In december 1978 EMI gathered together the 12 first Beatles-LP's (from Please
Please Me to Let It Be,minus "A Collection Of Beatles Oldies"), put them in a
box (blue cardboard box with golden lettering, EMI BC-13), added a poster and
the extra LP "Rarities" and named the result The Beatles Collection.
"The blue box" surrounded by "norwegian wood"
The Fans found that they had to invest in this box, even if they had those 12 records, since "Rarities" wasn't for sale individually. "Rarities" was a strange compilation of songs, containing tracks from the "Long Tall Sally"-EP, some single B-sides, a version of "Across The Universe" which had been temporarily available on a 1969 charity-LP, "Bad Boy" previously only available on "A Collection Of Beatles Oldies" and two songs the Beatles had recorded in german, "Sie Liebt Dich" (She Loves You) and "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" (I Want To Hold Your Hand), which hadn't been released in the UK before.
This box was in no way complete if you wanted to get all the songs that the Beatles had released on EMI. New fans who thought they had found a way to get a complete Beatles collection soon found themselves buying "A Collection Of Beatles Oldies", "Magical Mystery Tour", "Hey Jude" and the "Hollywood Bowl"-LP. Old fans who had invested in the box in order to get the "Rarities"-LP were thoroughly annoyed when EMI released this LP on it's own the following year.
Of course, it was the stereo-editions of the Beatles-LP's that were released in the blue box. The mono-editions of the Beatles-LP's had in fact been readily available throughout most of the 70's, but at last EMI ran out of them, and decided to re-press all the Beatles mono-LP's. Only the first 11 Beatles LP's had been released in mono originally, but when EMI pressed the new editions in the early 80's, they didn't bother with "A Collection Of Beatles Oldies".
The 10 remaining ones (from "Please Please Me" up to and including "Yellow Submarine") were sold separately, but were also available as a boxed set in the same fashion as the blue stereo box. The mono-box was available in red or black. The black one had a small round blue numbered label on the back of the box. These were available around 1981.
"The red and black mono boxes"
In 1981, EMI's company World Records,
released as mail order only, the following Box containing 8 LP's:
This was a "digested" edition of the Beatles LP's. Some missing songs, some single mixes and other variations.
Love Me Do; Roll Over Beethoven; I Saw Her Standing There; Please Please Me; Misery; Do You Want To Know A Secret; A Taste Of Honey; Twist And Shout; From Me To You; Thank You Girl; She Loves You; It Won't Be Long; Please Mr. Postman; All My Loving; Money (That's What I Want).
I Want To Hold Your Hand; This Boy; Can't Buy Me Love; You Can't Do That; A Hard Day's Night; I Should Have Known Better; If I Fell; And I Love Her; Things We Said Today; I'll Be Back; Long, Tall Sally; I Call Your Name; Matchbox; Slow Down; She's A Woman; I Feel Fine.
Eight Days A Week; No Reply; I'm A Loser; I'll Follow The Sun; Mr. Moonlight; Every Little Thing; I Don't Want To Spoil The Party; Kansas City - Hey, Hey, Hey; Ticket To Ride; I'm Down; Help!; The Night Before; You've Got To Hide Your Love Away; I Need You; Another Girl; You're Gonna Lose That Girl.
Yesterday; Act Naturally; Tell Me What You See; Nowhere Man; You Like Me Too Much; I've Just Seen A Face; Day Tripper; We Can Work It Out; Michelle; Drive My Car; Norwegian Wood; It's Only Love; Girl;I I'm Looking Through You; In My Life.
Paperback Writer; Rain; Here, There And Everywhere; Taxman; I'm Only Sleeping; Good Day Sunshine; Yellow Submarine; Eleanor Rigby; And Your Bird Can Sing; For No One; Doctor Robert; Got To Get You Into My Life; Penny Lane; Strawberry Fields Forever.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; With A Little Help From My Friends; I Am The Walrus; Fixing A Hole; She's Leaving Home; Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite; A Day In The Life; When I'm Sixty-Four; Lovely Rita; All You Need Is Love; Baby You're A Rich Man; Magical Mystery Tour; Your Mother Should Know; The Fool On The Hill; Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Hello Goodbye; Lady Madonna; Hey Jude; Revolution; Back In The USSR; Ob La Di, Ob La Da; Piggies; The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill; Hapiness Is A Warm Gun; Martha My Dear; I'm So Tired; While My Guitar Gently Weeps; Don't Pass Me By; Julia; All Together Now.
Get Back; Don't Let Me Down; The Ballad Of John And Yoko; Across The Universe; For You Blue; Two Of Us; The Long And Winding Road; Because; Come Together; Something; Maxwell's Silver Hammer; Octopus's Garden; Here Comes The Sun; Let It Be; Golden Slumbers; Carry That Weight; The End; Her Majesty.
Quite a few years after the breakthrough of CD's, EMI began releasing the Beatles-LP's in this new format. The first four (Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night and Beatles For Sale) were released on the 26. of February 1987. Annoyingly for the fans, these were in mono, and not in stereo. EMI said that they had been re-evaluating the Beatles-catalog, and decided that the earliest stereo-mixes weren't good enough, and made the decision that from now on, the standard format for these LP's should be mono. In addition, they decided that the various local variations of Beatles LP's around the world (including USA) should no longer be re-pressed, from now on the british Beatles catalog should be the world standard. The result was that the americans had to stop re-pressing their original-LP's and the british series is now the standard in the USA as well. And the first four LP's are now only available in mono on new
In March 1988 the two CD's "Past Masters" vols. 1 and 2 completed the issuing of Beatles LP's on CD. This was celebrated by the record chain HMV wo made a special box which gathered together all the Beatles CD's. On the lid of this box was a hologram depicting the Beatles drums.
"The HMV Box"
EMI found this a clever idea and made a box of their own, a black wooden box with a small book written by Mark Lewisohn. In the UK, fans could decide whether to buy the box and book with or without the CD's! Elsewhere in the world however, one had to buy the box with it's full content, even if one had been eagerly buying the individual CD's. The wooden box was made in three formats, as you could choose between cassettes, CD's or vinyl LP's. The wooden box contained these LP's: Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, Beatles For Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (double white album), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, Let It Be and the double Past masters. The first four were in mono, as their CD counterparts, and the Rubber Soul and Help! LP's also contained the CD-mixes.
The wooden box on hard "norwegian wood".
A COMPLETE COLLECTION:
As Beatlesfans and -collectors we are often being asked if we have got all the Beatles records. This is a question which everybody can safely answer with a "no", even if you have all the records mentioned on this website. If you have got these records, you will have almost every variation of every Beatles song which has been officially released by The Beatles as a band, but if you want all the Beatles records released, you must have more than one lifetime in order to collect everything. You'll have to travel to every country from Argentina to Zimbabwe and buy all the Beatles records released there. And make sure you get different editions of the same record, stereo and mono editions, covers or labels with misprints or mispressings, records with slight variations on the cover or label or matrix number etc.
So, you realize that there is no one person who can possible live long enough to gather together all these records, which means that no one has got a complete Beatles collection. But, if you're only interested in the music, and don't collect different covers etc, you just want all the songs that the Beatles have released, the following records should suffice:
CD Albums: PLEASE PLEASE ME, WITH THE BEATLES, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, BEATLES FOR SALE, HELP !, RUBBER SOUL, REVOLVER, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, THE BEATLES (White Album); YELLOW SUBMARINE, ABBEY ROAD, LET IT BE, PAST MASTERS Vol 1 and Vol 2, THE BEATLES LIVE AT THE BBC, ANTHOLOGY 1, 2 and 3, YELLOW SUBMARINE SONGTRACK, LOVE, THE BEATLES FIRST (featuring Tony Sheridan), THE COMPLETE SILVER BEATLES and LIVE AT STAR CLUB 1962
Vinyl LP's: FROM THEN TO YOU (or THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM) and THE BEATLES AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
You also need these three maxi cd-singles: BABY IT'S YOU, FREE AS A BIRD and REAL LOVE. They all have bonus tracks not available anywhere else.
Info on collecting bootlegs can be found here: http://www.recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/faqs/rare.html and discographies of bootlegs can be accessed here: http://www.bootlegzone.com