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The Beatles’ First, Polydor Special MCPS 236201.

Published February 4th, 2012

The Beatles’ First (Recorded In Hamburg 1961 with Tony Sheridan & Guests), Polydor Special, MCPS 236201. Album features the eight Hamburg recordings involving the Beatles plus four songs recorded by Tony Sheridan without the Beatles. While it appears that Polydor in U.K. initially planned on releasing The Beatles First in mono, the company ultimately decided to press the LP exclusively in stereo upon its release on the Polydor Special label. This album is a reissue of the eponymous German album which was released in April 1964 and imported to England.

Germany’s “The Beatles’ First”, HI-FI 46432, was published in mono (LPHM 46 432) and stereo (SLPHM 237 432) versions. The album has a purple/black sleeve with “PRINTED IN GERMANY” below black line on the back side. Only mono version were imported to England.

Red labels with black half-circle logos. Mono versions of the label have “M” for mono at the top of the “33” record speed triangle located to the right of the center hole. Labels have “GEMA BIEM” in the box to the left of the center. Matrix numbers: Side 1: 46432 A; Side 2: 46432 B. “Made in Germany” stamp on the both sides.

Promotional copy with “SAMPLE RECORD Not For Sale” sticker:

1. First pressing, August 4, 1967. The album outer sleeves were manufactured by Ernest J. Day & Co Ltd. The back of the album sleeve features liner notes by Tony Sheridan. Sleeve has “Stereo also playable mono” in small print below the Polydor Special logo. Sleeve has “The Beatles” printed under each song on which they play, while does not. Both variations can be found with or without lamination on the back sleeve.

First variation has “The Beatles” printed under each song on which they play:

Second variation do not has “The Beatles” printed under each song on which they play:

Red labels with black half-circle logos. The first pressings of the album have “M” for mono at the top of the “33” record speed triangle located to the right of the center hole. Matrix numbers: Side One: 236201-A1; Side Two: 236201-B1.

First label variation has “MCPS” without periods in the box to the left of the center:

Second label variation has “M.C.P.S.” with periods in the box to the left of the center:

2. Second pressing, 1969. Sleeve has expanded language to provide comfort to purchasers that the “stereo record can be played on mono reproducers” and advisers consumers that “If in doubt, consult your dealer”. Sleeve has “The Beatles” printed under each song on which they play, while does not. Labels have “STEREO SPECIAL” text and “ST” for stereo in a circle located next to the “33” circle. Matrix numbers: Side One: 236201 237632-2  A-1; Side Two: 236201 237632-2 B.

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