The Beatles Collection – 25 Singles

I recently came into possession of a UK pressing of the Beatles box set called “The Beatles Collection”, their twenty-five British singles at the time, released by World Records and EMI in 1978. The singles are all encased in a black, textured cardboard box:

It was compiled and sold by World Records, EMI’s mail order division. It was never commercially released to stores – the only way you could get it was through ordering it via World Records.

The earlier titles are pressed on the EMI/Parlophone label while the later discs are on the Apple Records label.

Each single is in a picture sleeve – which are all green on one side but have a Beatles picture on the other. There aren’t different pictures for each and every single, but four main pictures are used multiple times, relating to the Beatles era in which the single comes from:

There are however different photographs used for the three additional discs in this set: one for “Back in the USSR/Twist and Shout”, one for “Yesterday/  Have Known Better”, and the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends/A Day in the Life” getting its own, unique picture sleeve:

Also included is a four-page booklet detailing the history of the group:

There’s also an additional, one sided sheet stating that the set now includes the addition of the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” disc, indicating that previous boxes came without this particular record:

The “Beatles Singles Collection” (UK – 1978 – World Records/EMI, 25 Original 45 RPM Records box set) comprises all the Beatles singles 1962-1978:

1. Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You (Parlophone/October 5, 1962)
2. Please Please Me / Ask Me Why
3. From Me To You / Thank You Girl
4. She Loves You / I’ll Get You
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy
6. Can’t Buy Me Love / You Can’t Do That
7. A Hard Day’s Night / Things We Said Today
8. I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman
9. Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is
10. Help / I’m Down
11. Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
12. Paperback Writer / Rain
13. Eleanor Rigby / Yellow Submarine
14. Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane
15. All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man
16. Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus
17. Lady Madonna / The Inner Light
18. Hey Jude /Revolution
19. Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down
20. The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe
21. Something / Come Together
22. Let It Be / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
23. Yesterday / I Should Have Known Better
24. Back In The USSR / Twist And Shout
25. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Finally, you get a “World Records Guarantee” of quality:

George Harrison – When We Was Fab (Box Set)

Just got a copy of the 1988 limited edition, box set single “When We Was Fab” by George Harrison. Here’s the outer cover:

Inside the little box is the vinyl single in a picture sleeve:

As you can see, the picture used for the outer box is slightly different in a number of areas to the one used for the record picture sleeve inside. If the artwork for the both the box and the picture sleeve looks familiar its because part of it is taken from the drawings of the Beatles for the “Revolver” cover – done by long-time friend of the band, Klaus Voormann.

There’s also a fun cutout sheet of George in his Sgt Pepper uniform in the box (which is obviously paying homage to the Sgt Pepper cutout sheet); and also a fold-out colour poster:

The box set label for the “When We Was Fab” single is different to the one used for the standard vinyl single release – notice on the standard issue there are  multiple Dark Horse logos as opposed to the single Dark Horse logo on the box set version:

There was also a 12″ extended play vinyl single and a CD single release of this song as well. Graham Calkin’s Beatle pages has all the details on these.

And just to remind you of the song and the official video (directed by Godley and Creme):

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass 2010

As if the constant rush of Apple and Beatles-related product had not been enough so far over the last two months….

The George Harrison camp has decided,  as part of international Record Store Day, to release a very special 40th Anniversary limited edition, 3 LP vinyl set of  “All Things Must Pass”:

It’s available now – exclusively at Record Store Day-participating independent music retailers (and via mail order and digital download from the George Harrison site). It came out yesterday – Friday, November 26, 2010 – exactly forty  years on. “All Things Must Pass” was originally released on Friday, November 27, 1970.

This album is a limited edition, individually numbered, 180-gram vinyl set in its original 3 LP configuration. The faithfully replicated box set has all the original album art, the poster and the inner sleeve packaging. The LPs have been newly remastered at the Abbey Road studios from the original analogue master tapes.

I got my copy yesterday from Red Eye Records – one of my favourite Sydney independent stores. The heat-shrink wrap has a sticker attached on the front right-hand side that looks very like the one that appears on some original albums telling you what’s inside:

The specially replicated front sticker

And there’s also a special bar-code sticker on the rear lower right-hand side of the box that acknowledges Record Store Day:

The rear Record Store Day bar code sticker

Finally, each box is stamped with a number in gold print, also on the rear of the box. Mine is a pretty low number which I’m pleased about – No. 001708:

Each box is a Limited Edition

The official George Harrison site is offering a free digital download of “Wah Wah”, and there’s a bit of a discussion going at the George Harrison message board. See also Plug In Music.

And click here for more on “All Things Must Pass” variations.

Japanese Beatles EP Box Set

It must have been 27 years ago. It was a chance visit to a local record shop in Forestville, a northern suburb of Sydney, Australia.

Back then “record” stores were just that. They sold vinyl records. However, at the time many were in a state of transition. Compact Discs had just come out and the writing was very much on the wall for the humble vinyl record. At the time this record shop was in the process of getting rid of it’s vinyl, settling into the retailing of CD’s, and transitioning to become a video movie hire shop – on the way out of music all together.

I walked in for a look around and saw this small box set on one of the shelves:

Box set – The Beatles E.P.’s Collection

It was sitting alone. Catalogue number: Odeon Mono EAS-30013-26.

You had the definite feeling that it had been on that shelf quite some time….had not sold…and the owners were definitely keen to shift it. I took it down and noticed it didn’t have a price sticker on it. I also noticed that amongst the individual vinyl singles they still had displayed that they’d opened at least one other similar box set to break up the contents and sell the EP records it contained individually.

I walked up to the counter and asked “How much is this one?”, holding up the box set. “You can have it for A$25.00”, said the guy behind the counter. Now, back then it wasn’t dirt cheap, but it was cheap for the quality of this mint, red vinyl Japanese copy of the entire Beatles Extended Play vinyl discs. I bought it.

What you see here is that same box set from all those years ago.

Beatles E.P.’s Collection – box spine

This Japanese release is the same as the U.K. set, except that all fifteen records inside are pressed on red vinyl and the two-record Magical Mystery Tour is in mono instead of stereo. All discs in fact are mono – except The Inner Light, which is in stereo.

The Beatles E.P.’s Collection – lid opening

Each of the fifteen EP records inside come with plastic covers:

All the discs have plastic covers

Another interesting thing is that these discs play at 33 and 1/3 r.p.m, not the usual 45 r.p.m. There’s a paper sheet inside (in Japanese) with some information about the release:

Beatles E.P.’s – paper insert sheet

The famed 2-record EP Magical Mystery Tour comes complete with the gatefold and booklet just like the original, and as already mentioned, is in mono:

Mono Japanese Magical Mystery Tour

And all the discs come pressed in a delicious-looking transparent red vinyl, and all with the original cover artwork:

The lovely red vinyl “Nowhere Man” EP

 Note the “33and 1/3 r.p.m.” on the left-hand side of the label.

The red vinyl again – and each disc has plastic inner sleeves

Apparently this Japanese red vinyl edition also came out in a black vinyl edition.

The Lennon Singles Bag – Whats Inside?

Happy Record Store Day for last weekend (Saturday, 17 April)!

I managed (through my friendly local independent store, Red Eye Records) to get a copy of one of the special releases produced just for the weekend: The John Lennon Singles Bag.

See this post and this post for information on this very limited edition.

Apparently there are just 7000 of these packs made for the world…..mine is number 6644 of 7000. Not a low number, but it has a nice ring to it!

Here’s a picture from the web of how the pack looks:

A sealed copy of the John Lennon Singles Bag

Like this one, mine is still sealed – and I hope to be able to keep it that way – though it is really tempting to open it to see whats inside….

Fortunately, someone has opened theirs and put up this slideshow that gives a good indication.

Weird “Concert for Bangladesh” LP

Every so often you come across a CD or LP where you just can’t identify the country it was released in. Its kind of frustrating because collectors usually like to know this kind of detail…especially when you come across unusual or different packaging of a release you think you know well.

That’s the case here with this three-LP set from 1971 of George Harrison’s “Concert for Bangladesh”.

Every copy I’ve seen to date comes in a hard cardboard box, with a lid that lifts off and looks like this:

The usual "Concert for Bangladesh" box

The box contains the three vinyl discs, and the white-covered 64-page book of concert photos, text and credits for the album. The rear of this box is plain and has no writing on it.

However, I have a copy in the collection that’s a bit different. Its a box, but made of soft cardboard that doesn’t have a lid. The front cover looks familiar enough:

Front cover "Concert for Bangladesh"

So far so good. But this release has flaps on the back which you pull out to get access to the records and book inside:

The flaps in the closed position

You flip open these flaps and the “box” looks like this:

"Concert for Bangladesh" open

From what I can tell the US, UK and Australian versions all have the lidded box, and not this top-opening, slide-out style box. Also the US and UK versions have dark khaki brown inner sleeves in which the records sit (the Australian release doesn’t have any paper sleeves).

Inside this box  though the LPs are in light yellow colored thin paper sleeves:

The LPs are in yellow paper sleeves

The place you can usually tell the country of origin is in the small print on the labels of the records themselves. This one has no hints – with no mention of a country of origin. However, it does have a lot more copyright information on each disc, located just near the record number information (see top the left-hand side in the pics below as compared to the Australian release):

The label of the "strange" version - with copyright info top left

Compare this to the official Australian release:

The Australian release label - note no copyright info

The final main difference is that the words “Sole Distributors, Gramophone Record Company, Ltd” are written on the labels and prominently across the back of the box. The image below is from the rear of the box:

"Sole Distributors, Gramophone Record Company, Ltd" printed on the rear of the box

So, a weird one.

Being a huge worldwide Apple release, this concert disc set would have been issued in a large number of countries. I have my suspicions that this one here could be either the New Zealand or the Indian release.  But I don’t have anything to prove that.

If anyone has any information on this release please let me know by submitting a comment. Cheers for now.

New Releases – Coming Up or Out Now

Time to detail a couple of new releases expected very soon…some definite, some pure speculation, and one that’s already out.

Paul McCartney this month will release a new CD and vinyl in a variety of editions.

It’s called “Good Evening New York City” and is a live set recorded at the newly-opened CitiField venue in New York on July 17, 18 and 21 this year. The concert was symbolic because CitiField is built on the site of the famous Shea Stadium where the Beatles played way back in 1965.

“Good Evening New York City” will be available in three formats:  a 3-disc (2 CD + 1 DVD) standard edition and a 4-disc (2 CD + 2 DVD) deluxe version featuring expanded packaging and a bonus DVD including McCartney’s July 15 live street performance on the David Letterman Late Show. The set will also be released on vinyl LP. Collectors get ready to dig deep into those pockets again…

It comes out 17 November (US) and 23 November (UK).

You can see a very short teaser for the album on Paul’s official YouTube site. And here is a cover image:

Good Evening New York City

Good Evening New York City

Another release that’s supposedly pending is a special 40th Anniversary box set vinyl edition of the Beatles “Abbey Road”.  No one is sure if this is to be the newly remastered version of the disc or the previous mix. You can find out a bit more here, and the Record Store Day site says that the box set will include the vinyl album, a t-shirt, and a poster. The limited edition deluxe package will, according to them, be released on November 7th in the US and will be limited to 5000 copies worldwide. Intriguingly, Amazon has a holding place for the record here.  Someone has produced this cover image, so I’m not sure if this release is really happening or not:

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Abbey Road 40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set?

Speaking of vinyl, rumors persist that there is to be a full box set of ALL the Beatles Remastered albums made available in Mono and Stereo on vinyl.  The respected Mojo magazine carried this article on its website yesterday saying that the box sets are on the way, but there are no firm release dates just yet. Watch this space….

And finally Beatles’ long-time friend and sometime collaborator Klaus Voormann has a new album out now. Its called “A Sideman’s Journey”, and features appearances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.  Voormann has known the Beatles since the Hamburg days and is an artist and bass player. He drew the cover of “Revolver”, and has played on numerous tracks for Beatles solo projects (including, amongst many others,  Lennon’s “Walls and Bridges” and “Imagine” and Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and “Concert for Bangladesh”). See his biog entry in Wikipedia here.

His new CD is made up of newly recorded covers of some of the songs he helped make famous with the Beatles and others over the years.