For some reason today I started to think about all the different label variations there must be of Beatles LP and single vinyl discs – released over time and from a wide range of countries around the world.
Different countries have different labels of course, but there have been many label artwork changes over the years – from the original issues to the more recent re-releases. For some collectors this is a never-ending fascination. How many different label variations can they possibly find of a particular album or single?
For me as a collector it’s not the primary reason I’ll purchase an item – but for certain titles I already have it can be a factor. For some reason if browsing a stack of second-hand Beatles LPs I’ll always go looking for different labels or covers for Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road and Let It Be. Don’t know why – I guess they where formative in my initial collection and mean more to me as records than the other titles in the collection.
As a result, over many years, I have accumulated a few variations which I’ll share with you over the coming few weeks. (To see larger images just click on each picture).
First up – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. My very first copy of this on vinyl was the Australian pressing. Originally all Australian pressings were on Parlophone. By the time I was old enough to buy it the Parlophone label was a bright orange colour and looked like this:
However, there where a couple of other Australian variations on the Parlophone label prior to it becoming orange like the one above. I think when Sgt. Pepper originally came out it was on a black and silver label like this:
After the black and silver there was a further Australian variation (seen below) which was very much like the original UK release. It’s a black and yellow Parlophone label. Note in the picture below that this is the Mono version (denoted by the catalogue number PMCO-7027. The stereo versions are all PCSO-7027):
Across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand they had their own range of variations. An early NZ Parlophone was quite different to both the British and the Australian:
As you can see, the New Zealand version was unique. New Zealand later went on to release the entire Beatles catalogue on the Apple label, and again there are differences here to the “usual” Apple look – quite distinctive in its way and I reckon collectable for that very reason:
This Apple has some unusual features – most prominent among them the large STEREO lettering on the right hand side.
Back to Parlophone – on which most versions of Sgt. Pepper were/are released. This is how the current UK version of the label looks today:
As you can see in the picture above, the Parlophone name and logo is in a large box, and the EMI label is also present twice on the label in smaller boxes. This is the label you will see if you go out tomorrow to buy a vinyl UK release of this classic Beatles record.
A couple of years ago EMI Australia re-issued Sgt. Pepper on the Parlophone label – and the label looked like this:
The label above comes from 1987 when a special 20th Anniversary commemorative edition of Pepper was released. The pic above is of the more common black vinyl edition, but the record was also released on limited edition red vinyl (same label though!):
OK. On to the US now – and I only have two label variations – which is not that impressive as there are many, many more. In the USA Capitol Records, as an EMI/Parlophone US subsidiary, is the principal label you’ll find Sgt. Pepper released on. This version below is the traditional black and “rainbow” surround Capitol label:
Later there were other Capitol variations. This one is the orange Capitol, which I bought originally in the late 1970s or early 1980s:
Another unusual US variation is the Sgt. Pepper released as part of the MFSL (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab) company’s high fidelity “Original Master Recording” series. This has a different label, but also quite a different cover image as well. The series was released in a big boxed set of all the Beatles records given the MFSL treatment – which you occasionally see come up on Ebay for many thousands of dollars. I don’t have the box set – but I do have an individual copy of Pepper – picked up at a second-hand shop for a few bucks!:
Finally, two foreign releases worthy I think of a pic of the labels. The first is from Singapore – interesting because it is so similar to the UK “black and yellow” edition:
And a very different Sgt. Pepper label from Odeon, the subsidiary of EMI that released the Beatles’ records in countries like Germany and France. This one comes from Germany and is an early version fo the Odeon label there:
I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek at some of the label variations for Sgt. Pepper from my collection. These really only touch the surface of some of the different labels out there. If you have any other information or pictures or scans of Sgt. Pepper labels please leave a comment, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See also: Label Variations – Part Two – Let It Be
See also: Label Variations – Part Three – McCartney’s Choba B CCCP
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On February 16, 2010 Heath Sims wrote:
Anyway you are forgettng an issue.
-1967 August, PMCO 7027 MONO (yellow parlophone) and PCSO 7027 STERIO (big silver parlophone) were released.
-1969, PCSO 7027 yellow parlophone was released!! – came with uk sleeve, cut outs, coloured inner sleeve
-1972, PCSO 7027 orange parlophone
-1987, PCSO 7027 black silver parlophone
-1987, PCSO 7027 red vinyl anniversary edition
Pingback: Label Variations Part 3 – Versions of McCartney’s Choba B CCCP « Beatles Blog
Pingback: Promo Copy of Sgt. Pepper « Beatles Blog
Hi – St Peppers in Singapore was amended to exclude the track Lucy in the Sky but I have an early pressing on the EMI Singapore /Malaysia label that includes the full (UK) track listing. Just wondering if you were aware of this. Could send you pix or track listings or any other details if that would interest you.
Hi Ian – I’d be very interested to see some pics and track listings if you could send them – especially of the Singapore album without the Lucy in the Sky song, plus the early pressing you have with the song too.
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I have the single-sleeve red vinyl 1987 Australian pressing of Sgt Peppers. Inside the sleeve there are also cut-out Sgt Pepper figures (!) which is novel. I worked in a record shop when this was released so bought it and have never played it. It is in mint condition. Now I want it to go to a good home. Do you know the best place I could put this up for sale and are u able to give me an estimation of its cost please and how rare or unrare it is? I was thinking ebay but now I am thinking maybe there is a dedicated Beatles site for true fans.
Thank you in anticipation
The red vinyl is a collectors item issued in 1987 to mark the 20th anniversary of Sgt Pepper. (It was also re-issued that year on black vinyl as well). The red vinyl usually comes in the gatefold sleeve, and as you say it has the cut-out Sgt Pepper figures as an insert. If you purchased this new from a record store in 1987 then it means that some single sleeve copies must have also been released. You’d probably get the best price for it on Ebay. The gatefold sleeve probably attracts higher prices. In mint condition I’d say you’d get $60-$70 for it, maybe more. There was a sticker on the front saying “Special Limited Edition in Coloured Vinyl”. That would add a little bit too. Explain the record store story above in the listing so buyers know its all original.
Thank you so very much for your very kind reply. I am very grateful. I didn’t receive any notification that you had replied so I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.
I have done a little research on this and discovered it was withdrawn from sale and then re-issued in the gatefold sleeve with only 9000 being pressed (not sure how many sold). I was working in a music store when it was released and I remember they also released Yellow Sub on yellow vinyl and The White Album on white vinyl. I remember an internal battle happening since I couldn’t afford all three, only one at the time. (It was fun working in music but it didn’t pay a whole lot!!). It appears I made the right choice.
I have never played it and kept it in a big chest with my other records in plastic sleeve free from dust etc so it really is in pristine condition. Working in music for 21 years, I was very lucky and often had first pick at these little gems. Quite often, a lot of titles wouldn’t make it to the floor – for limited editions the record companies would quite often allocate your store the quantity depending on store size. You couldn’t just put your order in as is generally the case.
I am going to be selling a lot of my vinyl and CDs at a record fair in May I have decided. I am literally drowning in it. But what a wonderful way to suffocate! 🙂
Thank you once again for your reply. I really appreciate it.
Andrey (who helps to maintain the fantastic Russian Beatles vinyl site http://www.beatlesvinyl.com.ua ), sent me two scans of Sgt. Pepper variations from Russia. They are both on the AnTrop label – one plain white, the other red.
You can see these at: http://www.beatlesvinyl.com.ua/ru/P91_00117.html
Thanks again Andrey!
hi there,the bluw/white pressing above is the first pressing here in NZ.We didn’t release a mono version.The next release was on the yellow/black label(quite hard to find now) then 3 different Apple labels (HMV, EMI, Orange) then 1976 Parlophone label, and finally the 1982 Parlophone label – all up 7 label variations.
Hi Ross, Thanks for the info on these NZ pressings. NZ opens up a whole interesting area for collecting. I have only a few – but always like to find them and add them into the mix.
Has anyone come across capitol labels with beveled edges on Beatles records(vs. Flat) A dealer here in the US said that if it’s beveled along the label edge it’s a fake Please help 50% of my albums are like this. Thank-you!
First I’ve heard of this one but someone out there will no doubt be able to assist with more information. Capitol had a number of different pressing plants around the country and so this may account for different ways the labels might be sealed onto the disc. If you could provide a bit more detail about what you mean by “beveled” edges that might be helpful. Cheers.
Capitol pressed singles with non-skid beveled edges starting in 1968. These are indeed genuine.
A dealer from E-bay just had a dealer friend come back from England where he evidently was educated on how to spot fake Capitol records. I had sold him a lot of 5 mono Lp’s Revolver,Sgt.Pepper,MMTour,Beatles 65 etc.He stated that all of them were fakes due to the center area where the label is attached (glued) to the vinyl being higher under the label causing the label to be raised above the rest of the record. He also made note that the labels were too glossy and perfect looking. I am aware of the different pressing plants in addition that Capitol did farm out production on some records to RCA due to demand. This raised label vs. a entirely flat label and vinyl occurs on both Mono and Stereo records. Thank-you very much for your help….Mark
Hi, I have a Sgt Pepper lonely hearts club band LP on the Orfeu label which is portuguese. It contains 2 lps, but I cant find any info out. Any ideas on it please? The cover actually says Sgt. Peppe’s lonely hearts, but the labels say sgt. pepper’s. thanks.
Sorry, forgot to say that the cover is totally different to any I’ve seen. It doesnt mention ‘Beatles’ anywhere, just the names of each beatle next to each song. the label is black with a photo of a band stand and the writing is in red. thanks again.
If you have any pictures you could send through that would be good. It will help the collectors out there get you an answer!
It’s a Beatles cover band. Maybe that’s why the name is wrong.
I found it on discogs:
As to Sgt. Peppers record. Mine is red vinyl marked 1967 EMI Australia & as described above it also has a gatefold sleeve marked “special limited edition coloured vinyl” with a cut-out insert page…..& as advised above worth maybe only $60 or thereabouts?
YEs Paul, definitely a collectors item if it is in mint condition and should increase in value.
Hello – firstly thanks for a great blog very interesting and informative.
Wonder if you can help me with a little query I have a NZ version of Sergeant Peppers that I picked up today that has a different label again to the ones you have shown.
Its on PCSM 7027 (YEX 687/8) on a black/silver Parlophone however neither the EMI logo or the Parlophone logo have any silver infill – it also has no stereo stamp and it has northern songs above the album title. Is this one you have come across before? Have emailed some pics.
Cheers and keep blogging
Hi Mike, it sounds very interesting. Could you email those images so that we can have a look? You say you’ve sent some but none have arrived. Thanks.
i HAVE A MINT SGT PEPPER EDITION WITHOUT WITH A LITTLE HELP……LUCY IN THE SKY…AND A DAY IN THE LIFE….BUT WITH THE FOOL ON THE HILL,BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN,I’M THE WALRUS. FRONT COVER IS THE USUAL,BACK GATEFOLD COVER IS DIFFERENT WITHOUT LYRICS!!!!!HAS ANYONE COME ACROSS WITH THIS ITEM?
Excellent page. I got a copy of the traditional Capitol label (rainbow as in the image you posted ). However, the inner album sleeve has red and white swirls. Also, a cut out was included. Did this get made in 67 or was it later?? Many thanks.
Hay mate I’m iv got I believe to be a uk version on the beetles sgt pepper lonely hearts album -1987, PCSO 7027 black silver parlophone but in an original album cover any idea how much the market price is for it?
Hey, good evening! I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I’ve just bought a version of this album pressed in red vinyl, from the UK. Do you happen to have any information? Is it a 1987 20-anniversary-edition as well? Thank you very much!
In the US, all Capitol Beatles LPs through “Magical Mystery Tour” came out with the following labels:
1. Black colorband
2. Green labels with new Capitol Helvetica logo (late 60s-early 70s; relatively few were pressed)
3. Apple labels, but retaining the Capitol catalog numers (early-mid 70s)
4. Orange labels (mid 70s)
5. Silver and purple labels, old Capitol Dome logo (late 70s-early 80s)
6. Black colorband revival (1980s). These labels have a warning against unauthorized duplication in fine print.
The later albums, except “Let It Be,” had labels 3-6. “LIB” originally came out on RED Apple labels distributed by ABKCO. Counterfeits are rampant with this label. I think the first Capitol pressings were label #5.
Hey beatleblogger. Very interesting indeed. I have a wide spine stereo version gatefold on orange and black Parlophone (first image of yours) Australian but all the numbers such as side 1 yex637-1 and then side 2 yex638-1 point to it being a UK version. My album cover is wide spine stereo visible flaps and patent pending on rear cover. The fools sleeve is printed in Great Britain and the cutouts are the same. I’m figuring mine is an original Aussie first pressing but look at those different labels. ???
Hi, this site has all the info on labels and matrix numbers used for each of the Australian pressings. Check the labels, then scroll down for much more detail. Hope this helps!
Hi, I have the UK Sgt. Pepper stereo album which I purchased new in 1968 or 69. When I got it home I realised the labels were on the wrong sides of the record. I was going to take the LP back to the shop but never got round to it. Do you know if there are many of these about or are they rare? As a matter of interest. I worked as a printers assistant at Garrod and Lofthouse in Crawley UK. in the 70’s. i was told the plant worked 24/7 for weeks printing the covers for the Sgt. Pepper LP. [Lots of overtime]! They had Roland 4 and 2 colour printers when I worked there. I guess they would have been there in the late sixties. Garrods had two printing plants in Crawley, A Web offset plant for magazine and catalog work and the Sheetfed plant for album covers. The Sheetfed plant was actually called Hubners Ltd. but was owned by Garrod and Lofthouse.
Hi Roger, mis-pressings like the one you have are quite collectable and there seems to be a bit of a market for them out there. If it is an early pressing of Sgt Pepper and the cover and record is in very good condition, plus it has the printed “cut out” insert and the unique inner paper sleeve that it came with – then even without it having the wrong labels it would be quite a valuable item. It would also help to know if it is a mono or stereo pressing too.
Thank you for the information about the printers Garrod and Lofthouse. It is a company that’s truly associated with the Beatles covers and sleeves and the details and personal reminiscences you shared are terrific.
I have found in a loft a Sgt. Peppers, gatefold, Apple Label, Black vinyl, Made in japan. Dust sleeve, and no cutout. Lovely little Apple records imprinted on front lower right corner of cover. Not sure how to tell age or value. Can you help. Also found a Shved Fish, and a Band on the Run.
Hi Jenni, depends a lot on what condition the cover and the record are in? And does it have the Japanese “Obi” strip paper wrapper on the outside? You lose a little bit in not having the cut-out insert. There are a lot of other variables – over the years Japanese pressings came out in different series, and this affects the resale value too. A search on the Discogs site is probably the best place to start. https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=sgt.+pepper%27s+japan&type=all
On this site are some of the versions. Click on some of the images and you’ll see details like catalogue numbers, etc that will help identify the variation you have – the pages will also give you an indication of the value too. Hope this helps!
Yes very helpful. I was able to identify it as the 20 June 1976 release. But without the OBI paper or the Cutouts I dont think it I’d worth much money. Worth much more as a family keepsake. Thanks for your help.
I have Sgt Peppers on the black and silver Parlophone label, with its ” cut outs”. Also have The Beatles Collection in the blue box, of 13 albums plus Rarities, which has the two tracks in German.
Great post. Just wondering if there’s a specific year that the US Capitol Records label would be from? Bought a copy at a swap meet that has that exact label with the rainbow border and “With A Little Help..,” but can’t figure out what year it could be from
Great question and one I didn’t know the answer to, but I think I do now!
A little bit of a trawl through Discogs at all the early US “Rainbow” Capitol releases reveals that the best way to date these is whether or not they have a reference to “a subsidiary of Capitol Industries, Inc.” in the small print around the bottom of the label. Discogs entries show that this wording does not appear on 1967 releases, but is noted on some 1968 releases and all 1969 releases. so it is a fair bet to say that our copies are from 1969.
Hope that makes sense and is of some help!
Check out this page: https://www.discogs.com/The-Beatles-Sgt-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band/master/23934