Sources for the Christmas discs

“..and I’m sure, somewhere down the line, there’s gonna be a t-shirt.” -George Harrison

This from Mitchell Axelrod’s post in the Fab 4 Free 4 All Facebook page, regarding the new Christmas singes boxed set – from someone involved with the project:


“We have pretty extensive archives so not all tape masters were lost! Or at least, we have original tapes even if there were contemporary safety copies. These are a mix of original tape and the contemporary disc dubs…They were all worked on with de-noising and lots of de-clicking (especially the disc dubs) and I really think that…they are by far the quietest and best versions anyone will have heard before.”

Or two. Available from the official Beatles stores.


“We just felt that the job was to release the discs as close to the same as they were originally (with the audio cleaned up as much as possible and pressed on vinyl rather than flexi) so it never really seemed like an option to add anything ‘new’!”

Source: Fab 4 Free 4 All on Facebook

So, it seems that from these statements we understand that some disc-dubs have been used as a source here. Let’s hope this was from a clean copy of an LP and not from the actual flexis. And where did the master tapes for the “Christmas Album” and “From Then To You” go, Apple? These LPs (depicted below) compiled all seven Christmas singles into one album, one for each side of the Atlantic on regular vinyl. They were sent to the remaining members of the official Beatles fan clubs in Great Britain and USA in 1970 for free and are now collector’s items.

From Then To You, the U.K. compilation LP of the fan club singles, 1970. Apple LYN 2153.
The Christmas Album, the USA compilation LP of the Fan club singles, 1970. Apple Records SBC 100;

Of course, we do realise that the Beatles’ Christmas singles are best served one single at a time, a whole LP in one sitting is a bit of an overkill. However, the main complaint about the new boxed set is “Why not offer them on CD” and “why not make them downloads”?

As you may or may not be aware of, vinyl releases sell more than CD releases these days. And that’s something marketing departments are acutely aware of. Also, boxed sets are de rigeur at the moment.

Still, it wouldn’t surprise us if a compilation CD or downloads will show up some time after the sets are sold.

13 Responses

  1. James Peet says:

    We can add this latest project (speaking of which, they are working out as one nearly every six months) to the list of, "it could have been better if they had consulted the people who have knowledge of what material there is, and an understanding of what long-standing fans want. It's really frustrating!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What was the name of that Mother's album? Oh yeah, "We're Only in it for the Money".

  3. Ole M. Olsen says:

    Well, this is pretty much exactly what _I_ want. I would haven taken a CD/LP collection of the Christmas discs as well, but it would have been a poor substitute to the "real thing".

    (Flexis would of course have been even closer to the real thing, but I'll live with vinyl. 🙂 )

  4. VideoShack says:

    Why $70+ USD? It’s not like they incurred any recording costs. The casual fan will pass on this merely on the price alone.

    • Ole M. Olsen says:

      The CASUAL fan will likely pass on this anyway – or be disappointed if they don't know what it is they're buying.

      I, on the other hand, will be playing 1960s Beatles fan club Christmas greetings all Christmas. 🙂

      (The 1967 disc is superb! Monty Python before Monty Python!)

  5. Unknown says:

    Does the 1970 Christmas album cover comprise of solo photos taken in 1966, 67, 68, 69, and 70?
    and band photos from 1966 to 1969?

  6. John Drake says:

    Won't get fooled again.

  7. vagma says:

    I am glad thet these recording are being released, and I think that they (Apple) are doing it the right way. So: yes to singles, yes to a box set, yes to a limited edition, yes to no CD, yes to colored vinyl.

    This is not for a general audience, it is for collectors. A CD in the shops would have disappointed most of the buyers. And what do we collectors love more than exclusive box sets in limited editions (even if the limit is 1 000 000) with vinyl records on colored vinyl? Nothing! Some of the collectors seems to love releases such as these more than they love sex. (I wonder why. Or perhaps not.)

    i have played a bootleg CD with these recordings every Christmas for many years; I own them on LP, on a colored vinyl LP, and on a CD. But I still look forward tol playing these new singles!!!!

  8. vagma says:

    Quote from Ole: "The 1967 disc is superb! Monty Python before Monty Python!"

    My view is that the MMT movie is just like the Monty Python sketches, but with one important difference: MMT is not funny.

    But notice how Monty Python pays hommage to the Beatles in The Holy Grail:The ending in Holy Grail is the same as the ending in Let it be: the filiming is stopped by the police.

  9. Ole M. Olsen says:

    vagma: Well, it's a question of taste and personal opinion, I suppose. I personally don't think MMT is that bad. "Christmas Time Is Here Again" (the 1967 disc, not the song) is funnier than MMT. And Monty Python is funnier than either of them, but in many ways the Beatles laid the groundwork for Python. 🙂

  10. James Peet says:

    I don't think you'd have got Monty Python without the Fabs, but also the Goon Show and Spike Milligan (Q5, etc, this is aside from his Goon Show work), Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin worked on a show called "Do Not Adjust Your Set), which had the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band on it, who sang "Death Cab For Cutie" on MMT. There is a fairly small circle of people that link the Beatles with Python. I'm jealous of Neil Innes, for being close to George Harrison and for his work with Python. He's still alive, so we should cherish him.

  11. piper909 says:

    I think George nailed it when he commented once in the 1970s that he would have liked the Beatles and Monty Python to have gotten together and made some records and movies. THAT would have been AMAZING! Since both were geniuses at what they did, and Beatles humor married to Python humor, PLUS Beatles music, would surely have produced some fantastic art.

  12. Chad Valli says:

    And speaking of the Bonzos, if any of you are familiar with their track, 'The Craig Torso Show', recorded in November 1967 for a BBC radio session, you may notice some similarities to the Beatles Xmas disc from that year.

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