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The Beatles “Rarities”, Parlophone PSLP 261 and PCM 1001.

Published February 27th, 2013

The Beatles “Rarities”, Parlophone PSLP 261.

Release December 15, 1978. Originally included as a free addition to the 1978 boxed set, The Beatles Collection (blue box). Only rare tracks are “Across The Univers”, previously available only on the now-deleted charity album No One’s Gonna Change Our World, and the German-language version of “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, previously unavailable in Britain. In fact eight of the 17 tracks were previously available: “Long Tall Sally”, “I Call Your Name”, “Slow Down”, “Matchbox” and “I’m Down” are on the Rock And Roll Music album; “Yes It Is” and “This Boy” on Love Songs; and “Rain” on the Hey Jude album. Only four of the 17 tracks “Across The Universe”, “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”, “Sie Liebt Dich”, and “Bad Boy”, are in stereo. Although the album contains very little in the way of rare tracks, it is an intelligent compilation of some of the material previously available only B sides, EPs and foreign releases.

All free additions have a dark blue sleeves with gold text on both sides. Besides the sleeve has the banner “Sampler Album Not For Sale” in the upper left corner on the back and catalog number PSLP 261. All additions have white paper EMI custom inner sleeves.

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1. First pressing December 15, 1978. Black label with two white-black EMI logos and silver print. “The EMI Records Ltd…” printed at the start perimeter print and “Made In GT. Britain” printed at the end of the perimeter print. Matrix numbers: Side One: SPSLP 261 A-1, Side Two: SPSLP 261 B-2.

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In 1978, EMI and some of its worldwide subsidiaries, including Capitol Records, issued The Beatles Collection box set. While Capitol imported the Parlophone and Apple catalog albums placed in the box set, it chose to manufacture the bonus disc, assigning it promotional number SPRO-8969. This version of the Rarities album is similar to the EMI edition; however, Capitol replaced the German-language versions of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “She Lovea You” found on the British standard versions. In all likelihood, the switch was made because Capitol wanted the collection to include the standard English versions of these huge hits, which were not on any of the British albums included in the box set.

The Capitol Rarities disc was manufactured with purple labels featuring the classic Capitol dome logo. It was packaged in a dark blue paper sleeve. The front side has “The Beatles “Rarities” centered and the Capitol logo and SPRO-8969 in the lower right corner. The back side is solid blue. In addition to placing the album in the box set, Capitol pressed 2,000 copies of Rarities for promotional purposes. Matrix numbers: Side One: SPRO-1-8969 F1, Side Two: SPRO-2-8969 F1.

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2. Second pressing October 1980 until April 1984. Black label with two white-black EMI logos and silver print. “ALL RIGHTS OF THE PRODUCER…” printed at the start perimeter print. Importantly, around the 11 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “…UNAUTHORISED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING, COPYING AND HIRING…”. Instead, added “MANUFACTURED IN THE UK BY EMI RECORDS LIMITED” text at the end of the perimeter print. Matrix numbers: Side One: SPSLP 261 A-1 or -2, Side Two: SPSLP 261 B-2 or -3.

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3. Third pressing, end of spring 1984 until 1987. Black label with two white-black EMI logos and silver print. “ALL RIGHTS OF THE PRODUCER…” printed at the start perimeter print. Importantly, around the 11 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “UNAUTHORISED COPYIN, HIRING, RENTING, PUBLIC PERFORMANCE AND BROADCASTING…”. “MANUFACTURED IN THE UK BY EMI RECORDS LIMITED” text at the end of the perimeter print. Matrix numbers: Side One: SPSLP 261 A-2, Side Two: SPSLP 261 B-3 or -4.

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The Beatles “Rarities”, Parlophone PCM 1001.

Release October 29, 1979. This album was issued separately in 1979 after EMI had received complaints that the only way of obtaining this free album was to pay for the box and its duplicate copies of Beatles albums. The album has a dark blue sleeve with big note on the back side and catalog number PCM 1001. All editions have white paper EMI custom inner sleeves.

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1. First pressing October 29, 1979. Black label with two white-black EMI logos and silver print. “The EMI Records Ltd…” printed at the start perimeter print and “Made In GT. Britain” printed at the end of the perimeter print. Matrix numbers: Side One: SPSLP 261 A-1 YEX 991-1, Side Two: SPSLP 261 B-2 YEX 992-2.

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2. Second pressing October 1980 until April 1984. Black label with two white-black EMI logos and silver print. “ALL RIGHTS OF THE PRODUCER…” printed at the start perimeter print. Importantly, around the 11 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “…UNAUTHORISED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING, COPYING AND HIRING…”. Instead, added “MANUFACTURED IN THE UK BY EMI RECORDS LIMITED” text at the end of the perimeter print. Matrix numbers: Side One: YEX 991-2 or -3, Side Two: YEX 992-3 or -4.

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Rock And Roll Music, Parlophone PCSP 719 and Music For Pleasure MFP 50506/7.

Published February 17th, 2013

Rock And Roll Music, Parlophone PCSP 719.

Release June 11, 1976. Idea for this album, Rock And Roll, came from Bhaskar Menon, the head of Capitol Records in the USA. After trying unsuccessfully to contract one or all of  The Beatles for approval of the track listing for this new double album, Menon eventually gave up and contracted George Martin, their producer. When Martin was told of the plan to release this compilation of old Beatles tracks as a new album he flew to the Hollywood office of Capitol. After hearing some of the older tracks with bad background noise and poor stereo Martin was appalled at the prospect of their reissue and set about filtering and remixing every track included on this album. On some of the older tracks, such as “Twist And Shout” and “I Saw Her Standing There”, he reversed the stereo and brought the vocal track away from the edge into the center, adding a slight echo for a more modern sound. He also filtered out the bass from the rhythm track and also placed that in the center of the stereo sound stage and with the aid of filters and equalisers, gave the recording a crisper sound. When he had finished his work, Martin took a copy of the revised tapes back to EMI Records in Britain. The company was horrified because The Beatles had issued official instructions that the tapes must not be “touched, added to, edited or mutilated in any way”. EMI Records took this edict rather too literally, assuming that if they were to be reissued, the tapes should be exactly as originaly recorded. Thus George Martin’s remixed and filtered versions of the original tracks were not included on the Rock And Roll Music album when it was released in Britain.

Full laminated “Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd” gatefold sleeve. White paper EMI custom inner sleeve.

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Black label with two white-black EMI logos and silver print. “The EMI Records Ltd…” printed at the start perimeter print and “Made In GT. Britain” printed at the end of the perimeter print. First matrix numbers: Side 1: YEX 955-1; Side 2: YEX 956-1; Side 3: YEX 957-1; Side 4: YEX 958-1.

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Rock And Roll Music, Music For Pleasure, Vol.1 MFP 50506 and Vol.2 MFP 50507.

Release October 27, 1980. In 1980, EMI Records relented and decided to issue the remixed recordings. They split the two albums, put them into new sleeves after receiving numerous complaints about the original sleeves and issued them on the Music For Pleasure label as Rock And Roll Music, Volumes 1 and 2. These two albums are worth buying if only to compare the original recordings with the remixes.

Unlaminated “Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd” sleeves. White paper EMI custom inner sleeves.

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Red-black labels with the bottom text “COPYRIGHT RECORD ALL RIGHTS OF THE MANUFACTURER AND OF THE OWNER OF THE RECORDED WORK RESERVED UNAUTHORISED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE BROADCASTING AND COPY OF THE RECORD PROHIBITED”. Matrix for these albums were made with the Capitol Records laqueurs. Matrix numbers: Vol.1: Side One: SKBO 11537-1A-1, Side Two: SKBO 11537-1B-1; Vol.2: Side One: SKBO 11537-2A-1, Side Two: SKBO 11537-2B-1.

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