The Beatles Are Bigger in Britain than the US

Looking at a copy of the UK version of Kevin Howlett’s The Beatles: the BBC Archives: 1962-1970 at our favourite Sydney discount bookstore we noticed something odd.

We already have a copy of the US edition (published by Harper Design) in the collection, but this UK one (published by BBC Books) looked and felt different….

Turns out it’s BIGGER (US on the left, UK on the right):IMG_0451IMG_0447

And what is printed on the rear of the box which holds the book is different, too: IMG_0454


The Beatles and Calderstone Productions Limited

We’ve been intrigued to read in the small print on the back of each of the most recent Beatle CD and vinyl releases a reference to a company called Calderstone Productions Limited. It has not been on releases prior to Universal Music taking over EMI, and so we began to wonder about what it is – and started doing some snooping.

You can see a reference to Calderstone on the Beatles’ On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, and also on the re-issued version of Live at the BBC:Beatles BBC 2Beatles BBC 1

At first it looked like it might be a company set up just to deal with the copyright and publishing issues around all the BBC recordings used on those discs, but now Calderstone Productions has also appeared in the small print on the bottom of the CD box set The Beatles U.S. Albums released last month:Beatles U.S. Albums

(Click on the images above to see larger versions)

Going back further, a bit more snooping shows there’s also reference to Calderstone on iTunes for the digital download of Let It Be… Naked. The iTunes site says: Let_It_Be_Naked

Would this make Let It Be…Naked the first official Beatles release since Universal got hold of EMI? Calderstone Productions is registered in the UK and was previously known as Beatles Holdco Limited. This was changed to Calderstone on 29 November, 2012. 

Calderstone’s Company Secretary is registered as a Mrs Abolanle Abioye (age 53 and also Secretary to Universal Music Publishing), and the Directors are listed as Mr Adam Barker (45 years old and a company director on at least fifteen other companies), and Mr David Sharpe (a 46 year-old Irishman, also listed as a director of at least another 15 companies, also mostly music-related).

The registered address for the company is 364-366 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NS, which not surprisingly is the same address as Universal Music UK. Google maps shows that their front door looks like this:Universal_Music

Calderstone lists a share capital of just £1 English pound – although this site says the company has a combined assets value of £7,954,000.

Interestingly there are strong Liverpool links to the name Calderstone. There’s a park there called Calderstones Park. And Calderstones School is located opposite the park on Harthill Road in the Liverpool suburb of Allerton. The school was founded in 1921 as Quarry Bank High School, whose most famous student was one John Lennon….


The Beatles: The BBC Archives: 1962-1970 – Coming Soon

October is shaping up to be an important month for Beatle book releases.

Two of the most respected and well-connected Beatle authors both have books due. We’ve already mentioned Mark Lewisohn’s first instalment of his Beatle history The Beatles All These Years: Tune In (UK – October 10, USA – October 29), but another Beatle insider also has an impressive book ready for release next month.

Kevin Howlett (you might remember his name as the co-author of all the new booklets in the re-issued and remastered Beatle CDs from 2009, and the glossy 252 page book included with the vinyl box set of remasters in 2012) has now compiled the definitive book about the Beatles interviews and performances at the BBC called The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970:Beatles BBC cover-tiff

This stylishly produced hardcover book collects the surviving transcripts of the Beatles appearances on BBC Radio and Television from 1962 to 1970. It features commentary from Howlett, alongside some fantastic photographs and memorabilia from the BBC.

We’ve been given a sneak look at the book and will provide a full review soon.

Having had the opportunity to look through it we can confirm it is beautifully packaged and extensively researched. The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970 will become the definitive guide to a unique relationship between two cultural icons. It’s published next month by BBC Books in the UK, and by Harper Design in the US.