Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Beatles Shell Help! LP


I recently aquired this album, a genuine Dutch pressing of the Beatles' Help! LP from 1979, where a Shell logo is shown in the background. This special issue of the Help! album was produced for Shell Oil for the kickoff of their 1979 "Shell Helps" campaign. As part of this promotion, Shell Oil arranged to produce a small number of these special versions of the Beatles’ Help! album to be given out at a company-wide meeting of their Dutch distributors and store managers. Less than 2000 copies were printed - so unless you were a Shell Oil distributor or store manager in 1979, you couldn't get it anywhere.
original Dutch pressing on black vinyl
All of the sleeves for this album were manufactured in Holland but some copies of the vinyl were pressed in Sweden. There are two opinions about the Swedish edition: Some say that around 1000 copies were pressed in each country, some (mainly those who have Swedish pressings to sell) say that a minority of the copies were pressed in Sweden.
original Swedish pressing on black vinyl

Never before and never since have the Beatles allowed any of their official albums to have been given such a major cover artwork overhaul for a commercial promotion by another company. One can only wonder how this one managed to get approved.



These days, (as is the case with quite a number of these rare international Beatles album releases, see footnote) you can get bootleg pressings. Some on coloured vinyl, some on picture discs. Buyers beware: all the originals were on black vinyl only, all others are fakes. And what's more: there are fakes on black vinyl circulating as well. As I haven't come across any of these, I can't tell you how to distinguish between a fake and an official pressing - but they say that fakes all have a thinner cardboard cover and that the vinyls have scratched matrix numbers. An original will set you back around $500, the fakes are usually a lot cheaper.

fake

fake
 Of course, this isn't the only Beatles/Shell association; their televised 1964 Melbourne concert was sponsored by the oil company, and the resulting TV Show was called "The Beatles sing for Shell".


Footnote: Here are some of the albums we know about which exist as newly produced fakes.
- Yesterday And Today (butcher cover) USA
- The Beatles Christmas Album USA
- From Then To You UK
- The Beatles Hottest Hits (Denmark)
- The Beatles Help! (Shell cover) The Netherlands
- The Beatles Help! (export to Switzerland) Germany
And other albums from various countries with interesting front covers.

Rockshow promotion

Soon it's time for the theatrical release of the remastered "Rockshow" movie by Wings, In conjunction with this, a few clips from the film has been served us as teasers for the upcoming event.
Here's the complete Maybe I'm Amazed, published by Paul McCartney yesterday:

 

Here's Silly Love Songs, published by Specticast april 17.

 

and here's a trailer, published by Specticast on april 15.


If you can't make it to a theatre near you on the day (well, I'd have to travel through several countries to see it), there's always the Blu-ray and DVD release June 10 (11th in the USA). What you'll miss then, is the new 12-minute interview with Paul, which will only accompany the theatrical version of the film. Although I must confess, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it shows up elsewhere.

     

Wings Over America Microsite Rockshow Website

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Paul McCartney From Hyde Park To The White House

Here's a DVD available to preorder on Amazon. It's due out May 14, they claim. Looks very fishy to me. And at $41.38? It's only €9.99 at Season of Mist. And Canadian $24.99 at Renaud Bray. Who claims it was released in November 2012. I think it's a black market release.



Wings Over America - film


This film was just released to show the splendor of the numbered deluxe edition of Wings Over America. And here's a clip promoting the "Wings Over The World" documentary:


So, no in-between-edition this time, just standard and DeLuxe. And if you need the 8 extra tracks on disc 3 and the DVD on disc 4, the DeLuxe is your only option.
Then, of course, there's this one - but it seems redundant:



     

Wings over $140

Looks like the tracklist and contents we published earlier were correct. Amazon com has started the preordering of the Wings Over America set at $140.57
The original 28-track album on 2 discs, remastered at Abbey Road Studios.
8 previously unreleased bonus audio tracks recorded live at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
Bonus DVD featuring the 75 minute TV special Wings Over The World and a brand new short film charting the tour route in photographs.
All set within a numbered hardbound slipcase containing:
-112-page book written by David Fricke, featuring new interviews and extensive tour photography
-Exclusive 60-page photographic journal of Linda s images chronicling life on the road
-136-page replica tour book with itineraries, tour program, memorabilia, and lyrics plus 3 (10 x8 ) prints
-80-page book of drawings by artist Humphrey Ocean
24bit 96kHz high resolution audio versions of all 36 songs on the remastered album & bonus audio tracks, accessed via a download code inserted on a card within the deluxe edition package.
So, no "Rockshow", but it has shown up on Amazon (UK) as a Blu-ray, release date 10 June 2013, Run Time: 139 minutes. Looks like there'll be only three editions of WOA, regular, deluxe and vinyl. The regular editions will just be the good old WOA lineup from 1976.
     

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Tracklist Wings Over America


Okay, so this is just a rumour, but here goes:

Physical editions:
Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America (Standard Edition) - 2CD MPL / Hear Music
Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition) - 3CD +1 DVD MPL / Hear Music
Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America (Vinyl) - 3LP MPL / Hear Music

Download editions:

Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America (Special Edition Digital Booklet MFIT + = 28 titles)
Paul McCartney & Wings - Wings Over America (Special Edition Hi Res Digital TrueHD + Booklet = 28 titles)

TRACKLISTING

CD1 (Standard / Deluxe / LP)
1. Venus And Mars / Rock Show / Jet
2. Let Me Roll It
3. Spirits Of Ancient Egypt
4. Medicine Jar
5. Maybe I'm Amazed
6. Call Me Back Again
7. Lady Madonna
8. The Long And Winding Road
9. Live And Let Die
10. Picasso's Last Words
11. Richard Cory
12. Bluebird
13. I've Just Seen A Face
14. Blackbird
15. Yesterday

CD2 (Standard / Deluxe / LP)
1. You Gave Me The Answer
2. Magneto And Titanium Man
3. Go Now
4. My Love
5. Listen To What The Man Said
6. Let 'Em In
7. Time To Hide
8. Silly Love Songs
9. Beware My Love
10. Letting Go
11. Band on the Run
12. Hi Hi Hi
13. Soily

CD3 (Deluxe only, recorded live at the Cow Palace in San Francisco)
1. Let Me Roll It
2. Maybe I'm Amazed
3. Lady Madonna
4. Live And Let Die
5. Picasso's Last Words
6. Bluebird
7. Blackbird
8. Yesterday

80 pages of drawings by Humphrey Ocean
60 pages of exclusive photos from the diary of the tour by Linda McCartney
136 pages telling this tour anthology (programs, pictures, memorabilia, lyrics, notes ...)
8 unreleased tracks recorded live at the Cow Palace in San Francisco
a DVD featuring the legendary film of 75 minutes "Wings Over The World"

So, no Rockshow, it has to be purchased individually from Eagle Vision.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Let It Be...Naked Again


The 2003-album "Let It Be...Naked" is out again, this time in digital downloadable form. Is it too much to ask for that the film may be made available to us this time around?

Published 2. apr. 2013:
When The Beatles first set out to make Let It Be in 1969, they intended to record an album that would be a return to live performance. No studio effects or overdubbing of voices or instruments would be allowed - just the bare necessities of the band.
Let It Be... Naked is the stripped-down, return-to-live-takes album that The Beatles originally aimed to create, free of vocal and instrumental overdubs or added effects.
Today, Let It Be... Naked makes its debut global digital release, exclusively on the iTunes Store® at http://www.itunes.com/thebeatles.
In addition to the 11-track album, the iTunes LP features all of the original booklet art and liner notes, as well as bonus audio of studio banter captured during The Beatles' 1969 recording sessions for Let It Be.
Music videos for the 'Naked' versions of "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" are also exclusively available on iTunes for download purchase and free streaming.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be celebrating Let It Be... Naked on Facebook, with the Let it Be... Naked flickbook (http://gnikn.us/14KEmEe) and a series of five special podcasts featuring tracks from the album, original archive sound from the making of Let It Be, and interviews with Paul, George and Ringo reflecting on that period in The Beatles' career.
http://www.itunes.com/thebeatles

Monday, 1 April 2013

Lewisohn Special Edition


The book we're all looking forward to read, the new definitive Beatles biography by Mark Lewisohn is due out with volume one, "Tune in" in October. The trilogy goes under the collective name of "All these years". Volume one is available to preorder from Amazon with a stipulated publication date of October 10. However, if you really want to get into the story in great detail you may want to hold out until November 13th, when the expanded edition is expected.
The regular edition will be big (800 pages), the expanded edition will be bigger. There'll be more to read. 1856 pages, if Google Books is anything to go by. And of course, the price is also expanded.
At the moment, Amazon has a price tag of £30 for the regular edition and a whopping £120 for the expanded one. Details about the differences are expected soon from the publisher Little, Brown.
UK Amazon links:
 
Word from the publisher:
Everyone knows the Beatles’ story – right? Wrong. Their enduring fame and influence has made them the subject of many books, but this biography is the true ultimate: a riveting read, unbiased, independent, authoritative, accurate, written by the world’s leading authority. A whole new take on the most extraordinary of subjects, and surely the lasting word. Delete what you’ve read or know and start afresh

Tune In is the first book in a genre-defining three-volume project. It takes the Beatles from before their beginning up to the final night of 1962, when they know success is theirs to grasp but they have no clue they’re on the cusp of a whole new kind of celebrity.

This is the lesser-known Beatles story, the pre-fame years, the Liverpool and Hamburg years – and in many respects the most absorbing, extraordinary and incredible period of them all. Here is the full colour story of their family backgrounds, childhoods, and their infatuation with a new and much misunderstood music bursting out of America: rock and roll. Everything comes together in these years and in this one volume: the Beatles’ talent, charisma, looks, sex appeal, personalities, honesty, attitude – and the Lennon-McCartney partnership.

Told with panache, wit and the alluring, authoritative style of a master craftsman, this is one of the most eagerly awaited books for years.

Written from an immense wealth of primary and insider resources, many never heard or seen before, including letters, contracts, photos, recordings and hundreds of new and archive interviews. Researched around the world from public libraries to deep private archives.

The Saturday-night dance in Port Sunlight, July 1962, (this photo has never been seen before) mere months before the revolution – John, Paul and George in harmony and dressed for success.
Sir George Martin:
‘Of all the chroniclers who have studied the lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo, Mark Lewisohn stands supreme. His dedication in getting all the true facts, coupled with a style of writing that is most readable, leaves him with no rival. Time and again he has proven that he knows far more about what we did than any of us. So many other books have been written about the lives of the Beatles that are less than truthful and a great deal of misinformed rubbish has been avidly devoured. We are fortunate to have Mark’s scholarship’

Official book site: www.thebeatlesbiography.com