My three Beatles White Albums that are numbered, are these numbers early, late? I have no idea..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 2, 2024.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Out of all my Beatles White Albums, only three are actually numbered. All the rest are later versions, white vinyl, German, etc.

    My British Apple top loader and my two US Apples have stamped numbers on them. When I was a kid I thought this number thing was ugly and stupid and really wrecked the design concept of the album. What did I know?

    Are any of these numbered albums considered rare or "low numbered"?

    I never play any of these but my oldest kid asked me and to my surprise, I had no idea.

    Just curious..
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
  3. Gnome de Plume

    Gnome de Plume 12 HOT hits for a COOL penny!

    Location:
    Napa, CA
    If you can believe Google Gemini:

    The numbering system for the Beatles' White Album was fairly straightforward, but with a few interesting quirks:
    UK Pressing:
    * Numbers: Each copy had a unique six-digit number printed in gray on the front cover, usually near the bottom right corner.
    * Mono vs. Stereo: The numbering system helped identify the pressing type (mono or stereo) to an extent.
    * Numbers 1 to 299,999 were primarily for mono pressings. There might be a few random stereo copies within this range.
    * Numbers 300,000 to 599,999 were primarily for stereo pressings, with a small stereo indicator on the back cover.
    * Low Numbers: The very lowest numbers (likely under 100) were often given to special recipients like the Beatles themselves, Apple Corps employees, or people close to the band.
    US Pressing:
    * The US numbering system was less consistent. Numbers might have leading zeros or no prefix at all.
    * Early pressings (numbered below 210,000) were manufactured in Los Angeles and often had leading zeros.
    Important Points:
    * The numbering wasn't perfect. Some errors slipped through, like covers being assembled incorrectly.
    * The numbering doesn't guarantee the pressing quality or value.
    * There are resources online to help decode specific cover numbers and pressing details.
     
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  4. Downsampled

    Downsampled Senior Member

    Is there any significance to the use of the numero (“№”) or not?
     
  5. glenscott

    glenscott Forum Resident

    My German white vinyl copy is numbered, but it’s embossed rather than printed and rather difficult to see. I have a Dutch copy that also features this embossed style numbering.
     
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  6. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    The Germans you have should also be numbered. However, they restarted those numbers multiple times. The toploader cover 7-digit numbers are the more valuable ones (if they're low). These go from 0-0125K (black numbers), 0125K-0285K (gray numbers) and >285K (blindly debossed numbers).
     
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  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    SO my British version is actually the 68,986th printed. Interesting.
     
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  8. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Differs by country.
    UK: all numbers start with №
    US: different symbols, like circle ⚫ or A, probably depending on pressing plant
    Germany (and other countries using German covers): all use the №, but in a serifless font (around 1980, they actually switched to blindly stamped serif font for a short while).
    Japan: "№ A" are used together.
     
  9. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Because Netherlands used German sleeves.
     
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  10. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Should have "Stereo" on back, too. :)
     
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  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It does. That was just too boring to photograph..
     
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  12. milankey

    milankey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kent, Ohio, USA
    Mine is A2430396 and my parents bought it for me Christmas 1968.
     
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  13. Downsampled

    Downsampled Senior Member

    Thanks. My U.S. copy uses a sans-serif numero, and is № 2587553. Embossed title, “Stereo” on the back. I take it to be a U.S. second pressing.
     
  14. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    My stepmother had a copy that acted as mine for years - until she reclaimed it! :sigh:

    No idea what the # was, unfortunately.
     
  15. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Senior Member

    Location:
    England
    Looks like a nice copy too. I do like seeing the old record shop stickers on albums.
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Was a gift to me from Rod McKuen. He bought it in England back in the day.
     
  17. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Do early numbers theoretically sound better due to less wear on stampers? And if so, is this potential benefit likely to be audible?
     
  18. Race Frehley

    Race Frehley Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bangkok
    No, that’s accurate in all cases.
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    So why the hell did they do it? Has anyone ever explained that?
     
  20. moops

    moops Senior Member

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    If he’s still active, the guy at We Buy White Albums might be able to shed some light …..

    We Buy White Albums

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Record shop was in Mayfair, posh area.
     
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  22. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit
    My US Apple copy is a promo black circle followed by 0600840.
    Large circle punch right top corner.
    I got this from the original owner who was the manager of Korvettes music department.
    So is this copy #840 ?
     
  23. George Blair

    George Blair Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The numbering was part of the design concept. Not sure where I read it, but I think John, or maybe Yoko, had the idea that it should be numbered like an art piece, as you might see at a gallery exhibit.
     
  24. Race Frehley

    Race Frehley Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bangkok
    They were going to do prizes with the numbers like a raffle, but then thought better of it as being a bit tacky. Source : McCartney.

    Are art pieces numbered at galleries? It’s typically prints that get numbered, and I don’t think prints get displayed at art galleries.
     
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  25. moops

    moops Senior Member

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
     
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