The Beatles on Compact Disc – First HMV Box Set

We’ve been slowly plugging away at collecting the HMV Beatles on Compact Disc box sets from 1987. These were issued in limited numbers as part of the celebrations around the Beatle back-catalogue being released on CD for the very first time in Britain.

Previously we’ve posted on the Sgt Pepper box set, Magical Mystery Tour, and also the Beatles (Red) 1962-1966 set.

Just this week those three have been joined by the first set release in the series which contained not one, but four CD’s: Please Please Me; With The Beatles; Beatles For Sale; and A Hard Day’s Night. It carries the catalogue number BEACD25:Beatles on CD front

The box lid lifts off to first reveal a “Beatle Fact Sheet”. This is a single 12″ x 12″ sheet of paper, printed on one side only:Beatles on CD fact

Underneath the “fact sheet” are the four UK CD’s, stored in slots on a black plastic inner tray:Beatles on CD discs

Underneath those four CD’s is a 224-page book, The Book Of Beatle Lists, written by long-time Beatle historian and writer, Bill Harry. The book is stored in it’s own slot within the plastic tray:Beatles on CD holderBeatles on CD bookBeatles on CD book2

Inside the lid of the HMV box there’s a song list for each CD and a picture of the band:Beatles on CD lid

Plus the limited edition number is stamped here:Beatles on CD number

A Beatle Music Book – and a McCartney CD

Went browsing at an opportunity shop (or “thrift store” if you are in the USA) and found two items of interest.

The first is a sheet music collection of great Beatle tunes called The Beatles Rock Score:Beatles Rock1_0001

There are some good photos inside on the lead-in pages:

Beatles Rock1_0002As you can see from the images above, the book contains the music for twelve songs, scored for small groups:Beatles Rock1_0003

The book is part of a series, with other titles covering The Rolling Stones, The Doors, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and U2 to name just a few. These are listed on the rear cover:Beatles Rock1The other find is of only mild interest, but at only $2.00 who could resist?

It’s Paul McCartney’s 1987 release All The Best!, only this time the CD was manufactured in a country that now no longer exists – West Germany:All the Best1 All the Best2 2

A closer look at the small print:All the Best2

We already have this CD as an Australian release, and also a US version. That’s because in each country these CDs have different running orders and song selections. See here for the background on that.

New Klaus Voormann Book – Revolver 50

Klaus Voormann has a new book due for release in the first week of August called Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50.

It celebrates the background story to his now classic front cover design for the Beatles Revolver LP, released on the 5th of August, 1966.

His book, done in a graphic novel style, tells the story from his perspective as a musician and artist who was called by upon by the Beatles, then nearing the height of their fame, to come up with something special, something new, different and lasting.To say he was put under pressure is something of an understatement.Rev 50 Cover Resize

It looks like it’d be a really interesting read.

Pre-orders for The Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50, which will be hand-signed by Klaus Voormann, 
have a pre-sale price 46 Euro (+ shipping & handling costs).

“…it is good for me to see the other side of a story I know so well and to realize aspects like the sheer panic that Klaus must have felt at being asked to do our album cover. In the end, the Revolver cover was a classic and this book is another.”  Sir Paul McCartney

“…your Revolver book – it brought back such great memories – even farther back than Revolver…I hope it sells a million copies!…the Revolver cover was incredible and perfect for that album.” – Ringo StarrRev 50 Page 2 ResizeRev 50 Page 5 ResizeRevolver

Three Beatle Books

We attended a huge charity bookstall is support of the very important work done by the Lifeline organisation. They hold these book sales regularly and there’s always a very good selection of music books, Compact Discs, and sometimes vinyl LP’s.

This time around we scored three nice Beatle books.

The first we spied in the stacks was The Beatles Album by Julia Delano:Beatles Album 1

Published by Bison Books in the UK, this dates from 1991 and is a large-ish hardback book with a dustcover. Inside it is a chronological re-telling of the Beatle story, mostly pictorial:Beatles Album 4 Beatles Album 3The rear cover:

Beatles Album 2The second book we found was Geoffrey Giuliano’s The Illustrated John Lennon, published by Sunburst/PRC in 1993: Lennon 1

It is a thin hardback with a dustcover.Lennon 3

The book is part of a series and an accompanying item to Giuliano’s similarly formatted The Illustrated George Harrison. (There’s also an Illustrated Paul McCartney in the set – which we don’t have).Lennon 2

The final book we found was David Sheff’s Last Interview: All We Are Saying – John Lennon & Yoko Ono. This version was published by Sidgwick & Jackson in 2000:Lennon Interview 1It is the UK release in hardback, and is a revised and updated edition of Sheff’s original publication from back in 1981 which was called The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono (which we also have in paperback, published by New English Library press in the United States).

As Google Books says: On the 21st anniversary of his death, a poignant John Lennon document back in print [detailing] Lennon’s last interview before his assassination on December 8, 1980. It was first published in Playboy in a 20,000 word format in November that year. It saw limited distribution in the US in its full form as a 200-page book, reflecting 20 hours of tapes made that September, but was never seen elsewhere, and is now a collector’s item. This new, revised edition is published with the rare participation of Yoko Ono.

Lennon Interview 2

 

Beatle Vinyl Collector Books for Spanish, French and Japanese Releases

We received an intriguing email the other day from a marketing company called IM Digital alerting us to the publication of three new Beatle books for collectors. They are written by musician and collector Juan Carlos Irigoyen Pérez, and they detail across three separate volumes, every Beatle release in Spain, France and Japan respectively:

SpainFranceJapan

As you can see from the covers, these are Beatles discographies with full-colour illustrations of every release (single and LP) on the Odeon or Apple labels for Spain (between 1963-1972); for France (between 1963-1970); and Japan (between 1964-1970).

There appear to be both English and Spanish editions available, and the books are for sale on Amazon worldwide, both in paperback and e-book form.

Amazon has a “Look Inside” feature giving a peek at a few pages. You can see inside Spain here, France here, and Japan here.

Juan Carlos Irigoyen Pérez has also posted three youTube videos with more info:

 

Two Beatle-Related Holiday Finds

Apart from the lovely selection of brand new gifts received for Christmas, we also checked out a couple of second-hand outlets while on holiday at Port Stephens on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

The first was a community-run recycling centre that turns people’s trash into income for the local community. In a couple of huge sheds they have a wide range of donated used goods for sale, including records, CDs and books. Just near the shelves full of LPs we found a box containing a large collection of old theatre and music performance programs and souvenir booklets – all in really good condition. Hunting through these we discovered this:

McCartney World Tour1

This is quite a thick tour magazine that was given away free at concert venues for the Paul McCartney New World Tour, which ran pretty much through the whole of 1993. It took in places like Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, the USA, UK, Japan, parts of South America, and Australia – hence this magazine/program being re-discovered in a shed in a little place called Soldiers Point! You can see one of the Sydney New World Tour set lists hereMcCartney World Tour2

The tour was in support of the Off The Ground album: McCartney World Tour 4

Inside the tour magazine there are some great articles and photos, including this shot below of the band at work in their rehearsal room – one which I’d not seen before. It also lists the range of instruments each person plays:

McCartney World Tour3

(click images to see larger versions)

There are also short bios for each band member, articles on key members of the backstage crew, plus the content goes much wider with sections dedicated to raising awareness about causes close to the McCartneys’ hearts, including saving a local hospital, the environment, and animal cruelty:McCartney World Tour6In between are some interesting articles on previous projects, like this one on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album from 1991:
McCartney World Tour5All the content in the The New World Tour magazine is edited by Paul Du Noyer, who also featured in our Christmas list of books – and, coincidently, in another nice holiday find.

Every month the local church at Anna Bay just near Port Stephens holds a market where different traders can offer their goods for sale. One of them was a guy specialising in secondhand music books and CDs, where we found this book, also by Paul Du Noyer:

Lennon1

It’s a great reference book to have in the collection with the details and stories behind every song John Lennon released as a solo artist: Lennon5Lennon4Lennon3

First published in 1997, this revised and updated edition was released in 2010. Each song entry is accompanied by some interesting photos, and it is a really handy book to have when researching the work of John Lennon. I believe there’s an even more recent update called We All Shine On.

Some Christmas Treasure for the Collection

We here at beatlesblogger received some nice gifts over the holiday season.

First up is Ringo Starr’s new book Photograph. It is a beautiful hardback book, in a larger format, coffee-table style:Ringo1Initially released by Genesis Books in a lavish, strictly limited edition, the book has now been released as a more attainable “open edition” for us mere mortals.

That photo you can see of a young Ringo on the cover image above is actually him looking out of a neat cut-out hole around the camera lens on the book’s dust cover. It is a nice little extra production touch:Ringo3

Inside are some fantastic photos taken by Ringo himself over many years:

Ringo4

When you see images of the early Beatles you sometimes see them carrying their own cameras – and there are lots of pictures out there of the band taking photographs of each other and documenting for themselves what was happening around them. Each Beatle therefore would have hundreds of their own great informal shots tucked away – just like we all do – in albums, in storage boxes, or in closets.

Ringo’s personal photos were thought to be lost forever – until one day he re-discovered them. “We finally found them in a basement in storage” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “I was shocked…..we even found two books of negatives.” So now he’s compiled them in this book, along with over 15,000 words of commentary on where and why each photo was taken. Many of the images have never before been published:Ringo5Ringo6Ringo7Ringo8

Ringo2It is fantastic to flip through. Each page has a new surprise.

We also got a copy of the Barry Miles book The Zapple Diaries – The Rise and Fall of the Last Beatles Label:Zapple1

Miles is a frequent Beatle biographer and author, and he’s something of an insider – having been the manager of Zapple Records when it was first (and only very briefly) established back in 1969. Zapple was one of the many subsidiaries of the original Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. It was a label responsible for releasing the more avant-garde and experimental bands, poets and performers that the Beatles hoped to champion. As label manager, Miles had a ringside seat observing the ructions of the company, and the Beatles themselves in the process of self-destructing. We read of the big plans he had for the label, and how they were bitterly thwarted.

The book is richly illustrated. It tells the story from the perspective of someone very close to the action:Zapple4Zapple5Zapple3

This is probably more one for aficionados of the Apple Records label, its establishment, aims and objectives, and some of the more obscure of its releases, but I’m looking forward to reading this book, cover-to-cover:  Zapple2

Lastly, a great new book of interviews with Paul McCartney by journalist, author and long-time Beatle expert, Paul Du Noyer:Paul 1

As the title suggests, this is a new collection of Conversations with McCartney, over the period 1979 to the present. Du Noyer has spoken with him numerous times over that period – mostly for independently commissioned pieces for some of the best UK music magazines. It should be said however that Du Noyer has also been employed by McCartney’s MPL Communications company to produce content for them (tour magazines, album sleevenotes, etc.), and the book was done with the company’s assistance. Nevertheless, this looks to be a unique insight into what it means to be Paul McCartney and a very interesting work. Paul 2