Sgt. Pepper – Japanese 50th Anniversary Re-issue Extras

Got to admit, this is pretty cool and tempting:

In Japan, as they usually do, the forthcoming deluxe box set edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, will come with some neat additional extras – including a cut-out diorama of the classic cover image. Here’s what the diorama will look like when constructed:

As you can see on the advertising flyer above “assembly takes 2-3 hours (so you can enjoy the Sgt. Pepper album 3-5 times!)”. There’ll also be two mini gift cards, and this A2-sized poster included as a “first pressing bonus”:

Fianally, the CD’s inside will be in the high-fidelity SHM-CD format – something audiophiles believe gives higher quality sound than just the usual CD pressing. This is also exclusive to the Japan edition of Sgt. Pepper’s.

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Wingspan – More Unusual Variations

Since we published information on the Limited Edition version of Paul McCartney’s Wingspan – Hits and History CD collection last week, our friend Andrey in Russia has provided information about three more unusual and collectable versions.

The first is this Ukrainian release. Here’s the rear cover:ukraine2a

(click on any of the images to see larger versions)

And here are the two Ukrainian discs:ukraine1bVersion 2

Andrey also provided information on not one, but two very collectable Japanese variants:Version 2Version 3As you can see from the shots of the spines below these carry the same Japanese catalogue number and barcode:  wingspan-japan-spines-2versions-1

And both come with an additional booklet (written in Japanese and English). However, in one version this booklet is incorporated inside the slipcase (its white spine can be seen below), while the other version has the added booklet outside the slipcase (orange spine in the image below):wingspan-japan-spines-2versions

(click on any of the images to see larger versions)

The other main differences between these two releases are detailed further here (and in all pictures Version 1 is above, and Version 2 is below):

1) JAPANESE Version 1:
– the “hands” image on the front of the slipcase is printed (i.e. not holographic)
– slipcase in made in Japan
– additional booklet is inside the slip case
– The obi strip on the left hand side is a regular sized obi (i.e. small)
2) JAPANESE Version 2:
– the “hands” image on the front is the holographic image
– slipcase is made in the EU/UK                                                                                          – the additional Japanese/English booklet is outside the slip case
– the obi is large – it wraps right around and covers the entire rear of the outer slipcase

Another thing to note is that in Japan Wingspan – Hits and History contains an additional track to the rest of the world. It’s the song ‘Eat At Home’ and this can be found as track 19 on CD 1. (EU and US versions only have 18 songs on this disc).

New Japanese Edition of McCartney’s “New”

For those Beatle collectors who just have to have everything…..another collectable in now in the shops in Japan.

Timed to coincide with Paul McCartney’s concert performances there (which start in Tokyo tonight and continue tomorrow night and on May 21, followed by Osaka on May 24), it’s a special limited edition of New, the album he released last year.

In this package you get the 15 track Japan-only version of New which, like the 2013 Japanese edition, has the extra track “Struggle” included – making it different to the both the Standard and Deluxe versions of the album released in all other countries. Plus you get a bonus DVD containing:

1. Save Us (Live at Tokyo Dome 2013)
2. Everybody out There (Live at Tokyo Dome 2013)
3. A Rendezvous With Paul McCartney (a Canadian documentary)
4. New (Lyric video)
5. Queenie Eye (Music Video)
6. Something New (the documentary on the making of the album New)

Presented in a clear plastic protective sleeve with an Obi strip on the left and an orange and white sticker on the outside, this new CD/DVD set looks like this:Japan New CD and DVD front

When you open it up it turns out that hybrid cover joining the images from the covers of the Standard (orange/pink) and the Deluxe (blue/pink) editions together is actually a single, separate cardboard sleeve containing the bonus DVD:Japan New DVD frontJapan New DVD rearJapan New DVD Disc

The CD disc of the New album is contained in a separate, triple gatefold cover. Interestingly, this comes in the orange/pink colouring of the Standard editions released worldwide last year, despite the fact that it’s actually a Japanese Deluxe version:Japan New CD Deluxe FrontJapan New CD Deluxe Cover

This makes it unique as the 2013 Japanese Deluxe version (like other versions around the world) is normally presented in the blue/pink tinted New cover which makes it identifiable as the Deluxe. When it came out last year in Japan it looked like this:Japan New CD 2013

Inside this new 2014 limited edition you get the CD booklet that is common to all versions:Japan New CD booklet

Plus you get a Japanese booklet containing the album and DVD credits, track listings, information on the “Out There” Japan tour in 2013, and song lyrics both in Japanese and English. The cover of this second booklet is black and white:Japan New CD DVD bookletJapan New CD disc

Meanwhile, a new video for the song “Appreciate”, taken from the New album, was premiered in Japan during the week and has since been released globally:

The press release says “Paul teams up with Newman the robot for his NEW video ‘Appreciate’ & Japanese tour dates.

Introducing Newman…

Paul has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the world. In recent years his videos have featured a stellar line up of guests including Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Jude Law, Tom Ford, Sean Penn and Natalie Portman.

Today, Paul announced his first artistic collaboration with a robot. Newman, the robot, has teamed up with Paul for his new music video for the song ‘Appreciate’. ‘Appreciate’ is taken from Paul’s latest studio album NEW, which was launched last year.

The video sees Newman on patrol in a museum of humans. Newman is drawn to one exhibition in particular. In a dimly lit sound studio he sees Paul sitting on a stool holding his iconic Höfner bass guitar. Paul twitches making a sound on the guitar and to Newman’s astonishment he starts to come to life as the song ‘Appreciate’ starts up. Paul comes closer to Newman staring at him through a force field that encloses him. Newman reaches through the force field and pulls Paul out of his exhibition. As the two of them move around the museum all the exhibitions start coming to life too.

Speaking about Newman, Paul said: “I woke up one morning with an image in my head of me standing with a large robot. I thought it might be something that could be used for the cover of my album NEW but instead the idea turned out to be for my music video for ‘Appreciate’. Together with the people who had done the puppetry for the worldwide hit ‘War Horse’ we developed the robot who became Newman.”