The Beatles DeAgostini Vinyl Collection Has Been Extended

Looks like the newsagent and mail order Beatles Vinyl Collection series from DeAgostini has recently been extended to five more countries: Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and Japan.

These re-issues (all beautifully pressed on 180gram vinyl at the French MPO plant) are still going strong in Italy (where they are now up to On Air – LIve at the BBC Vol.2, which is issue 18 in the 23-issue series), and in the United Kingdom (where they are up to issue 15 –Anthology 2).

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Two New George Harrison Vinyl Collection Box Set Videos

The George Harrison Vinyl Collection box set is now accompanied by a short promo film showing some behind-the-scenes factory footage detailing the actual manufacture of the records and album covers that make up the set:

Also, Paul Sinclair from the great Super Deluxe Edition site has uploaded a good quality “unboxing” video:

Beatle Vinyl Via Mail Order and in Newsagents – in Italy and the UK

If you live in the UK (and in Italy – see below) you can now sign up to receive a series of 23 Beatle LP’s in the post every four weeks. Or you could pop down to your local newsagents every two weeks to pick them up in person.

International partwork publishing company De Agostini has signed a deal with Apple and Universal Music to manufacture and issue the 180gram pressings. While all the content and cover art will be the same as the 2012 stereo LP remasters for the core catalogue titles, the small-print on the rear of each of the LP covers (and on the labels) will indicate that these pressings are licensed to be published by De Agostini, making them collectable for those completists out there. In addition to the core studio albums and Past Masters, the De Agostini titles will include the three Anthology LPs, Love, the two Live at the BBC sets, as well as the 1963-1956 and 1966-1970 double albums, plus the Beatles 1.

Also, each album will be accompanied by a colour magazine written by well-known Beatle author, Kevin Howlett detailing the background to the recording.

Here’s the official UK press release:

NEW COLLECTION OF THE BEATLES’ ALBUMS ON 180g VINYL LPS LAUNCHED IN THE UK

On 1 March 2017, global partwork publisher DeAgostini is launching, in association with Apple Corps and Universal Music Group, The Beatles Vinyl Collection. Featuring 23 albums, it will be available to purchase online and in newsagents all across the UK.

Issue by issue, The Beatles Vinyl Collection of single, double and triple albums builds into a comprehensive library of the momentous music made by The Beatles. Presented in exact replicas of the original sleeves, the specially pressed 180-gram vinyl LPs ensure the music will be heard in the best quality sound. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, The Beatles’ reissued LPs have been universally acclaimed by sound experts and the group’s fans. Produced by George Martin in the 1960s, the albums contain some of the most celebrated recordings ever made.

The Beatles Vinyl Collection includes such groundbreaking albums as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, Revolver and Rubber Soul, as well as intriguing compilations like the three volumes of The Beatles Anthology and two Live At The BBC collections.

Amanda Honeybun, Marketing Director at DeAgostini, said: “We are so excited to launch The Beatles Vinyl Collection, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to collect on vinyl the greatest albums in the history of music. Our Beatles Vinyl Collection makes it possible to buy these wonderful records from the comfort of your own home or at your local newsagent. Then all you have to do is put the needle on the record to enjoy the best recordings ever made by the best group of all-time!”

Each album also includes an illustrated magazine containing the stories behind the group’s renowned recordings. Written by Beatles historian and award-winning radio producer Kevin Howlett, each issue reveals details about the creation of an album and an assessment of its significance within not only The Beatles’ legacy, but also the history of music.

Kevin Howlett said: “It was such a privilege to write about this joyous music. The Beatles have inspired generation after generation of music fans, songwriters, artists and producers. I’m also delighted that there is a resurgence of interest in collecting records. For music lovers, nothing can beat the look of a stylish LP cover and the authentic experience of listening to a classic album on vinyl.”

The global vinyl market is booming. Sales of records in 2016 reached a 25-year high as music buyers embraced this attractive physical format. More than 3.2m LPs were sold in 2016, an annual rise of 53% and the ninth consecutive year of growth.

The Beatles Vinyl Collection is DeAgostini’s fourth vinyl collection. The company’s previous collections of Jazz, Blues and Classical Music proved very popular. This new collection establishes DeAgostini Publishing as one of the leading vinyl album market producers and distributers.

The Beatles Vinyl Collection is a 23-part series. Issue one will be priced at £9.99 for a limited time only, with subsequent single album copies retailing at £16.99; double and triple albums will sell for £24.99. Issues are available fortnightly in shops, with subscribers receiving two issues in one delivery every four weeks. Subscriptions can be purchased online at www.deagostini.co.uk/beatlesvinyl  (ends).

The release is accompanied by a TV campaign in Britain:

And this one in Italy:

The first issue contains a binder for the 23 magazines, a poster representing the 23 original album covers of the collection, and some pamphlets and other information about the product. “Premium” subscribers will receive two quality storage boxes to hold all 23 albums, plus a range of free gifts.

The collection includes the following albums – and this appears to be the release order as well:

Abbey  Road
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Help!
The Beatles (or ‘The White Album’)
Rubber Soul
Magical Mystery Tour
Yellow Submarine
Beatles For Sale
Love
A Hard Day’s Night
1962 – 1966
With The Beatles
Anthology 1
Revolver
Anthology 2
Live At The BBC
Please Please Me
On Air – Live At The BBC Vol. 2
Let It Be
1
Anthology 3
1967 – 1970
Past Masters

This chap has purchased the first UK instalment – which is Abbey Road. His video is quite a drawn out reveal, but stick with it – it contains some good information. He gets there eventually….!

As mentioned, DeAgostini (which is headquartered in Italy) has also released the same series in that country. There the re-issue program began in January. If your Italian is good it’s worth a look at these videos:

And this one (in English):

Another Radha Krsna Temple

A couple of months back we wrote about finding a nice vinyl re-issue copy of Radha Krsna Temple. It’s another of the LPs from the early 1990s when Apple Records first began reissuing its back catalogue. That series, especially vinyl examples, is definitely in the “hard-to-find” category now and so securing an almost mint copy for the collection was a bonus.

When doing some further research on the George Harrison produced Radha Krsna Temple it was a surprise to discover that the album is still in print as a CD via a completely different source – the Australian Krishna Store. The “store” is based in the small Queensland town of Eumundi, which is up behind the Sunshine Coast. Of course, being mad completists, we had to have a copy so we ordered it online and the CD was posted to us direct from India.

As you can see below, this edition has a different cover and contains a couple of different bonus tracks to those included on the official 2010 Apple CD re-issue (included in the Fresh From Apple box set).

The CD from the Krishna Store looks like this:radha-cover

And here’s the rear cover:radha-rear

It is a cardboard gatefold, digi-pac-style cover that opens up like this:radha-inside

The additional bonus tracks on this disc are a different version of ‘Hare Krsna Mantra’, and ‘Purport by Srīla Prabhupāda‘. (The bonus track ‘Prayer to the Spiritual Masters’ was included on both the 1993 and 2010 Apple re-issues).radha-cd

This isn’t the first time that Radha Krsna Temple has been re-issued by a completely separate entity. Well before Apple first did re-released the album in 1993 (and again in 2010), the recording was re-packaged in 1973 on vinyl as Goddess of Fortune, on the Spiritual Sky label:goddess-of-fortune-2

“Great Record Labels” Book

Chanced upon a small local garage sale (or yard sale) this morning and found this book:great-labels-cover

Great Record Labels, written by Al Cimino and published by Chartwell Books in 1992, is quite an interesting overview of some of the most famous record companies, admittedly with a strong US bias. It has some really good images liberally scattered throughout, not only of the various record company labels themselves, but also many of the artists signed to the labels too.

Cimino has split his book into five broad categories covering music from the 1950’s through to the 1990’s. He starts with Sun Records in the Fifties, and ends with Def Jam in the Nineties, and works his way through most of the big labels in between – like Atlantic, Stax, Motown, Decca, A&M, CBS, Warner Brothers, Island, and Virgin – to name but a few.

There are two main segments of the book where The Beatles pop up. First is the chapter on the British EMI/Parlophone label:great-labels3great-labels4

In the section on EMI’s US subsidiary Capitol Records there is only fleeting reference to The Beatles, despite the huge amounts of money they made for the company:great-labels9

But to make up for that there’s no less than four pages dedicated to The Beatles’ own Apple Records:great-labels5great-labels6great-labels7great-labels8

Here’s the rear cover of Great Record Labels (the dust cover has seen better days…):great-labels-rearDespite being a little beat up, this is a nice little find and a good book to have in the collection.

Eleven Early Yoko Ono Albums to be Reissued

Way back in March, 2014 we flagged that there was a thorough Yoko Ono solo reissue program in the pipeline and it was to include all of her early, long-out-of-print Apple and Zapple Record releases. Since that time it has gone decidedly quiet….

Now comes news that it is finally going to happen – and soon:

Chimera Music and the Secretly Canadian label, have just announced that eleven solo Yoko Ono titles will be coming out in three groups of releases over the next twelve months or so.

The first grouping of three reissues is due out on November 11 – on CD, on vinyl, and as digital downloads. First titles are:

Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (originally issued on Apple in 1968):ono-unfinished-1

Bonus track on the CD, and on vinyl (via a download card), will be ‘Remember Love’.

Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With the Lions (originally issued on Zapple in 1969):ono-unfinished-2

Bonus tracks on the CD, and on vinyl (via a download card), will be ‘Song for John’ and ‘Mulberry’.

Yoko Ono: Plastic Ono Band (originally issued on Apple in 1970):ono-plastic-ono-band

Bonus tracks on the CD, and on vinyl (via a download card), will be: ‘Open Your Box’, ‘Something More Abstract’, ‘The South Wind’, and the never-before-heard ‘Why (Extended Version)’.

The release project overs studio albums issued between 1968 and 1985 and will painstakingly reconstruct the original vinyl packaging, along with never-before-seen photos and ephemera (although from these two “bundle offer” pack shots on the Chimera site it looks like the record labels and CDs will depict grapefruits instead of Apple, and that the vinyl will be white and/or clear):ono-bundle-vinylono-bundle-cd

The audio is re-mastered from the original tapes by Greg Calbi and Sean Lennon. In addition to making the vinyl available for the first time in decades, each album will also be available digitally for the first time. The complete list of titles and release groupings is:

1st group:
Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins
(1968)
Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With Lions
(1969)
Plastic Ono Band
(1970)

2nd group:
Fly (1971)
Approximately Infinite Universe
(1973)
Feeling the Space
(1973)
A Story
(recorded in 1974, released as part of Ono Box in 1992)

3rd group:
Season of Glass
(1981)
It’s Alright (I See Rainbows)
(1982)
Starpeace
(1985)
Unfinished Music No. 3: Wedding Album
(1969)

Radha Krsna Temple – 1993 Vinyl Re-issue

Many people will know of the Fresh From Apple box set of CD’s which includes most of the artists once signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records label.

That set came out in December, 2010 and gathered together sixteen original albums on CD, plus a “Best Of” CD collection of Apple singles, and a double CD of rarities from Badfinger, Mary Hopkin and Jackie Lomax.

But fewer will know that this wasn’t the first time that Apple attempted to do this.

Over a number of years (between 1991 and 1996) Apple slowly re-issued some twenty-two titles from its back-catalogue, not only on CD but also on vinyl, and included in many instances a wide range of bonus material.

These releases were done in a number of “phases”, and you can read all about this 1990s re-issue program here.

Over the years we’ve been steadily trying to add to our collection all the vinyl releases from that 1990s re-issue program – and just last week we acquired one more:

Radha1

This is the UK Apple Records with the original catalogue number SAPCOR 18, The Radha Krsna Temple by The Radha Krsna Temple London. It was re-issued in 1993. Here’s the rear cover:Radha2

That this is a re-issue is immediately identified by the barcode you can see in the upper right-hand corner – something that just didn’t exist when this LP first came out in 1971. The album was produced by George Harrison.

Another distinguishing feature is that this release has additional liner notes written by long-time Beatle friend, confidante and publicist Derek Taylor. These begin inside the gatefold cover (alongside descriptions of what each track is about, and information about Krsna consciousness from the original release) and they tell the story of how Apple Records and the Krsna movement got together:Radha5

Taylor’s liner notes conclude on the inner bag which holds the record:Radha4

Here’s the other side of that inner bag:Radha3

And the 1993 re-issue Apple labels:Radha6

Radha7

This particular release doesn’t have any bonus material and so is a single LP release that is true to the original.

The striking cover is designed by the English art director and album cover designer John Kosh. If his name looks familiar, that’s because you’ve probably seen it on a number of record covers from a wide variety of artists. Kosh was a bit of a favourite at Apple and was responsible for the design of Abbey Road and Let It Be LP covers along with numerous solo projects by John Lennon and Ringo Starr.

The Radha Krsna Temple was included in the 2010 box set Fresh From Apple.

For a couple more of the 1990’s vinyl reissues see John Taverner The Whale, Billy Preston That’s The Way God Planned It, and Badfinger Magic Christian Music.