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) 0:06
13. HELP (fragment) 0:02
SOUND QUALITY: EX stereo (slight tape hiss)
1, 2: Apple studios, January 27, 1969
3, 8: Apple studios, January 26, 1969
4, 5, 7, 10: Apple studios, January 24, 1969
6: Apple studios, January 22, 1969
9: Apple studios, January 25, 1969
11, 12, 13: Apple studios, January 23, 1969
This is possibly the first Beatles bootleg to have been released (but see O.P.D. entry for a possible contender). The source here is a reference acetate, cut around January 30, 1969, which was widely aired on U.S. and Canadian radio stations in late 1969. The specific broadcast was possibly WBCN (Boston), September 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 KUM BACK (on matrix S-1 / S-2), 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 a rubber-stamped sleeve and blank labels.
FIRST STEREO RELEASE. January 1970 (photo below the title). The first release of KUM BACK was on matrix 15 Side 1 95/15 # 2 95 II, with the number 95 very small and hardly readable (see here below the photos of the matrix numbers; the number 95 was enhanced with Photoshop to render it more visible, it is 35 mm on the right of the other matrix numbers and can only be seen against light). It was released around January 20, 1970. It was the source of all the other releases of the record under the same title. The record had a rubber stamped cover, with the title stamped in a dark red-brown color; the disc had white blank labels, and the pressing mark was a 2 mm-wide ring at 32 mm from the spindle hole. No different versions from 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, and again no company was indicated. It had a blue rubber stamp and white blank labels with a vague pattern of very small light red dots; the pressing mark is a ring at 10 mm from the spindle hole.
INTEREST: This second stereo release is also very interesting; it is scarcer 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 itself 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 on the right on both sides is missing). This was standard practise 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. Check the handwriting of the matrix of the original version to look for differences vs the matrix of the World's greatest version, here below. Two sets of stampers of the pirated KUM BACK were cut, with small differences in the hand-writing of the matrix numbers. They 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.
SIDE A - stamper type 1
SIDE B - stamper type 1
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.
SIDE A - stamper type 2
SIDE B - stamper type 2
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 furrow almost 2 mm wide at 31 mm from the spindle hole, whereas equipment B has a narrow ring at 12 mm from the spindle hole (see illustrations of the labels). The records were released on silver, pink, orange and dark blue-green labels with the title and track listing.
The issue with the blue label was probably the first one used; it was reviewed in 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. The last label that was used was probably the orange one, since it appears on a record to which the insert cover of the WCF version was added (see below).
We have seen the following combinations of labels, pressing plant and stampers used:
STAMPER SD. A
STAMPER SD. B
A - B
A - B
A - B
stampers 1 and 2
stampers 1 and 2
stampers 1 and 2
stampers 1 and 2
COVER. Apparently, the earlier copies had a white blank sleeve, then a rubber stamped title in red ink was used. Except for one copy with the blue label, which had a small rubber-stamp in black ink with the title and price, surely impressed by a dealer, all the copies with the blue and silver labels that we have seen have a white blank sleeve. The copies with the pink and orange labels were either blank or had the rubber-stamped title. One copy with the orange label has an insert cover printed on pink paper, which, however, may have been added to the plain white cover by a distributor.
INTEREST. This is a fairly common record with noticeably lower sound quality compared to the stereo issues. Its 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 its own copy of KUM BACK towards the end of 1970, with a photo of the Beatles in front of a wood, sometimes printed on the jacket, more often as an insert added to the cover. A few records were hybrids, that is, they had the cover, but the packaging included a copy of the World's Greatest Record with the orange label, or a copy with the orange label for side A and the blue label for side B.
However, the majority of the records were pressed from new masters. This company pirated almost all of the bootlegs realized by other bootleggers, and they did not use a company name. It was known among hard-core collectors as the WCF (white cover folks) because many of their first records were distributed in a white blank sleeve. 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. Late 1970. Red labels with black-printed KUM BACK, track listing and the catalogue number KB-1A/KB-1B; black-and-white insert cover with a picture of the Beatles in the woods.
2. From 1971. New blue-green labels with silver printed KUM Records, track index and catalogue number KB-A/ KB-B on label. Same insert, printed in black-and-white or light brown.
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 being 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 numbers (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 disc had white blank labels.
INTEREST. No interest at all. *
Another copy, released in 1982, bore 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!, white blank labels.
INTEREST. Completely useless. *
Another copy of the World's Greatest record was released in Japan 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).
INTEREST. Certainly 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 and pressed in 200 numbered copies on multicolor vinyl, with various colors. Its matrix was unnumbered and the labels were blank, with A / B indications. The cover was printed, and the design was probably copied from the rubber-stamp of the stereo version #2.
INTEREST. A useless release. *
THE JAPANESE JL RELEASE
1975. The japanese JL version was pressed from the matrix JL 1001 A/ JL 1001 B. This record 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 a plain white cover, with 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. This is a very rare bootleg dating back to 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 numbers 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. Black-and-white 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, but 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, brown inner sleeve, white label with red pirate. A different insert was produced, with the "pirate" logo replacing the disc logo. The disc had the same labels.
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 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).