New Klaus Voormann Book – Revolver 50

Klaus Voormann has a new book due for release in the first week of August called Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50.

It celebrates the background story to his now classic front cover design for the Beatles Revolver LP, released on the 5th of August, 1966.

His book, done in a graphic novel style, tells the story from his perspective as a musician and artist who was called by upon by the Beatles, then nearing the height of their fame, to come up with something special, something new, different and lasting.To say he was put under pressure is something of an understatement.Rev 50 Cover Resize

It looks like it’d be a really interesting read.

Pre-orders for The Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50, which will be hand-signed by Klaus Voormann, 
have a pre-sale price 46 Euro (+ shipping & handling costs).

“…it is good for me to see the other side of a story I know so well and to realize aspects like the sheer panic that Klaus must have felt at being asked to do our album cover. In the end, the Revolver cover was a classic and this book is another.”  Sir Paul McCartney

“…your Revolver book – it brought back such great memories – even farther back than Revolver…I hope it sells a million copies!…the Revolver cover was incredible and perfect for that album.” – Ringo StarrRev 50 Page 2 ResizeRev 50 Page 5 ResizeRevolver

McCartney’s ‘Pure’ – Place of Manufacture

The three iterations of Paul McCartney’s latest “personal favourites” compilation, Pure, are interesting.

The small print on the rear covers of each of the formats and editions (2 CD Standard; 4 CD Deluxe; and the 4LP version) reveal that each are manufactured in different places, and one of them is very surprising.

The 4LP sets come from Germany:PureMcCartney_VinylIMG_1680[Click on each “small print” image to see a larger version]

The 2CD version is made in Poland:PureMcCartney_StandardIMG_1679But the real surprise of the bunch is the 4CD Deluxe edition. A check of the small print on the back shows that these are manufactured in China: 

PureMcCartney_DeluxeIMG_1678Once upon a time any CD with “Manufactured in China” stamped on it immediately aroused suspicions amongst collectors. That usually rings loud warning bells.

Chinese manufacturers are famous for producing unauthorised editions, and also counterfeit rip-offs – entirely fake copies of official releases. Just ask anyone who purchased a 2009 Beatles Stereo or Mono remastered box set at an unbelievably low price. Many of them discovered later that they’d been duped and the quality was just not there:

And so China has been very much on the nose in the music business. But not anymore it seems….

Clearly the country is gaining a new credibility in the legit music business. It is definitely moving into the mainstream.

McCartney’s distribution company, Concord Music, must have shopped around for which companies internationally could deliver the best product at the best price – and a Chinese CD maker won the Pure contract – at least for the 4CD “book” style deluxe edition.

We are seeing this more and more as Chinese manufacturers gain a reputation for making high quality items at affordable prices. It’s happening in the hi-fi industry as well, with some Chinese brands turning now out first-class speakers, amplifiers and players now.

(If your’e interested in this sort of thing see also Where “Made in the EU” Vinyl Might Be Pressed and New John Lennon LP Box Set Pressed By Optimal Media).

You might also like Some Unusual Asian Beatle Items Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

A Couple of Beatle DVD Finds

We went “op shopping” recently and discovered a little bit of Beatle treasure.

First up a copy of Paul McCartney’s 2005 concert film In Red Square:

McCartney Red 1

It comes in an outer slip-case. Here’s the rear cover:McCartney Red 2

There’s also an inner booklet included with a range of images from the historic concert:McCartney Red 3

McCartney Red 4

The other DVD we found is a 2008 documentary called Magical Mystery Tour Memories:MMTM1

This is a documentary, a behind-the-scenes/memories of making the actual1967 Beatle film Magical Mystery Tour. Narrated by actor and Beatle friend Victor Spinetti (who not only appeared in MMT but also the films Help! and A Hard Day’s Night), there are lots of stories about what happened during the filming. They range from those who were officially there as part of the cast and crew, through to the many innocent bystanders who just happened to bump into the Beatle entourage as they travelled by bus around England making their largely improvised film. There are appearances and reminiscences from the likes of Paul’s brother Mike McCartney; Beatle Fan Club secretary Freda Kelly; former Beatle insider Tony Bramwell; their press officer Tony Barrow; and Neil Innes from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (and later The Rutles).     MMTM2MMTM3

It has to be said this is a fairly low-budget affair that received only mixed reviews when it was first released, but it’s an interesting documentary to have in the collection and contains some very nice stories and memories of what it was like making Magical Mystery Tour.

Pure McCartney TV Ad

Featuring a range of vintage and sometimes strange play-back formats – check out the cool robot-inspired 8-Track Cartridge player. It all ends with a current and very nice British-made turntable, a white Rega Planar RP1.

The Simpsons – McCartney Episode

Always wanted to get a copy of this for the collection, and now we have. It is part of a “Best Of” series of videos that has the episode starring Linda and Paul McCartney:Simpsons 1

The Simpsons episode of interest is called ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’, which was the fifth episode in season seven originally. It first aired in the US in October, 1995.

From Wikipedia: In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu, Paul, and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism. The pair’s condition for appearing was that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series. The episode makes several references to McCartney’s musical career, and his song ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ plays during the closing credits.

Simpsons 2Simpsons 3

During ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’, Paul says, “If you play ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ backwards, you’ll hear a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup.” The song is played during the closing credits, and Paul’s reading of the recipe can be heard if the sound is played backwards.

The recited recipe can be heard (played forwards) in the extra features on The Complete Seventh Season DVD boxset.

Official 12″ Remixes of ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five’

Following a very limited and mysterious white label vinyl issue in March of two re-mixed versions of the Paul McCartney and Wings song ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five’, comes news of an official release on 12″ vinyl and digital download.

This puts ownership of these versions of the song within the realms of possibility for us mere mortals who couldn’t possibly have afforded the exorbitant prices the limited editions were fetching on auction sites like eBay.

The initial, white label releases had two remixes by German DJ/remixer Timo Maas and Canadian producer James Teej. The “official” release will have three. According to the track listings online, the 12″ will include a “radio edit” version of the song.

The vinyl is available for pre-order now and will be released on May 27 in Europe and Canada. No US listings for the physical product have yet appeared, but the US Amazon site is listing a digital download that’s available now.

Here’s the artwork:1985 Wings


The Detail Behind the Mysterious McCartney 12-inch

This article courtesy of the very informative Super Deluxe Edition page:

The full story behind how the mysterious white label, 12-inch 45 release featuring two remixes of Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run album track ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five’ came about in the lead-up to Record Store Day, and who was responsible for it, has been revealed…wl_phonicaMcCartney 1985 12in

As reported in a detailed interview with Billboard magazine, it turns out that German DJ/remixer Timo Maas and Canadian producer James Teej were responsible for the release, with Maas having done some work on the McCartney multi-tracks as far back as 2009. The German wasn’t really satisfied with his work at that time: “we never fully succeeded in working the parts to a point where I really felt the end result was worth passing along,” he told Billboard, and so the music lay dormant on his computer until last year, when James Teej came to visit and heard it.

Enthused, the pair then set back to work on creating the two remixes. They were sent to Paul McCartney who gave them his seal of approval.

“We secretly sneaked it [only 300 copies were made apparently] into two vinyl stores in the UK and Germany in order to test the waters and understand how people would react to the music on face value. The response was a little hard to believe,” says Maas, adding, “Phonica’s London store’s phone was ringing off the hook like crazy for copies, and it went to No. 1 on their charts overnight. All of that got picked up first by i-D magazine, and made it all the way to the UK tabloids who speculated that Kanye West might be behind it.”

It’s interesting to learn how this release came about; especially to note the fact that it wasn’t McCartney’s MPL company which put out the white label, rather Maas and his management.

And that now copies are selling on eBay for around the US$200-300 mark….

There was also a limited edition 7″ (a radio edit version) issue on Record Store Day in a run of 100 copies, also through the Phonica store.mccartney 1985 single 1