Monday, 11 December 2017

Funny photo

Clipping from French newspaper.
This photo of a somewhat crosseyed George Harrison taking a selfie with Paul McCartney showed up in one of the Beatles related Facebook groups I belong to. The caption mentions British newspaper The Sun as originating source. However, I can't find this photo in the famous October 3, 1995 issue, which broke the reunion story with the first picture of the three of them together since Ringo's wedding in 1981.
Newspaper "The Sun" published the first reunion photo.
The photos were taken by photographer Tom Hanley at the Apple Office in London on March 31, 1995. Inside this newspaper is another photo from that same roll of film:
The headline parodies "We'll Meet Again" of Vera Lynn fame.
Most other press photos of Paul, George and Ringo together, taken in conjunction with the Beatles Anthology project were taken by Linda McCartney.
Here's a photoshop enhanced version of the funny one at the top of this story:

Is this a movie camera George is holding?
Both George and Ringo posed with these these cameras at the photo session.
Another photo from this occasion.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

RIP, Johnny Hallyday

Embed from Getty Images
French rocker Johnny Hallyday has passed at the age of 74. He was born June 15, 1943 and died on December 6, 2017. Johnny met the Beatles when the Beatles hit France, And as they became popular, he also recorded French language versions of some of their songs.

The above photo is from when Paul McCartney and Johnny Hallyday had a chance encounter in 2012, as they were both rehearsing with their respective touring bands in Burbank, California. Standing by, you can see members of McCartney's touring band, Abe Laboriel Jr. and Brian Ray - those two were actually also members of Johnny Hallyday's touring band back in 1998.

Back in the day: Johnny Hallyday and Paul McCartney
More: Read a review of Johnny Hallyday's concert debut in Great Britain in 2012.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Paul's Christmas album

During Christmas 1965, Paul McCartney went to music publisher Dick James' studio to transfer a tape onto disc as a present for his fellow Beatles. Only four copies were ever pressed, with many - including McCartney - believing they were lost in the mists of time. On December 1, Simon Wells uploaded Paul McCartney's 1965 Christmas album (or what's left of it) to YouTube. In 2011, a vinyl bootleg with this material appeared. Apparently one tape which used to contain the album was taped over by John and Ringo, but 18:33 of the original 26 minute tape has been restored. Paul is acting as a DJ here, with a heavy American accent, announcing the songs.

Friday, 1 December 2017

"Ringo" to be re-released

Last November, we mentioned that Capitol Records would celebrate their 75th anniversary this year, by re-releasing quite a numer of their classic records. Among these, quite a few Beatles related ones.
One of these, James Taylor's debut LP from 1968 on Apple Records is now available - and like we hoped, it has an Apple label. However, there seems to be a mistake here.

The Apple label, side 2. Photo: Jeff S. Levy.
Track #2 on side 2 is missing. It's mentioned on the label, but the song "Brighten Your Night With My Day" is just not there.

One album that we have just seen a mock-up of the cover of, is Ringo Starr's triumphant "Ringo" from 1973. Capitol has released this image:

"Ringo" with the Capitol Records 75th Anniversary logo.
According to the album's page on Amazon, it will be released on January 19, 2018. And the next album in Ringo's catalogue, "Goodnight Vienna" will also be made available on the same day.

Goodnight Vienna will be out at the same day as "Ringo". 
The image above is from a recent listing of the upcoming pressing of the album.
Like we have mentioned earlier, this year has seen both "Bad Boy" and "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" re-released on vinyl. Or, in the instance of the latter, this is actually it's first outing on vinyl.

And that's a good thing. For a number of years, Ringo's albums were only released digitally. It would be nice if they would make an appearance on LP for those who prefer that listening format.

So if anybody involved with the records are listening, the following Ringo albums are the ones we would like to see on the vinyl format:

1998: Vertical Man (only available on CD, cassette and download)
2003: Ringo Rama (only available on CD, cassette and download)
2005: Choose Love (only available on CD and download)
2007: Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo Starr (collection, only available on CD and download)
2008: Liverpool 8 (only available on CD, USB-bracelet and download)
2014: Icon (collection, only available on CD)

Of course, there's also a bunch of live albums from Ringo and his various All Starr Bands which are only available digitally.

Meanwhile, "Bad Boy" has been made available on black, champagne and blue vinyl. The champagne one is on 180 gram vinyl and includes a poster. It will be released today, December 1.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

New TMOQ issues from HMC: MMT and Lennon

TMOQ Gazette Vol 34: 1 DVD, 1 CD
We have been sent the covers of these two upcoming releases from bootleggers HMC (His Master's Choice), whose series "TMOQ Gazette" has previously given us unexpected new material from "the vaults" of collectors. The first one concentrates on Magical Mystery Tour once again, and is the second of a 2 volume set. Like last time around, they do again promise us hitherto unseen movie material.

The second one is a 1 CD 1 DVD set about John Lennon's Walls and Bridges album. The DVD seems to marry the November 1974 film of Lennon out and about in NYC with alternate takes of some songs, with additional material from old news clips. The CD looks extremely tedious, offering mostly umpteen takes of "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" original and remake. Not something to entertain guests with, unless they are Lennon obsessed.
TMOQ Gazette Vol. 33: 2 DVD set.

New "special edition" Beatles magazine

New magazine
The publishers behind UK music magazine Uncut and the New Musical Express (NME) have put together a Beatles pictorial, which they are marketing as a special edition magazine. Here's the blurb:

The Beatles: A Life In Pictures is a lavish 100 page tribute to the four lads who shook the world. Fashions come and go, but The Beatles still amaze us with their music.

Fifty years on from their classic album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, their stature is completely undiminished, and this fresh new selection of pictures – many seldom-seen; some previously unpublished – tells their story, and helps to explain some of that enduring appeal.

Their music was remarkable for its rate of change, and so were the band themselves, taking on new influence, new hairstyles, and whole new outlooks. What didn’t change was the band’s essential personality – throughout their career, they remained as charismatic, intelligent and playful as at they were at the start.

Theirs were public lives, and yet they only rarely shut the door to the world. In a time of copy approval and scripted reality television, it’s hard to conceive of the level of access The Beatles granted to the world’s press. Their off-the-cuff remarks could be hilarious. Pictures of them taken as they worked on something else entirely can speak volumes.

A day in the life? This is the life of the Beatles, in 100 pages. From their residencies at disreputable Hamburg clubs, to recording their hits, charming a whole new medium – television – and conquering America, The Beatles: A Life In Pictures brings you closer to John, Paul, George and Ringo. On each spread here, you’ll also find contemporary remarks from the Beatles themselves and their associates, selected from the archives of NME and Melody Maker.

Step right this way…

Also, we couldn't help but notice the round sticker-like figure on the front cover, with the legend "Unseen photos discovered". Whether that's a news story or actual photos we have not been informed...

Link: The Beatles - A Life in pictures

Ringo to tour Europe and Israel next summer

Ringo will return to Europe after 7 years to embark on a new tour

Ringo Starr announces the 13th iteration of his All Starr Band and new tour dates through Europe and Israel. After six years with the same band, Ringo welcomes Colin Hay back to the group and as well as new member Graham Gouldman of 10cc (I’m Not In Love, Things We Do For Love, Dreadlock Holiday, Wall Street Shuffle). Hay and Gouldman join existing All Starrs Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette.
In June, the All Starrs embark on a 21 date tour that will kick off in Paris France and includes shows in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Monaco, Netherlands and Israel, concluding in Italy. The last time the All Starrs toured Europe was 2011.
The All Starrs just finished a tour that started with a Las Vegas residency and ended with a performance at New York City’s Beacon Theater. The band is supporting Starr’s new album, Give More Love.
“While almost none of the songs are less than 30 years old, it should be noted (underlined, with asterisks) that Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band is not a nostalgia act. “Nostalgia” implies something static, irrelevant, and vaguely frivolous. No, Starr and his merry band are much too vibrant for that, and the message of peace and love that they sing is just as relevant today. Besides, legends never go out of style.” – People Magazine

Tour dates include:
June 5 Olympia, Paris, France - Tickets
June 8 Holland Blues Festival, Grolloo, Netherlands - Tickets
June 9 Flens Arena, Flensberg, Germany - Tickets
June 10 StadPark, Hamburg, Germany - Tickets
June 13 Kaisaniemi Park, Helsinki, Finland - Tickets
June 15 Lunden, Horsens, Denmark - Tickets
June 16 Tempodorm, Berlin, Germany - Tickets
June 17 Stadhalle, Zwickau, Germany - Tickets
June 19 Congress Hall, Prague, Czech Republic - Tickets
June 20 Stadhalle, Vienna, Austria - Tickets
June 23 Menoarah, Tel Aviv, Israel - Tickets
June 24 Menorah Arena Tel Aviv, Israel - Tickets
June 26 St. Jordi Club, Barcelona, Spain - Tickets
June 28 Wlznik Center, Madrid, Spain - Tickets
June 29 Coliseum, La Caruna, Spain - Tickets
July 1 Bizkia Arena, Bilbao, Spain - Tickets
July 4 Rockhal, Luxembourg, Belgium - Tickets
July 6 Sporting Complex, Monte Carlo, Monaco - Tickets
July 8 Piazza Napoleone, Lucca, Italy - Tickets
July 9 Piazza Degliscachi, Marostica, Italy - Tickets
July 11 Auditorium, Cavea, Rome, Italy - Tickets

Ticket sales are already ongoing, at least for some of the dates.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Songbird in a cage

The album "Rest" from Charlotte Gainsbourg contains a song composed by Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney has written a song for Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of rebel French songsmith and artist Serge Gainsbourg. Last year she recorded the song, aided by Paul, and on 17 November her new album is out, with the track.

"Songbird in a Cage" is the song in question. “We had a very nice lunch about six-and-a-half years ago”, she recalls. “I couldn’t believe that I was actually sitting next to him. I told him that if he ever had a song for me it would be a dream come true. A few weeks later he sent this track. It was a demo. I didn’t know what to do with it, because I wanted it to be part of the album. We had to reinvent it. Paul very sweetly came to Electric Lady. He did a bit of piano, some bass, a bit of guitar. It was incredible, just to see him work”. .

Somebody has already uploaded the song to YouTube, so you can listen here. At least for now.

Links to purchase: -

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Completist alert

Compiled from a series of programmes.
This 2CD compilation from BBC contains a rendition of "Lady Madonna" by Paul McCartney from the radio programme Sold On Song, recorded in Abbey Road Studios on 27 July 2005, and broadcast on 17 September that same year. The 2CD was released on 27 Oct. 2017.

In a very special concert, Paul McCartney gave a unique insight into the art of his songwriting. Paul returned to Studio 2 at Abbey Road, the room where all the Beatles records were made, for an intimate journey through his songwriting history, from his very first Beatles song to the work on his then new album "Chaos & Creation In The Backyard". 
Paul talked in depth to Mark Radcliffe, revealing his techniques and secrets and sharing stories of his writing partnership with John Lennon, his work with the Beatles and his solo career before moving on to a ground breaking solo live performance.


Friday, 10 November 2017

Beatles night on BBC Four

In Great Britain, BBC Four is having a Beatles night, just have a look at the schedule:

9.30: Storyville: How The Beatles rocked the Kremlin
Documentary which tells the extraordinary unknown story of how the Beatles helped to destroy the USSR.

In August 1962, director Leslie Woodhead made a two-minute film in Liverpool's Cavern Club with a raw and unrecorded group of rockers called the Beatles. He arranged their first live TV appearances on a local show in Manchester and watched as the Fab Four phenomenon swept the world.

Twenty-five years later while making films in Russia, Woodhead became aware of how, even though they were never able to play in the Soviet Union, the Beatles' legend had soaked into the lives of a generation of kids. This film meets the Soviet Beatles generation and hears their stories about how the Fab Four changed their lives, including Putin's deputy premier Sergei Ivanov, who explains how the Beatles helped him learn English and showed him another life.

The Soviet authorities were alarmed by the seditious potential of rock and roll, with the Beatles a special target and denounced as 'bugs' in official papers. Their smuggled records were destroyed and their music was banned, but the myth blossomed as bootlegs and photos were covertly traded and even rented amongst fans.

Soon there were thousands of rock bands across the USSR, trying to make music with crude home-made guitars. Speakers on lampposts installed to broadcast propaganda were grabbed by rock hopefuls, while reports that an electric pickup could be cannibalised from a telephone led to phone boxes being raided and disabled.

Millions of young people fell in love with the Beatles and the culture of the Cold War enemy, and defected emotionally from the Soviet system. The Beatles prepared the cultural way for the fall of the Berlin Wall and ultimately helped to wash away the foundations of that system.

10.30: Sgt Pepper's Musical Revolution by Howard Goodall
On 1 June, 1967, an album was released that changed music history - The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In this film, composer Howard Goodall explores just why this album is still seen as so innovative, so revolutionary and so influential. With the help of outtakes and studio conversations between the band, never heard before outside of Abbey Road, Howard gets under the bonnet of Sgt Pepper. He takes the music apart and reassembles it, to show us how it works - and makes surprising connections with the music of the last 1,000 years to do so.

Sgt Pepper came about as a result of a watershed in The Beatles' career. In August 1966, sick of the screaming mayhem of live shows, they'd taken what was then seen as the career-ending decision to stop touring altogether. Instead, beginning that December, they immersed themselves in Abbey Road with their creative partner, producer George Martin, for an unprecedented five months. What they produced didn't need to be recreated live on stage. The Beatles took full advantage of this freedom, turning the studio from a place where a band went to capture its live sound, as quickly as possible, into an audio laboratory, a creative launch pad. As Howard shows, they and George Martin and his team constructed the album sound by sound, layer by layer - a formula that became the norm for just about every rock act who followed.

In June 1967, after what amounted to a press blackout about what they'd been up to, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. It was a sensation, immediately becoming the soundtrack to the Summer of Love - and one of the best-selling, most critically lauded albums of all time. It confirmed that a 'pop music' album could be an art form, not just a collection of three-minute singles. It's regularly been voted one of the most important and influential records ever released.

In this film, Howard Goodall shows that it is the sheer ambition of Sgt Pepper - in its conception, composition, arrangements and innovative recording techniques - that sets it apart.

Made with unprecedented access to The Beatles' pictorial archive, this is an in-depth exploration, in sound and vision, of one of the most important and far-reaching moments in recent music history.

11.30: Arena: The Magical Mystery Tour Special
Arena presents the greatest Beatles story never told, a blockbuster double-bill. Beginning with a documentary full of fabulous Beatles archive material never shown before anywhere in the world.

Songs you'll never forget, the film you've never seen and a story that's never been heard. In 1967, in the wake of the extraordinary impact of Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles made a film - a dreamlike story of a coach daytrip, a magical mystery tour. It was seen by a third of the nation, at 8.35pm on BBC1 on Boxing Day - an expectant public, hoping for some light entertainment for a family audience.

Magical Mystery Tour was greeted with outrage and derision by middle England and the establishment media.

'How dare they', they cried, 'They're not film directors, who do they think they are?' they howled. Where were the four lovable moptops of Help! and A Hard Day's Night?

What propelled The Beatles to make this surreal, startling and - at the time - utterly misunderstood film?

Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour!

this is followed by Top of the Pops from 1984, and more Beatles:

01.10: ...Sings The Beatles
Recorded for the 40th anniversary of Abbey Road, The Beatles' final album, a journey through the classic and curious covers in the BBC archives.

Featuring Sandie Shaw singing a sassy Day Tripper, Shirley Bassey belting out Something, a close-harmony Carpenters cover of Help!, Joe Cocker's chart-topping With a Little Help from My Friends, Oasis reinventing the Walrus and a little Lady Madonna from Macca himself.

Plus a few 'magical' moments from Candy Flip, The Korean Kittens and Su Pollard.

Then at 2.10, the Storyville programme about The Beatles and Kremlin is reprised.

Link: BBC Four

The Sgt Pepper jukebox

The Sgt Pepper Jukebox
The new Beatles jukebox is manufactured by jukebox specialists Sound Leisure Limited in Leeds, England.

Manufactured under licence: (c) 2017 Apple Corp Limitied. A Beatles TM product

70 x 7" vinyl record rotating jukebox mechanism. (140 selections - A/B sides)

D4 amplifier : 2 x independent stereo channel outputs, 60W RMS per channel.

2 x mid / 2 x tweeter and 1 x 12" Twin cone bass speaker

Remote control for home use - record selection / shuffle play / aux input / volume / reject record

140 selection rotating title display. (printed using Sound Leisure's Label Magic software - 12 months subscription fee included)

Aux input (phono)

Aux output (phono)

Microphone input

Bluetooth connection as standard

All Jukeboxes can be manufactured to run any voltage (e.g 110V u.s.a)

Height: 1410mm
Width: 780mm
Depth: 700mm
Weight: 120KG

£8,995.00 delivered to UK mainland. Of course, they'll ship it anywhere, but freight cost will be added. Order from the contact form on Sound Leisure Limiteds website.

Sound Leisure Limited
Beatles Store (Official Beatles store for USA)
Jingle Jukebox
Beatles Online Store (Official Beatles store for Europe/UK)

To our knowledge, the Sgt Pepper jukebox is only the second Beatles jukebox that Apple Corps has licensed, the first one being the Rock-Ola Yellow Submarine jukebox of 2000, which you can read about here. The Yellow Submarine jukebox was limited to 100 pieces, of which you can find a couple in Liverpool, at the Hard Day's Night Hotel and the Cavern Pub, Ozzy Osbourne owns one and four are owned by Apple Corps themselves...perhaps one in each Beatle's home..?

Of course, once you have installed your Sgt. Pepper jukebox, you need to stack it with singles. With a themed jukebox like that, here are a couple must have singles:

This 45 has the title track and "With a Little Help From My Friends" on the A-side and "A Day In The Life" on the B-side

This Swedish 45 has the same songs on the A-side, but on the B-side is the elusive "Within You Without You".
And of course, "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" as well as "All You Need Is Love"/"Baby, You're A Rich Man".

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Sources for the Christmas discs

"..and I'm sure, somewhere down the line, there's gonna be a t-shirt." -George Harrison
This from Mitchell Axelrod's post in the Fab 4 Free 4 All Facebook page, regarding the new Christmas singes boxed set - from someone involved with the project:

"We have pretty extensive archives so not all tape masters were lost! Or at least, we have original tapes even if there were contemporary safety copies. These are a mix of original tape and the contemporary disc dubs...They were all worked on with de-noising and lots of de-clicking (especially the disc dubs) and I really think that...they are by far the quietest and best versions anyone will have heard before."

Or two. Available from the official Beatles stores.
"We just felt that the job was to release the discs as close to the same as they were originally (with the audio cleaned up as much as possible and pressed on vinyl rather than flexi) so it never really seemed like an option to add anything 'new'!"

Source: Fab 4 Free 4 All on Facebook

So, it seems that from these statements we understand that some disc-dubs have been used as a source here. Let's hope this was from a clean copy of an LP and not from the actual flexis. And where did the master tapes for the "Christmas Album" and "From Then To You" go, Apple? These LPs (depicted below) compiled all seven Christmas singles into one album, one for each side of the Atlantic on regular vinyl. They were sent to the remaining members of the official Beatles fan clubs in Great Britain and USA in 1970 for free and are now collector's items.

From Then To You, the U.K. compilation LP of the fan club singles, 1970. Apple LYN 2153.
The Christmas Album, the USA compilation LP of the Fan club singles, 1970. Apple Records SBC 100;

Of course, we do realise that the Beatles' Christmas singles are best served one single at a time, a whole LP in one sitting is a bit of an overkill. However, the main complaint about the new boxed set is "Why not offer them on CD" and "why not make them downloads"?
As you may or may not be aware of, vinyl releases sell more than CD releases these days. And that's something marketing departments are acutely aware of. Also, boxed sets are de rigeur at the moment.
Still, it wouldn't surprise us if a compilation CD or downloads will show up some time after the sets are sold.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

New releases official statement

The Christmas Discs Boxed Set, retailing for €72.99 from the European Beatles store

We Are Ringing In The Holidays with New Global Beatles Releases


The Beatles’ Festive Fan Club Holiday Recordings Presented Together on Seven Colored Vinyl Singles with Original Artwork

Acclaimed ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Expanded Deluxe Anniversary Edition to be Released in HD Digital Audio

‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ 2017 Stereo Mix to be Released on 180-Gram Vinyl LP and Limited Edition Picture Disc Vinyl LP

London – November 2, 2017 – Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe are wrapping up new, global Beatles releases for the holiday season, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

All these can now be yours! From Apple Corps Ltd.
The Beatles’ annual holiday tradition of recording jolly Christmas messages for fan club members was an important part of the band’s relationship with their most ardent supporters, affectionately referred to by them as “Beatle People.” Spanning 1963 to 1969, The Beatles’ holiday recordings were originally pressed on flexi discs and mailed to fan club members each December. Never released beyond the fan club until now, The Beatles’ seven holiday messages have been newly pressed on a rainbow of seven-inch colored vinyl singles for The Christmas Records box set, to be released worldwide on December 15. The limited edition collection presents each vinyl single with its original flexi disc sleeve artwork, accompanied by a 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club’s National Newsletters, which were mailed to members with the holiday flexi discs.

Preorder The Beatles’ limited edition The Christmas Records box set:

Also on December 15, the Deluxe Anniversary Edition of The Beatles’ 1967 masterwork, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, will debut worldwide in high definition digital audio (96kHz/24bit). The Deluxe Anniversary Edition features the album’s acclaimed 2017 stereo mix, plus 18 additional tracks, including complete alternate takes for the groundbreaking album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo. The expanded edition also features the 2017 stereo mix and an instrumental take of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix and two complete alternate takes for “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

The new Sgt pepper picture disc design.
On the same date, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s 2017 stereo mix will be released in two distinct 1-LP vinyl editions: a 180-gram black vinyl LP and a limited, collectible picture disc vinyl LP. Produced by Giles Martin for this year’s universally heralded ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition releases, the album’s new stereo mix was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by Giles’ father, George Martin. Praised by fans and music critics around the world, The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition is 2017’s most celebrated historical music release and an ideal gift for Beatle People here, there, and everywhere.
Single lP version of Sgt Pepper with the new stereo remix

Preorder Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 180-gram black vinyl LP:

Preorder Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band limited edition picture disc vinyl LP:

Apart from these new releases, the press statement also talks about the PBS premiere of the "Eight Days A Week" documentary, but as it has been shown on TV for months in other countries, this is hardly news for a seasoned Beatles fan.

What we notice is that the picture disc seems to be based on the old US picture disc of Sgt Pepper from the 80's with the bass drum logo on one side of the disc. This of course, different to the UK picture disc of olde, which had the same cover photo on each side.

Also, no mention about how limited the Christmas singles boxed set will be, although the use of words like "worldwide distribution" indicates a market driven approach to the word "limited".

What probably is very limited, is the new Sgt Pepper jukebox for vinyl singles that Apple Corps Ltd has licensed.
Sgt Pepper jukebox - an addition to your good old Yellow Submarine jukebox
Link to the Sgt Pepper jukebox:

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

More coloured vinyl for Christmas

A box with the Fan club Christmas singles due from the Beatles - But it’s hardly a gift!

This leaked yesterday - a new Beatles release is imminent: A boxed set of the seven Christmas singles on coloured vinyl, with a booklet. Limited edition, which probably means they have figured out exactly how many Beatles fans will want and can afford this, and that’s the amount they have manufactured. Also in the cards: a new picture disc version of the Sgt. Pepper album. To be announced officially shortly.

The Christmas Records [limited edition box set: seven 7” colored vinyl singles]

1963: “The Beatles' Christmas Record”
(one-sided, 5:00 TRT)
Recorded: 17 October 1963 - Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1964: “Another Beatles Christmas Record”
(one-sided, 3:58 TRT)
Recorded: 26 October 1964 - Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1965: “The Beatles' Third Christmas Record”
(one-sided, 6:20 TRT)
Recorded: 8 November 1965 - Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1966: “Pantomime - Everywhere It's Christmas: The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record”
(one-sided, 6:36 TRT)
Recorded: 25 November 1966 - Dick James Music, New Oxford Street, London

1967: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again): The Beatles’ Fifth Christmas Record”
(one-sided, 6:06 TRT)
Recorded: 28 November 1967 - Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

1968: “The Beatles' Sixth Christmas Record”
(two-sided, 7:48 TRT)
Recorded: 1968, various locations

1969: “The Beatles' Seventh Christmas Record”
(two-sided, 7:39 TRT)
Recorded: 1969, various locations

The seven Beatles Christmas singles were originally flexi discs sent to members of the official fan clubs in a few countries. In the UK and USA, an LP collected the singles, and this LP was also sent out for free to fan club members only. This will mark the first occasion when non-members of the Beatles fan club can buy these Christmas messages, songs and sketches.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

More coloured vinyl from Macca

New single in 2 versions from Paul.
And the Christmas spirit keeps visiting the blog. Back in 2012 in conjunction with Record Store Day's "Black Friday", Paul McCartney released a Christmas single in two versions, on red and green vinyl. The single featured "Christmas Kisses (The Christmas Song)", backed with "Wonderful Christmastime".

The 2012 Christmas single has become expensive.
Today this is a collector's item which can sell for up to $50. Next Record Store Black Friday on November 24, Paul is set to release two more singles featuring "Wonderful Christmastime" on respectively red and green vinyl. The former is backed with Norah Jones' version of "Peace", the latter has The Decemberists' rendition of "Jesus Christ". Paul's own song is a version featuring Paul himself, Jimmy Kimmel and The Roots. Will it be as collectable? Limited to 3500 for each colour, but as usual we have no idea whether this is a worldwide figure, or if it's just the North American quantities.



Wednesday, 11 October 2017

New book about drugs and The Beatles

Joe Gooden's book, "Riding So High".
‘Who gave the drugs to the Beatles? I didn’t invent those things. I bought it from someone who got it from somebody. We never invented the stuff.’ – John Lennon

Riding So High charts the Beatles’ extraordinary odyssey from teenage drinking and pill-popping, to cannabis, LSD, the psychedelic Summer of Love and the darkness beyond.
Drugs were central to the Beatles’ story from the beginning. The acid, pills and powders helped form bonds, provided escape from the chaos of Beatlemania, and inspired colossal leaps in songwriting and recording. But they also led to break-ups, breakdowns, drug busts and prison.

The only full-length study of the Beatles and drugs, Riding So High tells of getting stoned, kaleidoscope eyes, excess, loss and redemption, with a far-out cast including speeding Beatniks, a rogue dentist, a script-happy aristocratic doctor, corrupt police officers and Hollywood Vampires.

‘The deeper you go, the higher you fly…’
Whether you're a stoner, straight-edge or somewhere in between, you won't want to miss this. Riding So High – The Beatles and Drugs. 113,413 words. 9 October 2017.

Joe also runs The Beatles' Bible, possibly the greatest online Beatles resource.


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Ringo's Christmas album returns

Ringo's 1999 Christmas album 
Looks like someone is in Christmas spirits, because September 22 Ringo Starr's album "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" (or the Santa Claus album, "I Wanna Be Ringo Starr") was released on vinyl by Mercury Records. We heartily recommend this album! After this album, Starr was to leave Mercury after they had done no promotion for it, which in turn resulted in little sales.
This is the first vinyl edition of the album, as it was originally only available on CD and cassette.

  1. "Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On" (Richard Starkey, Mark Hudson, Dean Grakal) – 3:36
  2. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith) – 2:55
  3. "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" (Starkey, Hudson, Dick Monda) – 3:46
    • features Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals
  4. "The Little Drummer Boy" (Harry Simeone, Henry Onorati, Katherine K. Davis) – 3:19
    • features Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals
  5. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Johnny Marks) – 2:21
  6. "Christmas Eve" (Starkey, Hudson) – 4:26
  7. "The Christmas Dance" (Starkey, Hudson, Jim Cox, Steve Dudas) – 4:06
    • followed by studio chatter in between this and the following track
  8. "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" (George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Richard Starkey) – 4:06
    • originally recorded by The Beatles in 1967 for their annual Christmas record for members of their fan club
    • features Joe Perry on guitar solo
  9. "Blue Christmas" (Bill Hayes, Jay Johnson) – 2:58
  10. "Dear Santa" (Starkey, Hudson, Dudas) – 5:12
  11. "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin) – 2:56
    • features Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals
    • followed by a short violin piece in between this and the following track
  12. "Pax Um Biscum (Peace Be with You)" (Starkey, Hudson, Scott Gordon) – 4:46

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Paul McCartney on coloured vinyl

8 albums from Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney and Wings are being reissued worldwide on CD, 180-gram heavyweight vinyl and limited edition coloured vinyl.

No bonus tracks, just the regular album songs. The CD editions will be priced lower than regular CDs. The reasoning behind the release: McCartney's change of label from Hear Music to Capitol Records. These are the same albums that were released by Hear Music in the ongoing Archive series, except that Wings Over America is not here:









The colour vinyl collection.

Press Release

Paul McCartney: McCartney, McCartney II,  Tug Of War, Pipes Of Peace
Paul and Linda McCartney: Ram
Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run
Wings: Venus And Mars, At The Speed Of Sound

Paul McCartney’s critically acclaimed and multiple Grammy Award-winning Archive Collection will offer fans another chance to complete their collections on November 17, 2017. That date will see the MPL/Capitol/UMe reissues of the first eight Archive Collection titles in affordable single CD digipak and 180 gram black vinyl single LP formats—as well as limited edition 180 gram color vinyl pressings. All vinyl LPs in the Archive Collection will feature a download card and fully restored artwork. The titles and corresponding limited edition vinyl colors are as follows:

Paul McCartney: McCartney - RED
Paul McCartney: McCartney II - CLEAR
Paul McCartney: Tug Of War - BLUE
Paul McCartney: Pipes Of Peace - SILVER
Paul and Linda McCartney: Ram - YELLOW
Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run - WHITE
Wings: Venus And Mars - RED & YELLOW
Wings: At The Speed Of Sound - ORANGE

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection debuted with the November 2, 2010 re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings’ 1973 milestone Band on the Run, which won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Historical Album, while the Archive Collection’s Deluxe Edition Box Set of the 1976 classic Wings Over America took the 2013 Grammy for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. The most recent installment was this year’s reissue of Paul’s eighth studio album Flowers In The Dirt, which ROLLING STONE called “spectacular…  an extraordinary document,” and the OBSERVER hailed as "perhaps the greatest record to emerge from the world of AOR in 1989... an absolute pleasure to rediscover today."

Every release in the ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection is supervised by Paul himself, who oversees all aspects of each and every title from remastering to the curation of lost tracks, outtakes, artwork, photographs and video from his personal vaults, and much more. The result is one of the most ambitious and personal undertakings of its kind, one that encompasses more than 40 years of cherished, classic material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist in music history.


The Lovely Linda
That Would Be Something
Valentine Day
Every Night
Hot As Sun / Glasses
Man We Was Lonely
Oo You
Momma Miss America
Teddy Boy
Singalong Junk
Maybe I'm Amazed

Too Many People
3 Legs
Ram On
Dear Boy
Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey
Smile Away
Heart Of The Country
Monkberry Moon Delight
Eat At Home
Long Haired Lady
Ram On [reprise]
The Back Seat Of My Car

Band on the Run
Band On The Run
Mrs. Vandebilt
Let Me Roll It
No Words
Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five

Venus and Mars
Venus And Mars
Rock Show
Love In Song
You Gave Me The Answer
Magneto And Titanium Man
Letting Go
Venus And Mars [reprise]
Spirits Of Ancient Egypt
Medicine Jar
Call Me Back Again
Listen To What The Man Said
Treat Her Gently - Lonely Old People

At The Speed of Sound
Let 'Em In
The Note You Never Wrote
She's My Baby
Beware My Love
Wino Junko
Silly Love Songs
Cook Of The House
Time To Hide
Must Do Something About It
San Ferry Anne
Warm And Beautiful

McCartney II
Coming Up
Temporary Secretary
On The Way
Nobody Knows
Front Parlour
Summer's Day Song
Frozen Jap
Bogey Music
One Of These Days

Tug of War
Tug Of War
Take It Away
Somebody Who Cares
What's That You're Doing
Here Today
Ballroom Dancing
The Pound Is Sinking
Get It
Be What You See
Dress Me Up As A Robber
Ebony And Ivory

Pipes of Peace
Pipes Of Peace
Say Say Say
The Other Me
Keep Under Cover
So Bad
The Man
Sweetest Little Show
Average Person
Hey Hey
Tug Of Peace
Through Our Love

Bundle of all titles on colour vinyl
So, does this mean that the Archive series is continuing? We hope so!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

End of the line for Charlie T jr

Charlie T joins his fellow Wilburies, Nelson and Lefty.
Another member of George Harrison's old supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys has died. Tom Petty, also known as Charlie T Wilbury jr, died peacefully in a hospital in Los Angeles, Monday the 2nd October at 8.40pm local time. He had been rushed to the hospital after having been found lifeless at home. Petty had previously been open and outspoken about his problems with heroin addiction.
Petty was friendly with George Harrison and Ringo Starr,  and his band The Heartbreakers backed Bob Dylan on his 1986 and '87 tours.

Petty has been a central American rock artist since the late seventies, with hits like "American Girl", "Free Fallin'" and "I Won't Back Down". His first major album success with The Heartbreakers was "Damn The Torpedoes" in 1979.

His solo album "Full Moon Fever" lifted him to new heights ten years later, following Petty's membership in on of rock's biggest superstar groups, The Traveling Wilburys, together with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. Now there's just two of them left on earth. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers finished their last tour just a week ago at the Hollywood Bowl.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Paul on Saturday Night Live 1993

Paul meets Chip Dutch (private photo).
One of our regular readers is in a Syrecuse newspaper these days, in a story from 1993. Paul McCartney is due to play there on Saturday of course, so this is just a warm up story...
Anyway, head on over to and read how the cast of Saturday Night Live reacted to Paul's first live appearance there - and how our guy managed to witness it all first hand.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

What goes on? Early version up for sale again

The label of "What Goes On" demo disc.
On Thursday 21 September 2017, Parlogram will be auctioning this acetate on Ebay. The disc contains the unreleased and unheard 1963 home demo of one of John Lennon’s earliest compositions, "What Goes On". An exclusive excerpt of John singing the song’s original lyrics, different to those on the 1965 released version on "Rubber Soul", will be made available on the auction listing. The auction will end on October 1st 2017.

Parlogram announced the upcoming auction on their Facebook page.
This track was due to be recorded on 5th March 1963 but the group ran out of time. They revisited the track during a recording session on 4th November 1965, when they were just a month away from the release of the next album, "Rubber Soul", and had only completed half of the tracks for it. The acetate is a demo with vocals (by John) and guitars only. It was previously auctioned off by Bonham's in December 2012, and fetched £6,250 back then. The record was one of many items given by George Harrison to his brother, Harry, and other members of his family.

There was no sonic sample available at the Bonham's auction, so this will be the first time we will be able to hear a little bit of the demo.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Magical Mystery Tour anniversary on bootlegs

Upcoming 2DVD from HMC
The 50th anniversary for The Beatles TV-movie, "Magical Mystery Tour" is fast approaching. With no official word, it looks like The Beatles and Apple are going to bypass this anniversary. A couple of notorious bootleggers are coming to the rescue, as both HMS and Misterclaudel have been touting their hommages to the film. HMC promises 40 minutes of hitherto unseen outtakes on DVD 1 and a fan made edit of the film on DVD 2.

The HMC 2DVD folder.
Misterclaudel, on the other hand, will be releasing the 2012 BBC documentary, plus some of Paul and Mal Evans' home movies. Also some of the material which was used to promote the film when it was reissued for DVD and Blu-ray in 2012, but which didn't make it to disc back then.

Disc One: Outtakes & Discs Two: The Documentary.

Misterclaudel's release, also 2DVDs.
You may read a bit more (auto-translated from Japanese) about the Misterclaudel release on this site.

Back of the Misterclaudel release.