Concert for George: 20th Anniversary Event

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Concert for George event at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 29 2002, the Harrison Estate, film distribution company Abramorama, and Craft Recordings have announced a global theatrical screening of the film of the same name.

The Concert for George is to be shown – for one night only – in select theatres around the world on November 29, 2022:

First released in 2003, the GRAMMY®-winning concert film captures the concert event which celebrated in spectacular style the life and music of George Harrison. It features performances by Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston and many others.

You now have the opportunity to experience the concert on the big screen in immersive Dolby Atmos sound for the first time – newly remastered by GRAMMY-winning engineer Paul Hicks. The anniversary screenings will also feature a brand-new introduction by Olivia and Dhani Harrison.

Paul Hicks has also produced a new Dolby Atmos mix for the film’s accompanying Concert for George soundtrack album – available now on digital platforms. Listen here.

Certified 8 x Platinum by the RIAA, the acclaimed 27-track album is also still available in a variety of existing physical formats including a 180-gram 4-LP box set; 2-CD/2-DVD and 2-CD/2-Blu-Ray box set; and a 2-CD package. Order here.

This is a really special film of what was an amazing, star-studded tribute to George filled with top performances of his songs. It would be well worth seeing again on the big screen, and with great sound.

For more information, to check out cinemas near you, and to book tickets, click here: https://www.concertforgeorge.com/

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Paul McCartney’s 7″ Singles Box

Just as we recover financially from the Beatles’ Revolver re-issue and box set frenzy comes another *tempting purchase: a new box set of 80 7″ singles from Paul McCartney:

The 80 singles (containing 159 songs) are to be released December 2 and represent half a century of Paul’s musical life with releases dating from 1971 (‘Another Day’), right up to 2022 (‘Women and Wives’).

The box set features recreations of 65 singles – complete with their original B-sides (using restored artwork from 11 different countries) as well as 15 singles which have never before been released on 7”. These 15 singles are made up from tracks previously released on 12”, picture discs, CD singles & promos, digital downloads, music videos, two previously unheard demos, and a previously unheard 7” single edit (click here for the complete track listing).

As you can see in the video and images, the singles are housed in a custom wooden art crate designed and built in Derbyshire in the United Kingdom. It includes a 148-page book with a foreword by Paul McCartney, an essay by music journalist Rob Sheffield, plus extensive chart information, liner notes, and single artwork.

Each box will include a randomly selected exclusive test pressing of one of the singles, so in theory if you get a set only 37 other people in the world are likely to have the exact same box set.

The set will be available to download (or stream), and two songs have already been made available. Both have only previously been available as a rare US promo 7″ single: ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ (2022 Remaster – in Mono):

And ‘Too Many People’ (2022 Remaster – in Mono):

To summarise, the numbered, limited-edition box set collection of 80 x 7” singles contains:

  • Recreations of 65 singles/promos using restored original artwork from 11 different countries (including 2 from Australia!)
  • 15 singles never-before-released on 7” including singles previously released on 12”, picture discs, CD singles/promos, digital downloads, and music videos
  • 2 x previously unheard demos
  • 1 x previously unheard 7” single edit
  • 1 x EP 
  • 1 exclusive test pressing randomly selected from the manufacturing process
  • 148-page book containing foreword from Paul, essay by Rob Sheffield, recording notes, release dates, and chart information on each of the singles – each single included is shown on the attached insert, which will be packed into each box
  • Remastered and cut at Abbey Road Studios, London 
  • All housed in a two-piece, four-walled FSC-approved Redwood pine and Birch Ply wooden art crate manufactured in the United Kingdom.

* Tempting that is until you get to the checkout page! Being in Australia we pay a premium for our lousy exchange rate and for shipping. If Australians were foolish enough to shop at the UK Universal Music site we’d be looking at this box costing £614.99, plus shipping £99.99, making a grand total of £714.98. That is a staggering $1265.02 Australian Dollars on today’s exchange rate. The smarter move would be to go to the US Paul McCartney Store. There the box is US$611.98, plus $61.20 in import taxes. Shipping, apparently, is free. That makes a total of $1019.24 Australian Dollars. That’s a big difference…..but still a hell of a lot of money. 😦

A New Beatle Book – ‘The Beatles’ Liverpool’

Now that international travel is slowly becoming more feasible for many of us again, a visit to Liverpool – the city where it all began for The Beatles – might just be back on your travel “must do” list.

If so, it’d be nice to have a guide to point you in the right direction when you get there.

Liverpool, on the banks of the River Mersey always looms large in any discussion about the formation of the band and their influences. Many of the physical places they lived or frequented have become key parts of the Beatle story. It is of course the city where John, Paul, Ringo and George were born, grew up in, and knew well.

Now a new guide book The Beatles’ Liverpool – just released – takes you there by gathering more than fifty Liverpudlian localities. The fully illustrated guide then explains why those particular places played such a key role in the band’s development and success.

Of course there are the obligatory entries for the childhood homes (Menlove Avenue for John, Arnold Grove for George, Forthlin Road for Paul, and Admiral Grove for Ringo); there’s the background to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields; The Cavern Club; and the well-known St Peter’s Church, Woolton where John first met Paul.

But there are many more obscure listings too. Like Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight; the Neston Institute in Wirral; and 4 Rodney Street, birthplace of Beatle manager Brian Epstein.

There’s also a handy two-page guide map pinpointing the location of all the places mentioned in the guide.

If you’re planning a Liverpool visit, this book would be an essential to take with you – and it won’t cost you any excess luggage fees. At just over 44 pages The Beatles’ Liverpool is compact and light enough to easily slip into a travel bag or backpack to have with you as you walk the streets of the historic city.

Even if you’re still a way off physically getting to Liverpool, you can dive into The Beatles’ Liverpool and pay a visit vicariously. It’s the perfect armchair alternative to actually being there.

Author Mike Haskins was himself born and raised in Merseyside – and he still lives there! He’s worked as a scriptwriter and researcher for TV, radio and the stage, and has published over fifty books.

WIN A COPY OF THE BEATLES’ LIVERPOOL (NOW CLOSED)

Courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books in the UK, we’ve have two copies of The Beatles’ Liverpool to give away to two lucky readers.

All you need to do is provide your name, email address and have a go at answering two easy Beatle Liverpool-related questions. Just click on the link below to enter:

https://beatlesblogger.survey.fm/the-beatles-liverpool-giveaway

Good luck!

UPDATE:
Thank you to everyone who entered. And congratulations to the two readers who were first in with the correct answers!

They are Fred, from Ontario, Canada; and Diane from New York, USA. They will receive a copy of The Beatles’ Liverpool book, courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books.

The correct answers to our questions were:

  1. In their early career band members purchased many of their instruments from which famous Liverpool music store? Hessy’s Music Centre
  2. Ringo’s family hails from Liverpool’s Dingle area. His Mum worked at pub called The Empress there. In what way did Ringo put that building on the map? It’s on the front cover of his Sentimental Journey LP

McCartney III – Coloured Vinyl Chart Update

For those of you still keeping score, we’ve updated our McCartney III chart detailing all the many variations over the past 18 months.

With the release last week of the McCartney I/ II/ III limited edition box set, which collects McCartney (on clear vinyl), McCartney II (on white vinyl), and McCartney III (on creamy white vinyl), there are now no fewer than 14 different vinyl colour releases of this LP available:

Just click on the image above to go full screen………

To get the creamy white version you have to purchase the McCartney I/ II/ III box. It’s is being described as a ‘Limited Edition’. We’re not sure of the exact numbers though. If anyone does know please comment in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.

McCartney I/ II/ III is also available in a standard black vinyl edition.

More Beatle/Peter Jackson Projects + McCartney’s ‘Get Back’ to be Re-issued

Looks like New Zealand film director Peter Jackson could have at least two other Beatle projects brewing.

He’s told the online magazine Deadline that he is cooking up another film – or films plural – with involvement from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Jackson revealed that one of the new projects is taking a different approach.

“I’m talking to The Beatles about another project, something very, very different than Get Back,” Jackson said. “We’re seeing what the possibilities are, but it’s another project with them. It’s not really a documentary … and that’s all I can really say. We are never in a position where we have to do anything, but we’ve got a few things percolating.”

Jackson said there is also a big narrative film on the cards, and like his Middle-Earth films, his ambitions will test existing technology. Which means part of his task is to develop the tools to make his vision a reality.

“One of them could be big scale, but it’s so technically complicated I’m trying to work how exactly I’ll do it,” he said. “It’s a live-action movie, but it needs technology that doesn’t quite exist at the moment, so we’re in the middle of developing the technology to allow it to happen. I’m trying to anticipate what I might be able to do, before it even exists. They’re not fantasy epics, but they’re pretty interesting.”

Jackson was tight-lipped about any further details, but fans have already started the guessing game and speculation is rife over the possibility of McCartney and Starr’s direct involvement. 

Meanwhile, long-time Beatle collaborator Richard Lester (he directed them in the movies A Hard Day’s Night and Help!) will have a film he made of Paul McCartney’s 1989/1990 Get Back world tour re-issued on Blu-ray and DVD next month:

Apparently Lester came out of retirement to document that Get Back tour, and his film features highlights from concerts across the globe. The band is Paul, Linda McCartney, Hamish Stewart, Robbie McIntosh, Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens and Chris Whitten.

It’s not really clear just why this is being re-issued now. Perhaps it’s because of the success of the whole Peter Jackson Get Back documentary? Or maybe it is trying to ride on the coat tails of Paul’s current Got Back tour…..?

Reviews of the film when it was first released back in 1991 weren’t kind: “Under the best of circumstances, Get Back will never be a very good concert film. The movie fails to offer a clear and compelling rendition of Paul McCartney’s live shows as it features too much extraneous material. The performances of the songs themselves are fairly solid but they lack much life, and McCartney’s weak vocals don’t help. Add to that a high level of visual gimmickry imposed by the filmmakers and you have a flawed representation of the concert experience.”

ViaVison Entertainment says Paul McCartney’s Get Back will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 17.

To give you taste here’s an advertisement from when it was originally released back in 1991:

Mary Hopkin ‘Post Card’ – A Hong Kong/Malaysia Pressing

A recent trip to the New South Wales south coast town of Berry turned up an opportunity for a little crate digging.

It was a nice feeling. Since the advent of COVID-19 the chances to get out and about and hunt for records in the wild have really been few and far between.

On the first Sunday of every month the town puts on a big market at the local Showgrounds. There are all sorts of stalls set up with people selling home made goods like candles, local produce, handcrafted items, food and second-hand goods – including a couple of stalls selling records! This allowed us to get back to what this blog is all about: adventures in collecting Beatles music.

One thing we’re always on the lookout for are Apple Records artists – and we found an interesting variation of the Mary Hopkin LP Post Card, produced by Paul McCartney and released in 1969. This one was different because it was manufactured by EMI in South East Asia for the Hong Kong and Malaysian markets:

There are a couple of things to note here about the differences between this and the US and Australian pressings of this release.

First is that it follows the original UK vinyl track listing. Notice that there is no ‘Those Were The Days’ – which was hit single for Hopkin in 1968 – included on this edition.

Second is the printing in blue at the bottom of the rear cover (which by the way has a very nice glossy finish on both sides):

This South East Asian edition also comes with an original black paper inner sleeve:

To compare the differences, here’s the US release:

Notice that the title of the LP is at the bottom of the front cover photo – whereas on the Hong Kong/Malaysia and UK pressings the title is at the top of the photo of Mary.

Also, as already mentioned, that Side 2, Track 4 has ‘Those Were The Days’ in place of ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ which is found on the UK and and South East Asian pressings. Here are the US labels:

Just by way of interest, we also have an Australian pressing of Post Card issued by the World Record Club. It has completely different artwork for the front and rear covers, and labels:

This Aussie World Record Club release also follows the US track listing, with ‘Those Were The Days’ as Track 4, Side 2.

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

For an exhaustive look at the differences between the UK and US editions, check out BeatleDave’s Beatle Channel.

McCartney 1, 2, 3.

We all knew it was going to happen some time. And now it has been officially announced.

There will be a box set that gathers together the albums McCartney, McCartney II, and McCartney III. It is to be released on August 5.

The McCartney I II III  box set will be available in three different formats: a Limited Edition colour vinyl, a black vinyl edition, and on CD. Each will include three special photo prints with notes from Paul McCartney about each album. The newly created box set cover art and typography for the slipcase are by Ed Ruscha the US artist who created the design for all of the myriad McCartney III and McCartney III Imagined releases.

The slipcase style box comes in three variations:

Limited Edition Colour Vinyl ⁠(see above): Three-disc 180g audiophile vinyl set (McCartney – clear, McCartney II –white, and McCartney III – creamy white vinyl), ⁠three 8 x 10” photo prints with introductions from Paul.

Limited Edition Black Vinyl Edition (see below): ⁠Three-disc 180g audiophile vinyl set (McCartney, McCartney II and McCartney III), three 8 x 10” photo prints with introductions from Paul.

And there’ll be a CD. Again, described as a Limited Edition, three-disc set ⁠with the three photo prints with introductions from Paul. Looks like they’re in card sleeves and that McCartney II and McCartney III come with booklets.

Interestingly, the promo images and the YouTube unboxing video below show that McCartney II is on the original black and silver Parlophone labels. Previous reissues have been on the plain black label used for the McCartney Archive Series releases. Nice too to see McCartney back on the Apple label once again.

Hamburg Wishes Paul Happy Birthday

On the eve of Sir Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday on June 18 – it’s quite a milestone – we received an interesting press release from the City of Hamburg in Germany.

Given the city’s early association with the birth of The Beatles they’ve commissioned a song to give back in tribute to the great man.

Here’s the press release about the track:

To Whom It May Concern:
The City of Hamburg celebrates Sir Paul McCartney’s 80th anniversary with the ‘thank you’-anthem ‘Song For Paul’ – press release June 15th, 2022

It is common knowledge: The remarkable international career of The Beatles first took off in Hamburg, when the legendary band first performed at Indra Club in August of 1960. The rest is, as they say, history.

Still today, all across Hamburg and the St. Pauli-district especially, The Beatles are a prominent phenomenon. They are part of the city’s DNA.

With Sir Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday coming up this Saturday, June 18th, the City of Hamburg decided it was time to finally give back a song to Paul, after he gifted so many unforgettable songs and memories to all of us.

Salamanda, a band from Flensburg, not far from Hamburg, were the right guys for the job: They wrote and recorded “Song For Paul”, a 5-minute love letter to Paul McCartney. The song was mixed at the renowned Abbey Road Studios.

With “Song For Paul”, the City of Hamburg is starting the #SongForPaul social media campaign. Fans from Hamburg and all over the world are asked to say their thanks to Paul on Saturday, June 18th and share the songs written just for him.

“Song For Paul” is released Friday, June 17th, accompanied by a music video shot on many locations with Beatles-history, such as the before mentioned Indra Club, the famous Reeperbahn and a grande finale at the “Beatles Platz” (Beatles Place), where over 300 fans joined the band for the flash mob video shoot.

The goal of the campaign is to reach McCartney personally, and let him know how thankful the citizens of Hamburg are for his life’s work. The campaign is initiated by the band Salamanda, the City of Hamburg, BID Reeperbahn+ and several cultural associations.

#HamburgSagtDanke #SongForPaul

Very Rare US Beatle Single

A very rare Beatle single is going on show at Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville:

The record label posted on Instagram: “You can’t do that!” is probably what the Capitol Records pressing plant manager yelled at the rogue employee who created this unheard of (and unauthorized) yellow-and-black split color version of the Beatles’ 1964 single “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Likely pressed surreptitiously after hours, Third Man recently purchased this insanely rare record at auction. Expect to see this single on display soon at Third Man Records.

Maybe this is where they got the colour scheme idea for their very rare, limited production run (only 333 copies made) of Paul McCartney’s McCartney III LP?

And for their less rare McCartney III “Splatter” edition?

Want to visit Third Man Records?

McCartney’s ‘The Lyrics’ Wins British Book Award

Paul McCartney, no stranger to the odd prestigious award, has just won another.

His book The Lyrics:1956 to the Present has taken out the award for Best Non-Fiction Lifestyle book in the 2022 British Book Awards (otherwise known as The Nibbies):

Strangely Sir Paul’s acceptance speech (pre-recorded and played to the audience at the awards ceremony) could not be included in the YouTube clip.

Here’s some more info on the other books that were on the shortlist.

The judges wrote that The Lyrics was: “A work of art”; “a unique piece of publishing”; and a book that “belongs in a museum, not just our bookshelves.” They praised the two-volume set as a “fantastic visual diary”, singling out the original hand-written lyrics.

The book was supported by a free exhibition at the British Library and McCartney in Conversation at the Southbank Royal Festival Hall.

Publishers Allen Lane coordinated a global launch, simultaneously in 11 languages, attaining extensive broadsheet and radio coverage. Plus the book was released in multiple translations.