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The MacDonald Verzeichnis standard of Beatles Songs
21 September 2019
7.11am
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c64wood
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On this webpage of the Beatles Canon, it lists numbers beginning with MD.  "MD-numbers refer to the standard "MacDonald Verzeichnis" of the Beatles' songs."

http://www.icce.rug.nl/~sounds.....anon.shtml

 

Couldn't really find any info on the "MacDonald Verzeichnis" standard and what it means.  Anybody have info in this?

 

Thanks

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Look Up The Number

21 September 2019
11.06am
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Von Bontee
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c64wood said
On this webpage of the Beatles Canon, it lists numbers beginning with MD.  "MD-numbers refer to the standard "MacDonald Verzeichnis" of the Beatles' songs."

http://www.icce.rug.nl/~sounds.....anon.shtml

 

Couldn't really find any info on the "MacDonald Verzeichnis" standard and what it means.  Anybody have info in this?

 

Thanks

  

The works of J.S. Bach are catalogued by BWV number, "Bach Werke Verzeichnis". "Verzeichnis" seems to mean "directory" in German, and MacDonald may be referring to Ian, author of "Revolution In The Head". The author seems to have developed his own catalog numbering system.

Welcome back, c64wood, and congratulations for TEN YEARS (and a coupla weeks) on the forum! apple01beatlemaniacs_02_gif

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23 September 2019
8.23pm
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ewe2
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Von Bontee said

The works of J.S. Bach are catalogued by BWV number, "Bach Werke Verzeichnis". "Verzeichnis" seems to mean "directory" in German, and MacDonald may be referring to Ian, author of "Revolution In The Head". The author seems to have developed his own catalog numbering system.

Yes, it was adjusted between editions during the author's lifetime but left unchanged as far as I know for the posthumous edition.  Gimlet-eyed readers will note that he used alphanumeric numbering for covers (ie not "true" originals), the system works by numbering in order of recording (I believe he relied on Lewisham for its accuracy), so, to quote from the 3rd edition:

Note on the cataloguing system

The following account of The Beatles’ official EMI discography treats their records in order of recording - that is, in the order in which issued tracks were commenced in the studio. Original songs by The Beatles released in the primary Parlophone/Apple discography of 1962-70 are catalogued from [1] (Love Me Do ) to [186] (I Me Mine ). Within this discography, non-original songs (titles recorded, but not written by, The Beatles) are indicated by numbers (signifying their place in the sequence) and letters (signifying their status as non-originals). Hence ANNA (GO TO HIM), recorded after [9] Hold Me Tight , is listed as [9b], while Boys , made after ANNA, becomes [9c].

The classification [U] indicates ‘Unreleased’, i.e., records not issued as part of the primary Parlophone/Apple discography. For example, IF YOU’VE GOT TROUBLE is catalogued as [U54], indicating that it was unreleased, but that, if issued, it would have been [54] in the overall sequence (between [53] YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY and [54] Tell Me What You See ). Again, unreleased songs not written by The Beatles are distinguished by numbers (indicating their place in the overall sequence) and letters (indicating their status as non-originals). Hence, Leave My Kitten Alone , made after [38] I’M A LOSER and [38b] Mr Moonlight , becomes [U38c].

The classification [E] indicates ‘Early’, i.e., tracks and records taped before the first release [1] in the Parlophone/Apple discography. The same method of distinguishing originals from non-originals applies here. (Hence, My Bonnie , made after [E3] CAYENNE, becomes [E3b].)

Although the primary Parlophone/Apple discography is discussed in full, a complete commentary on the Beatles’ recordings issued by Apple/EMI between 1994 and 1996 has not been attempted, partly on the grounds that this would be pedantic and repetitious, but mainly because much of this material is of interest only to completists. References to the tracks released on Live At The BBC and the Baby It’s You single are, with one or two exceptions, confined to footnotes. Wherever mentioned, such tracks are given catalogue numbers, although these references do not always imply corresponding entries in the main text, being intended only to indicate place in sequence. Tracks issued on the three Anthology collections are dealt with more thoroughly, albeit without mechanical consistency. An extra section covers The Beatles’ post-Lennon singles of 1995-6 and the Anthology project in general. There is also a complete compact discography.

It's a very nerdy system, but it makes sense when trying to place the Beatles in context within the timeline of the 60's.

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