Friday, June 1, 2012

The BEATLES

OK time to update my Beatles section:
I'm going to bump the previous post of the Canadian tapes down a bit.. so that first I can start, at... where else, but the beginning.. with the very first Beatles tapes ever issued by Capitol, in 1968 and 1969:
 These are all very first issues... However, although for the first 3 tapes I've included scans of the tapes too, mostly I will be not necessarily be matching the sleeves with the tape labels, as Capitol didn't issue sleeves and tapes cassettes concurrently.. that is, changes in the design of the sleeve were not always accompanied by changes in the tape housing / labels.. which followed a completely independent schedule:
A first issue "Meet The Beatles"

This "Second Album" , although a first issue, is a slightly later style (you can tell by the larger "Capitol" oval on the spine) than the other two, as it was issued after the first batch of albums.
Capitol did not issue all the Beatles' albums at the same time , choosing instead to try out whether cassettes would 'catch on' by issuing only a few in 1968.
Next is an album that was finally available on Capitol in the US, comprised mostly of their debut album "Please Please Me". It came out so much later , in 1965, because Vee-Jay had previously had manufacture & distribution rights. "Introducing The Beatles didn't sell, though, even though they tried several repackagings..
When Capitol obtained the rights, they wasted no time issuing it in cut back form.
Here's something new!
Beatles '65 Despite the fact it came out in '64!)



                                                  The first Pepper's cassette.
The matching first issue tape housings.. notice that nowhere is the word "Stereo" 
The very first Beatles cassettes had no "bars" .. although as they introduced  more of the Beatles catalog, each tape got the then current Capitol design, which is why the first issues of all of them can appear so different.. the "Second Album," above is a good example of this...even though it came out only 6 months later than the first 6 releases, the design had already changed slightly..

All of these tapes had paper labels, which continued up to the beginning of 1971, when they switched to printing on the housings directly.. the tape housing changes, however, were carried out independently of any changes in the sleeves..
These three below also were the very first format, meaning they were part of the first releases of beatles' cassettes by Capitol I think they released maybe half the whole catalog.. a good way to tell is by looking at the Capitol Oval onthe spine,  that I mentioned earlier.. it's noticeably smaller than later ones...
ALl three of the cassettes below are very first issues from 1968...


More later...
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Next is a recent acquisition.. I really didn't know what I had here, until it arrived..
There appears to be NO record of this variant, anywhere in the world, online or otherwise.
It certainly is the first one *I've * ever seen..
It's the 1968 hardshell United Artists "A Hard Day's Night"  (K-9006)
except it does NOT have the boxed logo, has the peculiar "liberty" black and white sandwiched cassette housing, and has a typo for sides one and two..that is, the tracks for side one are listed on side two, on the cassette housing (but not the case).. side "1" lists the tracks for side two, and side "2" lists the tracks for side one.. upon playing the tape, i found that the tracks are correct, that is , side one starts out with "A Hard Day's Night".. I have NEVER seen, or heard about, another like this..
Any Beatle experts out there? Have any of you?
Anyways, here it is..:


Funky eh?
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So here, are a few Canadian pressings.. we were lucky here to get the Beatles before much of the rest of the world, and in True Stereo, no less.....
so here goes.. These are later issues, but even so, I have to say, the color balance and artistic lack of clutter, makes these some of the most attractive sleeves I have ever seen.. plus the bonus of exceptionally GOOD sound.. hey if you ever see these in your local shop, grab them FAST!

The Beatles' Story: and what a nice clean design, eh?
Completely UNIQUE to CANADA.. this album NEVER got issued anywhere else in the world on cassette, ever, and the closest it ever even got on cassette was when it was chosen to be the first release, by Capitol, on the DAT format, but then canceled, and therefore this is the BEST sound you will EVER get for this album, right here (if you can even find a copy, they're rare as hen's teeth even in Canada!), which is why the "Good Doctor" (Ebbets) went out of his way to rip any and all Canadian albums

The famous Y&T album (Trunk, naturally ...;-)
 Twist and Shout.. another entirely unique to Canada album...
 And what has to be a serious surprise for any Beatles fan who wants to hear them live.. I find it a miracle of audio engineering              
Sooo aint these jus' SWEET?
Canadian cassettes weren't always the nicest looking.. here's an older issue that doesn't do nuttin' for me ;-)
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Now to an amazing set of issues..
Anyone who read Mike's interview earlier in this blog, must have noticed his glowing recommendations of New Zealand cassettes.. At the time I had only a very few, but I lucked into 14 Beatles ones. I have no idea of the various issues, as they seem to differ, some later ones being EMI, and some earlier ones, Apple, as opposed to the order that they were reissued time and again ...only the "Rarities" one can I date, to 1981..
 I did receive them in a blue "Beatles Collection" box, but unlike the US ands UK ones, where the tapes all show identical dates of issues (as they should) these NZ ones vary considerably.
  Where they do NOT vary, is in the astounding quality of manufacture!
The cardboard is thick and solid, the printing is clear and finished with either a good semi gloss, to a very thick indeed, high gloss.. They do not appear capable being subject to wear, or  fading..
The cassette shells too, all have well attached paper labels, and solid shells , every one attached with screws, to facilitate repair. as you will see in the scans..
 I have no extra info to add, as I am not knowledgable on this  subject (NZ tapes) ..
I'll just list the scans:















The last tape, and sleeve , above, is actually an Australian one, that I added into the scan to save time..

Enough for now..!
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Next.. It's time for the German issues.. as opposed to the subtle coloring of the NZ tapes, above, there is absolutely NOTHING subtle about German issues..  Big over the top color schemes, Bright red and green juxtaposed where ever possible..

ahh the Beatles "Beat" .. in Germany.. "de Beat" was the thing.. all bands were "Beat" Bands
Ya!
The highly desirable "HorZu" issue of Magical Mystery Tour.. apparently the original cover was to subtle for the German record companies, so they designed a new cover full of clashing primary and secondary colors. Until MMT came out on CD, however, this was one of the two only albums to feature the whole of the album in true stereo (and it was since 1971), and it's thought to be the best sounding. The CD issue, was in fact, made from the master tapes from this version.

Next:
A Hard Day's Night was called something else in Germany
You guessed it.. "Yeah Yeah Yeah!"...
A couple of earlier German releases on the "Electrola" label.. In Germany there was Odeon, HorZu, and  Odeon/EMI/Electrola, all who at various times issued Beatles albums...

And , of course, there was also "Apple":
Apparently actually *drawing* an apple was too difficult (after an "acht stein beer garden")
so they just *wrote* the word "Apple" instead  ;-)

By the time these came out, ze hangover was over.. so both DO have apples


In a little while I'll post the corresponding tapes for these cassettes.. better get anti-glare sunglasses for them, though ;-)

9 comments:

  1. Really nice site. Great work preserving this format!!

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  2. Great site! I found it trying to research a UA hard case 1968 A Hard Day's Night K-9006 cassette. My label is correct unlike yours - and you are right...there is zero information about this release and yours was the first solid piece of info I have come across. It appears to be exceedingly rare and I'm trying to place a value on it...any idea what this version is worth? Tape is NM and the case shows some label wear with a small indentation on top of the case - basically solid with some wear. Any info on value you could offer would be most helpful. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks. Sadly I have been neglecting this site because my picture database is full.
    Tape value? Hard to establish, since the complete crash in beatles collectibles, especially cassettes. Used to be a guaranteed $100, but now, you really have to scour completed transactions on ebay to establish a correct value. And let me warn you, nowadays, they'll be low. I saw a Beatles 3 pack. the really rare one with less than 10 known copies, sell for less than $800 last year.. only a few years ago they were easily worth 3 times that.. I have seen original UK tricolor (that woulld be Pepper, Abbey Road and one other..) issues sell for the equivalent of $25 recently. I myself bought a revolver first edition with the missing "Stereo cassette" on the sleeve, for $10, despite there only being 4 known copies ever sold in the last 15 years. To me, it's nearly priceless. Right now. But that could change anytime, of course..
    Re.. AHDN, I'd suggest you place an educated guess as to it's *real* value, a value that under no circumstances would you ever part with it for less, and use that as a starting bid, should you ever decide to sell it. . If it doesn't sell, it's value to others may not be as high, but , nevertheless, would be to you.
    Because I've completed my collection , bar three tapes (the collectors 3 pack , the Sgt Pepper's and Rubber Soul that also has no "Stereo Cassette" logo on the sleeve -they were part of the first 25 issues of various artists Capitol released on cassette in late Fall 1967 - There's a few stragglers I am always looking out for that may or may not even exist. some I had before so I know they do, despite articles saying otherwise..
    I hope to post these here, I'll see if I have some image uploading rooom again, and if so will do a fresh reorganized post

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  4. Hmmm.. unable to edit my comment on my own blog! Anyways.. I started a sentence but never completed it. I meant to say "Because I've completed my collection , bar three tapes... I'm no longer actively searching for them, so may be out of the loop".
    I have a few "sets" that I feel compelled to complete, simply because they're either almost complete or the like . Like the Shadows. Except for their very first Columbia (debut !) album, I have almost all the very first releases of their first ten albums.. ie 1962 to 1975. After 1967 the cassettes came out alongside the albums, but were all discontinued after about a year, leaving the vinyl alone. Instead, in place of the vinyl album issues, the cassette releases were all "best of" compilations. Actual original album releases on cassette are therefore extremely rare.
    So I still keep looking t.. I have more than half of the original issues from when they first started releasing cassettes , even a 1967 tricolor with green label (Sound of the Shadows).. So I may as well keep looking for the rest.
    Same with my 60s-70s Zappa/Motherson Verve and Reprise/Bizarre/Discreet..
    And the last two ABC John Mayall - Lots of people and Notice to appear..
    So no point stopping to look just yet.. but it might take a half decade or more for these last few to appear.."sigh". Especially as I'm on an extremely tight disability pension.. ;-(
    Cheers!

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  5. i didn't see this cassette in Indonesia.

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  6. AWESOME BLOG! I'm so grateful that this exists! :)
    Do You have some early Aerosmith, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Heart(second album or some of 80s era, because I've found cover Dreamboat Annie)?
    If You do have, please post them!

    I really like cassettes and listening to them on my old Aiwa!

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    1. Thanks..Unfortunately I've been really remiss on keeping this blog up to date..I have hundreds of updates I should apply. None of the tapes you mentioned are among them, sadly. I got rid of all my 80's and newer tapes a while ago as well as any that weren't especially on my list. I'm on a disability and just can't afford to have a large wantlist of collectinble tapes.
      I'm going to try to update these lists though. Starting with the Beatles seems a good way to go...

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  7. Oh okay. :)
    I can understand you.
    Thanks for quick answer!

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    1. THX . Originally I've been posting these at high resolution 100% size scans , but I ran ot of storage. I'm going to have to go down to 50% if I want to keep posting.. but I think I'll start from scratch because I missed quitye a few.. and now I have almost all the very FIRST edition issues ... that's like.. tapes *physically* made in 1968 to 1971...! of a lot of the featured artists like The Beatles , Zappa, fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and B.B. King etc in mint condition.. I really don't want to tell you what I went through to get there .
      Anyone reading this have any preferences as to who they'd like to see posted first?

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