The Salvos Take On a Vision for Strawberry Field in Liverpool

After a battle with local authorities The Salvation Army has finally received a full planning go-ahead to build a much-needed training and work placement hub for young people with learning disabilities at its Strawberry Field site in Liverpool. The site, which has been closed to the public for years, will also house an exhibition centre where visitors can find out more about John Lennon and his connection to the parklands, as well as a place to explore spirituality. It’ll look something like this:

The next phase of the project is to raise the money needed to move the Salvos plans from vision to reality. And that’s where you come in.

To find out how you can donate, purchase merchandise and support the project, visit www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com

You’ll be helping young people like Jordan Clark to overcome their learning difficulties, get jobs, and make a real contribution to the community:

One of the fundraising projects launched recently saw a group of young people from the City of Liverpool College and the Salvos’ Steps to Work programme come together to form a choir to record a version of John Lennon’s legendary ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. They did it at the Abbey Road Studios in London, no less:

To hear the song in full, click here.

Jules Sherwood, Development Manager for The Salvation Army, said: “We believe Strawberry Field is the final piece of the Beatles jigsaw in Liverpool and once open will offer a magical experience to visitors who will be able to follow in the footsteps of the young John Lennon.”

“The very latest technologies will be adopted to create an exhibition where visitors will enter a space where “nothing is real” as they experience the wondrous, intertwined histories of the house, John Lennon and the writing and recording of the iconic song. The gardens will be filled with messages of peace and love which we hope will inspire visitors as Lennon himself was inspired.”

Strawberry Field is an iconic part of Liverpool’s history, as well as an important part of the local community in Woolton. The Salvation Army has owned the site since the 1930s and ran a children’s home there until 2005. John Lennon was inspired to write ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ after climbing over the wall and playing in the grounds. For him, it was a special place which had a lasting impact on his life.

If you’d like to help you can donate here, plus there’s lots of cool merch in the official Salvos store

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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.

The Beatles ‘Hard Day’s Night’ Mystery Chord Revealed

Sum of All Parts is an ABC Radio podcast here in Australia.

The show recently examined (from a mathematical perspective!) the famous opening chord of The Beatles’ song, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’:

The podcast episode is called ‘The Magical Mystery Chord’.

Using the research and insights of mathematician and Beatle fan Professor Jason I. Brown, and personal experiences at Abbey Road Studios by Canadian musician Randy Bachman, the podcast un-picks just how The Beatles (with producer George Martin) achieved a chord that has tantalised musicians now for over fifty years…..

There is also a very short Sum of All Parts “bonus” episode, ‘Slow Down, George Solo-son’. Also well worth a listen.

 

The Sgt. Pepper Jukebox!

And the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th anniversary news just keeps on coming…..

The official Beatles merchandise store has announced that there’s a Sgt. Pepper themed vinyl jukebox coming soon. 

The exact dates that these are to be available is a little confusing. On the official Beatles merchandise site it says “coming soon”, while on the manufacturers site (Sound Leisure Classic Jukeboxes in Yorkshire, England) the spectacular player appears to be available for order already – at a cool £8,995 which includes delivery to mainland UK addresses.

The machine will be distributed in the US and Canada by Deer Park Distributing and will have its official launch at the global consumer technology tradeshow CES in Las Vegas in January.

Rather than being mass-produced, each jukebox is being hand-made to order. And that is for a period of two years. After that – no more. If you have the cash, this does look like an opportunity to obtain a unique, limited and hand-crafted official Beatle item.

The jukebox holds seventy 7″ records – although it is not clear whether these are supplied as part of the purchase price. If you don’t have seventy 45’s to fill it, never fear. The Sgt. Pepper jukebox has Bluetooth – so it can also stream digital music from anywhere.

It features officially sanctioned artwork from the iconic 1967 album cover – and we’ve gotta admit it looks VERY cool.

As to the question of these jukeboxes being hand-made to order, take a look at this intriguing video showing how each one is put together. You’ll get a clear idea of the care and workmanship involved:

Sound Leisure has been manufacturing high quality Jukeboxes in Yorkshire since 1978. Still family owned, the company remains one of only two traditional jukebox manufacturers in the world. In addition to hand building a wide range of classic styled CD and digital jukeboxes they are the only manufacturer to be producing a vinyl playing jukebox.

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.