In 1994 a European movie was made about the early days of the Beatles. The movie is titled Backbeat and centers around the band’s time in Hamburg, Germany, focusing on the relationship between Stuart Sutcliffe (Beatles original bassist), his girlfriend, and John Lennon. The film spawned a soundtrack performed by a super group of sorts. The band was dubbed The Backbeat Band and featured Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) on drums, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), Gregg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) on vocals, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) on guitar and Mike Mills (R.E.M.) on bass. Henry Rollins even does vocals on one song. The soundtrack is comprised of covers of Beatles songs and covers of covers the Beatles performed in their early days.
The soundtrack has gone through two pressings. The first pressing was released in 1994 and the second pressing, which is featured here, was released in 2016. The retail release of both pressings are visually identical. Same cover art, same printed dust sleeve, same center labels, etc. However, there is a promo pressing from the first pressing that differs greatly from the mass retail release. This promo version, the only U.S. release of the soundtrack from the first pressing from 1994, was pressed on green vinyl and comes in a plain white poly sleeve. I’m not sure if it’s a picture disc sleeve or not though, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it is. This promo version is the only variant of any pressing to be released on color vinyl.
One important note about the second pressing of this soundtrack is that many online listings, both distros and second hand places like ebay, are using an artwork image that is wrong. This wrong album art, which is featured below for posterity, features a white background. The artwork for the second pressing is identical to the first pressing, and what is used on all versions of the soundtrack (CD, tape, etc.).
Because this soundtrack was OOP for over 20 years, it was somewhat in demand. However, prices of it did not go out of control. Prices topped at $28 for it. But with that said the U.S. promo copies went for far more, topping at $50. When the 2016 re-press came out, retail price on it was $25. A debatable move by the label (Virgin) because not many people will pay $25 for a single LP release with little to no extra details like a gatefold jacket or heavyweight vinyl. The re-press was being marketed as “limited edition” with no pressing info given to say exactly how “limited” it was.
I expected there to be thousands upon thousands of copies pressed. Surprisingly, this soundtrack is becoming hard to find. So that “limited edition” hype line may actually be true. I held out on buying this expecting it to go on sale way after release date because distros can’t move their stock. As of writing this I was wrong. Nobody is lowering their price on this, everyone is selling this for close to $25. But that is not to say I didn’t get a deal on this record. I bought this online from indie record store Amoeba Record during one of their monthly 15% off sales. They often list items they took in trade as being used despite many of them still being factory sealed. It’s likely because due to legal reasons they can’t sell someone they’re selling second hand as “new.” Whatever the reason, they were selling a “used” copy for $20. and with 15% off and free shipping I spent $17 on this.