The Beatles first official Canadian 45, other than the My Bonnie / The Saints 45 issued on Decca in April 1962 credited to Tony Sheridan And The Beat Brothers, was issued in Canada on the Capitol label on Monday, February 18th, 1963. This was the very start of Canada's 50 year "Love" of The Beatles!
Here are the five most important things "Beatles people" should know about this important record on the date of its 50th Anniversary in Canada:
The original 45 that was issued in Canada was actually "dubbed" from a red-label Parlophone "factory sample" 45 sent over to Paul White at Capitol Records Of Canada in Toronto. RCA Victor studios on Mutual Street in Toronto did the dubbing at Capitol's request and RCA created a unique Canadian master. The version of Love Me Do on this Canadian record featured Ringo Starr on drums and not Andy White. In fact, this is the same version of Love Me Do that appears on the "Rarities" Beatles album that was issued by Capitol in 1980.
The initial batch of approx. 1,000 copies were pressed in early to mid February 1963 at RCA Victor's pressing plant at Smiths Falls, Ontario. Approx. 200 of these records were sent as promotional copies to radio stations across Canada, with the idea that those targeted stations would play the 45 in order to generate local interest. According to Capitol's Paul White, there was very little interest in the 45 upon its initial release, the disc did not chart, and only 170 copies were sold in Canada during the weeks of February and March of 1963.
Following the Canadian chart success of the Beatles' She Loves You 45 on Capitol in December 1963, the Love Me Do record was re-pressed by RCA Victor in early 1964 at Capitol's request. To date, no early 1963 radio station library copies of Love Me Do have surfaced. It has always been assumed that the early 1964 pressings carry the same label credits as the original pressings from February 1963, but that is only an assumption, as no one yet has been able to produce an authenticated copy from February 1963. The original 1963 pressings would have been shipped to stores in a black glossy stock Capitol sleeve.
Most importantly, Capitol USA decided not to issue any of the Beatles first four Parlophone 45s in the USA. Conversely, Capitol Records of Canada did issue all of these 45s during 1963 and this helped to build a strong fan base in Canada. The single was not issued in the USA until early 1964.
Because Love Me Do had not been issued by Capitol USA during 1963, many thousands of copies of Love Me Do on Capitol Of Canada were exported to the USA when the demand there for Beatles 45s peaked during the frenzy of Beatlemania.
Collectors of the Canadian Capitol Beatles singles can identify the 1963 pressings of the three later singles issued in Canada in 1963. All three of these were also pressed by RCA Victor at Smiths Falls, Ontario.￼￼
72090 - Please Please Me / Ask Me Why - the B side publishing credit is shown as Dick James Ltd.
72101 - From Me To You / Thank You Girl - the B side publishing credit is shown as Northern Songs Ltd.
72125 - She Loves You / I'll Get You - the A-side run-out matrix number has no trailing dash after the etched "7XCE 17395"
But to date there has been no sure way to differentiate a February 1963 pressing of the Love Me Do single from an early 1964 "no dash" pressing. To date we have sampled over 20 copies of the "no dash" version of the single and we have yet to come up with a conclusive way of distinguishing a 1963 copy from a very early 1964 re-pressing that also has no dashes. Some collectors have stated that they can tell a 1963 pressing of the Capitol Love Me Do 45 by the colour of the swirl labels. The images below show the etchings in the run-out areas of the "no dash" Capitol 72076.
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles first record in Canada, we must also acknowledge the huge role of Paul White and his team at Capitol of Canada, and also for the team at RCA Victor, Toronto and Smiths Falls in Ontario where the records were created all those years ago. Those pioneers are to be saluted, and these incredibly rare records are their great legacy for us collectors. Happy 50th Birthday to the Capitol edition of Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You ... from all of your fans!