Love Songs

The Beatles
Love Songs - Front of U.K. cover Love Songs - Rear AND Gold Edition
Love Songs - Front of U.K. Cover Love Songs - Rear AND Gold vinyl Edition
Love Songs - Gatefold Interior
Love Songs - Gatefold Interior
Label Parlophone
Catalogue No. PCSP 721
Release date 19th November 1977
Total time 59:05
U.K. Album Chart Detail :
Entry Date :17th December 1977
Highest Position :7
Weeks in Chart :17
Detail : The second E.M.I. compilation double album to appear after the contract expiration, and this time a contrived title, particularly to appeal to the Christmas romance market.

The package of this release has the catalogue number PCSP 7212, but the two albums are individually numbered as PCS 7211 and PCS 7212
The album was also released on cassette tape, Catalogue number - TC2 PCSP 721.

As with the "Red" and "Blue" albums, and the "Rock'n'Roll Music" release, the presentation of this package was once again minimal, especially for the U.K. market.
The artwork was dramatic but really only comprised of one excellent picture.
    The story of the design can be read below after the track listing.

There were, as usual, no "special" tracks, no lyrics, no coloured bags, no information, and just that one picture within the gatefold sleeve.

Unfortunately, nothing new on the album, every track had been previously released, but with this release two tracks were on album for the first time, which also meant the first time in stereo. These were "Yes It Is" and "This Boy".

Although the British format was pretty cheap looking, readily available on Import was a "Gold Vinyl" edition.
This came out in August 1978 on Capitol with a catalogue number of SEBX 11844.
This has a much thicker sleeve, designed to feel more like leather, with gold embossed front design, and lettering on the rear, plus special inner sleeves.
It is the "gold vinyl" disc of this version that you can see to the right above ! ... I stood it in front of the back cover which was pretty plain anyway.

Side 1

Track Composer Original Source Time
Yesterday Lennon-McCartney Help ! the album. 2:03
I'll Follow The Sun Lennon-McCartney Beatles For Sale. 1:47
I Need You Harrison Help ! the album. 2:27
Girl Lennon-McCartney Rubber Soul. 2:30
In My Life Lennon-McCartney Rubber Soul. 2:24
Words Of Love Holly Beatles For Sale. 2:12
Here, There And Everywhere Lennon-McCartney Revolver. 2:22

Side 2

Track Composer Original Source Time
Something Harrison Abbey Road. 2:59
And I Love Her Lennon-McCartney A Hard Day's Night. 2:28
If I Fell Lennon-McCartney A Hard Day's Night. 2:18
I'll Be Back Lennon-McCartney A Hard Day's Night. 2:20
Tell Me What You See Lennon-McCartney Help ! the album. 2:35
Yes It Is Lennon-McCartney Ticket To Ride the single. 2:38

Side 3

Track Composer Original Source Time
Michelle Lennon-McCartney Rubber Soul. 2:40
It's Only Love Lennon-McCartney Help ! the album. 1:55
You're Going To Lose That Girl Lennon-McCartney Help ! the album. 2:16
Every Little Thing Lennon-McCartney Beatles For Sale. 2:01
For No One Lennon-McCartney Revolver. 1:58
She's Leaving Home Lennon-McCartney Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. 3:33

Side 4

Track Composer Original Source Time
The Long And Winding Road Lennon-McCartney Let it Be the album. 3:37
This Boy Lennon-McCartney I Want To Hold Your Hand the single. 2:11
Norwegian Wood Lennon-McCartney Rubber Soul. 2:01
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away Lennon-McCartney Help ! the album. 2:07
I Will Lennon-McCartney White Album. 1:44
P.S. I Love You Lennon-McCartney Love Me Do the single. 1:59

Story Of The Album Design

The packaging for this set was designed by the then Art Director of Capitol records in the U.S. - Kenneth R. Anderson.
Mr. Anderson contacted JPGR and supplied the photographs you see below and the explanation for the iconic gatefold picture is in his own words:

"At Capitol Records, I'd been given the assignment to create a deluxe package for a new Beatles double l.p. set.
With Christmas 1977 approaching, Capitol was swinging for the bleacher seats: 25 mushy tunes that Grandma could love. But they were all songs everyone already owned, nothing new was being offered, just a potentially fancy package. For the inside double spread, I'd sold The Powers That Be on the use of an iconic Richard Avedon photo. It had been seen in 1968 in LOOK magazine in the U.S. and in STERN in Europe. Not the individual psychedelic color photos, but the iconic 4-page fold-out, b&w group panorama... known as "Mount Rushmore".

Love Songs - Mount Rushmore Original
Love Songs - The Mount Rushmore Original

Just one hitch: Paul was in the original photo, but was hiding in the lower left corner, about half John's size. Now I had to persuade Avedon to not only to sell us the photo, but to allow us to tear apart & rebuild his famous image so Paul would be more equal than the others. (Paul was the only ex-Beatle still on Capitol, in Wings, and would be touring the U.S. as part of Capitol's incentive ).

"Send me a layout." Avedon simply agreed, and now I knew why. Unlike Robert Freeman's photo for "Meet the Beatles," Avedon's well-known portrait was actually four individual photos that had been stitched together. That's why everyone was in focus regardless of size or position; it wasn't just Avedon's famous large-format 8x10 view camera.

Love Songs -Richard Avedon's Individual Photos
Love Songs - Richard Avedon's Individual Photos

In the dark confines of a hooded lucigraph, I drew my composition actual size on tracing paper. The cloak they were wearing had a huge collar. I tried to maintain the overall rhythm of the original version, allowing space for the album's gatefold. My detailed sketch was shipped to New York.

In the years before Photoshop and the internet, the combination print process was slow and cumbersome.
Avedon's print eventually arrived with the four photos exposed independently on a large white sheet, as per my drawing. The airbrush retouching job was given to Alan Williams, who followed my indication for silhouetting their shoulders. A gray background blended & united the overall image. Some of the airbrushing was done on the print, some on an acetate overlay. Paul was now the leader of the pack, slightly bigger than John and above him. It was a new & improved Mt. Rushmore.

Love Songs - The Final Print
Love Songs - The Final Print

I developed a graphic version from successive exposures of the art onto litho film. Those were painstakingly matched, cut & pasted together using the best parts to create a final high-contrast icon. I actually created two: one for positive reading uses, another for reversing out of dark backgrounds. The second version was used for the front cover: a gold foil oval stamped on a simulated rich leather album.
That rich leather was really a piece of tan textured cover stock I got from McManus & Morgan on 7th Street. On the asphalt of the Capitol Records parking lot, I sprayed the paper with Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber paint. After the cover was printed, it was embossed with texture, like a discount fake oil painting reproduction. Fancy.

Love Songs - The Leather Sleeve
Love Songs - The Leather Sleeve

The complete package included an 11" x 11" booklet with calligraphy-style lyrics on simulated parchment paper.
Michael Manoogian did the lettering, and the parchment look was a 2-color photographic fake.
A limited run of lps were pressed on gold (yellow) vinyl.

For the Rolling Stone ad, I rented some props from Western Costume on Santa Monica Blvd. and shot it all on velvet. I'd broken The Lads up, but they were together again. The L.P. did fine for Christmas and stayed on the Billboard charts for 31 weeks, eventually selling 3,000,000 units.
The compilation was deleted from the catalog in the late 1980s.

Love Songs - Rolling Stone Advert
Love Songs - Rolling Stone Advert

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