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Reference Library: Beatles on Lost Formats

From: egweimi@aol.com (EgwEimi)
Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles
Subject: Beatles pocket discs
Date: 6 Mar 1995 19:08:19 -0500

THE BEATLES LOST FORMATS
POCKET DISCS - LOST FORMAT #1

The Pocket Disc (called by one maker "hip pocket discs") were flexidiscs, intended to be carried around in your pocket (!) and played when you got to a record player (at your friend's house, or wherever). As a fad, these lasted less than two years, although other forms of flexi-discs (mostly by Evatone) have continued to exist to the present day.

The Pocket Disc was manufactured by Americom, Inc. in 1968-1969. Apparently Capitol/Apple had an arrangement with Americom to release certain of its recording on the Pocket Disc format. These carry crude Apple labels, with some of them having the Capitol logo (just as the singles did). In the listings, the Americom catalog number is listed, along with the Capitol/Apple number. Americom's discs ran 33 1/3 RPM and were 4" in diameter. They were available via Americom vending machines and came in a generic Pocket Disc sleeve.

Hey Jude/Revolution
The Beatles
M-221 2276P
    The a-side is edited to 3:25, instead of the usual 7:11.
    value: $300

Those Were the Days/Turn Turn Turn Mary Hopkin M-238 1801P value: $250

Maybe Tomorrow/Daddy's a Millionaire The Iveys M-301 1803P value: $300

Get Back/Don't Let Me Down The Beatles M-335 2490P value: $400

Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe The Beatles M-382 2531P value: $500

That's the Way God Planned It/What About You? Billy Preston M-433 1808P value: $300

Give Peace a Chance/Remember Love John/Yoko M-435 1809P A-side publisher listed incorrectly. value: $500

I seem to recall also reading in Goldmine that a copy of "Lady Madonna" was found on Pocket Disc. I think the vinyl was different too and the value was c.$1000. It also appears that every Apple record in the period may have been released as a Pocket Disc. I have listed the known ones. If there are any others that you have, drop me a note.


BEATLES TWO-TRACK TAPES -- LOST FORMAT #2

Playtape Inc. was the manufacturer of two track tapes. Usually, they are referred to as Playtapes. Most people have never seen a Playtape and wouldn't know what to make of one if they saw it. One resembled a miniature 8tk or 4tk and contained (usually) four songs in mono. They were the precursor to today's cassette single and were intended to be somewhat disposable. You'd carry the machine with you to the beach or in your car. The origins of the Playtape are somewhat obscure.

The first Beatles Playtapes appear on the scene in mid or late 1967. They continued to be manufactured until 1969, when stereo Playtapes were supposed to become available. There are several known players for Playtapes, which vanished mysteriously, never to reappear on the market. Apparently, Capitol when Capitol was working on its licensing for tapes in 1969, they decided to cancel the Playtapes. Perhaps this contributed to the death of the format, which does not seem to have survived much beyond that point.

Most Beatles Playtapes can be found with the photograph of the US "Hello Goodbye" picture sleeve on them. Some have plain white covers with black typing. Others actually picture something relating to the material contained therein.

A listing of KNOWN Beatles Playtapes is given below. If you have any others, please photograph them and send the photos to me.

I suspect that tapes of Meet, Second, Something New, '65, and Early were put out as No. 0523-0527, but these have not yet been verified to exist.

Beatles VI     No. 0528
     can be found with green or yellow background, or b/w
Help!   No. 0529
     green background
Rubber Soul  No. 0530
     green background
Yesterday and Today  No. 0531
     orange background
Revolver  No. 0532
     b/w label
Second Album  No. 0539
     b/w label
Early Beatles   No. 0541
     can be found with green background, or b/w
Second Album  No. 0575
     green background
Meet the Beatles  No. 0576
     orange background
Help!   No. 0581
     b/w label
Rubber Soul  No. 0582
     yellow background
Yesterday and Today SUSPECTED  No. 0583
Revolver  No. 0584
     b/w label
Second Album  No. 0600
     yellow background
Sgt. Pepper's LHCB  No. 0796
     lavender background
Magical Mystery Tour   No. 0797
     can be found with lavender bkgd. or with green bkgd. and
     photos from the Help album.  Who knows why!
The Beatles, Vol. 1   No. 0955
The Beatles, Vol. 2   No. 0956
The Beatles, Vol. 3   No. 0957
The Beatles, Vol. 4   No. 0958
The Beatles, Vol. 5   No. 0959
The Beatles, Vol. 6   (rumored, No. 0960?)
     The above White Album tapes feature the four photos from the
     album instead of the "Hello Goodbye" photo
Yellow Submarine  No. 0972
     features the album cover photo
Wonderwall Music (G)  No. 0989
     features the album cover photo.  Has Capitol logo.
This is the only known solo Beatles playtape.

The values are almost uniform at $40 apiece, more if they are found sealed in their original packaging. The Magical Mystery Tour with "Help!" photos goes for $50-$60. Yellow Submarine and Wonderwall Music are both rare and are valued at $75 each or more.

Playtapes are even moreso the forgotten format than the reel tape, four track, or even the pocket disc. Any help compiling a more complete listing of Beatles Playtapes would be appreciated.

Frank Daniels
EgwEimi@aol.com


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