1st issue: Red labels. Catalogue number has the prefix 45-R. Some copies have a 'Made in Great Britain' credit under the circled ₤ Parlophone logo. Demo copies miscredit McCartney as McArtney.
2nd issue: Black labels. 'The Parlophone Co Ltd…' perimiter text round the edge of the label is in upper and lower case. Released April 1963.
3rd issue: Black labels. 'The Parlophone Co Ltd…' perimiter text round the edge of the label is in upper case only. Released in 1964.
4th issue: Black labels with EMI logo. 'Green' picture sleeve. Released March 1976.
5th issue: 20th anniversary release. Red 'shiny' labels, which have the credit 'Produced by George Martin'. Picture sleeve. Released October 1982. Reached number 4 in the charts. Later copies have a barcode on the back cover of the picture sleeve.
6th issue: 30th anniversary release. Silver injection moulded labels. Barcode on back of picture sleeve. Released October 1992.
7th issue: 5th October 2012 50th anniversary release. Red labels in reproduction beach towel sleeve.
8th issue: 22nd October 2012 50th anniversary release. Red labels in reproduction beach towel sleeve.
With the help from Frank Daniels, coauthor of many Beatles publications, I've put together spreadsheet detailing the 8 known red label variations and how to identify them. They are listed in probable chronological order, showing that the lowest Stampers (1G/1G) weren't necessarily the earliest releases.
if anyone's got some spare cash and wants a copy of this on the black label then there is one currently on Ebay here which has a slight variation in the title and artist set-up and so would feature on this page.
Forgive me all, if this states something obvious within the mutliple exchanges on this and the reissue site. But in Stuart Maconie's documentary on BBC4 tonight, at one point he is sitting in an armchair in Paul McCartney's old living room (about 50 minutes in) and he reaches for the 'Love Me Do' Red Parlophone (heavily fingermarked) single from the gramophone stand to his right. On the left of the label it reads 'A Side'. Yet I cannot see such an issue here. Apologies if I have missed something.
The "right" Beatles stuff still sells at premium prices. A mate of mine (who isn't on here no matter how much I hassle him) is selling off his collection as he is emigrating. He sold last week on eBay a copy of the 1st LP black/gold etc. etc. for £2100.00. Not bad seeing he paid 50p for it at a local boot sale last summer.
In case there is any lingering doubt about it, the original 1962 red label version with Ringo on drums (and no tambourine) was re-released on the "Past Masters Vol 1" CD, though it was dubbed from a mint copy of the single, the master tape having apparently been lost.
groovemaster - The 'triangle' Parlophone sleeve did come after the 'candy stripe' sleeve despite the old LPs on the back... the design change is the equivalent of the spotty Columbia changing to the striped (and similar changes to HMV, MGM etc) during 1961 and by rights, the correct sleeve for LMD (by the end of 1962) should be the 'triangle' sleeve but in fact it seems Parlophone had a lot more of the candy stripes left over than Columbia had spotty sleeves and the candy stripes were common right up until the end of the red label. It was probably just as common to find it in either one (and indeed both versions of the candy stripe!).
All original Red UK Parlophone releases are the original 1st recording with Ringo: The Ringo Version
the 20th anniversary 1982 retro release is the more common and later after intilal stampers had worn down black label released Andy White version. It is very easy to tell them apart from the rare and collectible Ringo versions,
1. The recording!!!!! (naturally) The Ringo version is slightly dull and bland
2. The label info of A side and Mono and MPL Communications naturally back in 1962 this was not important or needed label info
3. The Picture Sleeve the orginal came in the Parlophone candy-stripe sleeve (the Parlophone triangle sleeves were old stocks and used up when the candy stripe stocks had run out.(Just look at the 2 year old Albums the old triangle sleeves were promoting!!)
The only re-release of the original Ringo version is on the 20th anniversary UK 12" single
The 1st Pressing "Made in Gt. Britain" scan I've uploaded carries the ZT tax code in the dead wax(used until 25th Nov 1962). I bought this copy mid-October 1962 whilst home on leave from the RN. Doesn't time fly!
Out of interest, my old school mate bought this signed 45 at Southeby's auction in 1982 for £200, he sold it along with his collection for £6,000 years later, have added his photos of it if it is of any interest, if not please delete.
VJ - the 1992 pressing is on the site on this page as the 5th issue (uploaded by Dr Doom). I don't readily recall why I put the injection moulded release as 1995. I certainly remember buying it after 1992. I've tried to do a search by bar code but with no success (I wish I'd had the presence of mind to make a small note inside the sleeve of the date of purchase but then I had no idea I would be contributing to this site all these years later!).
I can only think that the 45 was re-promoted to tie in with another Beatles release. This might well have been the March 1995 release of Baby It's You.
On the injection moulded release of R 6009 - Imagine, I'm working on a theory and will post it under that entry when I've finished writing it.
JPGR&B - how do you know that injection moulded version was released in 1995? Was there not a new pressing in 1992 for the 30th anniversary?
Since we're on about those injection moulded labels do you think R 6009 might be 90s as well? It's hard to tell since that style of 'label' was used from at least mid 80s to mid 90s! Did it come with a picture sleeve as well? The 1985 date was just a guess (see the discusion on the Apple version of R 6009).
Joe, the following is taken from beatlescollecting.co.uk:
"Items produced before before and during the 1960s were subjected to different tax levels that varied from year to year. Therefore a tax stamp was pushed into the vinyl either in the deadwax or embossed on the record labels themselves. Its use was removed in late 1969."
The site has a chart which is very useful in dating the early Beatles singles releases. PT, for example, indicates that it was pressed between 26 November 1962 and 1 January 1963 so yours is not one of the very first pressings but was issued some time before the end of 1962.
There is currently a signed copy of the red label version on ebay.com, with one bid so far of $15,000: reserve not met. The blurb says "The record was signed on Oct 6th 1962 in Dawson's Music Store Widnes Cheshire".
Ahhh the red. Macca, 'imself, described Love Me Do as "the greatest lyric we ever wrote". It was something like that. I cannot find the exact words right now for reasons of beer. Palpable nonsense.Yet Love Me Do remains the first thing that the world heard. I have seen quotes from musicians, no less, stating how strange this single sounded at the time. Play it to an aficianado of cutting edge "dance" music now, and you would doubtless get the same reaction. There is, to this ear, something soothing about this single. All the usual cliches about innocence etc etc apply. Of course, the Beatles were rather less innocent than the average set of middle aged genitalia.Nevertheless...love, love me do.