The Beatles are planning three special gifts for collectors, just in time for the Christmas season: a vinyl box set of the band’s beloved Christmas messages to fans, plus new editions of this year’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remix and reissue on vinyl and hi-def digital audio. All three titles hit stores December 15!
If you were a Beatlemaniac during the band’s original heyday, nothing could be better than getting a special present from The Beatles Fan Club. Seven original flexi-discs released each December between 1963 and 1969 in England featured short bits of holiday greetings, skits, jokes and the odd tune from John, Paul, George and Ringo. The audio has reappeared sparingly ever since: in 1970, after the band broke up earlier that year, a full LP of all the material from the seven original discs was issued (called The Beatles Christmas Album in the U.S. and From Then to You in the U.K.). While it was an official release, it was not a high-quality one, sourced from the original flexi-discs themselves and not the master tapes. An edit of “Christmas Time is Here Again,” an original song from the 1967 disc, was to be included on a scrapped 1985 Beatles outtakes compilation called Sessions, but later appeared as a B-side to the “Free As a Bird” single when The Beatles Anthology was released in 1995. Part of the 1963 single was even included as bonus content on The Beatles Rock Band video game.
Now, everyone can experience The Beatles’ good cheer on The Christmas Records, a seven-disc box set featuring colored 45 RPM vinyl recreations of the original flexi-discs (all single-sided except for the last two in 1968 and 1969). The original sleeve artwork has been recreated for each title, and an enclosed 16-page booklet offers recording notes plus reproductions of the newsletters sent with each disc!
Fans fell in love with Sgt. Pepper all over again this year with a stunning new stereo remix overseen by Beatle producer George Martin’s son Giles. It was, of course, part of a deluxe 50th anniversary box set packed with unreleased session outtakes and video footage that will undoubtedly make a great holiday gift if you haven’t treated yourself already! But if you’re looking for a little something different with the material, a high-definition audio edition of the box set will be available at all digital retailers. A standalone vinyl edition of the remix will also be available in time for Christmas, on either 180-gram black vinyl or a limited picture disc featuring the album cover image on one side and the iconic Sgt. Pepper drum head on the other.
Pre-order all these titles now and they should arrive just 10 days before Christmas, on December 15!
The Christmas Records (Apple/Capitol/UMe, 2017)
- The Beatles’ Christmas Record (originally released as Lyntone LYN-492, 1963)
- Another Beatles Christmas Record (originally released as Lyntone LYN-757, 1964)
- The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record (originally released as Lyntone LYN-948, 1965)
- The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas (originally released as Lyntone LYN-1145, 1966)
- Christmas Time is Here Again! (originally released as Lyntone LYN-1360, 1967)
- The Beatles’ 1968 Christmas Record (originally released as Lyntone LYN-492, 1968)
- The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record (originally released as Lyntone LYN-1743/4, 1969)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 2017 Remix LP (Apple/Capitol/UMe, 2017)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 2017 Remix Picture Disc (Apple/Capitol/UMe, 2017)