Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Beatles on Mini lp packaging

Great start to the week with a bit of chat room drama have to deal with but anyway here's another music related post for this week.
Back in 2008 I noticed some Beatles cds out usually from places in Eastern Europe that look very different presentation-wise to those we see in the stores.
They had almost exact replicas of the lp covers being printed on card with glossy fronts, paper inner sleeves and any insets that the original lps had and some of these comprised of titles that for reasons best kept to themselves Apple, the Beatles record company no longer want out.
So as I suspect they were unofficial but in terms of their presentation they were much better than the official ones as some of these albums at that term were not available officially I got a few and also noticed unlike most of these things the discs were not made on a computer but actually pressed just like a regular cd often with attractive replica labels.
In Japan many record companies do routinely issue classic albums in this form which is very popular with collectors and in 2009 the cds in The Beatles In Mono box were issued just like that.
It was however a pity they didn't issue the stereo versions in that form include the last three stereo only ones even if the folded digipaks were better than the old cd jewel boxed ones with minimal information.
This still left a number of albums no longer available on cd most notably the Hollywood Bowl live album that sold extremely well upon release in 1977 which was taken from their 1964 and 1965 US concerts in LA.
Recently I got an unofficial version out of curiosity, based upon the Canadian lp which I own and was very impressed with how it was done.
First off, they had a commercially printed gatefold sleeve replicating everything from the lp, they reproduced for the innersleeve to hold the cd the original North American concert picture inner (the UK album had pictures of the the current Beatles lps), a set of reproduction tickets for the concerts and a lyric sheet.
The cd sounded very good indeed - on a par with my lp - and had a invite style card with all the tracks on like the original lp and like the earlier discs I mentioned again was 'pressed' not burnt on a recordable cd.
All in all it was a very classy and professional job that can be hold its own against the official releases.
It amazes me that this album the only from official sources live album ever issued is off limits from official cd re-issue although one track from the sessions 'Baby's In Black' was issued as long ago as 1996 on a cd single and why the the stereo remasters that do sound very good haven't been issued in this packaging as these other people can still make a living from selling other versions in this form.

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