October 4, 2012


If there is a cultural axis to the earth, then it certainly shifted on October 5th, 1962. With our 50 years of reference, it's hard to overstate the impact that both James Bond and The Beatles had on history. Amazingly, the first 007 movie and the first Beatles record came out on the same day. What followed was the spy boom with its international jet-setting values, a complete re-invention of popular music, the galvanizing of the youth, and a British cultural invasion that continues to reverberate in every Mini Cooper, well-dressed action hero, and new concept album. Each has spawned generations of incarnations, and each continues current output that expands their fan-bases. The iconography of Bond and The Beatles represents so many chapters in the changing climate of the 1960s, yet these monumental creations arrived in such simple packages.

The Beatles first single, Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You, released on October 5th, 1963 by Parlophone. A 50th anniversary vinyl reissue was planned, but the album version (without Ringo on drums) was accidentally used. In a flurry of news this week, EMI has recalled all of the records with plans to scrap them. No announcement has yet been made if they will re-cut a new batch with the correct recording. A few records may have found their way to collectors, who now have a modern rarity. The complete Beatles catalog (stereo remasters) will be released on vinyl in November. The Mono remasters will follow on vinyl in 2013. Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour have both been remastered to Blu-ray and had recent Theatrical releases. For Spy Vibers with deep pockets, Southeby's is auctioning original Sgt Pepper art by Peter Blake. Beatles insider, Bill Harry, has written a book about the recording of the first record called Love Me Do, which is free for Kindle until October 9th (John's birthday). Hunter Davies has just edited a unique book that collects the letters of John Lennon. See our checklist of new Beatles books, recordings, and films here.

The UK advanced poster for the first James Bond film, Dr. No, released on October 5th, 1962. A 50th anniversary box set of all of the Bond movies has been released on DVD and Blu-ray. Some single movie titles, previously unavailable on Blu-ray, are now available at Target stores and will likely become widely available soon. A new Bond feature documentary called Everything or Nothing has just premiered. The literary Bond, which has a 60th anniversary next year, has just been released in various new editions in the UK and US.  Ian Fleming: The Bibliography by Jon Gilbert will be published at the end of this month. Many Bond movie-related books are being released in the wake of the 50th anniversary. For Spy Vibers with deep pockets, Christie's is auctioning original movie props. 

Celebrate this special anniversary with the first public experiences with The Beatles and James Bond below. Try to imagine what it was like to be in the world of 1962, getting this first taste of new artistic creation. It was fresh, exciting! But would they be one-hit wonders? You put the needle on the record... The lights went down in the theater...

Check out our recent posts, including Neil Armstrong: One Last StepCelebrating 450,000 visitorsInterview with Playboy Bunny Deana, and our series, For Your Shelf Only, where guests share stories about collecting and show us some of their treasures. Series links: Jon GilbertRaymond BensonJeremy DunsPeter LorenzDavid FosterRob MallowsRoger LangleyCraig ArthurFleming ShortMatt Sherman. Check out my books Counting Sheep and Mort Walker Conversations

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