As I assume is slightly obvious (just a bit), I am a hardcore Beatlemaniac (hmm…you wouldn’t have guessed – especially if you read this blog!). Unlike many teenage Beatlemaniacs – or teenage music fans in general – though, I prefer to listen to The Beatles on vinyl. In fact, I collect Beatles records! I have done so since late last year (I’d been a fan for about ten months), beginning with an eight-record Beatles box set, poignantly released in 1980. But that’ll come later in this series, which will get an update each month (or maybe more – not too sure, yet).
If I say so myself, I have some real gems in my collection, ranging from two British-edition first pressings in mono, to an American edition of the 1970s compilation Love Songs (which I inherited from my grandfather). But today, I’m going to start with one of my British monos – my beautiful copy of With The Beatles!
I got my With The Beatles in February this year from my favourite record shop (in which I am known as Miss Beatle!), using some leftover Christmas money. It plays amazingly well for a record of over fifty years of age, and I swear it is in near mint condition! There is nothing quite like listening to The Beatles on first-edition vinyl – the 2009 remasters are all fine and dandy at first, but to hear The Beatles as they were meant to be heard, you really have to invest in one of these babies. If they play through well, I guarantee you will never have heard The Beatles better.
Here is (obviously) the cover. Apart from a few discolourations in the white top secion, it is amazingly good condition. Not that it really matters, compared to the record – it is nice to have a good cover to go along with it, though.
As you can see, the record is in mono (meaning it only plays out of one speaker – unlike stereo, which plays out of two), which makes it rarer than one released in stereo. One thing I should have put in my ‘Six Ways The Beatles Changed The World’ post is how The Beatles pioneered the use of stereo in pop music. In fact, I am fairly sure they were the first band to use it – on Please Please Me. Because of this, though, it means that Beatles records in mono are hard to find, so I struck jackpot with this! As of September 8, you’ll be able to hear most Beatles albums in mono, too, with the new mono remasters. But the original vinyl will always sound better, (pretty much) no matter what.
The back of the record, complete with the ‘Use EMITEX’ label used on all British pressings of Beatles releases and sleeve notes written by Tony Barrow. Note the flaps of cardboard around the borders – or ‘backflaps’, as they are called. These were only used on first pressings, meaning this was one of the first With The Beatles to ever be made.
To be exact, though, it was the 206th With The Beatles ever made. Wow – I feel rather special! How fab!
Here is the side of the record – in absolutely pristine condition! I have two records owned by ‘Clark’ (you may have noted a name on the picture two above), and both are almost perfect. They must have looked after their records very well.
Here is the British address on the back, plus the EMITEX label – proving it’s a British pressing. Australian versions of this record would have a Sydney-based address, and lack the EMITEX label – and would have a different cover. But that’s a different story, to be explained another day…
‘Clark’ didn’t just keep her records in perfect condition – she also spiced up the slip-cover, too! Usually, British pressings have a paper sleeve with another EMITEX advertisement plus a warning about replacing your record player needle as needed (and trust me, you should – I may or may not have ruined a record by not. But as with the cover, that story will be saved for the Help! edition of this series). But our ‘Clark’ appears to have cut out all sorts of Beatles scraps and decorated the sleeve (rather like the end-papers of my diary!), making beautifully unique. Now, any guesses of who her favourite Beatle is (clue: it’s probably Ringo)?!?
Here’s the other side of the slip cover, with a picture of George, a still from A Hard Day’s Night (obviously she scrapped into the next year, too) and a review of the album to pour over!
And finally, here is Side One of the record – absolutely scratch-less!
(And now for a couple of other things…)
So far, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A GRAMMY® Salute (that Grammy special from February) has received an Emmy! It was nominated for six, but only four of the categories it was in were announced today. The rest will be announced on August 25, when The Emmys are broadcasted around the world. So far, it has been awarded for Most Outstanding Musical Direction, but fingers crossed it will get more when the other two categories are announced.
And finally, my good friend kate160801 (you know who you are) has started a blog called ‘The Hunger Readings’, on which she will publish her various pieces of writing. kate160801 hasn’t put much on it yet, but trust me – she is an amazing writer, so make sure you check out her blog here: http://thehungerreading.wordpress.com .
Hope you’re having a groovy day wherever you are, and good day sunshine 🙂