Late last year I posted a couple of label variations from my collection of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band vinyl LP’s.
That page has been getting a few hits, so here is another selection – this time for Let It Be. Again, a couple of vinyl label variations from around the world. I don’t have as many copies of Let It Be as I do Sgt. Pepper, but am still looking!
I guess the place to start is with the original UK Apple version:
As you’ll probably know, in the UK the very earliest copies of Let It Be were released in a lavish box-set and came with a thick book of text, dialogue extracts and photographs from the film “Let It Be”. Those box-sets, which had the catalogue number PCS-1, now fetch very good prices and in good condition are very collectable. While the box-set’s number was PCS-1, the record inside and all subsequent releases actually had the catalogue number PCS 7096, which you can see in the image above. After stocks of the box-set sold out Let It Be was only ever available as a single sleeve album.
In Australia early copies also came in a similar box-set with the book, and it had the green Apple label. The only real variation was that the catalogue number for the box was PXS-1, and the record number was PCSO 7096.
Meanwhile, across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand Beatle fans also got a box-set and book for a short time (though I’ve never actually seen one of these from NZ) and then a single sleeve cover after that. Their pressing has New Zealand’s particular version of the green Apple:
As you can see, in New Zealand the catalogue number was PCSM 7096. You can click here for a comprehensive list of which countries around the world got the box-set and book, plus some further info on variations.
In the United States they did something different again. For some reason it was decided not to provide the book and box set, and only make the record available in a gate-fold cover. Inside the gate-fold were just a small selection of the photographs from the book that was released in other markets. The other big variation was that the record label itself was not green, but red:
I believe that this version of Let It Be was very widely bootlegged in a very accurately reproduced cover and so there are consequently a lot of very good fakes out there, complete with the red Apple label. There is some information here on how to tell if you have a fake. My copy has a fairly washed-out looking label and I suspect it may well not be an authentic original….I’m going to do some more digging.
Later US copies went from the Apple to Capitol labels:
Among my Let It Be copies I have a couple of Asian pressings. They can be hard to identify exactly because in some territories they imported the covers from the UK and just inserted locally pressed vinyl. That’s particularly true with pressings from Hong Kong because at the time it was a British protectorate with lots of ties back to the “mother” country. I think this Apple label below is a Hong Kong pressing, but I’m not sure…
This next one is a little easier to identify – it actually says on the back cover it is made and printed in Malaysia. Having said that, the record label is very similar (with a few variations) to the suspected Hong Kong pressing above:
This next one is probably the most different and unusual. I picked this up in 1992 – the year of it’s release. Its the Russian pressing on the AnTrop label. I think this particular record was produced in St Petersburg because around the AnTrop logo are the words “consummari in unum St.Petersburg” (Thank you to the fantastic Beatles On Vinyl, site which has an absolute wealth of information about every Russian/USSR Beatles release):
Finally, up almost to the present day and the most recent US vinyl pressings of the album – the so called “Limited Edition” re-issues from Capitol/Apple in the United States a few years ago. For these they resurrected the green Apple but with the variation of a white background instead of the usual black. Notice the Parlophone logo also appears on the right-hand side:
Finally, an very unusual one sent in by Andrey, who is a collector who lives in Russia. This one is a rare one – “Let It Be” from Guatemala:
Well, that’s a quick trawl through just some of the different label variations for Let It Be on vinyl. Of course vinyl copies of the album are still readily available in the UK, though I don’t have a copy. In fact the whole Beatles catalogue is still in print on vinyl there.
I wonder if Apple Records will come good on the rumours that were circulating last year when the new Remastered CD’s and box sets came out? There was talk that a vinyl box-set was in preparation – on audiophile-quality, 180 gram vinyl. Nice!