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Beatles' Japanese albums to be boxed in 50th anniversary set

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Five Japanese Beatles albums from 1964 to 1965 will be issued on CD in June by Universal Music Japan in a limited edition set called “The Japan Box” to commemorate the Beatles 50th anniversary, the company announced April 12. The release of the albums as they were originally released in Japan is similar to “The U.S. Albums” box set released in America late last year.

The five albums included in the set are “Meet The Beatles,” “The Beatles Second Album,” “A Hard Day's Night,” “Help!” and “The Beatles No. 5.” The box set will also include a 100-page booklet.

Universal says each CD will include reproductions of the original albums' covers, as the Beatles' “U.S. Albums” set in America did. The albums will also be compiled from the 2009 remasters, as was the American box set except for "Help!," which will include the original '60s stereo mix. Each disc will feature either stereo or mono sound, but apparently not both, according to a translation. “Meet the Beatles,” “The Beatles No. 2 (Second Album)” and “The Beatles No. 5” will be in mono, while “A Hard Day's Night” and "Help!" will be in stereo.

The track lists of the albums were unique to Japan. For example, the Japanese “Meet the Beatles” begins with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Also on the disc are “She Loves You,” “From Me To You,” “Twist and Shout,” “Love Me Do,” “Baby It's You,” “Don't Bother Me,” “Please Please Me,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “P.S. I Love You,” Little Child,” "All My Loving,” "Hold Me Tight” and "Please Mr. Postman.”

The other albums also feature unique track lists. “The Beatles No. 5” adds the Beatles' two German-only versions of “She Loves You” (“Sie Liebt Dich”) and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (“Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”).

The price of the set as listed on Amazon.co.jp is 15,120 yen. With current currency conversion rates, that comes to roughly $148 or £88.05.

This is the second Japanese-only Beatles-related release to be announced recently. A special Paul McCartney “'NEW' Japan Tour Edition” set featuring the Japanese version of his recent “NEW” album and a special added DVD will be released in that country on May 7. A spokesman for Concord Music, McCartney's label in America, told Beatles Examiner the McCartney set will be available only in Japan where "NEW" has gone gold. Americans can purchase it through the Amazon.co.jp link above.

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