My post about the many label variations of Paul McCartney’s 1988 Russian album “Choba B CCCP” prompted a response from a reader named Vadim who gave me some links to an absolutely fantastic website that deals specifically with Beatles and Beatles-related releases from the former USSR and Russia.
You can find the site here and, if you’re not careful, it will open up a whole new world of Beatles record collecting to you. I don’t read Russian and so many parts of the site are a mystery – it looks like it has been created by three friends and Beatles fans: Andrey Lukanin, Vadim Legkokonets and Valentin Isaikin, who run something called The Beatles Association. It also appears that The Beatles Association puts out a regular magazine called “From Me To You”. There are links on the Foreword page of the site to download two recent issues.
The site is huge and so comprehensive with details of seemingly every USSR/Russian release and variation – complete with pictures of the covers, labels, catalogue numbers and heaps of other fascinating information for the collector. It is truly mind-blowing and well worth a look. Put aside some time – you’ll need it to have a good look around. Once you figure out how the site is constructed and linked you can delve into more and more detail about individual releases.
It got me thinking about other Russian releases I have in my own collection – apart from the McCartney “Choba B CCCP” ones. I had a bit of a look and found these (and I must say its very meagre compared to Vadim’s treasures). The first is “A Hard Days Night”. This is on EMI/Melodiya and comes in a single sleeve with a plastic inner. It has one less track than the British release. Its also stated that this is a “Direct Metal Mastered” pressing and it has a small official DMM logo on the rear cover:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. It looks like my copy is pressed at the Riga pressing plant.]
Then comes “Help”. This is on AnTrop Records from St Petersburg, and has a plain white paper inner sleeve:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. It looks like my copy came out in 1991 and is sleeve and label Variation 2.]
Also on AnTrop Records is “Let It Be”. This comes in a single, quite thin, cardboard sleeve with a plain white paper inner sleeve:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. This was released in 1992 and is sleeve Variation b., and label Variation 2.]
There are more “Let It Be” label variations on my site here.
The final Russian Beatles pressing I have is a unique compilation of early material called “A Taste of Honey” (1986). It is on the Melodiya label (and there’s also an EMI logo on the front cover). This is another “Direct Metal Mastered” pressing and it has an official DMM logo on the rear cover. Its in a single sleeve and a plain white inner bag:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here and here. It looks like my copy is pressed at the Riga pressing plant.]
There is one other in my collection. Its Paul McCartney – “Flowers in the Dirt” (1989). This is on the white Melodiya label and has a plastic inner bag:
[You can see the exhaustive details for this pressing on the amazing Russian Vinyl records site here. It was pressed in 1991, and it looks like my copy was manufactured at the Aprelevka pressing plant, with sleeve variation 1d., and label variation White 2.]
Finally, in my post about different versions of Paul McCartney’s “Band on the Run” from around the world there were two on Russian labels – the first a Melodiya pressing, the second from Santa Records: