Friday, September 16, 2016

The Kate Inside: Collector Edition Book by Guido Harari

I recently received my copy of The Kate Inside book, and I do want to point out that depending on where you live in the world, you may possibly get hit with C.O.D. charges upon delivery. I was, and even though it wasn't a staggering amount, just keep your credit card handy in case you are.

There are two versions of the cardboard box with Kate's face on it. Collector versions of the book get the brown box, and the deluxe versions get a white box. I must tell you that this box is very well protected with a brown paper wrapping over it, plus about a mile of bubble wrap. So if people want to keep their box, and they're worried about it being marred with all sorts of stickers and postage marks, or even damaged - don't be. The box also makes a great way to store your book if you don't have a place to display it, or you just want to protect it from any harsh light or potential fading from the sun. The box is also completely collapsible if you want to keep it, but not use it, and store it flat.

The version I purchased is the collector edition. The deluxe edition has a totally different cover and also comes with a special slipcase. I chose the collector edition simply because of the front cover - which is from one of my favourite photo sessions of Guido's.

The lettering on the spine, and the edges of the pages have a unique rainbow gilding effect applied to them. Unfortunately, I didn't do a very good job of capturing this for you, but you get the idea... kind of.

Included with the early subscribers of the book is a personalized "Thank You" card written and signed by Guido. I know there are at least 400 of these, and they're totally suitable for framing if you want to do that. Mine was not inserted directly into the book, but rather it rested on top of the book when I opened the packaging. I'm assuming they've all been placed on top of the book in this fashion, so I would suggest being very careful when opening yours up and open the box from the back where the taped seam is located.

There are 1,500 worldwide copies of the book, and each copy has been hand numbered in the book and on the box. Signed editions vary between the deluxe and collector editions. Deluxe numbered editions have a special page that's signed by both Guido and Lindsay Kemp. Collector numbered editions have a stickered area that's been signed by Guido only. I blocked out my number because nobody really needs to see that.

Below I've posted a very small sampling of what you can expect in the book. I chose not to take very many photos for a couple of reasons: 1. It's a very heavy book to start with and I didn't want to risk cracking the spine from awkward handling. 2. I know a lot of people still don't have their copy yet, so I don't want to ruin all the surprises inside. If you want to see everything in it, then I suggest you buy the book while you still can.

The book is stunning, gorgeous and absolutely beautiful. No matter which edition of the book you have, or choose to buy, you won't be disappointed. It's definitely the book that many of us have been hoping for years that Guido Harari would finally publish someday. If you're a huge fan of Kate's and Guido's work, then I highly recommend that you get this book.

Thank you, Guido, for putting your heart and soul into such a magnificent book. It's everything and more.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Never For Ever - Japan First Issue Cassette

The first issue Japanese cassette release of Never For Ever features the same UK artwork on the front, but with some added eye catching graphics. I'm pretty sure that my scanner isn't doing this any justice at all, but hopefully you can see how fantastic it looks. What I particularly like about this one is that snippets of the front artwork have also been incorporated into both spines of the insert. Added to the fact that Nick Price did some pretty amazing art for this cover to begin with, this is easily my favourite Japanese cassette insert.

Like the Kick Inside cassette, the cassette shell for Never For Ever is also a sort of beige colour with JAPAN stamped directly into the cassette shell. I cropped the cassette shell for these to concentrate more on the actual labels for two reasons: The Japanese characters are small, and I also don't have the best scanner in the world at the moment - so I wanted to show them as well as I possibly can. They're pretty similar to the Kick Inside ones.

This release also originally came with a double-sided Japanese/English text lyric sheet. It's a really long strip of folded paper, which I had to scan and chop into sections, just like I had to do with the Kick Inside cassette - otherwise you wouldn't be able to read any of it. I also had to darken it up considerably as it really doesn't scan well at all. The paper is very thin, like newsprint paper, and the actual print tends to be pretty light in some cases. Apologies also for my wonky scanning skills on this, but it's all there.

Japanese cassettes tend to be on the scarce side these days and can get a bit costly when they do turn up. Personally I think the older ones are worth collecting just for the inserts alone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Aerial - UK 2 page press release

EMI UK 2 page press release for Aerial. What's interesting is that the U.S. Columbia Records press release is nearly a straight copy of the UK one, but with some minor differences between the font sizes and logos used.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Big Sky - UK 12" White Label Promo

UK 12" white label promo featuring the Meteorological Mix of The Big Sky on the A Side. The label is a cream colour. I know it probably looks yellow from the optical trickery from bad scanning and dirt on the label, but trust me it's cream colour.

The B Side has a plain white label without any tracks listed on it. It does contain Not This Time and The Morning Fog in case anyone is wondering about that.

This does not come in a picture sleeve, but rather a plain black one with a cut out hole in the centre. I didn't bother to scan this in as it would have been a pointless waste of time. It would have come out extremely patchy when I pieced it back together.

The other thing I wanted to point out about this one is that sometimes when it comes up for sale it's mistakenly listed as a test pressing. It's not a test pressing at all, so don't let anyone try and convince you otherwise. White label promos and test pressings are miles apart.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Moving/Them Heavy People - Japan Seiko Promo 7" Single: Second Issue

Considered among the rarest 7" singles in existence, there were two pressings made in limited numbers. EMI commissioned these releases as a clever marketing ploy for Seiko watches at the time. The first pressing was limited to 25 copies and features a large photo of Kate on a motorcycle on the inside of the gatefold, and the second version, which is shown here, was limited to 200 copies. The motorcycle photo is clearly absent from this version and replaced with song lyrics instead. Gatefold sleeves were produced for both versions with a glossy finish. Neither version had any limited edition numbers printed onto them in case anyone is wondering about that. I do, however, wonder about the accuracy of the pressed copies for both releases. Over the years I have seen both versions turn up for sale more often than they actually should.

The outer artwork was later reused as paper inserts when individual releases for Moving and Them Heavy People were produced, but with a couple of significant differences. The catalogue numbers were changed and price stamps were added in the lower left-hand corner. The "DJ" stamp was also removed from the artwork for Them Heavy People.

The inside of the gatefold has some kind of bio on Kate on the left side, and on the right side the motorcycle photo has been replaced with song lyrics. The slightly bizarre part is that there are only lyrics for 2 of the 4 songs featured in this set.

Both 7" singles are white label promos, and as far as I know there aren't any differences between the second issue and first issue releases. I could be wrong about that, but I can't see any differences between them.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Never For Ever - Japan Second Issue CD Release

Second issue Japanese release of Never For Ever under the Supermasters Series. This one does come with a Obi-strip, but it's poked away at the moment with all the others. I took them off all my CDs years ago so they wouldn't get destroyed - eventually I'll find them all again. What I can tell you about the strip for this one is that it's predominately blue/white/red and does differ to the one found on the first issue release.

One of the more interesting things about the earlier Japanese releases of Never For Ever is the cropped version of the album artwork. It's an interesting choice... if not a little odd. As far as I can recall, the full artwork is used on all other releases following this one.

The titles on the CD are printed using a different font from the first issue. The first issue release titles are more in keeping with the UK lettering. Also, apologies if the CD scanned a little wonky. I have a feeling my scanner might be wearing out on me.

The booklet appears to have some kind of bio on Kate, followed by the lyrics in both English and Japanese.

The insert for the inlay tray is interesting because it's the only CD release to not feature any of the backside artwork. All other Japanese CD releases do.