Label: no manufacturer indicated
Matrix Number of the first issue: 15 side I 95 / 15 # 2 95 II
Release Date of the first issue: January 1970
1. dialogue/guitar riffs/count-in GET BACK guitar riffs 2:27
2. THE WALK :55
3. riffs/count-in LET IT BE 3:37
4. TEDDY BOY 5:35 dialogue
5. TWO OF US (2 false starts) dialogue TWO OF US 3:09 dialogue
6. dialogue/count-in DON'T LET ME DOWN 3:23 dialogue
7. I'VE GOT A FEELING 2:31 dialogue
8. THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD 3:23 piano riffs
9. guitar riffs and dialogue FOR YOU BLUE (2 false starts) dialogue FOR YOU BLUE (inc.) 1:44
10. dialogue/count-in DIG A PONY (w/false start) 3:27
11. GET BACK (w/ false start) 2:26
12. I'VE GOT A FEELING (fragment) :06
13. HELP (fragment) :02
SOUND QUALITY: EX stereo (slight tape hiss)
1,2 Apple studios, Jan 27.69
3,8 Apple studios– Jan 26.69
4,5,7,10 Apple studios– Jan 24.69
6 Apple studios– Jan 22.69
9 Apple studios– Jan 25.69
11,12,13 Apple studios– Jan 23.69
This is possibly the first Beatles bootleg to have been released (please see O.P.D. entry for a possible contender). The source here is a reference acetate, cut around Jan 30, 1969, which was widely aired on U.S. and Canada radio in late 1969. The specific broadcast was possibly WBCN (Boston), Sep 22 1969, although the order of the tracks on the album does not match that of the original airing. More pressings of the same material can be found on UNTITLED (KUM BACK), GET BACK, GET BACK TO TORONTO and several other records. The integral WBCN tape was released more than twenty years later on POSTER, INCENSE AND STROBE CANDLES
There are two different stereo records, both with rubber-stamped sleeve and blank label.
FIRST STEREO RELEASE. January 1970 (photo below the title). The first release of KUM BACK, that gave origin to all the other releases of the record under the same title, was on matrix 15 Side 1 95/15 # 2 95 II (with the number 95 very small and hardly readable) and was released around January 20, 1970. The record had a rubber stamped cover, with title stamped in a dark red-brown color; it had a white blank label, with a 2 mm wide ring at 32 mm from the central hole. No reissues of the original masters are known.
INTEREST: The first Beatles bootleg is not excessively rare, though not common, and has a high historical interest *****
SECOND STEREO RELEASE. Early 1970. The other stereo release is on matrix 775 Side I urc milt/Side 2 urc milt. It was copied from the previous record, no company indicated. It had a blue rubber stamp and white blank label with a vague pattern of very small light red dots, disc with a ring at 10 mm from the central hole.
INTEREST: This second stereo release is also very interesting, and is very rare, more than the previous one. *****
THE WORLD'S GREATEST RELEASES
Early February 1970. A mono version, reproducing only the left channel of the stereo, thus lacking all sound and vocals that were mixed on the right channel, was issued by a company calling themselves The World's Greatest; this was copied from the 15 side I 95 / 15 # 2 95 II stereo LP, and the producers even cared to accurately reproduce the handwritten 15 Side 1/15 # 2 matrix numbers of the original release (the number 95 at the end of both sides is missing). This was standard practice for these producers, since their copycats of other popular titles of the era, including Dylan’s ISLE OF WIGHT, the Stones’ LIVER THAN YOU’LL EVER BE, the Beatles’ JUDY and SILVER ALBUM, and more, were made the same way, with matrix numbers matching those of the original issues. These producers were known among hard-core fans as the WCF (white cover folks), since the records were usually distributed in a white blank sleeve. Two sets of stampers of the pirated KUM BACK were cut, with small differences in the hand-writing of the matrix numbers, which can be distinguished as follows:
set 1 side A, the word Side is distant from the number 1;
set 1 side B, the symbol # is nearer to the number 2 on its right than to 15 on its left. The vertical lines of the symbol # are almost not extended below the lower horizontal line.
set 2 side A, the word Side is approached to the number 1;
set 2 side B, the symbol # is equidistant between 15 and 2. The vertical lines of the symbol # are more extended below the lower horizontal line.
The first set lacks Paul's sentence after Two of us and has a better sound quality.
Two different equipments were used for pressing the vinyls (or the records were pressed at two different plants), as shown by the pressing rings: equipment A is identified by a ring at 12 millimeters from the central hole, equipment B has a furrow nearly 2 mm wide at 31 mm from the central hole (see illustrations of the labels). The records were released on silver, pink, orange and dark blue-green labels with title and track listing.
The combination of stampers and pressing equipment that we saw is: silver label: stampers for side A: 2; side B: 2; pressing equipment: B; orange label: side A: 1, 2; side B: 1; pressing: A, B; pink label: side A: 1; side B: 1, 2; pressing: A, B; blue label: side A: 2; side B: 1, 2; pressing: B.
The issue on blue label was probably the first one used; it was reviewed on a college journal issued in mid February 1970. Considering that the original Kum Back, from which this record was derived, appeared around January 20, 1970, the first pressing of the World's Greatest record must have been produced between late January and early February 1970.
COVER. Apparently, the earlier copies had white blank sleeve, then a rubber stamped title in red ink was used. All the copies on blue and silver label that were seen have a white blank sleeve, excepting one on blue label that has a small stamp in black ink with title and price, evidently impressed by a dealer. Copies on pink and orange label were either blank or with the rubber stamped title. One copy on orange label has an insert cover printed on pink paper, which however may have been added to the plain white cover by a distributor. Another copy on orange label and red rubber stamp has also the insert of the WCF release (see here below).
INTEREST. This is a relatively common record, that has a sensibly decreased sound quality in respect of the stereo issues. It's interest is only determined by its early appearance in the history of the Beatles bootlegs. ***
RECORDS DERIVED FROM THE WORLD'S GREATEST RELEASE
Another company probably derived from the World's Greatest produced their own copy of KUM BACK towards the end of 1970. A few records were "hybrids", that is, the World's Greatest record was distributed with the insert of this new release. However, new masters were cut, so they did not have available the World's Greatest masters and stampers. Hence, it is also possible that the producers of this series of bootlegs got hold of a remaining stock of the World's Greatest release and distributed it with their new insert. This company pirated almost all of the bootlegs realized by other bootleggers, hence they did not use a company name. Their releases were usually of poor quality. Around 1974 some catalogue listed this company as "Amazon Etcetra" (or Etcetera), but such a name was never used on any record and its origin is undocumented.
Matrix KB 10 A X / KB 10 B X (the letter X is quite distant from KB 10 A / KB 10 B), derived from a record pressed from set 2 of the World's Greatest issue.
The following copies were seen.
1. End 1970. B/w insert cover with a picture of the Beatles in the woods, red label with black printed KUM BACK and track listing, catalogue number KB-1A / KB-1B on label.
2. From 1971. B/w or brownish insert, blue-green label with silver printed KUM Records and track index, catalogue number KB-A/ KB-B on label.
3. 1974. Folder-type cover with the picture of the insert poorly printed in orange-red onto the sleeve; back of the sleeve with the photos of the Beatles printed orange-red; white blank label. This is the version that was labelled in catalogues as produced by "Amazon Etcetra".
INTEREST. This version of KUM BACK has almost no interest, particularly the last one. **/*
The WCF LP was copied by another manufacturer who also copied the KB 10-A / KB 10 B matrix number (without the "X"). The slipsheet is similar to the WCF one, with a different picture printed in blue but with the same lettering for the track listing (forgetting the word "Road" in The Long And Winding Road ), and the same KUM BACK title. The records were released on a white blank label.
INTEREST. No interest at all. *
Another copy, released in 1982, had again the same KB10 matrix number as the WCF record, from which it was copied. It had a blue insert with a photograph from the film Help!, blank label.
INTEREST. Completely useless. *
Another copy of the World's Greatest record was released in Japan, probably in the early seventies, on a rubber-stamped copy, matrix SE-9003 / SE-9004, with fake Rubber Dubber labels (no connection with the true Rubber Dubber company) (thanks to Ryushi for information and photos of this record).
INTEREST. Surely a very rare record, whose interest anyway is marginal. ***
The last version of KUM BACK was produced in Italy in 2016, copied from the CD release, pressed in 200 numbered copies on multicolor vinyl, with various colors. Its matrix was unnumbered and labels were blank with A / B indication. The cover was printed, with a rubber print-like design probably copied from the stereo version #2.
INTEREST. A useless release. *
JL records release
1975. The japanese JL version was produced with matrix JL 1001 A/ JL 1001 B. This came with a greenish printed cover reproducing the WCF insert and pink or dark purple labels which reproduced the World's Greatest one.
INTEREST. Mainly interesting for the Japanese market. **
The "BAGLES/BAGEL" release.
Early 1970. An untitled copy appeared in early 1970 on plain white cover and blank labels, matrix SIDE I BAGLES 95 / SIDE II 95 BAGEL: this is a mono copy derived from the original stereo issue and has the last track faded before the end, with the Help! fragments missing.
INTEREST. Musically worthless, it is anyway a very rare record dating back from the beginning of the bootleg era. ***
THE CBM RELEASES
In late 1971 or early 1972 Contra Band Music produced their own mono copy of KUM BACK, with matrix number 15A-1 / 15A -2 (and cbm written in very small letters distant from the matrix number). This record was derived from an LP pressed from the first set of stampers of the World's Greatest issue. We saw the following releases:
1. late 1971 or early 1972. B/w insert cover reproducing the WCF slipsheet; label reproducing the pink World's Greatest one.
2. late 1972 to 1973. Same insert as 1, with the addition of the CBM "disc" logo; various generic labels, in various combinations. The following were seen, other labels were probably also used (side A / side B): b/a; b/b; a/b.
side A: a b
Side B: a b
3. Early 1974. Same insert as 2, printed on green paper, inner sleeve in brown paper, white label with red pirate. A different insert was produced, with the "pirate" logo replacing the disc logo. Same label.
4. mid - late 1975. Same insert as 2, printed on light blue paper, red label with King Kong logo
5. Late 1975 to 1976. New yellow generic insert with big King Kong logo, blank label
INTEREST. The first version is quite rare, and is probably the first Beatles release by CBM. ***. The various repressings have a very scarce interest. **/*.
RECORDS DERIVED FROM KUM BACK
Tracks 4, 5, 2, 7, 9, 10-13 appear on side A of HOT AS SUN (RUT records).
Tracks 2, 3, 4 and 8 were copied on DYLAN/BEATLES/STONES, a compilation by IC Records (ICR-741), released in 1971, which featured also some Dylan and Rolling Stones songs.