A Very Unusual “All Things Must Pass”

We went crate digging last weekend at one of the best second-hand record stores in the Sydney area called Revolve Records and Relics in the suburb of Erskineville. If ever you’re in Sydney it is well worth a visit as they have a constant turnover of new stuff.

What we found there was an intriguing version of the 1970 George Harrison triple LP All Things Must Pass.

We’ve detailed in the past a couple of the different pressings that are out there – including what we thought was the unique, Australian triple-gatefold version.

Well, it appears that another market also had a triple-gatefold that is similar, but not identical.

The front cover looks familiar:

ATMP Cover

As you can see this one is a little beaten up and has a bit of ring-wear but overall it’s not in too bad a condition. (Those black spots at the top are small, dark paint droplets where it has accidentally been splashed by someone not being too careful….).

The rear cover is very different:ATMP rear

As you can see, it’s plain black with a white Apple in the centre and the words: “2 George Harrison LP’s plus 1 Apple jam session  3 LP’s for the price of 2  Apple STCH 639”

The gatefold opens out to reveal the first of the three coloured, top-loading sleeves into which the vinyl slips. The lyrics for the songs on Side 1 and 2 are printed here:

ATMP GF1

Open the out the second of the gatefolds and this is what the right hand side looks like – with lyrics for the songs on Sides 3 and 4 printed on the centre, grey coloured panel. The mauve (or lilac) coloured panel on the right has the song titles and details of who plays in the Apple Jam tracks on Sides 5 and 6, plus a large “Apple Jam” logo:

ATMP GF2

The labels are trying to be like the original, bright orange found on other versions of this release worldwide, but they are really more a dull, reddish brown. There’s the full Apple for Sides 1 and 3:ATMP L1

And a “cut” Apple for Sides 2 and 4:ATMP L2The Apple Jam record (Sides 5 and 6) has custom Apple Jam labels on both sides: ATMP L3

Unlike the Australian triple gatefold, the spine on this release has a dark black and white print:ATMP Spine

[Click on any image above to see larger versions]

Nowhere, either on the cover or on the labels, is a place of manufacture stated – making it something of a mystery. Also, if there was ever one of the large George Harrison posters which came with this release in other markets, it is long gone. None to be found.

This exact same version is listed on the Discogs site, but no country of origin is definitively stated there. They just say: “Unknown country of manufacture, likely Singapore or Malaysia. Released in a three-panel fold out gatefold cover very similar to the Australian original”.

However, the fantastic apple records.nl has this version detailed fully, and suggests it could either be from Singapore or Hong Kong, depending on subtle differences in the label colours. (This site is an absolute goldmine for anyone interested in the different Apple pressings from around the world).

UPDATE: One other item of evidence has just emerged!

While fishing around in the sleeves just now out fell what looks like an official EMI flyer advertising other releases available from the company for the year 1971. We hadn’t noticed this before. It’s small (about 7″x7″), and has four pages.

The front page of the flyer:

IMG_1714

The inside two pages:IMG_1718The rear cover:IMG_1716

A tiny reference at the bottom says this flyer is “Designed & Printed by Times Litho Publicity Pte. Ltd.” A little Internet detective work reveals this to be a former Singapore-based company, active between the years 1965-1971. So, I guess that’s definite proof that this is in fact a genuine Singapore pressing!

If anyone else has anything more definitive please do let us know. Would it have come with a poster, for example? Drop us a line using the Leave a Reply section below.

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Label Variations Part Ten – Abbey Road (More….)

Since I posted Label Variations Part Six – Abbey Road  I’ve had a few people sending in some further great examples from their own collections.

So, its time to share these now.

First comes from Jerry Woods who wrote:  “Saw your blog featuring various record labels (I LOVE this stuff!!) and noticed that you didn’t have a MONO version of Abbey Road on display, so I thought I would share. Although, not a true mono mix (they never “officially” did one – and this LP sounds identical from start to finish to the Stereo version when the Stereo version is folded down to Mono) this is kind of an interesting oddity – but only a fold down to Mono from Stereo.”

Here are the labels – the record comes from Brazil:

Another nice one sent in was from a reader in New Zealand and it’s really quite unusual. It is “Abbey Road” on an orange Apple label – very similar (but not quite) to the orange labels used for George Harrison’sAll Things Must Pass“:

Of course there were lots of green Apples from other countries. Nice examples here from France, Italy and a green vinyl pressing of the album from the UK:

There were a few from the US that were missed first time around. They include a couple of purple Capitol labels with two variations (one with spelling mistakes):

There were a couple of other US pressings. The orange Capitol, and also the collectable Mobile Fidelity Audiophile pressing:

Finally, a couple of pressings of “Abbey Road” on a black and silver Parlophone label. This first one is from the UK:

While this other one, sent in by Andrey in Russia, is much more unusual. It is a rare UAR (Egypt?) label for “Abbey Road”:

(except for a couple, click on labels to see larger versions)

Ah, collecting….the variations sometimes seem endless. Thanks to everyone who emailed more labels.

You can see Label Variations Parts OneTwoThreeFour, and Five and Six, plus the Beatles “Love” variations here and here.

There’s a post on the variations of the McCartney/Fireman “Electric Arguments” release; McCartney’s Twin Freaks LP and singles; as well as his recent “Kisses On The Bottom” CD’s and LP. There is also a post on some George Harrison “All Things Must Pass” label variations.

All Things Must Pass – Label Variations Update

At the “All Things Must Pass” Label Variations post, and the “All Things Must Pass” Record Store Day edition page there’s been a bit of conversation about a strange example of this now classic George Harrison release. Reader Paul writes:

“The box set pressing I have with….labels that say ‘mfd in the UK 1970′ comes in a USA box with orange inner, with a USA poster and USA inner sleeves. The strange thing is that sides 1,2,3 & 4 have the uncut, full Apple label like the Australian release instead of the cut Apple on sides 2 & 4. My guess is that the UK LPs were shipped over to America and packaged there using the USA box and inners? I can’t come up with an answer as to why the 4 orange Apple labels show the uncut Apple on all sides? Any ideas?”

Anyone with any more information on this one is welcome to contribute to the discussion.

This reminded me of a further variation that came into my collection that’s not detailed in either of the posts above. It is a rare Capitol Records label re-issue of “All Things Must Pass”, with records One and Two on the purple Capitol label:

And record Three – the “Apple Jam” disc – on the Orange Capitol label:

This set comes in the usual box with the hinged lid, lined in orange on the inside, the three different coloured inner-bags (which are light paper), and it has the the big George Harrison poster. All printed in the USA.

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass 2010

As if the constant rush of Apple and Beatles-related product had not been enough so far over the last two months….

The George Harrison camp has decided,  as part of international Record Store Day, to release a very special 40th Anniversary limited edition, 3 LP vinyl set of  “All Things Must Pass”:

It’s available now – exclusively at Record Store Day-participating independent music retailers (and via mail order and digital download from the George Harrison site). It came out yesterday – Friday, November 26, 2010 – exactly forty  years on. “All Things Must Pass” was originally released on Friday, November 27, 1970.

This album is a limited edition, individually numbered, 180-gram vinyl set in its original 3 LP configuration. The faithfully replicated box set has all the original album art, the poster and the inner sleeve packaging. The LPs have been newly remastered at the Abbey Road studios from the original analogue master tapes.

I got my copy yesterday from Red Eye Records – one of my favourite Sydney independent stores. The heat-shrink wrap has a sticker attached on the front right-hand side that looks very like the one that appears on some original albums telling you what’s inside:

The specially replicated front sticker

And there’s also a special bar-code sticker on the rear lower right-hand side of the box that acknowledges Record Store Day:

The rear Record Store Day bar code sticker

Finally, each box is stamped with a number in gold print, also on the rear of the box. Mine is a pretty low number which I’m pleased about – No. 001708:

Each box is a Limited Edition

The official George Harrison site is offering a free digital download of “Wah Wah”, and there’s a bit of a discussion going at the George Harrison message board. See also Plug In Music.

And click here for more on “All Things Must Pass” variations.

All Things Must Pass – Variations and Collectors Items

In November it will be 40 years since George Harrison released his masterpiece, “All Things Must Pass”.

It was the first triple LP ever released by a solo artist. Harrison had so many songs – many of them stored up from his Beatles days – that they sprawled across 2 LPs, plus a third disc called “Apple Jam” which was just that: George and his mates jamming in the studio.

In both the US and the UK the album came out in a black box with a matte, monochrome shot of Harrison on the front, sitting like an elf (complete with accompanying garden gnomes) in the garden of his Friar Park mansion:

atmp-us-cover1

The box came with a huge poster of George (36″ x 24″), and each inner sleeve was in a different colour, complete with the printed lyrics to the songs it contained. Record one is in a light blue sleeve, record two is grey, and record three (“Apple Jam”) is mustard coloured.

The US box open with orange inner and light blue sleeve for record one

The US box open with the lyric sleeve for record two

The US box open with the mustard coloured “Apple Jam” sleeve

The US and UK labels were Apple – but in this time in bright orange:

On the first two discs there was the full Apple on one side, and a cut Apple on the other:

The “Apple Jam” disc (sides 5 & 6) had its own custom labels:

In Australia the packaging for the 3 x LP set was quite different. It was a specially designed triple fold-out cover (not a box set), with a shiny laminated finish on the outside:

The Australian release – front cover

The original release was a top-load cover (there was a later Parlophone label release which was side-load – see below). Here’s the rear cover for the Australian release:

The Australian release – rear cover with song list and artist details

The triple gate-fold opened up like this, and the inserts in which the records are held were made of high quality textured paper in the same colours as the US and UK box-set inner sleeves:

The Australian triple gatefold open on one side

The Australian triple gatefold open both sides

The original Australian issues also came with the giant George poster, and had the bright orange Apple labels – however this time in full on all four sides of each LP (in other words no “cut” Apples on sides 2 and 4):

Plus it also had the special Apple Jam labels for sides 5 & 6:

In the 1990’s in Australia came a vinyl re-issue of the set. It came in the same triple gatefold cover, but this time at a lower quality of paper. And it wasn’t on Apple Records, but the Parlophone label:

There were two 45 rpm singles released from the album at the time. These were “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life”.  In Australia “My Sweet Lord” was backed with “Isn’t It A Pity” and a little bit unusually, the labels on each side had a full green Apple – kind of like a double “A” side:

In 2001 came an LP and a CD re-issue, both of which came as box sets. Here’s the deluxe vinyl box:

The EU 2001 re-issue vinyl box cover

Both the CD box and the LP box were expanded and remastered – containing five previously un-released bonus tracks:  “I Live For You” (out-take); “Beware Of Darkness” (demo); “Let It Down” (alternate version); “What Is Life” (backing track); and “My Sweet Lord (2000)” (alternate version). Both box sets featured a colourised version of the original front cover image. Unlike the original 1970 LP box set, this one had a song list on the rear:

The vinyl was again three LP records – including the “Apple Jam” disc:

The vinyl box open – notice the booklet cover’s statement on environmental degradation

The internal packaging was quite different to the original in a lot of ways. The inner lining (now purple) and the inner sleeves for example:

The vinyl 2001 reissue with the inner sleeve for Disc 1

A booklet replaced the giant poster, but still had some shots from the same photo shoot:

And the LP labels (the record was released on George’s own GN Records label) were different too:

The CD box set contained all the content of the triple LPs – but on two CDs:

The 2001 CD reissue cover – still in shrink wrap with original sticker

All the tracks on “All Things Must Pass” (2001) were remastered and/or remixed by George. He says in the booklet that on some tracks he wanted to “….liberate some of the songs from the big production that seemed appropriate at the time, but now seem a bit over the top with the reverb in the wall of sound”. I guess he means Phil Spector’s production work on the original. There are no hard feelings though as in the booklet George pays tribute to “….the amazing Phil Spector, who produced so many fantastic records in the sixties. He helped me so much to get this record made….God bless you Phil”.  For more information on the complete story of the 2001 reissue see wikipedia

The CD box also had the coloured cover. Urbanisation and degradation of the environment gets worse from the front image, through to changes in each image on the inner sleeves, until the final scene on the booklet where George is literally overshadowed by a motorway and factories belching smog. Here’s the CD label:

Also from 2001 comes a 3 track CD single re-issue of “My Sweet Lord”:

The 2001 “My Sweet Lord” CD single cover

The disc contained “My Sweet Lord”, “Let It Down” and “My Sweet Lord (2000)”:

For further information see also the official All Things Must Pass website, and the excellent Beatles Recorded Sound Index entry.

Don’t forget to check out this weird version of this album.

Also this update on another US label variation in the collection.

And click here for the Record Store Day 2010 limited edition of “All Things Must Pass”.