Like a lot of collectors around the world, we have been waiting patiently for Universal Music to sort out the delays and confusion around the supply and delivery of the recent Paul McCartney vinyl re-issues on coloured vinyl.
We ordered ours last year, weeks before the advertised shipping date – but it is only in the new year that they have finally arrived, and in two separate shipments. Ram clearly was in very short supply and it is pretty obvious that a pressing of more copies had to be hurriedly arranged. That LP came in a separate package a few following the main batch.
Having said all that, these look absolutely fantastic. Here are some images of the collection – the front “hype” stickers and record labels:
(As usual, click on the images to see larger versions)
Apple and Universal Music have now officially announced details of the expanded and newly remixed version of The Beatles’ 1977 live album At The Hollywood Bowl.
The new release will be known as The Beatles:Live At The Hollywood Bowl, and it is directly sourced from the original three track tapes of the concerts. Producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell have remixed and mastered the recordings at Abbey Road Studios. The album will include the thirteen tracks from the original album produced by George Martin, plus four bonus tracks – 3 of which are previously unreleased recordings from the concerts. Those tracks are: ‘You Can’t Do That’ and ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ (both from 23 August, 1964) and ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’and ‘Baby’s in Black’ (both from 30 August, 1965).
Giles Martin gave this background:
“A few years ago Capitol Studios called saying they’d discovered some Hollywood Bowl three track tapes in their archive. We transferred them and noticed an improvement over the tapes we’ve kept in the London archive. Alongside this I’d been working for some time with a team headed by technical engineer James Clarke on demix technology, the ability to remove and separate sounds from a single track.
With Sam Okell, I started work on remixing the Hollywood Bowl tapes. Technology has moved on since my father worked on the material all those years ago. Now there’s improved clarity, and so the immediacy and visceral excitement can be heard like never before. What we hear now is the raw energy of four lads playing together to a crowd that loved them. This is the closest you can get to being at the Hollywood Bowl at the height of Beatlemania. We hope you enjoy the show…”
Live at the Hollywood Bowl will include a 24-page booklet with an essay by music journalist David Fricke, and will be issued on CD on 9 September and as a gatefold double vinyl LP on 18 November 2016.
Yes, it’s the 2015 edition of The Beatles 1 on double vinyl, complete with the Giles Martin remixes and remastering.
This one is staying sealed for now so we can’t show you the detail of what’s inside (for that go to this post to see in detail the 2000 edition). The contents themselves for all editions are very much the same. What we can show are some of the key external visual differences between the 2015 edition, directly alongside those from 2014 and the one from 2000.
Firstly that front cover. Two things really. The words “The Beatles” are in yellow on the 2015, while for both the 2014 and 2000 versions those words are sort of a light pink. Also on the 2015 edition the big figure “1” is more solidly coloured in and is a much brighter shade of yellow. Compare the front cover image of the 2015 edition above with 2014 (which is also still sealed and came with a sticker attached to the plastic):
And here’s the older 2000 (which has been opened and hence is not as glossy as the others in the photos). The printing of these two is very similar:
On the rear all covers are very similar. There is just a simple track-listing running down the centre. The part where they differ is at the top right-hand side where logos, barcodes, and the small print about who has the rights to what appears. Firstly 2015 (note the references to Calderstone Productions, the Universal Music Group, and Apple:
Here’s the 2014 edition (again, Calderstone, Universal and Apple):
And lastly the 2000 release (back when EMI held the reins):
Finally the spines. Here they are stacked on top of each other. On top is the 2015 edition, then 2014, and on the bottom 2000: There are quite a few variations. (Click on the image to see a larger version).
While sitting at home this morning there was a knock on the door. It was a courier with a registered parcel that looked suspiciously like an LP mailer:
Could this finally be the replacement John LennonRock’n’Roll album from the John Lennon 8-LP box set? The postmarks were from Great Britain, and the sender address was Universal Music in London.
As you know, Universal are now the manufacturers and distributors of all Beatle releases, including the back-catalogues of John Lennon and George Harrison. They had a big problem with the Rock’n’Roll album shipped with the Lennon box. The set was temporarily withdrawn from sale while they sorted out a production error where the song “Sweet Little Sixteen” appeared twice, and the song “You Can’t Catch Me” was missing altogether.
The company set up a special website. Providing you had proof of purchase you could request a replacement copy of the faulty album. We did this at the start of August, but had nothing but stoney silence from Universal since, despite a couple of follow-up emails to them seeking an update on progress.
Now, over two months later, out of the blue our corrected replacement copy has arrived:
Since the lucrative Beatle catalogue went over to Universal Music for distribution (as part of the sale and break-up of the EMI company in 2012) there’s been a steady stream of product from released – most of it (it has to be said) re-issues of stuff we already have.
The latest of these – four albums on vinyl – are a case in point: the Beatles 1962-1966; the Beatles 1967-1970; the Beatles Number 1; and the Beatles Love.
Each of these are re-issues containing no new material. The only thing that can be said to be slightly different is that the two sets, 1962-1966 (a.k.a. TheRed Album), and 1967-1970 (a.k.a. TheBlue Album) are reportedly the original analogue mixes. The discs are cut direct from the analogue tapes used for the 1973 LP sets—with a few exceptions (i.e. mono versions using EQ from the latest mono box set replace the few faux stereo tracks originally used). AAA it seems is definitely the new DDD…..
It has to be said though that the packaging on each of these four Universal re-issued double LPs is impeccable. The Red and Blue albums, for example, are faithfully reproduced in thick cardboard with very shiny covers and inners.
If you speak Spanish (and you don’t get seasick from the all the camera movement) this “unboxing” YouTube video from keen Beatle collector shakespearecub gives you a good indication of both the Red and Blue LP’s in all their glossy finery (if you are pressed for time, scroll in to about 4’10”):
Here are those 2014 stickers on the front of each:
And this is the main point of difference – Universal Music logos on the back, and mentions of Universal Music and Calderstone Productions in the small print….it’s not Parlophone, Capitol, or EMI anymore:
These albums are also manufactured in the Netherlands – according to small transparent stickers on the back of each LP:
And while we’re on the subject of the Red and Blue LPs and the EMI company, here’s a video from a very keen fan who went to the trouble of tracking down the actual location of the Angus McBean shoot for the Red, Blue – and of course for 1963’s Please Please Me LP. Both photographs of the old and new Beatles were taken at the former EMI headquarters in Manchester Square, London with the group looking down over the stairwell. The building has since been demolished:
The rear photo, taken in 1969, was initially intended for an LP to be called Get Back, but those plans changed and we got the Let It Be album instead. The photo was eventually used on both the 1962–1966 and 1967–1970 LP’s.
The 2014 Universal Music edition of the BeatlesNumber 1 LP set also comes in a thick cardboard, this time with a matt finish gatefold cover (just like the original 2000 edition) complete with the inners, large poster (depicting Beatle singles picture covers from around the world), and the four psychedelic photographs of the individual Beatles. It’s all very nice. Again the main point of difference now is in the logos used and the small print credits:
The Love LP comes in a thick cardboard gatefold cover – just like the original from 2007. And it has the same thick, glossy booklet. Top marks go to Universal for the packaging. The 2007 release had a small brown sticker on the front:
While the 2014 edition has a larger red, white and yellow sticker:
On the rear of the gatefold the logo line-up has changed. The 2007 release has Apple, Parlophone and Cirque du Soleil logos:
The 2014 has just Apple and Cirque either side of the barcode, and a small Universal Music Group logo on the far lower right. There’s also a change to the small print. No EMI Records reference, and interestingly the Universal edition has a copyright date of 2006, while the earlier EMI/Parlophone/Apple edition is 2007. Curious:
shakespearecub has also done an “unboxing” video of both the Number 1 and the Love LPs:
Always seemed like an odd one to select for a vinyl re-issue….
A little more digging reveals that the album is part of Universal Music’s “Back to Black” vinyl re-issue series which was created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the LP record. Shaved Fish joins eighty-four other titles already released under the “Back to Black” imprint, including LP’s from the likes of Deep Purple, Bonnie Raitt, Steely Dan, Abba, Elton John, and Grace Jones – to name but a few. Each album also comes with a code for an MP3 download.
While the record won’t be available in the US until August 19 (according to Amazon US), turns out it’s already come out in the UK. Universal’s online listing for the record has a release date of July 14, and Amazon UK has it available to ship now. We found another Universal Music Back to Black website that seems to indicate that Shaved Fish is being issued on it’s original green Apple labels – and that Universal has been faithful to the original packaging, housing the album in an inner sleeve with lyrics on one side and a Japanese rising sun on the other:
If anyone already has a copy let us know if this is correct.
We’ve been intrigued to read in the small print on the back of each of the most recent Beatle CD and vinyl releases a reference to a company called Calderstone Productions Limited. It has not been on releases prior to Universal Music taking over EMI, and so we began to wonder about what it is – and started doing some snooping.
You can see a reference to Calderstone on the Beatles’On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, and also on the re-issued version of Live at the BBC:
At first it looked like it might be a company set up just to deal with the copyright and publishing issues around all the BBC recordings used on those discs, but now Calderstone Productions has also appeared in the small print on the bottom of the CD box set The Beatles U.S. Albums released last month:
(Click on the images above to see larger versions)
Going back further, a bit more snooping shows there’s also reference to Calderstone on iTunes for the digital download of Let It Be… Naked. The iTunes site says:
Would this make Let It Be…Naked the first official Beatles release since Universal got hold of EMI? Calderstone Productions is registered in the UK and was previously known as Beatles Holdco Limited. This was changed to Calderstone on 29 November, 2012.
Calderstone’s Company Secretary is registered as a Mrs Abolanle Abioye (age 53 and also Secretary to Universal Music Publishing), and the Directors are listed as Mr Adam Barker (45 years old and a company director on at least fifteen other companies), and Mr David Sharpe (a 46 year-old Irishman, also listed as a director of at least another 15 companies, also mostly music-related).
The registered address for the company is 364-366 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NS, which not surprisingly is the same address as Universal Music UK. Google maps shows that their front door looks like this:
Calderstone lists a share capital of just £1 English pound – although this site says the company has a combined assets value of £7,954,000.
Interestingly there are strong Liverpool links to the name Calderstone. There’s a park there called Calderstones Park. And Calderstones School is located opposite the park on Harthill Road in the Liverpool suburb of Allerton. The school was founded in 1921 as Quarry Bank High School, whose most famous student was one John Lennon….
Ain’t the Internet marvelous? It just keeps on revealing stuff you never knew.
Like the fact that George Harrison’sEarly Takes Vol. 1 (released on CD and vinyl LP in May last year) has been issued in a limited edition, “translucent green” clear vinyl version as well.
At beatlesblogger.com we like to think we keep pretty close tabs on what is happening release-wise in the Beatles world, but this was news to us:
Apparently this came out at the same time (or just after) the original, black vinyl release. It’s a limited edition LP, pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl and issued by Universal Music. Only 500 copies were pressed.
There are a couple of copies for sale on Ebay at the moment – but (predictably) they are pretty expensive.
However, a quick trawl around the web found that Universal Music itself is still selling copies at their official UK vinyl site. In fact they are even on sale at the moment, reduced from £24.99 to £17.49.
If you, like us, are George Harrison completists you’d best be quick.