Just before Christmas I was flipping through the pages of e-bay, day dreaming about all the expensive things that I neither need nor can afford, when I came across a listing for one of the greatest albums ever released – The Beatles: Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Now ordinarily I might not have stopped to look seeing as I already have a couple versions, but this was a grey marble style vinyl, and it was priced ‘under’ thirty dollars.
I placed a bid, not expecting to actually win and the family and I left to spend a couple seasonal days with my in-laws.
Upon my return I found out I won…, again – “WTF”
So now I need to find out what I’ve bought and why it was worth owning.
Well, this particular piece of wax was a limited version put out in Canada only in the year 1978. At first this seemed really damned strange. Why Canada only? Why 1978? Why Sgt Peppers?
A little research, a bit of conjecture and two of the questions are answered. 1978 was the year one of the worst music based movies ever was released… Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. A movie so bad it pretty much killed the careers of both the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton.
Anyway, it seems the record execs thought the movie would garner renewed interest in the Fab Four, and so different parts of their catalogue were re-released in ‘special editions.’ However, things get a little weird after this. In the U.S., Peppers was released as a picture disc and then varying colours in different countries.
Abbey Road was also released in picture disc form in the U.S. while the White Album was released in the U.K. on white vinyl. From what I can tell, it seems that each countries own division of EMI was putting out something a little different in each place.
The final result seems to be a virtual plethora of Beatles vinyl coming out of 1978. The unfortunate part of this is that while the music is on a solid vinyl (140 gram I think), it doesn’t hold up against the CD or the recently re-mastered vinyl editions in both stereo and mono. It is definitely a cool collectible that can be found at a decent price, but it isn’t anything more than that.