Japanese EP Collection (Wax Masters WM-EP001-1/2)
Disc 1 (59:19): Twist & Shout, Please Please Me, I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, A Hard Day’s Night, I Should Have Known Better, Please Mr. Postman, And I Love Her, All My Loving, If I Fell, I’m Just Happy Just To Dance With You, Tell Me Why, Long Tall Sally, Matchbox, I Feel Fine, Slow Down, Rock And Roll Music, Eight Days A Week, Mr. Moonlight, Kansas City, Help!, Ticket To Ride, I’m Down, Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Disc 2 (60:30): You’re Going To Lose That Girl, The Night Before, Act Naturally, Yesterday, Anna (Go To Him), Boys, Sie Liebt Dich, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, Michelle, Girl, Nowhere Man, What Goes On, Paperback Writer, Norwegian Wood, We Can Work It Out, Drive My Car, Yellow Submarine, Taxman, Here There Everywhere, And Your Bird Can Sing, Bad Boy, Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Good Day Sunshine
Japan has the distinction, between releasing UK, US, singles and EPs all with multiple pressings, to be the country with the most Beatle records. Japanese EP Collection is a two disc set on the new Wax Masters silver pressed label, made by the same people who produced Vintage Masters Premium among many other CDR labels. They collect together the first twelve Odeon four song EPs released in Japan in the early to mid sixties. As such, they skip over the Polydor EP “My Bonnie,” “Why,” “Ain’t She Sweet” and “Cry For A Shadow” (Polydor SLKP-1087) released in September 1965 and also omit the final Odeon six track EP Magical Mystery Tour released in March, 1968 as well as the Apple EPs later in the decade.
Odeon Recordswas a German record label who, after the war, became a subsidiary of EMI and handled Beatle releases in non English speaking countries including Japan. The Japanese pressings were done in either black or red vinyl, depending upon the material available at the plant. Generally today the red vinyl pressings are much more rare and command higher prices on the collectors market. The packaging was also unique for the time. Included also were lyric sheets with words printed in English and in Japanese translation. Sgt. Peace at Speed Of Sound Lab did the remastering and was able to faithfully reproduce the warmth of the vinyl without any hints of its origin.
The EPs transferred are:
The first EP on Odeon (OP-4016) contained “Twist & Shout,” “Please Please Me,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” on August 5th, 1964. The tracks are in stereo except for “She Loves You” which is in simulated stereo.
EP#2 Odeon (OP-4036) was issued on January 5th, 1965 and has has “A Hard Day’s Night,” “I Should Have Known Better,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “And I Love Her.” All tracks are in stereo.
EP#3 Odeon (OP-4044) was released on March 5th, 1965 with “All My Loving,” “If I Fell,” “I’m Just Happy Just To Dance With You,” and “Tell Me Why.” All tracks are in stereo.
EP#4 Odeon (OP-4055) was issued on May 5th, 1965 with “Long Tall Sally,” “Matchbox,” “I Feel Fine,” and “Slow Down,” all in stereo.
EP#5 Odeon (OP-4061) came out in June 5th, 1965 with “Rock And Roll Music,” “Eight Days A Week,” “Mr. Moonlight,” and “Kansas City” in stereo.
EP#6 Odeon (OP-4110) released on December 5th, 1965 in stereo with “Help!,” “Ticket To Ride,” “I’m Down,” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.”
EP#7 Odeon (OP-4113) was released on January 5th, 1966 with “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” “The Night Before,” “Act Naturally,” and “Yesterday” in stereo.
EP#8 Odeon (OP-4118) was issued on March 5th, 1966 with “Anna (Go To Him),” “Boys,” surprisingly “Sie Liebt Dich,” and “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” all in stereo. It’s interesting that the German version of “She Loves You” was released in Japan but the German version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” wasn’t.
EP#9 Odeon (OP-4160) was released on May 15th, 1966 with “Michelle,” “Girl,” “Nowhere Man,” and “What Goes On” in stereo.
EP#10 Odeon (OP-4198) was released on December 5th, 1966 with “Paperback Writer,” “Norwegian Wood,” “We Can Work It Out,” and “Drive My Car.” The EP is in stereo except for “Paperback Writer,” which is in simulated stereo.
EP#11 Odeon (OP-4206) as also released on December 5th, 1966 with “Yellow Submarine,” “Taxman,” “Here There Everywhere,” and “And Your Bird Can” all in stereo.
EP#12 Odeon (OP-4251) is the final one included in this collection. It was released on May 15th, 1967 with “Bad Boy,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “Good Day Sunshine.” This EP is in stereo except for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” which are in simulated stereo.
Wax Masters utilize a fatboy double jewel case with reproductions of the EP covers on the inside. It is being marketed for nostalgia for these rare items and although the actual mixes don’t sound different than the UK and US counterparts, works well as a single collection of Beatle songs. Hopefully they will issue a second volume of the EP collections continuing on with the final Odeon EP and the Apples that came out much later.