Label Variations Part Six – Abbey Road

I haven’t done one of these for a while. It’s been over a year in fact. The last Beatle-related “Label Variations” was Part Five – and that was way back in February, 2011.

(You can see Parts One, Two, Three, Four, and Five plus the Beatles “Love” variations here and here. There’s also a comprehensive post on all the extensive variations of the McCartney/FiremanElectric Arguments” release, the Twin Freaks LP and singles, and McCartney‘s recent “Kisses On The Bottom” CD’s and LP. There is also a post on some George HarrisonAll Things Must Pass” label variations).

So it’s now time for another. This time some label variations of the Beatles legendary 1969 release “Abbey Road”, kicking off with the original UK pressing:

Here’s a more recent (1994) UK re-issue. This label is more yellow/green:

Here are some Australian pressings:

The Australian “Abbey Road” front cover is distinguished by the word “Stereo” on the top right-hand side:

Here’s a couple of examples from New Zealand, starting with the original Apple pressing. As you can see the Apple colour on NZ pressings is quite a pale, washed-out green:

Incidentally, these early copies of “Abbey Road” in New Zealand came in covers with the old-fashioned external tab-fold on the rear of the cover:

These first New Zealand copies also come in a black paper inner sleeve.

Here’s a more recent black and silver Parlophone label from New Zealand:

Next an Apple label from Germany:

One made in France by Pathe Marconi:

This label below is the one used by EMI for Asian markets (Hong Kong, South East Asia and Malaysia):

And finally the fairly plain USA label:

I’ve also got a few copies of “Abbey Road” on CD (I really love this album!)

This first one is the original UK pressing:

And here’s the Australian CD, which is quite similar to the UK:

And the EU version of the very impressive 2009 Beatles digital remasters version:

Lastly, a CD that I think is an illegal copy from China. I got a series of these on a trip to Vietnam (you can read some more about this here). The series is called the Beatles “Double Golden Collection”. There are two CD’s in each jewel box and you get one 2009 remastered album on each disc, complete with the bonus mini documentary. Disc One, shown here, has “Abbey Road” (the other in this set has “Let It Be” on the second disc):

If anyone else has some “Abbey Road” labels they’d like to share please send them to

(For most images above click to see a larger version)

Twin Freaks – Variations and Limited Releases

“Those of you who were there for the European Tour will have heard our DJ, Freelance Hellraiser, cooking up some mixes before we came on and people have been enquiring about these mixes ever since. Well the good news is he’s put together an album called ‘Twin Freaks’ using fragments from my original multi-tracks which we hope will rock your little cotton socks!”
Paul McCartney.

That’s how Paul McCartney introduced listeners to his 2005 project, “Twin Freaks”:

The front and rear covers (above) of “Twin Freaks”. The cover image is a painting actually called “Twin Freaks” which is featured on page 69 of Paul’s book of his artworks entitled “Paintings“.

Back in June, 2005 one of the increasingly frequent experimental releases by Paul McCartney, using a nom de plume like his Fireman records, came out. It was a 2 LP, vinyl-only release of twelve remixed McCartney tracks by British DJ and producer Freelance Hellraiser (a.k.a. Roy Kerr).

The Wikipedia entry for the disc sums it up pretty well saying McCartney and Kerr “….created the double vinyl album as a continuation of Kerr’s collaboration with McCartney from a 2004 tour. Kerr had previously released the mash-up album “A Stroke of Genius” in 2002. The format of the mashup is that of an extreme remix in which two disparate musical and recording experiences are combined in a manner that goes beyond remix to literally merge or mashup the two songs so that they emerge as something unique or hybridized. The technique sometimes obscures the original source material or so seamlessly blends the divergent elements that disentangling the grafted parts becomes nearly impossible.

Kerr performed a half-hour set prior to McCartney’s 2004 gigs in which the DJ remixed various McCartney solo tracks into some unusual and often unrecognizable forms. “Twin Freaks” was the outgrowth of these manipulations.

All the McCartney tracks are revised and reinvented in the process. Who is responsible for what aspects of the works or their reinvention is unclear.

The album was produced as a double vinyl release and as a digital download. The cover and interior artwork, which feature paintings by Paul, are similar in tone and style to artist Willem de Kooning.  McCartney knew the late artist, with whom he shared a similar painting style.” (ex Wikipedia)

The LP (on Parlophone Records) comes in a nice thick cardboard gate-fold cover. The images above are from inside the gate-fold and show more McCartney-painted faces and a track-listing (with writer’s credits) for each record. The labels on each of  the LPs are custom-designed with one side having the track-listing for both sides, and the other a painted face:

If you want to hear the type of thing DJ Roy Kerr does with the McCartney tunes here’s a YouTube example of “Maybe I’m Amazed”:

The album spawned two – and possibly three (see below) – 12-inch vinyl singles. The first was a promo-only release of the song “Really Love You”. It was limited to 500 copies worldwide and came out in a clear plastic sleeve that was heavily screen-printed on both sides (the printing is different on each side), with the repeated words “Twin Freaks”:

The “Really Love You” 12-inch promo came out on MPL/Graze Records and carried the catalogue number GRAZE 010. It has just the one song on Side A:

The other side was entirely blank – no grooves, just smooth vinyl – but it had a simple label:

“Really Love You” also had a commercial as a 12-inch single. This came out teamed with another song from the Twin Freaks album – a new McCartney song called “Lalula”. It carried the catalogue number GRAZE 012 and came in a clear plastic sleeve, screen-printed on just one side:

“Really Love You” and “Lalula”, like the promo single, was a one-sided 12-inch single – but this time the “B” side carried what was described as an acid-etched image of the “Twin Freaks” faces painting. It was apparently limited to 2500 copies. It’s quite difficult to capture in a photograph but I’ve had a go below:

Side A carried this label:

I think there was a third, very limited 12-inch vinyl single released from “Twin Freaks”. It was the song “What’s That You’re Doing”, a song co-written by McCartney and Stevie Wonder. I remember at the time seeing a few copies of this for sale on Ebay, but they were expensive and always quickly snapped up. I think it carried the catalogue number GRAZE 011. These have disappeared from trace now and must be real collectors items. If you have any more information on this 12-inch vinyl single please let me know using the comments box below, or email me at

Did the “Twin Freaks” LP ever come out on CD?  You see them occasionally on Ebay, but I don’t think this one was ever officially released by McCartney. Please let me know if this is wrong.

Below is the full 2005 Press Release for “Twin Freaks”:


The TWIN FREAKS eponymous debut album is released through Parlophone Records on the 13th of June. TWIN FREAKS is a collection of some of Paul McCartney’s best-loved classics alongside some hidden gems from music’s most envied back catalogue.

TWIN FREAKS features the studio wizardry of DJ and producer The Freelance Hellraiser, best known for his unforgettable mash-up the 2002 bootleg ‘A Stroke Of Genius’. Hellraiser has since become one of the most sought after remixers and last year he came to the attention of music legend Paul McCartney.

In the summer of 2004 The Freelance Hellraiser joined Paul McCartney’s 13 date European stadium tour, opening each show with a twenty-five minute set of remixed McCartney tunes, which culminated in the famous headline performance at Glastonbury. At the time The Freelance Hellraiser said, “There is such an amazing album to be made of some of Paul’s unknown tracks from the late Seventies and early Eighties. He was doing some utterly cool stuff then that the young audience would lap up now”.

Causing quite a stir on the underground club scene throughout the UK TWIN FREAKS has already received airplay on Radio One’s prestigious show The Blue Room as well as support from Zane Low, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and XFM. The album is packed with dance-floor epics that span Paul McCartney’s illustrious career.  From his solo debut album McCartney (“Maybe I’m Amazed”) through to 2003’s Driving Rain (“Rinse The Raindrops”) and including electro-pop rediscovered classics such as “Temporary Secretary” from 1980’s Coming Up album. TWIN FREAKS is an alternative take on the greatest back catalogue in music.

TWIN FREAKS will be released as a double vinyl
(Catalogue Number: 3113001)

12-inch single Press release:


6th of June sees the release of the debut single ‘Really Love You’ from TWIN FREAKS on the new underground label Graze Records.

‘Really Love You’, a twelve inch only release, is the debut from TWIN FREAKS, featuring the studio wizardry of London based DJ and Producer The Freelance Hellraiser AKA Roy Kerr. Best known for his unforgettable mash-up the 2002 bootleg ‘A Stroke Of Genius’. Hellraiser has since become one of the country’s most sought after remixers and last year caught the eye of music legend Paul McCartney.

In the summer of 2004 Hellraiser toured Europe with Paul McCartney, opening each show with a twenty-five minute set of remixed McCartney tunes, which culminated in the famous headline performance at Glastonbury.

‘Really Love You’ is a remix of the original track taken from Paul McCartney’s 1997 hit album Flaming Pie. TWIN FREAKS are set to take this McCartney classic to a new audience in clubs across the country this summer.

TWIN FREAKS are in the process of putting the finishing touches to their first full album to be released later in the year. ‘Really Love You’ and ‘Lallula’ are just a taste of what’s to come.

Release date:  June 6, 2005     Label:  MPL/Graze GRAZE012 (12″)