plassat works in graphic design and it shows as the text and image layout throughout this book is excellent. He created an agency called China Night which he led for more than twenty years . After writing a book about  Paul McCartney (released in October 2010 – see below), Plassat’s most recent work “The Beatles Discomania” is about  fifty years of the Beatles releases.

The book is a large format, soft-back  which has been stylishly and sensibly laid out. It was published by JBz & Co in France in 2011. The book is full of information on all the recordings released by the group as well as the solo releases of each band member. There are sections on Apple Records, George Martin, etc. This is a true guide to the complete musical output of the Beatles, a carefully laid out goldmine of information. Bring on the English translation!

Here are some images giving just a taste of what’s inside and the attention to detail in the illustrations and photographs:

Author Francois Plassat has also written another book “Paul McCartney: L’empreinte d’un Géant”, which translates as “Paul McCartney: The Footprint of a Giant”:

If you speak French (and we have some followers of the Beatles Blog in France) then you might be interested in these two interviews with author Francois Plassat about his amazing book “The Beatles Discomania”.

Here’s the rear cover:

Previously Unseen Beatles Photographs

The fine art auctioneers Christie’s in New York will next month auction some pretty impressive and previously unseen Beatles photographs from 1964.

They come from a collection of photos of the group shot by photographer Mike Mitchell. At age 18 he was at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C. for the Beatle’s first US concert, two days after their historic Ed Sullivan appearance.

Christie’s is calling the event “The Beatles Illuminated: The Discovered Works of Mike Mitchell“. Their website says it’s:

“….a sale comprised of nearly 50 lots of unpublished and never-before-seen photographs of the Beatles’ first hysteria-inducing visits to America in 1964. Shot in black and white by photographer Mike Mitchell when he was just 18 years old, the images have been filed away for nearly fifty years. The complete rediscovered collection is expected to realize in the region of $100,000.

Over eight thousand fans packed into the Washington Coliseum on February 11th, 1964 and they were treated to the Beatles at their very best. The Washington Coliseum was not only their first American concert but also by far the largest venue in which the Beatles had ever played. Its unique setup – it was often used for boxing matches – meant that the Beatles were surrounded on all sides by an adoring, cheering audience. The Beatles were clearly delighted and having a great time on stage, sharing all of the enthusiasm of the crowd. Here they were, performing in America, the land of their musical heroes and cultural icons, the home of Elvis and Chuck Berry – who’s “Roll Over Beethoven” was chosen by the Beatles to begin the show – and Little Richard, who’s “Long Tall Sally” was chosen to end it. The concert given at the Washington Coliseum was part of a defining moment in the Beatles’ career, and it remains both an important event and a notable place in their story. And Mike Mitchell was there to capture it.”

Yahoo has quite a nice photo gallery here. There’s an absolute ripper shot of Ringo in full flight and absolutley enjoying himself:

Magical Mystery Tour – HMV Box Set

I’ve been able to get hold of another in the 1987 series of box sets released by the British HMV record store chain to celebrate the first editions of the Beatles on CD. I’ve previously posted on the “Sgt Pepper” box set, and also the “Beatles Red 1962-1966” box set.  Now they’re joined by the HMV “Magical Mystery Tour”:

When the Beatles catalogue came out on CD for the very first time back in 1987 it was a big deal and HMV (which has close ties back to the Beatles record company EMI) released a series of limited edition 12” x 12″ box sets containing CD’s to mark the occasion. There were 12 box sets released in all, plus a large (and expensive) HMV box which housed every CD then available.

Box set BEACD25/6 was “Magical Mystery Tour”, and it came with a 12-page booklet, a large fold out colour poster, and a badge. You can see the front cover image of the box above. It features the same artwork as that used on the CD. When you take the lid off this is what you first see:

This is a large format 12-page booklet with lots of photographs and the text is an article about the making of the film “Magical Mystery Tour”, plus the background to each song. Here are couple of pages from the booklet:

Underneath the booklet is a poster featuring the band in their tuxedos from a scene in the film, plus text on the left-hand side telling the Magical Mystery Tour story:

Then comes the CD itself, held in place by a special cardboard holder with a slot just right for the CD, which is in the standard plastic jewel case. There’s a small thumb-slot at the top to help you get the CD out:

Also in the box is a small metal Magical Mystery Tour/HMV pin or badge:

The CD that comes with the HMV box is the original 1987 UK release with its own booklet:

Like the other titles in the set, inside the lid of the HMV box there’s a limited edition stamped number. Mine as you can see is a nice round number, 004949:

There were apparently 10,000 copies of “Magical Mystery Tour” released worldwide, although one site I found disputes this saying there were only 8000.