Reference Library: Beatles on Lost Formats
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (EgwEimi)
Subject: Beatles pocket discs
Date: 6 Mar 1995 19:08:19 -0500
THE BEATLES LOST FORMATS
POCKET DISCS - LOST FORMAT #1
The Pocket Disc (called by one maker "hip pocket discs") were
flexidiscs, intended to be carried around in your pocket (!) and
played when you got to a record player (at your friend's house,
or wherever). As a fad, these lasted less than two years, although
other forms of flexi-discs (mostly by Evatone) have continued to
exist to the present day.
The Pocket Disc was manufactured by Americom, Inc. in 1968-1969.
Apparently Capitol/Apple had an arrangement with Americom to
release certain of its recording on the Pocket Disc format. These
carry crude Apple labels, with some of them having the Capitol logo
(just as the singles did). In the listings, the Americom catalog
number is listed, along with the Capitol/Apple number. Americom's
discs ran 33 1/3 RPM and were 4" in diameter. They were available
via Americom vending machines and came in a generic Pocket
The a-side is edited to 3:25, instead of the usual 7:11.
Those Were the Days/Turn Turn Turn
Maybe Tomorrow/Daddy's a Millionaire
Get Back/Don't Let Me Down
Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe
That's the Way God Planned It/What About You?
Give Peace a Chance/Remember Love
A-side publisher listed incorrectly.
I seem to recall also reading in Goldmine that a copy of "Lady Madonna"
was found on Pocket Disc. I think the vinyl was different too and the
value was c.$1000. It also appears that every Apple record in the period
may have been released as a Pocket Disc. I have listed the known ones.
If there are any others that you have, drop me a note.
BEATLES TWO-TRACK TAPES -- LOST FORMAT #2
Playtape Inc. was the manufacturer of two track tapes. Usually, they
are referred to as Playtapes. Most people have never seen a Playtape
and wouldn't know what to make of one if they saw it. One resembled
a miniature 8tk or 4tk and contained (usually) four songs in mono.
They were the precursor to today's cassette single and were intended
to be somewhat disposable. You'd carry the machine with you to
the beach or in your car. The origins of the Playtape are somewhat
The first Beatles Playtapes appear on the scene in mid
or late 1967. They continued to be manufactured until 1969, when
stereo Playtapes were supposed to become available. There are
several known players for Playtapes, which vanished mysteriously,
never to reappear on the market. Apparently, Capitol when Capitol
was working on its licensing for tapes in 1969, they decided to cancel
the Playtapes. Perhaps this contributed to the death of the format,
which does not seem to have survived much beyond that point.
Most Beatles Playtapes can be found with the photograph of the US
"Hello Goodbye" picture sleeve on them. Some have plain white
covers with black typing. Others actually picture something relating
to the material contained therein.
A listing of KNOWN Beatles Playtapes is given below. If you have
any others, please photograph them and send the photos to me.
I suspect that tapes of Meet, Second, Something New, '65, and
Early were put out as No. 0523-0527, but these have not yet been
verified to exist.
Beatles VI No. 0528
can be found with green or yellow background, or b/w
Help! No. 0529
Rubber Soul No. 0530
Yesterday and Today No. 0531
Revolver No. 0532
Second Album No. 0539
Early Beatles No. 0541
can be found with green background, or b/w
Second Album No. 0575
Meet the Beatles No. 0576
Help! No. 0581
Rubber Soul No. 0582
Yesterday and Today SUSPECTED No. 0583
Revolver No. 0584
Second Album No. 0600
Sgt. Pepper's LHCB No. 0796
Magical Mystery Tour No. 0797
can be found with lavender bkgd. or with green bkgd. and
photos from the Help album. Who knows why!
The Beatles, Vol. 1 No. 0955
The Beatles, Vol. 2 No. 0956
The Beatles, Vol. 3 No. 0957
The Beatles, Vol. 4 No. 0958
The Beatles, Vol. 5 No. 0959
The Beatles, Vol. 6 (rumored, No. 0960?)
The above White Album tapes feature the four photos from the
album instead of the "Hello Goodbye" photo
Yellow Submarine No. 0972
features the album cover photo
Wonderwall Music (G) No. 0989
features the album cover photo. Has Capitol logo.
This is the only known solo Beatles playtape.
The values are almost uniform at $40 apiece, more if they are
found sealed in their original packaging. The Magical Mystery
Tour with "Help!" photos goes for $50-$60. Yellow Submarine
and Wonderwall Music are both rare and are valued at $75 each
Playtapes are even moreso the forgotten format than the reel
tape, four track, or even the pocket disc. Any help compiling a
more complete listing of Beatles Playtapes would be appreciated.
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