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Interesting Variations /// 45 RPM discs

Developed by Serge Pelletier, Piers Hemmingsen and Fred Young

A big part of the information found on this page was taken from Piers's books The Beatles Canadian Discography parts 1 and 2.



NOTE: Most Beatles records were repressed on different labels as time went by or when record companies updated their looks and logos. The changes were usually pretty standard, but it did happen that different variations occured on one same label / record version; sometimes a mistake that was later corrected, sometimes publishing credits that have changed. Either way, those subtil differences can be quite interesting to the collector's eye.

Listing every slight variation would be far too long (and not necessarily relevant), so this list rather focuses on the most interesting ones instead.



Love Me Do / PS I Love You

The original 1963 pressing of Love Me Do is very rare since it sold very few copies. Those copies have a matrix number with no dash or number. This number is also hand etched in the dead wax in large numbers and letters. The problem is, stampers for this first pressing being still good after only two hundred copies was most likey re-used when re-pressings were ordered in 1964. But still, it is interesting to distinguish early pressings from later pressings where the matrix number is in small-sized numbers with a dash and number.

The first matrix number pictured here is 7XCE 17144 while the second matrix pictured from a late pressing probably from around 1966 is 7XCE 17144-7



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Another version (67 reissue swirl) exists with brackets in the permieter print. This version is VERY hard to find.







Please Please Me / Ask Me Why

Early pressings of this single had the publishing credits attributed to DICK JAMES on the B-Side and were pressed in small quantities (around 200 copies), later 1964 pressings changed those credits to CONCERTONE. For more details, see "rarest record" in the articles section of the site.

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From Me To You / Thank You Girl

The original pressing of this single had publishing credits attributed to Northern Songs on the B-side, Shortly after, they were changed to Conrad. A third variation exists with mistake labels featuring Northern Songs on both sides.

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I Want To Hold Your Hand / I Saw Her Standing There

Original pressings had publishing credits attributed to Walter Hofer, while later copies changed it to George Pincus & Sons.

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UNART / Maclen

Early pressings of the singles taken from the A Hard Day's Night film used the UNART publishing credits.
Later pressings had them changed to MACLEN. Apparently some copies of A Hard Day's Night exist with UNART on one side and MACLEN on the flip side; this would make 3 different variations for this single.

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We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper

This single has been pressed by both RCA and Compo, but the RCA copies account for only 5% of all original pressings!

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Nowhere Man / What Goes On

Original pressings have the B-side credited to "John Lennon - Paul McCartney". Later pressings added Ringo's name to have the "Lennon - McCartney - Starkey" credit instead

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Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields

Two different variations exist on this label; the two are very similar but have different timings for the song Penny Lane. One has a time of 2:57, while the other has the wrong 3:00 timing, as the original mix found on the promo single was longer because of the trumpet ending, but no swirl copy actually has the extra trumpet ending.

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Lady Madonna / The Inner Light

The single was pressed simultaneously in Canada by RCA and Compo. There are approximately 7 or 8 Compo copies for every 1 RCA pressing—the RCA pressing is therefore the rarer of the two variations. RCA pressings used older labels without the parenthesis (e.g., brackets) around the word Canada on the perimeter print. It is probable that old label stock was used up by RCA at this time.

Compo pressings used labels with the same swirl colours as the earlier Compo pressed Canadian 45s (e.g., Penny lane, etc.) but later Compo pressings of Lady Madonna feature a much darker, almost red colour on the orange part of the swirl. These are often referred to as the “red Lady Madonnas”!!! Some other Canadian Capitol singles of this period were also using the same “off colour” reddish labels so clearly a large batch of Capitol labels had been made up with the wrong colour! An examination of the Capitol of Canada singles pressed by Compo on the 72000 “Capitol swirl” label between April 1968 and early 1969 (e.g., just before the Capitol label switched from the swirl to the red target label) shows that many of the singles numbered from 72537 through to 72568 use the off- colour “yellow and red/orange” swirl labels.

RCA pressings of the discs have perimeter print has “MFD. IN CANADA BY CAPITOL RECORDS OF CANADA, LTD. REGISTERED USER. COPYRIGHTED.”

Compo pressings of the discs have perimeter print has “MFD. IN CANADA BY CAPITOL RECORDS (CANADA) LTD.— REGISTERED USER. COPYRIGHTED.”

From this examination it would appear that the off colour labels on the Canadian Lady Madonna singles would have been produced sometime after the single was initially released. Most probably, the copies produced between the middle of March through to the middle of April 1968 were the normal yellow and orange swirl colour. The red/orange colour would have started appearing on Lady Madonna labels by the middle of April 1968.

Most copies have the red swirl on the A-side with a normal swirl on the B-side. But copies also exist with a red swirl on both sides.

RCA copies with brackets on both sides were pressed, while some RCA singles have also been seen with brackets on one side and no brackets on the flip side; supporting the theory that they used old stock labels.

This then, makes 6 different variations of this single: RCA no brackets, RCA with brackets, RCA with brackets / no brackets, Compo with brackets regular color, Compo brackets RED swirl on one side and finally Compo brackets with Red swirl on both sides.

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Something / Come Together

Besides the usual RCA / Compo variation, there is an early version of the single where the A and B sides were mistakenly switched around, putting Come Together on the A-side. This therefore makes 3 different variations of this single.

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Get Back / Don't Let Me Down

Four different label variations exist for the Get Back / Don't Let me Down single. The first is the RCA pressing with small font, the second is a Compo pressing with "Manufactudred by Capitol Records" on the right below the artist name. The third variation is also Compo, with no "Manufactudred by Capitol Records" anywhere on the label. Finally, the fourth variation is also a Compo pressing, but has the "Manufactudred by Capitol Records" at the bottom of the label.

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Piers A. Hemmingsen & Serge Pelletier. All Rights Reserved.