Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ampex tapes

This category I'll make a hodge podge of those early Ampex tapes..

This first one is interestring, in that it's an Ampex tape, but nowhere does it say so.. It simply says RCA/Dunhill,  which is a strange combination, as Dunhill was an ABC subsidiary..
It must be one of the very earliest RCA tapes made though..
Here's all the cassettes, wher5e you can see that the John Philips tape is in fact identical in man ufacture to the Ampex's...

Here's a more normal Ampex.. these are Canadian ones , however, so they're EXTREMELY rare..
95% of ALL the Ampex tapes you will ever see, will be American ones, as Canada had (and still has) a much smaller population than the US (about 10%, or at the time, 20 million)..
and so , naturally, far fewer tapes were made here...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Humble Pie

I'll get to the rest of the Humble Pie tapes on Monday.. tomorrow's rest day... These first ones are really cool though.. not exactly "Promo" tapes, they're really intended only for the engineers, producers, and marketing guys to take out of the studio with them.. meaning there's WAY less copies of them ever made.. typically a dozen or so... Pretty cool too, as it was for the best compilation of Humble Pie stuff ever issued..It was likely in the planning stages while Steve was still alive too , as it came out a little over 2 years after his death. (I'd hate to think it was a tactless cash-in on his tragic death)

 More later...

Friday, June 15, 2012


I have been looking for the cassete of this for some long time.. SOMEONE out there must either have one, or know someone who has one. Here's a shot of the 8 track, which is currently for sale on ebay.. I don't have or want the 8 track, but the cassette..
If you have ever seen one and can dig it up, I'll give a generous "finders fee"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You'll like this!

Well.. i got my Ogden's and.. not impressed.. all except one of the "new previously unreleased" rarities are simply renamed tracks .. for example.. "Bun in the oven" (previously unreleased) is simply the mono single issue of "rollin over".. and all the others are the same.. and all save one have been released before.. but the SHADIE$T track on it, is the "14 Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (Alternate Take - Phased Mix - Stereo)" which is.. get this.. the mono single version of that track.. simply REVERSED..
It's a con folks.. i'm really disappointed!

The only nice thing is the packaging...
I'll enter more shots of in in the morning (morning for me, anyways for me;-)

Friday, June 1, 2012


OK time to update my Beatles section:
I'm going to bump the previous post of the Canadian tapes down a bit.. so that first I can start, at... where else, but the beginning.. with the very first Beatles tapes ever issued by Capitol, in 1968 and 1969:
 These are all very first issues... However, although for the first 3 tapes I've included scans of the tapes too, mostly I will be not necessarily be matching the sleeves with the tape labels, as Capitol didn't issue sleeves and tapes cassettes concurrently.. that is, changes in the design of the sleeve were not always accompanied by changes in the tape housing / labels.. which followed a completely independent schedule:
A first issue "Meet The Beatles"

This "Second Album" , although a first issue, is a slightly later style (you can tell by the larger "Capitol" oval on the spine) than the other two, as it was issued after the first batch of albums.
Capitol did not issue all the Beatles' albums at the same time , choosing instead to try out whether cassettes would 'catch on' by issuing only a few in 1968.
Next is an album that was finally available on Capitol in the US, comprised mostly of their debut album "Please Please Me". It came out so much later , in 1965, because Vee-Jay had previously had manufacture & distribution rights. "Introducing The Beatles didn't sell, though, even though they tried several repackagings..
When Capitol obtained the rights, they wasted no time issuing it in cut back form.
Here's something new!
Beatles '65 Despite the fact it came out in '64!)

                                                  The first Pepper's cassette.
The matching first issue tape housings.. notice that nowhere is the word "Stereo" 
The very first Beatles cassettes had no "bars" .. although as they introduced  more of the Beatles catalog, each tape got the then current Capitol design, which is why the first issues of all of them can appear so different.. the "Second Album," above is a good example of this...even though it came out only 6 months later than the first 6 releases, the design had already changed slightly..

All of these tapes had paper labels, which continued up to the beginning of 1971, when they switched to printing on the housings directly.. the tape housing changes, however, were carried out independently of any changes in the sleeves..
These three below also were the very first format, meaning they were part of the first releases of beatles' cassettes by Capitol I think they released maybe half the whole catalog.. a good way to tell is by looking at the Capitol Oval onthe spine,  that I mentioned earlier.. it's noticeably smaller than later ones...
ALl three of the cassettes below are very first issues from 1968...

More later...
Next is a recent acquisition.. I really didn't know what I had here, until it arrived..
There appears to be NO record of this variant, anywhere in the world, online or otherwise.
It certainly is the first one *I've * ever seen..
It's the 1968 hardshell United Artists "A Hard Day's Night"  (K-9006)
except it does NOT have the boxed logo, has the peculiar "liberty" black and white sandwiched cassette housing, and has a typo for sides one and two..that is, the tracks for side one are listed on side two, on the cassette housing (but not the case).. side "1" lists the tracks for side two, and side "2" lists the tracks for side one.. upon playing the tape, i found that the tracks are correct, that is , side one starts out with "A Hard Day's Night".. I have NEVER seen, or heard about, another like this..
Any Beatle experts out there? Have any of you?
Anyways, here it is..:

Funky eh?

So here, are a few Canadian pressings.. we were lucky here to get the Beatles before much of the rest of the world, and in True Stereo, no less.....
so here goes.. These are later issues, but even so, I have to say, the color balance and artistic lack of clutter, makes these some of the most attractive sleeves I have ever seen.. plus the bonus of exceptionally GOOD sound.. hey if you ever see these in your local shop, grab them FAST!

The Beatles' Story: and what a nice clean design, eh?
Completely UNIQUE to CANADA.. this album NEVER got issued anywhere else in the world on cassette, ever, and the closest it ever even got on cassette was when it was chosen to be the first release, by Capitol, on the DAT format, but then canceled, and therefore this is the BEST sound you will EVER get for this album, right here (if you can even find a copy, they're rare as hen's teeth even in Canada!), which is why the "Good Doctor" (Ebbets) went out of his way to rip any and all Canadian albums

The famous Y&T album (Trunk, naturally ...;-)
 Twist and Shout.. another entirely unique to Canada album...
 And what has to be a serious surprise for any Beatles fan who wants to hear them live.. I find it a miracle of audio engineering              
Sooo aint these jus' SWEET?
Canadian cassettes weren't always the nicest looking.. here's an older issue that doesn't do nuttin' for me ;-)

Now to an amazing set of issues..
Anyone who read Mike's interview earlier in this blog, must have noticed his glowing recommendations of New Zealand cassettes.. At the time I had only a very few, but I lucked into 14 Beatles ones. I have no idea of the various issues, as they seem to differ, some later ones being EMI, and some earlier ones, Apple, as opposed to the order that they were reissued time and again ...only the "Rarities" one can I date, to 1981..
 I did receive them in a blue "Beatles Collection" box, but unlike the US ands UK ones, where the tapes all show identical dates of issues (as they should) these NZ ones vary considerably.
  Where they do NOT vary, is in the astounding quality of manufacture!
The cardboard is thick and solid, the printing is clear and finished with either a good semi gloss, to a very thick indeed, high gloss.. They do not appear capable being subject to wear, or  fading..
The cassette shells too, all have well attached paper labels, and solid shells , every one attached with screws, to facilitate repair. as you will see in the scans..
 I have no extra info to add, as I am not knowledgable on this  subject (NZ tapes) ..
I'll just list the scans:

The last tape, and sleeve , above, is actually an Australian one, that I added into the scan to save time..

Enough for now..!
Next.. It's time for the German issues.. as opposed to the subtle coloring of the NZ tapes, above, there is absolutely NOTHING subtle about German issues..  Big over the top color schemes, Bright red and green juxtaposed where ever possible..

ahh the Beatles "Beat" .. in Germany.. "de Beat" was the thing.. all bands were "Beat" Bands
The highly desirable "HorZu" issue of Magical Mystery Tour.. apparently the original cover was to subtle for the German record companies, so they designed a new cover full of clashing primary and secondary colors. Until MMT came out on CD, however, this was one of the two only albums to feature the whole of the album in true stereo (and it was since 1971), and it's thought to be the best sounding. The CD issue, was in fact, made from the master tapes from this version.

A Hard Day's Night was called something else in Germany
You guessed it.. "Yeah Yeah Yeah!"...
A couple of earlier German releases on the "Electrola" label.. In Germany there was Odeon, HorZu, and  Odeon/EMI/Electrola, all who at various times issued Beatles albums...

And , of course, there was also "Apple":
Apparently actually *drawing* an apple was too difficult (after an "acht stein beer garden")
so they just *wrote* the word "Apple" instead  ;-)

By the time these came out, ze hangover was over.. so both DO have apples

In a little while I'll post the corresponding tapes for these cassettes.. better get anti-glare sunglasses for them, though ;-)