Paul McCartney – 2018 Record Store Day Single

The Record Store Day people have just announced their Black Friday release list, and it features a Paul McCartney 7″ vinyl single.

On November 23 Capitol Records will issue a limited edition, hand-numbered, one-time pressing of the special Double A Side single ‘I Don’t Know’/’Come On To Me’.

The two tracks, from Paul McCartney’s 17th solo album, Egypt Station, were initially only released as a “digital” Double A Side single in the lead-up to his LP release.

The vinyl single is described as a Record Store Day exclusive (i.e. a title that is physically released only at indie record stores), and only 5,000 will be issued worldwide.

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Why There Are Two Versions of McCartney’s “Choba B CCCP”

Anyone vaguely familiar with the vinyl editions of Paul McCartney’s 1988 release Снова в СССР on the Russian Melodiya label will know that there are two different versions.

One, the earlier more limited release, came with 11 tracks, and a different rear cover:choba-b-cccp-1-frontchoba-b-cccp-1-rear

The second, and far more common edition, has 13 tracks: choba-b-cccp-2-frontchoba-b-cccp-2-rear

The two additional tracks are “I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday” (track # 7, the last on side 1), and “Summertime” (track # 2 on side 2).

Why this is so has never been fully explained – until now.

Friend and Russian Beatle collector Andrey has been doing some detective work and discovered this article from the time in the newspaper Sovetskaya Kultura (The Soviet Culture). It is dated July 15, 1989:%d1%81%d0%ba-1989-07-15-%d1%8110

In answer to a reader’s question to the newspaper a representative of Melodiya Records explains the existence of the two variations. Andrey’s translation of the Russian text follows:

READER ASKS A QUESTION – A MYSTERY OF TWO RECORDS

I bought the record of Paul McCartney’s Снова в СССР. After a while I saw it again on a shop counter and could not resist of buying it again. For good reason! It turned out that there are 11 songs on the first record, released on September 14, 1988, and the second one which was released on January 1, 1989, carried 13 songs. What a mystery!
A. Bogdanov.
Severodvinsk,
Arhangelsk region

With the request to clarify this mysterious story, we asked the chief editor, Deputy Director of the All-Union Recording Studio of “«Melodiya» Firm”, All-Union Creative-Production Association, Ivan Dmitrievich Nesvit:

– First of all I want to say that your reader is lucky. Why? Just how you will soon understand for yourself. According to the contract, this licensed disk should have consisted of 13 songs, and a special contract clause stipulated that the artist’s desires would be accepted in the design of the sleeve. However, «Mezhdunarodnaya kniga» (our intermediator) provided us with a tape with eleven songs. The recording fit with the Soviet State Standard in terms of running time and so we began working with it. According to the requirements of the contract, a test record and sleeve were sent to Mr McCartney. He studied them and made a few remarks. Although Leningrad Plant had already started pressing and distributing copies, we could not ignore these remarks. Corrections were therefore made to the design, the initial sleeve notes were replaced, and besides this we were sent the recordings of two more songs to include. For this reason the extended record plays longer than any domestic discs [i.e. Melodiya in its working history had never released any LP playing longer than the 13-track McCartney СНОВА В СССР].  And so two records with the same title appeared. By the way, the first record because of its “shamefulness” appearance and limited edition, became a rarity desirable for record collectors, especially abroad since it was intended for sale only in our country. As far as we know, in the USA and Europe 200-250 dollars were paid for this record. So the reader of «Sovetskaya kultura» became the owner of discophile rarity.

So, a little bit more information on the mystery as to how two different records (with the same catalogue number) came into existence.

For a full explanation of all the variations between the two editions and more see the excellent Russian site beatlesvinyl.com.ua. It contains intricate detail of every Russian Beatle release.

For the 11 track, first edition version of Снова в СССР click here.

For the 13 track second edition versions click here.

 

George Harrison – The Vinyl Collection 1968-2002 – Box Set Announced

Long rumoured, now official. The Harrison family has announced the release of George Harrison – The Vinyl Collection box set containing all of George Harrison’s solo studio albums on 180 gram vinyl in one collection for the first time:

The box set LPs (also available separately) will be in their original packaging, faithfully reproduced with all the original inserts, posters, etc. included.

However, it’s not clear if Universal Music is releasing the Somewhere In England LP as a separate album with its original black and white image of George’s head superimposed on a map of England. This makes it different to all the images shown for the box set version. Collectors should note that both the Harrison online store and the Universal music website for the individual albums currently show the alternative cover if you are buying it as a single LP….

Exclusive to the box set will be two 12″ bonus picture disc singles (‘When We Was Fab’ and ‘Cloud Nine’), housed in their own custom box.

Not only that, for an additional £429.00, there’s a cool-looking, custom-made Pro-Ject turntable to play your LPs on, plus there’s to be a re-issue (in expanded form) of the book  I Me Mine.

harrison-turntableharrison-book

Early birds who place orders for the 13-album box set online at the georgeharrison.com store will also get a limited edition set of enamel pins. harrison-pins

All the discs are housed in a high-quality two-piece rigid slipcase box with a 3D lenticular front cover image:harrison-lenticular

The original analogue master tapes were used for the new re-masters and were cut at the legendary Capitol studios to ensure exceptional audio quality throughout.

Wonderwall Music (1968)
Electronic Sound (1969)
All Things Must Pass (1970) (3 LP)
Living In The Material World (1973)
Dark Horse (1974)
Extra Texture (1975)
Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976)
George Harrison (1979)
Somewhere in England (1981)
Gone Troppo (1982)
Cloud Nine (1987)
Live In Japan (1992) (2 LP)
Brainwashed (2002)
Bonus 12” Picture Disc Singles (‘When We Was Fab’ and ‘Cloud Nine’)

Hope for the Future – Behind the Scenes & Vinyl Release

In case you missed this – just before Christmas Paul McCartney uploaded a “behind the scenes”, making-of video for his new single ‘Hope for the Future’:

And here’s the finished result:

paulmccartney.com has confirmed that the new single will be released in physical form on 180-gram, 12″ vinyl next week. Yay! Would much rather have this than just the download….

The song – taken from the video game Destiny – includes the original version of ‘Hope For The Future’ alongside four special mixes. The vinyl will also come with a download card featuring all five tracks. You can find full details here.

Beatles in Mono – Vinyl Releases Officially Announced

Beatles in Mono2The official Beatles site has today announced that, at long last, there will be a 14-LP box set of the mono vinyl releases.

This has been on the cards since the stereo and mono CD’s were remastered in 2009, and the stereo vinyl box set came out in 2012. Fans have been patiently waiting for the vinyl mono’s ever since…..Beatles in Mono

Here’s the official press release:

THE BEATLES GET BACK TO MONO 

The Beatles’ original mono studio albums, remastered at Abbey Road directly from the analogue masters for vinyl release on 180-Gram LPs will be available on September 8, individually and in a limited, 14-LP Boxed Edition with Hardbound Book.

London – June 12, 2014 – The Beatles in mono: This is how most listeners first heard the group in the 1960s, when mono was the predominant audio format. Up until 1968, each Beatles album was given a unique mono and stereo mix, but the group always regarded the mono as primary.

On September 8 (September 9 in North America), The Beatles’ nine U.K. albums, the American-compiled Magical Mystery Tour, and the Mono Masters collection of non-album tracks will be released in mono on 180-gram vinyl LPs with faithfully replicated artwork. Newly mastered from the analogue master tapes, each album will be available both individually and within a lavish, limited 14-LP boxed edition, The Beatles In Mono, which also includes a 108-page hardbound book.

In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles’ acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Sean Magee and GRAMMY®-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While The Beatles In Mono CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers.

Working in the same room at Abbey Road where most of The Beatles’ albums were initially cut, the pair first dedicated weeks to concentrated listening, fastidiously comparing the master tapes with first pressings of the mono records made in the 1960s. Using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine to play back the precious tapes, the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe.

Manufactured for the world at Optimal Media in Germany, The Beatles’ albums are presented in their original glory, both sonically and in their packaging. The boxed collection’s exclusive 12-inch by 12-inch hardbound book features new essays and a detailed history of the mastering process by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with many rare studio photos of The Beatles, fascinating archive documents, and articles and advertisements sourced from 1960s publications.Beatles in Mono covers

The Beatles In Mono: Available individually and collected in a limited 14-LP boxed edition, accompanied by an exclusive 108-page hardbound book.

Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles For Sale
Help!
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles (2-LP)
Mono Masters (3-LP)

How Many Copies of the White Album Do You Own?

A couple of months ago this interesting Dust and Grooves article about a performance artist named Rutherford Chang really grabbed my attention.

You see, Rutherford Chang is a Beatles collector who only collects one particular Beatles album.

It’s the double LP that comes comes in the plain white cover and is simply called The Beatles….or as it’s more colloquially known: The White Album.

Dust_and_Grooves_3542

You can take a look at a video featuring Chang’s very large collection here.

And then there’s the rather amazing beatlealbum.com website, dedicated solely to exploring every aspect of The Beatles.

All this got me wondering. How many copies of The White Album do you have in your collection?

They can be on vinyl, compact disc, 8-track tape, reel-to-reel, cassette…or maybe even as a digital download.

I added up the copies in my collection in various formats and it comes to a total of 16 copies in all. That’s 5 x CDs, and 11 x LPs…nothing on Chang’s extensive collection!

But I’d be very interested to hear from you.

How many do you have?

You can drop us a line by using this contact form: 

“Kisses on the Bottom” – The Variations

Time to take a run through the different versions of “Kisses on the Bottom”, Paul McCartney’s new album.

It’s been released in physical form as a standard CD, a deluxe CD, a deluxe CD with bonus tracks (more on this later), and as a double LP vinyl. (Remember, to see larger images of all the scans below just click on the image).

Firstly the standard CD. Here’s the front cover with the sticker on the shrink- wrap still attached:

This is the rear cover of the standard CD – which has 14 tracks. This copy is manufactured in the EU:

The standard CD is a cardboard, single gatefold sleeve with the booklet glued onto the cardboard:

Personally I think that when the cover is first opened it looks odd to have that large expanse of white cardboard on the right-hand side. Surely another couple of images or text could have been put there. Or, like the deluxe version (see below), a cutout provided so that you can see the CD label.

The booklet in this version is 18 pages and contains an interview about the album, photographs taken during the recording and also photos from the Mary McCartney official photo shoot. There is also track-by-track personnel details for each song, followed by a page with final credits including studio locations, engineers and the obligatory “thank you’s”, etc.:

The CD printing itself is very simple and uncluttered and looks like this:

In some markets (in the US, I think) the CD came with a red wrap, promoting the song “My Valentine”:

Buyers of the deluxe CD edition in the US will need to know there are two versions: one has 14 tracks and the other has 16 (which is available only from Target stores at this stage – see details below, and see also this post from Wogblog). In Britain, the EU countries (and in Australia because we are getting the EU versions) all deluxe versions have the two bonus tracks:

The bonus tracks are “Baby’s Request”, a re-recording of a McCartney song which first appeared on the 1979 Wings album “Back to the Egg”, and “My One and Only Love”.

The deluxe CD has more complex packaging. It comes in a cardboard, double gatefold cover. In other words it opens out to be four panels in total. To give you an idea of how this looks here’s a photograph of how the package opens up, plus the inclusions (which are covered in more detail below). This is the US non-bonus track deluxe version:

When you first open the deluxe CD cover this is what you see on the inside:

These two panels then open out again. This is the left-hand side:

And this is the right-hand side (containing the booklet):

What looks to be the same booklet as the standard CD (also glued onto the cardboard) is actually longer – with 22 pages. The extra space is for a longer version of the interview with Paul McCartney, and there are additional photographs, and these are laid out differently to the standard CD. Inside a pocket in the deluxe CD cover there are also three postcards:

And included in the postcards pocket is a smaller card with details and a code for a download “…of Paul McCartney’s exclusive performance at Capitol Studios…”:

That bonus download sounds like an enticing extra on first read. But when you log in with your code you get just four live songs from that live performance, not the whole show. You get “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter”; “Home (Where the Shadows Fall)”; “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive”; and “My Valentine”.  As has already been noted on the web by Wogblog, this is kind of disappointing. I mean, just four songs? It feels kind of cheapskate on Paul’s behalf.

Back to the 14 track/16 track deluxe confusion. Target in the US is selling the 16 track deluxe edition as a retail exclusive and are the only US vendor selling this edition:

There’s an interesting side story to the interview featured in both “Kisses on the Bottom” CD booklets. It’s done by Paul Du Noyer. If the name sounds familiar he is the well-known British music journalist and writer who also did the liner notes for all the John Lennon remastered re-issues a while back including the John Lennon Signature Box, and the “Double Fantasy – Stripped Down” version. He also worked extensively on Paul McCartney’sBand On The Run – Deluxe Edition“, which has just won a Best Historical Album Grammy Award. As editorial consultant for the package, Du Noyer edited the 128-page book, wrote the liner notes and interviewed McCartney. He also worked on the “McCartney” and “McCartney II” deluxe reissues.

Finally to the vinyl edition of “Kisses on the Bottom”.  This is a double LP and comes in a gatefold sleeve:

I got my copy from Amazon and thought it would be made in the US, but it says “Printed in the EU” on the back cover…

I haven’t taken my copy out of its sealed plastic cover, preferring it to remain a collectors item and “still sealed”. Also, all that white cardboard is going to get easily marked and scuffed. Keeping it sealed will also help keep it in pristine condition. Looking around on the web I did find this image of the vinyl package opened up:

You can see that it comes with two inner sleeves which reproduce the text elements of the CD booklets. The two 180g vinyl LPs have custom labels. And you get access to a digital download of the 14 track album as well.

[Thanks to cyber-beatles.com for the additional images used in this post.]