THE BEATLES ‘LIVE IN TOKYO’ OG-545 / 569 / 640 / 733

The story is well known and ends with a riddle. The Beatles played five concerts in Tokyo at the Budokan (an evening show on 30th June and a matinee and an evening show on 1st and 2nd of July 1966). It had been contractually agreed that Japanese TV station NTV would record the first two shows on video and compile an hour long program to be broadcast in color in Japan’s major markets at 9 PM on 1 July. I personally believe it was a mistake to allow the first two shows to be filmed – and the video legacy of this tour shows that clearly.

The first show – the “green suits” concert – didn’t go well, thanks to missed camera queues, moving microphones and the Beatles themselves in a bit of a shambles and for once not covered up by incessant screaming, so that George would encourage just that by waving to the audiences in mid song to cover up the faults in their performance.It was decided not to use the evening performance.

So, at 9 PM, the rush released TV program included a documentary part in b&w, the Japanese opening acts in color from 30 June and the Beatles complete performance from 1 July. This master two inch video tape then must have vanished (I doubt Brian Epstein took it). Around 1973, the OG label premiered the first bootleg containing one of the Tokyo performances in excellent quality (bootlegged soon after in the US as TAKRL’s first release # 1900 but sounding less refined) and it was that error-filled evening show from 30 June that Epstein and the Beatles had suppressed in 1966.

This was repeated when the material was released on video and later on laser-disc (first apparently without and then with Apple’s approval as their logo is on the laser-disc), starting in 1983, and again when Anthology 2 came out in 1996 and the two opening songs from 30 June were included. Why would Apple approve this, when. as Ron Furmanek has stated, they have both master quad videotape reels in their possession (although I’d love to know when exactly they took possession of the tapes)?

http://wogew.blogspot.de/2008/07/beatles-at-budokan.html

 

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OG-545:

Beatles OG 545 lbl xlBeatles OG 545 lbl

“…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…“. [Are they referring to the later OG versions (I doubt they sounded that much worse) or the copies released in the US?]

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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OG-569:

When OG decided to press more from the same title, as sales warranted it or they wanted to change the track list, which didn’t happen very often, they would assign it a new release number but the master would be the same. This is true for the first three versions of this title. OG-733, the last one, had two things added.

“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

This must be one of the front inserts. I need an image of the label for OG-569. Could the one shown here be the correct one?

Beatles OG 640 lbl 2

**

OG-640:

Beatles OG 640Beatles OG 640 lblBeatles OG 640 tot

I have only ever seen this version with a blank white label. They really put some effort into the cover design.

 

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OG-733:

“With jacket of white solid color, label of black solid color. OG – 733 and matrix number just is recorded, to include also the jacket to the record, title is not written, BEATLES (the Beatles) there is no letter anyywhere”. OK, so no writing to be found anywhere, except for the matrix number.

Beatles OG 733 lbl

This is not the same master though, as the show starter “Rock’n Roll Music” is preceded by this: “A1 contains the first EH Eric’s greeting to the part of, but with the sound quality is inferior only that part.”

So, around 1974, we have the ever first ever release of a snippet from the lost 1 July performance, here tacked onto the 30 June concert with noticeable quality difference and preceding Marc Record’s release of the full 1 July show by about two years.

And that is not all, as the set list shows:

SIDE A
1. ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC
2. SHE’S A WOMAN
3. IF I NEEDED SOMEONE
4. DAY TRIPPER
5. BABY’S IN BLACK
6. I FEEL FINE

SIDE B
1. YESTERDAY
2. I WANNA BE YOUR MAN
3. NOWHERE MAN
4. PAPERBACK WRITER
5. I’M DOWN
6. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

Tacked on at the end, is this 1967 single, for some reason. Is it a pirate of the released version or the Our World broadcast version? I’d love to know.

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3 comments
  1. John said:

    recently sold for a 158 usd…not sure of which it was..the first,2nd or 3rd release…but who cares….they are rare for it’s own.

  2. John said:

    sorry…must be 180 usd….for the specialists… 🙂

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