Beatles ’66 Smilin’ Ears LP + Tobe Milo EP plus a history of the earliest ‘Live In Tokyo’ Vinyl Titles

Beatles 66 Spines

Beatles 66 TM red lblBeatles 66 TM note

Interesting note – written by whom? Only the EP was produced by Tobe Milo, not the Smilin’ Ears LP(s). I wonder if “6th Nite” refers to the 1975 LP Five Nights In A Judo Arena ? Contained here is the first concert from 30 June ’66 not the second show broadcast on TV right after the concert. “Never before available” is completely untrue, which we will see later.

Beatles 66 wh lblBeatles 66 bl lblBeatles 66 blue lbl

SE-7704 A/B – released in 1978. Also exists with blank labels.

Beatles 66 b

A copy of the this Tobe Milo double EP, first available in May of 1977 (minus the interview, included here), even the typeset was used on the back of the Smilin’ Ears LP:

Beatles 66 EP

Beatles 66 EP bBeatles 66 EP lbl 1Beatles 66 EP postcard

The postcard that came with each set. Only 1,000 numbered copies were pressed. Not a title that held up well in value. The fact that this material has been issued so many times probably has an impact on an otherwise beautifully designed bootleg EP set.

Beatles 66 EP stamperThe metal stamper for side 4

Side A: 1. Rock and Roll Music 2. She’s A Woman 3. If I Needed Someone
Side B: 1. Day Tripper 2. Baby’s In Black 3. I Feel Fine
Side C: 1. Yesterday 2. I Wanna Be Your Man 3. Nowhere Man
Side D: 1. Paperback Writer 2. I’m Down 3. interview

30 June 1966 – 6:30 PM their first concert in Tokyo and also their worst in terms of stage set up – those swinging microphones! – as well as video direction and perhaps also for their performance, which falls woefully short when not “enhanced” by the incessant screaming that appeared at every other concert but the Tokyo shows. This is the ‘green suits’ concert that was later released in Japan on VHS and laser disc.
” June 30th 1996

This concert recorded on Video by NTV, used 3 color TV-cam and 3 monochrome-TV-cam. But, Brian Epstain [sic] didn’t allow this take.

July 1st 1996

21:00 (JST) — TV program, “BEATLES JAPAN CONCERT” aired on NTV.
               This program contains Documentary part (black and white),
               Japanese support bands part (color, recorded on June 30th),
               and full-length of Beatles July 1st afternoon concert.”    [http://www.yk.rim.or.jp/~y_satou/beatles/B4_in_JP/Beatles66.html]

Despite Brian Epstein’s insistence that the Beatles performance from 30 June not be shown, it ended up being that concert that survived predominantly on video until 1976 and was even selected for the official VHS release by VAP Video. In fact, the 1 July concert remained available on bootleg video even in Japan for a long time. It seems that a copy leaked from the archive in the early 1970’s and the first bootleg containing this concert was sourced from that, as it seems that the official release occurred only in 1993. (somebody please add if they know more).

Beatles Budokan VAP

1. 1973 – The first Japan releases:

BEATLES – LIVE IN TOKYO OG-545

Beatles LiTokyo OG 545 whiteBefore Tobe Milo had a free postcard, OG’s release came with a free photo (taken at one of the later concerts though). The concert goers were strictly forbidden from taking pictures with fierce guards ripping film out of cameras if such action was suspected, according to an eye witness report in issue # 2 of the Tokyo Beatles Fan Club magazine.

Beatles OG 545 lblBeatles OG 545 lbl xl

“Ultra rare original “Live In Tokyo” LP pressed in  early~mid ’70s by legendary Japanese OG label. This is real original, first pressing, red/silver label and OG 545, originally released with plain white flipback cover. Second press (OG569) and third press (OG640) has insert cover, but original first press issued with white cover. Fantastic sound quality, far superior than various later issue… ”

“The front has two different versions, with the pic a little bit better in one than the other. The back has two different versions”

Beatles OG 545 insert 1

Front cover, version 1

This title would later be reissued twice with a new and higher number (569, 640 & 733) and with changed packaging.

Beatles OG 640

OG-640

A Japanese blog quoted a release date of 1973 and I would agree with that. Not only does this align with the fact that the first Japanese bootleg was probably pressed in 1972 but this also lines up with the OG release numbers, which run from 504 (ROLLING STONES – LIVE AT HIDEPARK) to the following four:

ERIC CLAPTON – ON TOUR ’74  OG-824/825 rec. 2 November ’74
BAD COMPANY – LIVE 1975 MARCH  OG-859  rec. 3 March ’75
QUEEN – A BEAUTIFUL ALBUM  OG-860  rec. 19 April ’75
QUEEN – NOW I’M HERE  OG-877 (reissue of above)

Believing that these titles appeared relatively soon after these performances and not years later would place these into early to mid 1975 and counting back through the release numbers would bring us to 1973.

***

2. Beat Beatle Beatles Tokyo Live (ASA-002)

Beatles beat beatle beatles lbl

Beatles beat beatle beatles

A very rare release, rarely found on any list. I have no idea when this came out but it has the same material as the above OG LP and, according to a Japanese bootleg blog, the sound quality is identical. In the end, this may just be another (pre?) OG release.

***

3. The first US release, ca. 1974

1900 lg

This took part in the quality comparison with the Japanese titles and was noted for sounding worse.

Contraband reissued TAKRL’s stamper ca. 1975 (identical matrix #):

Beatles Tokyo SS

***

5.  Five Nights In A Judo Arena – 1975

From the Tanks For The Mammaries insert, page 2:

“IN AN EXPERIMENT WITH COLOUR A WHILE LATER WE REISSUED THIS [TAKRL 1900] AS ‘FIVE NIGHTS IN A JUDO ARENA’ ON A LABEL WITH AN OUTRAGEOUS PUN FOR A NAME.”, which explains the TAKRL labels and matrix found on some versions (see below).

Beatles 5 Nights

Beatles 5 Nights b

Beatles 5 Nights DW logoBeatles 5 Nights track list b

Beatles 5 Nights lbl

Several pressings were made distinguishable by the matrices (front & back color cover, except for c.):

a.)

Side 1: something in Japanese? ending with A * 19? C A scratched * DW-426-A * TOKYO-A
Side 2: something in Japanese? ending with B * 19? C B scratched * DW-426-B * TOKYO-B

 

b.1)  After checking in one of the biggest collections in Europe, I can confirm that all black & white cover versions have the Berkley matrix # 2043 A/B and have to be considered Berkley copies (like the one below with copied labels).

Coincidentally, this is one of the missing Berkly Records release #s (it slots between Joni Mitchell Spring Songs and Berkley’s copy of The Who Decidedly Belated Response).

Beatles 5 Nights DW 426

 

b.2) same matrix but called Yesterday And Today crudely copied from the Butcher cover image. Comes with a blank label. Possibly the first version released by Berkley.

Beatles Y&T

Beatles Y&T b

c.)  JAPAN 1900 A/B matrix

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeatles 5 Nights TAKRL 2Even came with a TAKRL insert.

d.)  Japan copy on ZAP:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not shown will be the European combination with Spicy Beatles Songs, the Back Gold, picture disc and Swingin’ Pig versions.

****

Welcome The Beatles – Japan bootleg on Marc Records TB-76057, released ca. spring/summer 1976:

First ed.\ition matrix: FAB FOR TB-78057 SIDE A/B

Second ed. matrix: ZB TB 76057 A 111   VC    /     Z TB 76057B (S) 111  

Third ed. matrix: TB-78057 side one/two

Beatles Welcome TB

Beatles Welcome TB b 3

This first issue of the TV broadcast from 1 July 1966, 2 PM show and the Wizardo copy were featured in detail in this earlier post.

Beatles 502 Takeover 2Beatles 502 Takeover detail

Beatles Budokan 1 July

****

And we have caught up with the Tobe Milo EP in February of 1977 and the Smilin’ Ears copy. Both concerts would continue to be reissued and -packaged countless times on vinyl but we will stop here.

A later reincarnation combining the TAKRL label logo and copied De Weintraub labels:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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6 comments
  1. John said:

    why is OG entitled as legendary?….only a few releases, quite rare.. ok….., but legendary…??.!!

    • Those were the words of the eBay seller, not mine. Still, in Japan OG certainly has a very strong reputation among the “initiated” and they were the first major bootleg label that wanted to be recognized as one.

  2. Chris said:

    That´s the one I had. With black label

  3. Chris said:

    I also had “Five Nights In A Judo Arena” by TAKRL and as far as I remember they´re not
    the same gig. Jonh Lennon talks much more between songs on the “6th Night” than on the
    “Judo Arena”. Unfortunately I traded both albuns a long time ago.

    • Interesting. Editing cannot be ruled out, of course. I am very sure though that the July 1st concert is only on the Japanese Marc LP & Wizardo 502.

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