logo Capitol 6000

The Beatles - Canadian experimental pressings

Developed by Serge Pelletier





In 1976, Capitol of Canada acquired its own pressing facilities in Mississauga Ontario, and "experimented" or made sure everything worked properly, forming employees etc. The finally produced their first steady runs of albums in 1978. Meanwhile, in the USA, a series of colored vinyls pressings of best selling albums were made that same year. Needless to say, Canada, directed to follow their parent company, also offered colored pressings of the White, Red and Blue albums (on white, red and blue vinyl). In Canada, we also had the chance to have a unique gold record Love Songs and a marbled purple splash vinyl pressing of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. But unkown to the public, in 1978, a handful of Capitol employees tested possible vinyl color combinations, creating many one-off experimental pressings never intended to be sold, but used only as in-house tests for possible color releases and testing the color techniques.

Many of these Canadian unique items have surfaced over the years, featuring mostly tests on one volume of a double album. Here we try to document all of the known experimental pressings that survived through time, due to the insightful employees who kept a few of these rare unofficial items.

An excellent article featuring some of the pressings listed below was written for Exclaim Magazine at this address here:


www.exclaim.ca
Serial Number Artist Title
SMAS 11638 The Beatles The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl
This rare pressing was experimented with in the same fashion as the marbled Sgt pepper album. Note that the Hollywood Bowl album was never released as a colored vinyl. It is unkown if other similar copies exist.
 lp
SEAV 11840 The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
This interesting pressing resembles the marbled splash LP that was commericalized, but has a blue hue instead of the light purple we all know. It is unkown if other copies were tested in the same way.
 lp
SEBX 11843 The Beatles 1967-1970
One of the many experimental blue album colored vinyl discs. Here, only one record was pressed; Curiously, labels don't match the recorded tracks: Side 1 - Beatles Revolver Side A (ST-2576)can be heard, while Side 2 - Plastic Ono Band Side B (SW-3372) can be heard on blue vinyl; both sides have '67-'70 labels. Most likely a simple color test made with random pressing parts
 lp
SEBX 11843 The Beatles 1967-1970
Most likely from 1978. It is unkown if other copies tested in the same way still exist. Here, only one record was pressed; Pictured here is the A side and B side. This copy was sold for 100$ in May 2012. Here is the text featured in the online auction:

"This auction is for one Extremely Rare Beatles Blue Album disc number two only in transparent blue and white marbled virgin vinyl. This album is sides three and four from the double album set. Each side of this album has a different pattern. An album cover is not included. The album looks very cool spinning on a turntable. This album was produced at the Capitol Records/EMI Music Canada record pressing facility in the early 1980s where I was employed at the time. This album was produced while Technicians were experimenting making a turquoise blue album by mixing clear blue vinyl and white vinyl together at the top of the extruder barrel.  This album was made during the transition phase from clear blue to turquoise and I doubt if another disc like this exists. All the transition phase discs except this one went in the scrap to be reground. I do wish I had saved more of these from destruction. This is a genuine album made by a Capitol facility using genuine Capitol lacquers. This album is not a recent knock off. The lacquers for this album were all mastered using analogue sources by Capitol Records at the Capitol Records lacquer studio in Hollywood, California. The "mastered by Capitol"is shown in some of the pictures. This album was made before the early technology 16 bit PCM masters were being used. This album is purely analogue. Only one cut on each side of this album has ever been played and that was to confirm that the music did match the labels. The album is not warped and there are only slight ticks and pops on the cuts that I played. The surface noise does not change while the stylus runs across the areas on the disc where it goes from blue to white."
 lp
SEBX 11843 The Beatles 1967-1970
Another blue album test. It is unkown if other copies were tested in the same way. Here, only one record was pressed on blue vinyl. Second LP is black.
SEBX 11843 The Beatles 1967-1970
A few other copies were tested in the same way. Here, only one record was pressed on blue vinyl. This copy surfaced in late 2012.
blue
SEBX 11843 The Beatles 1967-1970
Again, only one record was pressed on blue vinyl. This copy surfaced in early 2013.
blue
SEBX 11844 The Beatles Love Songs
Done by the same employee as the previous record, (found in the same collection of the former employee). It is unkown if other copies were tested in the same way. Here, only one record was pressed in sunburst; The second LP is on the gold vinyl found in the stock copy of the Canadian unique SEBX release from 1978. Unfortunately, details on these pressings are limited as the worker who experimented with them has sadly passed away.
 lp
SEBX 11844 The Beatles Love Songs
Possibly done by the same employee as the previous record - they show a similar design. It is unkown if other copies were tested in the same way. Here, only one record was pressed in color; The second LP is on black vinyl.
 lp
ST 6054 The Beatles Twist And Shout
This is a mysterious pressing as it is not from 1978 like the others featured here, but rather from the mid 1980s as it bears the retro rainbow label. Furthermore, this pressing is neither a Capitol nor a Columbia pressing, but seems to have been pressed at Cinram, a company that was subcontracted by Capitol (possibly only as a test to evaluate Capitol's options for further pressing contracts). Nonetheless, this odd pressing features the regular stereo album, on a vinyl that is clear-brownish. This copy surfaced in late 2012 and it is unknown if other copies exist. One could suggest that, compared to other exeprimental pressings, this one could in fact have been made as a short run since it was manufactured with its whole package (cover inner sleeve) like every other regular retro rainbow pressings of this album.
blue





logo
logo
Copyright © 1999 - 2017
Capitol6000 & Hemmingsen Publishing
Piers A. Hemmingsen & Serge Pelletier. All Rights Reserved.