Monday, February 27, 2012

Widow's Walk: Free Promotion

Those of you who have bought and devoured (ha!) my short story collection "Serendipity...And Other Stories," will be familiar with the short novella "Widow's Walk," which makes up part of that collection.  I have received a number of positive reviews and comments from readers on this story in particular.

Recently, after doing a bit of research on free promotions offered to Amazon authors, I decided to publish Widow's Walk individually, and offer it for free.  The purpose of a free promotion is simply to get your work out there to a wider reading audience - the hope being that if they like the free book, they might open their wallets to buy more.

So Widow's Walk is available, starting today, for free from Amazon.  The promotion will run until this Friday, March 2nd.  After that, it will cost 99 cents.  I would make it free forever, but I don't think Amazon allows you to do that - or, if they do, I haven't figured out how yet.

In any case, here's the link to the book: Widow's Walk

I really like the cover I did for this one...the picture is one that I took myself, and it features the house, on 2nd Street in Lexington, Kentucky, that inspired the story itself.  I did a bit of tinkering with it in Photoshop.

Anyway, I would appreciate as many downloads as I can get.  As always, if you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app for your tablet, phone, computer, etc., from Amazon.  And there is a link for that below this blog post.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 Fun Facts About James Monroe

James Monroe, the 5th President of the United States
Be sure to check out my newest book, Washington's Nightmare: A Brief History of American Political Parties, available now at! 

1.  James Monroe was born in 1758 in Virginia.  Born into a prosperous family, Monroe received a good education, but dropped out of college in 1775 to join the Continental Army.  He served as an officer and was involved in Washington's famous Crossing of the Delaware.  In Leutze's famous painting of the event, Monroe is depicted right behind Washington, holding the U.S. flag.  In the Battle of Trenton, Monroe was wounded in the shoulder.  He was the last U.S. president to serve in the Revolutionary War.

2.  Monroe never finished his college degree.  Instead, he studied law under Thomas Jefferson, hoping to use his training as a means of entering politics.  It worked.  He entered the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782, and was elected to the Continental Congress the following year.  In 1786 he married Elizabeth Kortright, and together they had two daughters and a son.  The son died in childhood, but his second daughter became the first presidential child to get married in a White House ceremony.

3.  After the adoption of the Constitution, Monroe ran for a seat in the new U.S. House of Representatives in 1789, but was defeated by James Madison.  Instead, Monroe won a seat in the Senate the following year, where he very quickly allied himself with the Jeffersonians - those early politicians who supported agriculture and states' rights over a strong centralized government.

4.  In 1794, Monroe was named Minister to France by president Washington.  An ardent supporter of French interests, he was outraged by the passage of the Jay Treaty, which effectively allied the U.S. with Britain, and kept the U.S. neutral in the ongoing war between Britain and France.  In 1796, he was fired by Washington for working against the Washington administration in regards to French interests.

5.  Elected Governor of Virginia in 1799, Monroe called out the milita to put down a slave rebellion, after which 26 slaves were hanged.  The leader of the rebellion had been a literate (that is, educated) slave, and as a result of the rebellion, Virginia and other states began passing laws aimed at limiting the amount of education slaves could receive.

6.  Named Minister to Britain during the Jefferson presidency, Monroe brokered a renewal of the Jay Treaty that he had so vociferously opposed a decade earlier (and which had ultimately cost him his job).  Jefferson, however, refused to accept the treaty, as it did not end the British practice of impressment (forcibly removing British sailors from American ships and conscripting them to serve on British ships).  As a result, the two countries inched closer to war.

7.  Monroe served as Secretary of State under James Madison, and when the War of 1812 began going badly, Monroe was named Secretary of War to replace the previous secretary.  No replacement for Secretary of State was ever named, however, so Monroe effectively held both offices at the same time - the only person in history to hold two cabinet posts under the same president.  When a peace treaty was finally signed, Monroe resigned as Secretary of War and resumed the full-time duties of Secretary of State.

8.  Monroe ran for president in 1816, and due to the collapse of the old Federalist party, he won a landslide victory against a weak Federalist opponent, winning all but three states, and all but 34 of the electoral votes. In 1820, running for re-election, the Federalist party - now all but defunct - didn't even run a candidate, and Monroe became the only president since George Washington to run unopposed.  He won every state, and would have won every electoral vote, but one elector in New Hampshire decided to cast a vote for Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, who wasn't even running.  As a result, Washington remains the only president to ever win a unanimous electoral vote.

9.  Because of the collapse of the Federalist party, Monroe had little to no organized opposition during his two terms in office.  This resulted in what commentators at the time called "The Era of Good Feelings" - a time when there was very little rancor in Washington, and the country was sailing smoothly.  Monroe's most famous legacy is the so-called Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the U.S. would no longer tolerate European intervention in North or South America.  Monroe is also the only U.S. president to have a foreign capital named after him (Monrovia, capital of the African nation Liberia).  

10.  Monroe was the last U.S. president who still dressed in the 18th century fashion of powdered wigs and knee breeches.  He was also the last 2-term president to succeed a 2-term president from his own party.  (In fact, no 2-term president succeeded any 2-term president until Bill Clinton and George W. Bush).  Monroe is also the last president who was never photographed.  Monroe was the first president to deliver an inaugural address outdoors to a public crowd.  Monroe is also considered one of the least religious presidents in U.S. history, with no known religious affiliation.  Finally, Monroe was the first president to live in the White House when it was actually white (prior to Monroe's presidency, the White House was gray).  He died on July 4, 1831, the third president in a row to die on Independence Day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

10 Fun Facts About The Beatles

The Beatles in August, 1969, in their final photo-shoot together.

1.  The Beatles were formed in March of 1957 by 16-year-old John Lennon and several friends.  First called the Blackjacks, and later the Quarrymen, Paul McCartney joined the band later the same year, after hearing them play at a church social.  By early 1958, George Harrison had joined.  They toured off and on for the next several years, eventually adding a fourth guitarist, Stu Sutcliffe, who was slated to play bass.  They lacked a consistent drummer until Pete Best was hired in 1960.  Shortly after this, the Quarrymen, now going by the name The Beatles, left for Germany where they were slated to play as the house band in a number of clubs operated by the same owner.  They performed in Germany for much of the next two years, and played as the backing band for a German pop star named Tony Sheridan.  Sheridan's song "My Bonnie" - credited to Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers - charted at #32 in Germany, giving the band their first hit.  Sutcliffe had left the band shortly before this time, and McCartney had taken over bass guitar duties.

The Beatles in Germany in the early 60's.  From left: Lennon, Harrison, Best, McCartney, Sutcliffe.

2.  In 1962, shortly after being signed to their first major record contract, the band fired Pete Best at the request of the record company, which felt that his drumming wasn't up to par.  He was replaced by another local drummer, Ringo Starr, who had, in fact, filled in for Best on several previous occasions.  Starr was left-handed, but played a right-handed drum kit.

3.  The Beatles' early image of clean-cut teen heart-throbs was, in many ways, largely a ruse.  All four were in their 20's before they were ever heard of in the United States.  When Beatlemania began, in February of 1964 with the band's performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, John Lennon was already married with a child.  By 1966, three of the four band members were married.  Lennon himself was hardly a clean-cut "boy next door."  He had a rocky childhood, frequently got in trouble in school, and was widely considered a "bad influence" on his friends.  As seen in the photograph above, The Beatles dressed more in the "dangerous" style of James Dean in their early days, and only switched to well-tailored suits and clean-cut appearances at the behest of their record company after returning to the UK from Germany.

The "clean-cut" Beatles look of the mid-60's.  

4.  Both Paul McCartney and John Lennon lost their mothers to early and untimely deaths - a fact that no doubt helped unite them.  McCartney's mother died of a blood clot following surgery for breast cancer in 1956.  John's mother was struck by a car and killed while walking along the street in 1958.  Neither lived to see their sons become world-renowned musicians.

5.  The song "When I'm Sixty-Four," from the Sgt. Pepper album, was written by Paul McCartney when he was just a teenager, long before his success with The Beatles.  Both Lennon and McCartney insisted that the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was not about LSD, despite the apparent connection of the letters.  Instead, it was based on a drawing by John's son Julian, showing a blonde-haired girl under a starry sky.  When asked by McCartney what the drawing was, toddler Julian responded: "It's Lucy - in the sky with diamonds."  The McCartney song "Hey Jude" was originally titled "Hey Jules," and was intended as a message to Julian Lennon during his parents' divorce.  The song "A Day in the Life" was originally two separate songs, one by Lennon and one by McCartney, that were merged together with a heavy overdub of orchestration.  The final note of the song is played by three pianos and one organ hitting the same chord simultaneously.

6.  The song "My Majesty," from the Abbey Road album, was originally intended to be placed between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."  McCartney, however, didn't like the song and told the recording engineer to get rid of it.  The engineer complied, cutting the song out of the master tape.  However, after Paul left, he spliced it back onto the end of the reel, fearing he might lose his job if he got rid of something The Beatles recorded.  It had long been an unwritten rule in the recording studio that nothing The Beatles recorded was ever to be destroyed.  When Paul heard the tape again, now with "My Majesty" at the end of the record, he decided he liked it.  As a result, "My Majesty" effectively became the first "hidden track" in popular music, as there is a 14-second pause after the end of the previous song, due to the tape splicing.  Additionally, on the original release, "My Majesty" was not listed on either the album cover or the record's label.  

7.  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is widely regarded not only as The Beatles' breakout album, but also as the first "concept album" in rock history.  However, the "concept" the album was based on was largely abandoned by the group during recording, and only the first two tracks, together with the 13th track, actually retain the original concept of an "alter-ego" Beatles band.  The lead singer of this alter-ego band was Ringo Starr - called Billy Shears on the album.  The song he sings as Billy Shears - "With A Little Help From My Friends" - is one of The Beatles' most famous songs.  It has been covered by more than 50 mainstream acts, and has hit #1 on the UK charts three different times.  The character of "Sgt. Pepper" was conceived when someone misunderstood the phrase "salt and pepper."

8.  The album Let It Be was the final album released by The Beatles.  However, Abbey Road was actually the last album they recorded.  With Let It Be in the mixing stage, the band - unhappy with the final results - shelved the whole thing and recorded Abbey Road.  After Abbey Road was released, Let It Be was re-mixed and finally released in early 1970, right as the band was breaking up.  In the final medley on Abbey Road - the so-called "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" medley - all four Beatles sing, and all four Beatles have instrumental solos - the only time that ever happened.  These were also the last songs they ever recorded together.

9.  The first member to leave the band was Ringo Starr - in 1968.  He rejoined several months later, however.  The following year, in late 1969, John Lennon left the band, although he agreed not to make his departure public, because Abbey Road was being released the following week.  In early 1970, just before Let It Be was released, Paul McCartney left the band, released a solo album, and publicly announced that The Beatles were breaking up.  Lennon was incensed by this, feeling that McCartney had conned him into keeping his departure quiet so that McCartney could get the "credit" for breaking up the band, and so he could use the break-up to promote his own solo album.  Lennon later said: "I started the band.  I disbanded it.  It's as simple as that."

10.  Following their break-up, all four Beatles embarked on solo careers, with each releasing a solo album in 1970.  All four recorded #1 hit songs as solo acts.  Everyone but Ringo had a #1 album.  The best-selling solo album among ex-Beatles in George Harrison's 1970 album All Things Must Pass, which has been certified 6-times platinum in the United States.  The most enduring single by an ex-Beatle is John Lennon's song "Imagine."  The overall best-selling ex-Beatle is Paul McCartney.

Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Fun Facts About Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States
Be sure to check out my newest book,Washington's Nightmare: A Brief History of American Political Parties, available right now at! 

1.  One of seven sons born to his parents, Dwight Eisenhower was born in Texas in 1890, but grew up in Abilene, Kansas.  His parents were originally Mennonites, but later became Jehovah's Witnesses.  Dwight, however, never joined the congregation, and later referred to himself as "deeply religious" but not affiliated with any "sect or organization."

2.  As a young teenager, Eisenhower injured his leg, and the infection became so severe that doctors considered amputation.  He was ultimately forced to repeat his freshman year of high school, but his leg healed completely.

3.  Entering West Point because he was too old to join the Naval Academy, Eisenhower played football but failed to make the baseball team - something he later said was one of the greatest disappointments of his life.    As a football player, he broke his leg in a game - the same leg he had injured earlier in his life - and it never fully healed.  The collegiate player he was tackling during the injury was future Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe.

4.  Eisenhower married Mamie Doud in 1916, and the couple had two sons.  The first son died in 1921 of scarlet fever, but the second son, born in 1922 and named John, is still living.  John gave Eisenhower four grandchildren, including a son named David, who became the namesake of the presidential retreat Camp David.  David Eisenhower, in turn, married the daughter of Richard Nixon - Eisenhower's Vice-President.

5.  During World War II, Eisenhower was elevated to the rank of 5-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allies.  He is one of only five men to ever hold a 5-star rank.  As Commander of the Allies, Eisenhower was the most powerful military man in the world, and oversaw the D-Day invasion in 1944.  Ironically, as Jehovah's Witnesses, his parents had been strict pacifists.

6.  Both parties courted Eisenhower for the 1948 presidential election, but he opted instead to remain in the military, while also becoming president of Columbia University.  Courted again in 1952, he joined the Republicans and ran against Democrat Adlai Stevenson.  Using a now famous campaign slogan - "I Like Ike" - Eisenhower won in a landslide, becoming the only former general in the 20th century to become president.  He also became the last president born in the 19th century.  When he ran again in 1956, he again defeated Stevenson in a landslide.  Despite this, his approval ratings were very low by the time he left office.

7.  Eisenhower was the first president of 50 states, achieving that distinction when Hawaii became a state in 1959.  He was also the first president with a pilot's license, having earned it in 1939.  Eisenhower is also the only 20th century president who was bald.  Finally, Eisenhower became the first president to appear on color television.  

8.  Eisenhower loved golf.  He played more than 100 rounds of golf each year, was a member of Augusta National, and had a putting green installed on the White House lawn.

9.  Eisenhower is the only president in the 20th century who never held a political office prior to becoming president, and only the 2nd in U.S. history (Zachary Taylor was the other).

10.  Eisenhower had several medical issues during his presidency, including a mild heart attack, a ventricular aneurysm, and a mild stroke.  He also suffered from Crohn's Disease and had gallbladder problems.  He lived, however, for 8 more years after leaving office in 1961, finally dying of congestive heart failure in 1969.  During his autopsy, an adrenal tumor was discovered which might have contributed to his continual heart problems late in life (he had survived several more heart attacks after leaving office).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Notes from the Cave

"It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

That opening sentence from Orwell's "1984" would be perfectly appropriate at this moment, except that it's not April.

The Spawn are across the street, and the Mate is shopping with a friend.  That means Yours Truly gets to sit at home and watch Lost, read, and do a little blogging.

If you follow me on Twitter (@BScottChristmas), you may have noticed that I have started getting involved in the so-called "Indie Writer" crowd.  Twitter is a HUGE medium for independent authors, and they all follow each other and retweet each other all the time.  Some of these writers seem to be on Twitter all day long, seven days a week, sending out tweet after tweet after tweet, often times repeating the exact same thing (an advertisement for their book, for instance).  Many of them never tweet anything that is not related to Indie book publishing and writing.  It's as if they eat, sleep, drink, and breathe Indie publishing.  

To be honest, I find it a bit annoying, and somewhat creepy.  Like this underworld subculture of mostly unsuccessful writers that no one knows about.  

I'm not trying to be mean - I'm one of them after all! - but the obsessive way some of them (and I emphasize, it's only SOME) use Twitter to self-promote is a bit of a put-off.  There is at least one guy who I un-followed simply because I got sick of seeing the same self-promoting tweets over and over and over again - dozens of times a day. my regular followers, sorry for the occasional book-related retweet or for the occasional tweet promoting my own books.  I like the Indie writers community, and I appreciate it that it's there as a resource for me, but I try not to overdo it or abuse it.  


This past week at work was, in all honestly, probably the most stressful week I've had since I've been an X-ray tech.  Very, very busy all week, everyone frazzled and stressed out, and that stress just emanates around the group and becomes a vicious cycle.  It was not fun, at all.  It did, however, make Happy Hour on Friday night especially fun, and we had a very good turn out.  My birthday, as many of you know, was last Wednesday, and while I am not too thrilled about 37, at least it's not 40.  :) 

I am making slow progress on what is set to be my first novel published on Amazon.  As my good friends and family will know, I have written five novels over the years, but have not yet published any of them.  It took me a while to decide which one to publish, and now that I have made the decision, I have to essentially re-write the whole thing. 

The title of the book (which MIGHT be changed) is The Pyrate Chronicles.  This was the first novel I ever completed.  I started writing it after being inspired by a dream in the summer of 1995 - the summer after my Sophomore year of college.  I wrote the first half of the book that summer, then set it aside during my Junior year of school.  The following summer - 1996 - I returned to it and completed it.  It was a big accomplishment, of course, but the book itself was not very good.  

I did a mild rewrite of the book in 1997, and then a much more thorough rewrite about 1998.  Even then, it wasn't particularly good, and I decided to finally put it aside and move on to other things.  I have always regarded it with an almost paternal affection, not just because it was my first literary offspring, but also because it was hopelessly flawed, but still an important stepping stone in my development. 

So here I am now, 17-some years down the road since I wrote the novel's first line, and I have decided to resurrect it with a complete rewrite and release it as my first published novel.  As the title implies, it is a pirate tale, and I hope to make it a sort of action/adventure story with a strong sense of historical setting and historical integrity.  It's not going to be supernatural, like Pirates of the Caribbean, and it also won't be a totally romanticized story - like Treasure Island - of a pirate world that never really existed.  

It is set in Europe in the late 17th century, and the central character is an English sailor turned pirate who haunts the Mediterranean Sea and has a bit of a Robin Hood streak.  He is joined by his lover, a woman who was sold into white slavery on the Barbary Coast as a child, but was rescued by a Dutch privateer and raised on his ship.  Taking a cue from my recent obsession with the TV show "Lost," I intend to fill the book with flashbacks, slowly revealing the back story of the various main characters as the novel progresses.

I will, of course, keep you filled in on my progress :) 

I was very happy yesterday to see the UK Wildcats pull out a tough road win against Vanderbilt - one of the hardest teams to beat on their own floor.  I hate to sound silly, but I really do think this particular Kentucky team is one of the very best UK teams in a very, very long time.  They seem to be peaking at just the right time, and they are playing really good basketball right now.  The "favorite" team of the last few years has NOT managed to go on to win a national championship.  I think UK is the clear "favorite" right now, so I hope that they will break the streak.  They seem to be standing out from the pack right now, in a way that I have not seen teams do for the last few years - which is why, I think, that no "favorite" has won a championship.  There has been quite a bit of parity in college basketball in recent years, but I feel like Kentucky is really stretching out ahead right now.  We'll see how it progresses.  

I feel like there is more I should talk about, but I can't really think of anything at the moment.  I hope to get back to work soon on part III of my political party history.  Don't die from anticipation, please.  

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Convoluted History of the Beatles Catalog

Sounds like a fascinating subject, eh?  Well, I think it is.

(By the way, I am opting to use the more modern spelling of "catalog" in this post, because I am tired of having Google Chrome tell me I am spelling it wrong.  I have always spelled this word as "catalogue," but apparently that spelling is no longer in vogue [or should I say "vog"?].  Perhaps "catalogue" is the British spelling.  Either way, you're getting "catalog.")

As my Twitter and Facebook followers will know, I just received the entire Beatles catalog for my birthday.  There aren't many performers for whom you can buy the entire catalog in one fell swoop, but the Beatles, evidently, are no common musicians.  In 2009, their record company released a box set that basically includes every song they ever recorded and released during their reign in the 1960's.  I had never owned a Beatles album before, but have been increasingly interested in their music as I've gotten older, so I decided to just go all out and get the whole thing.

As it turns out, the actual catalog itself has an interesting, and at times extremely confusing, history.

To put it simply, by the time the Beatles broke up in 1970, they essentially had two catalogs: their UK catalog, and their U.S. catalog.  To put it in modern parlance, they basically had two separate discographies - different albums, with different titles, different songs, and different artwork.

To explain this mess, and how it was resolved, it is perhaps best to begin by explaining the often confusing, and sometimes completely paradoxical, terminology used in the music business.

There are three basic types of releases common in the music industry.  The first is the so-called "single."  This is perhaps one of the most confusing terms in the history of popular music.

To begin with, there are two types of singles.  The first type is a song that is released only as a single unit.  It cannot be purchased on a full-length album because it was never put on an album.  It was only and forever a single.

The second type of single is a song that is released as part of a full-length album, but is also released as a single unit.  You can purchase the song either by buying the single, or by buying the entire album.  When I was growing up in the 1980's and 90's, this was the most common type of single.  An album would be put out, and several of the best songs from the album would also be released as singles.

Earlier, in the 50's and 60's, the first type of single - the stand-along single - was much more common.  Bands and performers frequently released songs as singles that were never on a full-length studio album.  With the advent of digital MP3 downloads, it has become common once again for performers to release songs that are only released as singles.

In addition to this, the word "single," itself, is a misnomer, because in the days before digital music, a "single" actually had two songs on it, not one.  So it was really a "double."  There would be a song on the front, or "A" side, and a second song on the back, or "B" side (this was true whether it was a record or a tape).  The A-side song would typically be the song that would get the most airplay on radio stations, and, as such, it would usually be the song that would make the Top 40 lists.  Sometimes, however, the B-side song would get a lot of radio play as well, and it, too, might become a hit.  There are a few cases of B-side songs actually ranking higher on the Top 40 than the corresponding A-side song.  

The second type of music industry release is the so-called "LP."  This stands for Long Play, and it is the most common type of album.  When your favorite performer releases a new, full-length studio album, it is considered an LP.  In the 60's and 70's, an LP might have had 8 or 9 songs on it, depending on how long the songs were.  With the advent of tapes, and later CD's, LP's generally became longer, with as many as 11 or 12 songs (records couldn't hold that many songs, unless the songs were really short; as a result, during the 1980's, when both records and tapes were still being mass-produced, the record version of an album would usually have fewer songs, or the songs would have portions cut out of them to make them shorter).  Even though CD's can hold much more than that, the 12-song standard has generally remained in place for modern LP albums.

The final type of music industry release is the EP, or Extended Play.  Even though this sounds like it should be the longest of the bunch, it's actually in between a single and an LP - something that I always found extremely confusing.  If a single had 2 songs, and an LP had 10 songs, an EP might have 6 songs.  Guns n' Roses' second album, G n' R Lies, is a famous example of an EP.      

With that background in mind, we look now to the actual Beatles catalog.  The first two Beatles albums were released in the UK in 1963.  However, when Beatles music finally came to the U.S. in 1964, entirely new albums were created for the U.S. market.  They were basically made up of songs that had been on the first two UK albums, as well as some songs that had only been released as singles in the UK.  Otherwise, the titles were different, and even some of the cover art was different.  This trend continued up through the 1966 album "Revolver."  Beginning in 1967 with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the catalogs were finally brought together, and with one exception, all the following albums were the same in the U.S. and UK.

The one exception was the second album of 1967, Magical Mystery Tour.  In the UK, this was a Double-EP album - meaning two EP records.  Each record had 3 songs - 2 on the front and 1 on the back.  In the U.S., however, it was an LP with a total of 11 songs on one record.  The front side had the same 6 songs that had been on the UK version, but the back side had an additional 5 songs that had been released only as singles in the UK.

Because of all this, by the time the Beatles broke up in 1970, they had a significant number of LP's, EP's, and singles to their name, and none of it was unified.  In the UK alone, they had released 12 LP's, 13 EP's, and 22 singles.  Among all countries combined, it was 27 LP's, 21 EP's, and 55 singles.  The various catalogs were made up of essentially the same songs, but they were on different albums with different names and different artwork.  Some songs that had been singles in one country were on albums in other countries, and some songs that were part of an LP in one country were part of an EP in another country, and on and on and on.  Even the record companies themselves were different, depending on where the song/album was released.

This mishmash remained until 1987 when the catalog was released for the first time on CD.  Apple Records, the Beatles record label by that time, decided to streamline the catalog to make it easier to access.  The way they fixed the problem was simple: they essentially did away with all the releases in the U.S. and other countries, and made the original British LP's the "official" discography.  However, this act, alone, did not solve the problem, because there were a significant number of Beatles tunes that had never appeared on any full-length LP in the UK.

To correct this problem, Apple first did away with all the British EP's.  They could do this because the vast majority of the songs released on British EP's had also been released, at one time or another, on British LP's.  However, there were still a number of Beatles songs that had been released only as singles in the UK (as well as one song that had only been released in the U.S.).  So Apple took those stand-alone singles, combined them with the handful of EP songs that had not ever been on a British LP, and made them into two compilation CD's, which they called "Past Masters."  These albums also included several singles that were later re-mixed or re-recorded for full length albums (such as Let It Be, which was released first as a single, then later re-mixed and re-released on the album of the same name).

Even after this, however, the problem was still not solved, because the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour album had only been an EP in the UK, while it was a full-length LP in the U.S.  So instead of including those songs from the U.S. version on the Past Masters compilation, and then doing away with the British EP, they simply made the U.S. version of Magical Mystery Tour the "official" album.

Now, finally, every song ever recorded and released by the Beatles was available in a unified format as a single catalog - 13 studio albums, of which 12 were original UK releases, with the original UK titles and artwork, and 1 was an original U.S. release, and two compilation albums that included all the songs that were leftover from singles and EP's.

And now I have them all.  And you can too!  Just follow the link below.

The Beatles Stereo Box Set