Venezuela Sky (Orquesta En Fuga) – Christmas week Solo Beatles Vinyl Finds

Well here we are, it’s Christmas week already! I haven’t been to these parts of the Internet for a few weeks so I thought it was high time for another post. 

Unfortunately since my last trip here the world has taken an aggressive turn back into Covid land so hopefully anyone who happens to be reading this finds themselves safe and healthy.

So as a fun sideline right before Christmas I thought I’d share a few solo Beatles vinyl gems that I’ve just recently added to my collection. I don’t know what it is but locally I’ve been finding some really nice Beatles and solo Beatles vinyl. I hope it keeps up but as is life it will probably dry up soon but until then I’m a happy camper.

As luck would have it I found four really superb pressings of solo Beatles albums recently: 

  • An Apple first pressing of “Band on the Run” from Venezuela
  • A UK first pressing of “Ram”
  • An Italian first pressing of “Red Rose Speedway”
  • A later green label single cover of the “Ringo” album

I have to say that each of the four pressings not only look great (the vinyl at least, some of the covers are a little rough) but each of the four sound great. All four are nice and quiet and sound very dynamic.

I was especially surprised by the Venezuela pressing of “Band on the Run”. I don’t have a first UK pressing of this album but I can’t imagine it sounds any better than this pressing. The vinyl is surprisingly quiet with nice rich bass, a lovely clarity to the vocals and the guitars on “Let Me Roll It” just crackle out of the speakers with vibrancy.

Maybe it was the rough state of the cover and its almost xeroxed looking photo quality but I was not expecting this copy of “Band on the Run” to sound as good as it does. I don’t have any other pressings of solo Beatles albums from Venezuela to compare it to but I’m very impressed with the sound of this copy. 

The coolest thing about this copy of “Band on the Run” is that its on a Apple label instead of the specially designed label that accompanied the UK and US pressings. The weird thing is that the full Apple is on the Side 2 songs while Side 1 has the sliced Apple (see photos) which is the reverse of most UK and US pressings. Odd but endearing and the reason it’s so fun to track down obscure foreign pressings of Beatles or solo Beatles records.

The sound of the UK “Ram” and the Italian copy of “Red Rose Speedway” matched my experience with “Band on the Run”. I was actually expecting both of them to sound good and wasn’t let down in the least. Truly I think most UK first pressings of Paul McCartney albums win sound wise hands down and I’m not sure that any other pressing of “Ram” has the depth and warmth that this pressing has in spades.

I have a later UK pressing of “Ram” but this first pressing hands down is the best sounding vinyl version of the album I’ve ever heard.

As for “Red Rose Speedway” it too sounded great but I would say that of the three McCartney pressings this Italian copy didn’t quite have the same dynamic bass as the other two albums. Maybe it’s the way the recording is but whatever the case it still sounded quite good and much better than my first pressing US copy on Apple.

I was surprised to find a UK first pressing of “Ram” locally in such good shape and cheap! In fact all four pressing were under $10 which was another surprising yet happy surprise. It was also weird to find the Venezuela copy of “Band on the Run” but you never know what you’ll stumble on these days.

The last album find was the later budget label copy of Ringo Starr’s best solo album “Ringo”. I have a few of these green label pressings and each of them that I own sound truly wonderful. This copy of “Ringo” looks and sounds unplayed and was just so damn exciting to listen to –  great bass, nice presence and a lovely sound stage.

Of course the original gatefold cover and booklet are missed but as far as sound goes you need look no further than this budget pressing. It actually looks like the original matrix was crossed out in the inner groove of the record so I’m sure this stacks up well to first pressing issues.

I own an original first pressing but it’s not nearly as clean and quiet as this reissue so I prefer the sound of this budge copy for sure.

Well that’s it for now. Just a quick vinyl pick-me-up before Christmas and a nice diversion for the week of glum Covid news.

As usual take a look at some photos of these vinyl gems above and below.

Until next time be well and Merry Christmas!!!

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