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 news agents 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 news agents 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 distributors.

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.

Splinter – The Place I Love

One of our favourite places in Sydney to crate dig is Revolve Records and Relics, and it has come up with another Beatle-related treasure for the collection.

Splinter was one of the first bands signed to George Harrison’s Dark Horse record label in 1974, and The Place I Love was their debut album:Splinter coverSplinter rear coverThey were a two-man band hailing from the town of South Shields in England. Bill Elliott and Bob Purvis wrote all their own material, were produced by George Harrison, and were joined on this album by Harrison (on guitar, mandolin, bass, harmonium and percussion and using the pseudonyms Hari Georgeson, P. Roducer and Jai Raj Harisein), as well as the likes of Klaus Voormann (bass), Billy Preston (organ), Jim Keltner (drums) and Gary Wright (piano).

The album was recorded at Harrison’s Friar Park home studio.

This is an Australian pressing. The cover is a gatefold, graced with a sepia-toned historic street scene of The London Hotel, taken in the late 1800’s in Splinter’s home town of South Shields.  Splinter gatefold

Here’s the LP’s ever-stylish Dark Horse label:Splinter label

There’s also a single sheet insert with the song lyrics printed on each side:

Splinter insert

And an inner bag made of heavy paper and stamped with the Dark Horse logo to hold the record:Splinter inner

Splinter’s Bill Elliot has another strong Beatle connection. John Lennon had earlier invited him to perform the song ‘God Save Us‘ with The Elastic Oz Band. Released as a 7″ single on Apple Records in the US in 1971. This was a protest song in support of the underground publication Oz magazine, then embroiled in the famous Oz obscenity court case.God Save Us

 

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years

Lots more detail on the forthcoming new Beatles film Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years have been released today. Here’s the poster:TheBeatles_EightDaysAWeek_A4

And here’s the official trailer:

And here is the official press release from the distributors, StudioCanal:

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS

 TEASER TRAILER AND POSTER FOR RON HOWARD’S

         DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM RELEASED TODAY, WORLD PREMIERE                                                                  CONFIRMED                                                                 

STUDIOCANAL ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL RELEASE DATES AS PART OF A WORLDWIDE THEATRICAL EVENT

LONDON, PARIS June 20, 2016 – Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard’s authorized and highly anticipated documentary feature film about The Beatles’ phenomenal early career The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years has set its World Premiere Date in London’s Leicester Square 15 September 2016 and debuts the first trailer from the film and the official poster to launch the campaign, it was announced today by Imagine Entertainment, White Horse Pictures and Apple Corps Ltd. STUDIOCANAL is an anchor partner on the film having acquired UK, France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand rights.

Featuring rare and exclusive footage, the film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.  White Horse Pictures’ Grammy Award®-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci and Academy Award®-winner and Emmy® Award-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producing with Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall.

STUDIOCANAL RELEASE DATES:

UK – 15 September 2016 – WORLD PREMIERE / IN CINEMAS

FRANCE – 15 September 2016

GERMANY – 15 September 2016

AUSTRALIA / NZ – 16 September 2016

Richard Abramowitz’s Abramorama will handle the US theatrical release of the film on September 16. The US release is set to be an event driven experience with a few special surprises planned for cinema goers.

The Beatles: Eight Days A WeekThe Touring Years is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. Ron Howard’s film will explore how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon, “The Beatles.”  It will explore their inner workings – how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together – all the while, exploring The Beatles’ extraordinary and unique musical gifts and their remarkable, complementary personalities. The film will focus on the time period from the early Beatles’ journey in the days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

Hulu is championing the film in the US as presenting partner. Hulu has the exclusive US streaming video on-demand rights to the film on SVOD beginning September 17th – marking the first feature film to debut on Hulu following its theatrical premiere. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is the first film acquired by Hulu’s Documentary Films arm which will serve as a new home for premium original and exclusive documentary film titles coming to Hulu.

Award-winning Editor Paul Crowder is the editor. Crowder’s long-time collaborator, Mark Monroe, is serving as writer. Marc Ambrose is the supervising producer.

www.thebeatleseightdaysaweek.com

 #thebeatleseightdaysaweek

 Official Twitter handle: @thebeatles

Facebook:  facebook.com/thebeatles

YouTube:  youtube.com/thebeatles

Official Beatles website:  www.thebeatles.com

 BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS

This project was originally brought to Apple Corps by One Voice One World, which has conducted extensive research around the globe, including inviting Beatles fans to send in clips of home movies and photos that they acquired during this extraordinary period. OVOW’s Matthew White, Stuart Samuels, and Bruce Higham are co-producing the film.

Nicholas Ferrall is the executive in charge of production for White Horse Pictures, assisted by executives Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann. The Beatles documentary is one of the first projects under Nigel Sinclair’s new White Horse Pictures banner, which he founded in 2014 with long-time business partner Guy East.  Their recent documentary, David Gelb’s A Faster Horse, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival where it received rave reviews.

The Beatles began touring Europe in late 1963, after an extraordinary arrival on the British scene in 1961 and ‘62.  However, it was their much-heralded Ed Sullivan appearance on February 9, 1964 that caused The Beatles’ popularity to explode. By June, the band had commenced their first world tour, and continued on a relentless schedule for two subsequent years.  By the time the band stopped touring in August of 1966, they had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities around the world. The cultural phenomenon their touring helped create, known as “Beatlemania,” was something the world had never seen before and laid the foundation for the globalization of culture.

Beatlemania was not just a phenomenon. It was the catalyst for a cultural shift that would alter the way people around the world viewed and consumed popular culture.  This film explains what it was about that particular moment in time that allowed this cultural pivot point to occur, examining the social and political context of the time, and revealing the unique conditions that caused technology and mass communication to collide. The film also explores the incomparable electricity between performer and audience that turned the music into a movement – a common experience into something sublime.

 

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 Anthology CDs – In Thin Jewel Boxes

As we said in a previous post, our purchase history of late has been a little quiet but we couldn’t resist buying these two CD sets.

They are the Beatles Anthology 1 and Anthology 3 – but presented in 2 CD “thin” jewel cases, not the “fat box” doubles that you usually see.

Here’s the more common “fat box”: Anthology_Fat_Box

And here’s what we found:Anthology Thin 2

These have “Made in Holland” printed on the discs, and they have the exact same catalogue numbers and copyright information on them, only they are double CDs with the CD’s mounted back-to-back on a flip-out drawer inside a regular jewel case:Anthology Thin 6Anthology Thin 7The booklets in both sets are the same as those which come in the “fat box” editions.

We got Anthology 1 in this format:Anthology Thin 1Anthology Thin 3And Anthology 3:Anthology Thin 4Anthology Thin 5Now, of course, we’re on the hunt for a copy of Anthology 2! If anyone has any information on these odd re-issues please let us know.