The Beatles RARITIES Album
The Rarities album was designed to complement the Beatles' original twelve albums by pulling together many of their single releases not available on British LPs. Unlike Capitol Records in America, British Parlophone rarely duplicated songs issued as singles on later albums.
The British Rarities (EMI/Parlophone PSLP 261), consists of seventeen tracks, including such obscure B-sides as The Inner Light and You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), along with the original version of Across The Universe and the first British release of Sie Liebt Dich and Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand sung in German). Together, these thirteen albums make up most of the Beatles studio output. However, this set is not complete. One glaring omission was Hey Jude, one of the Beatles' biggest selling singles.
The U.S. Rarities (Capitol SPRO 8969), compiled in Los Angeles, contains two mistakes. For some unknown reason, Sie Liebt Dich and Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand were replaced with the not-too-rare English versions of She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand. The album became a much sought-after collector's item not only because just 3,000 copies were pressed, but also because it contained the first American release of the original version of Across The Universe.
In England, the excessive publicity given the Beatles box sparked a demand for the commercial release of Rarities. British fans wanted the convenience of having most of their Beatles collection together on LPs and also of having Sie Liebt Dich and Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand available domestically. Due to the pressure exerted by disc jockeys and the music press, EMI decided to issue the album to the general public. The record sold well, resulting in further releases throughout Europe and in Japan (Odeon 63010).
RARITIES (October 1979 - EMI/Parlophone PCM 1001)
A selection of seventeen tracks not included on the Beatles' original twelve British studio albums. The cover of this commercial release is different from the one included in the box set. Research for the LP was done by Mike Heatley, track listings were by Colin Miles and the liner notes were by Hugh Fielder of the British pop weekly, Sounds.
The album contains:
(Side One) Across The Universe (the original version)/ Yes It Is / This Boy /The Inner Light / I'll Get You / Thank You Girl / Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)/ Sie Liebt Dich / (Side Two) Rain / She's A Woman / Matchbox / I Call Your Name / Bad Boy / Slow Down / Im Down / Long Tall Sally.
Most of the tracks on Rarities had only been available in England on singles or EPs. To guarantee that the sound and feel of these recordings would be the same as when they were first issued, EMI used the original mono masters. The liner notes claim You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) is pressed in stereo when, in fact, it appears in mono.
Bad Boy was included on Rarities even though it had already been released in England on A Collection Of Beatles Oldies. In fact, it was the only new song on that 1966 "greatest hits" LP. But since eight of the tracks on A Collection Of Beatles Oldies were already available on other British albums, this compilation was not included in the box set.
Because of the success of Rarities in Europe, Capitol Records automatically scheduled this "new Beatles record" for a November 1979 U.S. release and went ahead and pressed promotional copies (Capitol SN-12009, green label). Fortunately for American record buyers, this LP was never put out. Production was stopped and Capitol ordered all existing copies destroyed although a few did make their way into the collectors market. The whole intent of Rarities was to bring together tracks that had never been issued on albums before. All but four of the Rarities titles were already available on U.S. LPs. To issue Rarities in the United States in its original form would have been pointless. Capitol Records had already subjected American record buyers to two horrendous Beatles compilations, Rock 'N' Roll Music (US: Capitol SKBO 11537) and Love Songs (US: Capitol SKBL 1 171 1). Both collections suffered from an apparent random choice of songs, incorrect liner notes and atrocious cover art.
Congratulations go to Randall Davis, then Director of Merchandising and Advertising at Capitol Records in Hollywood, for vehemently protesting the release of Rarities in the United States. Davis believed that issuing this collection would be an insult to American Beatles fans. Because of his strong feelings, Davis was given the job of assembling a true Beatles "Rarities" album for the U.S. market made up of various Beatles takes not available in America. With the aid of several eminent Beatles collectors and understanding executives at various EMI subsidiaries, Davis put together a first-class package, Rarities (US: Capitol SHAL 12060).
(For a complete report on the research and creation of the American Rarities, we recommend a detailed and extremely informative article, "Every Little Thing: The story behind 'Rarities,' the new Beatles LP," by Nicholas Schaffner, published in the June 1980 issue of Trouser Press.)
The American Rarities was designed for both the average record buyer and the die-hard Beatles fanatic. For the general public, the LP contained several tracks not otherwise available on Capitol Records: Misery, There's A Place, Sie Liebt Dich and the George Martin-produced version of Across The Universe. For the collector, the album offered the original version of Love Me Do with Ringo on drums, Penny Lane with the seven-note trumpet ending, and the mono versions of Don't Pass Me By and Helter Skelter.
The only fault with this collection is that the compilers, in their zeal to include many rare recordings, actually created several new collector's items. On I Am The Walrus, Capitol Records engineers John Palladino and George Irwin combined the British stereo version and its two extra beats in the introduction with the American mono recording containing four extra beats of music after the third verse.
And in pressing Penny Lane, Palladino and Irwin spliced the sevennote trumpet coda from the mono promotional version onto the true stereo version of this song, which had never been released in the United States before. (The American Magical Mystery Tour contains a "reprocessed" stereo mix.) But all in all, the creation of the American Rarities was a highly worthwhile endeavor at the time.
A selection of fifteen tracks that were either 1) never released by Capitol Records before, 2) alternate takes and mixes never available in the United States before, or 3) tracks never issued on an American album until now. The LP was compiled and annotated by Randall Davis, with research by Ron Furmanek, one of the foremost Beatles collectors in the world, and Wally Podrazik, co-author with Harry Castleman of the Beatles discographies, All Together Now (Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, 1978), The Beatles Again (Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, 1980) and The End Of The Beatles? (Ann Arbor; Pierian Press, 1985).
The packaging is completely different from the promotional Rarities included in the American box set. Originally, Davis tried to use the uncropped "Butcher Cover" photo for the front of the sleeve but was vetoed by Capitol vice presidents Rupert Perry and Dennis White. However, the photo was included in the inside of the gate-fold jacket along with the unretouched, second "Yesterday" . . . And Today cover. On the first pressing, there were two errors in the liner notes. The phrase "I've got blisters on my fingers" heard at the end of Helter Skelter was credited to John instead of Ringo. Also the words "produced by George Martin" were inadvertently deleted from the back cover. Both mistakes were corrected on the second pressing.
(On September 1, 1983, a proof copy of the Rarities artwork, minus George Martin's name, was put up for auction at Sotheby's in London where it sold for f.90, or about $144.)
Love Me Do - (Version 1) with Ringo on drums. At the time, the master of this take could not be located in EMI's vaults so Randall Davis had to settle for an excellent quality dub of the original single, supplied by Ron Furmanek.
Misery - the common recording, but this was the first time the song appeared in stereo on a Capitol album. It was previously available just as a single (Capitol Starline 6065).
There's A Place - same circumstances as Misery. Issued by Capitol as a single in October 1965 (Capitol Starline 6061).
Sie Liebt Dich - had only been issued in the United States in 1964 as a single on Swan Records (Swan 4182). This marked the first Capitol Records release, and the first stereo release in America. The liner notes on Rarities are incorrect. They say "EMI persuaded (the Beatles) to re-cut the vocal tracks 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'She Loves You' - in German. . . ." The backing was recut for "Sie Liebt Dich" but not for "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand", for which the original backing was used. The reason most often given is that the original master for "She Loves You" had been destroyed/lost/wiped by this time (q.v. Lewisohn, Recording Sessions). Others have claimed recently that at least part of SLD comes from SLY, and that the manual tape synchonization which created SLY was such a mess to reproduce that SLD turned out terribly.
And I Love Her - contains Paul's double-tracked vocals and six bars of acoustic guitar in the fade-out. This may be a Capitol creation - the Rarities version sounds like it's the usual version with an extended ending.
Help - The mono single mix has different lead and backing vocals and lacks the tambourine present in the stereo mix.
I'm Only Sleeping - this is the true stereo version, which in America could only be found on the Capitol Record Club edition of "Yesterday" . . . And Today, and on all stereo tape formats of Y & T. It also appeared in true stereo on some commercial copies of the album pressed in Winchester, VA, after c. 1973. The liner notes on Rarities are in error. They claim only two versions of this track exist when, in fact, we have located five so far. They also state that the verses in this version were rearranged. The differences between the various takes are only in the amount of "backwards guitar" included and in the places where it was cued in. The structure of the song is identical in all recordings.
I Am The Walrus - this is a new, composite version created by Capitol engineers John Palladino and George Irwin. They took the British stereo version with the six-beat introduction and spliced in the four extra beats of music heard after the third verse in the mono recording.
Penny Lane - another composite track by Palladino and Irwin.
This time, they took the true stereo version, which had never been released in the United States before (the version on the American stereo Magical Mystery Tour was "reprocessed"), and added the seven piccolo trumpet notes heard at the end of this song on the U.S. and Canadian promotional singles.
Helter Skelter - the mono mix.
Don't Pass Me By - the mono mix.
The Inner Light - the first time this song had ever been issued on an American album. This is the original mono mix.
Across The Universe - (Version 1); the first time this George Martin-produced version had ever been released in the United States.
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) - the first time this mono track had ever been included on an album in America.
Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove - the first time these four seconds of Beatles sounds had ever been issued in the United States.
Unfortunately, most EMI subsidiaries passed on releasing this compilation, having already put out one "Rarities" album in their market. This LP was not even issued in England, although it was eventually released in Australia (Parlophone PCSO 7581) and Japan (Odeon 81325). In December 1980, EMI's mail-order division, World Records, issued an eight-album box set in Australia, Japan and the U.K., titled The Beatles Box. In it, several American Rarities tracks were incorporated, including Love Me Do with Ringo, the slightly longer And I Love Her and the composite versions of Penny Lane and I Am The Walrus.
An interesting bootleg album, identical in concept to Rarities, surfaced on the American collectors market some seven months prior to Capitol's official release. Titled The Beatles Collectors Items, it was remarkably similar in content to Randall Davis's compilation. In fact, the LP even bore a fictitious Capitol Records catalog number (Capitol SPRO 9462) and counterfeit Capitol labels.
This limited edition, sixteen-track record gained quite a reputation among collectors for its surprisingly well-conceived sleeve graphics. The front cover had a beautiful, full-color photo of original Beatles memorabilia including Beatles models, Beatles buttons and Beatles dolls, while the back cover offered concise liner notes on the origin of each track along with black-and-white photos of all the Beatles' previous Capitol albums.
According to the credits, The Beatles Collectors Items was compiled by "Richard Ian and Steve Thomas Yanovski," but since this was an illegal record, the names are assumed to be phony. A curious point to consider in speculating about where this pirated album actually came from is the fact that both The Beatles Collectors Items and Rarities contain footnotes regarding the slightly inferior sound quality of the first track, Love Me Do (Version 1) and both LPs include composite versions of Penny Lane and I Am The Walrus. Since The Beatles Collectors Items was available months before Rarities, it seems fair to assume that the source of this underground album was either someone with access to the project materials or else that Capitol used the bootleg for reference in compiling Rarities.
Below is the complete track listing of The Beatles Collectors Items:
(Side One) Love Me Do (Version I with Ringo / Thank You Girl (mono) / From Me To You (mono / All My Loving (stereo with"hi-hat"intro) / This Boy (true stereo) / Sie Liebt Dich ("reprocessed" stereo) / I Feel Fine (the reissued stereo version with whispering) / She's A Woman (true stereo) / Help (the single version) / I'm Down (true stereo) / (SideTwo) Penny Lane (the composite version) / Baby You're A Rich Man (true stereo) / I Am The Walrus (the composite version) / The Inner Light (single) / Across The Universe (Version I produced by George Martin) / You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)(single).
In September 1979, The Beatles Collectors Items was reissued as a limited edition, box set. The box featured the same graphics as the original album while the record was packed in a paper sleeve with the LP's front cover printed on both sides. Also included was a small, color badge with the front cover on it. Only five copies were made.
In December 1979, a second and easier to locate pressing of The Beatles Collectors Items (Capitol SPRO 9463) came out. For some unknown reason, the manufacturers replaced the true stereo version of I'm Down with a purportedly unissued stereo mix of Paperback Writer. In the introduction of this version, Ringo's drums are echoed using split-second tape delay. After the intro, the track is identical to the common stereo recording. Even though the liner notes claim this to be a "previously unreleased stereo mix," we doubt it. After all, every one of the other tracks on this album has been commercially released before somewhere in the world. This just sounds like an unusual effect the album's compilers "accidentally" created when taping a copy of Paperback Writer with a home cassette deck. In 1982, The Beatles Collectors Items (Capitol SPRO 9463) was reissued in a numbered, limited edition of fifty copies, pressed on blue vinyl. A second bootleg volume of Beatles "rarities" appeared in October 1980, presumably from the same source. Like The Beatles Collectors Items, this illegal album was also made up of takes and mixes of common Beatles songs not otherwise available in the United States.
Titled Casualties, this record was first issued as a picture disc and like its predecessor, also sported a fictitious Capitol Records catalog number (SEAX 11950). The front of the record featured the full, uncropped "Butcher Cover" photo Randall Davis had wanted to use as the Rarities cover. On the back were the track listings with detailed notes about each song, plus rare black-and-white photos of the Beatles, supposedly from Capitol Records' files.
Two of the tracks on this album are "outfakes" - The included "long version" of I'll Cry Instead is a fake. The original mono "long" mix was composed of two different sections. On the Casualties cut, the first verse of the stereo version has just been spliced into the middle to make it appear like the long version. On Her Majesty, apparently the "final chord" was taken from a bootleg recording and added on. Since the final chord does not appear with Her Majesty on the existing master tape, the version on Casualties is definitely bogus. (HM was spliced out of the middle of the Get Back album, where it lost the chord. With a 20 second leader, it was added onto the tail end of Abbey Road.).
Below is the complete track listing of Casualties:
(Side One) Please Please Me (mono ) / I Want To Hold Your Hand (true stereo) / Money (British mono mix) /A Hard Day's Night (true stereo) / I'll Cry Instead (fake long version) / Ticket To Ride (true stereo) / Yes It Is (mono )/ Day Tripper (British stereo version) / I'm Only Sleeping (mono version from a French EP) / (Side Two) Strawberry Fields Forever (true stereo) / I Am The Walrus (basic track before overdubbing) / Only A Northern Song (mono ) / Revolution (single )/ Her Majesty (faked last note) / Let It Be (Japanese "mono" mix - The Japanese single IS in mono, but there is no actual mono MIX. The two channels were combined into one, in Japan, for the purposes of issuing the single (for their singles were still mono then).
Following the LP's initial release as a picture disc, it was reissued in February 1981 as a conventional album (Capitol SPRO 9469), with the graphics from both sides of the record becoming the front and back covers. In 1982, Casualties was again re-released, this time in a numbered, limited edition of fifty copies, pressed on blue vinyl. When the compact disc bootleg market took off in the early 1990s, a Japanese company released both Collectors Items and Casualties on compact disc, complete with miniature sleeves that were identical to the originals.
In early 1982, Randall Davis and Ron Furmanek were involved in putting together a second Beatles compilation for Capitol Records, Reel Music (US: Capitol SV 12199). This selection of movie tunes originally intended to tie-in with the re-release of the motion was picture "A Hard Day's Night" (United Artists, 1964) in Dolby stereo. Although David McMacken's cover received mixed reactions, the enclosed twelve-page "souvenir program," which included reprints of rare Beatles movie posters and lobby cards, was a welcome surprise. But for record collectors, the real bonus was Davis's use of true stereo versions of A Hard Day's Night, I Should Have Known Better, And I Love Her and Can't Buy Me Love. For a nice change Capitol did not use its own Dave Dexter-remixed versions of these songs. There is no echo, reverb or other "reprocessed" stereo effects on these tracks, just rich, clean sound. (In the U.S. and Canada, promotional copies of Reel Music were pressed on gold vinyl.)
© Copyright 1990,1998 Mitch McGeary and William McCoy. Portions of this page are from the book, "Every Little Thing", copyright 1990 by Mitch McGeary and William McCoy. Updated for the web, 1998.
Additional information provided by Frank Daniels
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