Strange/Unusual Find of the Month

It’s not every day that you walk into your local second-hand record store and find an almost mint copy of The Beatles’ 1967 EP Magical Mystery Tour, but that’s what happened last week.

Dropped into Audiomania in the Sydney suburb of Manly Vale and as we were quietly browsing the LP section we looked up to a shelf just near the “New Arrivals” bin, and this is what we spied:

This is a UK pressing, and we’re pretty sure it is an original from 1967, making it just over 50 years old. For it’s age this example is in exceptionally good condition, both the laminated gatefold sleeve, and the two EP records it contains.

This is the mono UK pressing. You can tell that from the catalogue number MMT-1 which is printed on the upper right of rear cover (and of course the word MONO is also there!). Stereo pressings have an SMMT catalogue number:

The labels also carry the MMT catalogue number. As you can see below this pressing came with a solid centre. There are also examples with a push-out centre. The labels have the “Sold in the U.K. subject to resale price conditions…” text:

Don’t know if you can see it, but the Side 1 label (on either side of the spindle hole) has two raised letters, a K and a T. Not sure if this is significant, or helps identify the pressing date. We think it has something to do with a tax code for the record.

The inner 24-page booklet is also in excellent condition:

It also comes with the 4-page blue lyric sheet pages still intact in the centre. This also helps identify it as being an original pressing. The paper sleeves holding the records are white though, and have a wave-cut top. I think originally the discs may have come in black paper sleeves? If anyone knows please contact us, or leave a comment.

(As usual, click on the images to see larger versions)

So, this was too good an item to pass over. We have Australian mono and stereo pressings of the Magical Mystery Tour double EP, plus a nice French pressing (with a story attached), but a UK pressing in almost pristine condition was our find of the month.

The really sad news is that the Audiomania store will soon be no more. The owner let us know that they will be closing their doors because the site in which they operate has been purchased and its buildings demolished. All the tenants have to get out. They hope to continue online, but it’s just not the same as being there to flip through record bins of used LPs and singles in person…..

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McCartney’s ‘Pipes of Peace’ – Original Labels

Looking at the recently released Capitol Records coloured (and black) vinyl reissue of the Paul McCartney Pipes of Peace LP, we got thinking about the labels used for the original release back in 1983.

This is the label style used on both sides of the 2017 version:

As you can see, the custom designed labels are similar thematically (but not exactly the same) as those used for Side 2 of the 1983 vinyl release:

The chrome-plated chair image is larger and positioned differently, plus it has a different musical instrument on it.

But it’s the labels used for Side 1 in 1983 that fascinate.

For some reason Side 1 in each of the major markets around the world featured vintage depictions of either Parlophone or Odeon record labels (for those territories outside the US), or Columbia Records for the United States (because that was the label McCartney was signed to there at the time).

Here, for example, is the Side 1 label used in the UK – a vintage Parlophone in deep maroon:

And here’s the label used in the US, which was done in the style of an old-fashioned Columbia release:

In Australia it was a vintage Parlophone – done in a dark brown and gold:

For Europe, where the Odeon label was used to release EMI titles, they used a vintage version too. Here’s the one for Germany:

And Spain of course:And here’s the label used in France for Side 1. Unusually, it’s a vintage Parlophone – which is strange because you’d think it would more likely be on Odeon too:

It was definitely vintage Odeon for Japan: And in New Zealand it was a Parlophone: 

These next few are from smaller territories where we’re pretty sure that on both sides of the disc the  labels used were both the same. If you happen to have any further info on these please get in touch using the “Leave a Reply” section below. First up, India:

We can confirm that The Philippines definitely used a vintage black and yellow Parlophone for both sides of the disc:

Malaysia:

And to some South American countries now – Argentina:

Uruguay:

Bolivia:

And lastly, Columbia, which interestingly seems to be serviced by both Parlophone and Columbia/CBS records:

If you’d like to see these labels in more detail, click on the images to bring up larger versions.

And if anyone knows just why Paul McCartney wanted to use vintage labels for Side 1 only of Pipes of Peace, please let us know by commenting below.

John Lennon – ‘Jealous Guy’ 12-inch Single

My daughter was at a big market in Melbourne a couple of weeks back. There was a guy selling records and so she bought this for me:lennon-jealous-1

It’s the 12″ single release of John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’, taken from his Imagine album. As far as I can tell the single was released in 1985. Discogs doesn’t have this particular release listed, but it does have entries for the UK and Europe which look to be the same.

This is the Australian release and as you can see it’s backed with ‘Going Down On Love’ (from Walls and Bridges), and ‘Oh Yoko!’ (also from Imagine).lennon-jealous-3lennon-jealous-4

(click on the labels for a larger version)

The cover is a bit worn and creased and there’s a slight tear on the back, but the vinyl inside is in absolute mint condition. lennon-jealous-2It’s nice when your kids buy you presents!

“Great Record Labels” Book

Chanced upon a small local garage sale (or yard sale) this morning and found this book:great-labels-cover

Great Record Labels, written by Al Cimino and published by Chartwell Books in 1992, is quite an interesting overview of some of the most famous record companies, admittedly with a strong US bias. It has some really good images liberally scattered throughout, not only of the various record company labels themselves, but also many of the artists signed to the labels too.

Cimino has split his book into five broad categories covering music from the 1950’s through to the 1990’s. He starts with Sun Records in the Fifties, and ends with Def Jam in the Nineties, and works his way through most of the big labels in between – like Atlantic, Stax, Motown, Decca, A&M, CBS, Warner Brothers, Island, and Virgin – to name but a few.

There are two main segments of the book where The Beatles pop up. First is the chapter on the British EMI/Parlophone label:great-labels3great-labels4

In the section on EMI’s US subsidiary Capitol Records there is only fleeting reference to The Beatles, despite the huge amounts of money they made for the company:great-labels9

But to make up for that there’s no less than four pages dedicated to The Beatles’ own Apple Records:great-labels5great-labels6great-labels7great-labels8

Here’s the rear cover of Great Record Labels (the dust cover has seen better days…):great-labels-rearDespite being a little beat up, this is a nice little find and a good book to have in the collection.

The Beatles Collection Singles – Parlophone New Zealand

A fairly unique and unusual box set came into the collection this week.

We’ve written before about a UK singles box set we have called The Beatles Collection. It was released by EMI back in 1978 and contains twenty-five Beatle singles. These were housed in a textured black flip-top box that looks like this:beatles-singles-collection-front

However, the copy of The Beatles Collection you can see below was officially released by EMI only in New Zealand:nz-collection-box2

This set, which dates from 1979, includes the same twenty-five top-selling Beatle singles as the UK version. They are also housed in a black and gold-embossed box. It’s not a flip-top box like in the UK, but a heavier, lidded one made of much thicker cardboard:

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As you can see, there are a few age spots and marks on the front, but overall this one is in very good condition with no tears or splits.nz-collection-box1 nz-collection-box4

All the green, white and black paper sleeves inside (including the “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” picture sleeve), weren’t printed locally. They’ve been imported by EMI from the UK and so are identical to the earlier UK release, with “Made in Great Britain” stamped on the front:

nz-collection-box8nz-collection-box18

The big difference here is that all the vinyl inside the sleeves was pressed locally in New Zealand, making this set somewhat interesting, unusual and collectable:nz-collection-box6nz-collection-box7

As you can see from the label for “Love Me Do” above, some of the singles have the original UK catalogue numbers, but some (like “Hey Jude” below) have unique New Zealand numbers – with an “NZP” prefix:nz-collection-box17All except “Hey Jude” and “Sgt Pepper” are exclusive New Zealand pressings, made only for this box set. They weren’t sold separately. The “Hey Jude” and “Sgt Pepper” singles were apparently sold separately, but not in the picture sleeves you see here. All the labels are black and yellow Parlophone labels.

For a full set of scans and some more information about this New Zealand pressing go to the great 45cat site. It’s got more information and images.

The New Zealand Beatles Collection (1979) is a Parlophone box set with 25 x 45rpm records comprising all the Beatles’ singles 1962-1978:

1. Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You
2. Please Please Me / Ask Me Why
3. From Me To You / Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You / I’ll Get You
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy
6. Can’t Buy Me Love / You Can’t Do That
7. A Hard Day’s Night / Things We Said Today
8. I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman
9. Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is
10. Help / I’m Down
11. We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper
12. Paperback Writer / Rain
13. Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby
14. Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane
15. All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man
16. Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus
17. Lady Madonna / The Inner Light
18. Hey Jude /Revolution
19. Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down
20. The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe
21. Something / Come Together
22. Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
23. Yesterday / I Should Have Known Better
24. Back In The USSR / Twist And Shout
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / With a Little Help From My Friends / A Day In The Life

From “Love Me Do” to “A Hard Day’s Night” the UK picture sleeves used in this set have this image on the rear:

nz-collection-box5

The singles from “I Fell Fine” to “Yellow Submarine” have this as the rear-cover image:nz-collection-box10

The sleeves from “Strawberry Fields Forever” to “Lady Madonna” have this photograph:nx-collection-box13

And from “Hey Jude” to “Back in the USSR” this image is used:

nz-collection-box16

Like the UK release, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (which is a three-track single) comes in a different picture sleeve to the rest of the set: nz-collection-box25 nz-collection-box26nz-collection-box27

Vale Sir George Martin

Sir George Martin, producer of the Beatles, has died aged 90. Often referred to as The Fifth Beatle, he signed the band to Parlophone Records (the EMI subsidiary label he was responsible for) and closely shepherded their recording career – making an invaluable contribution to their sound and their musical growth. Sir George 1 Sir George 2 Sir George 3 Sir George 4 Sir George 5

The news first emerged in a Tweet from Ringo Starr and was later confirmed by Universal Music Group and by Martin’s management.

Go well, Sir George, and thanks for the wealth of great music you leave behind.

The Beatles “With The Beatles” Australian EP

While we were in Long Jetty last week we discovered a nice copy of John Lennon’s Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats. This was at The Sound Exchange Record Bar. Immediately next door is a small bric-a-brac/old wares store called Webster’s Vintage:Websters

Inside this bright green building is crammed a veritable potpourri of clothing, jewellery, books and all sorts of knick knacks. You name it, they’ve got it.

While looking around we spied, in a glass case behind the main counter a lone Beatle record that looked interesting. It was a 1965, Australia-only pressing of a four-song EP called With The Beatles:With The Beatles EP

We asked the owner if she could open the cabinet so that we could check it out. The records was in very good condition. With its dark front cover image (unique to Australia) it’s rare to find these without a lot of ring wear showing, and the vinyl itself was very good too:With The Beatles Label

Rear cover:With The Beatles Rear

So, another nice Aussie EP addition to the collection.