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.

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