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).

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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.

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:

Amazing Tower Records Footage from 1970

For those of us who remember the days of visiting good old “bricks and mortar” record stores to browse and buy the latest vinyl……this amazing footage of the legendary Tower Records on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in 1970 will take you back (and possibly take your breath away if you’re a vinyl nut!)

In it we spotted literally hundreds of plastic sealed copies of George Harrison’s then new box set All Things Must Pass being put out on display……a fleeting glimpse of Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band in the arms of a female customer…..stacks of McCartney’s McCartney LP…..Badfinger’s  No Dice……a copy of the Beatles Yellow Submarine….and from footage taken outside, a big John Lennon billboard.

Scenes from this great archival film were used to illustrate this spoken word advertisement for Tower Records voiced by John Lennon himself (possibly from 1973) – then promoting his latest LP Mind Games:

Hear the Beatles Tell All – British Charly Records Re-Issue

With the Beatles 50th anniversary of the arrival in the US now well under way, it was intriguing to come across a re-issued example of one of the earliest efforts to cash in on that US success.

Hear the Beatles Tell All was an interview disc which consisted of two lengthy conversations between the Beatles and Los Angeles radio disc jockeys. On Side One Dave Hull interviews John Lennon, while Side Two was titled “Jim Steck interviews John, Paul, George, Ringo”. No Beatles music was included on this interview album, rather a quite odd but jazzy percussion backing edited and scored by Lou Adler, and played by then top LA session drummer named Hal Blaine.

Originally released in September, 1964 on the Vee-Jay Records label, what we have here is a 1981 re-issue by the British record label Charly Records:IMG_9948IMG_9949IMG_9950

Charly Records have faithfully reproduced the cover. If you have the original Vee-Jay release the label will look like this:HearTheBeatlesTellAlllabel

But if it is a fake, you might have this:HearTheBeatlesTellAllfakelabel

Beatles Number 1 – Vinyl

A couple of days ago I wrote about finally getting a CD copy of the 2000 Beatles compilation, The Beatles – Number One. It was a little unusual in that it was the Taiwan CD release and it has some different packaging associated with it.

In that post I mentioned that when this title originally came out in the year 2000 I got the vinyl edition, and that Apple Records had gone to a lot of extra trouble to make it something really special.

As a result it is really quite a collector’s item if you can get hold of a copy. Here are a couple of pics of my copy of the vinyl Beatles – Number One:

Beatles 1 - front cover

Beatles 1 - rear cover

Because this is a two-record set, the cover is a gate-fold. Here’s how it looks when opened up:

Beatles 1 - gate-fold open

This is the custom record label on each disc:

Beatles 1 - vinyl label

Beatles 1 - vinyl record label

The inserts inside are extensive.

Firstly, there are four individual photos. One of John Lennon, one of Paul McCartney, one of Ringo Starr and one of George Harrison. While these ones are psychedelic in style, the idea is clearly reminiscent of the four photographs that came with the original vinyl editions of the Beatles “White Album”:

Beatles 1 - the four individual photos

Each LP is protected by a cardboard inner sleeve. These are also highly produced with unique artwork, photographs and information:

Beatles 1 - inner sleeve one (front)

Beatles 1 - inner sleeve one (rear)

Each inner sleeve contains photo images of Beatles singles released around the world:

Beatles 1 - inner sleeve two (front)

Beatles 1 - inner sleeve two (rear)

Finally, the set contains a big, fold-out poster of Beatles picture covers from around the world showing different singles releases:

Beatles 1 - large poster

Nice work Apple.