The Daily Beatle (formerly WogBlog) says:
Two different Beatles releases (and a total of three physical new releases to purchase and one HD Digital audio release) available on the same day, one is a LIMITED EDITION BOX SET. Official announcement expected soon... Nov 1.
But what are they? Two different releases. That seems to mean two different products. A film and an album? Two albums? A compilation album and a catalog album?
Could we be getting a 50th anniversary Magical Mystery Tour remaster squeezed into the tail-end of 2017? The TV film came out on DVD and Blu-ray only a few short years ago, but an audio-video package featuring a remixed MMT album could be a possibility. The film and music, plus movie and audio outtakes, could make a nice box set and the stand-alone album and/or video would likely be released concurrently. Perhaps the MMT album is also the HD Digital audio release, or maybe it's the newly remixed version of Sgt. Pepper.
How does this sound:
- Magical Mystery Tour limited edition box set with LP and film.
- MMT remixed album on CD.
- MMT remixed album on vinyl.
- MMT remixed (or Sgt. Pepper?) album in HD Digital audio.
I doubt we'll get the rumored "White Album" remix during the same calendar year as the big Sgt. Pepper anniversary package. Maybe they're announcing it early. But I figure we'll be waiting on it until sometime in 2018.
Also too early, I figure, is any sort of a audio-video "Let it Be" release. Same with "Abbey Road." Now that the Beatles have discovered anniversaries, I think those will roll out sequentially, after "The White Album" package.
Another possibility is some sort of Shea Stadium release, but I don't know how that fits the configurations hinted at. A DVD, Blu-Ray and some sort of a commemorative box? And the HD Audio release is Pepper?
But then there's this image shared today by Richard Porter of London Beatles Walks:
Very festive. The Christmas decorations make me wonder if this is the long-awaited mass release of The Beatles' collected Christmas recordings. But those are also Sgt. Pepper colors on the bows attached to the Christmas "apples." So, the Christmas records and Pepper?
Additionally, these decidedly pre-psychedelia images, shared on the Daily Beatle Facebook page, are supposedly from the booklet to one of these new releases. That makes me want to rule out any sort of MMT release, but they also could be part of a Shea Stadium release.
Still, I kinda think the Christmas records may be in the offing.
For background, if you need it, the Beatles' sent out a Christmas message on flexi-disks to members of the group's fan club each year between 1963 and 1969. In 1970s, all of the messages were compiled onto a vinyl LP, titled The Beatles' Christmas Album.
So, maybe I'm wrong, but here's my guess at what we might be getting:
- The Beatles Christmas Album on CD.
- The Beatles Christmas Album on vinyl.
- A limited edition featuring the Christmas messages on individual flexi-disks (or 45 rpm records) with facsimile cover art. The box may also include the CD and/or vinyl mentioned above.
- A HD Digital Audio Release of the 2017 Sgt. Pepper remix.
This is a pretty impressive forgery if it's not the real deal, leaked early:
From discussion on the Steve Hoffman Forum, it looks like we're most likely getting:
- Sgt. Pepper 2017 remix on a single LP (who cares?)
- Sgt. Pepper 2017 remix on single picture disk LP (who cares even more?)
- Sgt. Pepper HD Audio (this is actually cool, though I'm still of mixed feelings about the format. I like the audio quality available, but with there was an easier/better way to play them. You have to buy an expensive player, hook up a computer to your sound system, or listen through headphones).
And, as the video (which may no longer be active) seems to confirm, there's boxed set of the Christmas recordings on 7-inch records. Which is pretty nifty, but also sort of a novelty. It's a Record Store Day-style manufactured collectible. I'd rather have the messages compiled onto a CD and/or vinyl LP.