Identifying Original French Beatles Albums

Updated: 19 Ap 13


Typical French OSX series Album

Dark Blue/Orange Odeon

The earliest Odeon label style has ODÉON in large letters across the top of the label. Before some time in early 1964, the labels were dark blue in color, but for most of the mid 60's they were orange.

Those albums which were originally issued on the early Odeon label are as follows:

Catalog Number Title Value
OSX 222 (mono, green label) Les Beatles (With the Beatles) $1500+
OSX 222 (mono, orange label -- dark blue label exists?) Les Beatles (With the Beatles) $500
OSX 225 (mono, dark blue or orange label) Les Beatles No. 1 (Please Please Me) $500
OSX 226 (mono) 4 Garçons dans le Vent (Hard Day's Night) $500+
OSX 228 (mono) Les Beatles 1965 (Beatles For Sale) $300 (add $1500 for NM insert)
OSX 230 (mono, dark blue or orange label) Chansons du Film Help! $200
OSX 231 (mono, dark blue or orange label) Dans Leurs 14 Plus Grands Succès (14 Greatest Hits) $1000+
OSX 232 (mono, orange label) Rubber Soul $200

NOTE: ALL of the OSX series are hard to find and thus difficult to pinpoint values for. All values should be considered approximate. 14 Greatest Hits (shown above) is particularly desired because it was a "hits" compilation that was not available elsewhere.

NOTE 2: There are three issues of Les Beatles 1965, two of which feature inserts. One insert is made of light paper, while the other is of a thicker cover stock. The inserts themselves can sell for as much as the record.

1965 Export LP

Pressed on a custom dark blue ODÉON label, the only export LP known currently is Rubber Soul. This was an export release from France to unknown countries.

Catalog Number Title Value
OSX HS 24.001(blue label) Rubber Soul $1500+

Red Odeon

In January of 1966, Odeon replaced their earlier label with a red label and their logo with a logo that more closely resembled the logos used in other countries. The red label appears on all Odeon releases of the time, but when France took up the EEC numbering in 1969, they stopped using the original catalog numbers (shown below) on Beatles releases.

Records originally released on the red label are shown below. You will notice that many records which were originally released on the dark blue/orange label were reissued and given new catalog numbers.

Catalog Number Songs Value
LSO 101 (mono) 4 Garçons dans le Vent $50
LSO 102 (mono) Rubber Soul $50
LSO 103 (mono) No. 1 $35
LSO 104 (mono) Help! $35
LSO 105 (mono) Revolver $40
SLSO 105 (stereo) Revolver $100
CLSO 1.105 (compatible stereo) Revolver $100
SLSO 107 (stereo) Collection of Beatles Oldies $60
SLSO 107 (stereo) Collection of Beatles Oldies $40
Odeon PMC 7027 (mono, yellow/black Parlophone label) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $70
Odeon PCS 7027 (stereo, yellow/black Parlophone label) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $40
Odeon PMC 7027 (mono) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $70
Odeon PCS 7027 (stereo) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $40

NOTE: Since by this time France was following the British/European selection of albums, at some points their releases actually used the British or German catalog numbers, such as Sgt. Pepper, shown above, which has the UK number. These were not British records. They had the usual French labels; only the catalog numbers were foreign.

NOTE 2: Red-label copies of LSO 101 through LSO 105 exist with either (S) in a circle or S by itself on the label.

NOTE 3: I know of no records in the LSO series numbered higher than LSO-108 (Ron Goodwin, Music for an Arabian Night). It appears to be the case that French Odeon abandoned their own numbering system in late 1966. That left the LP's following foreign catalog numbers for any records that were not French in origin, and they imported covers for those foreign albums. This is why Sgt. Pepper came out on the red label (mono/stereo) with the PMC/PCS 7027 number. Whatever was the source of the covers, that's how they marked their albums.

Black Odeon

Catalog Number Songs Value
LSO 101 (mono) 4 Garçons dans le Vent $80
LSO 102 (mono) Rubber Soul $80
LSO 103 (mono) No. 1 $80*
LSO 104 (mono) Help! $80*
CLSO 1.105 (stereo) Revolver $50*
SLSO 107 (stereo) Collection of Beatles Oldies $40*
Odeon PMC 7027 (mono) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $100*
Odeon PCS 7027 (stereo) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $40*

The change to the black EMI label for LP's (and black/yellow Parlo label for Pepper) probably occurred in 1968, as Pepper is fairly likely to be found on the black Parlophone label in mono. Other LP's are found in mono, too, including Help! (LSO-104) and (I believe) the Oldies album. Most albums (like Help!) wound up switching to stereo only when the EEC numbering came along. In about 1968, Revolver switched from LSO (mono) to the CLSO (compatible stereo) prefix, and copies exist with "Gravure universelle" in a sticker on top of the mono and stereo catalog numbers on the front cover. * = existence confirmed

No new Beatles albums were issued on this style.

Sky Blue Odeon

Catalog Number Songs Value
LSO 101 (mono) 4 Garçons dans le Vent $80
LSO 102 (mono) Rubber Soul $80
LSO 103 (mono) No. 1 $80
LSO 104 (mono) Help! $80
CLSO 105 (stereo) Revolver $50
SLSO 107 (stereo) Collection of Beatles Oldies ??
Odeon PMC 7027 (mono) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band rare
Odeon PCS 7027 (stereo) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band $40

Odeon/EMI changed to a sky-blue label in 1968...before the change to the EEC numbering system.

No new Beatles albums were issued on this style.

Apple Albums

In late 1968, all new Beatles releases switched to the Apple label. By April, however, France had become part of the European Economic Community (EEC). From that point on, most records, new and rerelease, would be issued with the new EEC numbering system. Most albums from Yellow Submarine on feature the new numbering. Here is a list of French Beatles albums on the Apple label.

Apple SMO 2051/2 (German number) The Beatles $100
Apple PCS 7067/8 (British number, "Mfd. in UK" on label) The Beatles $100
Apple PCS 7070 (British number) Yellow Submarine $25
Apple 2C062-04002 Yellow Submarine $20
Apple PCS 7088 Abbey Road $35
Apple 2C066-04243 Abbey Road $20-$30
Apple 2C066-04348 The Beatles Again (Hey Jude) $25
Apple 2C066-04433 Let It Be (boxed) $250-300
Apple 2C066-04433 Let It Be (regular) $20
Apple 2C066-04449 Magical Mystery Tour $20

NOTE: The White Album was originally issued, as in England, with a top-loading cover, numbered, and with 4 pictures and a poster.

NOTE: Magical Mystery Tour was originally released, as in England, in EP form in 1967. Following the success of the US album, Apple released MMT as an album in late 1971. This album contains the first stereo appearance anywhere of "Baby, You're a Rich Man" and the second stereo appearance of "Penny Lane." The French album and German album are the same.

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