New George Harrison For RSD Black Friday

This year Record Store Day just keeps on giving.

We’ve already had the main Record Store Day release program for 2020 spread out over three separate “drops”. This has stretched out the process considerably.

And now the folks at RSD are adding to that with the traditional Black Friday set of releases thrown into the mix as well.

Amonst the Black Friday offerings (which is November 27 this year) is one for Beatle collectors, a 45 rpm single of George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’/’Isn’t It A Pity’:

This is limited to 7,500 copies worldwide, and it will come in a re-created picture sleeve – the one used in the country of Angola back in 1970. Curious to know if it will come complete with the same mis-spelling on the B-side of the original, ‘Ins’t It A Pity’?

Not sure why we’re getting the Angola picture sleeve, but it looks cool. I guess this is in line with the Beatles’ The Singles Collection box set that came out about this time last year, with every Beatle single in a picture sleeve from a different place around the world?

Note that this single is listed as a ‘RSD First Release’. These titles are sold first at independent record stores, but may also be released to other retailers or webstores at some point in the future.

For the full RSD Black Friday release list click on the icon below.

All Things Must Pass – Variations and Collectors Items

In November it will be 40 years since George Harrison released his masterpiece, “All Things Must Pass”.

It was the first triple LP ever released by a solo artist. Harrison had so many songs – many of them stored up from his Beatles days – that they sprawled across 2 LPs, plus a third disc called “Apple Jam” which was just that: George and his mates jamming in the studio.

In both the US and the UK the album came out in a black box with a matte, monochrome shot of Harrison on the front, sitting like an elf (complete with accompanying garden gnomes) in the garden of his Friar Park mansion:

atmp-us-cover1

The box came with a huge poster of George (36″ x 24″), and each inner sleeve was in a different colour, complete with the printed lyrics to the songs it contained. Record one is in a light blue sleeve, record two is grey, and record three (“Apple Jam”) is mustard coloured.

The US box open with orange inner and light blue sleeve for record one

The US box open with the lyric sleeve for record two

The US box open with the mustard coloured “Apple Jam” sleeve

The US and UK labels were Apple – but in this time in bright orange:

On the first two discs there was the full Apple on one side, and a cut Apple on the other:

The “Apple Jam” disc (sides 5 & 6) had its own custom labels:

In Australia the packaging for the 3 x LP set was quite different. It was a specially designed triple fold-out cover (not a box set), with a shiny laminated finish on the outside:

The Australian release – front cover

The original release was a top-load cover (there was a later Parlophone label release which was side-load – see below). Here’s the rear cover for the Australian release:

The Australian release – rear cover with song list and artist details

The triple gate-fold opened up like this, and the inserts in which the records are held were made of high quality textured paper in the same colours as the US and UK box-set inner sleeves:

The Australian triple gatefold open on one side

The Australian triple gatefold open both sides

The original Australian issues also came with the giant George poster, and had the bright orange Apple labels – however this time in full on all four sides of each LP (in other words no “cut” Apples on sides 2 and 4):

Plus it also had the special Apple Jam labels for sides 5 & 6:

In the 1990’s in Australia came a vinyl re-issue of the set. It came in the same triple gatefold cover, but this time at a lower quality of paper. And it wasn’t on Apple Records, but the Parlophone label:

There were two 45 rpm singles released from the album at the time. These were “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life”.  In Australia “My Sweet Lord” was backed with “Isn’t It A Pity” and a little bit unusually, the labels on each side had a full green Apple – kind of like a double “A” side:

In 2001 came an LP and a CD re-issue, both of which came as box sets. Here’s the deluxe vinyl box:

The EU 2001 re-issue vinyl box cover

Both the CD box and the LP box were expanded and remastered – containing five previously un-released bonus tracks:  “I Live For You” (out-take); “Beware Of Darkness” (demo); “Let It Down” (alternate version); “What Is Life” (backing track); and “My Sweet Lord (2000)” (alternate version). Both box sets featured a colourised version of the original front cover image. Unlike the original 1970 LP box set, this one had a song list on the rear:

The vinyl was again three LP records – including the “Apple Jam” disc:

The vinyl box open – notice the booklet cover’s statement on environmental degradation

The internal packaging was quite different to the original in a lot of ways. The inner lining (now purple) and the inner sleeves for example:

The vinyl 2001 reissue with the inner sleeve for Disc 1

A booklet replaced the giant poster, but still had some shots from the same photo shoot:

And the LP labels (the record was released on George’s own GN Records label) were different too:

The CD box set contained all the content of the triple LPs – but on two CDs:

The 2001 CD reissue cover – still in shrink wrap with original sticker

All the tracks on “All Things Must Pass” (2001) were remastered and/or remixed by George. He says in the booklet that on some tracks he wanted to “….liberate some of the songs from the big production that seemed appropriate at the time, but now seem a bit over the top with the reverb in the wall of sound”. I guess he means Phil Spector’s production work on the original. There are no hard feelings though as in the booklet George pays tribute to “….the amazing Phil Spector, who produced so many fantastic records in the sixties. He helped me so much to get this record made….God bless you Phil”.  For more information on the complete story of the 2001 reissue see wikipedia

The CD box also had the coloured cover. Urbanisation and degradation of the environment gets worse from the front image, through to changes in each image on the inner sleeves, until the final scene on the booklet where George is literally overshadowed by a motorway and factories belching smog. Here’s the CD label:

Also from 2001 comes a 3 track CD single re-issue of “My Sweet Lord”:

The 2001 “My Sweet Lord” CD single cover

The disc contained “My Sweet Lord”, “Let It Down” and “My Sweet Lord (2000)”:

For further information see also the official All Things Must Pass website, and the excellent Beatles Recorded Sound Index entry.

Don’t forget to check out this weird version of this album.

Also this update on another US label variation in the collection.

And click here for the Record Store Day 2010 limited edition of “All Things Must Pass”.