Please Please Me

Side 1

 

Complete Mono Run (1963-2014)

Side 2

 

Complete Stereo Run HERE

The first time this album was pressed in the EMI pressing plant in Hayes, Middlesex, it was done so on a handful of two 1-sided slabs of vinyl made specifically for testing the sonics from the transfer of the Master.

These used to be known as white labels but are better known now as Test pressings.

This 12" disc here, was the first ever designation and pressing of the XEX-421-1N mother stamper matrix from the first side (Side A).

The Side 2 of each disc has a test tone running through the whole side and has the stampers LPFB 2 on the run off grooves. One day I'll just play it and find the running time.

This test tone may have been used by the cutting engineers to set up the recording or cutting level perhaps?

This here is the second disc that had the Side B of the Please Please Me LP to make the set. This is playable on the first side. This had the mother stamper matrix of XEX-422-1N.

In all my years of collecting, I have only seen two genuine MONO side 1's and only one MONO (this one) of side 2.

Unfortunately I have seen a couple of fakes slip through the market and the seller usually starts by saying "you make up your own mind" and/or it was found in an attic etc etc.

If in doubt, drop me an email..

1st Press - type 1a. The very first Gold & Black label was this one. It was pressed on the standard 50's "Ringed" pressing machine that had default stampers set at 1H/1H.        These had the very first label shared with type 1b below.         Very rare to see this particular pressing with a deep groove to both sides. This differs from the  3/4 ring you sometimes see on one side only (usually with a 1H stamper) like on type 1c & type 2b below.

As can be seen (& felt), there is a definite ring / ridge which is consistant all the way round & on both sides. This also had the earliest Beatle Tax Code known "WOZT" in the centre.

If you look at side 2 on lines 5, 6 & 7, the pattern of words " DO YOU, Lennon, & HONEY" are forward slanting..

Some say, these older pressing machines ended up in India's EMI pressing plant..

1st Press - type 1b.

This is the same label layout as above except it was pressed on one of EMI's newer machines which remained in service for the rest of the 60's. 

Starting with Mother Stampers 1G/1G, these are generally thought to be the very first pressed. 

With these 1st pressings, there are at least 2 label textures from matt to glossy and 4 pressings with three label changes per se!.

Gold 1st pressings had "Dick James  Mus.Co." printed after all 8 of the songs the Beatles had written, and along with the other 6 songs that were written by other artists, make up the 14 tracks on this LP.

 

 

 

1st Press - type 1c.

This is a new type of pressing to come to light and was pressed on an even older machine. We know this as there are previous gold Mono labels pressed with this punched out centre ring from 1958-61 by such artists as Adam Faith and other EMI light music releases of the time.

 

Still using the original first gold text layout, these have an Inner Ring which is punched in, & opposite to the side 2 Inner ring which is punched out!. They also have an extra 3/4 ring Outer light indent on side 1 only (as can be seen here).

Stampers are 1H / 1/2 GP for this run.

Eyes out for another without the 3/4 ring..

 

1st Press - type 2a.

For some reason during this very small run, Side 2 was changed and this is easy to spot as the first line has been stretched, so "1.Love Me Do" starts BEFORE "Beechwood" below it.

Strange that no one has noticed this before! :)

 

Again, like the type 1c above, this has the Inner Ring in the center. There were 2 runs of type 2a , one with the extra 3/4 ring Outer indent / groove on side 1 (as above), and one plain with just the Inner rings (of which I have only seen 1 copy and is shown here). With no other examples to show at this stage, eyes are out for another copy.. 

Stampers are 1H / 1/2 GP, and 1GG / 1P for this non-grooved plain one.

 

1st Press - type 2b.

This extended first line on Side 2 label, was also seen on a non-grooved, and one sided 3/4 outer grooved pressings like the one shown here for or on side 2.

 

 

 

Again probably not noticed or considered by collectors at large, as not many people usually buy or can afford more than one or two decent golds!

 

1st Press - type 3.

The last of the Dick James Gold leaf layout.

On Side 1, the two "Dick James" on the 2nd & 3rd line have been lined up.                                   On Side 2, the 3 lines (DO YOU, Lennon and HONEY) have moved again.

 

This Side 2 label was from a 2nd Press (Northern) Side 1 crossover, so is confirmed as the last showing of the "Dick James" label.

 

2nd Press.

2nd Gold Parlophone Label. The publishing Credits for "I Saw Her Standing There, Misery, Do You Want to know a Secret, & There's a Place" are now credited to "Northern Songs", the brand new company formed to deal with the Lennon-McCartney writing partnership. The other 4 Lennon & McCartney Songs (the first 2 Singles) remained with Dick James Mus Co.

These "Northern Songs" gold records probably number around 500 and almost immediately changed to the Yellow & Black 3rd Press below.

As far as I know, there are no variations with this edition.

3rd Press, or 1st Yellow & Black Parlophone Label. (a&b)

These elusive labels are even rarer than the "Northern Songs" Golds, and for many years went unnoticed till very recently. The Stereo is a lot scarcer than the mono here, but these are still very thin on the ground and you'll see 20 Gold Mono's before 1 of these pop up.

This has the additional very small 33 1/3 which was left over from the gold labels (near the centre hole). Contrary to belief, this was not a mistake and was actually designed this way. We know this as there were two versions of this label being pressed on two machines at the same time. Just like the 4th press below, there are minute differences between the 2 labels, but the line up between Mecolico and Beechwood is the easy giveaway.

4th Press. (a&b)

This WAS the 3rd press for many years until the discovery of the above label, and was only around for a brief moment before it changed again. This is identical to the 3rd label above except now there is no little 33 1/3.

Again, there were 2 versions of this (as was pressed on 2 machines at the same time), with the lining up of the "Mecolico" on the 6th & "Beechwood" being the give away on side 1. The second machine or pressing, started the "Beechwood Ltd." line just slightly before the "Mecolico" above it. Very small difference, BUT crucial in understanding what was pressed where and when! This was exact across the 3rd,4th & 5th labels and I have classed it as (a&b).

5th Press - type 1. (a&b)

Again, because of the inclusion of the 3rd label, this is was usually known as the 4th Label. There are in fact 2 major types, this was the first, with the "Recording First Pub.1963" in line with the (XEX.421) and with the 1 (& 2).

These Labels were the norm for most of 1963 and as such are the most common along with type 2 below.

Two types to collect of these too!.

5th Press - type 2a.

Same label except the (XEX.421) and the "Rec.First Pub. 1963" have been centred to the 1 & 2 on both sides of the label.

I have managed to find 6 different label variations for this 5th press type 2 variation.              As the label didn't officially change until the " Sold in the UK" line appeared, it was pressed quite a few times, starting with the stampers at around GDD /GOP (my earliest).

 

5th Press - type 2b.

A recent one to come to light.

This ran alongside type 2a above and was pressed on a spare machine that produced stampers 1,7 GAO / 4,5 GRA. Still very early side 2 stampers for this edition.

 

Just a very small change in the line up of the first 3 lines gives this pressing away as another set of stampers and a very rare set at that!

5th Press - type 2c.

This is almost identical to the above label except the 3rd line on side 1 has been stretched.

Even though there are tons of these still out there, I have seen these go for ?250 in near mint Condition.

These were pressed alongside & about halfway through the run of the type 2a label above, at the height of sales and therefore are quite common also.

Not sure if there are any or many differences on side 2, it's just finding the time sometimes..

5th Press - type 2d.

The next printed batch of these standard 63/64 labels now saw the 2nd line on side 1 being set slightly longer, and the 5th line on side 2 being slightly shorter!

 

Even though the differences here are so slight, they were deliberate and do keep in line with the mother stamper pressing numbers.

5th Press - type 2e.

It appears that this label came out only for one run, as try as I may, I have only ever managed to find this one copy for myself, and only because a fellow collector first pointed this edition out to me nearly 3 years ago!

 

 

Stampers are  RRH / RRO so sort of fit in here between type 2d and type 2f.

5th Press - type 2f.

Released just before the change to the 6th press label below, and again nearly identical to the type 2a above, it is actually or seems to be a re-use of the 5th press type 1, but with the Rec. First Pub centred.

On side 1, you can see MECOLICO and BEECHWOOD lined up, and the 3rd line (Northern Songs etc) shortened again.

On side 2, the 5th line (BIEM ) has been shrunken slightly still.

These very last copies in this series occasionally sport the ultra rare Mid-size mono last E J Day cover!

This label also saw the change of the side 2 matrix No. of -1N to -2N, which suggests it was broken accidently mid (late) run rather than planned for the 6th press below.

5th Press - type 3.

This is the same label as type 2a above but this one is on a DECCA pressing label which are quite rare. This has the ridge which can be quite clearly seen and felt. Occasionally throughout the 60's (&70's), EMI couldn't cope with the orders coming in, so paid Decca (and later Pye) to press a no.of vinyl to keep up with the demand. 

These usually came in Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd printed sleeves and were typically pressed and released somewhere in time between type 2a & 2b above.

There were no stereo Decca presses made.

Please Please Me Complete Stereo Run HERE

6th Press - type 1. (a&b)

Everything changed with this new label. There's the inclusion of the "Sold in the U.K. subject to resale etc" line, the "Rec First Pub" has now turned into (P)1963, and the writing around the label now says "The Gramophone" and not "The Parlophone".                                                               The font also changed which allowed neater spacing of the song titles. The label texture changed also.

This label ran or was pressed on 2 different machines and each is just slightly different..

The first had 1,0 RPL / 6 A  and the second had the stampers 1,5 ROT / 1 G  which was the first showing of the XEX.422-2N matrix on this label from the 2nd Machine. (The first     -2N 1G stamper was found on the 5th type 5f above. That 1G stamper from machine 1 is now reached 6A incidently).

6th Press - type 2. (a&b)

This is identical the above label except there is an additional DOT (or period mark) on the "Sold in the .U.K. subject to resale etc" statement on side 1. This was the first showing and was a regular occurrence over the next 4 years (65-69) which suggests at least 2 or more underlying pressing plates for that part of the label make up or this plate was on machine 2.             

This was definitely pressed at the same time as type 1, as these had stamper codes on the dead wax that put it straight after.

There are mostly 2 types (a&b) both with different Mother Stampers No's. Easiest way to spot difference is to check on side two, the second line starting with the "2. P.S. I Love You" is in slightly different places, one is more under the 1. and the other starts a little later. This is true for all labels with the (a&b) notation.

6th Press - type 3.

Again because of the stamper codes, this label was released after type 2. This is actually the same everything on label type 1(&2) except they changed the font to a Times font which messed with their spacing of the song titles.

Notice on the first line on side 1, that Northern Songs, just becomes Northern..

Though these are quite common, I have yet to see a Dotted version of this. This ran on 3 machines signified by the 1,0 & 1,2 & 1,5 stamper at the 9 o'clock position on the first side. I have all 3 but can't see any difference between the three within the track listing on the labels. 

7th Press.

This one is the missing link in that although the font has now changed back to the standard Ariel font, the spacing has remained the same.. Notice the Northern on the first line again?

The (XEX.421) & (P)1963 have now also been aligned and would stay aligned from now on.       

The Track listing on side 2 looks a mess which is probably why they changed this label back almost immediately. Although it did stay with the stereo equivalent for a long while.  In fact, this is the exact same track typeset as the Stereo 7th type 5 press, so probably borrowed from there and maybe pressed at the same time!  Two machines running on this - 1,12  and a pressing run of 1,5. Still looking for a 1,0 to make the triple, thou labels look the same.

8th Press - type 1.

Back to the tried and tested 6th label track listing typeset to start this run, though with an extended second line on side 1 which has been spaced neatly across. This rare label was first seen with a rim on both sides, which has only been seen a few times on other Beatle MONO albums, noticeably first on a 2nd press "Rubber Soul" & first press "Revolver", which should ideally place this label at around Aug 66.

Side 2 has reverted back to the 6th press design also, and will stay this way unchanged till the end of the 60's.

Since all that have ever turned up (type 1's) in the last 10 years to my knowledge have numbered approx 3, and have the same mother stamper numbers, this would suggest these are very very thin on the ground pressed for one run and on the spare machine (No.2) that had the Dot!.

8th Press - type 2. (a&b)

Exactly the same as the label above with the extended second line on side 1, but without the rims. This was pressed just immediately after the above press as the side 1 stamper was 1 digit more.

Another hard one to catch as only came out for what looks like a couple of single runs or at least until I find a 1,5 RHH / 6 GR press..

Both this and the rimmed version above have the extra Dot on the sold in the UK statement on side 1, so please keep a lookout for Non Dotted Uk Statement copies!.

Again two versions of this (side 2, difference between the 1 & 2 for comparison).

8th Press - type 3

Pretty much identical to the 2 labels above but with a new  type of textured paper label. With the Dot still present, this would seem to prove the song text plate was on the same "sold in the UK" plate, as type 4 below is without the dot, with the shorter 2nd line on side 1 and had this new textured paper label also.

 

Not seen too often, it could have actually been a mistake..

Note, there is a full stop missing on side 2 between "5" & "A Taste of Honey" on the 8th presses until type 4.

8th Press - type 4

Keeping with the new textured label, this was possibly pressed on machine 1 simultaneously with the type 3 label above on machine 2.

This has no Dot, and the second line on side 1 has been reduced or shortened now.

This had the new standard layout on both sides that would stay till the end of the sixties.

This also had the Dot on side 2, after the number 5.

8th Press - type 5. (a&b)

Exactly the same as the above label, except printed on the usual stock smoother paper again.

No "Sold in the U.K" Dot on this one.

There are again 2x types 5's both with different Mother Stampers No's.    On side two, the second line starting with the "2. P.S. I Love You" is yet again in slightly different places..

In general, all later MONO pressings like these are sought after, as Stereo was the order of the day and because of this, any Mono pressing runs in the mid to late 60's were very small.

Please Please Me Complete Stereo Run HERE

8th Press - type 6. 

Printing never runs smoothly and again we have the additional DOT(or period mark) in the "Sold in the .U.K. subject to resale etc" on side 1. This was still common across all EMI artist's releases at the time.

Pressed just after type 5 or at the same time perhaps on machine 2?.

Three runs of this with stampers being 1,0 RHG / 6 GA  , the second 1,5 RLG / 5 RA , and the third an unusual 1,6 RLD / 5 RA !

All mono pressing runs this late were pressed to order (& possibly to keep the then 1968/69 EMI ordering catalogue, current), and would have been pressed in minute numbers.

9th Press. (a&b)

We finally lose the "Sold in the U.K." line after it no longer being necessary because of the lax in luxury tax on records at this time in 1969.

Needless to say, one would never see that pesky little DOT turn up again!

This was the last Mono Yellow & Black label of the 60's. Just as hard to find as the one box pressing below though there were actually two runs with stampers being     1,0 RHG / 6 GA  & the second pressing machine with stampers 1,5 RHR / 6 RM. There are minute differences between these 2 labels, and most collectors look for both in order to have the set!

10th Press.

This is defined by having 1 EMI Box on each side of the labels and was the very last press of the original Mono's and as such are very sought after.

It has often been said that these were by special order only as EMI had abandoned Mono at this point in time (1969/1970).

It is possible that there is another label variation of this with a shorter second line on side 1..

11th Press.

This was from the 1982 Mono box set. EMI decided to re-issue a Mono box with authentic 60's labels.

You can easily tell these apart as they have MONO printed near the top of the label above the Yellow Parlophone.

12th Press - type 1.

With the advent of the CD in 1986, EMI standardised the album using the original MONO mix. For this they adapted the current stereo label by changing the catalogue number & adding the word "MONO" above, though they forgot to change the YEX.94/5 (to the mid- left of the labels). The sound was still mono as the  XEX421/2 matrix are still correctly stamped on the run offs.

Probably because of this confusion, there are exact same mono labelled copies that play Stereo and have their consequent YEX94/5 matrices in the run outs!

There are also two known paper textures of this label with the other being like type 2 below, and there have also been sightings or rumours of a corrected XEX label apparently! Obviously I am on the lookout for my own copy ...

12th Press - type 2.

Same typeset as type 1 above but printed on a different textured label AND more importantly, with an indented Ring that  doesn't appear on any stereo equivalent.. (Perhaps stereo had been discontinued by now), the XEX 421 / XEX422 has now been corrected on the labels as per above.

Interestingly to note, this still has the YEX scratched or XXX'd out  before the XEX422 etc on the side 2 run off, as does type 1 incidently.

Please Please Me Complete Stereo Run HERE

 I have been collecting Beatles all my life, and the stamper codes (the letters & No's imprinted on the dead wax / run off grooves)have always intrigued me. I have been able to piece together and correctly order these labels mostly because of the stamper codes on these run off grooves..

 I also have used a few transitional copies I have collected. These have the end of run label on one side, & the next new label on the other. These are very helpful in determining the order of some labels plus the last & first mother stampers used for each run.. (but that's another story :)

 

" All of the content featured or displayed on this web site, including, but not limited to, text, graphics, photographs images ("content") are my property. I happily give consent for anyone to make references to it with a name check. If you would like to use any content, just ask, I'll always say Yes :) "

For comments, opinions (and hopefully not, corrections) :-

  beatlebay.co.uk@googlemail.com

I do have to thank Beatles collecting.co.uk for respurring my interest (thus costing me lots of money!!) thanks guys