How do we define The Beatles Revolver MONO 1st UK Vinyl Pressing?
The definition of A Beatles Revolver 1st UK pressing is a vinyl that would have been pressed from the first or earliest masters for this album.
There are important characteristics that define what is the 1st UK pressing of the Mono Beatles Revolver album
I am often asked how to define the differences between a standard original Beatles Revolver pressing that was released in 1966 and a 1st pressing released in 1966.
What is so special or different about the first press?
Firstly I need to breifly explain the background to the album. Revolver was the seventh studio album released in 1966 by The Beatles. The album was one of the most innovative with regards to the recording techniques used at the time, using amongst others, Indian music, tape looping techniques and famously ‘backwards recordings’ on the track “Tomorrow Never Knows” (Note I may write an in depth article about this track at a later stage)
Tomorrow Never Knows Mix 11
The initial 1st UK Mono release featured the psychedelic track Tomorrow Never Knows known as mix 11 which was soon withdrawn. It is said that the Beatles producer George Martin was not happy with the mix released so subsequent releases featured this track with a different final mix 8 which most people all over the world are more familiar with today.
There are rumours over the web that only a few hundred with this initial track mix 11 was released but in my opinion in reality a few thousand was probably in circulation before the changes were made. This may sound like a lot but in reality it is merely a fraction compared to the amount of copies that have been sold with common mix of this track all over the world over the last 52 years!
It is important to note that we are talking about the mono pressing and UK pressings here.This withdrawn mix 11 was only ever released in the UK and was not on tghe stereo 1st press version.
What is the difference between the withdrawn mix 11 and the common well known mix 8?
The mix 11 has differences in the way the tape loops are mixed during the instrumental break, and also longer fade out time.
How do we know if we have the original 1st UK mono pressing of this album
The easiest and quickest way to spot the first press, apart from comparing the two versions of the track “Tomorrow Never Knows”, is to look at the matrix numbers that are stamped on the run off grooves on side 2 which is the side that the track Tommorrow Never Knows is on. In the picture of the label below we see that the Matrix numbers are “XEX 606-1”
the “XEX” part
tells us that this is a mono recording the ‘606’ part tells us this is side 2 catalogue number for this album. “-1” matrix endings tells us that this was pressed from the first/earliest master . (It is noted that the 2nd pressing features the more common XEX 606-2 for side two)
There are charactoristics that are common to this album but not unique just to this 1st UK mono pressing.
To start with we talk about the cover. The cover was a laminated front cover with flipbacks at the rear. Most initial 1st issue copies were made by E.J.Day & co but not all from my experience the odd copy arises made bt Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd. There are subtle difference between these two variations of the cover. The E.J.Day & co cover tends to have slightly larger flip backs and more rounded at the spine. My personal preference is the E.J.Day cover. Over the period that these were produced, there were more Garrod & Lofthouse covers made and in circulation so The E.J.Day covers with this album seem to demand a sightly higher price on the open market place.
The labels are the Yellow Parlophone with a black background and silver writing, these featured “The Gramophone co….” rim text on all early variations with “Sold In The UK….” text across the labels. Often a Tax stamper code was stamped on one of the sides around the spindle hole. (In some cases difficult to see or spot) For example “K.T” The tax code alone in theory should give us a fairly acurate description of when the vinyl was pressed but from my experience this is often not the case. I have seen tax stampers that are much earlier than the album would have been released.
All early originals in mono feature thick heavy vinyls. Later re-issues are much flimsier. (I have found that the original vinyls have deeper grooves cut which makes them more durable than later pressings.
The Record sleeve
All of the early 1st UK mono variations of Revolver came with Emetex poly lined inners. Very soon plain white paper patented record sleeves were introduced.
I hope that this article was helpful. This is information that I have learnt by being an avid collector of UK Beatles records and variations for over 45 years.
You can view my listing for this album in our products section Here
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