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Parlophone Decoding.

Published July 16th, 2011

Trail of area markings.

Lacquers make Masters which in turn produce Mothers which then create Stampers. So for your Parlophone records, the Master is the matrix at the 6 o’clock position, the Mother is the number etched in the deadwax at the 9 o’clock location and the Stamper is identified by the letter(s) etched at the 3 o’clock postion. For the 3 o’clock position, Parlophone use the following coding: G R A M O P H L T D (Gramophone Ltd) where G=1, R=2, A=3, M=4, O=5, P=6, H=7, L=8, T=9 and D=0. Therefore, many times you will see more then one letter etched in the dead wax in the Stamper location (3 o’clock). For example, if “MM” is etched, it means the record was pressed with the 44th stamper. The ultimate early pressing of any Beatles Parlophone LP would be denoted with the codes 1/G 1/G (side 1 and side 2), where the “1” represents the first Mother (9 o’clock) and the “G” denotes the first Stamper (3 o’clock) or one of the first 300 off the press!

The picture below illustrates where to locate the information to date your Parlophone record:
1.Lacquer (Matrix or Master) (6 o’clock)
2.Mother produced from the Master (9 o’clock)
3.Stamper produced from the Mother (3 o’clock)

pmcmatrix.GIF

Tax code letters.

The tax code was pressed in the trail-off area (SP and EP) and embossed in the center of the label or printed on the label. The purchase tax was introduced during World War II and was a sort of “luxury tax”. As the tax percentage fluctuated, the tax code changed. The record companies introduced the new tax codes at specific dates but sometimes continued to use an old code even when they had introduced the new one. Tax code appearing in the sixties was WT, which referenced the 50% tax imposed effective August 1, 1960. This was changed to OT on July 26, 1961, when the tax was raised to 55%. The tax was lowered to 45% on April 10, 1962, at which time the code was changed to ZT. On November 26, 1962, the tax was re-imposed at 45% and assigned a PT code. The tax was lowered to 25% on January 1, 1963, leading to MT code. On July 1, 1963, the was re-imposed at 25% and the tax code changed to KT. Although the tax was raised to 27.5% on July 21, 1966, to 50% on March 20, 1968, and to 55% on November 23, 1968, the KT designation remained. On January 1, 1969, the code was changed to JT; however, EMI continued using the KT code while occasionally adding a J to form JKT.

First pressings of the “Please Please Me” album should have the MT tax cod in effect at the time it was pressed; however, black and gold label copies of the album normally have either ZT or WOZT. Later pressings have ZMT, MT, MKT or KT. All subsequent Parlophone albums should have and can be found with the KT code, but older codes are common. The MT codes appears on early pressings of “With The Beatles” through “Rubber Soul” and on some mono copies of “A Collection Of Beatles Oldies”. The MKT code is sometimes found on copies of “With The Beatles”. Later pressings of “Revolver” from 1969 have the JKT code. First pressings of “The White Album” have KT, later pressins have JKT. Some copies of “Let It Be” have KT.

ZT – April 10, 1962 – November 25, 1962.

PT – November 26, 1962 – December 31, 1962.

MT – Jenuary 1, 1963 – June 30, 1963.

KT – July 1, 1963 (used until 1972).

JT (JKT) – January 1, 1969 until December, 1969.

Can also find records with anomalies tax codes. Posible this is evidence that the record was made to change the tax code, but it went on sale after changing the tax code.

WOZT – SP “Love Me Do”, LP “Please Please Me”.

PZT, MPT – SP “Please Please Me”, later pressing SP “Love Me Do”.

ZMT, MPT, ZPMT – LP “Please Please Me”.

WKT – SP “Lady Madonna”.

Record number markings.

Parlophone started pressing LP’s before they associated with Capitol, so their numbering schemes are not related. Back then, “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” were codes used to indicate the series that the record was in. You’ll find many Odeon-series Classical recordings with the prefix PMA. PMB’s were Odeon series records, too, but these were 10″ LP’s. PMC’s were popular records, comedy records, etc. — anything that wasn’t in the Odeon series (this included British artists). PMD’s were ten-inch versions of the kinds of records in the “C” series.

The “M” in the middle represented a Long Play album. The later-used “A” simply denoted an entirely different series; the “A” does not mean “Apple”. The Beatles’ first album, “Please Please Me”, had the catalog number PMC-1202. It was a Parlophone 12″ record in the series containing British artists.

“S” was used in the place of “M” for stereo albums, and this was placed at the end — apparently so as not to be mistaken for a different speed record. Originally, the PCS series was numbered differently from the PMC series, since not all records had both mono and stereo counterparts. Some record companies in the US had similar numbering conventions.

When Parlophone wanted to indicate that a record was an export album made in England and sent to another country, they used an additional letter at the beginning: “P” for “Parlophone” or “C” for “Capitol.” CPCS-101 was a British export of the American album, Something New. PPCS-7067/8 was a British export of the UK White Album to countries where the Apple trademark was not yet licensed.

The only prefixing created specifically for the Beatles while they were together was CORE, used on John’s “Live Peace in Toronto 1969” LP. It’s numbered CORE-2001; there were no other LP’s in the CORE series.

If another letter was used after PMC or PCS, this usually indicates that the record was MADE by a Parlophone affiliate in another country. This gets complicated, because if, for example, a Sweden-series record was used in another country, they’d KEEP the prefix of PMCS.

“G” = Greece
“H” = Holland (the Netherlands), not used during the Beatle period
“J” = South Africa
“L” = (unknown)
“M” = New Zealand
“O” = Australia
“Q” = Italy
“S” = Sweden

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