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.