Black Friday RSD Blues

Record Store Day and Black Friday for us is definitely a hit-and-miss affair.

Today we were of course on the hunt for the Paul McCartney RSD double A-side single ‘I Don’t Know’/’Come On To Me’.

On Black Friday last year it had paid off to get up bright and early to be somewhere near the front of the queue at the biggest and best independent record store in Sydney – Red Eye Records. This time around we got there so early the store wasn’t open yet and were actually the very first in line! Our massive fail from Record Store Day proper in 2017 wasn’t going to happen this time around, oh no…..

…or was it?

That sense of euphoria at being very likely to secure the new, limited-edition single was soon brought crashing down when we saw, much to our disappointment, this sign posted on the front door:

That was a blow. We’d checked their website earlier in the week and there’d been no indication of a delay. So we decided to stick around to see if the sign meant they hadn’t got all of their order, but possibly had received some.

When 9 o’clock rolled around and the doors finally opened the staff were very apologetic. They had in fact got zero of their entire Record Store Day order. No Paul McCartney, but nothing of anything else either. None. Zilch.

The only bright side to the story was that they were expecting the new Paul McCartney. It’d been confirmed from the supplier that the single was definitely included in their order and so, because we’d actually come into the store, they were prepared to take our name and put one aside. When will we get it? ‘I Don’t Know’. But we’ve got one!

UPDATE:  Seems that there are two different pressings of this single, one for the US market and one for the UK. The US version is hand-numbered on the rear (from a total of 5600 copies) and comes with a non die-cut inner sleeve: 

While the UK/Europe version is not individually numbered on the rear, has no FBI anti-piracy logo on the rear, and comes with a die-cut inner sleeve that reveals the labels: 

Just one more collecting wrinkle for those completists among us!

(Click on iamges for larger versions)

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Paul McCartney – 2018 Record Store Day Single

The Record Store Day people have just announced their Black Friday release list, and it features a Paul McCartney 7″ vinyl single.

On November 23 Capitol Records will issue a limited edition, hand-numbered, one-time pressing of the special Double A Side single ‘I Don’t Know’/’Come On To Me’.

The two tracks, from Paul McCartney’s 17th solo album, Egypt Station, were initially only released as a “digital” Double A Side single in the lead-up to his LP release.

The vinyl single is described as a Record Store Day exclusive (i.e. a title that is physically released only at indie record stores), and only 5,000 will be issued worldwide.

Black Friday – McCartney’s ‘Holidays Rule Vol.2’

Getting up early to go into Red Eye Records this morning for the two different RSD Black Friday releases of Paul McCartney’s Holdays Rule Vol.2 has paid off.

This time around we got ’em both:

(Double click images to see larger versions)

This is in marked contrast to Record Store Day proper earlier this year and the quest to find The Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’/’Strawberry Fields Forever’ single – which you can read about in two parts here and here…..it has a happy ending, but was painful at the time!

UPDATE:  The Black Friday RSD singles above are Made in the U.S.A. We were not aware that versions of these coloured discs were also pressed in Europe – until one of our very knowledgable and well-connected readers, Andrey in Russia, sent us through scans of the EU pressings:  

If you click on the images you can pull up larger images. In the small print on the rear covers you can clearly see that these are Made in the EU. The hype stickers on the front are different to those on the US copies as well.

Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever RSD

Thanks to a very kind reader of beatlesblogger.com (Koen in Belgium – you know who you are!), we now have the elusive, limited-edition Record Store Day ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7-inch single re-issue.

Only 7000 copies were issued worldwide, but very few made it to Australia.

Front cover:

Rear cover (complete with original fold-over flaps):

And the RSD sticker up close:

Thanks again for sourcing and sending this to us! So good to have this in the collection.

(See also this RSD Update, and as usual, click on images above to see larger versions).

 

Massive Beatles Record Store Day Fail – An Update

Well, our initial post on Record Store Day about a fruitless early morning hunt for The Beatles ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7″ single and Paul McCartney’s Cassette Demos release with Elvis Costello has garnered some reaction.

On social media we’ve copped some criticism for expecting there to be copies of the Beatles RSD disc in one of the largest independent record stores in Sydney, Australia – which I might add is a city of over 5 million people. The store had two copies.

Roger Stormo over at The Daily Beatle has posted an interesting comparison.

He lives in a small town near Oslo in Norway. His local store just down the road had two copies of ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Meanwhile, in the city of Oslo itself (population 1.71 million), a friend of Roger’s said that late into Record Store Day there were still plenty of Beatles singles available in two of the participating stores there. They sent him this photo from one of the locations: 

As you can see above, there was a stack of the 7″ single left. A rough estimate would be at least 40 to 50 copies. They even had multiple copies of the McCartney/Costello Cassette Demos tape still available, and this was after the store had been open for about 4-5 hours:

To quote Roger: “So it seemed there were more of these Beatles and related items in Oslo than anywhere else on the planet! How very strange. The single was supposedly pressed in only 7,000 copies and the cassette just 2,500. So how come so many of them ended up in Norway?”

Indeed. 

Meanwhile, this eBay seller reckons he can get $75.00 US for the ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ RSD single (that’s about £58.00 UK, €70.00 Euros, or $100.00 Australian).

Go figure.

Massive Beatles Record Store Day Fail….

Well, what a disappointing Record Store Day 2017 we had….

The plan was reasonably good on paper:

a) get up at 6.30am; b) drive straight into the city and go to Red Eye Records, one of the largest and most respected record stores in Sydney – we’ve spent a lot of money here over the years; c) buy a copy of The Beatles 7″ ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’; d) ask if they also have the Paul McCartney/Elvis Costello Cassette Demos from Flowers In The Dirt released specially for RSD; e) if so, buy that too; f) come home happy.

What really happened:

a) got up at 6.30am; b) drove into the city (first mistake – nowhere to park); c) eventually parked away across town and had a lengthy walk to Red Eye, arriving at 7.40am; d) big crowd already there waiting for the doors to open at 8.00am, long queue stretching down the block:

e) at about 9.00am we eventually get to the counter; f) at about 9.01am we’re told that the store only got two copies of the ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ single and that these sold long ago; g) they didn’t get any of the Cassette Demos at all; h) at 9.02am come out of the store disheartened, race down to Utopia Records nearby; i) they don’t have any copies of either title; j) race back to the car; k) drive to Newtown just outside the city, to two other participating record stores (Egg Records and Hum on King); l) no luck there either; m) drive home empty-handed, disappointed, tired and by this stage a little angry….

Firstly, how can the biggest independent record store in Sydney be allocated just two copies of the only Beatle Record Store Day release?

Secondly, now we search eBay only to see a large number of sellers who have copies of the Beatles 7″, don’t want it for their own collections, and are offering multiple copies for sale online at exorbitant prices. They are the equivalent of concert ticket scalpers, preying on the true fans.

There’s something basically wrong with Record Store Day when this sort of thing happens, don’t you think?

Sgt Pepper 50th Anniversary Mini Site, Press Release and Record Store Day Announcement

Well, after all the teasers and leaked information (accidental and otherwise), the 50th Anniversary Editions of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band have today been formally announced by Apple and Universal Music….

The Beatles’ official site now has this mini site:

The breaking news is that there is to be an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/’Penny Lane’ for Record Store Day on April 22:

Meanwhile, here’s the official Press Release:

 THE BEATLES CELEBRATE ‘SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND’
                   WITH SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION RELEASES

‘Sgt. Pepper’ Presented with New Mixes in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Audio; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings, Video Features & Special Packaging

Previously Unreleased 1992 Documentary Film, ‘The Making of Sgt. Pepper,’ Restored for Anniversary Edition’s Super Deluxe Boxed Set

London – April 5, 2017 – It was 50 years ago this June 1st when The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition packages on May 26 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe). The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including no fewer than 34 previously unreleased recordings.

“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.

“‘Sgt. Pepper’ seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.

For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966. Rather than being held for inclusion on the album, the two songs were released as a double A-sided single in February 1967. Amidst intense media speculation about the band’s next move, the single bridged what was then considered a long gap between the Revolver album, released in August 1966, and ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ which followed 10 months later.

This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition releases include:

A CD featuring the new ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix, complete with the original U.K. album’s “Edit for LP End” run-out groove.

Deluxe:  Expanded 2CD and digital package features the new stereo album mix on the first CD and adds a second CD of 18 tracks, including previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album. The second CD also includes a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased complete takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Deluxe Vinyl:  Expanded 180-gram 2LP vinyl package features the new stereo album mix on the first LP and adds a second LP with previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album.

Super Deluxe:  The comprehensive six-disc boxed set features:
CD 1:  New stereo album mix
CDs 2 & 3:
– 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most previously unreleased and mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates
– A new stereo mix of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
CD 4:
– Direct transfers of the album’s original mono mix and the “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” singles
– Capitol Records’ U.S. promotional mono single mix of “Penny Lane”
– Previously unreleased early mono mixes of “She’s Leaving Home,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (a mix thought to have been erased from a tape in 1967, but discovered during archive research for the anniversary edition)
Discs 5 & 6 (Blu-ray and DVD):
– New 5.1 surround audio mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
– High resolution audio versions of the new stereo mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” and of the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
– Video features:  4K restored original promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “A Day In The Life;” plus The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film (broadcast in 1992), featuring insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin.

– “A splendid time is guaranteed for all” –

The album’s vibrant artwork, including its extravagant Pop Art cover which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in a 3D collage, was created by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band. The original artwork is showcased across the suite of Anniversary Edition releases, including the album’s pull-out sheet of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cutouts. Housed in a 12-inch by 12-inch box with lenticular artwork and two bonus posters, the six-disc Super Deluxe set is presented with a 144-page hardcover book. The book includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate,  illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. The Deluxe 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.

– “We hope you will enjoy the show” –

Just as many ideas are sparked by chance, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ first sprang from a conversation between Paul and Beatles roadie Mal Evans on an airplane, when Mal’s request to pass the salt and pepper was misheard by Paul as “Sgt. Pepper.” The concept of who such a figure could be took root in Paul’s mind, blooming with the imagination of The Beatles as an Edwardian era military band — “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The Beatles’ creative wellspring for ‘Sgt. Pepper’ also flowed from such myriad sources as The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, a Victorian circus poster (“Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”), a TV commercial for breakfast cereal (“Good Morning Good Morning”), a picture drawn by John’s young son, Julian (“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”), a teen runaway reported in the news (“She’s Leaving Home’), and Hindu teachings (“Within You Without You”).

– “Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song” –

Using the standard four-track tape recording equipment of the day, The Beatles collaborated with producer George Martin to achieve “the impossible,” as they dubbed it, to go as far out as they could with arrangements and new technology to realize their collective vision for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As George Martin described it, “We were into another kind of art form where you were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape.” The Beatles clocked more than 400 hours in Abbey Road’s Studio 2 to record the album, wrapping sessions in April 1967.

– “I read the news today oh boy” –

Upon its release on June 1, 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band initially spent 148 weeks in the British chart, including a total of 27 weeks at number one. During its first U.S. chart run, the album held the number one spot for 15 of the 88 weeks it appeared in the Top 200. ‘Sgt. Pepper’ won four GRAMMY Awards®, including Album of the Year, and it remains one of the most influential and bestselling albums of all time. In 2003, the U.S. Library of Congress selected ‘Sgt. Pepper’ for the National Recording Registry, recognizing the album as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” ‘Sgt. Pepper’ tops Rolling Stone magazine’s definitive list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition Tracklists

CD
(‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix)
1.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4.  Getting Better
5.  Fixing A Hole
6.  She’s Leaving Home
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8.  Within You Without You
9.  When I’m Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day In The Life

Deluxe [2CD, digital]

CD 1:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2:  Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album, plus various versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”
1.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9]
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 – False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4.  Getting Better [Take 1 – Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5.  Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6.  She’s Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]
8.  Within You Without You [Take 1 – Indian Instruments]
9.  When I’m Sixty-Four [Take 2]
10. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
11. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
12. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
13. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
15. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
16. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix – 2015]
17. Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
18. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix – 2017]

Deluxe Vinyl [180g 2LP]

LP 1:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)
SIDE 1 SIDE 2
1.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1.  Within You Without You
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends 2.  When I’m Sixty-Four
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3.  Lovely Rita
4.  Getting Better 4.  Good Morning Good Morning
5.  Fixing A Hole 5.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
6.  She’s Leaving Home 6.  A Day In The Life
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

LP 2:  Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album
SIDE 3
1.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 – False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4.  Getting Better [Take 1 – Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5.  Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6.  She’s Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]

SIDE 4
1.  Within You Without You [Take 1 – Indian Instruments]
2.  When I’m Sixty-Four [Take 2]
3.  Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
4.  Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
5.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
6.  A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]

Super Deluxe [4CD/DVD/Blu-ray boxed set]

CD 1:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2:  Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 1]
2.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 4]
3.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
4.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
5.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix – 2015]
6.  When I’m Sixty-Four [Take 2]
7.  Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
8.  Penny Lane [Vocal Overdubs And Speech]
9.  Penny Lane [Stereo Mix – 2017]
10. A Day In The Life [Take 1]
11. A Day In The Life [Take 2]
12. A Day In The Life [Orchestra Overdub]
13. A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord) [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
14. A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
15. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 1 – Instrumental]
16. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
17. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 1 – Instrumental, Breakdown]
18. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]

CD 3:  Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1.  Fixing A Hole [Take 1]
2.  Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
3.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Speech From Before Take 1; Take 4 And Speech At End]
4.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 7]
5.  Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
6.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1 And Speech At The End]
7.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Speech, False Start And Take 5]
8.  Getting Better [Take 1 – Instrumental And Speech At The End]
9.  Getting Better [Take 12]
10. Within You Without You [Take 1 – Indian Instruments Only]
11. Within You Without You [George Coaching The Musicians]
12. She’s Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
13. She’s Leaving Home [Take 6 – Instrumental]
14. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 – False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
15. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Speech And Take 8]

CD 4:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and bonus tracks in Mono
(Tracks 1-13:  2017 Direct Transfer of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Original Mono Mix)
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Original Mono Mix]
15. Penny Lane [Original Mono Mix]
16. A Day In The Life [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
17. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Unreleased Mono Mix – No. 11]
18. She’s Leaving Home [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
19. Penny Lane [Capitol Records U.S. Promo Single – Mono Mix]

DISCS 5 & 6 (Blu-ray & DVD)
Audio Features (both discs):
– New 5.1 Surround Audio mixes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album and “Penny Lane,” plus 2015 5.1 Surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 / DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
– High Resolution Audio versions of 2017 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix and 2017 “Penny Lane” stereo mix, plus 2015 “Strawberry Fields Forever” hi res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit / DVD: LPCM Stereo)
Video Features (both discs):
– The Making of Sgt. Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
– Promotional Films:  “A Day In The Life;” “Strawberry Fields Forever;” “Penny Lane” [4K restored]