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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Now Again! The Beatles

Now Again!
South Korea is a country which has produced a number of Beatles albums unique to the country, and also with some rare picture sleeves. Several albums have also been manufactured in the U.K. for export to South Korea. However, one particular album stands out. Essentially, it's a radio promo album  from around 1975. It bills The Beatles as the artist, but it features only solo material.
As far as we know, it is the only album from anywhere in the world ever authorized by EMI that contained solo songs by all four Beatles. Manufactured under license in South Korea by Oasis Record Co., it contained such solo classics as "Stand By Me", "Band On the Run", "No No Song", and "Ding Dong, Ding Dong" (See complete track listing below).

The back cover owes a lot to "Revolver".

The disc was manufactured in Great Britain, on the EMI label, making this an extremely rare U.K. export album. In addition, under the catalog number (OL 107) on the label are the words "For Broadcast Only", and some copies sold have a paper insert. On the label is a South Korean import tax sticker. On the back cover, a separate catalog number is shown for each of the songs, indicating their release as singles in South Korea.

With the paper insert. Also note the tax sticker on the label.
The song selection is probably based on their popularity in South Korea, a country which is known for favouring other songs than the ones which were popular in the rest of the world. One of the best known Beatles hits in South Korea is "I Will". Featuring just one song from Paul, three each from George and Ringo, and four by John may be an indication on the popularity of the various solo carreers as well.

Side One:
  1. #9 Dream (John Lennon) 4:45 (OLE 1762)
  2. Old Dirt Road (John Lennon) 4:10 (OLE 1758)
  3. Stand By Me (John Lennon) 3:29 (OLE 2006)
  4. Love (John Lennon) 3:15 (OLE 1681)
  5. Band On The Run (Paul McCartney) 5:07 (OLE 1637)

Side Two
  1. Only You (Ringo Starr) 2:29 (OLE 1752)
  2. No No Song (Ringo Starr) 2:29 (OLE 1752)
  3. Photograph (Ringo Starr) 2:27 (OLE 227)
  4. Ding Dong, Ding Dong (George Harrison) 3:38 (OLE 1977)
  5. Dark Horse (George Harrison) 3:52 (OLE 1978)
  6. Bye Bye Love (George Harrison) 4:02 (OLE 1975)

The front cover.
Popsike indicates that this album has been sold only seven times on ebay since 2004, once that year, once in 2005, once in 2007, twice in 2009, once in 2012 and once in 2013. People don't seem to know what to charge for it, the selling prices have ranged from just $49 to $518. One seller said in the description that he has come across five of these albums through the years. The site knows only about two copies of the album, one of them unopened.

The two Koreas
North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a single-party communist state, now centred on Kim Il-sung's Juche ideology, with a centrally planned industrial economy.

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a multi-party state with a capitalist market economy. The two states have greatly diverged both culturally and economically since their partition, though they still share a common traditional culture and pre-Cold War history.

What with Paul McCartney visiting South Korea for his first ever concert there in May, perhaps we will see an autographed copy of the album next?


Geert said...

A 'Beatles' album with only 1 McCartney song?! Now that would have been a novelty! :)

Michael Lessing said...

This can't be as rare as they say. I have one, bought it at sale when wife was selling cheating husband's crap, for a dollar, and I NEVER get deals that good. There must be a lot out there