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Author Topic: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale  (Read 6727 times)

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Bobber

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Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« on: March 09, 2011, 02:32:29 PM »



Bruce Spizer is currently putting the finishing touches on his latest book on the Beatles. The book is titled "Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records" and will cover the group's U.K. record releases from 1962 - 1970. I recently called Bruce to see how the book was progressing.

Q: Beatles fans have been looking forward to your new book. When do you think it will be available?

A: The book will be officially published on October 4, 2011, but I hope to have copies available before then. My goal is to have the book make its U.S. debut at the Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago this August and its U.K. debut during Beatles week in Liverpool later that month. I will also be taking internet and phone orders starting in April or May. Those pre-publications orders should ship in August. At least that's the plan.

Q: You previously indicated that the book will cover the singles, albums and extended play discs. That's quite a lot for one book. How many pages will it be?

A: The book will be 444 pages! The singles section covers the 22 singles released on Parlophone and Apple, as well as the export singles, the German-lyric single and the Polydor singles. It runs 126 pages. The album section goes through the 13 Parlophone and Apple albums. It also covers the two unreleased "Get Back" albums, the U.K. Christmas album, the export albums and the Polydor LP of the Hamburg recordings. That section is 220 pages. The extended play discs have never been discussed extensively in any previous book. We tell the stories behind the official 13 Parlophone releases, including "Magical Mystery Tour," plus two titles that were cancelled and the Polydor EP. That eats up 58 pages, which is double what I budgeted for the section when I first planned the book! Finally, there's a cool section at the back of the book covering things of general interest. It has both historical information and things that collectors will love.

Q: That's sounds interesting. Just what will that last section cover?

A: Well, there's a history of EMI and the Parlophone label. It's quite convoluted. EMI was created in 1931 when the Gramophone Company merged with the Columbia Gramophone Company. The U.S. and U.K. record companies had quite a history of getting together and breaking apart. Lots of information crammed into a few pages! The book also covers the coming of the LP and the 45-rpm disc and how records are mastered and manufactured. There are also several pages on the contract pressings of Beatles singles by Decca, Oriole, CBS, Philips and Pye, plus a bit of information on where the labels were printed. We also show all the different sleeves the 45s were packaged in.

Q: As I recall, there were only two U.K. Beatles singles that had pictures sleeves. So what was done for the other singles?

A: EMI printed up company sleeves for Parlophone. They were called "range bags" because they could be used for a whole range of artists. Some of them had advertisements on the back for things like make-up and hair dryers. The hair dryer ads were cartoons featuring "Fran the Fan," who starts a fan club for her favorite group, the Frantics. The book will tell readers what sleeves went with which singles. As singles and sleeves tended to get mismatched over time, this will enable to collectors to have their discs paired with an appropriate range bag.

Q: British collectors seem very meticulous, making references to letters like "ZT" and "KT." Just what were those?

A: The letters ending with a "T" were tax codes. The book explains why they were placed on the records. It also explains why some records have multiple tax codes appearing on both the label and in the trail off area.

Q: And what about "Sold in U.K." that is on some, but not all of the labels?

A: That language was added to tell retailers that they were required to sell the record at its list price and could not sell it at a lower price. It was called "Retail Price Maintenance," but we'd call it price fixing! EMI apparently was the only company to put the language on its labels. It was done on the advice of counsel. When RPM was abolished, they quit putting the language on the labels.

Q: How did you research the information for the last section?

A: I got a lot of information from U.K. trade and music magazines published in the sixties, which were great because they contained contemporaneous information, not someone's faded memories. I spent many a day at the British Library periodical annex. I took a field trip to the old EMI factory at Hayes in Middlesex. EMI sold the facility many years ago, but there is still a record factory there. I interviewed a man who began working at Hayes back in the mid-fifties! He was quite helpful. I also spent a pleasant morning sharing tea and memories with former Beatles engineer Ken Townsend.

Q: Obviously this book will be a must have for collectors. What about the casual fan?

A: Because the book covers the writing, recording and marketing of the songs, it will be of great interest to even casual fans. Remember, the book covers every song released by the Beatles from 1962 through 1970. So it's the perfect book to learn about all of the great music recorded by the group. I promise that no matter how much you know about the Beatles, you will learn something new from the book.

Q: Your books always have great images. Are there any pictures of rare or seldom seem items?

A: The fun starts from the very beginning. The splash page for the singles section shows a "Love Me Do" single in a colorful NEMS bag, along with the receipt from 1962! It cost 6 shillings, 8 pence, but is now worth a bit more! I had to learn the old non-decimal British currency system to understand the pricing! We also show a "Please Please Me" LP in a NEMS polybag. And there are a bunch of ads from trade and music magazines. One of my favorite items is a promo card for the "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" single. I also got Eric Cash to allow me to run images of three of his Beatles paintings, including one that was done especially for the book. The detail is incredible. His beautiful art work adds some color to the book to make up for those drab black and silver labels! Some of the photos will also be new to most people. I tried to go beyond the usual shots and came up with some rarely seen pictures, including a wonderful picture taken at the Hayes factory of workers readying a Beatles album for release.

Q: Your past books had people like Walter Cronkite and former Capitol president Alan Livingston write the foreword. Who did you get this time?

A: Tony Bramwell. I just got his foreword a few days ago. It does a great job of setting the tone and ends with a fun fact I did not know about the album cover shown on the cover to the book, which is, of course, "Beatles For Sale." Tony Barrow, who has retired from the Beatles scene, was gracious enough to write a brief quote for the back of the book. This is particularly special to me since Tony Barrow wrote some wonderful back liner notes for the Beatles. Many fans will notice a tie-in to one of his earlier notes!

Q: You have been able to keep your books priced at $50 since they first came out over 10 years ago. What will the new book be priced for?

A: Just under $70, which we feel is an extension of the Beatles policy to give fans good value for their money. The hardcover book is full-color printed on glossy paper and is 444 pages long. In addition, there will be a special booklet housed in a pocket attached to the inside back cover. It will have a checklist of all the records plus ads from reputable dealers who specialize in U.K. records. That pushes the page count past 460! I could have easily done the book in two parts and charged at least $50 for each part. That would be $100, so at $70, it really is good value for the money.

Q: In the past, you have prepared slipcase and collector's editions. Will you do the same with this book?

A: Yes. The slipcase will look like a green Parlophone record sleeve. It will feature "Paperback Writer" on one side and "Please Please Me" on the other. It has a simple, classy look, as opposed to a cluttered look you often see these days. The slipcase edition will be signed and numbered and sell for $90. The collector's edition will come in the same slipcase and will have a few special goodies included. It will also be signed and numbered and sell for $150. When you compare this to what other deluxe books are going for, it really is a good deal.

Q: I would imagine that this book will also do well in the U.K. Do you have any special U.K. plans at this time?

A: Well, I hope to be in Liverpool this August. I think the book would sell very well during Beatles week. I am also doing two slightly different covers for the book. One version will feature the mono cover of "Beatles For Sale" on the cover, while the other will have the stereo cover. Naturally, the mono cover will be marketed in the U.K., while the stereo cover will be for the U.S. Those ordering from my website, www.beatle.net, will be able to order either the mono cover or the stereo cover. The interior content is exactly the same. Of course, people can order both covers if they so desire. Then they could read the mono book when playing their mono Beatles singles, EPs, albums and CDs, and the stereo book when listening to stereo vinyl and CDs. But I don't recommend reading either version of the book while wearing 3-D glasses!

Q: How far along are you at this time?

A: I'm still tracking down some more images of EP and album labels, but the singles section and the last section are both complete and at the printer. I've also sent a bunch of pages from the other sections to the printer. Last week I got back color proofs for section one. It looks fabulous, so I'm getting really excited now.

Q: When will people be able to order the book?

A: We'll do a mailing and have information up on the website by April. Start checking out the website in mid-March.

Q: Anything you'd like to add that I didn't ask you about?

A: Yeah. Frank Daniels has been a great help compiling information and labels for the project. We've had a great time bouncing ideas off each other, trying to solve mysteries like the Odeon pressing of the "Yellow Submarine" LP manufactured at EMI's Hayes factory and the extremely rare tri-center pressing of "All You Need Is Love." Frank's name is on the cover as co-compiler. And, as usual, my graphic designer Diana Thorton has been a joy to work with. She gets what I have in my mind on the page. I can't imagine doing a book without her.

Q: And I can't imagine the book being anything but fabulous. Thanks for your time.

A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to let people know about the book.


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peterbell1

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 03:50:52 PM »

This looks like it will be a great book for us UK vinyl collectors - I know Bruce's books about the US releases are very highly regarded.
I never bought any of his earlier books because shipping from the US was always very expensive - hopefully this new book will be available to buy somewhere in the UK.

I wish it had been released a few years ago, though, when i was still building up my collection.  I have just about all the "affordable" UK vinyl now - all the regular singles, EPs and LPs - and there's only the more expensive items that I'm missing. Things like the "Dash-1" Revolver LP, Let It Be box set, Lady Madonna single with Fan Club promo leaflet etc. I think I would have to win the lotto to start buying stuff like that!
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Gary910

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 12:59:16 AM »

I am so excited about this. I have almost all of Bruce's other books (certainly all of the album and singles books). When he put out the Swan book, I was sad, because I wanted this book too. When news broke about this I had to do a little dance.
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 08:34:39 AM »

Reading the interview copies might be available in Europe during Beatles week in August.
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Gary910

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 01:13:43 AM »

I got this in the mail this last week.

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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 07:27:33 AM »

Ah! Thanks for that.
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peterbell1

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 10:25:00 AM »

Apparently Bruce Spizer will be at Beatle week in Liverpool at the end of August and will have copies of his book to sell.
He also says that he is hoping to finalize a deal with the UK record/memorabilia dealer Tracks (www.tracks.co.uk) so that they sell books on his behalf. If you are in Europe and try to order direct from Bruce's website the postage cost makes his books unaffordable (it's $50 to post one book). So the deal with Tracks should make prices more competitive for people in the UK/Europe. Nothing on the Tracks website yet, but I'll keep checking.
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 01:36:43 PM »

^Thank you for posting that Peter. Please keep us informed about this.
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peterbell1

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 02:18:41 PM »

Just had another look around the Tracks website and found this page, which has some details about the Bruce Spizer book (the page must have only just been added because it wasn't there last time I searched) ....

http://www.tracks.co.uk/acatalog/__Books__Magazines_And_Paper_Items.html

The price info isn't there yet, but I think the book will be GB£49 (it will be more for the collectors limited editions).
It's obviously a lot to pay for a book, but I have read nothing but good reviews about Bruce Spizer's volumes covering US vinyl releases, so I'm sure this one will be just as good, and will no doubt be indispensible for collectors of UK Beatles vinyl like myself.
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Gary910

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 03:03:32 PM »

His books are incredible.

They are a good investment too. The VeeJay records book is out of print and currently selling at 10 times the original price and up. I have the Capitol books the Apple book, the solo Apple book, the "Swan Song" book and the VeeJay book. I give them all five stars. I am so looking forward to getting this new book.
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2011, 10:19:33 AM »

New book on schedule to debut at Chicago Beatles Fest in August

 

Bruce Spizer received a small number of advance copies of his upcoming book "Beatles For Sale on Parlophone Records." According to Spizer, the copies arrived about a week ahead of schedule, giving him confidence that the book will indeed be available for sale at the August 5 – 7, 2011, Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago and later that month at the International Beatles Week in Liverpool. He will also have the book for the Washington, D.C. Abbey Road on the River over Labor Day weekend.

Spizer indicated that he was very pleased with how the book came out. "The colors look great. Although I was concerned that the black with silver print Parlophone labels would make for a dull-looking tome, there are enough colorful posters, record jackets, 45 sleeves and other cool images to make the book a visual treat comparable to my other books."

The book is a massive 444 pages and comes with a 24-page booklet containing a checklist of all of the label variations and cover variations of the Beatles U.K. records released in the sixties. The booklet also contains ads from respectable Beatles vendors and a pictorial bibliography.

Fans will also have the option of buying the book with a slipcase. Spizer said, "I am delighted with the case. It is green to match the color of the Parlophone singles sleeves. It has an image of the "Paperback Writer" label on one side and the "Please Please Me" red label single in its multi-colored geometric sleeve on the other."

The special Collector's Edition comes in the slipcase along with a bookmark, a poster showing the covers of the Beatles U.K. album covers and EP jackets, a color print by artist Eric Cash of the Beatles performing "Hey Jude" and a replica of the "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever" promotional card prepared by Tony Barrow for NEMS. Spizer indicated that the book contains two other drawings by Eric Cash. One depicts John singing "All You Need Is Love" for the Our World broadcast. The other, featuring Paul singing "Get Back" during the roof top concert, was drawn by Cash especially for the book.

Co-author Frank Daniels is also excited about the book, having just received his copy. Daniels says that "Now that I've actually seen the finished product, I am even more convinced that fans and collectors alike will learn quite a bit about the Beatles from reading the book." The book devotes a chapter to each of the Beatles records. According to Daniels, "There is something fun in every chapter. We solved a few mysteries and busted a few myths along the way."

The book will be officially published on October 5, 2011, which is the 49th anniversary of Parlophone 4949, the Beatles first single, "Love Me Do." Spizer expects to send pre-publication orders received before July 15 out in early August. The book has two cover variations. One cover features the jacket to the mono "Beatles For Sale" LP, while the other has the jacket to the stereo version of "Beatles For Sale." Spizer said pre-orders are brisk, with about 70% requesting the mono cover. The book can be ordered from www.beatle.net.

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Gary910

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2011, 12:16:02 AM »

Got an email yesterday that it should get shipped out tomorrow...  ;D
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2011, 07:25:39 AM »

Got an email yesterday that it should get shipped out tomorrow...  ;D

Ooo. Any news for the European fans as well?
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peterbell1

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2011, 08:41:48 AM »

Ooo. Any news for the European fans as well?


Tracks are selling it for GB£49.95 - I think that price includes postage within the UK.
http://www.tracks.co.uk/acatalog/__Books__Magazines_And_Paper_Items.html

People elsewhere in Europe would have to ask them about costs for their country, but I would assume it will still work out cheaper than paying the $69.98 book price plus the $50 shipping that Bruce Spizer charges if you order direct from him in the US.
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 09:31:27 AM »

Thanks. I have sent them a mail to check the shipping conditions.
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peterbell1

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2011, 10:55:58 AM »

I have read on another forum that a Beatles vinyl seller based in Austria called Parlogram is also going to be stocking the Bruce Spizer book.
Here's the website ...
http://www.parlogram.com/webshop/index.php

The book isn't listed there yet, but it might be worth an e-mail to check out prices etc.
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Gary910

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2011, 02:42:15 PM »

I got mine yesterday and it looks pretty good. Still digging in...
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2011, 07:20:05 AM »

Tell us about it Gary. ;D
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Gary910

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2011, 02:15:02 PM »

As I dig deeper and have the time, I will write more about it. This new book is certainly a complement to Bruce's already great books. As I am a fan of the British albums it is a great addition to my collection. It has a lot of stuff in it that I have not seen before.

I think the best thing about it is that if gives you pictures of all the labels from all of the singles, albums, and EPs. It even has the "Demonstration Record" labels. If this kind of minutiae is not interesting to you, you might find the song/album information interesting. If you have the "Capitol" record books, and are not interested in the labels, I don't know how interesting this book will be for you. There is some new revelations, but nothing major. I love looking at the labels and reading anything new, so I love this new book.

I think it can be for the serious fan or the less serious fan. Would I recommend it to a total casual fan... I am not sure. I think I am a pretty serious fan so I enjoy it.
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Bobber

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Re: Bruce Spizer Beatles For Sale
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2011, 12:36:07 PM »

I've ordered it. Waiting for its arrival.
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