Original Odeon mono LP's appear on a green label with Odeon logo. Since stereo was the norm in Germany by 1964, all mono LP's can be considered difficult to find.
The Odeon white label (stereo) LP's appear in two slightly different styles. The first of these styles, shown above, features the following print around the rim of the label:
This expression roughly translates to:
"All rights of the disk manufacturer and the owner of the recorded work [are] reserved. Copying, public performance, and radio broadcasting [are] prohibited."
For the benefit of non-German-speaking people, I refer to this issue as the "Alle" issue. Records with "Alle" as the first word of the rim print were issued by German Odeon until 1966. Some LP's were issued with as many as three catalog numbers, in the Odeon Series, the Hör Zu series, and the ZTOX series.
All Odeon series albums on the "Alle" label were numbered in the 80000's. When these were reissued in 1966-7, these catalog numbers were changed to the 70000's, which numbers Odeon was using beginning in 1966. The change from the "Alle" label to the "Urheber" label came before the change to the 70000 series numbering, as "Urheber" copies exist of the more common LP's in the 80000 series. There is also a late (1968-9?) label variation present at least on some LP's that shows the catalog prefix in the same size font as the number. The ZTOX number is also missing from these labels.
Original Hör Zu labels were red with a white rectangular logo. Similar to the Odeon series, they experienced a copyright statement change in 1966, continuing until 1970.
The Odeon Series numbers as (S*)O 80000's.
The Hor Zu Series numbers as (S)HZE ###.
The other series numbers as ZTOX 5000's.
Those albums which were originally issued on the "Alle" label are as follows:
|O 83-568 (mono)||With the Beatles||$300|
|STO 83-568 (stereo)||With the Beatles||$150|
|HZE 117 (mono, with BIEM and GEMA on label)||Please Please Me (Die Beatles)||$400|
|HZE 117 (mono, with GEMA on label alone)||Please Please Me (Die Beatles)||$400|
|SHZE 117 (stereo)||Please Please Me (Die Beatles)||$150|
|O 83-692 (mono)||Beatles Beat||$500|
|ZTOX 5550 (stereo only)||Please Please Me (UK cover)||$600|
|ZTOX 5558 (stereo only)||Beatles Second Album||$600|
|O 83-739 (mono)||Hard Day's Night||$200|
|STO 83-739 (stereo)||A Hard Day's Night||$100|
|O 83-756 (mono)||Something New||$600|
|STO 83-756 (stereo)||Something New||$200|
|SMO 83-790 (stereo only from here on)||Beatles For Sale||$80|
|SMO 83-917||Beatles '65||$250|
|SMO 83-991||Beatles Greatest||$125|
|SMO 84-008||Help! cover says from Hör Zu Series||$300|
|SMO 84-008||Help! no mention of Hör Zu Series||$300|
|SMO 84-066||Rubber Soul||$120|
NOTE 1: The ZTOX- series albums are hard to find. The first of the ZTOX series appears to have been issued in mid-1964, not in March as reported in some literature.
The additional matrix number of "OPX" (mono) and "ZTOX" (stereo) appears along with the other matrix numbers on LP's beginning in 1960. For example, OPX-2 = O-83023 and ZTOX-5506 = STO-80593 -- both in 1960.
The presence of these numbers indicates that the albums were prepared for foreign distribution (as well as domestic), but often their source tapes came from outside Germany as well. In 1964 only, a few records were pressed in stereo (with the ZTOX- prefix) and having no other catalog number. Every known album fitting that description is associated with an LP imported from Capitol Records in the USA and intended for foreign distribution. Reportedly, these albums were designed for sale to foreign servicemen.
Known non-Beatles albums in the series include:
ZTOX-5556, Toros and Toreros by La Banda de Genaro Nuñez -- from Capitol ST-10350.
ZTOX-5557, Percusiones Mexicanas by Tino Contreras -- from Capitol ST-10310.
ZTOX-5562, Berlin bei Nacht by Horst Kudritzki -- from Capitol ST-10228.
Albums that were issued domestically in Germany did not carry the ZTOX- prefix alone. This is why albums like Hard Day's Night and Something New do not exist with the ZTOX designation only. Both were issued in Germany, so they have domestic catalog numbers as well.
NOTE 2: Since the German Beatles albums are scarce in mono, I expect the values of the mono albums to rise well beyond their stereo counterparts.
NOTE 3: The German With the Beatles album contains a version of "All My Loving" with the so-called "hi-hat intro."
NOTE 4: The German Something New album contains a version of "And I Love Her" with an extended ending. That LP also features "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" in rechanneled stereo. Given that, and the distinctions in cover graphics, clearly the German LP was prepared separately from the American LP, with Odeon only receiving certain Graphics from the USA. Others have claimed that HDN also has the extended ending; my copy does not have it.
NOTE 5: The first several albums, at least through ZTOX 5550 were packaged originally in cardboard covers with paper slicks. Help! can also be found in this packaging.
NOTE 6: The first pressings of the first two albums had
print on the back cover which indicated that the stereo album should be played
only with a stereo stylus:
Sonderanfertigung der ELECTROLA GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. KÖLN. Platte nur mit sorgfältig gereinigter Abtastspitze spielen. Für Monoplatten Mikro- oder Stereoabtastspitze, für Stereoplatten nur Stereoabtastspitze verwenden. Einstellung M, 33 Upm. Falsche Einstellung beschädigt die Langspielplatte.
Special production of ELECTROLA COMPANY MBH COLOGNE. Only play the disc with (a) carefully cleaned stylus. For mono discs, micro- or stereo- stylus, for stereo discs, use only (a) stereo stylus. Setting M, 33 rpm. Wrong setting will damage the long-playing record.
By the middle of 1964, Odeon changed this information to indicate that stereo and mono
are compatible under the right conditions:
ELECTROLA GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. KÖLN. Diese Schallplatte kann mit jedem modernen Leichtgewicht-Tonabnehmer abgespielt werden. Tonabnehmer behutsam aufsetzen und abheben. Abtastspitze und Platten sorgfältig staubfrei halten. Platten senkrecht oder in geringer Stückzahl waagerecht auf glatter Fläche lagern. Einwirkung von Wärme vermeiden. Technischer Hinweis: Je kleiner die Abtastspitze, um so reiner der Klang. Verwenden Sie vorzugsweise Diamenten mit einer Spitzenverrundung big herab zu 13 μ (μ = micron = tausendstel mm).
ELECTROLA COMPANY M.B.H. COLOGNE. This record can be played on any modern lightweight tonearm. Carefully lower and raise the tonearm. Carefully keep stylus and discs free of dust. Store discs horizontally or vertically in small numbers on a smooth surface. Avoid exposure to heat. Technical Note: The smaller the probe tip, the purer the sound. Preferably use diamonds with a big tip tapering down to 13 μ (μ = micron = one thousandth mm).
Look for the expression "13μ" in the information at the bottom of the back cover, which is notable because it uses Greek.
After mono was phased out in November of 1964, all printings and later albums (including those that
still have the "Alle" label) say instead that with a modern turntable
a stereo record can be played on a mono turntable and do not list the "technical direction":
Diese Schallplatte kann mit jedem modernen Leichtgewicht-Tonabnehmer abgespielt werden. Bei Mono-Abspielgeräten wird zur besseren Wiedergabe der Einbau eines Stereo-Abtastkopfes empfohlen.
This record can be played on any modern lightweight pickup. For mono players to play better, it is recommended to install a stereo stylus.
NOTE 7: The "STO" prefix appears to have been replaced by "SMO" after the elimination of mono.
NOTE 8: Stereo copies pressed prior to the elimination of mono are found with a large, round, gold stereo sticker. Stereo copies of those same LP's and of the next few (stereo-only) LP's are normally found with a smaller, rectangular stereo sticker. Later stereo LP's are found either with the contents of the stereo sticker printed on the cover itself or without any stereo sticker whatsoever (since the buyer would naturally assume the record to be stereo).
In mid 1966, the rim print was changed on all Odeon releases to read:
Roughly speaking, this translates to:
"Copyright and property rights, especially reproduction (except for personal use), rental, performance, and broadcasting, [are] reserved."
Again for the benefit of those who do not read German, I will call this the "Urheber" issue. LP's made from 1966 to 1969 are of the "Urheber" variety. Although there were no new red label Hör Zu releases by the Beatles during this period, their earlier Hör Zu records were reissued onto the "Urheber" label. A list of all Beatles albums which were originally issued on the "Urheber" label follows:
|STO 73-692 (stereo)||Beatles Beat||$100|
|SMO 81-045||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||$150|
|SHZE 401||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||$75|
NOTE: Beatles Beat had been issued in mono only in 1964. After November of that year, German Odeon had switched to all-stereo. Consequently, when the album was reissued in early 1967, it was pressed in stereo.
NOTE: From this point on, the Hör Zu albums have a standard Odeon (or Apple) label underneath, with the Hör Zu logo stamped onto it. First issues of the Hör Zu Revolver have the Hör Zu logo stamped in black on top of the Odeon stereo logo. Second issues of Revolver and all copies of the Hör Zu Sgt. Pepper have two Hör Zu logos in red, positioned to the sides of the Odeon stereo logo.
NOTE: Sgt. Pepper was available on Hör Zu SHZE 401, but the Odeon issue is the harder to find. Conflicting sources say that the Odeon series was "for export," and that the Hör Zu series was for "record club" sales only. Neither of these is true in general.
Hör Zu was the largest magazine in Europe devoted to radio and television. In August, 1963, the magazine set up an agreement with EMI (Electrola) in Germany to release three albums per month on a label bearing the name of the magazine. These records were promoted in the magazine, but they were not available exclusively through the Hör Zu magazine. In essence, they were a domestic release that was part of a special series.
It is clear that Help! and Sgt. Pepper's are more common as releases in the Hör Zu series than outside the series -- although the records were available both ways from the beginning. Also, Sgt. Pepper was clearly part of a separate series, since the standard Hör Zu Electrola (SHZE) series was issuing numbers in the 200's through 1969, and SHZE 327 is the correct catalog number for an LP (Magical Mystery Tour) that was issued in early 1972, as other catalog numbers from the series show.
While there were certain "export" copies made in the Odeon series, these had different (yellow) labels and a "9" at the beginning of the catalog number.
In early 1969, all new Beatles releases switched to the Apple label. By April, however, Germany had become part of the European Economic Community (EEC). From that point on, all records, new and rerelease, would be issued with the new EEC numbering system. Most albums from Abbey Road on feature the new numbering. Here is a list of German Beatles albums on the Apple label.
|SMO 2051/2||The Beatles||$125|
|SMO 74-585||Yellow Submarine||$125|
|1C062-04433||Let It Be (boxed)||$400|
|1C062-04433Y||Let It Be (regular)||$15|
|SHZE 327 (rectangular logo)||Magical Mystery Tour||$50|
|SHZE 327 (new logo)||Magical Mystery Tour||$30|
|1C062-04449||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 2: Magical Mystery Tour was originally released, as in England, in EP form in 1967. Following the success of the US album, Apple/Hör Zu released MMT as an album in early 1972. This album contains the first stereo appearance anywhere of "Baby, You're a Rich Man" and the second stereo appearance of "Penny Lane." This original issue has the rectangular Hör Zu logo on the cover and label. Second pressings from 1973 feature the newer "record player" Hör Zu logo. In 1976, Magical Mystery Tour was reissued with the EEC numbering and a large apple on the front cover; the price code changed from 062/064 to 072 in 1981. This last issue is the most common.
NOTE 3: The change to the blue label came shortly BEFORE the change to the EEC catalog numbers. Several LP's are known with blue labels and the old "SMO" number."
© 2000, 2013 Frank Daniels