***Beatles Albums from the Philippines, Spain and the UK***
Maybe I’m amazed at the vinyl you can find in the Midwest … sorry couldn’t resist!
This past weekend I happened upon a dealer in an antique mall and a record store that had some pretty nice and fairly rare Beatles vinyl at reasonable prices. That last statement is uncommon these days as most booths in antique malls see the name Beatles and charge you $50 and up for a totally beat up copy of … fill in the blank.
Luck with good vinyl buys goes in spurts but today I’m pleased to say that my Beatles luck has been in “Top Gear” recently (sorry again, really this is the last time). I’ve managed to find one really lovely UK black and yellow pressing from the late 1960s (A stereo “Beatles for Sale”) and two great compilation albums from the 1970s – one from the Philippines (the 1976 “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music” 2 LP set) of all places and one from Spain (“The Beatles 1967-1970” 2 LP set).
Not only where each of these albums bought for a decent price they are all three in really good shape for the most part and play excellently!
Let’s take a look at each album:
“Beatles for Sale”
This is a really nice one. I found this lovely pressing in a small record store that had most of their vinyl at very reasonable prices. This particular copy of “Beatles for Sale” was pressed in 1968, I believe, as it has a strange crossed out and corrected 2 in the matrix of Side 1 – YEX 142-1. The original apparently did not have this correction.
I have an early ’70s copy of this album with the “-1” stampers on the silver and black Parlophone label but have not had a black and yellow stereo pressing until now. I must say the “-1” pressings of this album are superb sounding! There is a magic in the mid-range in this pressing and it’s my favorite stereo pressing of this album by far. I love the thick yet punchy sound from the tube equipment it was originally mastered with – easily my favorite ’60s Beatles stereo mix.
Both the cover and the record are in really nice shape and I was surprised to find a black and yellow Parlophone pressing in a record store in the Midwest – a real rarity for me.
I have to say that the original black and yellow Parlophone Beatles albums in good shape are the best way to hear these albums. Even though I love the CD versions of Beatles albums there’s just a magic to the sound of these original pressings that can’t be replicated with the mastering on modern equipment.
“Rock ‘N’ Roll Music”
Now this record I was truly surprised to see sitting in front of me. I had gone through a large stack of average looking Beatles records at an antique mall when this beauty popped up. I had to check it a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.
I have never seen a copy of any Beatles record made in the Philippines so even though the cover wasn’t in the best condition I was thrilled to discover it. At least the vinyl was in near excellent condition and looks largely unplayed. So of course it was a no-brainer for me to snatch this puppy up and add it to my collection.
It appears that this pressing was made from British parts as the sound matches the regular mixes found on the UK copies of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music” and not the George Martin equalized versions that were found on US copies.
A rare find for me and one of my favorite discoveries this year so far.
“The Beatles 1967-1970”
Shortly after finding the Philippines copy of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music” I happened upon another small antique mall (I went to a small town that had several unique malls within a five mile radius) and was shocked to find a beautiful copy of the 1973 double album “The Beatles 1967-1970” pressed in Spain.
Because the album was in such good shape I snapped it up before closely looking at it. After I got home I was pleasantly surprised to find that this particular pressing had an alternate track list from the rest of the world. There on Side Three, as I was cleaning the vinyl, the song title “One After 909” jumped out at me and I was flabbergasted – in a good way of course.
I know next to nothing about Beatles records pressed in Spain but apparently the song “The Ballad of John & Yoko” was dropped from this album because of the lyrics “you can get married in Gibraltar near Spain” as there was a diplomatic conflict between the UK and Spain about Gibraltar. I had no idea. I was so happy to see that they substituted the song “One After 909” as it’s one of my favorite songs from the “Let it Be” album and it works really well on this collection.
Had I known that this was the case I would have for sure scooped this pressing up quicker but as it is I’m just happy to have it and it sounds great and is a really fun listen. It’s very close to sound of the original UK copy. I’m not sure if it’s a first pressing or not but I don’t care as I love foreign pressings like this that differ from the norm.
Anyway, that’s my latest update. Feast your eyes, above and below, on my three recent foreign acquisitions.
That’s all for now.
See you soon and I hope you are well and healthy.