Creating a collector’s item

When the various formats of the “final Beatles song” was announced, I was thinking to get at least the black 7″ vinyl single (just to keep my U.K. singles collection complete), the cassette and the 10″ black vinyl single. So I knew I had to order some of these from abroad. I only expected the various 7″ singles and the black and the red 12″ to be available from Norwegian shops. And I was right. Restrictions were made on several of these formats. For instance, the red vinyl 12″ record was only available in one chain of stores in every country. So you would find it in Target stores in USA, in HMV stores in the U.K., Tower Records in Japan etc etc. A clever way to promote an “exclusive” version of the single, but since it was released worldwide in various chain stores, the actual number produced is not very “limited”. Here in Norway it was Platekompaniet who got the “exclusive” rights.

Cassette edition

A friend suggested that the cassette version would probably be one of the rarer editions of the single. I was going to try and get hold of it anyway, as I still collect cassettes, and I am the admin of a Facebook group called The Beatles on Cassettes. I never threw away my old cassettes. But the cassette could only be obtained from official Beatles stores and Universal Music’s own online stores, so I ordered the cassette from the official Universal Music online store in Denmark, which had only recently been launched.

Come release day, the cassette was actually delivered to me. But when I opened the package, I was disappointed to discover that they had sent me the wrong cassette. Instead of the “Now and Then” cassette single, they had sent me Taylor Swift’s album cassette “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”.

And mine was not the only package with the wrong cassette, a friend who ordered his from the same store experienced the same, and his was delivered the same day as mine. We figured it had to be robotic handling during the packaging. Anyway, we both complained and even though the “Now and Then” cassette now showed as “sold out” in the store, they did eventually manage to send us the correct cassette.

I wanted the 10″ because Ringo has recently been releasing his 10″ EPs and The Rolling Stones released “Angry” as a 10″. Always liked 10″ records anyway, from the “Savage Young Beatles” to “From Us To You – A Parlophone Recording Session”. But for this 10″ I was out of luck. The product was only made available to Spotify subscribers in USA, UK, Canada, Mexico and Columbia. So, being a Spotify subscriber in Norway, I had no way of being able to order it. And it turned out that the 10″ single was to become the scarcest of them all. Just take a look at the prices they go for over on ebay.

So that’s how to make a collector’s item. When they announced the various formats, they forgot to mention the inexpensive CD single. Yet, it appeared on release day, so it was manufactured alongside the other ones. However, in the USA, the CD single was released weeks after it appeared elsewhere.

Restrictions were made on the number of singles available to record stores in Scandinavia, just 100 records of each colour was available to each of the countries Norway, Sweden and Denmark initially.

Over to Olivia’s clock story.


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