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:


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 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:


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:


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:


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

I Want to Hold Your Hand – Beatles Rare Japanese Promo CD

When we posted on last year the Beatles 5 CD Japan Box we were intrigued by a thin paper postcard included with he set. We can’t read Japanese, but it looked like you could fill out your details, attach a postage stamp and send off to receive an additional, limited edition CD single of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ in a replica sleeve of the first Beatles Japanese vinyl 45 from 1964. The postcard looked like this:japan-box-insert

Turns out we were correct. Only a few lucky Japanese Beatle fans were eligible to get what undoubtably will become a rare collectors item to add to their Japan Box box sets as the special offer/application postcard was valid only to purchasers of the box set who lived in Japan. The offer expired on July 9, 2014 – and even then it was like a ballot. Only some of those who applied got a copy.

We’ve been checking around the web to see if any had since come up for sale.

The big music collectables online site now has this listing for the rare CD single – but no copies are currently available:  “The Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. Super rare 2014 Japanese only 1-track promotional only mono CD, only available to competition winners by sending a postcard from the Japanese Album box set, and was a lottery as to who receives a copy. The disc is printed with the similar design that featured on the 1964 legendary 7″ with the Odeon Records label, housed in a custom card wallet picture sleeve replicating the artwork from the single with ‘Sampler / Not For Sale / Promotional Use Only’ text on the front, whilst the back promotes the actual Japan Box release, comes with a two page Japanese press release. Another stunning promo from Japan that is sure to become very sought after and highly collectable SIC-9045).”

One copy was recently on Ebay – with an asking price of US$538.00. It was accompanied by these photographs which gave some more detail about the CD single:$_12d$_12c$_12a$_12b$_12$_12e

So – this is indeed destined to become one very rare collectable. If anyone has one and wants to tell us how they got hold of it please get in touch!

Greta’s Beatle Records

OK. We take a little bit of a sidetrack here. To a website I stumbled across by accident last week. As you do.

It’s still very much about “…adventures in collecting Beatles music…” though.

It’s a site called Greta’s Records, and it’s a fascinating concept realised by an American woman named Allison Anders. As she explains on her site: “Just before Christmas, I treated myself to a new and special experience — I bid in a live celebrity auction.  Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Ca. presented a 2 day live auction of the remaining estate of classic film actress Greta Garbo”.

And there was a mass of possessions on offer in the auction. (Click here to see the full Garbo collection catalogue).

Allison continues: “The question one needs to ask when you bid in an auction like this — what do I truly WANT, just something which belonged to her?  Everyone would love a dress she wore — but what would I really DO with it?…..Then I saw it.  WOW — Greta Garbo had records!  Of course!  Why wouldn’t she?  Everyone had vinyl records, stacks of them in the 50s, 60s onward.  What would possibly be in Greta Garbo’s private record collection?   All of it was thrilling and surprising.  There were several lots of records up for auction — including one of classical records and opera, one of spoken word, one of jazz, then one of international records, and one of rock and pop records…..[and] I was the winning bidder on the rock/pop records!   50 of them!”  (Click here to see the catalogue page featuring Lot 420 – the popular records).

Greta's Records 1

The first Beatles LP of Greta Garbo that she explores is Introducing the Beatles.

Greta's Records 2

As well as some detail about the release and it’s songs, Allison has researched Introducing the Beatles fairly thoroughly – even down to notes and links on this the most counterfeited of all popular LPs. She also includes a backgrounder on the Vee Jay label, the most successful black-owned record label before Motown. And there’s even a video on how to tell whether your copy of this record is legitimate or a phoney (….turns out Greta Garbo’s is a phoney):

Well, there’ll be more Beatle records coming up on Allison’s great blog. There are at lease two others (Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour which we can see in the photos) and I’m sure she will be worth reading when she gets to these.

For anyone with a collector’s heart this is a fascinating journey and a document of a famous person’s taste in popular music.

Record Store Day Celebrated with a Record Fair

Happy Record Store Day 2012.

And what better way to celebrate in Sydney, Australia than with a huge record fair in the inner-city suburb of Glebe:

Many of the city’s best new and second-hand record stores and dealers were well represented:

As you can see it was very well attended and there was a sense of frenzy in the air as collectors streamed in throughout the day to try to find the best bargains – and those elusive collectors items. There was plenty of Beatles material on offer:

I was able to pick up a couple of Beatles and Beatles-related items I’d been hankering after for some time plus, just as I was leaving, this unexpected little gem:

It’s an original paperback novel based on the original screenplay for the Beatles first motion picture “A Hard Day’s Night”. It is an Australian edition, printed in 1964 and it is in pretty good condition considering it’s almost fifty years old. Inside the pages are fairly yellowed by the years, but the spine is almost perfectly intact. As well as the central storyline of “A Hard Day’s Night” told as a novel there are eight pages of photographs taken during the filming of the movie:

It’s interesting to note (on both the front and rear covers) that when it first came out the book would have cost fans  4/6 (that’s four Shillings and Sixpence) to buy. Back then that was about 46 cents.

The next two blog posts will be about the other items I discovered. Stay tuned.

Beatles Target Ltd Release Singles – Part 2

Here’s some more on the limited edition Beatles 45 and tee-shirt packs only available at Target stores in the US.

Some folks have been posting more information and pictures at the Steve Hoffman Music Forums – worth checking out for Beatles information and updates from time-to-time.

Someone put up a photo of the way the boxed sets are displayed in the store – usually at the end of an aisle like this:

As my copies are sealed and will probably stay that way I was interested to see some label images of the records inside:

Just a quick reminder about what we are talking about here:

And here are the copyright and other details on the bottom of one of the boxes – which I forgot to include on my earlier post. This one is for “Hello Goodbye”:

(If you’d like to see this slightly larger just click on the image above).

The Beatles Greatest Hits Volume 1

A visit to a garage sale this past weekend (you might use the term “yard sale” where you come from) has added another nice LP record to the collection.

It’s the “Beatles VI”, which first came out in 1965 in the US on Capitol. However, the copy I got on Saturday is a New Zealand pressing on the Parlophone label:


As you can see, this New Zealand pressing has the same picture cover (front and rear), and the same running order as the US release seen here below:

In Australia the artwork of this album is a bit confusing because the cover photo for the “Beatles VI” LP is the exact same cover photo that EMI Australia chose for a completely different Beatles LP they released back in 1968 called “The Beatles Greatest Hits Volume 1”:

I’ve got this on the orange Parlophone label, which would make my pressing from the 1970’s:

But to make things even more confusing, I also have the same LP (with the same cover) on a black and silver Parlophone label – from New Zealand:

So, two different records with different songs on them, but very similar cover artwork.

In case you are wondering about the origins of the photograph, it is actually the Beatles cutting a cake:

Previously Unseen Beatles Photographs

The fine art auctioneers Christie’s in New York will next month auction some pretty impressive and previously unseen Beatles photographs from 1964.

They come from a collection of photos of the group shot by photographer Mike Mitchell. At age 18 he was at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C. for the Beatle’s first US concert, two days after their historic Ed Sullivan appearance.

Christie’s is calling the event “The Beatles Illuminated: The Discovered Works of Mike Mitchell“. Their website says it’s:

“….a sale comprised of nearly 50 lots of unpublished and never-before-seen photographs of the Beatles’ first hysteria-inducing visits to America in 1964. Shot in black and white by photographer Mike Mitchell when he was just 18 years old, the images have been filed away for nearly fifty years. The complete rediscovered collection is expected to realize in the region of $100,000.

Over eight thousand fans packed into the Washington Coliseum on February 11th, 1964 and they were treated to the Beatles at their very best. The Washington Coliseum was not only their first American concert but also by far the largest venue in which the Beatles had ever played. Its unique setup – it was often used for boxing matches – meant that the Beatles were surrounded on all sides by an adoring, cheering audience. The Beatles were clearly delighted and having a great time on stage, sharing all of the enthusiasm of the crowd. Here they were, performing in America, the land of their musical heroes and cultural icons, the home of Elvis and Chuck Berry – who’s “Roll Over Beethoven” was chosen by the Beatles to begin the show – and Little Richard, who’s “Long Tall Sally” was chosen to end it. The concert given at the Washington Coliseum was part of a defining moment in the Beatles’ career, and it remains both an important event and a notable place in their story. And Mike Mitchell was there to capture it.”

Yahoo has quite a nice photo gallery here. There’s an absolute ripper shot of Ringo in full flight and absolutley enjoying himself:

Magical Mystery Tour – HMV Box Set

I’ve been able to get hold of another in the 1987 series of box sets released by the British HMV record store chain to celebrate the first editions of the Beatles on CD. I’ve previously posted on the “Sgt Pepper” box set, and also the “Beatles Red 1962-1966” box set.  Now they’re joined by the HMV “Magical Mystery Tour”:

When the Beatles catalogue came out on CD for the very first time back in 1987 it was a big deal and HMV (which has close ties back to the Beatles record company EMI) released a series of limited edition 12” x 12″ box sets containing CD’s to mark the occasion. There were 12 box sets released in all, plus a large (and expensive) HMV box which housed every CD then available.

Box set BEACD25/6 was “Magical Mystery Tour”, and it came with a 12-page booklet, a large fold out colour poster, and a badge. You can see the front cover image of the box above. It features the same artwork as that used on the CD. When you take the lid off this is what you first see:

This is a large format 12-page booklet with lots of photographs and the text is an article about the making of the film “Magical Mystery Tour”, plus the background to each song. Here are couple of pages from the booklet:

Underneath the booklet is a poster featuring the band in their tuxedos from a scene in the film, plus text on the left-hand side telling the Magical Mystery Tour story:

Then comes the CD itself, held in place by a special cardboard holder with a slot just right for the CD, which is in the standard plastic jewel case. There’s a small thumb-slot at the top to help you get the CD out:

Also in the box is a small metal Magical Mystery Tour/HMV pin or badge:

The CD that comes with the HMV box is the original 1987 UK release with its own booklet:

Like the other titles in the set, inside the lid of the HMV box there’s a limited edition stamped number. Mine as you can see is a nice round number, 004949:

There were apparently 10,000 copies of “Magical Mystery Tour” released worldwide, although one site I found disputes this saying there were only 8000.

Twin Freaks – Variations and Limited Releases

“Those of you who were there for the European Tour will have heard our DJ, Freelance Hellraiser, cooking up some mixes before we came on and people have been enquiring about these mixes ever since. Well the good news is he’s put together an album called ‘Twin Freaks’ using fragments from my original multi-tracks which we hope will rock your little cotton socks!”
Paul McCartney.

That’s how Paul McCartney introduced listeners to his 2005 project, “Twin Freaks”:

The front and rear covers (above) of “Twin Freaks”. The cover image is a painting actually called “Twin Freaks” which is featured on page 69 of Paul’s book of his artworks entitled “Paintings“.

Back in June, 2005 one of the increasingly frequent experimental releases by Paul McCartney, using a nom de plume like his Fireman records, came out. It was a 2 LP, vinyl-only release of twelve remixed McCartney tracks by British DJ and producer Freelance Hellraiser (a.k.a. Roy Kerr).

The Wikipedia entry for the disc sums it up pretty well saying McCartney and Kerr “….created the double vinyl album as a continuation of Kerr’s collaboration with McCartney from a 2004 tour. Kerr had previously released the mash-up album “A Stroke of Genius” in 2002. The format of the mashup is that of an extreme remix in which two disparate musical and recording experiences are combined in a manner that goes beyond remix to literally merge or mashup the two songs so that they emerge as something unique or hybridized. The technique sometimes obscures the original source material or so seamlessly blends the divergent elements that disentangling the grafted parts becomes nearly impossible.

Kerr performed a half-hour set prior to McCartney’s 2004 gigs in which the DJ remixed various McCartney solo tracks into some unusual and often unrecognizable forms. “Twin Freaks” was the outgrowth of these manipulations.

All the McCartney tracks are revised and reinvented in the process. Who is responsible for what aspects of the works or their reinvention is unclear.

The album was produced as a double vinyl release and as a digital download. The cover and interior artwork, which feature paintings by Paul, are similar in tone and style to artist Willem de Kooning.  McCartney knew the late artist, with whom he shared a similar painting style.” (ex Wikipedia)

The LP (on Parlophone Records) comes in a nice thick cardboard gate-fold cover. The images above are from inside the gate-fold and show more McCartney-painted faces and a track-listing (with writer’s credits) for each record. The labels on each of  the LPs are custom-designed with one side having the track-listing for both sides, and the other a painted face:

If you want to hear the type of thing DJ Roy Kerr does with the McCartney tunes here’s a YouTube example of “Maybe I’m Amazed”:

The album spawned two – and possibly three (see below) – 12-inch vinyl singles. The first was a promo-only release of the song “Really Love You”. It was limited to 500 copies worldwide and came out in a clear plastic sleeve that was heavily screen-printed on both sides (the printing is different on each side), with the repeated words “Twin Freaks”:

The “Really Love You” 12-inch promo came out on MPL/Graze Records and carried the catalogue number GRAZE 010. It has just the one song on Side A:

The other side was entirely blank – no grooves, just smooth vinyl – but it had a simple label:

“Really Love You” also had a commercial as a 12-inch single. This came out teamed with another song from the Twin Freaks album – a new McCartney song called “Lalula”. It carried the catalogue number GRAZE 012 and came in a clear plastic sleeve, screen-printed on just one side:

“Really Love You” and “Lalula”, like the promo single, was a one-sided 12-inch single – but this time the “B” side carried what was described as an acid-etched image of the “Twin Freaks” faces painting. It was apparently limited to 2500 copies. It’s quite difficult to capture in a photograph but I’ve had a go below:

Side A carried this label:

I think there was a third, very limited 12-inch vinyl single released from “Twin Freaks”. It was the song “What’s That You’re Doing”, a song co-written by McCartney and Stevie Wonder. I remember at the time seeing a few copies of this for sale on Ebay, but they were expensive and always quickly snapped up. I think it carried the catalogue number GRAZE 011. These have disappeared from trace now and must be real collectors items. If you have any more information on this 12-inch vinyl single please let me know using the comments box below, or email me at

Did the “Twin Freaks” LP ever come out on CD?  You see them occasionally on Ebay, but I don’t think this one was ever officially released by McCartney. Please let me know if this is wrong.

Below is the full 2005 Press Release for “Twin Freaks”:


The TWIN FREAKS eponymous debut album is released through Parlophone Records on the 13th of June. TWIN FREAKS is a collection of some of Paul McCartney’s best-loved classics alongside some hidden gems from music’s most envied back catalogue.

TWIN FREAKS features the studio wizardry of DJ and producer The Freelance Hellraiser, best known for his unforgettable mash-up the 2002 bootleg ‘A Stroke Of Genius’. Hellraiser has since become one of the most sought after remixers and last year he came to the attention of music legend Paul McCartney.

In the summer of 2004 The Freelance Hellraiser joined Paul McCartney’s 13 date European stadium tour, opening each show with a twenty-five minute set of remixed McCartney tunes, which culminated in the famous headline performance at Glastonbury. At the time The Freelance Hellraiser said, “There is such an amazing album to be made of some of Paul’s unknown tracks from the late Seventies and early Eighties. He was doing some utterly cool stuff then that the young audience would lap up now”.

Causing quite a stir on the underground club scene throughout the UK TWIN FREAKS has already received airplay on Radio One’s prestigious show The Blue Room as well as support from Zane Low, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and XFM. The album is packed with dance-floor epics that span Paul McCartney’s illustrious career.  From his solo debut album McCartney (“Maybe I’m Amazed”) through to 2003’s Driving Rain (“Rinse The Raindrops”) and including electro-pop rediscovered classics such as “Temporary Secretary” from 1980’s Coming Up album. TWIN FREAKS is an alternative take on the greatest back catalogue in music.

TWIN FREAKS will be released as a double vinyl
(Catalogue Number: 3113001)

12-inch single Press release:


6th of June sees the release of the debut single ‘Really Love You’ from TWIN FREAKS on the new underground label Graze Records.

‘Really Love You’, a twelve inch only release, is the debut from TWIN FREAKS, featuring the studio wizardry of London based DJ and Producer The Freelance Hellraiser AKA Roy Kerr. Best known for his unforgettable mash-up the 2002 bootleg ‘A Stroke Of Genius’. Hellraiser has since become one of the country’s most sought after remixers and last year caught the eye of music legend Paul McCartney.

In the summer of 2004 Hellraiser toured Europe with Paul McCartney, opening each show with a twenty-five minute set of remixed McCartney tunes, which culminated in the famous headline performance at Glastonbury.

‘Really Love You’ is a remix of the original track taken from Paul McCartney’s 1997 hit album Flaming Pie. TWIN FREAKS are set to take this McCartney classic to a new audience in clubs across the country this summer.

TWIN FREAKS are in the process of putting the finishing touches to their first full album to be released later in the year. ‘Really Love You’ and ‘Lallula’ are just a taste of what’s to come.

Release date:  June 6, 2005     Label:  MPL/Graze GRAZE012 (12″)

Beatles on CD – “1962-1966” – the Red Album

Last time I posted on getting a bargain on the HMV box set of “Sgt Pepper”. This comes from back in 1987 when the Beatles catalogue was released on Compact Disc for the very first time. EMI used their UK record store chain HMV to release all the titles in special, limited edition 12″ box sets.

The other set I was able to get at the same time was “The Beatles 1962-1966” (which was issued later – in 1993).

This is a limited edition box with the catalogue number BEACD25/11. It contains the well-known Red Album double CD set, and comes with a large-format 12-page colour booklet featuring song reviews, a 16″ x 24″ colour poster of the band (posed in front of a big US flag), and a special metal badge.

The front of the box looks like this:

Note the original price sticker still attached. When you take off the lid, this is what you see:

This is the 12-page booklet, and it is different to the small booklet which comes with the CD itself. It features some great photos, a short essay, and a song-by-song commentary by Andy Davis from Record Collector magazine:

Next in the box there’s a large poster:

Then comes the CD itself, held in place by a special cardboard holder with a slot just right for the CD and it’s outer cardboard sleeve. There’s a small thumb-slot at the bottom to help you get the CD out. This box, by the way, is thicker so that it can accommodate the jumbo-sized double “Red” CD :

Also in the box is a small metal pin or badge:

As already mentioned, the CD’s which come with this are in the red jumbo-sized double CD holder – which comes with a booklet:

Inside the lid of the HMV box there’s a limited edition stamped number:

See also the “Sgt Pepper” HMV box set.