|Initial UK Release Date||18 May 1987|
|Initial UK Catalogue Number||EMI CD STCH 639|
|Weeks On UK Chart (to date)||30|
|Peak UK Chart Position||1 (for 8 weeks)|
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 originally 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 records 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 record 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.
It received it’s first official release on CD in the UK on 18 May 1987. It was on EMI records under UK catalogue number CD STCH 639 and international catalogue number 7 46688 8. It was a double disc release, disc 1 carrying catalogue number 7 46688 2 and disc 2 carrying catalogue number 7 46689 2, housed in a fatbox with an eight page booklet that had a reproduction of the original album poster taking up the middle pages. 1987 also saw it’s original US release by Capitol/Parlophone under catalogue number CDP 7 46688 2 and it came on two discs housed in a long box. The following year it was re released in the US under the same catalogue number but in a fatbox.
The next major release on CD was on 22 January 2001 when 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 the GnOM Records label under UK catalogue number 5304742 and international, including US, catalogue number 7243 5 30474 2 9. It came housed in a new colourised box complete with a 20-page booklet with rare photos, lyrics and extensive sleevenotes written by George. 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.
Finally on 22 September 2014 in the UK and 23 September 2014 in the US a new remastered version of the album was released along with all of George’s other Apple albums. Both releases carry the catalogue number 0602537914005. This version contains the same five bonus tracks as the 2001 release. It could either be bought seperately or as part of the Apple Years 1968-1975 box set.
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 3 copies of the album on CD, the two shown below and one in the Apple Years box set.
1987 UK Release
The pictures below are of my 1987 UK release. You may be able to make out that it says “Made In UK” at 9 o’clock on the CDs. The fatbox case (usual slight storage marks), 8 page insert and discs are in excellent condition.
Estimated Value : £10 – 20
2001 GnOM Release
The pictures below are of my remastered 2001 release on the GnOM label. Everything, the box, CDs, CD card covers and booklet, are in excellent condition.
Estimated Value : £10 – £15