Hang on to your bootlegs... Chip Madinger and Mark Easter, authors of the excellent Lennonlogy reference, report that a Japanese edition of the new "Let it Be" box contains a different take of George Harrison's "For You Blue."
For nearly 40 years, nearly since the advent of the CD, The Beatles and Apple have managed to keep the digital contents of the group and solo catalogs strictly consistent around the world. There have been a few exceptions, such as the run of Canadian Help! and Rubber Soul CDs that featured the original 1965 mixes and not George Martin's 1987 remixes, or the initial US pressing of The Capitol Albums Vol. Two which included “folddown” mono mixes rather than the true mono mixes. However, not since the original UK-manufactured CD of Paul McCartney’s Press To Play, with the 10" mix of 'Press', has a single anomaly slipped out to market. Until now.
While listening to the streaming version of Glyn Johns' May 1969 mix of the Get Back album, from the new Let It Be Super Deluxe Edition, keen-eared collector Yosi Noz noted that 'For You Blue' was actually Johns' 1970 mix, which contained a new lead vocal recorded in January of that year. It was once he played his physical copy of the Japanese SHM-CD Let It Be SDE, that he noted the correct "1969 Mix" of 'For You Blue' was in place, rather than the 1970 mix he had heard in the ether.
It has now been verified that the true 1969 mix of 'For You Blue' appears exclusively on the Japanese SHM-CD Let It Be SDE (Disc 4, Track 7). All other digital platforms, including the universal SDE and its hi-res counterpart, include the 1970 Glyn Johns mix (prefaced by the complete introduction with two false starts) which is erroneously labeled "1969 Mix."
Who knows what, if any, corrective action will be taken. It's unknown specifically which of the two mixes Apple intended to put on the package. It is unlikely that more SDEs will be manufactured, so substitution on future editions is unlikely. The most likely course of action would be to make corrected copies of the disc available for exchange. But with profit margins so thin, it is possible that this anomaly will remain buried on the Japanese SDE.
On a side note, in his overview of the SDE's contents, which has appeared in several online outlets, including the Steve Hoffman music forum and The Daily Beatle website, Mike Carrera's assertion that the universal SDE used a copy of Dr. Ebbetts’ fan-released disc Get Back - Glyn John's Mix #1 as its source, for this and other tracks, is unfounded. Other black-market releases of Get Back have used an edited reconstruction of the introduction (specifically Vigotone's 1999 release, Get Back - The Glyn Johns Final Compilation), not to mention that both the 1969 and 1970 editions of the Dr. Ebbetts Get Back discs run at a different speed with the channels reversed and the phase inverted when compared to the new commercial release. That's not to say that Apple didn't construct their own introduction, just that they used a source superior to any of the well-known bootleg releases.
In the end, what is exciting for collectors is that a genuine alternate version, the genuine 1969 Glyn Johns mix of 'For You Blue' has appeared exclusively on the Japanese SHM-CD SDE. It is an expensive proposition to spend an additional $200 on less than three minutes of music, but it is likely that this will remain a bona fide rarity and that copies will dry up quickly.
Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, with special thanks to Yosi Noz. www.lennonology.com