Finally, after months (or is it years?), the official announcement for the 50th anniversary editions of The BeatlesLet It Be has been made public.
And in physical form this is what we’ll be getting – on October 15:
It begins with a 180-gram, half-speed mastered vinyl 4LP set that also includes a 45rpm 12-inch vinyl EP, with a 105-page hardbound book in a special die-cut slipcase.
There’ll also be a special edition of the same content on a 5CD + 1Blu-ray (containing the album’s new stereo mix in hi-res 96kHz/24-bit; new 5.1 surround DTS and Dolby Atmos album mixes), also with a 105-page hardbound book in a die-cut slipcase.
Both these total 57 tracks in all: the original Let It Be LP in a new stereo mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, two discs of previously unreleased outtakes, studio jams and rehearsals, and the previously unreleased 1969 Get Back LP mix by Glyn Johns, newly remastered. Then there’s that Let It Be EP (in both the vinyl and CD boxes) as a separate disc containing 4 tracks: o Glyn Johns’ unreleased 1970 mixes of ‘Across The Universe’ and ‘I Me Mine’. o Giles Martin & Sam Okell’s new stereo mixes of the ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and ‘Let It Be’ singles.
The hardback book this time will be available in both boxes – something that hasn’t happened before with Beatle re-mix re-issues. It features a foreword by Paul McCartney, an introduction by Giles Martin; a remembrance by Glyn Johns; chapters and detailed track notes by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett; and an essay by journalist and author John Harris exploring the sessions’ myths vs. reality. The book is illustrated, scrapbook style, with rare and previously unpublished photos by Ethan Russell and Linda McCartney, as well as never before published images of handwritten lyrics, session notes, sketches, Beatles correspondence, tape boxes, film frames, and more.
After the two ‘Super Deluxe’ boxes there’s a 2CD set that comes in a digipak with a 40-page booklet. This set contains on one disc the original Let It Be album (in it’s new stereo mix), plus a disc unique to this set with 13 tracks of highlights from the previously unreleased outtakes, studio jams, rehearsals, and the previously unreleased Glyn Johns 1970 mix of ‘Across The Universe’. That makes it an interesting purchase for those completists among us!
Of course, there’s the stand-alone 1 LP which is also half-speed mastered and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, along with a single CD of the of the original album in re-mixed form too.
And there’s to be a picture disc as well.
As to track listings, here are images of the rear covers of the 4LP/EP box set:
And the 5CD/Blu-ray:
And the rear cover of the single LP:
Click on any of the images above to see larger versions.
We liked the artwork on the offical Bealtes page depicting some masking tape with the words Let It Be roughly stuck over what was the original title of this project: Get Back.
Really looking forward to hearing this re-mix. It is a favourite LP for us, up there with Pepper, Abbey Road and The White Album for sure.
On Tuesday someone at the official George Harrison site stuffed up and, two days before the official announcement, accidently made public a couple of pages worth of information about the long-awaited All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary box sets. This included images, prices, and content details.
Of course fans around the world (including us) noticed and began sharing links and images.
The cat was very much out of the bag, but still Universal Music – with just two days to go until the official announcement – desperately tried to stop the spread of information.
In what is tantamount to using a sledge-hammer to crack a walnut, they had the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) write to anyone who had published images of the new All Things Must Pass box sets to issue an “Infringement Notice” and an order to take down those images. (FYI, the IFPI is a trade association representing some 1300 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create, manufacture and distribute sound recordings).
Some sites (like ours) complied, others didn’t.
All that effort on behalf of Universal Music and the IFPI and here we are – just two days later – with the whole kit and caboodle about this fantastic release now officially in the public domain. The publicity free-for-all can now proceed. “Free” being the operative word because sites like ours, made by fans and for fans, don’t make any money out of this. We just love the Beatles as a band, and as solo artists. And we help get the word out to others about new releases THAT PEOPLE MIGHT WANT TO BUY from Universal Music. Of course they have their own digital assets, but it is sites like ours that contribute to “word-of-mouth”, make recommendations, and the general buzz around new releases that record companies – like Universal – rely upon. But when someone makes a mistake at Universal Music, the first people they jump on is us?
Anyway, rant over.
The good news is that we’ve finally got the full details of the George HarrisonAll Things Must Pass – 50th Anniversay Edition, due out on August 6.
Uber Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and a variety of extended and standard editions (plus other merch) are now up on the official George Harrisononline store site.
And there will be an Uber box set to rule them all – retailing for a cool US$999.98
An artisan designed wooden box (approx. 12.4″ x 12.4″ x 17.5″)
Elaborate and expanded 96 page version of the scrapbook, curated by Olivia Harrison, with previously unseen imagery and memorabilia from the era: handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes, tape box images, a comprehensive track-by-track and more.
A second 44-page book chronicling the making of All Things Must Pass through extensive archival interviews with notes.
Wooden bookmark made from a felled Oak tree (Quercus Robur) in George’s Friar Park.
1/6 scale replica figurines of Harrison and the gnomes featured on the iconic album cover
Limited edition illustration by musician and artist Klaus Voorman.
A copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Light from the Great Ones”
Rudraksha beads contained in individual custom-made boxes
The remixed and remastered album on 3 vinyl discs with a replica of the original album poster
5 LPs of outtakes and rarities
5 CDs and 1 Blu-ray
Set features 70 tracks, including 47 demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams, of which 42 are previously unreleased.
Blu-ray disc includes hi-res stereo, 5.2 surround and dolby Atmos mixes of the main album
The wooden box is huge. The packshot image above doesn’t give an indication how big this thing is. Here’s an Instagram image of Dhani Harrison sitting on the Uber crate at Friar Park – in what looks like the exact same spot the famous All Things Must Pass cover shot was taken:
There’ll also be a Super Deluxe 8 LP box containing the re-mixed and remastered album across 3 LPs, the 5 LPs of outakes and rarities included in the Uber, a book (not as comprehensive as the Uber edition version), and the original poster.
Also for vinyl lovers there’s to be a 5 LP set (original album on 3 LPs, plus two discs with 17 tracks of demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams outtakes):
And there’ll be the re-mixed album proper on its own: 3 LPs in a slim box – the way it was originally released back in 1970. There will be two versions of this edition. One on black vinyl:
The other 3 LP set is a Limited Edition on 180gram black and green splatter vinyl. This one we believe is only available from the George Harrison official site:
For those not into vinyl there’s to be a Super Deluxe CD/Blu-ray box set containing 5 CDs (the original album across 3 discs, plus 2 discs of the outtakes and rarities). This collects 70 tracks across those 5 CDs, including 47 (42 previously unreleased) demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams all housed in a beautiful slipcase. A Blu-Ray audio disc has the main album in hi-res stereo, 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos is also featured. The collection contains a 56-page scrapbook curated by Olivia Harrison, with previously unseen images and memorabilia from the era, handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes, tape box images, a comprehensive track-by-track and more. It also includes a replica of the original album poster:
There’ll also be a 3 CD set, with the third CD containing the original jams, plus additional demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams. This will be housed in a square box with a scaled- down version of the original poster and a 20-page booklet with photos, introduction, and notes from Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks on remixing the album:
And there’s a standard 2 CD with just the original album across two discs, re-mixed and re-mastered:
So, something for everyone. The Harrison camp has also just released a new video for the big reveal announcement.
It’s one of the outakes featured on the new releases – the song ‘Run Of The Mill (Take 36)’, a previously unreleased track. It really gives a clear indication of how the songs on All Things Must Pass were shaped and went through several permutations in the studio before the final, well-known and loved versions became part of popular music history:
See Universal Music? It’s not so hard. All we’re doing is trying to reach those people who are interested, and perhaps some of them are people you can’t reach.
EGYPT STATION – TRAVELLER’S EDITION BOX SET
Strictly Limited Deluxe Edition of 3,000
To Be Released 10th May
Paul has confirmed the release of the Egypt Station – Traveller’s Edition box set out 10th May via Capitol Records. This strictly limited deluxe edition of the #1 album Egypt Station will be a one-time-only pressing limited to 3,000 numbered cases. The Traveller’s Edition arrives in a vintage style suitcase and contains exclusive previously unreleased tracks, hidden rarities and all the essentials needed on your journey to Egypt Station and beyond.
Pre-order begins Friday 15th February at 6am PT / 9am ET / 2pm GMT. Due to the limited quantity of this edition, sales will be on a first come, first served basis.
Egypt Station – Traveller’s Edition contains:
Limited edition concertina tri-fold deluxe 180G black vinyl double LP of Egypt Station
Exclusive limited edition bonus 180G vinyl pressing of Egypt Station II in “Night Scene” blue cover, featuring three previously unreleased tracks — ‘Frank Sinatra’s Party’, ‘Sixty Second Street’ and extended cut of the Egypt Station single ‘Who Cares’ — as well as four live performances of Egypt Station tracks taken from Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern Club, LIPA and Paul’s iconic performance at Grand Central Station
Limited edition Egypt Station concertina CD
Exclusive limited edition collector’s Egypt Station Blue Cassette
HD audio of all tracks upon shipment
Additional rare performance footage hidden inside
Luxury vintage-style embossed Egypt Station artwork suitcase
An exclusive copy of a handwritten note from Paul
Fold out, vintage-style Egypt Station illustrated map suitable for framing
Travel memorabilia including “travel itinerary”, postcards, baggage tickets and first class ticket
Egypt Station luggage stickers
Travel journal featuring copies of Paul’s handwritten lyrics
Two Egypt Station lithographs of Paul’s paintings
500+ piece jigsaw puzzle
Egypt Station playing cards
And additional hidden surprises and rarities…
No word on price yet, but expect around £315, €350 or US$360. The Daily Beatle site is saying that on May 17 the additional audio content will be released separately in a cheaper package, without all the goodies.
There is a short “unboxing” style video doing the rounds on social media:
We’ve just taken delivery of the new Beatles 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album), and we love the look of the packaging.
It is undeniably beautiful in its pure-white, large format book form, and the clear plastic slipcase – printed with the four band members on the front and the track listing on the back – creates a very special first impression. But for how long?
While we appreciate the design, we couldn’t help but be reminded of two similar approaches to this style of packaging that have not stood the test of time.
Both examples signal that there will be definitely be a long-term deterioration to your pristine new 50th Anniversary White Album clear plastic slipcase.
As it turns out the two examples were both released twenty years ago in 1998, and the first is from the Beatles own Apple Records, so you might have thought that they’d have learned something about what happens to clear plastic outer slipcases over time.
It’s actually The White Album in its 30th anniversary edition version:
While a much smaller and more modest design, the 30th anniversary White Album also comes in a clear plastic outer slipcase, similar to the new 50th anniversary edition. The example shown here was purchased brand new in 1998 and we’ve tried hard to keep it in mint condition. But even so, that plastic outer sleeve is beginning to show the first signs of ageing and yellowing:
Likewise, there’s a wonderful deluxe, long-box style book and three CD set called The Look of Love – The Burt Bacharach Collection, that’s showing even worse signs of age on its once crystal clear plastic outer sleeve:
This too has been in our collection since new from 1998, but that plastic outer sleeve – on which is printed the album title and a list of some of the top songs it contains – is now almost completely yellowed, especially around the spine area where it is glued:
At the time of release this clear slipcase was a real design plus – but sadly it’s now looking quite ordinary and aged:
Interestingly the cardboard packaging part of the design inside both slipcases have stayed nice and white:
So, it begs the question: in twenty years time what will your 2018 Super Deluxe Edition of The BeatlesWhite Album look like?
In the lead up to the release the Paul McCartneyFlowers In The Dirt deluxe box set, Paul Sinclair from Super Deluxe Edition was one of the people leading the charge to have a physical CD included instead of the proposed “Download Only” selection of B-sides, Remixes, Single Edits and Cassette Demos.
His role in the protest led to a call from Scott Rodger, McCartney’s manager, who laid out the reasons behind the download only decision.
It also led Paul Sinclair to publish on his site a series of interviews with the producers who, back in 1989, collaborated with McCartney on the original recordings for Flowers In The Dirt. They each gave a unique insight not only into what it was like to work on the project, but also what it was like to work with Paul McCartney.
In a nice touch the booklet is designed to slip in alongside the other four books that come with the deluxe box set:
The booklet is a professionally designed and printed, 16-page document containing the original 9000-word interview feature (as published on SDE) along with 1200 extra words exclusive to the printed edition. Only 500 copies were initially produced and made available for sale through the Super Deluxe Edition site. Each was numbered and signed by Paul Sinclair. Ours is number 347/500:
The initial print run of numbered and signed copies sold out in less than 48 hours. In response to demand, there has been a second print run of this booklet. These are unsigned and not numbered, but otherwise identical. So if you’d like one, get in fast.