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Parlophone labels.

Published July 16th, 2011

The “Gold and Black” label design appeared on Parlophone LP labels from at least as far back as 1957 and bears a resemblance to the older 78 rpm labels. It was discontinued around May, 1963 at the latest. Black label with gold print with side numbers printed as: 1 and 2 used between autumn 1960 and April 1963. Before the spring of 1963, the stereo label had the same “Gold & Black” design as the mono label, although with stereo banner printed below the Parlophone logo.

When ‘Please Please Me’ was originally released Parlophone were in the process of updating the style of their record labels to appear more modern. The 7″ labels had been changed from red to black in January of 1963 and by May the LP’s gold and black scheme was changing to yellow and black. The ‘Yellow and Black’ label design which would remain throughout the 1960s. Almost immediately after the labels were changed from the Gold design to the Yellow, it was soon discovered that although the new labels featured the ’33 1/3′ prefix prominently above the Parlophone name, part of the label print plates were left unchanged whilst the transition was taking place. Because of this, the small ’33 1/3′ prefix that appeared to the right of the matrix number on the gold label remained. Since there was no need for the prefix to be included twice the smaller one was removed pretty much instantaneously after it’s discovery. This first black and yellow label without publishing year used a very short time: summer 1963 only. After April 1963 the stereo looked like the mono labels, except for the record number prefix and the word “STEREO” printed on the right side above the Parlophone logo. The stereo label changed follow the label changed for the mono LPs.

Parlophone started with a new re-designed label in 1963. It was black with a yellow logo and silver print. The publishing year was now printed on the label, as “RECORDING FIRST PUBLISHED 1963”. The beginning of the perimeter print was written with a fully capitalized THE PARLOPHONE CO LTD…”. This label used between summer 1963 and January 1964.

The text “SOLD IN U.K. SUBJECT TO RESALE PRICE CONDITIONS, SEE PRICE LISTS” was printed on EMI records between February 1964 and June 1969. This wording was supposed to be on UK releases only, but it also appears frequently on exported records. Black label with yellow logo and silver print with “RECORDING FIRST PUBLISHED…”, “THE PARLOPHONE” printed at the start of the perimeter print and with “SOLD IN U.K…” used between Fabruary 1964 and Jenuary 1965.

Parlophone started to print the publishing year as “(p) 1965” in early 1965. Label has “THE PARLOPHONE” printed at the start of the perimeter print and “SOLD IN U.K….” text. This label was in use for a relatively short period of time before the perimeter print was changed. The text “RECORDING FIRST PUBLISHED was removed from the label. It was originally believed that the “RECORDING FIRST PUBLISHED” text and “THE PARLOPHONE” rimtext were changed at the same time, but recently a very small number of stereo Beatles albums have emerged that show there was a slight delay between the introduction of the two. No mono copies with this feature have surfaced to date. Label used between January 1965 and summer1965.

The start of the perimeter print was changed to “THE GRAMOPHONE CO LTD…” in summer of 1965. Label has “THE GRAMOPHONE” printed at the start of the perimeter print, “SOLD IN U.K….” text and publishing year printed as: (p) 1966. This label used between summer 1965 and summer 1969.

Parlophone ceased to use different record numbers for stereo and mono releases in the early spring of 1966 and restarted the record number series at 7001.

The text “SOLD IN U.K. SUBJECT TO RESALE…” was removed from the label in summer 1969. Parlophone continued to use the “Black & Yellow” labels until November 1969. Label without “SOLD IN U.K. SUBJECT TO RESALE…” used between summer 1969 and November 1969.

Parlophone started to use a newly disigned label in late 1969. Parlophone radically changed their label design to this silver style with an EMI boxed logo at the bottom of the label, and the rim text now arches around the top of the label rather than underneath. This new label collectors refer to as the ‘Silver and Black’ design. The original label printer plates were used although the stereo mark was moved from the top to just above the catalogue number. It was thought many years ago that Parlophone had closed their mono back catalogue before the label design changed and as such no mono copies existed on this label, but over the years it’s transpired that three albums from the Beatles’ back catalogue had their mono runs extended slightly overlapping the transition. These three albums were “Please Please Me”, “Help!” and “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”. These mono presses are incredibly rare and very difficult to get your hands on. Label used between 1969 and early 1971.

Parlophone added another EMI logo at the top of the label in 1971. White EMI logo on a black background was changed to black EMI logo on a white background. This label used between early 1971 and 1973.

Parlophone temporarily ceased to release LPs in 1973 because of the oil crisis began. LPs production was moved to France for some time.

Parlophone resumed production LPs in 1976. The start of the perimeter print was changed to “EMI RECORDS LTD…”. The tex “GT. BRITAIN” was removed from the label. Instead, added “MADE IN GT. BRITAIN” text at the end of the perimeter print. This label used between summer 1976 and october 1980. To do this, EMI make new laqueurs at Abbey Road Studios. All albums were cut by Harry T. Moss. Therefore, the trail off area has its initials HTM. EMI reissued 13 Beatles stereo albums as a box set (Parlophone BC 13, in blue box) December 15, 1978.

In October 1980 the rimtext was again slightly altered so that it started with “ALL RIGHTS OF THE PRODUCER…”. Importantly, around the 11 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “…UNAUTHORISED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING, COPYING AND HIRING…”. Instead, added “MANUFACTURED IN THE UK BY EMI RECORDS LIMITED” text at the end of the perimeter print. This label used between October 1980 and April 1984.

In summer 1981, EMI returned briefly in the 60’s design. Reappears yellow Parlophone logo on a black background. These Parlophone labels has around the 7 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “…UNAUTHORISED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING, COPYING AND HIRING…”. EMI reissued the original 10 Beatles mono albums (8 albums on the Parlophone and 2 albums on the Apple) individually in July 1981, using, in most cases, original 1960s tube cuts. The LPs were distributed to department stores and record shops with a street date of 27 July 1981 (except Beatles For Sale and Yellow Submarine which were not available until a few weeks later) and were all sold by the end of 1981. In August 1982 EMI UK reissued these 10 Beatles mono albums as a box set (Parlophone BMC 10, in black box and in red box). And by then many of the LPs had received new solid state recuts by Harry T Moss.

EMI starts to make use of digital recording technology in 1981. This changes the matrix numbers on a longer (YEX  110-6-1-1-1) and removed stamper numbers. Later appear letter D (Digital) in the matrix numbers (for example YEX  179-6-1-3  D). The first time, digital technology is used in parallel with standard analog. So, sometimes on the one record, you can see the matrix numbers for the two different types.

At the end of spring 1984, the rimtext was again slightly altered. Importantly, around the 11 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “UNAUTHORISED COPYING, HIRING, RENTING, PUBLIC PERFORMANCE AND BROADCASTING…”. This label used between April 1984 and 1987.

EMI reissued original Beatles albums in 1987, using DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) technology. First four albums were reissued in mono (“Please Please Me”, “With The Beatles”, “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Beatles For Sale”), other albums were reissued in stereo. Color EMI logos is changed to silver. The rimtext was again altered. Importantly, around the 11 ‘o’ clock position in the rimtext the wording is: “UNAUTHORISED COPYING, PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING, HIRING AND RENTAL…”. Instead, added “MADE IN ENGLAND” text at the end of the perimeter print. This label used between 1987 and 1991.

Records with identical label design was reissued in 2003. This vinyl was manufactured by Haarlem, Holland. These records were made ​​by order of EMI and intended for export to England. The only difference is a dish effect underneath the labels impressed into the vinyl itself. Therefore, labels have identical “Made In England” text at the end of the perimeter print. Addition, some labels contain the number below the name. This number is identical to the barcode on the sleeve. But this is not English edition. In this edition there are many misprints and mispressings.

Parlophone started to use a newly disigned label in 1988. Parlophone radically changed their label design to silver print on a black background and removed EMI boxed logos. These labels have a silver Parlophone logo at the top. March 7, 1988, EMI issued new Beatles album “The Beatles Past Masters” with this new label design. This is the last Beatles album issued Parlofone Records on vinyl. The same design was used to re-release of “20 Greatest Hits”.

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