Sgt Pepper 50th Anniversary Re-Issues Revealed

Significantly more detail has emerged about the May 26th release of the 50th Anniversary Editions of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

As already noted, the BIG news is that there’ll be a 2LP set;  a 1CD set; a 2CD Deluxe Edition; and a 6 Disc Super Deluxe Edition! That’s four CDs plus a DVD and a Blu-ray disc of the documentary “The Making of Sgt. Pepper”.

This “unboxing” video has been released:

As you can see, it says “Remixed….a brand new stereo mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell from the original master tapes”.

Plus, wait for it, one CD of “previously unreleased session takes” in the double CD set, and in the 6 disc edition “two CD’s of extras – a deeper dive with 100 minutes of outtakes, many previously unheard and unreleased”.

There’ll also be a Mono mix “…with 6 extra tracks, including the ‘lost’ version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.

Phew!  More soon.

(click image for larger version)

Cryptic Sgt Pepper 50th Anniversary Re-issue Hints?

The official Beatles website has today begun some sort of a mystery teaser campaign by publishing a cryptic, four-colour image on its front page:

While many are asking what it means, others are saying the image symbolises the colours of the uniforms the four Beatles wore on the front cover their Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album – which in June is about to celebrate its 50th Anniversary:

If this is true it’s very much like what the site did for the “1” and “1+” video, CD and vinyl project back in September, 2015. Back then it began a teaser campaign by publishing a mysterious countdown video with red numbers on a bright yellow background. There was little or no other explanation offered at the time::

And so, we await further instalments!

Tweets and retweets from each of the individual Beatles have also surfaced:

Ringo’s specifically says “Coming soon…..”, while John’s Tweet below confirms that the colour of his Pepper uniform is the key to unpicking the coded message: 

And then there’s this on the official Beatles YouTube Channel:

And Amazon US is saying that on May 26 there’ll be Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Editions released as a 2LP seta 1CD set; a 2CD Deluxe Edition set; and a 6 Disc Super Deluxe Edition set! No images available yet.

Then, a further teaser video….

Rare, Vintage and Signed Beatle Photo Book on Offer

Following our article about the new David Magnus exhibition which has just opened in London, we received an email from his wife Janice with some further interesting news:

Hallo,

You will have all seen in the press over the last week the very exciting news that photographer David Magnus has opened his first exclusive Beatles Unseen Exhibition at Proud Galleries in The Kings Road Chelsea in London. To view the photographs go to www.proudonline.co.uk.

The exhibition by David celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the live recording of The Beatles song ‘All You Need Is Love’. This was recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in London over the weekend of the 24th and 25th June 1967. This unique recording was the UK’s contribution to a special worldwide satellite broadcast put together by the BBC called Our World and included 14 other countries, the programme was seen by over 400 million people worldwide. More information on this can be found on Davids Website davidmagnus.com

In 1997 a book called All You Need Is Love The Beatles Dress Rehearsal was published by Tracks Ltd with some of the photographs taken by David at Abbey Road Studios over that weekend. David has a number of limited editions of this very rare and unique book for sale at a cost of £195 which includes postage within the UK or for overseas sales it is plus postage. Your book will be personalised for you or your readers with their name and the date, and can also include a personalised notation specially for you.  
 
If you would like any further information about David’s book and photographs please see his website at davidmagnus.com  

Any queries please do contact me at david@davidmagnus.com

Warmest good wishes

Janice Magnus

Also, here’s an article from a British photography magazine about the exhibition’s official opening, including a photo of David and his wife Janice.

And if you’d like to see a few more of the amazing David Magnus images from the Beatles Unseen Exhibition then click here.

Flowers In The Dirt – In Depth Producer Interviews

With Flowers In The Dirt to be released tomorrow in various formats as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection re-issue series, here’s a link to an extraordinary series of interviews with the people who helped McCartney bring the original project to life.

Flowers In The Dirt was produced by not one, but several different producers – and in the lead up to the newly remastered re-issue coming out, Paul Sinclair from the impressive Super Deluxe Edition site has interviewed four of them.

What was it really like to work with Paul McCartney in the studio?

You can find out here in what is a comprehensive and informative backgrounder to this 1989 McCartney album:And here’s a new, official “unboxing” video detailing the contents of the Deluxe edition box set:

Free Download of Exclusive Demo Track from ‘Flowers In The Dirt’

As he has done with previous Paul McCartney Archive series releases Paul McCartney, in the lead-up to his forthcoming re-issue of Flowers In The Dirt in multiple formats, is making available a track that won’t be part of those packages.

If you go to McCartney’s official website you can get the demo version of ‘Distractions’, an album track from Flowers. It’s exclusive and it is free.

Speaking earlier this week about the song, Paul said:

“I like a good love song, you know. And it’s always nice to be in the mood to write a ballad and that was the case when I sat down to write this. It just occurred to me that if you love someone, one of the problems is that you don’t always spend enough time with that person. Because you’ve got things to do, you’ve got work or you’ve got other obligations to other people or whatever. And so I thought, yeah you could call those distractions from the main event kind of thing. That was basically what this is:

“What is this thing in life that persuades me to take time away from you?…                  ….Distractions, like butterflies….”

I elaborated on that theme, it’s just someone wishing they could spend more time with their loved one. And you know for me at that time it was about Linda. But people often say to me, ‘Who did you write this about?’ and even though then I would have been writing specifically about Linda – because she was the object of my affection – I liked the idea that it could also be the sort of dream of romance. It could just be an ideal – we all love someone and wish we could spend more time with that someone. A romantic ideal! I know that a young couple won’t hear this about me and Linda, the guy will hear it about him and his girlfriend, the girl will hear that it’s about her and her boyfriend, and I like that. I like that about my songs, that people use them for their own purpose. And I think that’s a very romantic idea.”

There are still five other free downloads from previous McCartney Archive Series re-issues available on the site as well.

The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus – An Exhibition

If you’re a Beatle fan and are anywhere near London between March 16th and May 14th this year it would be well worth visiting the Proud Chelsea gallery.

The gallery (at 161 Kings Road, London) is presenting what looks to be a terrific new exhibition called The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus.

The exhibition features many previously unseen photographs and provides a fascinating and deeply candid insight into the band during what would become a landmark occasion at the famous EMI Studio 1 in Abbey Road: The Beatles were about to perform live for the historic Our World program, broadcast to a world-wide television audience of millions.

Photographer David Magnus had a close relationship with the band dating back to 1963 when, at the age of 19, he was invited to photograph a then relatively unknown band during a concert at Stowe School. This early work with the group allowed Magnus unprecedented access throughout their subsequent rise to fame, and he gradually built up a portfolio of many rare and unique images. That, and a friendship with their publicist, Tony Barrow, got him exclusive access to document a pivotal moment in their career 50 years ago. On the weekend of the 24th and 25th of June 1967, The Beatles performed and recorded their song ‘All You Need is Love’ during a live broadcast for the BBC’s Our World program, the world’s first live, international, satellite television production, reaching over 400 million people around the globe.

Magnus documented rare, behind-the-scenes footage of the historical event, including wonderfully frank photographs of the band relaxing backstage away from the recording studio:

George and John grabbing a cup of tea during a break from rehearsals,1967. (Image courtesy of Proud Galleries © David Magnus)

The Beatles in the EMI Canteen under the watchful eye of one of the EMI commissionaires, 1967. (Image courtesy of Proud Galleries © David Magnus)

Speaking of the intensity of the band’s influence during that time, Magnus said, ‘As I came from the EMI canteen, one of the female studio staff stopped me, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, “I must touch you as you’ve been in the same room as The Beatles.” It was as if I carried an aura from the Beatles. This to me sums up Beatlemania.’

The Beatles wanted the studio to have a real party atmosphere, and the band were all dressed in colourful clothes and were surrounded by flowers, balloons and placards. To further add to the atmosphere The Beatles invited a number of their friends to attend including Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Marianne Faithful, Eric Clapton, Jane Asher, Patti Boyd and Graham Nash – and Beatle manager, Brian Epstein. The images of him in this exhibition are the last ever photographs of Epstein with The Beatles as he died shortly afterwards.One of the last photographs of Brian Epstein with The Beatles before his untimely death just weeks later, 1967. (Image courtesy of Proud Galleries © David Magnus)

This collection is a captivating archive of an event that was not only a first for The Beatles but a first for the era of television, which ignited a social revolution and created the universal anthem of its era.The Beatles Unseen: Photographs by David Magnus, Proud Chelsea, 16th March – 14th May 2017, www.proud.co.uk

McCartney Announces RSD Limited Edition….Cassette?

In the lead-up to Record Store Day 2017 (which falls on 22 April), Paul McCartney has just announced he’ll issue a limited edition, three-song cassette that will be distributed to some participating stores. The cassette will contain three of the “download only” demos he made for the album with Elvis Costello that will form part of his forthcoming Flowers In The Dirt box set deluxe edition. Here’s the official press release:

PAUL McCARTNEY

FLOWERS IN THE DIRT — THE CASSETTE DEMOS WITH ELVIS COSTELLO

RECORD STORE DAY EXCLUSIVE 3-TRACK CASSETTE-ONLY RELEASE

With the Flowers In The Dirt Archive Collection edition’s March 24th release date via MPL/Capitol/UMe fast approaching, Paul McCartney has confirmed a very special Record Store Day exclusive.

To commemorate Record Store Day this April 22nd, a limited edition three-song cassette of Paul and Elvis Costello’s Flowers In The Dirt demos will be made available at participating RSD stores.

The limited edition cassette-only release will be the first time these recordings – ‘I Don’t Want To Confess’, ‘Shallow Grave’ and ‘Mistress And Maid’- will be made available in the same form as when Paul and Elvis first cut them directly to tape.

Speaking about these tracks Paul said: “The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set. What’s great about these songs is that they’ve just been written. So there’s nothing more hot off the skillet as I say. So that was the kind of great instant thing about them. I hadn’t listened to them in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out. We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment’s finally arrived.”

The demos will be made available digitally only as part of the Deluxe Edition when Flowers In The Dirt is released as the 10th installment in the multiple-GRAMMY-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection.

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection release of Flowers In The Dirt was, as always, personally curated and overseen by Paul himself. (ENDS)

As Paul Sinclair says on his influential Super Deluxe Edition website “…it is ironic that they are coming out on tape when they were denied a release on CD partly because Paul wants to stay ‘modern’ and embrace/drive people to streaming!”

You can read his report on the cassette here, and the saga of the “download only” decision here.