A Different Australian Pressing of the Beatles “From Liverpool” Box

In a previous post we mentioned an Australian pressing on the orange Parlophone label of The Beatles Box (or The Beatles From Liverpool as it is sometimes also known) eight-record box set. This was made available via The World Record Club to its members in March, 1981.the-beatles-liverpoolbeatles-from-liverpool-label

We already had a later version that EMI distributed in November, 1982 through the Reader’s Digest organisation in Australia. That one comes with custom black, white and red Reader’s Digest labels. For more images also see here.beatles-readers-digest-label

The Reader’s Digest set is further distinguished by different packaging. Instead of a flip-top lid it came in a two box arrangement, where an inner box containing the records slides into an outer casing.

In Australia there is a third variation. It is the same 1981 World Record Club release but instead of orange Parlophone labels it is on black and silver Parlophone labels. It’s this version we have just added to the collection. It comes in a lift-top hinged box: liverpool-box-frontliverpool-box-labelloverpool-box-lid

On top of the records there’s a large fold-out poster:

liverpool-box-poster

Like the other releases each disc comes in a custom colour printed sleeve: liverpool-box-1

On the flip side of each is a track-listing and a short article about the songs and what was happening in Beatles history at the time of the recordings by Hugh Marshall:liverpool-box-1a

There are eight discs in all:liverpool-box-2 liverpool-box-3 liverpool-box-4 liverpool-box-5 liverpool-box-6 liverpool-box-7 liverpool-box-8

(Click on an image to see a larger version)

This set has the catalogue number WRC/Parlophone R91103-10.

 

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Official “Unboxing” of the Beatles in Mono

The Beatles official YouTube site has just uploaded this video – it’s Pete Nash (of the Beatles Fan Club Magazine) unboxing one of the very first examples of the soon-to-be-released The Beatles in Mono box set:

Can’t wait until September 8!

The Beatles Japan Box – First Pics and Unboxing

Our Japanese copy of the Beatles five CD Japan Box arrived in the post this morning and so we thought we’d upload an “unboxing” series of photos and show you the contents in some detail.

This has been devised and issued in Japan as part of that country’s activities to mark the Beatles 50th anniversary celebrations this year.

The box set, which will also be issued in the UK and the US, comes in a re-sealable, clear plastic outer. Inside this is a red, yellow and blue paper insert which wraps around the box from part-way at the front and completely covers the rear: Japan BoxOn the outside of the box is a circular sticker attached to the clear plastic cover. Not sure what it says – so if anyone can read Japanese please let us know: Japan Box frontWe think that the sticker has something to do with a small paper insert which is included inside the box (see more on this below).

Here’s the rear of the box with the wrap-around paper insert still in place: Japan Box rear

Once you take the box set from it’s plastic cover this is what it looks like, front and rear:

Japan Box front2Japan Box rear2

The Japanese are obviously very good at doing high quality glossy cardboard. This set has a really luxurious lustre to it. The sides of the box look like this: Japan Box side1Japan Box side2

Like previous Beatle CD box sets released in this style (The Beatles In Mono and The US Albums) there’s a slide-out inner draw which holds the contents:Japan Box open1Japan Box open2

Each of the five CDs comes in it’s own protective clear plastic, re-sealable outer sleeve. There’s a thick booklet included in the box as well as a small, clear plastic sachet containing mini replicas of five Japanese OBI strips. These would have been attached to the original LPs back in the day and are an indicator that Universal Music in Japan have gone to great lengths to accurately recreate the original album artwork:Japan Box OBI strips

The 96-page booklet looks like this:Japan Box BookJapan Box Book2Japan Box Book3Japan Box Book4Continuing on the design elements established with The Beatles in Mono and The US Albums box sets, each CD comes packaged just like the original 1960’s Japanese LP sleeves for these albums. This attention to detail extends to the external tabs on the rear of the covers, right through to what’s inside as well:Japan Box MTB frontJapan Box MTB rear

Inside there are authentic paper inner sleeves – exactly as they would have been for the vinyl editions. Meet the Beatles, for example, has a plain white paper sleeve:Japan Box MTB inner sleeve

There are also the original paper inserts with the lyrics for each song. And the original Odeon Records labels are printed on the CD:Japan Box MTB insertJapan Box MTB CD

This sort of detail is continued throughout each of the five CDs:Japan Box Second Album frontJapan Box Second Album rearJapan Box No2 insertJapan Box AHDN frontJapan Box AHDN rearJapan Box AHDN insertJapan Box No5 front

The Beatles No.5 cover loses the external rear tabs and just has a photograph of the band on the rear cover with no song titles:

Japan Box No5 rearInside there’s a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising for other artists who would have been on the Japanese Odeon label at the time, as well as the paper insert with lyrics, etc:Japan Box No5 inner sleeveJapan Box No5 inserts

Help! comes in a gatefold sleeve. Here’s the front cover:Japan Box Help frontHere is the rear:Japan Box Help rearAnd here’s the inside of the gatefold:Japan Box Help gatefold

Help! also gets a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising, plus the insert with lyrics:Japan Box Help insertsIt also gets a colour photo of the band as an additional insert:Japan Box Help photo insertJapan Box Help CD

One mystery object included with the box set is this thin paper postcard. We can’t read Japanese, but it looks like you can fill out your details on the other side, attach a postage stamp and send it off to receive an additional CD single. Possibly “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the first Japanese single from 1964? If anyone can assist with translating this please do!   Japan Box insert

All-in-all this box is beautifully done, and it sits nicely alongside The Beatles in Mono and The US Albums box sets as it is exactly the same proportions and style.

A New Beatles Box Set in 2014 (and a new logo)

Plans for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles conquering the US and the world are starting to gather pace.

Looks like there’s now an official logo for the 2014 celebrations:beatles50_logo

The big news though is that Capitol Records and Apple Corps have just officially announced the release of The U.S. Albums, a new 13 CD Beatles collection spanning from 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude.

The box set (as well as individual CDs “for a limited time”) will be released in the UK on January 20, on January 21 in North America, and on January 17 in Australia:USBoxset_Packshot

Great to see The Beatles’ Story included in there. And if you check the photo above (and promo video below) you can see that Yesterday and Today comes with what looks like a peel-off Butcher Cover!

Here’s the EMI Australia press release with the details:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE BEATLES!

Celebrate 50 Years of Globe-Sweeping “Beatlemania” The U.S. Box Set out January 17, 2014

On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil. Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 74 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” In this cultural watershed moment in American history and one of the world’s top-viewed television events of all time, The Beatles performed five songs on the live broadcast. “Beatlemania,” already in full, feverish bloom in The Beatles’ native U.K., was unleashed with blissful fervor across America and around the world. The British Invasion had begun.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these history-making events, The U.S. Albums, a new 13CD Beatles collection spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude, will be released January 17 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol. The Beatles’ U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art.

The albums are presented in mono and stereo, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only. Collected in a boxed set with faithfully replicated original LP artwork, including the albums’ inner sleeves, the 13 CDs are accompanied by a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art from the time, as well as a new essay by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan. For a limited time, all of the albums (with the exception of The Beatles’ Story, an audio documentary album) will also be available for individual CD purchase. A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), The Beatles’ Story, Yesterday And Today, Hey Jude, and the U.S. version of Revolver make their CD debuts with these releases.

By the end of 1963, before The Beatles’ American arrival, “Beatlemania” had already sprung forth across the Atlantic to take root in the U.S. In early December, The New York Times published a Sunday magazine feature and “CBS Evening News” aired an in-depth report about the unprecedented frenzy over the young band from Liverpool. Radio stations across the U.S. began to play The Beatles’ latest U.K. singles in almost non-stop rotation, trying to meet an insatiable listener demand. Capitol Records rushed out the American single for “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (with B-side “This Boy”) on December 26, three weeks ahead of schedule and one month after the single’s U.K. release. More than one million copies of the U.S. single were sold within 10 days.

On January 3, 1964 Capitol released “Please Please Me” (with B-side “From Me To You”), and The Beatles’ first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles!, followed on January 20. After achieving the No. 1 chart position for five consecutive weeks in the U.K., “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the U.S. singles chart on February 1, holding the No. 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, and within two months, more than 3.5 million copies of Meet The Beatles! were sold in the U.S.

[Note: The paragraph above is not correct. The online press release correctly states: In early January 1964, Vee-Jay reissued “Please Please Me” (with B-side “From Me To You”), and Swan reissued “She Loves You.” The Beatles’ first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles!, followed on January 20. After achieving the No. 1 chart position for five consecutive weeks in the U.K., “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the U.S. singles chart on February 1, holding the No. 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, and within two months, more than 3.5 million copies of Meet The Beatles! were sold in the U.S.]

The excitement of The Beatles’ February 7 arrival in New York, where they were met by an estimated 3,000 ecstatic fans at the airport, was documented by the world’s leading media outlets, beamed around the world in a blitz of news bulletins and photos. Every move The Beatles made, and seemingly every word they uttered, was captured – melting hearts of young fans everywhere who simply could not get enough of these charming, witty and stylish British boys and their electrifying new songs. America’s biggest star of the day, Elvis Presley, sent The Beatles a telegram wishing them well for their national television debut.

Ed Sullivan spoke of the unprecedented frenzy in his memorable first introduction of The Beatles, saying, “Now, yesterday and today our theater’s been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation, and these veterans agreed with me that this city never has witnessed the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles.”

After captivating North America with their Ed Sullivan debut, The Beatles traveled to Washington, DC, performing their first Stateside concert on February 11 at the Washington Coliseum to 8,000 fans in the round. The Beatles then returned to New York for two sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts on February 12. On February 16, they made their second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in a live broadcast from The Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Viewership for the episode was nearly as strong as for their debut one week prior, with an estimated 70 million people — 40% of the American population — tuned in to watch their performances of six songs. On February 22, The Beatles returned to England in triumph, welcomed home upon their 7am landing at London’s Heathrow Airport by an estimated 10,000 fans.

The Beatles were now firmly in place as the world’s favorite and most famous band. Their third “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, a three-song performance taped prior to the band’s live debut on the program, was broadcast on February 23. Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart for April 5, 1964 was graced by 12 Beatles songs, including the chart’s Top 5 positions, a sweep of the chart’s summit that has not been achieved by any other artist since. The band’s meteoric rise to unparalleled fame continued as “Beatlemania” swept the globe, a singular and boundless cultural marvel. The Beatles now belonged to the People, as they have ever since, with their universally-loved music and unflagging respect for humankind, advocating peace and love for all people around the world. (ends.)

And here’s the YouTube clip:

For more visit the Beatles Official site, and the Beatles Official Shop.

Record Store Day, and a Record Fair…

I had a goooood Record Store Day last weekend.

For starters I managed to pick up copies of the Wings 12″ 45 of “Maybe I’m Amazed“, and I also scored the Ringo Starr three x 7″ box set. I got the Wings at one of Sydney’s longest-running, best-known and best-stocked independent record stores – Red Eye Records. We had to queue up in pouring rain outside the shop from opening time (9.00am Saturday) to get in. There were so many people hunting for RSD product it was a bit nerve-wracking wondering if they’d sell out of the Wings title. But, no problems. They still had some left when I finally got to the sales counter.

The Ringo box-set was another matter though. Red Eye hadn’t been able to secure any copies at all, and a quick phone around to just about every other likely outlet in town was the same story. I don’t think any copies of this actually made it into the country. So then it was a matter of just waiting for RSD to roll around in the USA and some copies to begin appearing on eBay. Which, due to the time difference between here and there, they eventually did late on Saturday night.Ringo Singles Collection Front-tiffRingo Singles Collection Rear-tiff

The Ringo Starr Singles Collection is three 7” vinyl singles in a lift-top box. You get “Photograph” b/w “Down And Out” / “It Don’t Come Easy” b/w “Early 1970” / “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna” b/w “Oo-Wee”, presented with replicated original picture sleeve artwork, a poster, and a bonus custom record spindle adapter.

Meanwhile….the rest of Saturday was taken up largely by attending the Glebe Record Fair.  This is one of the big second-hand record fairs on the Sydney calendar and this year it did not disappoint. The heavy rain on Saturday did not deter people coming out in their droves:IMG_0001IMG_0002Crate digging at the Glebe Fair I actually found quite a lot of things. First was a Beatles eight-LP box set I’ve been seeking out for some time – The Beatles Box – From Liverpool:

The-Beatles Liverpool

It’s the Australian edition from 1981 on the Parlophone label, and it came with the original poster too!  I already had the Readers Digest Australian edition of this set (with different labels) – but having a mint copy on the orange Parlophone label has been an aim for a very long time:

Beatles From Liverpool LabelBeatlesFromLiverpoolCollageFront

From the same dealer I also got what I think is a quite rare Ringo Starr LP from 1983 called Old Wave. You can read the story of why there aren’t a lot of copies of this one around on Wikipedia. Because I’d purchased The Beatles Box – From Liverpool set he sold this one to me for A$10 – which I think was a bargain:

ringo old wave

This copy is on the Australian gold RCA label:

Old Wave Label

I seem to be going from having hardly any Ringo Starr solo to now having quite a few. At the Glebe Fair I also spied a reasonable copy of the budget Music For Pleasure edition of his Blast From Your Past:

BlastMFPBlast MFP LabelThis “best of” compilation originally came out on Apple in 1975. In fact it was the last record to be released on Apple (before the label re-emerged in the 1990’s). This MFP re-issue comes from 1981. See the post Budget Beatles for more info on this and other budget labels which feature the Beatles as a group and as solo artists.

On the topic of budget Beatles, my final purchase for the day was a copy of The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl on the Australian EMI budget label Axis:Hollywood Bowl Axis

Hollywood Bowl LabelThis LP came out in 1987 in a single sleeve (as opposed to the original EMI/Capitol issue from 1977 which had a gatefold cover). This is nice copy in very good condition.

So, a really productive (if somewhat expensive) Record Store Day.

The Beatles Collection – 25 Singles

I recently came into possession of a UK pressing of the Beatles box set called “The Beatles Collection”, their twenty-five British singles at the time, released by World Records and EMI in 1978. The singles are all encased in a black, textured cardboard box:

It was compiled and sold by World Records, EMI’s mail order division. It was never commercially released to stores – the only way you could get it was through ordering it via World Records.

The earlier titles are pressed on the EMI/Parlophone label while the later discs are on the Apple Records label.

Each single is in a picture sleeve – which are all green on one side but have a Beatles picture on the other. There aren’t different pictures for each and every single, but four main pictures are used multiple times, relating to the Beatles era in which the single comes from:

There are however different photographs used for the three additional discs in this set: one for “Back in the USSR/Twist and Shout”, one for “Yesterday/  Have Known Better”, and the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends/A Day in the Life” getting its own, unique picture sleeve:

Also included is a four-page booklet detailing the history of the group:

There’s also an additional, one sided sheet stating that the set now includes the addition of the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” disc, indicating that previous boxes came without this particular record:

The “Beatles Singles Collection” (UK – 1978 – World Records/EMI, 25 Original 45 RPM Records box set) comprises all the Beatles singles 1962-1978:

1. Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You (Parlophone/October 5, 1962)
2. Please Please Me / Ask Me Why
3. From Me To You / Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You / I’ll Get You
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy
6. Can’t Buy Me Love / You Can’t Do That
7. A Hard Day’s Night / Things We Said Today
8. I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman
9. Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is
10. Help / I’m Down
11. Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
12. Paperback Writer / Rain
13. Eleanor Rigby / Yellow Submarine
14. Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane
15. All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man
16. Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus
17. Lady Madonna / The Inner Light
18. Hey Jude /Revolution
19. Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down
20. The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe
21. Something / Come Together
22. Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
23. Yesterday / I Should Have Known Better
24. Back In The USSR / Twist And Shout
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Finally, you get a “World Records Guarantee” of quality: