Strange/Unusual Find of the Month

It’s not every day that you walk into your local second-hand record store and find an almost mint copy of The Beatles’ 1967 EP Magical Mystery Tour, but that’s what happened last week.

Dropped into Audiomania in the Sydney suburb of Manly Vale and as we were quietly browsing the LP section we looked up to a shelf just near the “New Arrivals” bin, and this is what we spied:

This is a UK pressing, and we’re pretty sure it is an original from 1967, making it just over 50 years old. For it’s age this example is in exceptionally good condition, both the laminated gatefold sleeve, and the two EP records it contains.

This is the mono UK pressing. You can tell that from the catalogue number MMT-1 which is printed on the upper right of rear cover (and of course the word MONO is also there!). Stereo pressings have an SMMT catalogue number:

The labels also carry the MMT catalogue number. As you can see below this pressing came with a solid centre. There are also examples with a push-out centre. The labels have the “Sold in the U.K. subject to resale price conditions…” text:

Don’t know if you can see it, but the Side 1 label (on either side of the spindle hole) has two raised letters, a K and a T. Not sure if this is significant, or helps identify the pressing date. We think it has something to do with a tax code for the record.

The inner 24-page booklet is also in excellent condition:

It also comes with the 4-page blue lyric sheet pages still intact in the centre. This also helps identify it as being an original pressing. The paper sleeves holding the records are white though, and have a wave-cut top. I think originally the discs may have come in black paper sleeves? If anyone knows please contact us, or leave a comment.

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

So, this was too good an item to pass over. We have Australian mono and stereo pressings of the Magical Mystery Tour double EP, plus a nice French pressing (with a story attached), but a UK pressing in almost pristine condition was our find of the month.

The really sad news is that the Audiomania store will soon be no more. The owner let us know that they will be closing their doors because the site in which they operate has been purchased and its buildings demolished. All the tenants have to get out. They hope to continue online, but it’s just not the same as being there to flip through record bins of used LPs and singles in person…..

Second Hand Records on the Central Coast

A recent trip to the Central Coast of New South Wales (about an hour and forty-five minutes drive north of Sydney) unearthed a great dedicated record store we weren’t previously aware of:SOUND EXCHANGE

The Sound Exchange Record Bar, located in Long Jetty, sells new and used LP’s and 45’s, picture discs and coloured vinyl, turntables and accessories, as well as used amplifiers, speakers, etc.

Of course we made a beeline straight to the Beatle section and there was a large choice of good quality second-hand LPs on offer. For some time now we’ve been looking for a copy of the Australian version of Rock’n’Roll Music (Volume 1) on the Axis budget label – the one with the catalogue number AX-1002. Well, The Sound Exchange had a copy – and at a reasonable price. This will now sit alongside the copy of Volume 2 (AX-1003) which we already have and complete the set:Rock'n'Roll Axis FrontRock'n'Roll Axis RearRock'n'Roll Axis Label

In Australia Axis was the equivalent of Music for Pleasure in the UK, or the budget green Capitol label re-issues in the USA. For more info see our post on Budget Beatles releases.

There’s something of a Beatles theme going on in Long Jetty. Just across the road from The Sound Exchange is a groovy art gallery/cafe called The Glass Onion Society, and right next door to it a florist/gift shop called Octopus’s Garden. On the intersection closest to all three stores a street artist has painted this cool image on the roadside box which controls the traffic lights:Lennon Long JettyNice.


A Visit to Some San Francisco Record Stores – Part 1

You may have noticed that beatlesblogger hasn’t been updated for a little while. That’s because I’ve been on holiday in San Francisco, USA and of course while there I had to make time to visit some record stores seeking out any Beatles or Beatles-related records and CD’s. What I found will be the subject of the next couple of posts here.

First though to the main stores I discovered in San Francisco offering either new and/or second-hand Beatles. There were three main contenders here – and all very worthwhile checking out if you happen to be in town.

The first was Rasputin Music. They have two stores in San Francisco itself, plus shops in nine other locations in the wider Bay area and California. The two I got to were the store just down from Union Square on Powell Street, and the one on Haight Street in the famous Haight-Ashbury district.

Rasputin 2The Powell Street store is by far the largest of the two, with five floors (that’s right, I said five levels) of new and used records, CD’s, DVD’s and tee shirts to tempt you. Rasputin 1

Joining Rasputin on Haight Street is the wonderful Recycled Records. Owner Bruce Lyall has been there for over 25 years – and it shows. For anyone who loves the smell, look and feel of a large second-hand record store this is the place to come. I loved it so much I took these photos:Recycled1Recycled2Recycled3

As you can see, Recycled has a wonderful ambience and can be a bit overwhelming at first such is the extent of their collection. They sell LP’s, 45’s, compacts discs, posters and assorted paper memorabilia; rare books and a wide assortment of collectibles. If at first you don’t see what you want in the bins look below them to the shelves. I found quite a few other great items stored down there. Again, well worth checking out.

Finally the big one: Amoeba Music:


Amoeba have two shops in the Bay area – one in Berkley, and one at 1855 Haight Street (they also have one in Los Angeles too). So, if you are on Haight for a visit to the groovy, picturesque and historic Haight-Ashbury district you can use the time to check out not one but three stores (Rasputin, Recycled, and Amoeba) all within easy walking distance of each other and all harbouring potential Beatle treasure.

When you walk into Amoeba be prepared for an intake of breath. It is HUGE:


So, those are the stores I visited covered. Next time some details on what I found……check back again soon.