12 Apple Records Label Variations

of 12

A Typical UK Apple Label

Apple Records Label UK
A typical UK issue Apple label. Apple Corps Ltd.

There are a number of color and design variations that set apart The Beatles' famous Apple label. In different countries around the world, and at different times, the appearance of the label changes and this (along with other indicators) helps keen collectors to identify where particular pressings might be from. It also adds some fun to collecting when you find a label thats a bit different or unusual. 

What you can see in this slide is a typical green Apple label on a UK release. It's a copy of The Beatles (a.k.a The White Album), originally issued on Apple in 1968. This style and color was typical for all green UK Apple pressings.

of 12

A Typical US Apple Label

Apple Records US Label
This is a typical US Apple label. Apple Corps Ltd.

Here we have an example of how an Apple label looks on a US pressing. Note that it is quite plain in appearance compared to the UK label. This is mostly because there's no printed copyright information text around the circumference. US Apple labels weren't as vividly printed as their UK and European equivalents either. They are actually quite dull by comparison.

This US label is from the 1970 compilation The Beatles Again. Interestingly, this wasn't issued in the UK until 1979. The title of the LP is a little confusing in the US as on the spine of the cardboard cover it says Hey Jude, while on the label you can see clearly it's The Beatles Again. In markets outside the US the LP is more commonly known just as Hey Jude, though not everywhere - as we'll see in the next slide. 

of 12

A Typical European Apple Label

Apple Record Label from France
This is a typical French Apple label from the 1970's. Apple Corps Ltd.

This is a typical European green Apple label - this example is from France. European labels are generally a richer shade of green and they look more "busy" because there is a lot more copyright, place of manufacture, catalog numbers and other information included. This one is also for The Beatles Again - this time using the same title as the US release. In many other countries this LP is better known as Hey Jude. The compilation has long been out of print. It has only recently been made available on CD for the first time - as part of The Beatles The US Albums box set, and also as an individual disc.

of 12

A Typical Australian Apple Label

An Australian pressing of "Hey Jude" on green Apple labels
An Australian pressing of "Hey Jude" on green Apple labels. Apple Corps Ltd.

Just by way of comparison, an Australian pressing of what was known as The Beatles Again and/or Hey Jude in the US. Here you can see the LP is called just Hey Jude, or as the Aussies put it: Hey, Jude!

These are typical Australian green Apple labels and are quite similar to the UK variants.

of 12

"Let It Be", with a Red Apple Label

The Beatles' "Let It Be" - real or fake?
The red Apple label on a genuine copy of the LP. Apple Corps Ltd.

OK. Now we start to get into some of the interesting color variations issued over the years. The first is the label used for US editions of The Beatles Let It Be LP (1970), which as you can see, is vivid red in color. As a soundtrack album to the film Let It Be, the record was being distributed in the US by the United Artists company, not the usual Beatle distributor Capitol Records. The red wash over the Apple was done to distinguish this. (In the UK and in other markets they used a green Apple label on the record, but had a deep red Apple logo on the rear cover of first pressings). Let It Be is one of the most counterfeited vinyl records ever and if you have a US copy you need to check for the clues to see if yours is real, or a fake.  

of 12

Ringo Starr's "Blast From Your Past" with a Red Apple Label

Ringo Starr "Blast From Your Past" 1975
Ringo also marked the final Apple Records release (at the time) with a red Apple. Apple Corps Ltd.

In 1975 Ringo Starr released a compilation LP called Blast From Your Past, and for some reason it also got the red Apple label treatment that Let It Be received in 1970. On original pressings this bright red Apple label was also used in the UK, Australia and many other markets. What we have here is an example of the US pressing.

of 12

Ringo Starr's Blue Apple Label

Ringo Starr's "Back Off Boogaloo" single on a blue Apple label
Ringo Starr's 'Back Off, Boogaloo' single on a blue Apple label. Apple Corps Ltd.

Ringo was at it again in 1972, issuing his single 'Back Off, Boogaloo' on a bright blue Apple label in many markets around the world, including the USA. What we can see here is an Australian pressing. The song is a non-album single which got to number 9 on the US charts, and to the number 2 spot in Britain and Canada.

of 12

George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" Orange Apple

George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" on an orange Apple label
George Harrison's 1970 release "All Things Must Pass" on its orange Apple. Apple Corps Ltd.

In his first solo outing since the break up of The Beatles in 1970, George Harrison chose to issue his All Things Must Pass triple LP on bright orange Apple labels around the world. This is a US pressing we can see here. (The third LP in the triple album box set was on a custom "Apple Jam" label). More on custom labels later.

of 12

John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" on White Apple Labels

John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" - US white Apple labels
In the US, John Lennon used plain white Apple labels for his "Plastic Ono Band" LP. Apple Corps Ltd.

The stark nature of the musical content on John Lennon's debut solo studio album, "Plastic Ono Band" (1970), is also reflected in the plain white Apple labels chosen to grace the LP. In the USA these were all white, but with a 3D shaped apple. In other markets the label was even plainer still, as we'll see in the next slide.  

of 12

John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" on White Apple Labels

A European pressing of John Lennon "Plastic Ono Band" (1970)
A European pressing of Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" LP. Apple Corps Ltd.

By comparison with the US white Apple labels, those used for Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" in other markets (such as Europe, Britain and Australia) were even starker still. They have just a very plain white apple shape on a black background. Perhaps it was John commenting on all the blood being drained out of Apple and the Beatles at the time? His first studio solo release came out at an absolute low point in relationships between his fellow band members as they started out on what was to be a very acrimonious break up....     

of 12

John Lennon's "Imagine", with custom Apple Labels

John Lennon's "Imagine" on custom Apple Labels
Original pressings of Lennon's "Imagine" LP had these custom Apple labels. Apple Corps Ltd.

As well as the many color variations, the solo Beatles began to use a wide range of "custom" designs for their Apple Records releases. First among them was John Lennon who, on his Imagine LP (1971), took the basic apple shape but then superimposed his own image in black and white over the top. What we see here is the UK pressing, but this is how it appeared in most other markets as well. 

of 12

George Harrison's "Extra Texture" with custom Apple Labels

George Harrison "Extra Texture" (1975) on a custom Apple Label
George Harrison's "Extra Texture" on a custom Apple label. Apple Corps Ltd.

Another example of a custom Apple label, this time from George Harrison. For his 1975 solo release Extra Texture he has gone right away from an Apple dominating the entire label to it being a small, very well-chewed apple core up in the top left-hand corner. This is clearly a comment by George on The Beatles' Apple company at the time being only a shadow of its former self. This pressing is from the UK.