Apple Records was officially founded in 1968 as another sub-division of The Beatles’ own Apple Corps, which was established as a small group of companies (Apple Retail, Apple Publishing, Apple Electronics and so on). When The Beatles started to release their LPs on the Apple label, they were still under contract with Parlophone and the LPs were included in the ordinary Parlophone record number series. The Apple label looks very different from the usual Parlophone LP labels, but some of the details are the same. The most useful detail for dating “The Beatles” and “Yellow Submarine”, is that the text “Sold in U.K. subject to resale…” was printed on the labels of the original pressings.
Dark green label with an image of an apple on side 1 and sliced apple on side 2. Publishing year printed as “(p) 1968” with small (p). “Apple Records – All rights…” printed at the start perimeter print. “Sold in U.K. subject to resale price conditions, see price lists” printed above the title. The left hand side of the label should only have “33 1/3”, “Mfd. in U.K.” and the Side 1 / Side 2 details. These labels were printed without “An E.M.I. Recording” text on the left side of the labels, but absence of this text was a random error. Label used November 1968.
EMI quickly corrected the error in November 1968 was added “An EMI Recording” text to the left of the labels, above the 33 1/3, all on one line. Label used between November 1968 and summer 1969.
Dark green label. Publishing year printed as “(p) 1968” with small (p). “Apple Records – All rights…” printed at the start perimeter print. “Sold in U.K. subject to resale price conditions, see price lists” printed above the title. “An EMI Recording” present on two lines in parentheses. At some point during early 1969, as far as we know coinciding with the release of “Yellow Submarine” in January 1969, the text “An EMI Recording” has now been shuffled to take up two lines above the “33 1/3” text. Label used between January 1969 and July 1969.
The text “Sold in U.K. subject to resale price conditions, see price lists” ceased to be printed on the labels in July 1969. Publishing year printed as “(p) 1969” with small (p) and “An EMI Recording” present on two lines in parentheses. Label used between July 1969 and September 1970.
EMI changes the copyright symbol in September 1970. Apple albums issued before September 25, 1970 have publishing year printed with small copyright symbol (p). Albums issued after September 25, 1970 have publishing year printed with large copyright symbol (P). First reissue of the “Let It Be” with green apple logo on the back sleeve (November 6, 1970) have a large copyright symbol.
The label still has a dark green color. Publishing year printed with large (P) and “An EMI Recording” present on two lines in parentheses. Label used between September 1970 and early 1971.
Labels are becoming lighter. Dark green color changes to light green. Over time, the green color changes to a yellow tint. The text does not change for a long time. But gradually the thick print changes to thin. Changing the quality of paper for labels. In the early 70’s label can be found on matte paper. In the late 70’s paper is glossy. All this labels used between 1971 and 1984.
In 1984 the label changed subtley once more, this time the rimtext was added to and so now circles round the entire label rim, reading: “Apple Records – All Rights Of The Producer And Of The Owner Of The Recorded Work Reserved. Unauthorised Copying, Hiring, Renting, Public Performance And Broadcasting Are Prohibited”. Manufactured in the UK by EMI Records Limited”. This label text coincides with a rimtext change in the Parlophone label which occurred in 1984 so we can pretty confidently assume the same change was forced upon Apple at the same time. Some copies came with a sleeve that incorporated the CD release’s catalogue number so we know this was a label design used between 1984 and 1991.
Change in rimtext and almost yellow coloured apple. This variation likely appeared in the very late 1980s or early 1990’s. Interestingly the rimtext has altered once more, returning to being split in two sections, but does not seem to reflect that of the Parlophone text: “Apple Records – All Rights Of The Producer And Of The Owner Of The Recorded Work Reserved. Unauthorised Copying, Hiring, Renting, Public Performance And Broadcasting Are Prohibited”. 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 rim text. But this is not English edition.