Yellow Submarine Picture Disc

The Beatles official site has announced that a limited edition ‘Yellow Submarine’ 7″ vinyl picture disc single is to be released on July 6:  
This will mark 50 years since the Yellow Submarine animated film hit movie screens around the world:

Of course this isn’t the first time we’ve seen an officially released ‘Yellow Submarine’ 7″ picture disc. As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations for each British Beatle single, EMI issued a series of picture discs. This one came out in 1986 – marking 20 years since the band’s 13th single ‘Yellow Submarine’/’Eleanor Rigby’ was issued in August, 1966:

The new 7″ vinyl picture disc will come in a coloured die-cut sleeve and will be released on Friday, 6 July. A high-resolution, 4K restoration of the Yellow Submarine film will open at selected movie theatres in the UK, Ireland and the US in the following days. Tickets are here.

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Yellow Submarine – 50th Anniversary Celebration Ideas Taking Shape

This year, being the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine LP and animated film, we’ll see some official Apple-backed activities to mark the occasion.

There’s to be a new graphic novel adaptation of the film story from comic-book artist, writer and editor Bill Morrison. This will be released on August 7 and is available for pre-order now from Amazon US and Amazon UK. See more on the background to the book hereAlso, The Beatles official site today also announced that, in the UK and Ireland at least, Yellow Submarine will be making a return to cinemas for one day only. It’s planned to show the film in multiple locations on July 8. Tickets go on sale from April 17. More details about this here – and you can keep up with the event on a new Yellow Submarine Film Facebook page.

Meanwhile, at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Pro-Ject turntable company leaked some teaser vision of their latest collaboration with Apple – a Yellow Submarine themed turntable:

The company has already issued two Sgt. Pepper turntables (in Drum and Limited Edition versions); a Beatles 1964-themed player; plus a George Harrison commemorative model. No further details about availability or pricing of the Yellow Submarine model are available yet.

Yellow Submarine Lego Kit On Sale Tomorrow

When we wrote about this back in February it was still very much a “wait and see” proposition.

Now it is about to be a reality.

Tomorrow, November 1, the Lego Beatles Yellow Submarine kit goes on sale around the world.yellow-submarine-box

Based on an idea submitted to Lego last year by musician and Beatle fan Kevin Szeto, the kit was brought to reality by Lego designer Justin Ramsden who was given the opportunity to refine Kevin’s initial model: “I€ watched€ the€ film€ when€ I€ was€ younger€ and€ was €really €inspired€ by €how €it €oozed€ so€ much€ imagination€ –€ comparable€ to€ how€ I€ view€ LEGO€ elements.Š €I’m €also €a €massive €fan €of €The€ Beatles ˆ€having €grown€ up€ with €their €music€ all€ my €life ˆ€so €to €see €The €Beatles €in €LEGO €form €is€ a €dream €come €true.”yellow-submarine-figures

The finished model is very close to Kevin Szeto’s original idea, right down to what John, Paul, George and Ringo are wearing. The set contains 550 pieces and will retail for US $59.99 / EUR €59,99 / GBP £49.99, and in Australia $79.99.

To celebrate the release the Beatle mini figures gave Lego a tour of their hometown of Liverpool, including the famous Strawberry Fields:

Lego Beatles on tour in Liverpool - Strawberry Fields © Mikael Buck / Lego

Lego Beatles on tour in Liverpool – Strawberry Fields
© Mikael Buck / Lego

To see the kit up close go to Brothers Brick Lego fan site for a review and lots of pics.

Yellow Submarine DVD – Korean!

I don’t know why I bought this. Might have been something to do with all the hoopla about the recent re-issuing of the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” on DVD, BluRay and also the re-issue of the “Songtrack” CD….

I saw it on Ebay and the idea of having the official Korean DVD release in the collection seemed appealing, although it’s not a recent copy. The cover is kind of cool though.

It all looks like it is official. I think this one dates back to the same time as the Universal Pictures release to western countries in 1999. It is very similar features-wise to that DVD (below) which will be familiar to most people:

When you first load the Korean DVD there’s a different menu set on screen with different graphics and music, and the “Special Features” section (while similar to the United Artists release) is pretty limited. For a start there is no audio commentary by John Coates, and there are only about eight or nine “Behind the Scenes Photos” from the production included. In the United Artists release you get thirty photographs. Other than that the two are pretty similar, and the quality of the video transfer is about the same.

Yellow Submarine – Songtrack and Blu-Ray

The new “Yellow Submarine” has been out for a couple of weeks now and my copies have just arrived – courtesy of Amazon in the United States.

I got the re-packaged “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” CD.  Yes I know, it’s the exact same songs re-mixed and remastered way back in 1999.  Despite a perfect opportunity to do so Apple hasn’t provided us with the 09.09.09 remixes that were used for the “1962-66″ (Red), “1967-70” (Blue), and the “1” re-issues – but the same old remixes used on the original “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” release. As one Beatles collector wrote: “Just how lazy is that. Making us pay again for the same 12 year-old mixes?”

But it does come in the re-versioned packing making it compatible with all the new-look cardboard CD covers, including the back-catalogue titles in the 2009 box set – and the Beatles “1”, and so the completist collector just has to have it:

I also got the Blu-Ray of the 1968 film (it’s also out in a refreshed DVD, too) in excellent remastered quality.

(Click on images to see a large version)

But did you know that there was a unique, limited edition Blu-Ray cover offered in the UK, apparently issued in small numbers only by the HMV chain of record stores there? Check it out in this un-boxing video…

For more on “Yellow Submarine” see this post. Yes, the Blu-Ray will be crystal clear and worth it, but what are we collectors really getting that’s new?

yellowsubmarine.com (Plus a Few Other Things)

I’ve been a bit slow in telling you about some of the supporting websites and background info around two of the latest Beatle-related releases – Paul McCartney’s “Ram” reissues, and “Yellow Submarine” which is now out on BluRay, DVD and CD.

So, here’s a bit of a catch-up:

(click on the image to go there)

On the Yellow Submarine site there is a wealth of interactive material like photos, games, movie dialogue, sounds and “making of” videos. Well worth a look.

There’s also a range of great things out on the web now about the reissue of Paul McCartney’s “Ram” album:

Paul’s people certainly have been busy in producing supporting web content for “Ram” with not one but two dedicated websites:

(click on the image to go there)

In the Deluxe Box set of “Ram” you also get the 1977 orchestral/instrumental version of “Ram” that Paul put out under the pseudonym of Percy “Thrills” Thrillington:

(click on the image to go there)

There’s also a very interesting and insightful interview with McCartney by Paul Draper from the band Mansun. It’s not only about “Ram” but a wide range of other things. One great example is Paul talking about his early influences as a songwriter:

What I take the influence back to was A Teenage Opera. That was a very early record in the late 60s, by Keith West… it was his only, like, big hit. That was episodic, there was a bit and it went ‘buh-buh-bum’, then it went there, and there, and there [Sir Paul makes some stacking gestures with his hands]. I think that was the first record I heard, and we heard, and we thought ‘that’s interesting’. You can have a song here, then you can cut like a film to another song, and you can even cut the tempo and go slow and so on. That was really the one that was the biggest influence, and then lots of people started doing it. We’d do it a bit, prog-rock did it, Townshend started doing it a bit, The Who opera and all that. I think it was just that one record that made you realise that it didn’t have to be the same tempo or the same key all the way through, you could cut like a film.

You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. There are links to musical examples given throughout.

Finally, one cute little “Ram” publicity item – a “Ewe-Tube Map” – based on the London Underground train network:

(click for a larger version)

Oh, and this kind person has added a “Ram” Deluxe Edition “unboxing” video to YouTube:

“New” Yellow Submarine?

You’re no doubt aware that there’s a BluRay and DVD re-issue of “Yellow Submarine” due in May. There’ll also be a re-issue of the “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” CD too.

But what will we actually get that is really “new”?

The Beatles site says (quote):  “Bonus features for the Yellow Submarine DVD and Blu-ray include a short making-of documentary titled “Mod Odyssey”, the film’s original theatrical trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, several brief interview clips with others involved with the film, storyboard sequences, 29 original pencil drawings and 30 behind-the-scenes photos. Both Digipak packages will include reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios)”.

That got me thinking, and so I got down off the shelf my 1999 edition of the DVD. This was issued at the same time as the newly digitally remastered “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” CD first came out. The cover looks like this:

Listed on the back in that yellow box breakout are the Special Features. They are: a short making-of documentary titled “Mod Odyssey”, the film’s original theatrical trailer, full length audio commentary, interviews with crew and vocal talents, storyboard sequences (including two not used in the original film), original pencil drawings, behind-the-scenes photos, a collectible booklet, and a music-only track highlighting the film’s score.

So, this new addition coming in May adds what exactly? I figure it’s the “….reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter”.

And that’s it.

Apart from the individually hand-cleaned, frame by frame digitisation – which I’m sure is going to look fantastic – there’s not a real lot else I’m afraid.

I’ll probably get the BluRay (the complete-ist in me will have to have it), but I just wish Apple Corps and the remaining Beatles would stop forcing us to re-purchase stuff we already have and re-issue some genuinely new material.

What do you think?