Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to identify original Beatles LP's on the capital label!

What was the first vinyl lp I ever bought? Well it was two actually. The Beatles Red and Blue lps!

I thought it was a great start! I was a cd collector for a long time and decided to take the epic jump to vinyl. What better place to start than the greatest band ever! The Beatles!

Now since I purchased these lps I have bought literally hundreds of Beatles albums! Some I sold…. Most I kept!.

Now a big thing about buying Beatles lps is knowing what you’re buying! And of course as it is with all albums, it’s all in the label!

I am by far no expert when it comes to labels on lps. I always have to rely on Goldmine price guide or do some research online. However, over the years I got a better understanding of the Beatles labels. Particularly the Canadian releases. So I’m going to give a crash course on identifying the Beatles Canadian releases on the “Capital” label!!

When the Beatles albums were first released in Canada they were issued by Capital Records. Capital records had a black label with a rainbow around the perimeter until. This is known as the rainbow label! Basically all of the official releases were released on this label until 1968 when they opened Apple Records and released them under their own company (the apple label).

Now this label was reintroduced within capital again in the 80’s.And yet again sometime later on! So just because you have a Beatles album on the ‘rainbow’ label does not mean that you have an original Beatles lp! BUT, there are a few easy things to look at to tell the difference.

The 60’s rainbow label (which of course would be the original Beatles releases) looks like this:


Note the text written above the rainbow along the bottom portion. This is way of easily identifying the 60’s rainbows!

Now look at this 1980’s release:


See how much text there is? Forget about what the text says… Just remember that the 80’s rainbow text goes almost the entire way around the label, and the original does not.

On the even later pressings the text is in the actual rainbow! Simple isn’t it!. So to know that the capital label is from the 60’s, all you have to know is that the text is outside of the rainbow, and covers less than half the perimeter of the label!

Now if you want to get really particular.. The Beatles lp's pressed in the later part of the 60’s has “Canada” in brackets! The earlier 60’s labels do not!

Now of course Capital had other label variations over the years.. Here is a quick rundown..

Between 1969 and 1971 the capital target labels were used. First the label was green with the target and later it was switched to a red label with the target which is shown below.


From 1972-1976 it was switched to an orange label like this!


There were a few small variations over the years with the orange label but know that if you have an orange label it was from this time period!

In 1977 they switched to this purple label!

Again a few small variations over the years but if it is purple, it’s from the late 70’s!

And then in the 80’s they went back to the rainbow as I discussed above!

So this gives you a good idea how to identify Beatles lps on the capital label! Hope it helps!

If I missed anything or you disagree with how I identify these, by all means please leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Brad,

    Wanted to post an addition to the "Beatles On Capitol" post. I can't really recall precisely, as all my Beatles vinyl is still in storage, but I do know that for a brief time, around the early 1970's, the Capitol albums (pre-1968) were pressed with an Apple label. I'm not sure if this took place in Canada as well, but I'm almost positive my Apple "Revolver" was a US press. Again, I will have to report back when I pull the record out. I know that there is NO mention of "Apple" on the sleeve, but the record label was the familiar "granny smith" Apple label.

    I should also point out that the 3 "Canadian" Beatles LP's ("Beatlemania With The Beatles", "Twist & Shout" & "Long Tall Sally" were issued originally as mono only LP's. Capitol switched to a stereo version of "Beatlemania" in the 1970's, while "Twist & Shout" remained mono at least till the early 80's. (My Purple Capitol is full mono and my late 80's Rainbow pressing is full stereo (fake stereo for 2 tracks.) "Long Tall Sally" as issued in the early 80's remained in Mono, but with a few songs substituted for stereo mixes. After "Long Tall Sally" came out, Capitol Canada decided just to stick with the US releases and not bother putting time and money into making their own compilations.

    I should also point out that the Purple label Capitol Canada pressings of "Beatlemania" are some of the best sounding versions of the "With The Beatles" LP out there. But Capitol Canada in the 70's (to confuse matters) did 2 different stereo masterings. One version (the most desirable) is with full "wide" stereo on both sides (backing tracks and vocals on each channel respectively) while other masterings (for what reason I have no clue) was mastered with a "wide" stereo side and a "narrow" stereo side (narrow meaning the vocals & backing tracks are mixed a little more to the center, as compared to the "wide" version.) This "hybrid" version also sounds very good (judging from a very good needledrop of this pressing I have heard.)

    Hope this info helps.


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