|The first official EMI release.
The version released on 7" single WAS the Ringo version, recorded one week before the Andy White re-make.
In January 1963 Parlophone ceased production of it's red label design, which means
original "Love Me Do"'s ARE on red-label. Unfortunately, even the red ones change, so there
is no rule as to the rarest.
Mine is numbered 45-R 4949. The "45" part of the prefix was there to distinguish the order number
from the "78" version. Once EMI dropped 78's in March 1963, singles after this date did not
require the "45" prefix.
Also above you will see the second pressing - black label version.
Side 1 matrix is 7XCE 17144-1N - indicating Ringo on Drums and No Tambourine Version
Side 2 matrix is 7XCE-17145-1N
(Matrix ending 2N is the Andy White on drums version with Ringo on tambourine.)
The next clue to age is much more interesting ....
Original copies have stamped into the run-out grooves small letters, something like "WT" or "KT".
Mine has "ZT" ... watchout, these are hard to see !
These are an indication of the tax due on the sale of the record, then known as "Purchase Tax".
Nowadays in England it is called "V.A.T.". Either way, these letters changed as the tax changed,
and therefore one can date these red label pressings pretty accurately.
Here are the dates each code first appeared :
"WT" - 1st August 1960
"OT" - 26th July 1961
"ZT" - 10th April 1962
"PT" - 26th November 1962
"MT" - 1st January 1963
"KT" - 1st July 1963
After this date "KT" remained on all Beatle singles.
Notice my copy has nothing printed under the "£" logo, some copies have "Made in Gt. Britain"
under the "£", but there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rule for this.
The "wavy-lined" paper sleeve is the type EMI used at the time of red label pressings.
Promo of Love Me Do (as pictured above)
If you have a copy of the original 1962 UK 1st issue Parlophone red 'A' label **DEMONSTRATION RECORD** vinyl as shown above in the
super rare 'TOP POP' sleeve, then with only 250 reported to have been issued, it's not surprising that this is considered one of the rarest Beatles Records in the World today.
This extremely sought after Demo was the very first Beatles demo to have been issued by Parlophone/EMI in 1962 to promote The Beatles debut single.
The Red 'A' Label Demo 45 is on the Custom White Parlophone Label featuring a large Red 'A', and Mis-spelt 'McArtney' on both sides of the record labels.
Side 2 has a Custom White Parlophone label with Black print. Both sides of the record labels display the official 'The Parlophone Co Ltd' label rim together with the wording
'Ardmore & Beechwood', and 'Demonstration Record Not For Sale' in black print. The official side 1 dead wax matrix number is: 7XCE 17144-1N, the side 2 Matrix is: 7XCE 17145-1N.
The side 1 stampers are: 'ZT' 'JR', with the side 2 stampers: 'ZT', 'JR'. The official 'ZT' tax code is faintly visible on the side 1 record label.
Below is an import copy on "oldies 45" label, this was released in the U.S. on 10th August 1964.
Before Vee Jay finally went out of business they reissued four singles, this was one of them. None of the four re-entered
Next, a picture disc version was released in England as part of the,
"It Was Twenty Years Ago" series, on 4th October 1982. At the same time the original single was issued. This version was the
Andy White on drums album version.
4 weeks later, on 1st November 1982 a 12" version was released, catalogue number 12R 4949.
A 3inch C.D. issue was made on 28th November 1988. Once again this was the version with Andy White on drums.
5th October 1992 a "30 years ago today" C.D. single was released (scans below).
It contains :
Track 1 - Love Me Do (2:22)
Track 2 - P.S. I Love You (2:04)
Track 3 - Love Me Do (original single version) (2:22)
There was also a very rare (500 copies only) 2 C.D. coupling of "Love Me Do" with an Interview C.D. The Interview album was
originally issued August 1988 on Baktabak (CBAK 4009), this 1992 version was CBAK 24009 and included "Love Me Do" C.D. !
For scans and info of the Interview release see The Interview Releases.