StarrShine – RSD Ringo “Old Wave” CD and New CD/Blu-Ray Ringo And His All-Starr Band Live at the Greek Theater 2019 Set

Well happy day after turkey day, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, for all those reading this in North America!

As it happens this fine sunny Friday is also the infamous Black Friday, the start of the Christmas season sales madness, but it also  happens that it’s another Record Store Day around the world as well.

And as you know if you’ve read this blog that Record Store Day is much more fun for me then attempting to fight the crowds at all the Black Friday retail sales so as per usual I managed to slide into one of my local record stores and happened upon some fine Beatles-related booty.

This Record Store Day had one particular CD I was looking for and manged to find – a very limited reissue (500 copies) of Ringo Starr’s 1983 album called “Old Wave” that’s being released exclusively to indie record stores.

(Note: The “Old Wave” album is also being released as an exclusive RSD vinyl LP as well. I happened to avoid the crowds at my record store by going a couple hours after they opened and they luckily had one copy left of “Old Wave” on both vinyl and CD)

As any Beatles fan knows the original release of Starr’s “Old Wave” album was itself very limited as the album didn’t even get a U.S. release at the time. Ringo was at the lowest point sales wise in his solo career in the early 1980s and while the album wasn’t very easy to find I did manage to get obtain a vinyl pressing from Germany on the Boardwalk label.

I’ve always enjoyed the “Old Wave” album and thought it was unjustly overlooked. Sure it’s not on the same quality level as Starr’s wonderful “Ringo” and “Goodnight Vienna” albums but for me it’s a much better record than his other late ’70s albums and the addition of Joe Walsh’s distinctive guitar throughout really makes this album a fun listen.

I’ve always been particularly fond of the single from the album “In My Car”. I’m not sure why it wasn’t released in the U.S. as it had potential to be a Top Fifty hit if given the chance at radio. I find it very catchy and though it’s not quite as catchy as Ringo’s 1981 single and last Top Forty hit  “Wrack My Brain” it’s nonetheless a fine single.

Other songs on the album that I love include “Be My Baby” (which features some lovely guitar work from Walsh), “She’s About a Mover”, “I Keep Forgettin'” (a good song choice for Ringo as it fits his style very well) and “Picture Show Life” which I think would have been a good single if in fact Starr could have gotten any airplay at the time.

I think this new CD reissue by Culture Factory sounds really good and probably on par with the Right Stuff reissue from 1994 (it also has the same bonus track as the Right Stuff CD). I haven’t compared them side by side yet but the sound of this reissue isn’t compressed or shrill and revisiting this CD again today reinforces to me that it’s a very solid Ringo offering and well worth seeking out.

The Mini-Lp cardboard sleeve and vinyl looking black disc (see photos above) are nice touches and any collector out there who doesn’t own this album would be happy with this reissue, I know I am. The one thing I thought was amusing was that on the OBI type sleeve it says this album was originally issued in 1971 – oops – but otherwise this is a lovely reissue.

The other thing new I got today is a nifty 2 CD/Blu-Ray set of “Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band Live at the Greek Theater 2019”. This particular show is being released today on an exclusive RSD 2 LP yellow vinyl set (nice looking but I passed on it) as well as a non-exclusive 2 CD set, a single DVD or single Blu-ray or what’s in my opinion the best deal out there this 2 CD/Blu-ray combo set.

Yes, I know that there are a million Ringo and His All-Starr Band shows out there but after having just watched the Blu-ray this is one of the better All-Starr shows available and the Blu-ray is one of the better looking and sounding Ringo live collections and a joy to watch.

I’ll probably watch the Blu-ray more than listen to the CDs so that’s why I passed on the groovy 2 LP yellow vinyl set though I’m sure it’s a great set to own.

For me the 2 CD/Blu-Ray combo the best of both worlds and now that I’ve watched it I think it will definitely be something I pull out form time to time as it’s a very entertaining show and with Ringo having to cancel his current 2022 tour due to Covid issues it’s a great reminder of how entertaining this show is and a wonderful way to see his current show if you missed one of the cancelled performances.

Well that’s all for now. Just a brief RSD Beatles-related update. As usual check out photos of these two new releases above and until next time be healthy and well and have a great holiday season!

Be back with more posts soon so until then see you soon.









“The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” (Mono) on Installment Plan – The Mono Mexican EPs

Sometimes it’s the elusive search that, while frustrating, is actually the most fun.

Case in point, for years and years I’ve been searching for a mono copy of The Monkees fifth album “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” but to no avail. The LP was released in April of 1968 and by that time the mono format was on its last legs.

You see by the beginning of 1968 most U.S. record companies had begun to press very few, if any at all, mono records as stereo had become the main way people wanted to hear their music.

Up until that time pop music especially was pretty much a mono format. Radio up until 1967 was still dominated by mono 45s which became hit singles. Pop/rock recording acts of the late ’50s and early ’60s relied on the hit pop single to make their careers and hopefully have those hits turn their album sales into gold.

It wasn’t really until the advent of The Beatles in 1964 that pop/rock albums sold in huge numbers so by 1967 album sales had become vital as they sold in large enough numbers that they were a very profitable thing for pop/rock groups.

Plus by 1967 the dawn of FM radio helped push the stereo format as many album cuts were broadcast in stereo and young listeners began to search out the stereo versions of their favorite pop/rock albums even though they were a dollar more than the mono versions of the same album.

Long story short, “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” album reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 200 charts and sold around 500,000 copies in 1968. While not nearly as big a seller as the four previous Monkees albums it landed the group their fifth gold album and contained two Top Ten hits singles – “Daydream Believer” and “Valleri”.

It’s not known exactly how many mono copies of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” were pressed but I’ve read that a likely figure would be around ten percent of the stereo version which would make the mono pressing fairly rare with around 50,000 copies out in the wild.

And as the tides of time have flowed on how many of those say 50,000 copies of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” remain out there to find? I’d have to say not many as I’ve never seen a mono copy in person for sale and believe me I’ve looked.

I keep reading stories of people finding them in a yard sale or record store but as of today I’ve never managed to come across one for sale. There are foreign copies of this elusive mono mix as well but they are pretty expensive and really not that easy to locate much like the U.S. Colgems pressing.

So what options do Monkees fans have to get this groovy mono mix if you don’t want to spend an arm and leg tracking down a U.S. or Mexican, Australian or Puerto Rican mono copy? Well, one solution is to track the mono mixes down piece meal on foreign EPs or 45s.

This leads me to today’s post – two Mexican mono 45 EPs – MKE 1033 and MKE 1034.

You see Mexico is one of the countries that released a true mono mix of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” album (many countries released mono copies of the album but most of those were not dedicated mono mixes but stereo fold-downs).

Mexico also managed to release ten of the twelve tracks from the album in the EP format. All the tracks on these Mexican  EPs contain the true dedicated mono mixes of the songs just like the Mexican mono pressing of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees”.

A couple of years ago I tracked down the first “Birds and Bees” Mexican mono EP, MKE 1033, but just this week I received the second “Birds and Bees” Mexican mono EP, MKE 1034, in the mail. Between these two EPs I now own superb sounding true mono mixes of eight of the tracks from “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” album. I threw in the 45 mono mix of the Colgems single “Daydream Believer” and now have nine of the twelve tracks from the mono album on vinyl.

Now of course Monkees fans know the true mono mix was included on the Rhino Deluxe CD version of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” from 2010 but that itself was mastered mostly from a vinyl source and while decent doesn’t sound nearly as vibrant and alive as the songs on these two Mexican mono EPs.

Unfortunately the original Colgems master tape of the true mono mix of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” is missing thus the extreme prices for vinyl copies as that’s as close as you can get to having the album from the master tape.

Anyway, I thought I’d post some photos of these two Mexican EPs, above and below, and there’s also a list of the tracks they contain below:

MKE 1033

  1. Valleri
  2. Auntie’s Municipal Court
  3. Tapioca Tundra
  4. P.O. Box 9847

MKE 1034

  1. I’ll Be Back Up On My Feet
  2. We Were Made For Each Other
  3. Dream World
  4. The Poster

Again, throw in the “Daydream Believer” 45 mix from a Colgems single and you have pretty much the entire “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” album minus the songs “Writing Wrongs”, “Magnolia Simms” and “Zor and Zam”. And actually the song “Zor and Zam” is available on another Mexican mono EP, MKE 1060, which also includes the repeat of “Dream World” from the MKE 1034 EP.

I haven’t tracked the MKE 1060 EP down but if I do then I’d only be missing two mono tracks to make a complete “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” mono album.

Luckily I found both of these Mexican EPs pretty cheaply, much cheaper than an original Colgems mono album. In fact I bought the  MKE 1034 from a seller online who said the EP was just VG with lots of crackles but no skips. After a good cleaning to remove the dirt the EP played a solid VG+ and all four songs sounded really great.

The three tracks that really sound quite different in their mono form are “Auntie’s Municipal Court”, “Tapioca Tundra” and Dream World” all of which are found on these two Mexican EPs.

In fact I’d say that all the really different sounding mono mixes are on these EPs plus these eight songs are my eight favorite songs on the album plus the “Daydream Believer” single mix as well.

Any Monkees fans out there looking for a mono copy of “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” should also keep an eye out for these two Mexican EPs. I bet you can actually track them down online for a fraction of the cost of the mono album and have most of the album in great fidelity without spending a fortune.

(Note: As of this post both EPs are for sale on Discogs)

You’ll probably have to do some searching but I’ve found that these are not only more affordable but can be tracked down without too much hassle – if you’re patient enough.

So the search continues for a Colgems mono “The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees” or one of its foreign cousins but only if it’s reasonably priced. I have most of the mixes now but the fun of the search keeps me going to record and antique stores just in case I happen to find one.

Well, that’s all for now.

Until next time be well. They’ll be more posts coming soon!

More Beatles – “Revolver” (2 CD Deluxe Edition) – Happy “Revolver” Day!

Welcome to the official release day of the brand new remix of The Beatles classic 1966 album “Revolver”.

A couple of days ago I posted a first look at the 5 CD Super Deluxe set of “Revolver” that I got early but today I wanted to share some photos of the Deluxe 2 CD version as well.

This new 2 CD Deluxe version may be a better way to experience this new version of “Revolver” for most fans as not only does it include the new remix on the first CD but the second CD is a terrific alternate version of the album filled with highlights from the two sessions discs from the bigger Super Deluxe box set.

The track listing for the 2 CD set – from

CD 1: REVOLVER 2022 Stereo mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell
1. Taxman
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. I’m Only Sleeping
4. Love You To
5. Here, There and Everywhere
6. Yellow Submarine
7. She Said She Said
8. Good Day Sunshine
9. And Your Bird Can Sing
10. For No One
11. Doctor Robert
12. I Want To Tell You
13. Got To Get You Into My Life
14. Tomorrow Never Knows

CD 2: REVOLVER Sessions Highlights
1. Paperback Writer (2022 Stereo)
2. Rain (2022 Stereo)
3. Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1)
4. Got To Get You Into My Life (Second Version / Unnumbered Mix)
5. Love You To (Take 7)
6. Doctor Robert (Take 7)
7. And Your Bird Can Sing (First version / Take 2)
8. Taxman (Take 11)
9. I’m Only Sleeping (Take 2)
10. Eleanor Rigby (Take 2)
11. For No One (Take 10 / Backing Track)
12. Yellow Submarine (Take 4 Before Sound Effects)
13. I Want To Tell You (Speech & Take 4)
14. Here, There And Everywhere (Take 6)
15. She Said She Said (Take 15 / Backing Track Rehearsal)

As you can see from the track list and the photos above if you’re not a Beatles nut and don’t want to wade through all the outtakes in the bigger box this set really comes through with all the true highlights from the sessions discs plus a superb scaled down version of the book from the Super Deluxe set.

Since “Revolver” is my favorite Beatles album I thought I’d get both sets and share them here (not that I wouldn’t have been tempted even if it wasn’t my favorite lol).

As usual the photos above show you what you can look forward to if you decide to go the physical route with the 2022 “Revolver” album.

Just a quick postscript to my earlier post.

Take care and be well and see you soon!


FIRST LOOK! – The Beatles Special Edition Super Deluxe “Revolver” 5 CD Set

What have we here – a new Super Deluxe Edition CD box set? A 5 CD box set possibly? A new BEATLES Super Deluxe Edition 5 CD box set perhaps? In a word … yes.

You see this upcoming Friday a groovy new box set of The Beatles 1966 masterpiece “Revolver” is due to hit store shelves along with a variety of different formats for fans of every budget.

As with all the recent Deluxe Beatles sets that been issued in the past few years this new set is highlighted by a new 2022 stereo remix of the “Revolver” album (on CD one) along with session highlights/studio chatter and demos (on CDs two and three), a new transfer of the 1966 mono mix of  the“Revolver” album (on CD four), a CD single featuring new stereo remixes and mono mixes of the 1966 single “Paperback Writer”/”Rain” (on CD five) as well as a lovely hardback book with text and photos that detail the albums history.

Along with this CD box there’s also an LP version of the box set (featuring 4 LPs, the bonus single and the same hardback book as the CD set) available to purchase as well as a 2 CD version (the remix on one CD plus a CD of session highlights), a single CD version featuring just the new 2022 Giles Martin remix of the album plus a single disc vinyl version of the 2022 remix and to top it off  a picture disc vinyl version containing the new 2022 remix!

Whew – at least Beatles fans have a choice in how much more of the “Revolver”album they want to add to their collections if they chose to add anything at all.

As luck would have it I managed to get a copy of this 5 CD box set a bit early and boy I have to say the wait was certainly worth it. Not only is this box set a thing of beauty but it’s packed full of what I consider to be The Beatles at their absolute peak as writers and performers on a magnificent collection featuring some of their best songs.

So after a spending some time wading through this fine new collection here are some of my first impressions:


As with the last Beatles Deluxe box set that Giles Martin compiled, 2021’s “Let it Be”, this new 2022 remix is one of the better remixes I’ve heard from Mr. Martin.

Like “Let it Be” this new remix enhances the sound of the album without making it sound like Martin transformed the sound into something too modern or overly compressed.

Yes the mixes are a bit louder than the original 1966 mix (I about jumped out of my skin with the bass at the beginning of “Taxman” until I turned the sound down a bit) but not so much that it’s distracting or annoying.

It sounds like the “Revolver” album we all know and love albeit with instruments much more clearly exposed and an overall clarity that lifts some of the murkiness of the original mix.

Most of that clarity and punch is due to a new technique that came from Peter Jackson’s work on the recent “Get Back” documentary that allows computer technology to separate or sounds that were once mixed together and cleanly place them separately in the mix without making them sound artificial or fake.

Highlights of the new remix for me are “I’m Only Sleeping”, “Here, There and Everywhere” (what a beauty and the voices just sound so good on this mix), “She Said She Said” (I’ve read other people dislike this mix but to me this is a fantastic new version that really highlights Ringo’s drumming), “For No One” (another one with stunning clarity – another beauty), “I Want to Tell You” and the stunning “Tomorrow Never Knows”.

I’ll also throw in the remixes of “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” from the bonus CD single as well. It’s clear in comparing them to the original mono mixes of these songs how much more clarity and punch Martin draws out of these songs.

While I still love the original 1966 mono mixes of these songs they do sound a bit claustrophobic in comparison to their 2022 stereo cousins.

The Outtakes:

Wow, I have to say that the outtakes featured in this new set may turn out to be some of my favorite Beatles alternates of all-time.

From better sounding versions of well-known early takes from the Anthology project (“Got to Get You Into My Life” First Version – Take 5 and “Tomorrow Never Knows” – Take 1) to stunning new early takes (a fuzz filled “Got to Get You Into My Life” – Second Version Unnumbered Take that’s just magnificent, the superb stripped down Take 1 of “Love You To” featuring Paul’s great supporting vocals and the revealing Songwriting Work Tape Takes of “Yellow Submarine”) to the terrific backing tracks (“Rain” – Take 5 Actual Speed, “For  No One” – Take 10 Backing Track and “She Said She Said” Take 15 Backing Track Rehearsal) who would have though that all these gems would have been left languishing in the vaults for over fifty years!

Really even though there is some repetitiveness with multiple takes of certain tracks I found both of the outtakes CDs a joy to listen to and the main reason for buying these sets. I love to see how the tracks were formed in the studio and these great sounding alternates and outtakes really take you inside the recording process for this album which is my favorite thing about buying these archive releases.

(Note: I briefly sampled the mono 1966 mix CD and it does sound very nice. I haven’t listened to the whole disc yet so I can’t say how it compares to the 2009 mono CD version or the 2014 vinyl version. 

I listened to “For No One” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” in full and both sounded very impressive. Nice bass and very well mastered. I’ll have to dive into the whole disc more to really give an impression but what I heard sounded good.)

The Book:

What can I say, this 100-page hardback book is filled with some terrific photos and is a great read while you listen to this set especially the outtake discs.  It’s one of the better hardback books in the entire Beatles Deluxe Edition series and another reason that I look forward to buying these Beatles archive sets.

It’s well made, sturdy and really I can’t imagine any fan not finding something to love. It may not be as informative or thorough as Mark Lewisohn’s books but it’s a good read nonetheless and makes this set an attractive purchase and goes a long way to soften  the sting of price of this set. 

Grade: A solid “A”:

Overall this is one terrific set. My one criticism is that this set doesn’t include a Blu-Ray disc like previous Beatle deluxe sets which is a real shame. It would be nice to have a 5.1 mix or an Atmos mix and since it”s priced the same as previous Beatles sets I think that some effort should have been made to include a Blu-Ray disc.

(Note: There will be a digital download version available to purchase as well and that will contain a hi-res 96kHz/24-bit stereo and a Dolby Atmos mix.)

It would have gone a long way by making this set retail for around $95 list but even without the Blu-Ray disc it may turn out to be one of my favorites of all The Beatles Deluxe Editions just because the album and the outtakes from the “Revolver” sessions will always be among my favorite recorded music by anyone.

Well there you have it. Just a few first impressions of this terrific new set. I’ll have to give it more time to really absorb the contents but needless to say if you’re a Beatles fan you owe it to yourself to track this set down (or one of its variations) or God forbid at least stream it somewhere lol.

That’s all for now.

More coming soon and until next time be well and safe and see you soon!

Longbox and Loaded: My Beatles CD Longbox Collection

Sometimes collecting looks a lot like hoarding – I’ve said that many times before but it’s true.

The reason I bring that up is that a friend of mine once saw my CD longbox collection and said it was a bit much, more like hoarding than collecting (obviously NOT a collector lol). They may have a case but to me CD longboxes are much more like 45 picture sleeves from the 1960s and well worth collecting.

(Note: All my CD longboxes, with the odd exception here and there, are from the early era of the compact disc and were purchased along with the CD. I haven’t sought out longboxes that I never owned but have been tempted from time to time though they aren’t very east to locate)

Anyway, not familiar with CD longboxes?

I guess it depends on how old you are but I certainly remember them as this post will attest. You see CD longboxes were common at the beginning of the CD era.

When CDs were first being sold in stores, sometime around 1983/84, they were taking over retail space from vinyl records. Vinyl records were much taller and wider than CDs so the retail space designed for browsing vinyl didn’t work that well for browsing CDs.

Not only were CDs hard to browse in the bigger retail spaces but they were easier to steal as well.

So the record industry came up with a solution to that problem – the CD longbox. The CD longbox made compact discs fit easier in the old retail space made for vinyl while making it harder to walk out the door with a CD in your purse or coat as the packing was a bit bulkier.

Today I am posting an overview of all of my Beatles CD longboxes that have survived the ravages of time. The oldest ones are now some thirty-five years old – ouch. Hard to believe but it’s true.

I’ve posted photos of several of my CD longboxes previously but someone recently said to me they had never seen all The Beatles CD longboxes so I thought I’d share a post with all my entire Beatles (not solo Beatles, that’s coming up – like a flower) longbox collection.

As you can tell the CD longbox usually contained the same graphics as the CD that came inside but as they became more common they also became more elaborate. The “Sgt. Pepper” CD longbox in the photo above added the artwork of the insert that came with the vinyl album from 1967 which was a bit unusual but nice to see.

Too bad the US didn’t get the groovy small box with the expanded booklet and size of “Sgt. Pepper” CD that the UK got – that was really nice.

I think the rarest CD longbox I own is the box that came with K-Tel’s CD of The Beatles Hamburg live recordings. The CD itself is pretty hard to locate and I’ve never seen the longbox except for the one that I own.

The other fairly rare box is the limited edition longbox for Sam’s Club exclusive CD of “Let it Be … Naked”. I believe that longbox was a Sam’s Club exclusive, though I’m not one hundred percent sure. That box came out in 2003 well after the demise of the CD longbox which happened in the early 1990s so seeing one at that time was not common.

The “Let it Be … Naked” is very cool and I’m glad that I managed to snag a couple of them.

The “Anthology” longboxes above which came out in 1995/96, in two different sizes, also came out after the longbox form had died but were fairly easy to find as stores like Target and Kmart, etc. used these packages to display the then-hot “Anthology” releases.

Well that’s pretty much it for now. Feast your eyes above at the photos of these relics from a different era.

I’m not sure that many people seek these longboxes out but I still think they’re a fun product of a now bygone era. They are physical media remnants that I still enjoy and take out time to time just for the nostalgia factor.

As usual I hope you are well and healthy and see you soon … Same longbox time, same longbox channel!





“Love Me Do” at 60 – The Beatles First Single Hits Landmark Anniversary

I can’t believe it but a Beatles anniversary has finally hit the magic sixty year mark  – wow (though yikes may be more like it!).

Sixty years ago today, October 5, 1962, The Beatles first 45 release “Love Me Do”/ “P.S. I Love You” hit stores shelves for the first time in the UK and managed to climb to a respectable #17 in the UK charts.

Now for those who aren’t in the know or weren’t fortunate enough to be there a group from the north of England from an industrial seaport town called Liverpool making any kind of impression on the music charts was an almost unheard of event.

As these past sixty years have shown the group’s breakthrough with “Love Me Do” was just the first of many unheard of and remarkable events that went on to create one of the most popular, influential and long-lasting careers in music for the massively successful, both artistically and commercially, foursome from Liverpool – The Beatles.

I know I do a lot of anniversary posts but this particular anniversary is sobering. Sixty years is a LONG time. It actually boggles the imagination that a pop group from sixty years ago could still garner any kind of press or sales, or nowadays streams, for over sixty years.

Thankfully The Beatles music was fresh enough and good enough to weather six decades while still remaining a vital musical force that still attracts new listeners all these years later.

So today in celebration of “Love Me Do” and The Beatles big 60th anniversary I thought I would share a few photos of some fun “Love Me Do” releases that I have in my collection.

First and foremost is the actual first UK single issue of “Love Me Do”/ “P.S. I Love You”. This 45 is one of the crown jewels of any Beatles collection as it’s really the best way of hearing these two songs.

You see the original UK 45 has the only version of “Love Me Do” with Ringo Starr on drums. There were two versions released in the 1960s, this 45 version as well as the version of “Love Me Do” from the The Beatles first UK LP “Please Please Me”.

(Collector’s note: The original first pressing UK single is on a red parlorphone label. It has been re-released a couple of times on anniversary issues that also use the red label but to see how the original label looks check out the photo above.

The reissues change some of the credits so be careful to check the label thoroughly if you’re trying to purchase an original copy.

The original Red label pressing is becoming quite rare but well worth seeking out as it’s the best source for these two songs.)

Regretfully the version of “Love Me Do” from that LP has Ringo Starr playing tambourine and features session drummer Andy White playing the drums.

As the story goes Beatles producer George Martin had heard the Beatles original drummer Pete Best and  thought he wasn’t a strong enough player for their recording sessions. Best drummed on the Beatles initial EMI recording session which wasn’t used for record release.

Shortly after that first EMI session The Beatles replaced Best with Ringo Starr and though Starr did drum on the version of “Love Me Do” that was released as a 45, before Martin chose that version for the single he brought in session drummer Andy White who played on another version of “Love Me Do” that wound up being released on the LP.

(Note: the LP version of “Love Me Do” was the predominate version of the song until the 20th anniversary release of “Love Me Do” in 1982 which reinstated the Ringo version of the song into more prominence in The Beatles catalog)

To make things a bit stranger while the Ringo version of “Love Me Do” was available for many years on 45 in the UK EMI for some strange reason decided to destroy the master tape featuring Ringo’s version thus the only master tape version  of “Love Me Do” in EMI’s vaults features Andy White’s drumming.

Any version of the original 45 version of “Love Me Do” that has been released since the UK 45 has been dubbed from an original vinyl copy of that first UK 45 version.

Because the master tape is now gone the best way to hear the “Love Me Do” 45 songs is from an actual first issue copy of the single. It’s the closest sound to the original master tape and even though the dubs on CD sound good there is an extra sparkle and warmth on the original 45 that isn’t found on any other version of these two songs.

Plus the original UK 45 of “Love Me Do” features drier mixes of both songs including the version of “P.S. I Love You” which is found on the “Please Please Me” LP (the 45 version of “Love Me Do” is a completely different version anyway but still drier sounding than the LP version).

Still with me LOL?

Anyway there are a few different versions of “Love Me Do” from my collection featured in the photos above including the now thirty year old (double yikes) 1992 UK and US CD 30th anniversary editions of the “Love Me Do” 45 plus a mini CD version from the mini CD box set of “The Beatles Singles Collection” box set.

So Happy 60th to both The Beatles and “Love Me Do”! Here’s to another sixty more years though God knows what the world will look like sixty years from now. I won’t be here but I hope it’s a better world and The Beatles still have a place somewhere in the culture.

That’s all for now.

Until next time be well and see you soon.





7a Records Strikes Again – “Demoiselle” by Micky Dolenz is a Gem of an Album That Highlights Rare Solo Material from the ’90s

Well, what have we here? Another Monkees related release from 7a Records?
First we had the lovely “Dolenz Sings Nesmith – The EP” by Micky Dolenz from early in 2022 followed by two great solo releases by Mike Nesmith (“And the Hits Just Keep On Comin'”, “Tantamount to Treason, Vol. 1”– both 50th anniversary packages) then the recent superb “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” reissue and now we have a brand new 7a Records release by Micky Dolenz called “Demoiselle”.
“Demoiselle” consists of rare demos of eight songs composed by Dolenz mainly from the early ’90s that would have made the basis of a solid solo album. These eight demos had been issued previously on a CD (available only through Dolenz’s Website) but now are being made available again by 7a Records.
(Note: several of these demos ended up being recorded for The Monkees 1996 reunion album called “Justus”)
As a bonus 7a Records has added three more Dolenz demos/studio tracks plus a live version of the pop standard “Since I Fell for You” to their release of “Demoiselle” making this new release a must have for Dolenz fans.
I had heard of the original release of “Demoiselle” that was sold in 1998 on Micky Dolenz’s Website but for some reason never managed to get a hold of one. I think it sold out fairly quickly but back in the late ’90s I wasn’t that game for ordering from Websites so I never really bothered pursuing getting a copy.
As luck would have it 7a Records has come to the rescue and made that CD available again with bonus tracks plus a superb package that includes their usual detailed liner notes.
I’ve said it before but it’s too bad that Micky Dolenz never really had much of a solo career post Monkees at least until recently. The material on “Demoiselle” shows that he was a decent writer and as far as his voice is concerned he, to this day, sounds much like he did when he was belting out songs for The Monkees in the 1960s.
Because of Dolenz’s limited solo material this release fills in the gaps and provides a picture of what he might have done as a solo artist in the ’90s.
I just received the new CD a few days ago and here’s a look at my impressions of each track on “Demoiselle”:
My Heart is Failing Me – Written by “It Never Rains in Southern California” songwriter and performer Albert Hammond, this track reminds me of 1986 era Paul McCartney. It would have fit nicely on McCartney’s “Press to Play” album. Production wise it sounds very ’80s but a solid song with great vocals. Nice tune and worthy of single release.

Lonely Weekends – This sounds very much like a Mike Nesmith influenced song with it mariachi flavor. Fun tune and of course sung well by Dolenz. Too bad there’s not much solo work from Dolenz from this time period as I would love to hear a fully-produced version of this song.

Never Enough– I love this version of the song and I think it’s even better than the Monkee’s version from their 1996 “Justus” reunion album. I like the more laid-back approach and this sounds more fluid than the Monkee’s version.

Dyin’ of a Broken Heart– Another track that was re-recorded for 1996’s “Justus”album. Unlike the previous “Never Enough” I prefer The Monkee’s version of this track but this version is okay. A little bit too synthesized for my tastes but not bad.

We Were Not That Bad – I really like this song. This would have been a solid song on any solo album from Micky and one of Dolenz’s better songwriting attempts. Interesting that he mentions in the liner notes that it was inspired by The Beatles “Blackbird” and is basically that chord structure backwards. Too bad a full album of Dolenz’s compositions never came out because he’s actually a decent writer.

Piston Power – Another strong Dolenz composition with a little boogie woogie/rock feel. Nice vocals and vibe to this track. Just a fun song that I would have loved to hear in a fully produced version.

Put a Hold on Your Heart – Another Albert Hammond song. This song is very reminiscent of Human League’s song “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” which has the same lick. Not a bad song but not as strong as the first Hammond song on the album.

Regional Girl– Another “Justus” song that takes a lighter approach than The Monkee’s version. Overall I prefer The Monkee’s approach but this version is fun and well-sung.

Torch for Hire – The last of the none-Dolenz compositions. A very nice track. Sounds a bit ’80s but a really solid song that Dolenz sings well. Again a fully produced version would have sounded amazing.

It’s the Season – Nice tune. It’s the oldest written self-composed track on the album as it comes from the late 1970s. To me this song sounds very Monkee-like especially Dolenz’s vocal. More a riff then a song but still very nice

Since I Fell for You – A terrific live version of this classic song. Dolenz sings the song extremely well and it’s a great tune. A little odd to have it amongst all the other demos written by Dolenz but certainly a lovely track to listen to any time.

Beverly Hills– Another nice Dolenz composition that was released on a single by Dolenz in Japan in 1982 when he toured there during their Monkees resurgence. Even though the song has been released previously by 7a this is a terrific tune and one of Dolenz better self-composed songs.

There you have it, a really solid and enjoyable album from Micky Dolenz. If you’re a Monkees fan I’m sure you’d be happy to get your hands on a copy.
I have to say 7a Records has outdone themselves with quality music releases in 2022 and I hope this pace continues. I’m guessing that it will as a photo of an upcoming new Davy Jones release is featured in the last 7a booklet so it looks as if 2022 is the year of the solo Monkees music releases!
As usual check above for photos of this groovy new album.
Until next time be safe and well and see you soon!

Once Upon a Summer Night … Memories of Olivia Newton-John

There are some voices from the past that are so evocative of a certain time and place that hearing them always transports you back in time.

I listen to a lot of music, as you may well know if you read this blog, but there are only a select few voices that elicit such a major response in my psyche. One of those voices belonged to Olivia Newton-John.

Looking back the performers I listened to between 1978 and 1984 seem to have a stronger pull on my heartstrings than any other time period before or since. Nostalgia yes, certainly, but it’s more than that for me.

I think those formative years between the age of 12 and 18 are a magical time in a person’s life. Everything from that time period seems heightened now – the people, the food, the dress and especially the music. Music reminds you of everything that was going on around you at the time you were listening to it – good  or bad.

So a couple of days ago when I heard that Olivia Newton-John had died I had one of those unexpected pangs in my chest. I mean it’s not like I was a rapid fan of her music but apparently something about her voice and her spirit had penetrated deeper than I had ever suspected.

I don’t want to be sad here. I think it’s best to celebrate someone’s life rather than dwell in sadness so I’m going to fondly look back at some of my favorite Olivia Newton-John music.

Even though I became more fond of Olivia’s music post 1978 my remembrances of her music date back to the early seventies with such songs as “Let Me Be There” (from 1973), “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” (1974), “I Honestly Love You” (also 1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975) and “Please Mister Please” (also 1975) all of which I heard on the radio and enjoyed immensely.

It wasn’t until I saw the movie “Grease” in the summer of 1978 that I began to actually buy any of Olivia Newton-John’s records.

In fact I distinctly remember bopping out of a local theater during the opening week of “Grease” in June of 1978 , along with my older brother Tom who drove me to see the film, and riding to the nearest Kmart where I bought the 45 of “You’re the One That I Want” in the picture sleeve (yes, I still have it!).

I absolutely loved that 45 and played it to death that summer. Even though I didn’t buy the full “Grease” soundtrack I did start to acquire the next few Olivia Newton-John albums as they came out.

Really all of Olivia’s hits from that period are so ingrained that they just make me feel. I feel happy and sad and nostalgic whenever I hear her voice but most of all I feel as if I’m that same person again who sat near an old Magnavox stereo in the late 1970s’ blaring those hits out into the summer nights of my youth.

Songs from that period like “A Little More Love” (1978), “Deeper Than the Night” (1979), “Magic” (1980), “Xanadu” (1980), “Suddenly” (1980), “Physical” (1981), “Make a Move on Me” (1981) and “Twist of Fate” (1983) all remain sealed in time in a plastic bubble in which every warm summer night or cool winter evening is there waiting for me like a beacon in the night to rediscover and enjoy.

After 1984 I gradually began to pay less attention to Olivia Newton-John’s recordings but her effect on  my psyche never went away. There was something about her smile and her genuinely kind spirit that whenever I hear her voice or see the odd interview I am taken back to how much comfort and joy I felt listening to her music.

In 2015 I was fortunate enough to see Olivia Newton-John perform live in Las Vegas. I am so glad I did. Not only was her lovely voice intact but she sounded just as good as she did in the early seventies when I first heard her on the radio.

Not only that but the warmth and grace she exhibited on stage was a pleasure to witness. She spoke with several audience members and I thought wow she seems to be one of the most down to earth performers I’ve ever encountered.

Trust me I’ve interviewed over 150 famous musicians in my time writing for a local newspaper and performers with her warmth and grace are very rare.

One of my favorite Olivia CDs is a recording of that very same Las Vegas show (see above) and it’s a really nice overview of her entire career and one of my favorite of her recordings as it brings back fond memories of that terrific performance.

Well there you go. Just a few random thoughts on a truly unique talent. I will always love her biggest hits and now that she’s passed I think the memory of her voice and talent will grow even more special to me as time goes on.

Anyway I thought I’d post photos the seven Olivia Newton-John CDs in my collection – above. Each and every one is a gem and I’m planning on giving them all another spin soon.

Take a gander at the photos above and as you do take these last few warm summer nights of 2022 and try and listen to and appreciate the angelic voice of a truly special talent that made millions of people around the world hopelessly devoted to her special magic.

Until next time be well and see you soon …


FIRST LOOK: “McCartney – I, II, III” Limited CD Box Set

Welcome back to my little side of the Web.

It’s been a bit since I was here so I thought it was time to say hello again – hello.

Today’s post may very well fall under the heading of “Totally Not Necessary But Cool Anyway” but what the hey, you only live once. As a collector I’ve been down this road before and here I go again (yes a blatant McCartney reference.)

This Friday a lovely set of three Paul McCartney albums is being re-released on both CD and vinyl. All three of them  – “McCartney”, “McCartney II” and “McCartney III” – feature McCartney as not only the sole songwriter but also the sole instrumentalist and vocalist (well mainly, Linda McCartney helps with background vocals on “McCartney” and “McCartney III” has a few tracks with McCartney’s band) – thus the McCartney titles.

I happened to receive this set in the mail a couple of days early (that usually never happens) so I thought folks might enjoy seeing what this set looks like.

Now you may ask so what’s so interesting about buying more copies of three albums I already own?

Are these new versions of those albums? No. Are there cool new bonus tracks to get excited about? No. Is there some new and wonderful mastering of these albums perhaps that will make it worth buying these albums yet again?  Well, no actually.

So who is this set for you may ask and why buy it? 

Well the answer is simply McCartney fans. Obsessive McCartney fans. You can’t see it but my hand just went up.

Seriously though this set may well in fact attract some younger fans who are just discovering McCartney’s wonderful solo catalog I’m afraid this set feels like it’s aimed at the obsessives who, like me, like label minutia and release variations. Though you probably already know that if you’ve read any of my previous blog posts.

Now that’s not to say that this isn’t a lovely set – it is. In fact it’s superbly put together and as far as presentation goes it gets an “A”. 

To start off with it comes in a nifty hardbound small case (okay, the cover art isn’t exactly stellar but serviceable) and the three albums are presented in mini-lp sleeves that replicate the original UK vinyl releases fairly well.

(Note: I only bought the CD version of this set as it was priced reasonably and I LOVE mini-lp versions of McCartney albums on CD)

All three albums sport their original gatefold covers and best of all they also sport the original LP labels from Apple and Parlophone which I don’t think have ever been released on CD. They may be incorrect, it’s been a long day and I’m getting old lol, but I don’t seem to recall that being the case.

The “McCartney II” CD also comes with a small fold-out poster that replicates the original inner LP sleeve and the “McCartney III” CD  contains it’s normal booklet.

There are also three small photo cards that have introductions on the back by Paul McCartney in which he recalls the circumstances in which each of the three albums were made. He briefly tells why he decided to go it alone with all three instead of using other musicians to flesh the tracks out.

Again nothing new really just an all around lovely small box set of all three of his homemade albums.

I really hadn’t intended to buy this set but after seeing that it included the reproductions of the original record labels I thought this made a nice variation to have on CD and really I would think that this may be the last time these albums make it onto CD.

(Note 2: I’ve said this very thing before when these albums were released as part of McCartney’s archive collection so who knows they may end up sneaking these out on CD one more time but I really doubt it. I think.)

If you’ve already purchased the McCartney archive issues of “McCartney” and “McCartney II” then you’ll already have these masterings so there’s really nothing new sound wise. “McCartney III” also sounds the same as the original CD release from just a few months ago so that again is really nothing new.

The main purpose of this post is for the obsessives out there like me who are on the fence about buying this set and want to see what you get if you buy it. 

Well there’s plenty of photos above and below so feast your eyes and who knows you may just feel like another version of these albums on CD is worth it.

I actually love this set though honestly I needed more versions of these albums on CD like I need a hole in the head but here we are – where are we? It’s worth it to me as at least the CD isn’t too expensive. The vinyl set on the other hand is a bit pricey but I’m sure all three pressings probably look and sound great but I wanted to stick to under $40 if I’m going to get these again.

Well, that’s all for now. Just a quick McCartney update.

As usual be well and safe and until next time I hope you have a great end to your summer as Fall is right around the corner.

Ta ta for now and see you soon!

“Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” Album Reissued in Wonderful Remastered Sound on 2-CD set From 7a Records

Let me turn the way back clock to 1976.

For starters it was the year of the United States Bicentennial.

Anyone who was alive at the time remembers that the Bicentennial was quite a big deal and it was the talk of 1976, at least as I remember it. Of course I was just 10-years-old at the time but it was a monumental celebration as I recall.

There was another less monumental thing that happened that year as well. It just so happens that I experienced a mini-case of Monkeemania as 1976 was also the year that the album “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” was released.

Now anyone who reads this blog knows that I remember things in my life in relation to what music happened to be released at the time so remembering 1976 for “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” is not unusual, at least for me.

You see by 1976 The Monkees as a group had been inactive for six years.

I had been a fan of The Monkees since I was practically out of the womb and played and scratched copies of my oldest brothers first five Monkees albums until they looked more like frisbees than records. Also the groups records were tough to find in stores by that time as they had been out of print since 1971 when The Monkees Colgems label folded.

Even their TV show hadn’t been rerun on a major network since 1973 so anything Monkees related was pretty scarce to come by at least in my neck of the woods.

For those who don’t remember in 1976 there was no Internet and no easy way, at least for a ten-year-old, to find out the current information about what music was coming out, etc. You just had to be lucky to  walk through a store at the right time and hopefully notice a new album by your favorite artist on display.

That’s the case with the “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” LP. I remember walking thorough a local Kmart store and running over to a display that showed the album.

Around that same time I also remember getting a frozen Coke, I did that every time I went to Kmart, and receiving a cup with drawn images that said Monkees at the bottom. Of course the Monkees on the cup included Micky and Davy but who were those other two? Maybe two new Monkees I remember thinking to myself. 

After all this time I can’t remember if I got the cup before or after the “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” album came out but I managed to hold on to that fragile plastic cup and it survives, barely, to this very day (see photo of the cup below).

I do however distinctly remember stumbling on the “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” album in the record section of Kmart and acting as if it was indeed a brand new Monkees album. Two new Monkees or not this was as close as I was going to get to a brand new Monkees album so I was thrilled that it had been released.

My mother wasn’t quite as thrilled with the existence of a new Monkees album as I was so I ended up waiting a few weeks until I managed to persuade her to buy the album for me.

I remember playing that album a lot that summer of 1976 and as I did staring at that what was then an oh so far-out looking rear cover as I tried to decide which of the songs I liked best.

Flash forward oh say roughly forty-six years or so and what happens to land in my mailbox but a groovy new 2-CD reissue by 7a Records of that long-ago “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” album.

I had actually hoped that 7a Records would one day do a reissue of this album but I had heard that Capitol Records had misplaced the master tapes so I assumed it would never happen. Then a few months ago 7a Records posted a cryptic message on Facebook saying they found some long lost Monkees related master tapes and viola we have a new reissue of “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart”.

I’ve done blogs on several of 7a Record’s Monkee related products and every time I review them I marvel at the high quality of not only the sound of their products but the truly first class artwork and booklets that come with their releases.

I’m happy to say that this new reissue of “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” is no exception as it is a quality first class reissue of one of my favorite lost pop albums of the ’70s.

As a bonus the second disc of this new set features a concert by Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart in Japan from 1976 that was originally released on an exquisite sounding CD by Varese Sarabande in 2007.

The sound on both discs in this set is first-rate and since this is the first issue of the “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” from the actual master tapes it’s a joy to listen to from start to finish. There actually was an earlier CD reissue of the “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart”  album in 2005 on Cherry Red Records from the UK but it was taken from a needledrop and sounded fairly bland and lifeless.

While I can’t say this album is on the same level as The Monkees ’60s albums it is nonetheless a fine pop album that holds up pretty well despite a few dated spacey sound effects from side two.

Songs like “Right Now”, “You and I” (written by Dolenz and Jones and later remade by The Monkees in 1996), “I Love You (And I’m Glad That I Said It)”, “It Always Hurts the Most in the Morning” and “I Remember the Feeling” are truly pop gems that hopefully will be rediscovered by modern listeners.

I’ve always been particularly fond of the song “You and I” and even love the 1996 remake on The Monkees “Justus” album but I’ve always had a fondness for this 1976 version best and am so glad to have such a great sounding version available on CD.

In fact the only song that I still get the urge to skip is “Along Came Jones” as I’ve never been that fond of comedic songs. The rest of the album though is a real pleasure to rediscover especially when it sounds as good as this reissue does.

What can I tell you, 7a Records knows how to do reissues right and this new 2-CD “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” is by far my favorite of all the reissues 7a Records has ever done as this album holds a warm spot in my heart and memories.

If you’re a Monkees or Boyce and Hart fan and know or have never heard this album you owe it to yourself to grab this 2-CD (or 2-LP version that’s also available) set and give it a spin or two.

As usual there are plenty of photos above and below to look to get a glimpse of this new 2-CD set or even older versions of the album on LP and CD.

Until next time be well and safe and I’ll hopefully see you around this parts soon!

The photos below feature the cup (what’s left of it) I got at Kmart with a frozen Coke in 1976 promoting Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart as a group:

Below: Photos of the original Capitol 1976 pressing of “Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart” and previous CD reissues of the same album and the CD ” Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart – Concert in Japan”: