Reference Library: Beatles Reel to Reel Tapes
From: email@example.com (EgwEimi)
Subject: Beatles US reel tapes
Date: 11 Feb 1995 14:31:07 -0500
For those of you interested in tapes, here's a history and catalog of
Beatles-related reel to reel tapes.
The sixties saw a proliferation of tape formats. By late 1973, only
the eight track and the cassette were to survive. After 1982, the
cassette (which Capitol introduced in 1968) emerged as the sole
survivor. The reel tape, the original tape format, was one of the
casualties. Beatles related reel tapes go for a minimum of $40 in
near mint condition today, being harder to find than their l.p.
When the Beatles signed on with Capitol in late 1963, the reel to reel
tape was the only tape alternative to vinyl. Professional recordings
were made on reel tapes (as some still are today). These were
reproduced at one half or one fourth of the recorded speed for the
public. Purchasers of reel tapes were generally seen as
audiophiles, as indeed many of them were. And so, Capitol did not
issue all of its "popular" records on reel tape. Also, classical
recordings were longer, and thus were better suited to the reel
format. The reel-tape-purchasing public generally did not buy
tapes that had only 30 minutes of music on them. Capitol solved
that problem by offering 5" tapes instead of the standard 7" size and
by offering two pop albums on one tape.
In mid-1969, Capitol left the reel tape manufacturing business,
contracting out to Ampex Tapes. When the catalog switched to Ampex,
there were no qualms about issuing one album on one tape. Capitol
(Ampex) stopped issuing new reel tapes in late 1971, but the format
survived for possibly ten more years through record clubs as a
"special order" item. It may still be possible to find new reel
tapes (although not of Beatles recordings). "ips" stands for
"inches per second."
Meet the Beatles Capitol Z2-2047 3 3/4ips
5" tape with black box, mono
Meet the Beatles Capitol Z4-2047 3 3/4ips
5" tape with black box, stereo
I have a Capitol tape catalog from 1965. This is the ONLY Capitol
reel tape listed that was available in both mono and stereo.
Hard Day's Night United Artists MUA-3366 7 1/2ips 60's logo, mono
Hard Day's Night United Artists MUA-6366 7 1/2ips 60's logo, stereo
The above two tapes were manufactured by Music Tapes, Inc. It was
also rare for UA to issue tapes in both mono and stereo.
Beatles '65/Early Beatles Capitol Y2T-2365 3 3/4ips; brown box
Beatles VI/Something New Capitol Y2T-2382 3 3/4ips; brown box
Rubber Soul/Second Album Capitol Y2T-2467
Yesterday and Today Capitol YT-2553 3 3/4ips; 5" tape; brown box
As with ALL tape formats, all of the songs on this tape are in true
stereo. At the time, the vinyl l.p. featured 3 songs in rechanneled
stereo, since Capitol did not wait long enough for Parlophone (UK)
to send them the stereo masters before preparing the stampers
for the stereo l.p..
At this time (1966), the Meet the Beatles 5" stereo tape was reissued
with a brown box and a sticker which reads "new biosonic process."
Hard Day's Night United Artists UAX-6366; 60's logo; stereo
UA reissued its early tape at about this time
Revolver Capitol ZT-2576; 3 3/4 ips; brown box
Family Way Soundtrack London LPL-70136 Mfd. by Ampex; black box.
Sgt. Pepper's LHCB Capitol Y1T-2653; 3 3/4ips; brown box
Magical Mystery Tour Capitol Y1T-2835; 3 3/4ips; brown box
The Beatles Apple Y2WB-101; 3 3/4ips; brown box
2 records on one tape
Meet the Beatles Capitol Y1T-2047; 3 3/4ips; 7" tape; brown box
Yesterday and Today Capitol Y1T-2553; 3 3/4ips; 7" tape; brown box
Revolver Capitol Y1T-2576; 3 3/4ips; 7" tape;
brown box; reissue
Yellow Submarine Apple Y1W-153; 3 3/4ips; brown box
Abbey Road Apple/Ampex L-383; 7 1/2ips; blue box
At this point, Meet the Beatles (L-2047), Second Album (L-2080),
Beatles '65 (L-2228), Beatles VI (L-2358), Early Beatles (L-2309),
Rubber Soul (L-2442), Yesterday and Today (L-2553), Revolver (L-2576),
Sgt. Pepper (L-2653), Magical Mystery Tour (L-2835) were all reissued
onto Ampex 7 1/2ips tapes with blue boxes. It is interesting to note
that "Something New" went out of print at this time.
In addition, the following tapes were issued:
Help! Capitol/Ampex L-2358 7 1/2ips; blue box
This album had not been available on reel tape prior to 1969-70.
The Beatles Apple/Ampex L-101/L-2101; 7 1/2ips; blue box
The album had previously been available on one tape. For the
Ampex issue, it was split up into two. Furthermore, this tape
set contains edited versions of 6 songs. These edits were
apparently made at the same time as the "Paul Is Dead" hoax
and are found nowhere else. Shorter total times are found on the
tape label itself.
Yellow Submarine Capitol/Ampex L-153; 7 1/2ips; blue box
For some reason, this tape was switched over from Apple to
the Capitol label.
Hey Jude! Apple/Ampex L-385; 7 1/2ips; blue box
Live Peace In Toronto Apple L-3362; 7 1/2ips; blue box
Let It Be Apple/Ampex L-3401; 7 1/2ips; blue box
McCartney Apple/Ampex L-3363; 7 1/2ips; blue box
Sentimental Journey Apple/Ampex L-3365; 7 1/2ips; blue box
Hard Day's Night United Artists UST-6366; boxed UA logo
At about this time, UA reissued its reel tape again.
All Things Must Pass Apple/Ampex D-639; 3 3/4ips; blue box
All three records on one tape.
Beaucoups of Blues Apple/Ampex L-3368; 7 1/2ips; blue box
Plastic Ono Band Apple/Ampex M-3372; 7 1/2ips; blue box
This tape comes with a lyric insert.
Ram Apple/Ampex L-3375; 7 1/2ips; blue box
Imagine Apple/Ampex L-3379; 7 1/2ips; blue box
This tape comes with a lyric insert.
Concert For Bangla Desh Apple/Ampex ZRX-31230; 3 3/4ips; blk.box
This tape is apparently numbered as a Columbia record.
Wonderwall Music and the Wedding Album may also exist on reel tape, but
these have not been documented.
In addition, two non-Beatles Apple records are known to exist on
reel tape. These include:
Magic Christian Music (L-3364) (Badfinger)
No Dice (L-3367) (Badfinger)
Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band (M-3373)
Others are suspected.
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