|UK Release Date||30 November 1970|
|UK Catalogue Number||Apple STCH 639|
|Weeks On UK Chart (to date)||30|
|Peak UK Chart Position||1 (For 8 weeks)|
|Lowest Matrix Numbers||YEX 817-1U / YEX 818-1U / YEX 819-1U / YEX 820-1U / YEX 821-1U / YEX 822-1U|
Often incorrectly quoted as being rock’s first triple album, that honour goes to the Woodstock live album issued six months earlier, All Things Must Pass was rock’s first triple album of previously unreleased material by a single act. It was released in the UK on 30 November 1970 and three days earlier on 27 November 1970 in the US, both releases unusually carrying the same catalogue number STCH 639.
The first two discs in the box set were made up of songs George had stockpiled from 1966 onwards (George likened it to “going to the bathroom and letting it out”) whilst the third disc was made up of five instrumental jam sessions, one of the tracks being “It’s Johnny’s Birthday” which was recorded by George and Ringo and given to John on his 30th birthday.
A long list of musicians appeared on the album, some credited at the time (including Ringo, Dave Mason, Badfinger, Klaus Voorman, Billy Preston, Bobby Keys, Alan White, Carl Raddle and Mal Evans), some credited on later reissues (including Eric Clapton and Phil Collins) and some not credited at all (including Peter Frampton and Ginger Baker).
The photo for the box’s cover was take at George’s home, Friar Park, and shows George surrounded by four gnomes of which some say is George showing his removal from the Beatles. Included in the box was a large poster of George taken in front of a window at Friar Park.
On 22 January 2001 George released a remixed and remastered version of the album, “liberating some of the songs from the big production that seemed appropriate at the time”. It was on GnOM Records with UK catalogue number 5304741 and was housed in a new colourised box with new inners and an eight page booklet. Five additional tracks were included – I Live For You (outtake), Beware Of Darkness (demo), Let It Down (alternative version), What Is Life (backing track) and My Sweet Lord (2000 version). This version spent four weeks in the UK charts peaking at number 68 and managed to reach a very creditable number 4 in the US. Following George’s death at the end of the year it had another two week run in the UK, peaking at number 84, whilst in the US it climbed to number 6.
One final point! At the time of it’s original release it was thought that the highest chart position it attained in the UK was number 4 but in 2006 new information was found. In the spring of 1971 postal workers in the UK went on strike for eight weeks which meant that the diaries of weekly record sales sent by the shops to the chart compilers could not be sent so no chart was published in the chart magazine, Record Retailer. Because of this history let the last valid chart before the strike stand for the missing eight weeks and showed Bridge Over Troubled Water at number 1 for the whole period. The new information shows that All Things Must Pass was the UK’s biggest selling album during that period and The Official UK Chart Company have now amended their records to confirm that. Unfortunately, as George died in 2001, he never knew that he’d had a UK number 1 album as a solo artist (if you discount The Concert For Bangladesh which was “with friends”).
I have 4 copies on vinyl shown below.
First UK Press
The pictures below are of my original UK press which has matrix numbers YEX 817-1U, YEX 818-1U, YEX 819-1U, YEX 820-1U, YEX 821-1U and YEX 822-1U. The Mothers/Stampers are hard to make out but look like 3/GO, 4/GAM, 1/GAT, 4/GUD, 3/GRD and 3/GRT. The records have some light sleeve removal marks but play through beautifully, hardly any background noise at all and certainly no jumps or sticks. The labels are perfect, with the exception of side 2 which has a light mark (see pic), with hardly any spindle wear at all. The hinged box is in very good condition, though it does have a small sticker removal mark on the front and a very small amount of damage on one corner. It is the fatter box with ‘MADE AND PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN’ on the inside left and a white bottom on the inside right (the very first versions come with a plain inside right with a piece of white cardboard laid in whilst later versions came in a thinner box with an orange inside right). The original inners are in good, maybe very good condition, though each one suffers from one or more seam splits. The printed in Great Britain poster is present and is in excellent condition, no pin holes, glue marks etc.
Estimated Value : £70 – £80
Canadian 1980 Press
The pictures below are of my 1980 Canadian press which is the first copy I bought in the early 80’s (when I bought albums to play, rather than collect). It has hand etched matrix numbers STCH-1-639-G2, STCH-2-639-G3, STCH-3-639-G2, STCH-4-639-G2, STCH-5-639-G2 and STCH-6-639-G3 and also each side has “MASTERED BY CAPITOL” stamped in the run off. The records have some light sleeve removal marks but play through beautifully, hardly any background noise at all and certainly no jumps or sticks. The labels are perfect, with hardly any spindle wear at all. The hinged box, which is the thinner version, is in very good condition, just some light discolouration to the front. The original inners are in excellent condition, just some light creasing though no seam splits. The printed in the US poster is present and is in excellent condition, no pin holes, glue marks etc.
Estimated Value : £20 – £25
2001 Remastered Press
The pictures below are of my 2001 remixed and remastered press which has matrix numbers 5304751 A-01-1-1, 5304751 B-01-1-1, 5304751 A-01-1-1, 5304751 B-01-1-1, 5304751 A-01-1-1 and 5304751 B-01-1-1, each side also has 5304751 1A1 to 5304751 1F1 hand etched in the run off. Disc 1 plays with light crackle though side 2 suffers quite a lot due to some small smudges on the record which a proper clean would probably resolve, disc 2 plays excellent, just the odd bit of very light crackle, whilst disc 3 has some ticks at the start of the 2nd track on side 2. The labels are perfect, with very little spindle wear at all. The hinged box is in very good condition, though does have some storage wear, especially on the corners. The inners are in excellent condition, just some light creasing though no seam splits, whilst the booklet is also in excellent condition.
Estimated Value : £60 – £75
2010 US Record Store Day Limited Edition Press
On 26 November 2010, to celebrate it’s 40th anniversary and the US Black Friday Record Store Day, the remastered All Things Must Pass was reissued in the US but in it’s original format. It was pressed on 180g gram vinyl that was housed in a lift top, not hinged, box that had the original monochrome artwork and included reproductions of the poster and inner sleeves. This press was limited to only 5000 and each box was numbered on the rear.
The pictures below are of my copy that is still sealed, though the celophane has come away at the top, so is in mint condition. It is numbered 004485 and still has the sticker on the front and RSD sticker/barcode on the rear. It’s pretty hard to value as you hardly ever see them for sale – the only one for sale in the UK at the moment is on Discogs for £300 which is used, whilst there’s a not so good copy from Sweden for £130 and one from the US for $400. There’s nothing on eBay UK whilst on eBay US a sealed copy has just sold for $200 and there are two for sale with a buy it now of $250.
Estimated Value : £200 – £300