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Category Archives: Collector’s Corner

Discussion of a Beatles collector’s item release such as a rare vinyl record or CD.

Collector’s Corner – The Beatles get featured on Capitol’s Star Line Series in 1965

Happy Nat holds a copy of his Capitol Starline series single of Love Me Do b/w P.S. I Love You (Capitol Star Line 6062) issued in 1965.

Happy Nat holds a copy of his Capitol Star Line series single of Love Me Do b/w P.S. I Love You (Capitol Star Line 6062) issued in 1965.

 

This time on Collector’s Corner I’m going into some details on Capitol Record’s series of singles called The Star Line and the first Beatles singles that were released in the series. These singles have become fairly collectible and therefore just the right thing to discuss on Collector’s Corner.

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9 people think this is FAB!

Collector’s Corner: “She Loves You” – The Beatles on the Swan label

This time in the Collector’s Corner the focus turns to the “She Loves You” single released in America on Philadelphia’s Swan label, first on September 16th, 1963, and then re-issued in January 1964. At the time, The Beatles had only recently gone from being the hot new act on the British Isles to being the source of a full fledged onslaught in the entire region dubbed “Beatlemania.” In America, however, when the single was first issued, the frenzy had yet to catch on. In fact, at that time most Americans had never even heard of The Beatles.

Happy Nat holds 1963 and 1964 pressings of Swan She Loves You singles from his collection.

Happy Nat holds 1963 and 1964 pressings of Swan She Loves You singles from his collection.

Background information

John Lennon and Paul McCartney teamed up to write “She Loves You” while The Beatles were in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a gig at the Majestic Ballroom. The date was June 26th, 1963 at which time their previous single “From Me To You” had only just topped the U.K. charts and was still in the top 5. Both John and Paul recall working on the words and melody together and John credits Paul with the idea of having a third party being the go-between in a message of love, instead of the more simplistic “I love you” approach written for earlier material. On the following night, the two finished up the song at Paul’s house on Forthlin Road and then played it to Paul’s dad, Jim McCartney, on acoustic guitars in the living room. Jim said “That’s very nice son but there is enough of these Americanisms around. Couldn’t you sing ‘She Loves You, yes, yes, yes!’?” Paul told his dad he just didn’t get it.

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17 people think this is FAB!

Collector’s Corner – “Unfinished Music No. 1 – Two Virgins”

This time on Collector’s Corner I’m taking a close look at John Lennon’s first recorded project outside of the context of The Beatles, which was done in 1968 with his new girlfriend, Japanese artist and peace activist Yoko Ono. And, by the way, if nudity offends you, you may not want to scroll down very far.

Happy Nat with his original copy of Unfinished Music No. 1 - Two Virgins by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Happy Nat with his original copy of Unfinished Music No. 1 – Two Virgins by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Background info

The LP Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins was the result of a visit by Yoko to John’s home at Kenwood on May 19th, 1968. It was not a typical “date” by any normal standard as the two apparently started having a lot of fun using the Brenell tape machines in John’s home studio to create a sound collage. Tape loops were running while John dabbled around with various instruments including a piano, Mellotron, drums and guitar. Distortion, reverb and delay effects were used and conversation between them is interspersed throughout the recording that often involves Yoko giggling, moaning, wailing, screaming and otherwise ad-libbing with John in response to the various sounds. At two points during the recording a 78rpm vinyl record is heard. The first occurrence is playing the 1928 song “Together” written by Buddy G. DeSylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson and then later we hear a song called “Hushabye Hushabye” (composer unknown). Philip Norman’s 2008 biography John Lennon: The Life explains that the album’s title (henceforth shortened to simply Two Virgins) came from the couple’s feeling that they were “two innocents lost in a world gone mad,” and also because after completing the recording, the two made love for the first time.

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25 people think this is FAB!

Collector’s Corner: The Beatles singles on the Oldies label (a subsidiary of Vee-Jay Records)

Happy Nat holds up two of his Oldies 45's issued by Vee-Jay Records. One has a special Christmas/New Year's sleeve and the other is in the standard black sleeve issued on the first copies in 1964.

Happy Nat holds up two of his Oldies 45′s issued by Vee-Jay Records. One has a special Christmas/New Year’s sleeve and the other is in the standard black sleeve issued on the first copies in 1964.

 

This time around in the Collector’s Corner I’m throwing out some details about a series of four Beatles singles issued by Vee-Jay on their Oldies subsidiary label. All of the singles had already seen an earlier release as I’ll describe further below.

Background and general info

It was in the fall of 1963 that Vee-Jay Records established their Oldies line of singles as an outlet to reissue many of their previously released singles. At that time it was more popular to see older hits on album collections but the company reasoned that the price of singles would better fit the budget of the younger age bracket of record buyers. Vee-Jay decided to release their 4 Beatles singles from 1964 on the Oldies label on August 10th, 1964. It may seem a bit strange that four singles that were only released earlier in the same year would already be put on the Oldies label but there was a couple of reasons for this. Sales for these earlier singles was now starting to slow down, but by reissuing them and getting them into the “oldies” section of the stores, they might hope to boost sales and make just a little bit more money on the same music. They did not want to hold off and do this later because their October 15, 1964 deadline was rapidly approaching. Vee-Jay was prohibited from manufacturing or distributing any Beatles records after that date due to the outcome of court proceedings in their case with Capitol Records held earlier in the year. Besides, all of the songs on these 4 discs were recorded in 1962 or early 1963 anyway, so they could in that respect be considered “oldies” in comparison with The Beatles newer recordings available on Capitol Records at the time. So this was just another way that Vee-Jay sought to maximize it’s income using The Beatles’ name.

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12 people think this is FAB!

Collector’s Corner: “The Beatles” (aka The White Album)

Happy Nat holds up one of his copies of The Beatles White Album

Happy Nat holds up one of his copies of The Beatles White Album

This time around on Collector’s Corner, I’m discussing the 1968 double album set The Beatles known more commonly as The White Album because of it’s plain white cover. The number 9 seems to loom large within the subject matter as it is not only the ninth studio album by The Beatles (U.K. catalog and not including the hits compilation A Collection Of Beatles Oldies) but it is also the ninth Collectors Corner article I’ve written. Considering that I am putting this together in September (the ninth month), I feel I should break the album out now, listen to “Revolution 9″ and take all of this in. After all, wasn’t “nine” both John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s favorite number? But I should get back on track hereā€¦

 

General info

The White Album was released on November 22, 1968 in the U.K. and three days later in the U.S. It was the first Beatles album to be released on the band’s own Apple label and also the first album they released in the U.K. following the death of their manager Brian Epstein. This differed in the U.S. since Magical Mystery Tour was issued as an album after Brian’s death, whereas it was issued as a double EP in the U.K.

The songs and the sessions

The majority of the songs featured were written during the time of their sojourn to Rishikesh, India while they were at the ashram studying Transcendental Meditation (TM). Afterwards, the album was recorded over a five month period from May 30, 1968 (beginning with “Revolution 1″) through October 14, 1968 when the final overdubs for “Savoy Truffle” were added. Final mixing was completed three days later. They ended up with an impressive 32 candidate songs and all but two were included on the double album. George Harrison’s “Not Guilty,” and John Lennon’s “What’s The New Mary Jane” were both dropped. “Hey Jude” and the electric version of “Revolution” were also recorded during the sessions but issued three months earlier as the first Apple single. A few others written in India (e.g. Paul McCartney’s “Jubilee” or John Lennon’s “Mean Mr. Mustard”) were considered but put off till later. Get the whole story »

98 people think this is FAB!

Collector’s Corner: “The Savage Young Beatles” (the Orange & Yellow)

Happy Nat holds two copies of "The Savage Young Beatles" from his collection

Happy Nat holds two copies of "The Savage Young Beatles" from his collection

The Savage Young Beatles?

This will be the first time around on Collectors Corner that the record under scrutiny is not quite “legit.” Nevertheless, any serious collector of the American Beatles catalog will tell you that it still qualifies as a collector’s item. The Savage Young Beatles was issued in the early fall (most likely October) 1965 in the U.S. The album contains four songs that The Beatles recorded with English singer/guitarist Tony Sheridan in Hamburg, Germany. These are filled in with 4 additional songs with Tony Sheridan’s vocals, but no involvement by The Beatles at all (indicated by “#”). In it’s entirety the album’s playing time is barely over 20 minutes.

More specifically the track listing goes like this:

Side 1:
1) Cry For A Shadow
2) Let’s Dance#
3) If You Love Me, Baby
4) What’d I Say#

Side 2:
1) Sweet Georgia Brown
2) Ruby Baby#
3) Ya Ya#
4) Why

“Cry For A Shadow” is an instrumental performed by The Beatles with Pete Best on drums. It holds the distinction as being the only song with the composition credits of Lennon/Harrison. Track 3 on side 1 is also known with the title “Take Out Some Insurance On Me, Baby” and along with tracks 1 and 4 on side 2 feature The Beatles with Pete Best on drums backing Tony Sheridan on vocals. The other tracks (marked with a ‘#’ include Tony Sheridan on vocals/guitar but no work by The Beatles.

The record was released by Savage Records with the catalog number BM 69 and this was the first release by that label. Savage did not even hold the rights to any of the recordings, which in America were covered under leasing agreements with Polydor to labels MGM and Atco. The photograph shown on the front cover, taken on December 17, 1961 came from the group’s first photo session arranged by their recently hired manager Brian Epstein, who at this point, has not yet persuaded them to give up the leather.
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34 people think this is FAB!