‘Concert For George’ – on LP and Two Deluxe Edition Boxes

To mark what would have been George Harrison’s 75th birthday in February there’s to be a major re-issue of the great 2003 Concert For George recordings and film.

For the first time the concert will be available on vinyl (as a four LP box set); new CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray combo packages; plus not one – but two – super deluxe boxed special editions.

On the official George Harrison site you can pre-order now two different “Exclusive” deluxe limited editions.There are just 1000 copies worldwide of the “basic” box:

Both boxes come with these contents: a gold-colored, fabric-wrapped box with a die-cut mandala window to display a numbered cutting from the original hand-painted on-stage tapestry backdrop used during the Royal Albert Hall concert on November 29, 2002; the complete sound and film recordings from the concert (on four 180-gram audiophile LPs, 2 CDs, 2 DVDs and 2 Blu-ray discs); plus a 12”x12” hard-bound 60-page book. The sets also include a note from Olivia Harrison, explaining the story behind the tapestry. The “basic” set costs US$350.

However, for an extra $100 you can get that same deluxe box, plus what is described on the site as a complete set of “…authentic Test Pressings (4-discs), pressed at Quality Record Pressings (QRP)”. There are only 15 copies of these Test Pressing sets available worldwide.

For those after the new vinyl pressing of the Concert For George here’s the pack image with its contents:    

As you can see above the four LP set only stretches across 7 sides, and so Side 8 on LP 4 features a cool-looking etched mandala.

The new 2CD sets with either 2 Blu-ray or 2 DVD included look like this:

These bundles are identical in content except for the Blu-ray which contains an additional ‘Drummers’ featurette not available on the DVD version.

The original two CD set is also being re-issued:All these Concert For George versions will be reissued on February 23. Proceeds from the sale of these products support The Material World Foundation.

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It’s The Beatles, as you’ve never seen them before

This is the answer to the mysterious countdown on thebeatles.com for the last few days:

Yes, it is the video version of the Beatles “1” CD, plus a bit more, newly restored and expanded in multiple configurations for global release on November 6.

At first glance it is a little confusing (see the full press release below) – but this is it in a nutshell:

  1. There’s a new 2015 remixed and remastered version of the single-disc audio CD (containing 27 songs)
  2. There’s a pack with either 1 DVD or 1 BluRay (each containing videos of all 27 songs that are on the CD), plus the CD
  3. There’s a Deluxe set with either 2 DVDs or 2 BluRays (one disc has the videos of all 27 songs that are on the CD, the second disc contains 23 bonus videos), a 124 page hard cover book, plus the CD
  4. Or you can buy just the single BluRay or the single DVD (each containing 27 songs)
  5. A 2 LP, 180-gram vinyl package will follow

The single CD:1 2015 CD

The single DVD (or BluRay), plus CD:1 CD and BluRay

The Deluxe 2 DVD (or 2 BluRay), plus book and CD:1 Deluxe

The single BluRay:1 BluRay (1)

The single DVD:1 DVD

How they did the video restoration, repairs and remastering:

A “before” and “after” comparison: 

And a short example of how “Strawberry Fields Forever” (only available in the Deluxe set) will look: 

THE BEATLES’ VIDEOS AND TOP HITS COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME

All-New Editions of The Beatles 1 Pair Beautifully Restored Promotional Films and Videos with Brand New Stereo and Surround Audio Mixes

Beatles 1+ Deluxe Edition Celebrates the Sight & Sound of The Beatles in 50 Films & Videos

London – September 15, 2015
After The Beatles stopped touring, and because travelling around the globe to promote new releases was impossible, the band increasingly made what could be described as “mini movies”. These pioneering promotional films and videos helped to define the way we have come to watch music, not least because The Beatles approached filming with the same ease and innovative spirit they brought to the recording studio, exploring new creative possibilities with infectious delight. Showcasing the band’s filmed work to accompany their 27 No.1, U.K. and U.S. singles, The Beatles 1 is newly restored and expanded in multiple configurations for global release on November 6 by Apple Corps Ltd/UMG.

The 27-track CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray pairs beautifully restored videos for each song, with new stereo and 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS HD surround audio mixes. The brand new Beatles 1+ celebrates their career in over 200 minutes through 50 promotional films and videos. This includes the 27 No.1s, with the restored videos, along with a second disc of 23 videos, including alternate versions, as well as rarely seen and newly restored films and videos; all include new audio mixes in deluxe CD/2-DVD and CD/2-Blu-ray packages. The 27-track audio CD is also being made available with new stereo mixes. A 2 LP, 180-gram vinyl package will follow.

TThe new editions of The Beatles 1 have been made possible following extensive research, and restoration of the original promo films, classic television appearances and other carefully selected videos spanning the band’s history. Apple Corps dug deep into The Beatles’ vaults to select a broad range of films and videos for their rarity, historical significance and quality of performance. An 18-person team of film and video technicians and restoration artists was assembled by Apple Corps to undertake painstaking frame-by-frame cleaning, colour-grading, digital enhancement and new edits that took months of dedicated, ‘round-the-clock work to accomplish.

The result is a visual run down of The Beatles’ number one records, as well as the additional tracks on the bonus disc of Beatles 1+ that show the band in previously unseen standards of clarity and quality; many of the films and videos have never before been commercially released, in whole or in part.

Beatles 1 and Beatles 1+ offers the restored films, including 35mm negatives scanned in 4K and digitally restored with new stereo and 5.1 surround audio remixes, produced from the original analogue tapes by the GRAMMY® winning team of Giles Martin with Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios. For four of the videos, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have provided exclusive audio commentary and filmed introductions, respectively. The 1+ Deluxe Edition, presented in an expanded 124-page illustrated hardcover book includes ‘an appreciation’ of The Beatles’ ground-breaking films and videos by music journalist and author Mark Ellen and extensive, detailed track/video annotation by music historian and author Richard Havers.

“These videos and films are spectacular reminders of the era we lived in. They also rock!”
Paul McCartney

“II think it’s really interesting to see the videos we made, some of them incredible and some of them really incredible. How else would we have got to sit on a horse?”
Ringo Starr

Between 1962 and 1970, The Beatles released 27 No.1 hit singles in the U.S. and the U.K. In 2000, these timeless songs were collected for The Beatles 1, which topped the charts in 35 countries and became that decade’s bestselling album worldwide. 15 years later, 1 is revisited for this entirely new, visually-inspired presentation.

It’s The Beatles, as you’ve never seen them before.Beatles_1_1_1_1

McCartney’s “Live Kisses”

This just a quick follow up to an earlier post pointing to Paul McCartney’s “Live Kisses” coming out on DVD, BluRay and digital video.

I got a copy of the BluRay today so I thought I’s share some photos of the packaging and what’s inside:

That’s it still in it’s shrink wrap. The front cover photo is taken by Mary McCartney. Here it is released from the plastic:

It is really quite a nicely put together package. It’s not in a standard BluRay plastic cover but is more like a small, bound  hardback book. (The DVD comes in the same packaging only in a slightly larger format). That dark black stripe you can see down the left-hand side is embossed with a shiny finish. Quite stylish. Here’s the rear cover:

There’s a 41 page book inside which contains some nice photos and the stylish layout begun on the exterior continues:

The design is reminiscent of the “Kisses on the Bottom” CD packaging, but is also quite distinctive in itself. There’s a Foreword from Mr Diana Krall –  none other than Elvis Costello:

Costello also conducts an extensive interview with Paul McCartney about the project and the recording and this takes up the bulk of the book. At the rear are a couple of pages containing info on the composers, the song publishing details, and the recording personnel for each track. The disc contents and the bonus features are detailed, and the final page is a thin slot container for the BluRay disc itself:

(click on images to see larger versions)

So, all in all, quite nicely put together. Now to go and watch it! For those wanting a preview, McCartney’s MPL site has just put up an extended promo video package.

Meanwhile, a Paul McCartney Christmas track (which sounds like it may have been recorded during the “Kisses” sessions) is part of a new holiday CD compilation called “Holiday’s Rule” featuring a variety of artists. It’s a project coordinated by Paul’s record companies Hear Music/Concord Music and MPL. He does the classic “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”. You can hear the song if you visit the MPL site – it is featured on their embedded music player at the moment.

 

 

“Living in the Material World” – Win a DVD or CD

The DVD, BluRay and a Deluxe box set edition of Martin Scorsese’s “Living in the Material World”, which have been previously released in the UK and other parts of the world, have only just come onto the market in the United States. Here’s Martin Scorsese talking about his film:

Also out on May 1st was a new CD, Vinyl (and Digital download) of previously unreleased George Harrison out-takes and studio demos featured in “Living In The Material World”.  It’s called “Early Takes – Volume 1“:

Now – here’s your chance to win either a DVD of “Living in the Material World” or the new CD “Early Takes – Volume 1”.  To be in the running to win all you have to do is be the first person to email me at beatlesblogger.gmail.com with the correct answer to this question:

Olivia Harrison gave Martin Scorsese complete access to the Harrison family archives, including pictures (like the ones above and below), home videos, etc.  Scorsese was on location filming another project when a security guard flew in from London with George Harrison’s diaries for him to view. In which city was he in, and which film was Scorsese making at the time?

Its a little bit tricky – but the answer is not far away.

The first two correct entries sent to my email address above will win. One person will get the new DVD, the next correct answer will win the new CD.

Thank you to Universal Music Enterprises and Sneak Attack Media for providing the prizes.