Friday, 13 March 2015

The Danish album

Denmark 1965: The Beatles' Hottest Hits. Parlophone PMCS 306. Photo: Parlogram
This is the rarest and most collectable Danish Beatles album. It was released in the spring of 1965, rumoured to be pressed in a limited number of only 3028 copies. It has an interesting collection of songs:

Side 1:
  1. I Feel Fine
  2. I Call Your Name
  3. I'll Get You
  4. From Me To You
  5. This Boy
  6. She Loves You

Side 2:
  1. Long Tall Sally
  2. Thank You Girl
  3. Matchbox
  4. She's A Woman
  5. Slow Down
  6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
You'll notice that this collects on an album the Long Tall Sally EP along with four singles: She Loves You/I'll Get You, From Me To You/Thank You Girl, I Want To Hold Your Hand/This Boy and I Feel Fine/She's A Woman. The album was released in mono only.

The back cover of the Danish album. Photo: Parlogram.
There was one mistake on the back cover. In the list of "More hot hits", some of the Beatles' singles are listed, among them "A Hard Day's Night" (R 5160). The B-side to that is wrongly identified as "Waitin' For You".

The label for side 1 (Denmark). Photo: Parlogram

Matrix numbers: XSTX 115 I and XSTX 116. In Sweden, the same album with the same catalogue number (and matrix numbers) was released as The Beatles' Greatest Hits, but sporting a different cover.

Sweden 1965: The Beatles' Greatest Hits. Parlophone PMCS 306.
The back cover was different, too:

The back cover for the Swedish album.
And of course, the label:
The label for side 1 (Sweden)
The Swedish album was probably also pressed in the same limited amount as the Danish album, but is not as collectible, due to the more common front cover, which looks just like the "Something New" album cover. Why the Swedes didn't use a photo of the Beatles in Sweden is beyond me. A number of Swedish EP covers all have beautiful photos of The Beatles taken in Sweden. Even the UK "Long Tall Sally" EP cover photo was taken in Sweden. Furthermore, why choose a design similar to "Something New"? The German pressing of "Something New" was for sale in Swedish record shops at the time, so why try to confuse the record buyers with a similar looking album cover?

The Danes are likely to have selected the "eskimo" photo, taken backstage at the Hammersmith Odeon during the 1964/5 Beatles Christmas shows, due to the fact that Greenland (where eskimos live) is Danish territory. They could not have chosen a concert photo from The Beatles' only visit to Denmark, because Jimmy Nicol was substituting for Ringo on those two concerts.

Beware of fakes

Due to its popularity and rarity, the Danish album has had the dubious honour of having been counterfeited by modern day pirate vinyl pressing plants, usually on coloured vinyl.

Available in several colours, the counterfeits are quite common.

The counterfeited back doesn't have the wraparound flaps like the original had.
Counterfeits on black vinyl can also be found, as well as picture discs. Stereo copies are also found, as are CDs, all are fakes.

Usually, whenever you find an original, it's not in a great shape. The white sections of the album cover has usually yellowed with age, and the record will have been played to death. When a decent original comes on the market, prices will be around 500-650 GBP. However, due to the scarcity and collectability of this album, even beat up originals command high prices. Unless you're lucky and the dealer doesn't know what he has. A Swedish "Greatest Hits" will be priced at around 100-150 GBP.


brotherelwood said...

Thanks for the infos - there even is a CD by Dr. Ebbetts from 2005 with this content...

etagsibuna said...

On the subject of Danish Pressed Beatle records. I have a Revolver with mono on side one and stereo on side two.