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Identify & Date Your Beatles Parlophone Records

Updated on August 1, 2017

Beatles Promo Poster

Beatles Parlophone Records Promotional Poster (UK, c. 1963-64).
Beatles Parlophone Records Promotional Poster (UK, c. 1963-64). | Source

The Beatles Parlophone Records

The Beatles Parlophone record variant pressings and collectibles. Parlophone Records over the years has issued and re-issued The Beatles record catalog creating several variants. These variants include mis-labeled tracks, mis-spelled words, incorrect credits, not to mention Parlophones label variations over the decades. Nine original Beatles LPs were issued on the Parlophone label between 1963 and 1967 which were issued in both mono and stereo. Four of the original Beatles' LPs were issued on the Apple Records label and since early 1969, the new Beatles LPs were pressed only in stereo. Only the first two Beatles' LPs on Apple Records "The Beatles" and "Yellow Submarine" were issued in both mono and stereo even though "Yellow Submarine" itself was not mixed separately for mono as "The Beatles" and the previous records were. The mono "Yellow Submarine", - unfortunately, - was simply a combining of the two stereo channels.

Parlophone Gold Label Variant

The Beatles Please Please Me Parlophone Records Mono Gold Label LP Vinyl Record
The Beatles Please Please Me Parlophone Records Mono Gold Label LP Vinyl Record | Source

The Beatles "Please Please Me" PMC 1202

When Parlophone Records released The Beatles first LP "Please Please Me", the label styles were in transition. The original Parlophone record label was a black label with gold print, as a result this created a legendary Beatles collectible, the "Gold Label", "Please Please Me" which can be found with any of the following three different label variations.

The first label credits the Beatles original songs to "Dick James Music" (which is pictured here).

The second credits those same songs to "Northern Songs".

Finally, the last variant that can be found has mis-matched, with side one having different credits than side two.

The album cover accompanying a "Gold Label" copy should have the front cover credits shifted all the way to the right to the covers' edge -- later covers have the front cover credit moved slightly to the left.


Gold Label Variant

Beatles "Please Please Me" Stereo Early Parlophone Gold Lablel LP Vinyl Record
Beatles "Please Please Me" Stereo Early Parlophone Gold Lablel LP Vinyl Record | Source

Beatles "Please Please Me"

"Please Please Me" the Beatles first album, the mono mix was recorded in less than 10 hours and was rushed to release on March 22, 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalize on the success in the charts with the singles "Please Please Me" (#1) and "Love Me Do" (#17).

A stereo mix was made later, with one track on the left channel and the other on the right, and a layer of reverb was added to better blend the two tracks together which was released April 26, 1963.

The Beatles Please Please Me Mono PMC 1202 Yellow Parlophone Vinyl Record Album
The Beatles Please Please Me Mono PMC 1202 Yellow Parlophone Vinyl Record Album

1960s Yellow Parlophone

Variants Pressings

The typical Parlophone record label from the 1960s has a black label with "Parlophone" in yellow. This basic label style lasted on all Parlophone issues until 1969, when it was replaced by a black label with silver print. However, there were three different variations of the 1960s Yellow Parlophone Label, which makes it possible to give a more accurate date to your Parlophone album. Copies of the "Please Please Me" vinyl record pressed immediately after the switch to the yellow and black label can be found with "33 1/3 rpm" instead of "Recording first published 1963" on the label. These copies now sell for about triple the price of normal copies. After these copies, there exist transition copies which does not have either print. These sell for 50% more than standard copies.


Parlophone Adds Resale Statement

1964 Yellow Parlophone Variant

In 1964, legalities forced Parlophone to add a "resale statement" to their records' label. All Parlophone records produced between 1964 and late into 1965 will have "The Parlophone Co. Ltd." in the rim print and will have the "Sold in U.K." message across the middle of the record label.



The Gramophone Co. Ltd.

1965 - 1969 Yellow Parlophone Variant

From 1965 until 1969, all Parlophone Vinyl LP's were released with labels having "The Gramophone Co. Ltd." in the rim print and the "Sold in U.K." message across the center of the label.

There is also a transitional issue of Beatles Vinyl LP's from 1969 with a black and yellow label but no "Sold in UK" message.

The black and yellow Parlophone label appeared briefly on reissues during the early 1980s. This reissue label has EMI" mentioned in the printing on the rim of the label and has the word "Mono" on the label.

1970s Black & Silver Label Variant

70s Parlophone Record Label & Its Variants
70s Parlophone Record Label & Its Variants

The Beatles Parlophone "One Mark"

The Beatles Parlophone Catalog was reissued in 1969 were reissued onto a black and silver label. This is commonly refered to the 70s label, as it lasted through most the 1970s and into the 1980s.

The earliest variety of the 1970s label (up through 1973) is nicknamed the "One Mark" label because only one EMI logo appears on the label, later copies have two. Only Three albums are known to have been reissued in MONO on the "one mark" label.

1970s Black & Silver Label Variant

Beatles 1970s EMI Parlophone Black and Silver Two Mark Variant
Beatles 1970s EMI Parlophone Black and Silver Two Mark Variant

The Beatles Parlophone "Two Mark"

From 1973 to 1976, the rim print on the "two mark" label has "The Gramophone Co. Ltd," but in 1976, the rim print changed to mention "EMI" as the manufacturer and after 1979, the rim print changed to begin with an "all rights" statement.

The black and yellow Parlophone label appeared briefly on reissues during the early 1980s. This reissue label has EMI mentioned in the printing on the rim of the label and has the word MONO on the label.

How To Read Parlophone Matrix Numbers -

At 6 o clock is the matrix number with a dash number. In this case it is XEX 638-1 Dash 1 indicates the 1st lacquer made. 2 would be the second, etc.

At 9 o clock is the mother number. In this case it is Mother # 8

At 3 o clock is the stamper code. The code works like this:

GRAMOPHLTD

1234567890

The letter above is code for the corresponding number below. Example: the stamper code is "MDP" in the record below. This corresponds to the numbers M = 4. D = 0. P = 6. Stamper is #406

The mono LPs were numbered with "PMC" prefix on center-right of the label, in the same way, the stereo LPs were numbered with "PCS" prefix. And you can see on the label of the stereo LPs, the word "Stereo".

Mono and Stereo ... Label Variation #2: Prefix of Stamper Number

Mono (PMC) label using: XEX. ( you can see each label and inner groove both side 1 and 2)

Stereo (PCs, P-PCS) label using: YEX. ( You can see each label and inner groove both side 1 and 2)

Example above: side 2 was made by the 1st lacquer, the 8th mother and pressed by the 406th stamper. Perhaps the record company could anticipate total sales volume and, up front, they might produce all the needed lacquers, mothers and stampers. Or perhaps at a later date, the record company would need to produce additional lacquers and mothers in order to meet customer demand for the product. In the case of The Beatles, millions of LPs were typically sold within the early weeks of production and, during the years after that, millions more were produced as 2nd, 3rd and later pressings.

Parlophone Distributes to Other Countries

Beginning in 1965, Parlophone began to press and distribute to other countries copies of LP's that were not available in that form in England. These included Parlophone pressings of several US Capitol albums, also a Parlophone issue of The Beatles (for countries that had not accepted the Apple label yet), and a Parlophone-covered issue of Let It Be.

The series prefix "CPCS" was used for US-based albums, with the leading "C" standing for "Capitol." For the other export LP's, a leading "P" for "Parlophone" was used, along with the usual British catalog number.

Labels for the export series resembled their UK counterpart

Manufacturer's Catalog Number

Manufacturer's Catalog Number

Prefix Label and Type

PMC Parlophone, Apple Mono

PCS Parlophone, Apple Stereo

PXS Apple Stereo (Let It Be: Box Type)

CPCS P- CPCS Parlophone, Apple Stereo: for export Edition

P- PCS (PPCS) Parlophone, Odeon Stereo: for export Edition

PCSP Parlophone, Apple Compilation Album

PCTC Parlophone Magical Mystery Tour

PHO Parlophone Picture Record

From 1963 until today, "regular" Beatles' Parlophone and Apple LPs are issued with catalog numbers -- "PMC-XXXX" or "PCS-XXXX", where XXXX is a 4-digit number, excepted the "Let It Be Box Type" was numbered "PXS 1". The first export LPs are reproduced of three American LPs. They are "Something New CPCS 101", "The Beatles' Second Album CPCS 103" and "Beatles VI CPCS 104". All of these are available only in stereo. This whole series of albums had fully-laminated front covers with fold over flaps onto the back, as most of the standard-issue 60's LP covers were made.

P.S.

The Beatles "Words Of Love"

The Beatles Live Empire Pool 1965

The Beatles Live At Circus Krone 1966

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Keep It In The Groove !! Let Us Know You Were Here Too !!

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    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Thanks the Beatles are one of my all time favorites.