13 Replies to “Insane Beatles Vinyl Collection, Part One”

  1. I enforce a strict “No US Releases” policy in the Renfield household. No problem with Sgt. Pepper and after.

    In third grade I had a metal Beatles lunchbox like the one in the video at 00:54.

  2. I think my friend had a Butcher cover, which his mom may or may not have given away. I’ll have to ask him.

    I don’t really have the collector’s gene, but I do enjoy the thrill of the hunt. I could be a seeker, if such an animal exists.

    The soundtrack’s swerve into “standard porn background” at
    about 6:21 in this video was an interesting choice.

  3. I’m a small fry as a collector, really I barely qualify at all. I love the thrill of finding something, but I just buy stuff I want to play. Having something just to have it usually doesn’t do much for me. That’s why I have no interest in the US releases. I’d never play them because the track listings are such a jumble.

    Growing up, we had all the British mono releases through Revolver, then the US stereo releases for the remainder. All the singles as well. By the late 70’s all those records were worn out and barely playable, so I was glad to replace them when they were released (stereo only) on CD in the 80’s. I found the stereo mixes of the first album through Revolver mostly goofy, and they weren’t properly remastered, but I was glad to hear them without endless skips, pops and static. Later I gave those CD’s to my sons after I got the mono CD box when it came out (2009?). In the past several years I’ve bought recent remasters of Let It Be and Abbey Road because they weren’t in the mono set (they were only mixed in stereo), and my sons had also commandeered my 80’s CD’s of those. Many Beatles obsessives hate those recent remasters. They sound fine.

    I did buy the vinyl all-analog remasters of the mono Brit releases when they came out (2014?), because sometimes I’m an idiot. They sound great, but so does the mono CD box that I already had. I thought it would be cool to compare them. What I learned was that although I like the nostalgia of having the lps, they aren’t really any better than the 2009 digital remasters. Or so slightly better to be not worth the extra money. But it was fun.

    To me, the differences between the mono vs. stereo mixes are far more interesting than digital vs. analog remasters. You’ve probably read that far more care was lavished on the mono mixes. That was because car radios were almost exclusively mono back then, and most Beatles fans were young and had small mono record players. Stereo was at first a plaything of the wealthy. Stereo consoles became fairly common by mid-60’s, but those were mostly for the grownups.

    Anyway, the mono mixes on the whole are better than the stereo ones pre-White Album. One exception is the song, “Help.” For some reason the mono mix sounds washed out, but the stereo does not. Maybe master tape deterioration? Usually, the stereo mixes are just weird, with various instruments planted entirely right or left. They didn’t seem to care what they were doing, and I’ve read that they were done as an afterthought. There are occasional, strange differences. In Rubber Soul, the end of the stereo version of “What Goes On” has a cool guitar flourish by George that’s missing in the mono version. But beyond that, the mono version is far better.

    The big revelation for me when I bought the mono CD set was the Sgt. Pepper album. I’d grown up with the stereo, and the mono, played pretty loud, made my jaw drop. It has a power and concentration that doesn’t come through in the stereo mix. It sounds like psychedelic rock, whereas the stereo sounds like psychedelic pop.

    The White Album was the last to be mixed in both mono and stereo. I’d never be able to choose between them. Some songs sound better in mono, others in stereo (and I can’t remember which). For some reason the mono mix of “Helter Skelter” is missing Ringo’s “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” Who can live without that?

  4. Now I’m going to have to find mono Sgt Pepper.

    Also feel like I should be paying a subscription to Renfield’s Recollections.
    Do you have a Venmo or Patreon?

    1. The mono hits harder for sure. I did a little sleuthing. Currently the mono only seems to be available in an overpriced “deluxe edition” along with a stereo mix and outtakes in a 2017 remastering that I haven’t heard yet. From what I gather online, the 2017 has a bit of bottom and top end extension, whereas the 2009 is more midrangey and in your face. I love the 2009, but I’m sure the 2017 is just fine. The frequency extentions of the 2017 occurred at the expense of some dynamic range, causing some online whining. Whatever. Checking Amazon, The 2009 mono CD’s and 2014 analog lp’s, which almost everyone likes (including me), seem to be unavailable. I don’t know what they go for used, you might check Discogs or eBay. Or you can listen to the 2017 version here. I see a few songs from the 2009 remastering posted on YouTube, but not the whole album. Gotta keep it scarce, I guess. Someone posted a copy of the 2014 analog remastering under “The Beatles Sgt Pepper MONO 2014 Vinyl Edition.” YouTube deleted it, but a dummy video is there with a link to the audio in the comments section. I prefer not to share anything with links, but it’s there if you’re interested. If you need a physical version and can’t find one, get my contact from Makerbot for another option.

      1. Oh, and the 2009 mono CD set is still available for $280 on Amazon. That’s all the albums though the White album, and some have stereo mixes on the same CD. Steep, but I’d buy it if I didn’t already have it. It’s that good. I paid $230 when it came out. Like I said, sometimes I’m an idiot.

  5. I have a mono copy of Sgt. Pepper’s that has to be one of the first couple pressings. My Aunt’s name is written in marker just above Dylan’s head. I also have a numbered White Album (stereo) that’s in pretty rough shape and doesn’t have the photo inserts.

    I too appreciate Renfield’s excellent rambles.

  6. Update: my friend did indeed have a Butcher cover, which he gave to another friend. He’s going to try to figure out if it was first, second, or third state.

    The Monkeystador household’s Yesterday and Today belonged to my mother-in-law. I got excited because I saw that the cover was obviously pasted on (see below). But I couldn’t find Ringo’s shirt, and it turns out that all the normal “Trunk” covers were pasted on. So I don’t think it’s a butcher.

    Also please note that my MIL’s teen self wrote down the singers for each song.

  7. I never knew anyone with a butcher cover, and I don’t remember hearing about it until the 70’s. We moved to the US a few months after it was released, so I missed the hubbub. I do rememeber a good deal of Beatles backlash in the US around the time we moved back. It was over John’s “bigger than Jesus” comment, although the butcher cover must have fed into that as well.

    Only one I’ve ever seen was on display (behind glass) in a used record store, I think in the 80’s.

    Didn’t Capitol destroy a pretty large number of those?

  8. They yanked a bunch back and pasted the friendlier sleeve cover over them, hence all the peeling. I think a bunch of the records were resleeved and the originals dumped. They should re-release it with the original cover.

    I went to a record fair this weekend. Prices were ridiculous.

  9. Fat Elvis is correct. The reocrd stations and record stores received pre-release Butcher covers, complained, and were ordered to send everything back. The production plant in Jacksonville, IL destroyed the original covers and repackaged. The production facilities in Los Angeles and Scranton pasted the trunk covers over the Butcher covers.

    It’s estimated that about half of the albums released nationwide were Butcher second states (pasted over). The rest were normal trunk covers, like my mother-in-law’s above. Some of the second states were peeled – professionally or amateurly – resulting in third state covers of varyting quality.

    The number of first state Butcher covers (original, not supposed to be released to the public) may number in the hundreds. Worth quite a bit if in good shape, and gazillions if shrink wrapped.

    Everything you wanted to know here.

    1. And the weirdest part of the trunk cover is that the image is flipped horizontally, making them all look a little odd. (Lennon parted his hair on the left during this period.)

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