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Was the Beatles "Oldies" album a signpost to Sgt. Pepper album?
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16 August 2017
12.07pm
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Never heard about this until yesterday -- an album was issued on Dec. 10, 1966, titled, A Collection of Beatles Oldies, containing many of their hits prior to that date. 

https://www.discogs.com/The-Beatles-A-Collection-Of-Beatles-Oldies/release/768723

By calling them "Oldies", were the Beatles (which includes their manager & handlers, etc.) signalling the radical change that would happen only a few months later with the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?

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16 August 2017
12.27pm
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Ron Nasty
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No, because The Beatles had nothing to do with the album. In fact, at the time it was released, The Beatles were not under contract to EMI. It was released purely because, for the first time in their career, EMI did not have a new Beatles album to release for the Christmas market.

It didn't sell that well compared to their previous albums as it only contained one track (Bad Boy) that had not previously been released in the UK.

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

16 August 2017
3.19pm
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Von Bontee
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That's an interesting interpretation of that specific title! Makes for a worthwhile comparison with the ultra - mod cover painting, which couldn't possibly look more 1967ish.

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16 August 2017
9.53pm
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Ron Nasty said
No, because The Beatles had nothing to do with the album. In fact, at the time it was released, The Beatles were not under contract to EMI. It was released purely because, for the first time in their career, EMI did not have a new Beatles album to release for the Christmas market.

It didn't sell that well compared to their previous albums as it only contained one track (Bad Boy) that had not previously been released in the UK.  

Thanks for that added info.  However, I still wonder, why would a mainstream business like EMI use the term "Oldies" in that context (1966, while the Beatles are still smoking hot) which would only make sense if one were being remarkably clever?

Also, it seems then to be an oddly felicitous coincidence that a few months later, the Beatles would come out with a change in music so radical, it would indeed **then** make sense to call those "Oldies"...

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16 August 2017
10.09pm
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Dark Overlord
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My guess would be that they were oldies in the sense that they weren't new songs but rather a collection of previously released songs.

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16 August 2017
10.11pm
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I do agree that it is a strange title for a group that is still relevant but I do think it is a coincidence as I doubt EMI would have known how different their music would become. 

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17 August 2017
1.37am
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Necko
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I've always thought that the name versus the tracklist on Oldies was odd. They call it Oldies even though Eleanor Rigby, Paperback Writer, and Yellow Submarine were among the most recent things they had released at the point. 

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17 August 2017
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Revolver was the signpost to the musical direction The Beatles were heading to for Sgt Pepper onwards. The only things that furthers that signpost from the Oldies compilation is (agreeing with Von Bontee) the album artwork and (agreeing with Necko) the three tracks that were still fairly new at the time.

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17 August 2017
11.20pm
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Necko said
I've always thought that the name versus the tracklist on Oldies was odd. They call it Oldies even though Eleanor Rigby, Paperback Writer, and Yellow Submarine were among the most recent things they had released at the point.   

Bingo.

Amusingly, as I was Googling to verify release dates of some of these songs, Google itself has this related notice:

Other recordings of this song

Eleanor Rigby -- Ray Charles · 1962

Wow, Ray Charles must have contacted the spirits from beyond who transmitted the song to him 4 years before it was written...!

According to Wikipedia, Eleanor Rigby was on Revolver which was released in August of 1966 -- some 4 months before the "Oldies" album.  Or to take another on the list, Paperback Writer, was released as a single in April of 1966.  I'm sorry, but 4 months prior or even 8 months prior, regarding a band that is SMOKING HOT at the time, is in no way an "Oldie".  One must conclude any one (or more) of the following explanations:

1) EMI, ticked off at no longer having a Beatles contract, was being subtly snarky with that title.  Seems unlikely for bureaucratic businessmen to behave that way.

2) EMI made a mistake and was thinking of the relatively older songs on the list (She Loves You, June 1963; Can't Buy Me Love, March 1964; etc) while forgetting the recent NEW songs also on the list (in addition to the two above, Michelle, December 1965; We Can Work It Out, also December 1965; etc.) -- also seems unlikely.

3) EMI knew about the radical change in the wings (in the air) and in collaboration with Beatles handlers, signalled the change with the term "Oldies" (whether the album didn't sell well afterward or wasn't noticed much isn't relevant to the possible motive before).

I realize record contract history can be tediously complex, but in the Wikipedia page on the Beatles, they say this:

...the White Album was the band's first Apple Records album release, although EMI continued to own their recordings

If the White Album was the first Apple Record, what was Sergeant Pepper's...?

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18 August 2017
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Ron Nasty
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The last Parlophone-labelled album, @Pineapple Records, as shown on the back cover of the original UK release:

SP-back-cover-detail.jpgImage Enlarger

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

18 August 2017
8.57pm
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Ron Nasty said
The last Parlophone-labelled album, @Pineapple Records, as shown on the back cover of the original UK release:

SP-back-cover-detail.jpgImage Enlarger

  

"A splendid time is guaranteed for all"...?  Isn't that from Sergeant Pepper's "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"?

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