Thursday, 21 February 2013

The original 1982 mono boxed sets

Black mono boxed set from 1982

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.

Numbered black mono box no 278
Certificate
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.
1982 mono Parlophone label

1982 mono Apple 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. One reader also confirms that his copy of  "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from a red mono boxed set played stereo on side 2.

Another view of the red mono boxed set

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).

7 comments:

Teo said...

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Spiderjeru said...

My copy of the (black) mono box is #616. It did not come with a certificate. Did this happen to anyone else? Is there a picture out there of what the certificate looks like?

Roger Stormo said...

This is all the information I have found online so far on these boxed sets. I don't own one myself, I saw them in one record shop in Norway at the time, but didn't bother to buy one. I already owned quite a few of the mono albums at that point, so I just purchased 1982 pressings of the ones I didn't have. Of course, looking back, I should have borrowed money and bought them all! ;-)

Victor cano said...

I have a Black Box Sets. It was giving to me by uncle as a birthday gift back in 1985. I was in 8th grade and was a big fan. He told me that he bought at a flea market. I played it once, taped it and put it away. My mom was moving from the old house and found a boxes label Victor's records. She call me and I open on found old the old records I bought during 80's. What a find the record are still like new. I would like to know how much is The Beatles Block Set worth. The box has a number on the side of the box I think is in the 600s. If some has an idea email me at viktorkano@gmail.com

Victor cano said...

I was given a Black box set as a birthday gift when I was in 8th grade. My uncle found it at a flea market and remember how much I like rock. Did not see the set and my other record until 3 years ago when my mom was moving and found boxes label Victor's record. I found all the record I bought during the 80s. This box set was there. It is like new. I remember using it once just to make a copies on cassettes. So happy to find mu old records. I found an original copy of the first GNR with the ban cover. Found others. I sit with my son and he get a kick of seeing the record spin. Does anyone know what is the box set worth. It has a number on the side of the box is in 600s. I can believed that even as a kid I love rock. Found a copy of ACDC Dirty Deeds, always got a kick of the song Big Balls. Many other record. I friend offer me $500 for the Beatles box set. What you guys thinks.

Calarts said...

I own a 1982 The Beatles collection in mono -- black box set. My set did not come with a certificate.

Lexridge said...

I ended up with one of the Red sets back in 1985. I traded a collector in N.C a pristine Beatles at the Beep radio show for it which I had paid a radio DJ $50 for right after it originally aired.

It has never been played, at least by me. It was opened when I received it, but the guy assured me he had only opened it to photograph the set. Who knows really. The vinyl appears mint to my eyes.

Anyway, both the black and red sets are so freaking hard to find that a search bot has only turned up 2 on ebay in nearly 11 years. Amazon had one listed too, but at the bargain basement price of $3999. haha. Anyway, I am strongly considering putting my up on the bay this summer, along with some other stuff and if I do, I will not put any reserve price on it. I currently have about 1000 Beatles vinyls and really need to do some space reclaiming.