George Harrison – Two New Rare Tracks on the Way

For those George Harrison completists among us there are a couple of new rare tracks to be aware of.

Bob Dylan is about to release another volume in his continuing Bootleg Series, and it contains two songs where Harrison makes an appearance.

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) comes out on August 27 and the trailer for the compilation (below) says it features unheard collaborations between Dylan and Harrison:

Rolling Stone says the two songs, “Time Passes Slowly” and “Working on a Guru,” come from Dylan’s one-day session in New York with George in May, 1970. “Most of the songs from that day suck,” says a quoted source. “The story we heard from the engineer is that they were just messing around as they waited for Elvis, and Elvis never showed up. They were just treading water. But these two songs are very nice.”

The Harrison session marked the first day of recording for the Dylan album which followed Self Portrait called New Morning.Unknown

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will be released as a 2CD Standard Edition, a 3LP Standard Edition, and a 4CD Deluxe Edition:dylanproductshot-600-1373913023

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FAB: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney

I was in Hobart, Tasmania this week and a friend mentioned at dinner that he’d just picked up a new biography of Paul McCartney.

“What new biography?” I said, as I’d not heard of it. “Oh, its just been released. Looks good”, said he.

Well, next day I had an hour or two to kill waiting for the plane home, and so decided to take wander along the main street of the town. I popped into the local Angus and Robertson bookstore – and to my great surprise there it was on the shelf in its paperback form:

Front cover "FAB: An Intimate Life of Paul Mccartney"

As you can see from the Australian and UK cover above (yes, I bought a copy), it’s called “FAB: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney”, written by Howard Sounes. Harper Collins is the Australian publisher and their website says it was published here and in the UK only very recently – on 25 August, 2010.

Until this week, I’d never heard of it! It has certainly flown under the radar as there hasn’t been much written about it in the lead-up to its release. At least, it flew under my Beatles radar….

In the US it gets a different cover:

As one reviewer asked, does the world need another Paul McCartney biography? The answer is that while this one does trawl through the early days once more, it brings us up right up to date with what has been a prolific and interesting later career. In fact the work includes “Electric Arguments”, “Good Evening New York City”, the Beatles Remastered releases, and his illustrated children’s book “High in the Clouds” released last year.

And it is big – 634 pages. I only got it yesterday – so a review will be coming later.

If you’d like to get a taste Sounes, who worked as a journalist for the Daily Mail in England, has published lengthy extracts from the book that you can read here and here. His other books include “Down the Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan”.

Beatlesnews has also published a short article about author Howard Sounes and this new McCartney book.  The Liverpool Echo has published an interview with the author. And there’s a very good review of the book by Simon Sweetman here.

Beatles Books Abound

I came into the possession of two more Beatles books this week.

I wasn’t actually looking for them – they came looking for me. As I’ve posted earlier, we’ve recently visited Vietnam. It was my wife’s birthday this week and so I thought a Vietnamese cookbook might be popular. I went along to my local discount bookshop – but no Vietnamese cooking books were to be seen. However, in the Music section (a frequent haunt) I found these two Beatles “picture” books, both by the same publisher, both in the same format, and both only AUS$7.95 (US$7.28) each. Who could resist?

The first is “The Beatles – The Illustrated Biography”. It’s a small-format book – about 17.5 cm (7 inches) by 17.5 cm square. Here’s the front cover:

The Beatles - The Illustrated Biography - front cover

The sub-title reads: “A Unique Collection of 200 Classic, Rare and Unseen Photographs”, and that’s pretty much what this book is. It’s a photographic step through the career in photographs. Part One is called “Four Lads From Liverpool”. Part Two is called “The Long and Winding Road”. Text is provided by Tim Hill, Alison Gauntlett, Gareth Thomas and Jane Benn. It’s published by Transatlantic Press in Britain in 2009.

The Beatles - The Illustrated Biography - rear cover

These sorts of books abound – with many of them published in a variety of formats and all using the Daily Mail library of Beatles photographs. This book is no exception. The photographs are all credited to Getty Images, but I suspect they are all pretty much from the Daily Mail archive – just re-packaged. I must say though that this one is nicely presented in black-and-white and in colour, and worth having in the collection.

Here is a random open page from the book:

The Beatles - The Illustrated Biography - open page

What you can see is a series of two colour shots taken on location in May, 1965 during the filming of the movie “Help”. Clearly the group are in downtime, waiting no doubt for a scene to be lit or some technical problem to be sorted out at Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire. The text talks about the Beatles the previous evening having attended Royal Albert Hall in London to watch a performance by Bob Dylan, whose song-writing was proving to be a big influence on John Lennon at this time.

This little Beatles book is accompanied by what is clearly a companion publication by the same publisher (Transatlantic Press) –  a book called “John Lennon – The Illustrated Biography”:

John Lennon - The Illustrated Biography - front cover

This is in the same format (about 17.5 cm (7 inches) square) as the Beatles book above, and was also published in 2009.

It’s sub-title is “200 Classic, Rare and Unseen Photographs by the Daily Mail” – so clearly it is a re-packaging of many previous books along the same lines. Here’s the rear cover image:

John Lennon - The Illustrated Biography - rear cover

A happy moment (albeit public) between John and his then wife Cynthia Lennon.

The text for this book is by Gareth Thomas, and all photographs are copyrighted to the Associated Newspapers Archive (read: “Daily Mail”), and to Getty Images. Unlike the Beatles book, all the images in this one are black-and-white. Here’s a random open page from the book:

John Lennon - The Illustrated Biography - open page

The photographs here were taken in August 1966, and the text says: “Before leaving for Chicago, John and the boys were taken on a relaxed tour around London airport, including a visit to the new police facilities….However, by the time they had reached their destination [they’d learned about] the seriousness of the “more popular than Jesus” debacle they were facing. John’s anxiety levels were at an all-time high…as he prepared to apologize for his supposedly anti-Christian remarks at a televised press conference….”

Two nice little books to have in the collection

UPDATE:  Another Beatles related book (released in August 2010) is Howard Sounes’ “FAB: An Intimate Biography of Paul McCartney”.

Unboxing “The Treasures of the Beatles”

OK. As I mentioned in the last blog post, a new book has come into the collection. It was only released in November.

I don’t know if you’ve seen these types of books before but they are like a box set in that the book itself sits inside a hard outer casing. The hardback book slides out and, as well as the usual text and photographs, on certain pages inside are pouches that contain replicas of memorabilia associated with the topic. I’ve got one of these already about Bob Dylan. Its called “The Bob Dylan Scrapbook”. I saw another of these books in a store the other day – it was a history book all about the Vietnam war.

Anyway, this new release is all about The Beatles. Its called “Treasures of the Beatles” and it follows the history of the band from the early days in Liverpool and Hamburg, up through each album, the creation of Apple Records, and on to the perhaps inevitable break-up and briefly the solo careers beyond.

It is written by Terry Burrows. He’s a fairly prolific music author and you can see some of his long list of other things he’s written here, including some other Beatles-related titles.

Terry has written a loving tribute to the band and there are lots of great photos inside – some of which I’ve never seen before. But the great part about discovering this book is opening up the little pouches which are full of surprises like publicity and concert posters, replica concert tickets, contracts, hand-written set lists, tour itineraries, postcards, and even a 1967 invitation to The Magical Mystery Tour.

What does it all look like as you browse through the book? Below are some photos,  an “unboxing” of the book with a few pages on display and some of the facsimiles of rare memorabilia that are contained within. Enjoy.

“Treasures of the Beatles” Terry Burrows   2009 Hardback    Published by Crows Nest Books

Front Cover (Outer Box)

Back Cover (Outer Box)

Front Cover (Book)

Pages example 1 - showing one of the pouches

Treasures example - including (burned) replica contract document, etc.

Pages example 2

Treasures example - including posters

Replica concert ticket

Book spine

Weird “Concert for Bangladesh” LP

Every so often you come across a CD or LP where you just can’t identify the country it was released in. Its kind of frustrating because collectors usually like to know this kind of detail…especially when you come across unusual or different packaging of a release you think you know well.

That’s the case here with this three-LP set from 1971 of George Harrison’s “Concert for Bangladesh”.

Every copy I’ve seen to date comes in a hard cardboard box, with a lid that lifts off and looks like this:

The usual "Concert for Bangladesh" box

The box contains the three vinyl discs, and the white-covered 64-page book of concert photos, text and credits for the album. The rear of this box is plain and has no writing on it.

However, I have a copy in the collection that’s a bit different. Its a box, but made of soft cardboard that doesn’t have a lid. The front cover looks familiar enough:

Front cover "Concert for Bangladesh"

So far so good. But this release has flaps on the back which you pull out to get access to the records and book inside:

The flaps in the closed position

You flip open these flaps and the “box” looks like this:

"Concert for Bangladesh" open

From what I can tell the US, UK and Australian versions all have the lidded box, and not this top-opening, slide-out style box. Also the US and UK versions have dark khaki brown inner sleeves in which the records sit (the Australian release doesn’t have any paper sleeves).

Inside this box  though the LPs are in light yellow colored thin paper sleeves:

The LPs are in yellow paper sleeves

The place you can usually tell the country of origin is in the small print on the labels of the records themselves. This one has no hints – with no mention of a country of origin. However, it does have a lot more copyright information on each disc, located just near the record number information (see top the left-hand side in the pics below as compared to the Australian release):

The label of the "strange" version - with copyright info top left

Compare this to the official Australian release:

The Australian release label - note no copyright info

The final main difference is that the words “Sole Distributors, Gramophone Record Company, Ltd” are written on the labels and prominently across the back of the box. The image below is from the rear of the box:

"Sole Distributors, Gramophone Record Company, Ltd" printed on the rear of the box

So, a weird one.

Being a huge worldwide Apple release, this concert disc set would have been issued in a large number of countries. I have my suspicions that this one here could be either the New Zealand or the Indian release.  But I don’t have anything to prove that.

If anyone has any information on this release please let me know by submitting a comment. Cheers for now.