Saturday, 30 April 2011

The making of a Beatles album cover

The Beatles' Christmas Album (1970)
The back cover
One of our blog readers is in the possession of the raw materials used to produce the cover of the US Beatles album "The Christmas Album". He has sent us pictures of this, which we'd like to share with all our readers. All these photos are clickable, so that you can study them in greater detail.

The collection of photos used
In UK, the cover of this album was simply a reproduction of the 1963 christmas single, with a large white frame around it. A special cover was produced in the USA, and it looks a lot like it has been inspired by the UK "A Hard Day's Night" cover. It has individual portraits of John, Paul, George and Ringo, taken at various stages of their career, with a blue frame.
press photos of The Beatles
Various press photos of the Beatles were probably readily available at the Capitol records office.
George and Ringo
These are individual head shots of George and Ringo, used for the album cover production.
John and Paul
Ditto for John and Paul.
Yoko was removed
It was probably difficult to find a 1970 photo of John Lennon without Yoko by his side.
a colour photo of Paul was used, but was rendered in black and white on the cover

Ringo had to be moved closer to the rest of the guys on this photo from the Mad Day Out photo session of The Beatles sitting on a lawn.
The cover slick

A sealed sample copy
The Beatles' Christmas Album (released as From Then to You in the UK), was a 1970 compilation album of the Christmas records issued via the Beatles' Fan Club—and made available solely to members of their official fan clubs in the UK and the U.S.
It was mailed to them, free of charge, and these albums are now collectors items.
Track listings:
Side one

1. "The Beatles' Christmas Record" – 5:08
2. "Another Beatles Christmas Record" – 4:02
3. "The Beatles' Third Christmas Record" – 6:27
4. "The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas" – 6:43

Side two

5. "Christmas Time is Here Again!" – 6:11
6. "The Beatles' 1968 Christmas Record" – 7:53
7. "The Beatles' Seventh Christmas Record" – 7:39

The US version had an Apple label.
For the full story, here's the Wikipedia entry on The Beatles Christmas Album.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

McCartney & McCartney II: It's official

DeLuxe editions

Click to enlarge

CD 1 - Remastered Album
1. The Lovely Linda
2. That Would Be Something
3. Valentine Day
4. Every Night
5. Hot As Sun / Glasses
6. Junk
7. Man We Was Lonely
8. Oo You
9. Momma Miss America
10. Teddy Boy
11 Singalong Junk
12. Maybe I'm Amazed
13. Kreen-Akrore

CD 2 - Bonus Audio Tracks
1. Suicide [Out-take]
2. Maybe I'm Amazed [From One Hand Clapping]
3. Every Night [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
4. Hot As Sun [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
5. Maybe '’m Amazed [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
6. Don't Cry Baby [Out-take]
7. Women Kind (Demo) [Mono]

DVD - Bonus Film
1. The Album Story
2. The Beach
3. Maybe I'm Amazed Music Video
4. Suicide [from One Hand Clapping]
5. Every Night [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea]
6. Hot As Sun [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea]
7. Junk [MTV Unplugged]
8. That Would Be Something [MTV Unplugged]

Click to enlarge

CD 1 – Remastered Album
1. Coming Up
2. Temporary Secretary
3. On The Way
4. Waterfalls
5. Nobody Knows
6. Front Parlour
7. Summer’s Day Song
8. Frozen Jap
9. Bogey Music
10. Darkroom
11 One Of These Days

CD 2 – Bonus Audio 1
1. Blue Sway [With Richard Niles Orchestration]
2. Coming Up [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
3. Check My Machine [Edit]
4. Bogey Wobble
5. Secret Friend
6. Mr H Atom / You Know I'll Get you Baby
7. Wonderful Christmastime [Edited Version]
8. All You Horse Riders/Blue Sway

CD 3 - Bonus Audio 2 (DELUXE 3 CD – 1 DVD EDITION ONLY)
1. Coming Up [Full Length Version]
2. Front Parlour [Full Length Version]
3. Frozen Jap [Full Length Version]
4. Darkroom [Full Length Version]
5. Check My Machine [Full Length Version]
6. Wonderful Christmastime [Full Length Version]
7. Summer's Day Song [Original without vocals]
8. Waterfalls [DJ Edit]

DVD – Bonus Film
1. Meet Paul McCartney
2. Coming Up Music Video
3. Waterfalls Music Video
4. Wonderful Christmastime Music Video
5. Coming Up [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea]
6. 'Coming Up' [taken from a rehearsal session at Lower Gate Farm, 1979]
7. Making the Coming Up Music Video
8. Blue Sway 


Paul's Classic Solo Recordings McCartney & McCartney II Get Deluxe Treatment

Paul's Seminal Solo Albums Will Be Available In Multiple Configurations Featuring Remastered Rare And Unreleased Audio & Video Content With Special Exclusive Packaging

We are pleased to announce McCartney and McCartney II as the next releases in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection on June 13th, 2011 (14th June USA). Heralded as one of the most beloved solo debuts of all time, McCartney, the smash # 1 album, originally released April of 1970, yielded the timeless tracks "Every Night" and "Junk" along with the immortal classic "Maybe I'm Amazed." McCartney II originally issued in May of 1980 was McCartney's return to solo work after nine years touring and having released several massively successful albums with Wings. Reaching #1 in the UK, and #3 in the U.S., the album produced enduring classics such as "Coming Up," "Waterfalls," & "Temporary Secretary."

Paul personally supervised all aspects of these two reissues. The remastering work was done at Abbey Road using the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles' catalogue.

Both McCartney and McCartney II will be available in a variety of formats originating with the single disc digitally remastered Standard Edition version of each album. (Only digital version is available in USA only)

McCartney will also be made available as a 2-disc (2 CD) Special Edition featuring the original remastered album plus seven bonus audio tracks including the previously unreleased outtakes "Suicide" and "Don't Cry Baby" plus a rare live 1979 recording of "Maybe I'm Amazed". For collectors, the reissue will additionally be made available as a lavishly packaged 3 disc (2 CD, 1 DVD) Deluxe Edition which includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage, an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book containing many exclusive and unpublished photos by Paul and Linda McCartney, original album artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for the two audio discs as well as detailed historical information on the film content.

Standard editions

McCartney II will also be made available as a 2-disc (2 CD) Special Edition featuring the original remastered album plus eight bonus tracks including B-Sides and alternative versions. The bonus audio CD includes the #1 hit "Coming Up (Live At Glasgow, 1979)" and holiday perennial "Wonderful Christmastime."

The lovingly packaged 4 disc (3 CD, 1 DVD) Deluxe Edition of McCartney II not only includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage (including performances of 'Coming Up' and the new video for the unreleased track 'Blue Sway') but includes an additional eight rare bonus audio tracks exclusive to this edition. Additionally, the McCartney II deluxe edition contains an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book featuring many previously unpublished photos by Linda McCartney, original album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for all three audio discs plus detailed historical information on the film content.

Both original remastered albums and bonus audio content will also be issued as 2 disc 180gm audiophile vinyl editions which will come with an MP3 download of all included audio. Lastly, the special and deluxe versions of McCartney and McCartney II will be made available digitally worldwide.

Vinyl editions

The musical achievement of McCartney and McCartney II are noted in the annals of music history as they serve as bookends to the historic first chapter of McCartney's solo career.

McCartney & McCartney II mark the second and third releases from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, an ambitious reissue program that encompasses 41 years of cherished, classic material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist in music history. In November of 2010, the inaugural title in the Archive Collection, Paul McCartney & Wings' 1973 classic Band on the Run was released to worldwide acclaim.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Beatles and Bystanders

From April 13th to May 28th, 2011, Snap Galleries in London present an exhibition of all the photos taken by Iain MacMillan in conjunction with the Beatles' famous "Abbey Road" crossing for the cover of the album of the same name. Six of the seven photos depict the Beatles going back and forth over the crossing, and the seventh is the back cover photo. The photos are also for sale. Address: 8 Piccadilly Arcade, London. In their presentation, Snap Galleries take it for granted that the "bystander" next to the police van has been correctly identified (by himself) as Paul Cole, an opinion that we at least feel should be open for discussion. But then, we ARE Beatles nerds!
Snap Galleries Website, head over and have a look!
Our previous Abbey Road cover postings are here, here and here.

Monday, 25 April 2011

UK TV alert: Ringo on Later

Ringo Starr is going to be interviewed on the BBC music show Later With Jools Live on Tuesday 26th April. The show is broadcast on BBC2 at 10pm [GMT].
The full length version of the show will be broadcast on Friday and Saturday and the show remains on the BBC iPlayer for seven days (for UK based license payers).
And don't forget tonight's "Arena" on BBC2 with their new George Martin documentary!

Shea Stadium concert reconstructed

From the recent Misterclaudel release, concert only. "She's A Woman" footage superimposed from NME Poll Winners concert.

Friday, 22 April 2011

More about McCartney/McCartney II

CD 1: The Original Album

The Lovely Linda
That Would Be Something
Valentine Day
Every Night
Hot as Sun/Glasses
Man We Was Lonely
Oo You
Mamma Miss America
Teddy Boy
Singalong Junk
Maybe I’m Amazed
Kreen – Akore

CD 2

Suicide [Outtake]
Maybe I’m Amazed [From One Hand Clapping]
Every Night [Live At Glasgow, 1979] [Live]
Hot As Sun [Live At Glasgow, 1979] [Live]
Maybe I’m Amazed [Live At Glasgow, 1979] [Live]
Don’t Cry Baby [Outtake]
Women Kind [Mono] [Demo Version]

Tracks 1, 3-7 previously unreleased
Track 2 from One Hand Clapping documentary, 1974, previously unreleased on CD

CD 1: The Original Album

Coming Up
Temporary Secretary
On the Way
Nobody Knows
Front Parlour
Summer Day’s Song
Frozen Jap
Bogey Music
One of These Days

CD 2

Blue Sway [With Richard Niles Orchestration]
Coming Up [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
Check My Machine [Edit]
Bogey Wobble
Secret Friend [Full Length Version]
Mr H Atom / You Know I’ll Get You Baby
Wonderful Christmastime [Edited Version]
All You Horse Riders / Blue Sway

Tracks 1-2, 4, 6, 8 previously unreleased
Track 3 from Parlophone single R 6037-B, 1980
Track 5 from Parlophone twelve-inch single 12-R-6039-B, 1980
Track 7 from Parlophone single R 6029-A, 1979

Source and further information:

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Easter break

Part of the Sheriff road photo session.

Lennon's letter to the McCartneys

"Bag Productions Inc.
Tittenhurst Park,
Ascot, Berkshire.
Ascot 23022

Dear Linda and Paul,
I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out - I kept thinking who is it - Queenie? Stuart's mother? - Clive Epstein's wife? - Alan Williams? - What the hell - it's Linda!
You really think the press are beneath me/you? Do you think that? Who do you think we/you are? The self-indulgent doesn't realize who he is hurting "bit" I hope you realize what shit you and the rest of my kind and unselfish friends laid on Yoko and me, since we've been together, it might have sometimes been a bit more subtle or should I say "middle class" - but not often. We both "rose above it" quite a few times + forgave you two - so it's the least you can do for us - you noble people. -Linda - if you don't care what I say - shut up! - let Paul write- or whatever.

When asked about what I thought originally concerning WAR, etc. - I told them as best as I can remember - and I do remember squirming a little - don't you, Paul? - or do you - as I suspect - still believe it all? I'll forgive Paul for announcing the Beatles - if he forgives me for the same - for being "honest with me and caring too much"! Bloody - hell, Linda, you're not writing for Beatle book!!!

I'm not ashamed of the Beatles -(I did start it all)- but of some of the shit we took to make them so big - I thought we all felt that way in varying degrees - obviously not.

Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles? - I don't believe you're that insane -- Paul - do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up! Didn't we always say we were part of the movement - not all of it? - Of course, we changed the world - but try and follow it through - GET OFF YOUR GOLD DISC AND FLY!


Don't give me that Auntie Gin about "In five years I'll look back as a different person" - don't you see that's what's happening NOW! - If I only knew THEN what I know NOW - you seemed to have missed that point….

Excuse me if I use "Beatle Space" to talk about whatever I want - obviously if they keep asking Beatle questions - I'll answer them - and get as much John and Yoko Space as I can - they ask me about Paul and I answer - I know some of it gets personal - but whether you believe it or not I try and answer straight - and the bits they use are obviously the juicy bits - I don't resent your husband - I'm sorry for him, I know the Beatles are "quite nice people" - I'm one of them - they're also just as big bastards as anyone else - so get off you high horse!. - by the way - we've had more intelligent intent in our new activism in one year than we had throughout the Beatle era.
Finally. about not telling anyone that I left the Beatles - PAUL and Klein both spent the day persuading me it was better not to say anything - asking me not to say anything because it would "hurt the Beatles"- and "let's just let it petre out" - remember?
So get that into your petty little perversion of a mind, Mrs. McCartney - the cunts asked me to keep quiet about it. Of course, the money angle is important - to all of us - especially after all the petty shit that came from your insane family/in-laws-and GOD HELP YOU OUT, PAUL - see you in two years - I reckon you'll be out then -
                              inspite of it all
                              love to you both,
                              from us two

P.S. about addressing your letter just to --Yoko-- me - STILL….!!!"

The mostly typed letter (but with several handwritten additions) is now offered up for auction again. You can see the original letter here:
Page 1
Page 2
The letter failed to sell at a Christie's auction in 2001, when it was valued at a minimum price of $96,000. The top bid was only $77,000. A week later it sold for $88,330, after being put back on the block. This is one of the letters that Yoko sued Fred Seaman about in 2002, accusing him of having stolen it from the Lennon household while he was employed as a personal assistant back in the Dakota days. If this letter was in the possession of the Lennons, chances are it never got sent. It was probably a draft. Seaman seems to have sold it to someone, and it pops up at aucions now and then.

Meanwhile, Yoko Ono has now agreed to help compile a collection of the John Lennon's correspondence, including postcards and doodles, to be published in October 2012.
The anthology will be edited by Hunter Davies, the official Beatles biographer, using Ono's archive and letters from private collections. The Lennon Letters will be printed in chronological order "so that a narrative builds up", and many will be reproduced exactly in Lennon's handwriting or typing, plus the odd cartoon or doodle. Davies has tracked down about 200 letters and postcards so far.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New George biopic gets photo book

Book publishers Abrams announced today that the company has signed an agreement with George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, to publish the life of her late husband in pictures - Living in the Material World: George Harrison. The book will be created by Olivia Harrison and edited by Mark Holborn, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese and an introduction by Paul Theroux. The book is scheduled to be published this autumn to coincide with the release of Martin Scorsese’s documentary of the same name.

Living in the Material World draws on Harrison’s personal archive of never-before-seen photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia to reveal the full arc of his life, including his guitar-obsessed boyhood in Liverpool, the astonishment of the Beatles years—illustrated with George’s own photographs—and his days as a solo musician and bohemian country squire. It also chronicles his lifelong commitment to Indian music and his adventures as a movie producer and member of the Traveling Wilburys. The book will be filled with reminiscences from Harrison’s friends, among them Eric Clapton, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George’s family.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

George Martin Documentary on BBC2

BBC 2's Arena presents the first feature-length profile of Britain's most celebrated music producer - Sir George Martin. He began with The Goons, Rolf Harris and 633 Squadron. In 1962 he signed The Beatles: together they changed the world. Since then he's produced music's biggest names. This rich and intimate portrait follows Sir George at 85, with his wife Judy, son Giles, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Michael Palin, Rolf Harris and Cilla Black among the illustrious contributors. "Produced by George Martin" will air on BBC-2 on Saturday April 23rd. A special preview screening takes place April 13th at the British Film Institute's "National Film Theatre" on London's South Bank.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Pattie's Pics

I was contacted by the assistant curator at the Catalina Island Museum in Avalon, California, about an exhibition of Pattie Boyd's photos. Of course, this gives me the opportunity to feature some of these in today's blog post. Here's their press release:

Catalina Island Museum Announces Opening of Pattie Boyd Photography Exhibition 

Having inspired such classic songs as The Beatles’ Something and Eric Clapton’s Layla and Wonderful Tonight, Pattie Boyd is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated women to have witnessed the 1960s. Her marriage to George Harrison in 1966 allowed her to witness personally the revolution The Beatles inspired in fashion, art and music. After separating from Harrison in 1974, she married Eric Clapton, who is considered one of the greatest blues and rock’n’roll guitarists of our era. Exhibiting over 50 photographs that are rarely seen together, Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton as Photographed by Pattie Boyd was organized by Ms. Boyd for a special exhibition at the Catalina Island Museum. Boyd’s photography has captivated international art critics for their unique brand of intimacy and the insight they lend into the private lives of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Pattie Boyd herself.

Opening Reception for Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton as Photographed by Pattie Boyd

The opening reception for Yesterday and Today will take place on Saturday, May 7th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.. Tickets to the opening reception are free for museum members and $5.00 for the general public. This exhibition will run until July 31, 2011.

A Rare Personal Appearance and Book Signing by Pattie Boyd

The public is also invited to a rare personal appearance by Pattie Boyd at the Catalina Island Museum on July 2, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. During the reception Ms. Boyd will be signing her best-selling book Wonderful Tonight, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Me, which will be available for purchase in the Museum Store. Tickets to this event are free for museum members and $10.00 for the general public.

The Catalina Island Museum is located on the ground floor of Avalon’s historic Casino, and is open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

McCartney tour continues in 2011

Paul McCartney's "Up And Coming Tour" extends into 2011 with dates coming up in May and June.
May 9th LIMA, Peru
May 11th Estadio Nacional, Chile
May 21. and 22. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
June 6-10. HP Discover, Las Vegas, USA. (Special event, not part of tour)

30 year old album not on CD

Concerts for the People of Kampuchea is a double album from Wings, The Who, Queen, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, The Clash, The Specials, and many more artists of the highlights from the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea held at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England to raise money for the victims of war-torn in Cambodia.
The album starts with four songs from The Who (culled from a 3-hour set list) and finishes with three songs from Wings and three from the all-star lineup called Rockestra. A rumoured Beatles reunion didn't happen, of course.
Track list:
01- Baba O'Riley (Townshend) - The Who 5:12
02- Sister Disco (Townshend) - The Who 5:16
03- Behind Blue Eyes (Townshend) - The Who 3:36
04- See Me, Feel Me (Townshend) - The Who 5:49
5 The Wait (Hynde, Fandon) - The Pretenders 3:28
6 Precious (Hynde) - The Pretenders 3:2393,
7 Tattooed Love Boys (Hynde) - The Pretenders 3:18
8 The Imposter (Costello - Elvis Costello & The Attractions 2:10
9 Crawling from the Wreckage (Parker) - Rockpile 3:02
10 Little Sister (Pomus, Sherman) - Rockpile With Robert Plant 3:33
11 Now I'm Here (May) - Queen 6:49
12 Armagideon Time (Bennett) - The Clash 4:15
13 Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (Dury, Jankel) - Ian Dury and the Blockheads 4:30
14 Monkey Man (Hibbert) - The Specials 2:26
15 Got to Get You into My Life (Lennon & McCartney) - Paul McCartney & Wings 2:57
16 Every Night (McCartney) - Paul McCartney & Wings 4:17
17 Coming Up (McCartney) - Paul McCartney & Wings 4:08
18 Lucille (Collins, Penniman) - Rockestra 3:03
19 Let It Be (Lennon & McCartney) - Rockestra 4:12
20 Rockestra Theme (McCartney) - Rockestra 2:30

A Keefco film of concert highlights was also released as a TV special, "Rock For Kampuchea".
On this occasion, "Rockestra" was assembled with these musicians:
* Piano: Paul McCartney
* Keyboards: Linda McCartney, Tony Ashton, Gary Brooker
* Guitars: Denny Laine, Laurence Juber, James Honeyman-Scott, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant
* Bass: Paul McCartney, Bruce Thomas, Ronnie Lane, John Paul Jones
* Drums, Percussion: Steve Holley, Kenney Jones, Tony Carr, Morris Pert, Speedy Acquaye, John Bonham
* Horns: Howie Casey, Steve Howard, Thaddeus Richard, Tony Dorsey
* Vocals: Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, John Paul Jones, Ronnie Lane, Bruce Thomas, Robert Plant

The concerts were held in December 1979, but it took a year and a half to release the album and film. And forever to release the CD, apparently.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

McCartney III and "Archives" news

From an "insider" in the know: The choice of the "Archive" releases of the two McCartney solo albums (McCartney and McCartney II) will be linked to the opening of the HP Cloud in June.
The forthcoming new solo album "McCartney III" was recorded beetween England and New York, totally solo and without strings and horns, just Paul himself on all instruments. The album has a possible date of release in the autumn, around the opening of the new ballet in New York (a love story titled "Ocean’s Kingdom" which will have its premiere at New York City Ballet’s fall gala on Sept. 22).
In November, Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram and Wings' Venus & Mars should be the next deluxe remasters with some great bonuses lined up.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Some Other Guy Take 1 Reconstruction

A reconstruction from several sources pieced together by Hobnail.
Wednesday 22 August 1962, with Ringo in his very early days with The Beatles, this footage was professionally filmed in the Cavern Club, Liverpool. The footage was intended for the TV program "Know The North". For a discussion about the footage filmed, see The Savage Young Beatles site.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Animated Mr Bellamy

A video I found on YouTube today. Rather than doing an April fool thing, I thought you'd enjoy this better.