John Lennon – Record Store Day 2019

Universal Music and the organisers of Record Store Day have announced that John Lennon’s Imagine [Raw Studio Mixes] will be released as a Limited Edition on heavyweight 180-gram black vinyl for Record Store Day 2019:

“These mixes capture the exact moment John and The Plastic Ono Band recorded each song raw and live on the soundstage located at the center of Ascot Sound Studios at John & Yoko’s home in Tittenhurst. The tracks are devoid of effects (reverb, tape delays, etc.) offering a unique, unparalleled insight & an alternate take on the record. These mixes have been pressed in the original album sequence appearing for the first time on vinyl.”

Side A
• Imagine – Take 10 / Raw Studio Mix
• Crippled Inside – Take 6 / Raw Studio Mix
• Jealous Guy – Take 29 / Raw Studio Mix
• It’s So Hard – Take 11 / Raw Studio Mix
• I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier, Mama – Take 4 / Raw Studio Mix
Side B
• Gimme Some Truth – Take 4 / Extended / Raw Studio Mix
• Oh My Love – Take 20 / Raw Studio Mix
• How Do You Sleep? – Take 11 / Raw Studio Mix
• How? – Take 40 / Raw Studio Mix
• Oh Yoko! – Take 1 / Raw Studio Mix

The official Record Store Day release list is a little confusing as it lists this as a 2xLP package, but in other places it is referenced as definitely just one disc. There will be 5,500 copies made available worldwide.

Rob Stevens, who worked on the Raw Studio Mixes for the John Lennon Imagine: The Ultimate Collection box set from last year says:

“The Raw Studio Mixes are the basic track performances of the musicians playing together in the same rather cramped room….There are no effects placed on the instruments or vocal, e.g. chamber reverb and tape slap for example. Just a bit of EQ and compression when the nature of a particular track warranted it.

John was notorious for wanting his voice bathed in both, and mixed as part of, rather than above the track, so at times you had to really focus your ears and mind to hear his nuances and lyrics clearly.

In the Raw Studio Mixes, there is none of that. John is front and center – clear, unadulterated, live and raw.

Whereas Double Fantasy Stripped Down does have some production enhancements and overdubs, The Imagine Raw Studio Mixes are completely raw and unadorned – they capture the sessions before the gloss was added. The unique challenge in mixing the songs with Yoko was to balance the instruments in a way that fused them into a whole while keeping each individual performance clear, but without the benefit of reverb and effects to do so.”

Record Store Day this year is Saturday, April 13.

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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)

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?