Tuesday, 25 April 2017

McCartney Budokan set list - U.S. dates expected soon

Waving the flags at the Budokan Hall
Here's the set list from Paul McCartney's concert at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo on April 25, the first concert of his in 2017:

01. A Hard Day’s Night
02. Jet
03. Drive My Car
04. Junior’s Farm
05. Let Me Roll It
06. I’ve Got a Feeling
07. My Valentine
08. 1985
09. Maybe I’m Amazed
10. We Can Work It Out
11. Every Night
12. In Spite of All the Danger
13. Love Me Do
14. BlackBird
15. Here Today
16. Queenie Eye
17. Lady Madonna
18. I Wanna Be Your Man
19. Magical Mystery Tour
20. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
21. Obla Di, Obla Da
22. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
23. Back In The U.S.S.R.
24. Let It Be
25. Live And Let Die
26. Hey Jude

Encore:
27. Yesterday
28. Hi Hi Hi
29. Golden Slumbers
30. Carry That Weight
31. The End

We expected more from the Sgt Pepper album, but perhaps he is waiting for the anniversary album to appear. Another surprise is the non-inclusion of "Band On The Run", that hasn't happened before.. It is a shorter set list than usual, but McCartney played a shorter set last time he visited the Budokan Hall too, so perhaps those "missing" songs will reappear later on in the tour. Meanwhile, Paul has added a massive new run of U.S. dates to his One On One tour. An official announcement from Paul is expected today, but eager local promoters have already started to announce the concerts, like this one. Also rumoured for later in October: South America.

Monday, 24 April 2017

My Record Store Day

My copy of Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever
Inspired by this Beatlesblogger post, I thought I should give an account of my experiences of Saturday's Record Store Day.

I live in a small town just outside Oslo, the capital of Norway. It's a 15-20 minute drive. However, there's a good record store in my town (old & new, vinyl and CD's) who were participating with RSD, so I thought I'd just pop in there when they opened. This I did, I arrived just seconds before opening time, and only two more people were waiting for the store to open, neither were Beatles fans. I only knew about the McCartney/Costello cassette and the anniversary release of the "Penny Lane" /"Strawberry Fields Forever" single, but I only expected to find the latter, as I thought the cassette would be too rare to find in Norway.

Complete with doodle, I believe the cassette is an exact copy of McCartney's personal demo cassette from the 80's.
The store opened and lo and behold - they did have the single. Furthermore, they only had one copy. It was a bit expensive at 170 NOK (about 20 US dollars), but nevertheless, I was happy to find it and purchased it. It was shrink wrapped in plastic, which is something not normally done with singles in Norway, and the sleeve was printed on much harder paper than my 1967 original U.K. copy. Not quite as hard as an E.P. but harder than normal single sleeves. As I paid for the item, I chatted with the guy at the till, and enquired about the cassette. He told me that he had ordered it, but it hadn't arrived. I was surprised that he actually had managed to order it, this meant it could be ordered from Norway after all.

The label of the Penny Lane side of my copy of the single.

Back home, I opened Facebook and posted a photo of the single, and told everyone I had gotten hold of the only copy available in my town. I listened to "Penny Lane" just once on my record player, and was rather unimpressed with the pressing (a bit shrill) and the mix (rather mono-like, I noticed very little stereo separation). "Strawberry Fields Forever" I didn't need to listen to, as I expected it to be the same stereo mix as on the "1+" music video.

After a while, a Facebook friend from Oslo posted that there were plenty available of the Beatles single in two participating records stores there, "The Garden" and "Big Dipper Records". In the thread, I asked him about the McCartney cassette, but he was unaware of it and hadn't been looking for it. But a friend of his chimed in later in the same thread that he had seen the cassette, maybe five copies in "The Garden" and fifteen in "Big Dipper Records". Meanwhile, cassettes were popping up "all over ebay".

The back of my copy of the single

Having seen my post about the single, a mate called me from "The Garden" and told me they had eleven left of the Beatles single. It was even 20 NOK cheaper than the one copy I had bought in my local record store. I asked him about the McCartney cassette. He too was unaware of its existence, but looked around and located the two copies they had left. I asked him to get me one, and this he did!
We kept in touch when he went over to the other store, and there he sent me these two photos from "Big Dipper Records":

After having been open for 4-5 hours, "Big Dipper Records" still had 11 of the cassettes...

...and a huge stack of the Beatles single.

So it seemed there were more of these Beatles and related items in Oslo than anywhere else on the planet! How very strange. The single was supposedly pressed in only 7,000 copies and the cassette just 2,500. So how come so many of them ended up in Norway? Perhaps the so called "limited edition" items for RSD should all be individually numbered, so that we all could see if the numbers were correct?

Anyway, some guy over at Twitter was complaining about the situation and that people were buying them just to sell them at double price or more at ebay, which prompted this reply from Giles Martin:
If this means that the single will now be pressed up in a second printing for general release, may I suggest pressing it on coloured vinyl, so that those of us who went hunting on Record Store Day will have something exclusive after all?

By the way, the "strictly limited" 2014 Black Friday re-release of the "Long Tall Sally" EP is still available from the U.S. Beatles store, for only $20.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Sgt Pepper in Mojo

The June edition of Mojo will hit the newsstands in the U.K. on April 25.
MOJO 283 / June 2017:
MOJO celebrates the 50th Birthday of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – rebooted in 2017 with a thrilling new stereo mix. Paul McCartney tells us how they “vibed” it; Jon Savage on the songs and the significance; Nigel Hartnup relives THAT sleeve shoot; Giles Martin defends his Pepper for the new millennium; and more! Meanwhile MOJO’s covermount CD, Children Of Pepper, brings together mind-blowing tracks by psych inheritors.

Here's a short extract from the McCartney interview.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

RSD single uses remixed versions

Sticker confirms new mixes
It has now been confirmed that Saturday's Record Store Day release of "Penny Lane" / "Strawberry Fields Forever" on a 45 rpm single indeed contains new mixes of the songs. This version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" is the same stereo mix as used on the promotional video for the song on 2015's "1+" compilation, whereas "Penny Lane" is a newer mix, with a 2017 production date. This release will then mark the debut of this mix, prior to its inclusion on the DeLuxe Anniversary edition of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Meanwhile, dealers on ebay are accepting preorders of the upcoming single at very inflated prices.

Close-up of the sticker

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Mister Kite reproduction poster

John Lennon with the circus poster, 1971. Inserted: The new reproduction.

The "Mister Kite" circus poster is reproduced for inclusion in the DeLuxe Anniversary edition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Here's John with the original, alongside the part of the repro poster that is visible in the pack shot of the anniversary release.

This poster has been reproduced several times, most famously by Peter Dean in 2012 but also by "The Propsmith" after he was unhappy with Dean's effort. So how about this new one? Do you think Yoko has allowed them to photograph the original to ensure the reproduction is as close to the real one as possible?
A version I bought in Hamburg in 2006 - printed with red ink.

Since the Lennon photo is black and white, how can we know that his poster was printed with black ink? A reader sent in this colour photo from 1967 of "The Fool" (Simon Posthuma and Marijke Koger) painting John's piano. In the upper right corner, the "Mister Kite" poster is just visible. It looks to me like it's printed using red ink, but it's difficult to be certain.

The poster is barely visible in the upper right corner of this 1967 colour photo.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Signed prints from Jean-Marie Perier

Uncropped photo from February 1967. Photo: Jean-Marie Perier
Just before Easter, Snap Galleries advertised a series of three Beatles photos taken by renowned French photographer Jean-Marie Perier in February 1967. In an accompanying interview, Perier talks about meeting The Beatles for the first time in Brian Epstein's office in 1963, and how he subsequently took the iconic "lighting cigarettes" photo. The Beatles met Perier several times, in London as well as in Paris, and in February 1967 he was invited to take their photo for the upcoming "Penny Lane" / "Strawberry Fields Forever" single release (see 2017 re-release info here). Perier had to set up a makeshift photographic studio in a room next to their recording studio inside EMI studios at Abbey Road, while the Beatles were in the midst of recording Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It took a week before he was able to take photos of the four of them together - they always seemed to be a Beatle short!

Source: Snap Galleries
See more of Jean-Marie Perier's Beatles photos here.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Pepper preview for the press

Outside Abbey Road Studios yesterday. Photo: udiscovermusic
April 10, Giles Martin held a preview (or should that be prelisten?) of his new stereo mix of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album in the best place possible for the occasion: No. 2 Studio at Abbey Road. Unfortunately, The Daily Beatle was not invited, but a hundred or so journalists from around the world were there.

Udiscovermusic sent their reporter, who came back with an article praising the mix, noting that "Sgt Pepper has always been hailed for its innovative studio techniques, but what you also get from the new mix is the sense of a band playing together. And not only that, but tapping into their early Hamburg club days and jamming hard, too".

Martin, who called working on the album "a voyage of discovery",  told the audience that he struggled with "A Day In The Life". "I’d mixed it three times, actually. It’s got to be loud, but it comes out of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’. The difficulty was in getting the right feeling."

At a Q&A session, Martin was asked by Paul Sinclair whether "Carnival of Light was considered for bonus material in the boxed set, to which Martin replied: "Yes, it was. As was 'It’s Only A Northern Song', as well, actually. But it wasn’t really part of Pepper. It wasn’t part of the Sgt. Pepper recording. It’s a very different thing. I hope we can do something interesting with that at some point…but it wasn’t really part of the Sgt. Pepper album."


Read the full review from Jason Draper over at Udiscovermusic.

Paul Sinclair from Superdeluxeedition was there, too. Read his take on it here.

Rolling Stone previews the alternate Sgt Pepper album

Richard Williams was there, too


video

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Cry For A Shadow LP

Oh no, they cut out Pete again!
Here's another EU "loophole" release, a hybrid of Polydor/Decca tapes with the first EMI single thrown in. From Rockwell Music in the UK, this release is limited to just 250 copies on clear green vinyl. Wonder if they still have a market after Brexit?

Tracks:
Side One: 1 Cry For A Shadow (Lennon/Harrison)  •  2 Ain’t She Sweet - The ‘Tony Sheridan’ recordings, 22/23 June 1961, Hamburg Germany  •  3 Money (that’s what I want)  •  4 Till There Was You  •  5 To Know Her Is To Love Her  •  6 Take Good Care Of My Baby  •  7 Memphis, Tennessee

Side Two: 1 Sure To Fall (in love with you)  •  2 Crying, Waiting, Hoping  •  3 Love Of The Loved (Lennon/McCartney)  •  4 September In The Rain  •  5 Bésame Mucho - The Decca Auditions, 1st January 1962  •  6 P.S. I Love You (Lennon/McCartney)  •  7 Love Me Do (Lennon/McCartney) - A & B side of the original ‘Love Me Do’ single. Ringo Starr on drums.

Link: Rockwell Music

Penny Lane single for RSD

Single release for Record Store Day
As written in the press release of the anniversary edition of "Sgt Pepper" yesterday, there will be a single release of "Penny lane" / "Strawberry Fields Forever" for Record Store Day, April 22. And a webpage dedicated to the release was also up yesterday. The single will be limited to just 7000 copies, but there is nothing on the webpage which says if this is just the original single mix or if these are new mixes of the songs in question. From what we hear, Apple meant them to be new mixes.

Link: Record Store Day

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Pepper Press release


THE BEATLES CELEBRATE ‘SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND’
WITH SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION RELEASES



 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Presented with New Mixes in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Audio; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings, Video Features & Special Packaging

Previously Unreleased 1992 Documentary Film, ‘The Making of Sgt. Pepper,’ Restored for Anniversary Edition’s Super Deluxe Boxed Set


London – April 5, 2017 – It was 50 years ago this June 1st when The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition packages on May 26 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe). The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including no fewer than 34 previously unreleased recordings.

“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.

“‘Sgt. Pepper’ seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.

For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966. Rather than being held for inclusion on the album, the two songs were released as a double A-sided single in February 1967. Amidst intense media speculation about the band’s next move, the single bridged what was then considered a long gap between the Revolver album, released in August 1966, and ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ which followed 10 months later.

This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition releases include:

A CD featuring the new ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix, complete with the original U.K. album’s “Edit for LP End” run-out groove.

Deluxe:  Expanded 2CD and digital package features the new stereo album mix on the first CD and adds a second CD of 18 tracks, including previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album. The second CD also includes a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased complete takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Deluxe Vinyl:  Expanded 180-gram 2LP vinyl package features the new stereo album mix on the first LP and adds a second LP with previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album.

Super Deluxe:  The comprehensive six-disc boxed set features:
CD 1:  New stereo album mix
CDs 2 & 3:
- 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most previously unreleased and mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates
- A new stereo mix of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
CD 4:
- Direct transfers of the album’s original mono mix and the “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” singles
- Capitol Records’ U.S. promotional mono single mix of “Penny Lane”
- Previously unreleased early mono mixes of “She’s Leaving Home,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (a mix thought to have been erased from a tape in 1967, but discovered during archive research for the anniversary edition)
Discs 5 & 6 (Blu-ray and DVD):
- New 5.1 surround audio mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
- High resolution audio versions of the new stereo mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” and of the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
- Video features:  4K restored original promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “A Day In The Life;” plus The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film (broadcast in 1992), featuring insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin.

– “A splendid time is guaranteed for all” –

The album’s vibrant artwork, including its extravagant Pop Art cover which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in a 3D collage, was created by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band. The original artwork is showcased across the suite of Anniversary Edition releases, including the album’s pull-out sheet of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cutouts. Housed in a 12-inch by 12-inch box with lenticular artwork and two bonus posters, the six-disc Super Deluxe set is presented with a 144-page hardcover book. The book includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate,  illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. The Deluxe 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.

– “We hope you will enjoy the show” –

Just as many ideas are sparked by chance, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ first sprang from a conversation between Paul and Beatles roadie Mal Evans on an airplane, when Mal’s request to pass the salt and pepper was misheard by Paul as “Sgt. Pepper.” The concept of who such a figure could be took root in Paul’s mind, blooming with the imagination of The Beatles as an Edwardian era military band -- “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The Beatles’ creative wellspring for ‘Sgt. Pepper’ also flowed from such myriad sources as The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, a Victorian circus poster (“Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”), a TV commercial for breakfast cereal (“Good Morning Good Morning”), a picture drawn by John’s young son, Julian (“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”), a teen runaway reported in the news (“She’s Leaving Home’), and Hindu teachings (“Within You Without You”).

– “Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song” –

Using the standard four-track tape recording equipment of the day, The Beatles collaborated with producer George Martin to achieve “the impossible,” as they dubbed it, to go as far out as they could with arrangements and new technology to realize their collective vision for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As George Martin described it, “We were into another kind of art form where you were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape.” The Beatles clocked more than 400 hours in Abbey Road’s Studio 2 to record the album, wrapping sessions in April 1967.

– “I read the news today oh boy” –

Upon its release on June 1, 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band initially spent 148 weeks in the British chart, including a total of 27 weeks at number one. During its first U.S. chart run, the album held the number one spot for 15 of the 88 weeks it appeared in the Top 200. ‘Sgt. Pepper’ won four GRAMMY Awards®, including Album of the Year, and it remains one of the most influential and bestselling albums of all time. In 2003, the U.S. Library of Congress selected ‘Sgt. Pepper’ for the National Recording Registry, recognizing the album as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” ‘Sgt. Pepper’ tops Rolling Stone magazine’s definitive list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition
Tracklists

CD
(‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix)
1.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4.  Getting Better
5.  Fixing A Hole
6.  She's Leaving Home
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8.  Within You Without You
9.  When I'm Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day In The Life

Deluxe [2CD, digital]

CD 1:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2:  Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album, plus various versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”
1.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9]
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4.  Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5.  Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6.  She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]
8.  Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
9.  When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
10. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
11. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
13. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
15. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
16. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
17. Penny Lane [Take 6 - Instrumental]
18. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]

Deluxe Vinyl [180g 2LP]

LP 1:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)
SIDE 1 SIDE 2
1.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1.  Within You Without You
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends 2.  When I'm Sixty-Four
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3.  Lovely Rita
4.  Getting Better 4.  Good Morning Good Morning
5.  Fixing A Hole 5.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
6.  She's Leaving Home 6.  A Day In The Life
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

LP 2:  Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album
SIDE 3
1.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
2.  With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4.  Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5.  Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6.  She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]

SIDE 4
1.  Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
2.  When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
3.  Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
4.  Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
5.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
6.  A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]

Super Deluxe [4CD/DVD/Blu-ray boxed set]

CD 1:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2:  Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 1]
2.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 4]
3.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
4.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
5.  Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
6.  When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
7.  Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
8.  Penny Lane [Vocal Overdubs And Speech]
9.  Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]
10. A Day In The Life [Take 1]
11. A Day In The Life [Take 2]
12. A Day In The Life [Orchestra Overdub]
13. A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord) [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
14. A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 1 – Instrumental]
16. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
17. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 1 - Instrumental, Breakdown]
18. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]

CD 3:  Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1.  Fixing A Hole [Take 1]
2.  Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
3.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Speech From Before Take 1; Take 4 And Speech At End]
4.  Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 7]
5.  Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
6.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1 And Speech At The End]
7.  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Speech, False Start And Take 5]
8.  Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
9.  Getting Better [Take 12]
10. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments Only]
11. Within You Without You [George Coaching The Musicians]
12. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
13. She's Leaving Home [Take 6 – Instrumental]
14. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Speech And Take 8]

CD 4:  ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and bonus tracks in Mono
(Tracks 1-13:  2017 Direct Transfer of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Original Mono Mix)
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Original Mono Mix]
15. Penny Lane [Original Mono Mix]
16. A Day In The Life [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
17. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Unreleased Mono Mix - No. 11]
18. She's Leaving Home [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
19. Penny Lane [Capitol Records U.S. Promo Single - Mono Mix]

DISCS 5 & 6 (Blu-ray & DVD)
Audio Features (both discs):
- New 5.1 Surround Audio mixes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album and “Penny Lane,” plus 2015 5.1 Surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 / DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
- High Resolution Audio versions of 2017 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix and 2017 “Penny Lane” stereo mix, plus 2015 “Strawberry Fields Forever” hi res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit / DVD: LPCM Stereo)
Video Features (both discs):
- The Making of Sgt. Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
- Promotional Films:  “A Day In The Life;” “Strawberry Fields Forever;” “Penny Lane” [4K restored]

Trailer for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition:
https://TheBeatles.lnk.to/SgtPepperAnniversaryTrailer

Mini-site
#SgtPepper

Trailer for "Pepper" documentary


Read our interview with Director Alan G Parker here.

The filme will be shown in theatres in the UK from June 1, with a few pre-screenings from May 26. DVD and Blu-ray release: July 3.
Amazon (UK) links:
DVD
Blu-ray

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sgt Pepper anniversary edition revealed

4 discs with the Pepper and alternate front cover shots, and 2 with drum logos + various paper items. Also depicted: vinyl album.
Amazon again jumped the gun a bit when they published photos of the Sgt Pepper items on their pre-order pages a day early.

video

Anniversary Edition (1CD)
Anniversary Edition (2LP)
Anniversary Deluxe Edition (2CD)
Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (6 Disc)
- Digital downloads

Contents of the Super Deluxe Edition:

CD 1:
New stereo album mix.

CDs 2 & 3:
33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most previously unreleased and mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates.
A new stereo mix of 'Penny Lane' and the 2015 stereo mix of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.

CD 4:
Direct transfers of the album's original mono mix and the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Penny Lane' singles.
Capitol Records' U.S. promotional mono single mix of 'Penny Lane'.
Previously unreleased early mono mixes of 'She's Leaving Home, 'A Day In The Life,' and 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' (a mix thought to have been erased from a tape in 1967, but discovered during archive research for the anniversary edition).

Discs 5 & 6 (Blu-ray and DVD):
New 5.1 surround audio mixes of the album and 'Penny Lane' by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround mix of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
High resolution audio versions of the new stereo mixes of the album and 'Penny Lane' and of the 2015 stereo mix of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
Video features: 4K restored original promotional films for 'Strawberry Fields Forever,' 'Penny Lane,' and 'A Day In The Life;' plus The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film broadcast in 1992, featuring insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin.

CD1

1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2 With A Little Help From My Friends
3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4 Getting Better
5 Fixing A Hole
6 She's Leaving Home
7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8 Within You Without You
9 When I'm Sixty Four
10 Lively Rita
11 Good Morning Good Morning
12 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13 A Day In The Life Remastered

CD2

1 Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 1
2 Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 4
3 Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 7
4 Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 26
5 Strawberry Fields Forever - Stereo/Giles Martin Mix 2015
6 When I'm Sixty-Four
7 Penny Lane - Take 6
8 Penny Lane - Vocal Overdubs and Speech
9 Penny Lane - Stereo / Giles Martin Mix 2017
10 A Day In The Lif e- Take 1
11 A Day In The Life - Take 2
12 A Day In The Life - Orchestra Overdub
13 A Day In The Life - Hummed Last Chord
14 A Day In The Life - The Last Chord
15 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Take 1
16 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Take 9
17 Good Morning Good Morning - Take 1
18 Good Morning Good Morning - Take 8

CD3

1 Fixing A Hole - Take 1
2 Fixing A Hole - Speech And Take 3
3 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
4 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! - Take 7
5 Lively Rita - Speech and Take 9
6 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Take 1 And Speech
7 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Speech
8 Getting Better - Take 1
9 Getting Better - Take 12
10 Within You Without You - Take 1
11 Within You Without You - George Coaching The Musicians
12 She's Leaving Home - Take 1
13 She's Leaving Home - Take 6
14 With A Little Help From My Friends - Take 1
15 Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) Speech and Take 8

CD4

1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2 With A Little Help From My Friends
3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4 Getting Better
5 Fixing A Hole
6 She's Leaving Home
7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8 Within You Without You
9 When I'm Sixty Four
10 Lively Rita
11 Good Morning Good Morning
12 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13 A Day In The Life
14 Strawberry Fields Forever
15 Penny Lane
16 A Day In The Live - First Mono Mix
17 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Original Mono Mix
18 She's Leaving Home - First Mono Mix
19 Penny Lane - Capitol Records Mono Mix

DVD

1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Hi rez audio
2 With A Little Help From My Friends - Hi rez audio
3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Hi rez audio
4 Getting Better - Hi rez audio
5 Fixing A Hole - Hi rez audio
6 She's Leaving Home - Hi rez audio
7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! - Hi rez audio
8 Within You Without You - Hi rez audio
9 When I'm Sixty Four - Hi rez audio
10 Lovely Rita - Hi rez audio
11 Good Morning Good Morning - Hi rez audio
12 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) - Hi rez audio
13 A Day In The Life - Hi rez audio
14 Strawberry Fields Forever - video
15 Penny Lane - video
16 The Making Of Sgt. Pepper - video
17 A Day In The Life - 2017 Audio
18 Strawberry Fields Forever - 2015 Audio
19 Penny Lane - 2017 Audio

BLURAY

1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Hi rez audio
2 With A Little Help From My Friends - Hi rez audio
3 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Hi rez audio
4 Getting Better - Hi rez audio
5 Fixing A Hole - Hi rez audio
6 She's Leaving Home - Hi rez audio
7 Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! - Hi rez audio
8 Within You Without You - Hi rez audio
9 When I'm Sixty Four - Hi rez audio
10 Lovely Rita - Hi rez audio
11 Good Morning Good Morning - Hi rez audio
12 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) - Hi rez audio
13 A Day In The Life - Hi rez audio
14 Strawberry Fields Forever - video
15 Penny Lane - video
16 The Making Of Sgt. Pepper - video
17 A Day In The Life - 2017 Audio
18 Strawberry Fields Forever - 2015 Audio
19 Penny Lane - 2017 Audio

Amazon.com preorder link for super deluxe 6 disc set: http://amzn.to/2nCQkeR

2CD Edition: 1 new stereo CD and 1 alternative CD with complete takes + 5 bonus tracks

Double Vinyl album is the new stereo mix on LP 1 and a second LP with previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo.

2CD edition has the Stereo Remix on CD 1, CD 2 is previously unreleased alternate takes of each of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and as bonus tracks: a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of ‘Penny Lane,’ and the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased alternate takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’

Amazon UK links:
Double album (vinyl, Disc 1: new stereo mix Disc 2: alternate takes)
Single CD (new stereo mix, no bonus tracks)
Double CD (CD 1: New stereo mix CD 2: Mono mix plus 5 bonus tracks, 3xSFF and 2xPenny Lane)
Super DeLuxe 6 disc edition

Ringo: Bad Boy on vinyl

Ringo Starr: Bad Boy
While impatiently scurrying around on Amazon (there are several configurations of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" listed there now on Apple, including a 6 disc super deluxe edition), up popped this early listing for an upcoming limited vinyl edition of Ringo Starr's "Bad Boy" album! Due out June 16, 2017 on Friday Music, this follows last year's "Time Takes Time" release from the same company.
Originally released in 1978, "Bad Boy" was the seventh studio album by Ringo Starr, at a time when his career had taken a dip. The album reached only number 129 in the US, despite the airing of a prime time TV special entitled Ringo (aka Ognir Rrats), on 26 April, which also starred other celebrities, including Carrie Fisher. After the non-success of three consecutive albums, his record label in the UK, Polydor cancelled his contract, and it would also be the final album from Ringo on the Portrait label in U.S.A..

Friday, 31 March 2017

Ringo listens to remastered Sgt Pepper album

From the photo session: The Beatles with Adam, the son of photographer Michael Cooper.
If you're looking for news about the upcoming anniversary edition of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", here's a story which guitarist/bassist/vocalist Keith Allison posted on his Facebook page yesterday:

"A couple months ago I was at Ringo's home. We were in his man cave watching tv, when a delivery from England came in. It's was from Giles Martin, George Martins son. What's this? It's the Sgt. Pepper album remastered. I said, "I haven't listened to this in I don't know how long." Ringo exclaimed, "You haven't heard it in a long time? I haven't listened to it in decades." So we decide to listen to it on his high def top of the line system. So here we are sitting on the sofa, facing the Tv, muted, but with soap operas playing. We listened to every track together. I thought, this is a historically great moment. Sitting here with my friend, listening to Sgt. Pepper, that he's on as a Beatle, and that he hasn't listen to track by track, since it came out".

"Only two copies of the remastered Sgt. Pepper album were sent out, one to McCartney and one to Ringo, to be approved by them both. So what did Ringo think? He thought it was great! Why? Because it originally was recorded on a 4-track with a lot of over dubs, which buried the drums. Now, the drums have been lifted and come through as they should. He was pleased. You'll be glad to know it was remastered at EMI Studios where it was originally recorded."

So, I guess Allison confuses remastering with remixing. This probably means that Giles Martin has gone back to the original session tapes of the takes that were used and transferred them to multitracks, remixed them anew using the original overdubs, only no "bouncing down" this time. The sixties "bounce down" technique was to combine two or more tracks and transfer to one new track, thus freeing up space for three more tracks on a four track tape. This method would mean degrading the sound somewhat, due to tape noise.
Using the original session tapes to recreate the mix would then be a way to avoid that "dulling down" of the audio. Then of course, it's the placement in the stereo picture as well as the volume of each instrument or vocal which we don't know will be the same as the sixties mix. Several of the Sgt Pepper songs were successfully remixed with a new stereo image for the 1999 album "Yellow Submarine Songtrack". We hope the full album has gotten this treatment this time. It seems that the official word is on it's way, if this image posted on The Beatles' website and social media today is anything to go by:
Sgt Pepper uniform colours, posted by official Beatles accounts.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

It was 50 years ago today: Shooting the Sgt Pepper album cover

The uncropped and unaltered Sgt Pepper front cover setup
Just a quick post to honour the fiftieth anniversary of the photo session for the "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album cover. Peter Blake and his then wife Jann Haworth conceived the idea, and assembled the various elements with assistance from a number of people. Michael Cooper is credited as the photographer, but it was mainly his assistant who operated the camera while Cooper directed the shoots.
Here are some useful links re the cover photo session:
The Daily Beatle-articles about Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from the archives:

Thursday, 23 March 2017

It Was Fifty... bonus material

Bonus material twice the length of the film
This just in, "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles, Sgt Pepper & Beyond.... " The DVD/Blu-Ray Extras:

  • The Merseybeat Story
  • The Bootleg Beatles Story 
  • Pete Best Interview 
  • Julia Baird Interview 
  • Liverpool & London mini tour
  • Ringo at the birth of Jason (archive) 
  • 34 Montagu Square - Blue Plaque 
  • Alan G Parker & Alexa Morris Interview 
  • Andy Peebles Interview (regarding December 1980)
  • Recording the score - Studio sessions

According to Director Alan G parker, the bonus material clocks in at 4 hours 35 minutes. Still no preordering info, so stay tuned...

In other news, U.S. Beatles magazine Beatlefan brings forth rumours that the upcoming 50th anniversary edition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will include a new stereo mix of the album, a new surroundsound mix, and outtakes from the album sessions. Still no confirmation on this from official sources, so again...stay tuned!

Unboxing Flowers In The Dirt

Monday, 20 March 2017

Flowers VS Vigotone


Due out this week is the new offering from the McCartney Archives series, the first on the Capitol Records label, "Flowers In The Dirt".  Today, Mike Carrera offers a quick musical review of the upcoming Flowers in the dirt Archive - DeLuxe edition release, focusing only on the differences of the CD 2 Demos and the old bootleg version of the same demos, as released in 1998 by the Vigotone label: The McCartney/Mac Manus Collaboration, plus a glimpse of the new and never-heard-before demos from 1998 (CD 3 on the Deluxe Edition of the Flowers Archive box set).

Vigotone bootleg in question
DEMOS 1987  FLOWERS IN THE DIRT ARCHIVE COLLECTION  CD 2 vs BOOTLEG VIGOTONE “McCartney/Mac Manus Collaboration”

The main difference is that the bootleg demos have slight hiss noise and the now official demos are with clean sound, but the bootleg versions sounds louder.

1 THE LOVERS THAT NEVER WERE ( DEMO #1)  3:55 (Official CD 2) VS 3:57 (Bootleg)
Official set has a fade out which means it's missing the final guitar chords where the bootleg is complete.
A fragment (1:27) of this very same demo was broadcast during Paul’s Oobu Joobu Radio shows in 1995.

2 TOMMY’S COMING HOME 4:06 vs 4:06
No differences

3 TWENTY FINE FINGERS 2:23 vs 2:25
Official release misses only two seconds and a barely listenable Paul vocal during fade out that can be heard with headphones on the bootleg. The correct name of the song is Twenty Fine Fingers, contrary to what it says on the bootleg: Twenty Five Fingers.

4 SO LIKE CANDY 3:26 vs 3:26
No differences

5 YOU WANT HER TOO  2:34 vs 2:43
No differences

6 THAT DAY IS DONE 4:13
NEW- never released on bootleg before

7 DON’T BE CARELESS LOVE 3:40 vs 3:33
The same version but the bootleg runs at a faster speed. Other than that, no differences.

8 MY BRAVE FACE 2:39 vs 2:29
Complete for the first time, the bootleg is missing 10 seconds of the finale.

9 PLAYBOY TO A MAN 2:54 vs 2:50
The same version but the bootleg runs at a faster speed. Other than that, no differences.

10 HIDDEN TRACK (after PLAYBOY TO A MAN):
THE LOVERS THAT NEVER WERE ( DEMO #2)  4:06
NEW- never released on bootleg before. It uses the SAME demo (track 1) recorded by Paul and Elvis in 1987 as a musical bed underneath, but adds additional instruments (a different piano intro, guitars, backing vocals from Linda and additional elements like a clock sound at the end) overdubbed by Paul after he recorded the “band demo”(Flowers Archive CD 3) in 1988 . This is more similar to the "Off the Ground" released version from 1992.


Paul McCartney on set at the video shoot for ‘This One’ directed by Tim Pope, Battersea, London, 1989 © Eugene Adebari


CD 3- BAND DEMOS 1988 (includes drums, piano, guitars, etc).
ALL NEW, NEVER HEARD, NEVER RELEASED before (official or bootleg)

1 THE LOVERS THAT NEVER WERE  3:43
A very rough band demo, distant from the released Off the Ground version (or the “Hidden Track” Demo #2 on CD 2) . Paul’s vocal track only, not sign of Elvis signing (contrary to the demo(s) from CD 2)

2 TOMMY’S COMING HOME 5:00
A studio outtake more than a “demo”. More produced/changes of rhythm than the CD 2 demo. Elvis and Paul singing together.

3 TWENTY FINE FINGERS  2:41
Similar from the CD 2 demo, but now with rhythm box/drum machine and some additional elements (like an actual drum on a few parts of the song and electric guitar). Elvis and Paul singing together.

4 SO LIKE CANDY 3:43
Paul on main vocal, Elvis on backings. Different arrangement from the released version in 1991 (Mighty Like a Rose), more similar to the CD 2 demo, this version now features full band (drums/guitars/keyboards, etc).
More than a studio demo sounds like an outtake.

5 YOU WANT HER TOO  3:15
An alternate take, not a “demo”, almost the same as the released version with slight differences in the vocal tracks which are more “rough”, misses also the orchestral coda at the end. Elvis and Paul singing their parts like the released version.

6 THAT DAY IS DONE 4:16
Another alternate take more than a “demo”. Paul on main vocal, Elvis and Hamish Stuart on backing vocals, like the released version.

7 DON’T BE CARELESS LOVE 3:20
Another alternate take more than a “demo”, starts like the released version but has  a different change of rhythm. Paul on main vocal, Elvis  on backing vocals.

8 MY BRAVE FACE 3:26
One of the highlights, this “band demo” features both Elvis and Paul singing it together and sounds similar (but slower, still faster and different from the CD 2 demo) to the released version (which don’t feature Elvis on vocals).

9 PLAYBOY TO A MAN 2:51
Paul on main vocal, Elvis on backings. Different arrangement from the released version in 1991 (Mighty Like a Rose), more similar to the CD 2 demo but faster, this version now features full band (drums/guitars/keyboards, etc). More than a studio demo sounds like an outtake.
Vinyl edition of the new "Flowers In The Dirt"