An Unusual Beatles “1” CD

We were at a record fair the other day and picked up The Beatles 1 compilation CD from 2000. The front cover looks familiar:Beatle 1 Not EU 1

As does the rear:Beatle 1 Not EU 2

That is, until you look more closely at the fine print – just below the barcode:

Beatle 1 Not EU 4

There it says quite clearly, in bolded letters, “Not resale in the EU“. Never seen that before. Then there’s the disc itself:Beatle 1 Not EU 3

Looks rather standard, but it too has the words “Not resale in the EU. LC 0299” in the small print around the perimeter:

Beatle 1 Not EU 3-1

Anyone seen this one before, or know what it means?

Beatles 1 – 2015 Vinyl

Look what arrived in the post today:Beatles 1 2015 1

Yes, it’s the 2015 edition of The Beatles 1 on double vinyl, complete with the Giles Martin remixes and remastering.

This one is staying sealed for now so we can’t show you the detail of what’s inside (for that go to this post to see in detail the 2000 edition). The contents themselves for all editions are very much the same. What we can show are some of the key visual external visual differences between the 2015 edition, directly alongside those from 2014 and the one from 2000.

Firstly that front cover. Two things really. The words “The Beatles” are in yellow on the 2015, while for both the 2014 and 2009 versions those words are sort of a light pink. Also on the 2015 edition the big figure “1” is more solidly coloured in and is a much brighter shade of yellow. Compare the front cover image of the 2015 edition above with 2014 (which is also still sealed and came with a sticker attached to the plastic):Beatles 1 2014 1

And here’s the older 2009 (which has been opened and hence is not as glossy as the others in the photos). The printing of these two is very similar:Beatles 1 2000 1

On the rear all covers are very similar. There is just a simple track-listing running down the centre. The part where they differ is at the top right-hand side where logos, barcodes, and the small print about who has the rights to what appears. Firstly 2015 (note the references to Calderstone Productions, the Universal Music Group, and Apple:Beatles 1 2015 2

Here’s the 2014 edition (again, Calderstone, Universal and Apple):Beatles 1 2014 2

And lastly the 2009 (back when EMI held the reins):Beatles 1 2000 2

Finally the spines. Here they are stacked on top of each other. On top is the 2015 edition, then 2014, and on the bottom 2009: Beatles 1 spinesThere are quite a few variations. (Click on the image to see a larger version).

Beatles 1 Remastered and Remixed Double LP

Following on from all the excitement of the last week, next month will see the double vinyl LP edition of The Beatles 1 in 2015 form featuring the new stereo remixes created by Giles Martin:Beatles_1 2015 vinyl (1)

The 2015 version of The Beatles 1 CD was released last week, along with numerous Blu-ray/DVD video iterations. The gatefold, 2LP 180g vinyl set looks to be packaged exactly the same as the two previous releases of this title (in 2011, and again in remastered form only just last year). Like them, it will come with four art cards (11′ x 8.5′), two inner jackets packed with images of original single sleeves, and a huge poster (33′ x 22′) featuring examples of more single sleeves from around the world:Beatles_1poster-900x1351

Interestingly, all previous versions of The Beatles 1, featuring the 2009 remasters (first issued in 2011), are set to be quietly withdrawn and the new CD and vinyl versions with the new stereo remixes will permanently supersede them.

The Beatles 1 on 2LP vinyl will be released on 4 December 2015.

Fifth and Final Instalment of “Restoration of The Beatles 1 Video Collection” Released

The final instalment in the five-part series backgrounding the work done to restore the Beatles 1 video collection has been uploaded to YouTube:

In it leading Australian Director of Photography Mike Molloy reminisces about his time with the Beatles. In 1968 he’d been living and working in London as a freelance cameraman for about a year when he was asked to go down to EMI’s Studio Three at Abbey Road and film a promo clip for “Lady Madonna”. Instead, what he came back with was unique footage of the band recording what was then a brand new song called “Hey Bulldog”.

As Mark Lewisohn says in his book The Complete Beatles Chronicle, “While the cameras whirred, the Beatles recorded ten rhythm track takes of “Hey Bulldog” and completed it with overdubs. Then, at the conclusion of this 4.00pm-2.00am session, after the filming had ended, they watched as it was mixed into mono.”

Mike Molloy says he spent all day with the Beatles. Mike told me that they were very easy to get along with, very friendly. “In the film, for effect, I superimposed a shot of a paisley tie over George Harrison’s face. It was George’s tie! He was great, and very open to trying the effect to see how it turned out.”

Molloy went on to work in London as a cameraman and Director of Photography on feature films for 29 years, before returning to Sydney, Australia, where he now lives. He’s worked with some of the greats, including Stanley Kubrick (on A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon) and Nicolas Roeg (on Performance and Walkabout).

The Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+ DVDs and BluRays are released globally tomorrow, November 6. (Note that the “Hey Bulldog” video is only available on Disc 2 of the Beatles 1+ edition).

You can see the other four parts in the Restoration Series here. Just click on “The Restoration” tab at the top.

Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+ – Two Days to Go

Just two more days before fans can get their hands on The Beatles 1 and The Beatles 1+.

CNN’s Paul Vercammen reports “in detail” on the new DVD and BluRay sets, due for release on November 6. In this segment he talks briefly to Michael Lindsay-Hogg, one of the film directors the Beatles worked with on a number of their promotional clips (and of course the Let It Be movie).

Notice that Paul Vercammen already has his copy of The Beatles 1+ on the desk.

Worth a look:

CNN

(click on the image to go there)

Teaser for The Beatles “1” DVD? – Part 2

The dearth of information in today’s mystery teaser announcement on the Beatles official page leads fans inevitably to snooping around the web trying to find something, anything, on what it might all be about.

Truth be told, there’s not much around. Word has it that there’ll be more official news on Tuesday….

But what is with that address given at the bottom of the image in the email sent out to subscribers of The Beatles.com? You can see it here:_theBeatles1

If you search in Google Maps for 1538 20th Street, Santa Monica, California 90404, and then go to Street View, you’ll see this very non-descript building:1538_20th_Street

Does that look like the US headquarters of a multi-million dollar Beatle empire? No, we didn’t think so either. Check out that hand-written wooden sign propped on the right-hand-side windowsill, with the 1538 street number.

The email image also credits a company called Topspin, and a service called The Topspin Platform. That’s an online, direct-to-fan sales and marketing tool used by a wide range of bands to promote their product, make online sales, sell tickets to gigs, etc. Check out the video on the page to find out more. They’ve done a lot of work with the Concord label in marketing Paul McCartney’s releases over many years, so it’s not that surprising that Universal and/or Apple and the Beatles have used the company to kick off this campaign. But Topspin isn’t at 1538 20th Street, Santa Monica either. Their address is 3120 W. Empire Ave., Burbank, California 91504 – in a much more salubrious part of that city.

So what is going on? The mystery deepens…..

Latest Beatle Vinyl on the Universal Music Label

Since the lucrative Beatle catalogue went over to Universal Music for distribution (as part of the sale and break-up of the EMI company in 2012) there’s been a steady stream of product from released – most of it (it has to be said) re-issues of stuff we already have.

The latest of these – four albums on vinyl – are a case in point: the Beatles 1962-1966; the Beatles 1967-1970; the Beatles Number 1; and the Beatles Love.

Each of these are re-issues containing no new material. The only thing that can be said to be slightly different is that the two sets, 1962-1966 (a.k.a. The Red Album), and 1967-1970 (a.k.a. The Blue Album) are reportedly the original analogue mixes. The discs are cut direct from the analogue tapes used for the 1973 LP sets—with a few exceptions (i.e. mono versions using EQ from the latest mono box set replace the few faux stereo tracks originally used). AAA it seems is definitely the new DDD…..

It has to be said though that the packaging on each of these four Universal re-issued double LPs is impeccable. The Red and Blue albums, for example, are faithfully reproduced in thick cardboard with very shiny covers and inners.

If you speak Spanish (and you don’t get seasick from the all the camera movement) this “unboxing” YouTube video from keen Beatle collector shakespearecub gives you a good indication of both the Red and Blue LP’s in all their glossy finery (if you are pressed for time, scroll in to about 4’10”):

Here are those 2014 stickers on the front of each:

Beatles Red stickerBeatles Blue sticker

And this is the main point of difference – Universal Music logos on the back, and mentions of Universal Music and Calderstone Productions in the small print….it’s not Parlophone, Capitol, or EMI anymore:

Beatles Red rearBeatles Blue rear

These albums are also manufactured in the Netherlands – according to small transparent stickers on the back of each LP:

Beatles Netherlands

And while we’re on the subject of the Red and Blue LPs and the EMI company, here’s a video from a very keen fan who went to the trouble of tracking down the actual location of the Angus McBean shoot for the Red, Blue – and of course for 1963’s Please Please Me LP. Both photographs of the old and new Beatles were taken at the former EMI headquarters in Manchester Square, London with the group looking down over the stairwell. The building has since been demolished:

The rear photo, taken in 1969, was initially intended for an LP to be called Get Back, but those plans changed and we got the Let It Be album instead. The photo was eventually used on both the 1962–1966 and 1967–1970 LP’s.

The 2014 Universal Music edition of the Beatles Number 1 LP set also comes in a thick cardboard, this time with a matt finish gatefold cover (just like the original 2000 edition) complete with the inners, large poster (depicting Beatle singles picture covers from around the world), and the four psychedelic photographs of the individual Beatles. It’s all very nice. Again the main point of difference now is in the logos used and the small print credits:Beatles 1 LP rear

The Love LP comes in a thick cardboard gatefold cover – just like the original from 2007. And it has the same thick, glossy booklet. Top marks go to Universal for the packaging. The 2007 release had a small brown sticker on the front:Beatles Love 1

While the 2014 edition has a larger red, white and yellow sticker:Beatles Love 2

On the rear of the gatefold the logo line-up has changed. The 2007 release has Apple, Parlophone and Cirque du Soleil logos:

Beatles Love 3

The 2014 has just Apple and Cirque either side of the barcode, and a small Universal Music Group logo on the far lower right. There’s also a change to the small print. No EMI Records reference, and interestingly the Universal edition has a copyright date of 2006, while the earlier EMI/Parlophone/Apple edition is 2007. Curious:

Beatles Love 4

shakespearecub has also done an “unboxing” video of both the Number 1 and the Love LPs:

More Beatles Vinyl On The Way?

The Wogblog Beatle page is reporting that there are to be four more Beatle vinyl re-issues before Christmas.

These have all previously been seen on vinyl, but as they’re currently out of print there’ll be a re-launch of the following albums:The Beatles-LoveBeatles Number 1 LPThe Beatles-1962_1966The Beatles 1967-1970

Love (original vinyl release – 2007); “1” (original vinyl release – 2000); The Beatles/1962-1966 (original vinyl release 1973); and The Beatles/1967-1970 (original vinyl release also 1973) are due out again in November for the Christmas market, the exact date(s) are still not known.

What with the Mono Box Set, Lennon’s Shaved Fish, McCartney’s forthcoming Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound Archive Series on vinyl, they keep on dreaming up more ways for us to buy titles we already own many times over. But who can resist?

Makes this cartoon we were sent recently even more true!Beatles Cartoon

Fundraiser Book and CD Fair – Some Good Beatle Finds

Almost a year ago to the day I posted on a big book and CD fair where I found a couple of Beatle-related items of interest. This fair is held by a local classical music/jazz radio station (2MBS-FM) as a much-needed fundraiser. It has now become a well-established annual event.

This week saw the opening of the 2013 fair and again I got in on the very first day. Once more there was a huge selection of CDs and books on offer, especially good quality music books. This time around I tackled the CD tables first and after just a minute or two of browsing the first Beatle item I found was this:

George best of frontGeorge Best of CD

The Best of George Harrison was released in 1976 and is a CD I don’t have. It’s one I’ve been on the lookout for for some time though so the evening was definitely off to a very good start. It was released in a number of countries, and has a unique cover. This one is the Australian pressing:

George best of rear

Next came George Martin’s In My Life, from 1998. I’ve been aware of this CD since it was first released but, until now, I didn’t have a copy in the collection:

George Martin frontGeorge Martin CD

In My Life is very much Beatle-related. Their producer invited into the studio a wide range of what he describes as his “heroes and friends” to record versions of Beatle songs. It has to be said the results are patchy at best, but at just $5.00 it seemed like a good time to finally get it.George Martin Rear

The final two CDs I found I already have four versions of….

The Beatles 1 gathers together 27 of their number one singles. It was originally released in 2000, and I have a UK CD copy, a Taiwanese CD version, a copy on vinyl, and it was remastered and re-issued again in 2011 in a gatefold cardboard cover. However, at the fair I found two Australian pressing CD’s of the disc (the jewel case version) from 2000. One had a black sticker on the front, the other had a white variation:Beatles 1 black frontBeatles 1 white frontBeatles 1 rear

Of course I had to have both. I know. Do I really need another two copies? Call me crazy. Enough CDs already!

From there it was over to the book section of the fair and as 2MBS-FM is a classical and jazz music station their book stall always seems to have a wide selection of music books on offer. This year did not disappoint. They had stacks of sheet music too, and in one of the piles I found some practically mint copies of two Beatles songbooks – one large thick one for the Beatles “blue” album, The Beatles 1967-1970:

Beatles 1967-1970 bookfrontBeatles 1967-1970 book rear

No, I didn’t pay $41.99 for this!

The other find was a much slimmer songbook, one which I’d never seen before. It was published only in Australia and New Zealand by Northern Songs. The Colourful Beatles – Souvenir Song Album contains the sheet music for twelve of their songs and, despite its age, was in near-new condition:

Colourful Beatles front

Here’s the index page:Colourful Beatles index

Next it was across the room to the books proper, and this one caught my eye immediately. It’s a really thick paperback called Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles, Britain and America by US author Jonathan Gould. It was published in 2007.CBML Book frontCBML Book rear

Again, I didn’t pay $45.00, or anywhere near it. The New York Times book review of Can’t Buy Me Love says in part: “Gould aims to meld the three primary, often distinct strands of Beatle bibliography — biography, music appreciation and pop sociology — into a single volume, a mother ship of Beatles books, with, as the subtitle implies, a special emphasis on the divide between the country that gave them birth and the country that arguably loved them best….Happily, the effort paid off: Gould has written a scrupulous, witty and, at times, appropriately skeptical study, which drew me back into a subject I thought I was sick of. The book lacks the intimacy of a full-fledged biography — if you want to know who John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr really were, you’ll do better elsewhere — but it compensates with an imaginative intelligence and a lively breadth of knowledge.” You can do one of those Amazon “Look Inside” reads to get a taste of Gould’s style and insights if you want.

Well, that was just about it. I was headed to the counter to pay, already thinking I’d probably gone overboard a bit on the purchases, when I saw this 1993 large-format book.

Illustrated Harrison front

Inside are lots of great photos of George Harrison, including many unusual ones:

Illustrated Harrison1

I tossed up whether to get this book as I know author Geoffrey Giuliano has a mixed reputation amongst Beatle and other fans (see his entry in Wikipedia for more). In the end it was the broad and eclectic photo selection which did it for me.

So, a successful Thursday evening trawling for Beatle treasure. Even by my standards I probably went a bit overboard this time – but how could you leave this sort of quality behind? And they were all at fantastically low prices (well, thats what I keep telling myself…..)

Ltd Ed Beatles Target Singles Box Sets

I’ve got a feeling that these are set to become quite valuable Beatles collectors items.

Target stores in the USA recently sold an exclusive and official limited edition of four Beatles 45 rpm singles. Each record was packaged along with a Beatles t-shirt in a box. The four vinyl singles are newly-pressed and digitally remastered using the same mastertapes as the 2009 re-issues. This makes these four singles (along with the Record Store Day “Paperback Writer” single released last year) the only vinyl available so far from the recent Abbey Road Studios remasters of the Beatles back-catalogue.

They are “Can’t Buy Me Love/You Can’t Do That“:

Help!/I’m Down“:

Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus“:

And “Let It Be/You Know My Name Look Up The Number“:

According to sources only 10,000 copies of each single were pressed by Capitol Records – very small numbers by Beatles standards. And only ever sold in Target stores in the United States:

All the vinyl singles have Capitol Records labels, except for “Let It Be” which is on the Apple Records label – just as it would have been back in 1970 when it first came out. The singles look like the original issues except that Sony/ATV is listed as the music publisher. The picture sleeves are in a thicker cardboard than the paper ones that were originally were issued. The contents of each box, deatiling the cover, the labels, and the enclosed t-shirt design are pictured on the rear of each package:

You can see from the packaging that these releases are linked closely to the recent re-issue  of the Beatles “1” CD, which has been released in digitally remastered form. Hence the familiar red and yellow theme and the prominent “1” logos on each box.

What do you think? Valuable collectors item of the future?

See also Steve Marinucci’s Beatles Examiner and the Beatles Target Ltd Release Singles Part 2.