Badfinger – Finest Moments Rare LP

The British online second-hand collectables dealer eil.com has listed for sale one of the the most scarce Apple Records vinyl releases.

It is a Badfinger LP called Finest Moments

This was a ‘best of’ disc compiled by EMI Australia in 1989. But it seems they didn’t get the correct permissions from head office, and so only ten copies were ever pressed. These were sent out for review purposes. The project was then hastily scrapped and the record withdrawn from their catalogue.

The disc, dedicated as ‘A Memorial to Pete Ham, Tom Evans and Mal Evans’, has sixteen tracks. The copy they have for sale (for a cool £1,995.00, or $3,271.00 Australian) reportedly comes from a former EMI senior executive and has the catalogue number SAPCOR 28.

eil.com says: “Because of ongoing legal problems that Apple were having at the time, the project was scrapped even before any sleeves were printed, just a 12″ insert on green paper [was included].” Presumably they got that part of the story from the EMI executive who owned the record. The Applelog Book says that the song ‘Without You’ is incorrectly titled as ‘I Can’t Live (If Living Is Without You)’.

Interestingly that same catalogue number (SAPCOR 28) was later utilised by Apple for a different Best Of Badfinger double LP (and single-disc CD) that it officially released in 1995: The great site The Worldwide Apple Records Discography has some more (small) images of the Finest Moments LP if you are interested.

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The Beatles ‘Hard Day’s Night’ Mystery Chord Revealed

Sum of All Parts is an ABC Radio podcast here in Australia.

The show recently examined (from a mathematical perspective!) the famous opening chord of The Beatles’ song, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’:

The podcast episode is called ‘The Magical Mystery Chord’.

Using the research and insights of mathematician and Beatle fan Professor Jason I. Brown, and personal experiences at Abbey Road Studios by Canadian musician Randy Bachman, the podcast un-picks just how The Beatles (with producer George Martin) achieved a chord that has tantalised musicians now for over fifty years…..

There is also a very short Sum of All Parts “bonus” episode, ‘Slow Down, George Solo-son’. Also well worth a listen.

 

Beatles Sgt. Pepper Picture Disc – and More

Along with the news about the Beatles’ Christmas Records box set (due out on December 15), there’ll also be available – on that same day – a picture disc edition of the 2017 stereo re-master/re-mix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

To date there is no information about how the picture disc will be packaged. However, we do know that it will be joined by a single-disc black vinyl version of the 2017 re-mix of Sgt. Pepper (the initial vinyl release was a two record set):

Plus, if you fancy yourself as a bit of an audiophile and into the best sound you can get, there’ll be a high definition digital audio download version of Sgt. Pepper’s available in 96 kHz/24 bit quality.

It will basically be the same running order as the two-disc Deluxe Anniversary CD which features the new Giles Martin 2017 stereo mix, plus 18 additional tracks.

These include complete alternate takes for each of Pepper’s 13 songs, plus the 2017 stereo mix and an instrumental take of ‘Penny Lane’, and the 2015 stereo mix and two complete alternate takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – all in 96 kHz/24 bit…..

All of the above are out on 15 December.

Selections from Paul McCartney’s ‘Liverpool Oratorio’

Here’s another recent addition to the collection.

We’d been aware of course of Paul McCartney’s numerous foray’s into the world of classical music. Over the years there have been a number of his compostions released, including his first major work Liverpool Oratorio – which dates back to 1991. 

This was issued on 2 CDs, double cassette (remember them?), and as a two LP box set.

There were also two CD singles released from the work, ‘The World You’re Coming Into’ and ‘Save The Child’: 

What we weren’t aware of for quite some time was that a year after these initial releases there came a further CD called Selections From Liverpool Oratorio. This was issued in October, 1992. Despite the fact that the album is clearly represented on McCartney’s   official discography we’d completely overlooked it’s existence.

Selections From Liverpool Oratorio gathers together on one CD all the most important songs for those people who don’t want to buy the full double CD version – which has a lot of connecting pieces and incidental music included.It comes in a single jewel case with a very thick booklet containing an introduction by Paul McCartney, a longer article about the background to the work, plus a liberetto with all the words to the songs:The track listing:The CD’s rear cover, and it’s distinctive yellow spines:The EMI Classics logo is prominently displayed throughout, but so too is McCartney’s own mpl company logo.

The Film Scores and Original Orchestral Music of George Martin

Here’s a release to look out for in November – a newly recorded disc of music composed by the late Sir George Martin.

Called The Film Scores and Original Music of George Martin this gathers together a cross-section of works illustrating his musical genius – some for the very first time: The music is performed by The Berlin Music Ensemble, under the baton of US-born producer, composer and arranger, Craig Leon who is the driving force behind the project.

“When I was going through it, I was just struck by the elegance of the composition and how much they fit the era that I grew up in music, and again made me think how much I wouldn’t have even had the life I had if George Martin hadn’t done what he did,” Leon said. “He bridged the gap between an interpretive producer and a creative producer, which was the thing that I wanted to do.”

The recording will be out on November 10 on CD and digital download on the Atlas Realisations label. Then, in January 2018 to celebrate George Martin’s birthday, a 2LP vinyl edition will also be released.

The track listing:

  • 1-5 The Pepperland Suite (Original music written for the film Yellow Submarine)
  • 6-9 Live and Let Die Suite (Original music written for the film Live And Let Die)
  • 10-12 Three American Sketches for Violin & Chamber Orchestra
  • 13 Judy’s Theme
  • 14-16 Under Milk Wood Overture (Incidental music to Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas)
  • 17 Belle Etoile (* First recording)
  • 18 Waltz in D Minor for Flute & Chamber Orchestra
  • 19 Prelude for Strings
  • 20-29 The Mission Chorales (* First recording of the original sketches written for the film The Mission)

And here’s a short background video featuring Craig Leon talking about how the project evolved:

We love the music of George Martin. See also:

Vale Sir George Martin

Produced by George Martin – New DVD/BluRay

Produced by George Martin – Six CD Box Set

New Book: The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 1

A fascinating and well-researched new Beatle book has just landed. It’s rather lengthy title is The Beatles Recording Reference Manual- Volume 1: ‘My Bonnie’ through ‘Beatles For Sale’ (1961-1964). The book is written by musician, recording engineer, producer and Beatle afficionado, Jerry Hammack:

As the front cover says: “From the first take to final remix, discover the making of the greatest pop recordings of all time”. It is the first installment of what will be a four-book series.

Volume 1 takes us in great detail through the albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles For Sale.

Over eight years in the making, Jerry Hammack has collected and analysed hundreds of recordings (takes, outtakes, remixes and the officially released versions), read hundreds of books and magazine articles, scoured photos, film and videos, and interviewed key personnel who worked on Beatle sessions to compile a definitive statement about just how each of their classic recordings was made.

From his home in Toronto, Canada, Hammack explained, “I’d be working on a session and an artist would ask for McCartney’s bass sound on Sgt. Pepper, or Clapton’s solo guitar sound on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. While I could eventually track down the details that brought those sounds to life for them, it required a lot of detective work sorting through outdated, or even worse, unsubstantiated misinformation on the topic. As The Beatles influence is as present now as its ever been, I thought it was important to put those questions to rest.”

And put them to rest he does. The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 1 – ‘My Bonnie’ through ‘Beatles For Sale’ (1961-1964) includes song-by-song descriptions of the entire recording process, complete with diagrams to visually describe what happened with each song. This allows the reader to follow the critical milestones of each work. Every entry has detailed session by session breakdowns of the people involved, instruments and studio tools used. Plus there are numerous appendices at the back of the book covering release versions, gear, and more.

You’ll find in this book minute detail – right down to to the studio gear in the control room at the time – like this beautiful old Telefunken M10 Master Recorder (which was the model used to record masses of the band’s earliest songs):

The book also has what I very much like to see in reference works of this nature: a Glossary of Terms, a thorough Bibliography, and a comprehensive Index, making things easy to find and cross reference.

Future volumes in this definitive, four-volume series will be released approximately every 6 months. Jerry Hammack has created a great website to support the book series, and you can purchase his book direct from the site, or through Amazon (where you can also take “Look Inside” peek at the contents). Here’s the rear cover of Volume 1 (click the image for a larger version): 

Volume 2 will take us from Help! to Revolver (1965-1966); Volume 3 will look just at 1967 (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour); and the final in the series Volume 4 takes in the LPs The Beatles (aka The White Album, through to Abbey Road (1968-1970). Really well worth getting hold of if you love to delve into how Beatle magic was made in the recording studio.

More Beatle Podcasts for Your Listening Enjoyment

More than two years ago the ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) began hosting an ongoing series celebrating the 50th anniversary of each British Beatle LP.

As each album marks its anniversary ABC Radio presenter Rod Quinn speaks to US John Lennon biographer and amazing Beatle expert Jude Southerland Kessler. Jude is the author of the extraordinary (and ambitious!) nine-volume John Lennon narrative biography. The last instalment in Jude’s series was Volume 3: She Loves You, but Volume 4: Should Have Known Better is due out soon – in March, 2018 we believe.

It’s been quite a while since we gave you an update on the ABC Radio podcast series. There have been quite a few, so here goes.  

The Rubber Soul LP is discussed in two parts. Part One (examining Side One of the LP) is here.

And you can find Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) is here.

Revolver is also in two parts. Part One (examining Side One of the LP) is here.

And Revolver Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) is here.Rod Quinn and Jude Sutherland Kessler discussed both Side One and Side Two of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in one long podcast here.These are all great podcasts. Very insightful and well worth a listen. Previous broadcasts have covered Please Please MeWith the BeatlesA Hard Day’s NightBeatles For Sale and of course, Help! – in two parts: Side One here, and Side Two here.