The Beatles' festive fan club recordings are to be reissued on coloured vinyl in a forthcoming box set, to be released on 15 December 2017.
The band recorded messages for their fan club each year from 1963 to 1969. They were sent to members as flexi discs each December.
The box set collates the recordings on individual vinyl discs for the first time, along with a 16-page booklet featuring recording information and reproductions of the fan club newsletters which accompanied the original flexi discs.
The Christmas recordings were previously compiled on a rare UK fan club album, titled From Then To You, in December 1970, which was mastered from copies of the original flexi discs. In the US the seven recordings were issued for the fan club in early 1971 as The Beatles' Christmas Album.
The contents of the reissued discs are as follows:
1963: “The Beatles' Christmas Record” (one-sided, 5:00 TRT) Recorded 17 October 1963 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1964: “Another Beatles Christmas Record” (one-sided, 3:58 TRT) Recorded 26 October 1964 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1965: “The Beatles' Third Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:20 TRT) Recorded 8 November 1965 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1966: “Pantomime – Everywhere It's Christmas: The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:36 TRT) Recorded 25 November 1966 – Dick James Music, New Oxford Street, London
1967: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again): The Beatles’ Fifth Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:06 TRT) Recorded 28 November 1967 – Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
1968: “The Beatles' Sixth Christmas Record” (two-sided, 7:48 TRT) Recorded 1968, various locations
1969: “The Beatles' Seventh Christmas Record” (two-sided, 7:39 TRT) Recorded 1969, various locations
Apple Corps have also announced a high-definition digital edition of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as a vinyl picture disc, both also out on 15 December 2017. They will contain the 2017 stereo mix by George Martin's son Giles.
Here's the official press release:
WE ARE RINGING IN THE HOLIDAYS WITH NEW GLOBAL BEATLES RELEASES
London – November 2, 2017 – Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe are wrapping up new, global Beatles releases for the holiday season, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
The Beatles’ annual holiday tradition of recording jolly Christmas messages for fan club members was an important part of the band’s relationship with their most ardent supporters, affectionately referred to by them as “Beatle People.”
Spanning 1963 to 1969, The Beatles’ holiday recordings were originally pressed on flexi discs and mailed to fan club members each December. Never released beyond the fan club until now, The Beatles’ seven holiday messages have been newly pressed on a rainbow of seven-inch colored vinyl singles for The Christmas Records box set, to be released worldwide on December 15.
The limited edition collection presents each vinyl single with its original flexi disc sleeve artwork, accompanied by a 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club’s National Newsletters, which were mailed to members with the holiday flexi discs.
Preorder The Beatles’ limited edition The Christmas Records box set
Also on December 15th, the Deluxe Anniversary Edition of The Beatles’ 1967 masterwork, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, will debut worldwide in high definition digital audio (96kHz/24bit). The Deluxe Anniversary Edition features the album’s acclaimed 2017 stereo mix, plus 18 additional tracks, including complete alternate takes for the groundbreaking album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo. The expanded edition also features the 2017 stereo mix and an instrumental take of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix and two complete alternate takes for “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
On the same date, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s 2017 stereo mix will be released in two distinct 1-LP vinyl editions: a 180-gram black vinyl LP and a limited, collectible picture disc vinyl LP. Produced by Giles Martin for this year’s universally heralded ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition releases, the album’s new stereo mix was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by Giles’ father, George Martin. Praised by fans and music critics around the world, The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition is 2017’s most celebrated historical music release and an ideal gift for Beatle People here, there, and everywhere.
Preorder Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 180-gram black vinyl LP
Preorder Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band limited edition picture disc vinyl LP
Purchase Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition
Happy Crimble, with love from us to you.
Also on this day...
- 1998: UK album release: Wonsaponatime by John Lennon
- 1998: UK album release: John Lennon Anthology
- 1973: US album release: Mind Games by John Lennon
- 1967: Recording, mixing: Hello, Goodbye
- 1965: Television: The Music Of Lennon & McCartney
- 1964: Live: King’s Hall, Belfast
- 1963: Live: City Hall, Sheffield
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.