Thursday, 14 May 2015

Record Collection Pt 2: The Beatles Canada only releases VINYL Capitol 6000 Series

Start To Continue Podcast presents Part 2 of the Record Collection  The Beatles Capitol 6000 Series Canada only vinyl.  This includes the first ever Beatles title to be released in North America.  Beatlemania With the Beatles, Twist and Shout, and Long Tall Sally.  We take a forensic look at each and decipher what clues lie within each label and matrix.



The Script:

Welcome to another Start To Continue video one shot on box... not really an unboxing or one shot though! This is part 2 of The Record Collection, moving through the Bs into what I have for The Beatles. There is just too many releases and reissues of the Beatles to just burn through what I have quickly, so we'll go slow and detail only a few at a time.  It starts with a group of releases specific to just Canada and I made an effort to collect all three. Capitol Records in Canada jumped into Beatlemania before the United States knew what was happening. It's thought news of Beatle music came to Canada first due to her close ties with the United Kingdom, whereas the US needed an Ed Sullivan appearance. 



Capitol Records Canada issued The 6000 series of LP records which featured acts from North America and Europe curated specifically to Canadian tastes. This was between 1960 and 1987 and included artists such as Django Reinhardt to Dave Clark Five to The Yardbirds. Its first Beatles release was 1963 Beatlemania, with The Beatles. This was North America's first Beatles release, preceding Meet the Beatles in the US by two months. It is basically the same as their second UK album With The Beatles. Upon researching, it turns out my LP is a reissue! The first giveaway is the feel, thinner, floppier vinyl. Also it's missing the 6000 Series label on the front and back. Second, it is in stereo. Next, looking at the label, it is known as a "purple dome" label, because of the purple dome! This was used on all stereo releases between 1977 and 1983 but we can narrow it down further by closer examination of the label. There were three generations of the purple dome.  First generation in 1977 had the capital logo in the outer print. Second generation had no logo and said "Manufactured in Canada by Capitol Records" in 1978. It was changed again in 1980, this time adding "Under license" which this pressing falls into. 

But just because this is a reissue from 1980 it doesn't make this less special, in fact, this reissue is rare in that it has two separate mixes used for the album. Canadian releases typically used in UK stereo mix sent to them from London, whereas the US tinkered with the recordings in LA and created their own mix. UK stereo mixes we're known to be especially wide, spreading out the vocals and instruments two different channels, while the US mix is much more narrow. You can discover which mix was used by examining the code or matrix in the dead wax. Side one has St 6051 ATCA handwritten which refers to wide.  Side two has St 6051 XEX 448 - RE6 hand written, JAMF stamped which means narrow.  This hybrid is a rare Canadian characteristic but the more sought out and rare stereo release is both sides wide, no XEX on either side. You wouldn't believe how great this sounds, the bass is incredible. 



Next in the Canada only Beatles releases is Twist and Shout released February 3rd 1964.  This was released 6 days before Ed Sullivan had the Beatles on his iconic TV show and brought Beatlemania to the world. Ed Sullivan knew there was something to the Beatles when he was vacation in the UK and saw all of the kids going crazy waiting for the Beatles at an airport. He knew at that time he had to book them on his show and open the floodgates for the British Invasion. Twist and Shout originally came with a photo insert, not present, and while I will call this an original pressing, it's not one of the earliest copies that can be found in the wild. Early copies had no dash before the catalogue number on the top seam and it was also missing the Pars logo in the bottom corner of the litho.  You may also be wondering what the dot at the top of the seam means.  This was Capitols way of sorting mono and stereo releases.  Full dot means mono, and two halves represented stereo.  

In taking a closer look at the label we can verify the age of the record by again looking at what label Capitol Records used. Here we have the Black Rainbow label which falls into two categories: with brackets and without brackets. If you look in the perimeter printing the word Canada not in brackets means this was released prior to 1966. if Canada is in brackets then it is after 1966. We can also look at the deep groove left by the pressing plant. At this time Capitol Records used two Canadian pressing plants, one was RCA in Smiths Falls which they used until 1968 and another factory called Compo in Cornwall and each of these plants left their fingerprints on the labels by means of the deep grooves. The wide groove which goes through the Capitol dome on the label is a characteristic of the RCA processing plant and a smaller groove that is closer to the center of the label means it was pressed by Compo. There are some that have the wide outer ring and the smaller ring and they were considered faulty pressings made by the RCA plant. This Twist and Shout album has the RCA wide groove. So looking at the label fingerprints we can confirm this pressing is prior to 1966 because it is without brackets and an RCA groove confirms it could not be later than 1968.  Checking the dead wax for the matrix also confirms what mix was used.  UK matricies like XEX 447 handwritten are UK tapes.  If it was a United States tape it would be a stamp matrix and it would be something like JLS WBV - 10 1 excetera. So we have a mono UK mix pre 1966 release of Twist and Shout.



Next up in the Canada only Capitol Records 6000 series for the Beatles is Long Tall Sally.  Here we have another original pressing in mono and it was released April 1964.  As you can see, I will take a look at the label and it is the Black Rainbow label again the perimeter printing has Canada not in brackets which confirms this is pre 1966. The deep groove through the capital means it's an RCA pressing again and if we take a look at the label you can see another Canadian labels distinction, glossy finish. The US labels were matte. And if you look at the matrix we can confirm that it is a UK mix we see XEX handwritten definitely means it's from the UK whereas if it was a typed stamped matrix that would denote US mix. Long Tall Sally was the last of these three for me to pickup,  finding it finally last year at a yard sale. When I asked the owner how much they asked for it he said $5 and I'd like to say I was generous enough to say no no no please allow me to give you $50...but I can't say I did that.  Value on these records varies, basically region from region. Some record stores will see them for $100 each and other record stores will sell them for $20 each.  The famous Brian's Records in Kingston Ontario had a stack of these of varying condition, none over $30.  There is not a clear book value as gold mine books don't normally recognize the Canada only pressing so its hard to find a hard value number.  Basically the earlier the pressing and be more original of the mix the more valuable it is.  And as always, condition condition condition.

That's it for now, a big thank you goes out to www.capitol6000.com for their boundless knowledge of the 6000 series records and the forums at www.stevehoffman.tv where audiophiles with limitless sonic knowledge share every minute detail of music history.

Don't forget to check out the Start To Continue podcast, where we argue just about everything, including our collections.