Thursday, February 21, 2013
The original 1982 mono boxed sets
While we're waiting for the announcement of the new remastered mono Beatles vinyl albums, I thought I'd reminisc about the original vinyl mono boxed sets.
Since stereo was the preferred format in the seventies, the mono versions of the albums slowly sold out and were all out of stock from EMI's storage shelves but they were still somewhat in demand by Beatles collectors, because of the small changes in the mixes. Thus, the ten mono Beatles albums were repressed in 1982.
THE BEATLES MONO COLLECTION (August 1982 - EMI/Parlophone BM 1 and BM 10)
10 album set of mono releases issued in a limited edition box set, exclusively contracted with EMI to design, purchase and issue. Each box included a certificate of authenticity.
The original 10 album vinyl mono box sets were produced in 1982 in the UK. The black boxes (BM 1) were intended for export markets (primarily the USA) and the boxes were numbered to 1,000. The red boxes (BM 10) were intended for domestic (UK) sales and 2000 copies were manufactured.
These red boxes were not numbered, and rumours say that as the boxes sold out, duplicates were manufactured. The number that floats around is that the red boxes eventually were printed in as many as 9000 copies, including the first 2000 original ones. This was possible because more albums than boxes were made, and the 1982 mono editions of the Beatles' albums were also for sale individually. Both boxes were for sale here in Norway. The black boxes sent to the USA quickly became scarce with demand still high; so the red un-numbered box sets, originally intended solely for the UK market was exported to the USA.
The albums included were: PLEASE PLEASE ME, WITH THE BEATLES, A HARDS DAY'S NIGHT, BEATLES FOR SALE, HELP!, RUBBER SOUL, REVOLVER, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, THE BEATLES (AKA WHITE ALBUM) and YELLOW SUBMARINE. The mono "A COLLECTION OF BEATLES OLDIES" was not repressed in 1982.
What was different about these LPs from their sixties counterparts were the labels (from "Please Please Me" to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was a retro-variation of the Yellow and Black labels from the '60s; while "The Beatles" and "Yellow Submarine" were on Apple labels, which were also slightly varied from their original label. Also, the sleeves did not have the front cover flaps glued to the back, like they had in the sixties - but this was also the case for the stereo albums. The records themselves were new pressings on lighter vinyl than the original sixties pressings. By mistake, some copies of the mono boxes contains a stereo "Yellow Submarine" LP housed in a mono sleeve.
The 1982 mono boxed sets are now very sought after collector's items and command high prices (at the moment, around 1700-1900 US dollars per set, be it black or red).