Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yellow Submarine LP (US and Canada)

The sound track to the Beatles' United Artists film "Yellow Submarine" was released on Apple records in the US and Canada on January 13 1969 in stereo only. The catalogue number for this LP is Apple SW-153. The tracklisting for this LP is exactly the same as it's UK counterpart (see earlier posting for UK "Yellow Submarine" LP).

The big difference between this version of the LP and it's UK counterpart is the cover. The front cover for the US/Canada version omits the words "Nothing Is Real" from the "sub" title (get it?) located on the UK version between the LP title and the drawing of the submarine. Added to the US/Canada cover are the words: "Selections by The Beatles plus original film music" to the upper right hand side of the front cover. Lastly, the copyright notice for "King Features Syndicate Subafilms Ltd. 1968" is added to the left of the drawing of Old Fred.

The back cover liner notes also differ in both continents. The UK back cover features liner notes by Derek Taylor as well as a review of "The Beatles (White Album)" from the London Observer by Tony Palmer. The back cover liner notes for the US/Canada version contain a fictional "beowulf" type story credited to Dan Davis.

The Apple labels feature the full Apple for side one and the half Apple for side two. Canadian copies include typesetting from both RCA and Compo. US copies were pressed in Los Angeles, Scranton and Jacksonville with original pressing having the Capitol logo on side two as perimeter print.

The LPs inner sleeves were usually generic white or none at all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The White LP Arrives In The Form Of An Apple

"The Beatles" (the official title of the White Album) was released in the US on November 25 1968 and in Canada on November 29 1968. The catalogue number for this LP was Apple SWBO 101. This was the first LP to be released on the Apple label although the manufacturing/distribution was still with Capitol Records in North America. By this time in the Beatles' career, the similarity to the UK release (see relevent earlier post) was pretty well the same. Covers, poster, photos and tracklistings were the same on both sides of the Atlantic.

There are a few differences though. The White Album of the US and Canada was only released in stereo and mono had been pretty well abandoned at this time. Original copies have the word "stereo" written in light grey on the back cover upper right as well as on the spine. The front and back cover are wrapped around and are completely white (hence the unofficial name of the LP). Original copies have "The Beatles" embossed at a slight angle on the front cover followed by a serial number underneath.

The serial numbers on the front cover were not manufactured sequentially but probably in batches (see "The Beatles On Apple Records" by Bruce Spizer for details). Low White album numbers are very collectible. Canadian covers often have imported US covers with higher numbers at the LP was released a few days later in Canada than in the US.

The four individual photos of the Beatles can be distinguished by the markings on the lower left which can say "printed in the USA" or "printed in Canada" although a lot of Canadian discs have imported photos. The same goes with the poster. The US version may have come with separater sheets of various colour for the photos while the Canadian copies did not.

The 2-LP set have Apple labels with the full Apple photo for sides one and three; half an Apple for sides two and four. US labels had the "Capitol" logo perimeter print on sides two and four. There is no written "script" on the labels as there are in the UK versions. Early copies of the White Album include one of the songs titled "Bungalow Bill" on the label rather than "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill".

A few US covers had stickers adhered to the shrinkwrap with the LP title as well as the tracklisting. Various forms of the sticker were added.

Inner sleeves for the 2 - LP set are usually plain white sleeves.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Roll Up..Roll Up For The Magical Mystery Tour

An original idea transpired in late 1967 when it was discovered that The Beatles were about to release a 2-EP set of their television special entitled "Magical Mystery Tour". Capitol in the USA decided not to release the soundtrack to their television special in the same format (EPs were not as popular in North America as they were in the UK, to put it gently).

Capitol Records in the US and Canada released a full LP "Magical Mystery Tour" on November 27, 1967. This was the last Capitol LP to be released in both mono and stereo formats. The catalogue number for the mono issues is MAL-2835 while the stereo issues consist of the catalogue number SMAL-2835.

Capitol Records enlarged the front cover of the UK Parlophone double EP (catalogue number MMT-1 for mono and SMMT-1 for stereo). A yellow and blue "clouds" type background expands and surrounds the photo of the Beatles in animal costumes. White banners indicates the songs included on the LP in red. Side one tunes are above the Beatles photo while side two songs are featured below the photo.

The side two songs consist of previously released singles along with the new single at the time: "Hello Goodbye". The first two songs on side two of the LP ("Hello Goodbye" and "Strawberry Fields Forever") are in true stereo on the stereo version of the LP. The remainder of side two ("Penny Lane", "Baby, You're a Rich Man" and "All You Need Is Love") are in duophonic which means the mono mix with highs in one speaker and low frequencies in the other speaker for the stereo version of the LP.

The back cover of the LP is exactly the same as the UK Parlophone double EP back cover (but obviously blown up to fit the 12 x 12 format).

The original LP has a gatefold cover with the track listing on the left side and the lyrics to side one on the right side. The original 24 page booklet is attached to the inside gatefold cover with staples and is the same booklet as the UK Parlophone double EP (once again, obviously blown up to fit the 12 x 12 format). Some re-issues discontinued the booklet.

The labels are the classic Capitol black and rainbow rim with white/blue manufacturing information written above the rainbow perimeter. In Canada, mono copies were mainly RCA pressings while stereo copies were mainly Compo pressings.

The material on the LP consisted of songs from the television special "Magical Mystery Tour" on side one and the 1967 singles on side two. The LP was very successful in the sense that this format has been adopted as the offical Beatles catalogue and consequence CDs have been issued in this format. The LP format was also officially released in the UK in 1976 (see pertinent blog for information).

The inner sleeves for this LP in Canada were the red/white "Capitol/Pathe" - "Attention" sleeves while in the USA, the inner sleeves were often the "Sgt. Pepper" psychedelic red, white and pink "fool" inner sleeves but also may contain the Capitol tan inner sleeves with the mini black and white LP covers.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pepperizing the US and Canada

The first Beatles' LP released on Capitol for the year 1967 was "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". This LP was released one day after the UK version of the LP (mono PMC 7027 and stereo PCS 7027 - see original post for details). The catalogue numbers for this LP on Capitol is MAS-2653 for mono and SMAS-2653 for stereo). The release date for the LP was June 02 1967.

This is the first Capitol LP to feature the exact same tracklisting as the UK version. The only exception is that the US/Canada versions do not carry the high frequency run-out groove and the voices of the inner groove.

The iconic front cover is the same as the UK version with one exception. Stereo copies were released with a yellow banner across the top of the photo with the word "stereo" centered and writtin black on the banner. The cut-outs with the green background were also different due to their markings in the lower left hand side. The US version having the words "Printed In USA" while Canadian copies including the "Parrs" logo along with the words "Litho In Canada".

The original labels for this LP are the classic black with rainbow Capitol labels. In Canada and the US, first pressings contain the side one second track as "A Little Help From My Friends" which was shortly changed to "With A Little Help From My Friends". The back cover lyrics always referenced the song title as "A Little Help From My Friends". All Canadian pressings originate from the Compo plant.

Inner sleeves for the LP are usually the customized psychedelic red/pink/white "fool" sleeve or the Capitol "Hear The Hits" tan sleeve in the US. Canada only used the red and white Capitol/Pathe sleeve on stereo issues and rarely used the inner sleeve for the mono records.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This Is Where It Started

An LP release of little significance was put out by the Metro Record Company in the US and Canada on August 15 1966 in mono and stereo and entitled "This Is Where It Started". This LP was essentially a re-issue of the earlier MGM "My Bonnie" LP release ( please see earlier post for this issue). The catalogue number for the mono release is M-563 while the stereo catalogue number is MS-563. This is the first time that this material was available in stereo for the Canadian fans.

The colourful front cover has various shades of pink, yellow,brown, red, blue, purple and green. There are no photos on the front cover, just text. The Metro logo is at the top right hand corner. The back cover varies between the US and Canadian issues. The US back cover features the title of the LP on the left along with the tracklisting, the Metro logo and some "hip" liner notes. On the right hand side of the back cover, 20 small black and white LP covers promoting the Metro catalogue are shown. On the Canadian issue, the back cover has no tracklisting and no liner notes. All that is shown are 20 black and white LP covers promoting the Metro catalogue. Both back covers are black on white and feature the blurb: "Metro's Exciting World of Music !".

The labels for both countries are black with silver print. The US labels have the songs listed with songwriter's credits and timings whereas the Canadian copies do not have the songwriter's credits and timings; only titles and artist.

For detailed tracklisting, please check my earlier blog posting concerning the subject of the MGM "My Bonnie" LP, it is exactly the same with the exception that this re-issue omitted the songs "Flying Beat" which was on side 1, track 5 of the original release and "Happy New Year Beat" which was on side 2, track 6.

Since this LP was literally released within a week of "Revolver", it never had a chance.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Revolving In The US And Canada

A new set of Beatles' original music was released by Capitol Records on August 08 1966 in both the USA and Canada. This new LP came less than two months after the released of the aforementioned "Yesterday...And Today". The new LP title was "Revolver".

"Revolver" was released in two formats: mono and stereo with the mono catalogue number being Capitol T-2576 and the stereo catalogue number being Capitol ST-2576.

The front cover is entirely liked it's UK counter part with the exception of the "Capitol" logo featured on the bottom center of the front cover replacing the Parlophone Logo. The front cover of the LP was designed by Klaus Voorman who The Beatles had originally met in Hamburg during their stint in St. Pauli's. The back cover features the same photograph as on the original UK LP (taken by Bob Whitaker who also took the "butcher" photograph) showing the band at EMI Studios during a break from the promotional film for "Paperback Writer/Rain". The difference between the UK and US/Canada copies is the extra credit given over the artist/title with the line "Prepared for release in the U.S.A. by Bill Miller". Of course, I suppose that Bill Miller replaced the (in)famous Dave Dexter Jr. in this matter. What exactly Bill Miller did is a bit of a mystery as the sound of the LP is very similar to that of the UK LP and the song line-up is not changed from the UK LP ( with the exception of the three extracted Lennon songs which is discussed in the next paragraph). On the mono version, the mono information is written bottom center and on the stereo version, the stereo information is also written bottom center. On the UK LP, the tracklisting is physically numbered (e.g. 1,2,3 etc.) whereby the US/Canada versions of the tracklisting only feature the song titles.

The labels for this LP feature the classic Capitol black with rainbow rims. The blue/white information runs along the perimeter of the rainbow rim. In the US, the labels were made at the three factories, Scranton, PA - Los Angeles, Cali. - and Jacksonville, Ill. All Canadian labels were manufactured by Compo.

The content of the LP runs in the same order and same songs as the UK Parlophone LP (mono PMC 7009 and stereo PCS 7009) with the exception of the removal of three Lennon songs which appear previously on the Canada/US copies of "Yesterday...And Today". The three songs are "I'm Only Sleeping", "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "Dr. Robert". Unfortunately, this give the LP a lop-sided listening experience of the LP giving Paul six songs, George three and John only two.

The inner sleeves for the US originally inserted within the jackets were the orange "Sounds Great" inner sleeves (the same ones used for "Yesterday...And Today"). Canadian inner sleeves included the red/white Capitol/Pathe sleeves.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yesterday...And Today

Capitol Records released the last of the "mish-mash" Beatles records of the 1960s for the USA and Canada in 1966. "Yesterday...And Today" has one of the most interesting histories of all Beatles albums released. Even it's release date is unsure: Some literature states that the LP was released June 10 1966. Another publication puts the released date at June 15 1966 but delayed (Spizer). The Canadian version was released either on or about June 24 1966 ( Hemmingsen - also claiming that the US release was June 20 1966). Take your pick.

The reason for the delay of the issue was a problem with the original front cover of the LP. The original cover is known in Beatles' circles as "The Butcher Cover". This front cover featured the band in a large colour photograph dressed in butcher smocks surrounded by raw meat, naked children's doll body part with the heads severed. George Harrison holds up a head while one is placed on Paul McCartney and John Lennon's lap. This photo was taken in March 1966 by Bob Whitaker and meant as a bizarre art concept alongside other photographs taken during that session and displayed together with the title: "A Somnambulent Adventure" (it WAS the 60s, after all, folks !! :)

The photo was delivered to Capitol a couple of months later and it was "textured" in order to appear as artsy by a Capitol employee (George Osaki). Not surprising, the sales people were getting negative feedback from their clients over the cover along with frowns and raised eyebrows by folks in the record industry at this time. Even more bizarre is the fact that Capitol Records in the US manufactured thousands of jackets with this original front cover.

Most record retailers refused to stock the LP with this cover and as a result the original "butcher" cover was recalled. According to Spizer, "Queens Litho was ordered by Capitol to destroy over 100,000 used butcher slicks.". Capitol employees were ordered back to work over that week-end and all records/ inner sleeves were removed from the original jackets. Original butcher jackets were removed from distribution trucks and brought back to the Capitol factories. All of the Jacksonville, IL factory butcher sleeves were destroyed. At some point, someone came up with the idea of simply pasting the new cover over the original cover. The new cover was a photograph of the Beatles sitting on/standing beside/ sitting in a luggage trunk. This pasting was done at the Scranton and Los Angeles plants.

Original "butcher" covers without the pasting and in the original state are very rare and largely never sold to the public (the exception being a limited number of places where the rack jobbers may not have known about the recall). Most copies were bought in stores by the public with the newer "truck" cover pasted over the original "butcher" cover. In Canada, there are a few sales slicks and a very, very limited number of "butcher" cover jackets that were all destroyed with the exception of a few empty jackets kept by then Capitol of Canada president, Paul White. No are not past-over jackets in Canada.

The replacement cover - the "trunk" cover - show The Beatles surrounding a luggage trunk with John sitting on the trunk, Paul sitting cross-legged within the trunk opening, George and Ringo standing behind the trunk. The back ground is white and the photograph is in colour. The tracklisting and Artist's name and LP title are to the right. The mono catalogue number for this release is Capitol T-2553 and the stereo catalogue number for this release is Capitol ST-2553.

The back cover is white with black lettering. The artist and LP title are at the top. The tracklisting is underneath with side one on the left and side two on the right. There are mini black and white LP promo covers shown underneath. US copies include "Meet The Beatles", "Second Album" and "The Early Beatles" while Canadian copies replace these with "Beatlemania! With The Beatles", "Long Tall Sally" and "Twist And Shout". The order of the LP covers are also in different orders on the two back covers. Mono back covers have the technical information on the bottom of the cover while stereo back covers have the information at the top.

The labels for the LP are the classic Capitol black and rainbow perimeter with the white/blue print within the perimeter of the rainbow.

The material for the LP consists of various tracks used as singles and taken from three (yes, 3) different UK LPs. Here's the run-down: Side one starts with "Drive My Car" (from the UK LP "Rubber Soul" track one, side one), "I'm Only Sleeping" (from the UK LP "Revolver" track three, side one), "Nowhere Man (from the UK LP "Rubber Soul", track four, side one), "Dr. Robert" (from the UK LP "Revolver", track four, side two), "Yesterday" (from the UK LP "Help!" track six, side two) and ended side one with "Act Naturally" (also from the UK LP "Help!" track one, side two). Side two opens with "And Your Bird Can Sing" (from the UK LP "Revolver" track two, side two), "If I Needed Someone" (from the UK LP "Rubber Soul" track six, side two), "We Can Work It Out" ( UK Parlophone single R 5389), "What Goes On?" ( from the UK LP "Rubber Soul" track one, side two) and finally "Day Tripper" (other side of UK Parlophone single R 5389).

The three "Revolver" tracks were sent to Capitol from EMI in mono only. This means that original stereo copies of "Yesterday...And Today" have fake stereo/ duophonic where the high end comes out of one speaker and the low end comes out of the other speaker.

Inner sleeves for this lp included the orange Capitol "Sounds Great !" inner sleeve with the mini black and white promo LP covers including "Rubber Soul" and the "Help!" soundtrack. Canadian inner sleeves included the red/white Capitol/Pathe sleeve.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rubber Soul Gets The Capitol Treatment

Capitol records released it's next Beatles' LP for Canada and USA with all new material ( up to this point ). The title of the LP was "Rubber Soul", the first time that both the UK and Canada/US titles were actually the same (not counting the movie soundtracks). Another first was that the front cover of both the UK and Canada/US versions were the same with one exception: the colour of the album title wording on the front cover: The UK colour is rust and the Canada/US colour is brown.

Incredibly, the back covers for both version is also the same. Both versions have the exact same black and white photos in the same order. The Canada/US version has the artists' title above the photos while the UK version does not. The album title logo is shown on the left side of the tracklist box while the Canada/US version had the logo centered. The production/photography credits exists withi the tracklisting box on the UK version but are added to the lower left and right of the back cover on the Canada/US version. The Capitol logo on the Canada/US version is in the upper right hand side of the back cover for mono copies and the logo is on the left with stereo blurbs for the stereo copies.

The release date for "Rubber Soul" is as follows: The US formats were released on December 06 1965 and three days later for Canada on December 09 1965. The catalogue number for this LP is

Capitol T-2442 for the mono LP and Capitol ST-2442 for the stereo version.

The label for this LP was originally released on the classic black background with rainbow rim and blue or white print running above the perimeter of the rainbow on the labels. Some original copies credit the artist as "John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr" while other original copies are corrected to "The Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr". Canadian (mono) copies feature either the RCA or Compo label ring while stereo copies only feature the Compo ring.

The content of the LP for Canada/US contain the following: Side one opens with "I've Just Seen A Face" (from the UK LP "Help!" side two, track five), "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", "You Won't See Me", "Think For Yourself", "The Word" and "Michelle". (from the UK LP "Rubber Soul" side one, tracks 2,3,5,6 and 7 respectively). Side two opens with "It's Only Love" (from the UK LP "Help!" side two, track two), "Girl", "I'm Looking Through You", "In My Life", "Wait" and finally "Run For Your Life" (from the UK LP "Rubber Soul" side two, tracks 2,3,4, 5 and 7 respectively).

On the stereo versions of this Canada/US LP, the song "I'm Looking Through You" contains a false start which is not available on the mono LPs.

Inner sleeves for the US version of the LP were originally olive green with mini black and white album cover photos (including "Beatles '65" and "The Early Beatles"). Inner sleeves for the Canadian version of the LP were originally the red/white Capitol/Pathe sleeves.