Weird “Sgt Pepper” Inner Bag

Stumbled across a nice old copy of Sgt Pepper, and a copy of With the Beatles yesterday at a garage sale. They are both Australian pressings. The Sgt Pepper is mono on nice heavy vinyl in the gatefold cover, with the cut-out insert, and it’s on the black and yellow Parlophone label:

Sgt Pepper label

That, according to Jaesen Jones’ fantastic reference book “An Overview of Australian Beatles Records“, would make this pressing from around 1969. The weird thing though is the inner bag. It’s one I’ve certainly never seen before and I wonder if it’s an official variation on the original, or just a random bag that a previous owner has adopted for the purpose. It looks like this:

Weird Sgt Pepper Inner

It looks aged and very much like it comes from the same vintage as the LP. The colours are very similar to the famous “psychedelic” original inner sleeve too. As you can see they are shades of pink, red and white – but in regimented stripes. Does anyone know anything about this one? Ever seen it included in a Sgt Pepper before?  This is what the usual bag looks like:

BeatlesPepper Inner Bag

At the same garage sale I also got a really nice copy of With the Beatles – with an original Australia-only cover:

With the Beatles AustWith the Beatles rear

These are difficult to find in reasonable condition as they suffered ring-wear badly. With an orange Parlophone label this means this particular copy comes from around 1969:

With the Beatles Label

It would have been amongst the first to use the orange Parlophone label, but amongst the last of the Beatles LPs to have the old-fashioned flipback cover construction:

With the Beatles flipback

And it would have been the last to have a black and white “STEREO” sticker on the top left-hand side as these were phased out in 1969:

With the BEatles Stereo

So, two nice additions to the collection. If anyone can help with information on the unusual Sgt Pepper inner sleeve above let us know by posting a comment below or you can email me.

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6 thoughts on “Weird “Sgt Pepper” Inner Bag

  1. Lucky garage sale! I have checked my copies of SP and havn’t that style of inner sleeve, perhaps a ring in?? Then again maybe something mega rare!! Cheers.

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  2. Hi,
    yours is a genuine Sgt. Pepper Inner Sleeve. It came with the 1st German Odeon Export Pressing of this LP for Switzerland with the catalog number SMO 81045. In Germany the Hör Zu Pressing “SHZE 401” is far more common.
    I don’t know if this inner was also included in the Hör Zu variant. By the way, “Hör Zu” is a German TV magazine which issued several Beatles LPs in the 60s and 70s by contracting with Odeon (“Die Zentrale Tanzschaffe” – German equivalent for Please please me, Help, Revolver, Pepper, MMT and Wonderwall fron G. Harrison).
    However, I don’t know if Australian pepper pressings also had this striped inner or if it’s a swap…
    Greetings from Germany
    Björn

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  3. Thanks for this Bjorn. You are correct in saying this inner sleeve was from the German Hor Zu pressing. I’ve had a couple of other readers contact me with the same information, including Peter in Australia. A quick search on Google turned up this photo as evidence: http://www.popsike.com/Beatles-SGT-PEPPERS-LONELY-HEARTS-CLUB-BAND-ORIGINAL1967-GERMAN-HOR-ZU-LP-BAG/130587638536.html
    And, I have found this site which gives all the info on the Hor Zu releases: http://yokono.co.uk/collection/beatles/germany/lp/ger_lp_horzu_st1.html
    It’s still a mystery as to how this sleeve ended up in an original Australian pressing. As Peter says: “When EMI Australia imported the Sgt Pepper album covers and all the inserts from the UK because local printers could not handle the task, some record sleeves like the striped one you have could have also come in from who knows where to meet local demand.
    Your striped sleeve may have been substituted for the normal red/pink and white one, created by a Dutch duo called “The Fool”, because those may have run out locally.” Could be…….

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  4. Hi, Jae here – I touch on this on page 34 of the latest edition of the book. At least one batch of German-made “pinstriped” inner sleeves made their way to Australia in 1968/9 (I do have a more accurate date range, but I’ve filed my notes away now!). I haven’t been able to determine whether they came as part of a batch of UK outer sleeves, or were in addition to, or shipped separately from either the UK or Germany. I have my theories, but no hard proof.

    They’re certainly not common; perhaps on par with NZ contracts of the era. Thinking about it, the variation prolly should be added to the Rarity Guide (rating of 9)…

    BTW, your WTB is circa late 1969.

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