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 (both from 1987), and also the Beatles (Red) 1962-1966 set (which came out later –  in 1993).

Just this week these 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 its 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

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Beatles on CD – “1962-1966” – the Red Album

Last time I posted on getting a bargain on the HMV box set of “Sgt Pepper”. This comes from back in 1987 when the Beatles catalogue was released on Compact Disc for the very first time. EMI used their UK record store chain HMV to release all the titles in special, limited edition 12″ box sets.

The other set I was able to get at the same time was “The Beatles 1962-1966” (which was issued later – in 1993).

This is a limited edition box with the catalogue number BEACD25/11. It contains the well-known Red Album double CD set, and comes with a large-format 12-page colour booklet featuring song reviews, a 16″ x 24″ colour poster of the band (posed in front of a big US flag), and a special metal badge.

The front of the box looks like this:

Note the original price sticker still attached. When you take off the lid, this is what you see:

This is the 12-page booklet, and it is different to the small booklet which comes with the CD itself. It features some great photos, a short essay, and a song-by-song commentary by Andy Davis from Record Collector magazine:

Next in the box there’s a large poster:

Then comes the CD itself, held in place by a special cardboard holder with a slot just right for the CD and it’s outer cardboard sleeve. There’s a small thumb-slot at the bottom to help you get the CD out. This box, by the way, is thicker so that it can accommodate the jumbo-sized double “Red” CD :

Also in the box is a small metal pin or badge:

As already mentioned, the CD’s which come with this are in the red jumbo-sized double CD holder – which comes with a booklet:

Inside the lid of the HMV box there’s a limited edition stamped number:

See also the “Sgt Pepper” HMV box set.

 

Beatles on CD – The “Sgt Pepper” Box Set

When the Beatles catalogue came out on Compact Disc for the first time back in 1987 it was a very big deal and the British record store chain HMV (which has close ties back to the Beatles record company EMI) released a series of limited edition 12” x 12″ box sets to mark the occasion. These boxes look just like those which contain 12″ LP’s so I guess there was a certain symbolism in releasing them in this way – the boxes containing CD’s indicating a move forward from the LP to the Compact Disc.

In all there were 12 individual box sets containing either individual or grouped CD’s, plus there was also a large (and expensive) HMV box housing every Beatle CD title then available.

You can see here all the “Beatles on CD” HMV Box Sets (minus “Abbey Road”) above. These (except for the 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 sets) all came out in 1987.

The box numbered BEACD25 contained “Please Please Me”, “With The Beatles”, “Hard Days Night” and “For Sale” on CD, plus a 224-page book ‘The Book Of Beatle Lists’, plus a Beatles fact sheet.

BEACD25/2 contained “Help”, “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver”, plus a reprint of Beatles Monthly No. 12 and a Beatles fact sheet.

“Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” (BEACD25/3) had the album with a slipcase, an 8-page ‘behind the scenes’ booklet, the 12″ cut-outs sheet and  a badge.

The “White Album” (BEACD25/4) featured an individually numbered double CD album, a 12-page glossy booklet and a badge.

BEACD25/5 was “Yellow Submarine” and came with an insert, a cut-out ‘Yellow Submarine’ model, and a fact-sheet, while “Magical Mystery Tour” (BEACD25/6) had a 12-page booklet, a large fold out colour poster and badge.

“Abbey Road”  (BEACD25/7) comprised the 17-track CD album, two different posters, a badge and an 8-page booklet.

The “Let It Be” HMV box has a 12-page booklet and badge, and has the catalogue number BEACD25/8.

The “Past Masters Vol.1” and “Vol. 2” came in separate boxes – each with a badge and a 12-page booklet with pictures and track-by-track details. These were numbered BEACD25/9 and BEACD25/10.

Finally, when they were released in 1993 the “Beatles 1962-1966” Red Album and the “Beatles 1967-1970″ Blue Album also came in separate boxes containing the double CD sets, a 12-page colour booklet featuring song reviews, a 16″ x 24” colour poster and a badge. These were numbered BEACD25/11 and BEACD25/12 respectively.

I got a bargain the other day – I was able to get the “Sgt Pepper” HMV box and the “Beatles 1962 – 1966” – both practically mint copies. I’ll give you a close up look at the “Sgt Pepper” box set here, and post on the “62-66” red box next time.

You can see the front of the box above – and it features a different photograph from the one used on the CD. When you take the lid off this is what you first see:

This is an 8-page booklet with lots of photographs taken at the photo shoot for the famous cover of “Sgt Pepper”. There’s also some text about each song. Here are couple of pages from the booklet:

Underneath that there’s the same “Sgt Pepper” cardboard cut-out sheet which came with the original copies of the LP version:

Then comes the CD itself, held in place by a special cardboard holder with a slot just right for the CD and it’s outer cardboard sleeve. There’s a small thumb-slot at the bottom to help you get the CD out:

Also in the box is a small metal pin or badge:

The CD that comes with this is the original release with the cardboard sleeve, booklet with additional info, and an insert that has details of all the faces used in the famous Peter Blake photograph of the band standing with all their heroes:

Inside the lid of the HMV box there’s a limited edition stamped number:

Next post we’ll take a look at the “Beatles 1962-1966” HMV Limited Edition box set.