For members of the Official Beatles Fan Club in the 1960s, Christmas was a very special time of year. That’s because season’s greetings from the seminal band arrived in the mail, in the form of a square cardboard-backed envelope. Inside was a recorded message on a flexible phonograph record (or “flexi-disc”) from The Beatles themselves, wishing fans a merry Christmas, in various fascinating and entertaining ways.
“No other piece of mail ever looked like that – I always knew exactly what it was,” remembers renowned Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn. Issued each year from 1963 to 1969, those discs have been repackaged as “The Christmas Records,” due for release by Apple Corps Ltd/Capitol/UMe on December 15. The box set includes 7-inch colored vinyl reproductions of the records, with their associated original picture sleeve art, remastered at Abbey Road Studios by engineers Simon Gibson and Sean Magee, as well as a booklet featuring historical notes from Beatles historian Kevin Howlett.