How to Identify an Original Beatles Vinyl Record (45 rpm) 'A Hard Day's Night'

By Contributor
Learn how to tell if vinyl records are original pressings.

If you have stumbled on some old vinyl 45 rpm Beatles records and wonder what value they have, you will need to know if they are original pressings. (With books this would be called first editions.) To start, try a 45 with the song from the Beatles' first movie, "A Hard Day's Night." The B side is "I Should Have Known Better." As with books, condition is everything: The better the condition, the higher the price. If you are an avid Beatles fan, though, you may just want to treasure this one, and keep it for yourself.

Check the label on the Beatles record. This is the paper around the middle hole of the record that lists the title of the song, group, etc. Record companies often changed the design of the record labels. The original label for this record is commonly referred to as "Capitol Swirl." (Capitol was the record company, and Swirl referred to the design. The early Swirl labels were produced from 1961 to 1968. The first version of this 45 record was made in 1964. .

Once you have determined this is a Capitol Swirl label, check for the following: The word "Capitol" should be on the left, with the name of the song at the top of the record and "The Beatles" at the bottom of the record.

Check to see if both Unart and Maclen are listed. The original has both listed; the later versions only list Maclen.

Lastly, if the label does not say "A Subsidiary of," then you have an original, first version of this Beatles record.

Tip

Take care when examining the record. Handle all vinyl records by the edges. Scratches in the record may affect the sound, depending on how deep the scratch is. Note all details of a first pressing; some label changes are very slight. To check the value of records, use a book or online price guide.