The Beatles' Christmas Record
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The Beatles' fan club started issuing Christmas recordings from 1963. When fans found out about the free disc coming from the club, more and more people applied for membership. This resulted in many not receiving the record until February 1964, and also without a sleeve to make production faster.
Mostly consisting of the band members clowning around in the studio, the Christmas records also contain some original Beatles songs not released elsewhere. This first one was recorded on the same day as the recording of I Want To Hold Your Hand, October 17th 1963. It consists of several versions of the carol Good King Wenceslas, interspersed with cheeky banter. The jokes were not the improvisations of the band, however, but rather they were scripted by the Beatles' press officer, Tony Barrow. Altogether, about 30,000 copies of the flexi-disc were printed.
Flexi-discs were a light and flexible format which could be bound in within printed material, or safely posted, and played on a normal record player. The lightweight nature of the discs meant that the stylus might drag the record; to overcome this, there was usually a place to rest a coin which would anchor it to the turntable. Due to the waning popularity of the format, compared with cheaply produced compact discs, the production of flexi-discs stopped in 2000.
Object history note
Issued to fan club members only, Christmas 1963.
Souvenir Christmas record issued by the Beatles Fan Club
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Labels and date
The Beatles Fan Club merchandise
Fan clubs have been a way for enthusiasts to connect with a band, actor or show for many years. Members receive newsletters or can buy merchandise unavailable elsewhere. The chance to purchase tickets before the general public is another reason for their popularity.
Printed paper and plastic
Museum no. S.24:1, 2-2008
Twill and cotton
Museum no. S.23-2008 [March 2009 - March 2014]
Theatre and Performance Collection