Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Beatles & The Capitol of Canada "6000" Series - by Keltie Harding

The Beatles & The Capitol of Canada " 6000" Series

by Keltie Harding.

photo courstesy of

February 18, 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Beatles single in Canada!!!! "Love Me Do" & "P.S. I Love You" were released February 18, 1963 in Canada by the Canadian division of Capitol Records. For years I  thought that Capitol of Canada was the first North American company to issue a Beatles recording (not counting "My Bonnie" from the Tony Sheridan sessions) but recently discovered that US company Vee-Jay was the first, releasing "Please Please Me" & "Ask Me Why" on Feb. 7, 1963.  Still, Capitol of Canada was the first to release "Love Me Do". (How's that for bragging rights!!)

Paul White was an A&R staffer at Capitol of Canada and was responsible for setting up the "6000 series" division, which focused on Canadian pressings of UK EMI music and foreign releases, as well as homegrown Canadian talent.  (The first 6000 series LP was Capitol T-6000,  "The Unforgettable" by UK jazz musician Freddy Gardner.)  The Capitol 6000 series issued a LOT of  EMI UK acts in the 60's in (mostly) unique LP compilations, in addition to Canadian rock acts such as The Esquires and Jack London & The Sparrows (pre-Steppenwolf). Capitol of Canada was the only North American label to release Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" in its original UK form. (The US version was titled "Pink Floyd" and had an altered track listing).  In the 1970's & 1980's, the 6000 series focused on more Canadian acts (Edward Bear, Anne Murray, Prism, Streetheart) and largely steered away from imported acts. Capitol of Canada issued its last 6000 series LP in 1989.  True, lots of good music was put out by Capitol on the 6000 series after the 60's, but its the 60's issues of British acts like The Beatles, The Animals, The Dave Clark Five and The Yardbirds (amongst many others) that has cemented the reputation of this particular release series.

As we all know the original first UK issue of "Love Me Do" contained the Sept. 4 1962 (Ringo) version.  The song was re-cut Sept. 11, 1962 with Andy White on drums.  EMI & George Martin decided early on after the first batch of pressings that White's version was superior to Ringo's, and that all further issues were to be pressed with White's version.  To ensure this, the 1/4" mono master for Ringo's version of "Love Me Do" was destroyed and the original 2-track multitrack erased to be re-used at Abbey Road.  (The 1/4" master for "P.S. I Love You" was not destroyed and still resides in the EMI archives.)  Note that Vee-Jay released this pairing in 1964 on the Tollie label, T-9008, but used the Andy White version.  The "Ringo" Love Me Do was never released in the US until its inclusion on the 1980 LP "The Beatles Rarities".

In early 1963 White was sent a factory sample copy of "Love Me Do" by EMI in England.  White liked what he had heard and decided to release the single in Canada. In order to issue "Love Me Do", White used the UK Parlophone factory copy as his source. He took the 45 to RCA Victor Studios in Toronto to get it dubbed directly to a new master disc.  According to the Capitol 6000 website, Capitol of Canada commonly used original UK and US vinyl singles as thier source material for Canadian pressed singles, and had the sources transferred directly to a new lacquer master disc. So if you have a single pressed on Capitol of Canada from the 50's and early 60's, there may be a possibility that your Canadian pressing is a needledrop of an original US or UK single. 

Its not known how many copies of the Canadian "Love Me Do" were originally pressed.  The website both state 170 copies and 1000 copies in different sections of its website. The website does confirm that the single didn't make much noise on the Canadian scene. Still, Paul White knew there was something special about this group.  After the Beatles made it big in the US, Capitol of Canada re-pressed "Love Me Do" (still, with Ringo's version) well into 1967. 

When "Please Please Me" became a smash in the UK, Paul White took notice and decided to release that single in Canada.  "Please Please Me" & "Ask Me Why" was released in Canada on  April 1, 1963 and again, the Canadian pressing was dubbed directly from a UK Parlophone single. 

White and Capitol released the next two Beatles UK singles "From Me To You" / "Thank You Girl" and "She Loves You" / "I'll Get You".  Capitol of Canada were about to give up on the Beatles after "From Me To You" but Paul White persisted and "She Loves You" eventually became a top 5 hit in Canada.  Successful enough for White to secure the Canadian rights to release the Beatles' newest album "With The Beatles".  The sleeve was altered slightly from the UK design and the Canadian version was issued as "Beatlemania! With The Beatles" (Capitol T-6051).  Unlike the past issues, this was the first Canadian Beatles record to be cut from dubs of the UK master tapes.  The album (as were most of Capitol of Canada's "pop" LP's) was originally released in Mono only.

Canadians felt the Beatlemania bug well before the US ever picked up on it.  And Capitol of Canada released another single to further boost The Beatles into the Canadian spotlight.  "Roll Over Beethoven" / "Please Mister Postman" was released in December 1963 as promotion for the "Beatlemania! "LP.  The British invasion sound was starting to infiltrate Canada and one of Canada's top acts "Chad Allan & The Reflections" (later renamed The Guess Who") were incorporating the harder UK "beat" sound into their "Shadows" influenced sound.  (The Shadows were also successful UK recording artists in their own right, in addition to being Cliff Richards' backing band.)

What I don't understand is why "I Want To Hold Your Hand" & "This Boy" was not released in Canada right away.  According to the Capitol 6000 website, IWTHYH was released Jan. 11, 1964 in Canada, yet was released almost 2 weeks earlier (Dec. 26, 1963) in the US. (From here on in, any US singles that Capitol of Canada released, they used US supplied masters and pressing plates.)

Capitol Of Canada released their second LP "Twist And Shout" (Capitol T-6054) in February 1964.  This LP was basically 12 cuts from the UK "Please Please Me" LP with "She Loves You" and the Andy White version of "Love Me Do" added.  The LP was a huge seller and was kept in print until the late 1980's!! The next "Canadian" Beatles LP was the great "Long Tall Sally" compilation (Capitol T-6063).  It used, for some odd reason, the same basic artwork as the US "The Beatles' Second Album".  It gathered 12 songs from recent singles, a few re-issued tracks from the "Beatlemania!" LP and was very strong compilation of rockers with a couple of ballads. 

Shortly after the release of "Long Tall Sally", Capitol of Canada began issuing the US compiled Beatles' LP's, using US supplied master tapes and pressing plates.  This became the norm for Capitol of Canada.  The first US-compiled LP that Capitol of Canada released was "Something New".

The Beatles' first US albums "Meet The Beatles" & "The Beatles' Second Album" did NOT see an initial Canadian issue in 1964.  (I did not know this!)  The first ever "Canadian" pressing of both LP's came in early 1967, in both Mono and Stereo and used the black & rainbow label. As Mono was phased out in the late 60's, these albums were subserviently available in stereo only.  A third Capitol US album, "The Early Beatles" (released in 1965) didn't see its first true (stereo only) Canadian issue until 1968 (Another fact I was not aware of.)  Other Capitol LP's that were available stateside in both Stereo and Mono were only released in Canada in Mono.  It wasn't until after mid-1966 when LP's like "Something New" and  "The Beatles' Story" were issued in Canada as stereo LP's.  However, from "Beatles '65" onwards, Capitol of Canada issued albums in both stereo and mono versions as per the US.

In the US, Capitol Records did not have rights to issue any Beatles recordings pre-"I Want To Hold Your Hand."  Because Capitol USA refused the chance to issue the recordings first, the rights to these tracks were placed with Vee-Jay records (and its subsidiary, Tollie.) Another tiny label, Swan Records held the rights for "She Loves You" & "I'll Get You" until mid 1965. Swan also absorbed the rights to "Sie Liebt Dich" as well.  As Beatlemania became big business, Capitol began to whine and they were in litigation with Vee-Jay over the rights to the early material. Capitol of Canada were safe and could issue the early Beatles recordings without problems from Vee-Jay. Seeing as how Capitol of Canada was their own little entity, Paul White had signed the Beatles to an exclusive Canadian distribution contract. 

The Beatles' Capitol LP's always had ads for other Beatles Capitol LP's on the rear sleeves.  However some of my Canadian pressed Beatles LP's (like "Something New" or "Beatles VI") didn't list "Meet The Beatles" or "The Beatles' Second Album".  Instead, pictures of "Beatlemania!" and "Twist & Shout" were subsitituted.  Now I know why (see above!)  Its amazing the new tidbits of information you learn over the years

Capitol of Canada, in addition to releasing the US Beatles singles, also released thier own unique pairings on 45.  They also released "Sie Liebt Dich" as a single, which, according to the Capitol 6000 website, did not sell well.

In 1966 Capitol of Canada deleted "Beatlemania!" & "Long Tall Sally" from its catalog. "Twist & Shout" remained in print however.   In 1971, for some reason, they decided to bring the 2 deleted LP's back into the catalog. "Beatlemania!" & "Long Tall Sally were again both presented in mono. It wasn't until the late 70's "purple dome" pressing that "Beatlemania! saw a true stereo release. "Twist & Shout" remained in mono & didn't get stereo mixes until the early 1980's "rainbow label" pressing.   "Long Tall Sally"'s stereo pressing was a mish-mash (or "hybrid") of both stereo and mono starting with the "purple dome".  I'm not sure about vinyl issues past 1980, but I do know a Capitol of Canada cassette tape from the mid-late 80's featured all stereo except "I'll Get You" which was mono.

In addition the different label variations of the post-1971 Capitol pressings, each particular pressing reportedly had its own sound. (I'm going by what others have posted on online discussion forums.  I guess the proof is in the listening.)  Reports of the orange label "Twist & Shout" note tinny sound, while the 1978 purple dome pressing (still in mono) sounds rich and fab.  (I know, I own a copy.)  There's also the discussion of "narrow" stereo mixes and "wide" stereo mixes appearing.  When I say "wide" stereo, I am talking about the "vocals in once channel, music in the other channel" stereo mixes with no bleed of the 2 channels at all.  "Narrow" mixes are just that.  The stereo image is somewhat narrowed.  So the vocal channel has a bit of the music and the music channel has a bit of vocal.  I'm assuming that each time the LP's were issued, the tapes were pulled from the vault and re-processed and a new master disc was cut.  This question would be a fine one for the folks at to research and untimately verify. 

One of the oddest re-issues of "Beatlemania" were stereo pressings with side 1 with the wide versions and side 2 having narrow versions. (Could have been a issue where different pressing plates were used.) However, Capitol at one point did something right and pressed a batch of late-70's "Beatlemania!" LP's with BOTH sides in full wide stereo, exactly like the original UK vinyl.  Fans have garnished praise over this particular pressing, claiming the mastering sounds BETTER than the UK stereo pressing.  Again, I happen to be lucky to own a "double wide" pressing and it sounds glorious.  I had no idea what I "had" until many years later when I began reading online audiophiles forums. 

The follwing quote comes from Beatle-ologist Bruce Spizer :

"The first three Beatles LPs issued by Canadian Capitol (6051, 6054, and 6063) were re-issued at least 6 times between the early 1960s and the mid-1980s using the black/rainbow, black/rainbow with brackets around the word Canada on the label perimeter print, red target (early 1970s), orange (mid-1970s)*, purple (late 1970s), and finally a «retro» black/rainbow label (early 1980s). Later re-issues post the mid-1970s used an "ST" prefix to denote stereo."
(* -Note, I saw 2 variations and different pressings both on orange labels listed on eBay.  I made note of this down below. - KH)

Here's a listing of the unique "Canadian Only" LP's and singles Capitol of Canada released: 


"Beatlemania! With The Beatles" (Capitol T-6051, mono.  Later issued in stereo as ST-6051) (Was mono only until the purple label pressings in 1978)

"Twist And Shout" (Capitol T-6054, mono.  Re-issued in mono & (post-1980) in stereo, BOTH as ST-6054. (The switch to the ST prefix took place circa 1975. Two different issues were presed with the solid orange Capitol label, both with different typeset.  The earlier orange labels have the T prefix, but the second (post-1975) issues have the ST prefix, but still played mono. Subsequent pressings (including my late 70's "purple dome" pressing) had the ST prefix but played mono until the early 1980's pressings with the revived "rainbow" label & full stereo.

"Long Tall Sally" (Capitol T-6063, mono.  Later issued in mono and much later, as a mono/stereo hybrid, as ST-6054)

Note: The Capitol 6000 website states that the orange label Capitol issues offered stereo versions of the three 6000 series LP's for the first time.  There were 3 different pressings/generations  of the orange label, according to the site.  But my "purple dome" "Twist And Shout" plays all mono.  Different tapes and plates sent to different pressing plants, who knows.  But this stuff is fascinating!)


Love Me Do / PS I Love You (Capitol 72076)
Please Please Me / Ask Me Why (Capitol 72090)
From Me To You / Thank You Girl (Capitol 72101)
She Loves You / I'll Get You (Capitol 72125)
Roll Over Beethoven / Please Mister Postman (Capitol 72133)
All My Loving / This Boy (Capitol 72144) (A late 1980's stereo re-pressing of this single came in a picture sleeve based on the "With The Beatles" sleeve, but with a new catalog number.)
Twist & Shout / There's A Place (Capitol 72146) (Again, this pairing was re-pressed in the 1980's, in stereo, no doubt brought of of the successful use of "Twist And Shout" in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".  Also released in the US as Tollie 9001). 
Do You want TO Know A Secret / Thank You Girl (Capitol 72159) (This pairing was also issued by Vee-Jay in the US as VJ 587)
Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You) / I'll Get You (Capitol 72162)

All subsequent Capitol 45 RPM singles adhered to the US releases.

For a TON of information regarding the Beatles and Capitol Records of Canada, go to  A lot of my info for this article was sourced from that site.  I also used Wikipedia and the Steve Hoffman Music forums ( as reference material.  A thanks goes to those sites and its authors.  I just took the info and presented it here for you.

I grew up with these 3 Canadian Capitol LP's and still love the flow of the tracks on "Twist And Shout" & "Long Tall Sally".  These LP's are firmly cememted in the hearts and minds of endless Canadian Beatlemaniacs (and others around the world who also own copies!).  Thanks to Paul White of Capitol of Canada for taking a chance on The Beatles 50 years ago and for creating a unique perspective of the UK and Canadian music scenes via the Capitol 6000 series.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to that Capital 6000 site, I also learned that there was in fact a Canadian version of the infamous "butcher cover" for Yesterday & Today, but they never entered circulation, either for sale or as radio/sales promos like they did in the U.S. The treasured few that weren't destroyed remained in the hands of EMI Canada employees, although one or two may have since turned up in private collections.


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