Sometime ago, our illustrious host here at Music By Day once said that The Beatles were relatively late to the box set game, however I would like to point out that The Beatles were in fact the first to the Box Set game. 12 years in fact before the 1990 Led Zeppelin box set that started off the modern day trend of boxed collections.
There was a stereo box, a mono box, an E.P. Box, a singles box and a 8 LP (equivalent to 4 CDs) career overview. These sets are of course LONG LONG LONG out of print but if you have kids and a house you can mortgage, you can sometimes pick up these desirable collections on ebay and such places.
So, since The Beatles seem to be staggeringly popular around this manor Squire, here’s a brief bed time story for all you kiddies in Beatle-land:
THE STEREO BOX (1978)
This collection was issued in 1978. Included were all the original U.K. albums plus the American Magical Mystery Tour LP and an album called “Rairities” which was essentially a few difficult to find B-sides and a few mixes that were different from around the world.ie. an extra measure left in here, a bar edited there, a longer count in etc…
The interesting thing about this set is that this is the first time most Americans would have encountered the albums in their original U.K. form. And also, “Past Masters” didn’t exist yet so lots of singles tracks were not included.
For me, having been used to Beatles ’65, it was a bit weird listening to Beatles For Sale for the first time.
THE MONO BOX (1982)
This included 10 mono albums up to and including Yellow Submarine. Now, that album wasn’t released in mono but evidently was mixed for mono for a proposed Yellow Submarine EP that was never released. This does explain, at least to me why the four Yellow Submarine tracks are included in the new mono box set on the Past Masters.
Again, lots of singles missing from this collection. Now the Biggie:
FROM LIVERPOOL: THE BEATLES BOX (1980)
The last Beatles item to be released in John Lennon’s life time, this was a chronological overview of their career over 8 LPs in nice new sleeves. This was only available by mail order from the T.V. though it was produced by EMI. It was a nice looking set with lots of detailed liner notes on the back of each sleeve, and the strange thing is that a few different mixes of certain songs appeared on here that weren’t available anywhere else in the world which made this collection essential!
I thought I’d do a public service for you and enable you to “own” this 1980 box set by giving you the track listings and through the wonder of digital music storage, you can, with a few clicks of the mouse, create your own play list to match the box set. When your friends ask you why the Beatles songs are being played in that order, you can nonchalantly mention, “oh, it’s the 1980 box set don’t you know”. Amaze your friends. Be the zaniest kid on the block. Here goes: Continue reading “The ORIGINAL Beatles Box Sets!” »