What is this archive all about, and who is behind it?

Serge and Fred (along with many other collectors and pioneers of Canadian Beatles discographies) have been discussing, compiling, updating spreadsheets and images of their personal archives for over 25 years, aiming at documenting every Beatle record variation ever released in Canada. Both passionate collectors, rigorous researchers and good friends, it was a natural fit to work together on this ambitious project aiming at sharing back the knowledge that was developed over the years, and promoting the Canadian Beatles legacy for seasoned and future collectors who are curious to learn more.

The Authors

Serge Pelletier - First Author and Designer.

I wasn't born in the right period to live Beatlemania when it happened. I did, on the other hand, catch on at a moment where their popularity and influence had just crystallized for good, so it gave me a certain perspective that made it easier to understand the phenomenon and the impact it had today on music and society as a whole. I did discover them right when the resurgence of new material started to happen in the early 90s; nothing like it was thirty years before in 1964, but it was still magical and powerful enough to hook me instantly and make me want to learn everything I could about their music and records. I remember then at about 15 years old, having a utopian dream of writing THE biggest, most documented, absolutely complete book on their music. I am now in my 40s, I work as a user experience designer and a Human Factors specialist for large organizations and public services, I just finished a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, and I just had a beautiful daughter during the peak of the pandemic; I am more passionate than ever about this project, and this website is possibly the closest I will ever get to this crazy dream I had over 30 years ago.

Fred Young - Editor in Chief and Author

My Beatles story began in late 1963, when as an impressionable young 8 year old, I first heard "She Loves You" on local AM radio. It was this song that gave them their first number one, and launched Beatlemania here in Canada. Their music became the soundtrack of my life, and to this day, as I hear any particular Beatles song, it invokes specific memories from that time period.

I started collecting Canadian Beatles records in 1976 when resurgence in popularity, and a publicity push by Capitol led me to purchase new copies of the entire catalogue. It was also around this time that I learned of all the different international albums, as imports were starting to appear in shops, and books on the subject were starting to be published. With the advent of CD's, used record stores began popping up, and beautiful original mono quality pressings could now be purchased for very reasonable prices. And so it began, as I would make weekly rounds hunting for pristine gems.

With the advent of the internet, I discovered I was not alone in my passion, and it was in a Yahoo discussion group that I first met Serge. I was impressed with his youthful enthusiasm, and when he expressed to me his desire to publish a complete Canadian discography with every known variation of every Beatles LP pressed in Canada, I said I would help out in any way I could. I happily continue to provide that support for Serge in the creation of this website.

What is the idea behind this archive?

The idea for this website was a long time idea of mine, but it really became a palpable reality in late 2021 when Fred and I were talking about the latest variations we had discovered and figured it would be extremely nice to finally have a website to share all this information with people. But in fact, it started way before that, way before me as a collector. In the mid 1990s, when the internet had just found its way into some lucky homes and CDs were the new craze, Beatles records were very rapidly becoming collectable. Books were being written on Beatles discographies, but with no surprise, they mostly covered US or UK pressings, along whith some targeted countries like Japan or Germany. So Canadian collectors connected mostly through local communities, magazines, record shows and correspondence to figure out what their Canadian pressings were about.

The birth of a community

With the internet came something unexpected that would become EXTREMELY valuable to this day: online message boards and communities. Boundaries for these connections were suddenly not defined as "local", but as "global" - this was the turning point that led to this comprehensive archive you see here. Around 1995, Steve Clifford founded a forum that would be perfect to host a discussion group on Canadian Beatles records. Although very much still a small underground community, it slowly but surely gathered what has become the most knowledgeable people on the subject today, many of which ended creating valuable books on the Canadian angle of The Beatles. Among them were Piers Hemmingsen, who is an international reference on everything Beatles in Canada, Andrew Croft, Steve Clifford, Gilles Valiquette, Brian Schofield, Gilles Pépin, Ian Gosling, Yvan Tessier, and many others including, of course, the two authors of this archive: Serge Pelletier and Fred Young.

Joining the party

So the knowledge base has kept growing year after year, members wrote some invaluable references on Canadian pressings, putting our discographies and history on the map alongside its better-known US big brother. But discussions were slwowly getting thinner as people had moved away from the old outdated Yahoo platform. That is when I officially joined the party, wanting to contribute, and not simply read other people's insights. Piers had at the time issued very popular Beatles Discography books, as well as the only exhaustive website on unique Canadian pressings. capitol6000.com mostly covered the Canadian 6000 series that featured a lot of Europeean artists at the height of the British invasion, as well as a few sections dedicated to the Beatles. I was studying as a graphic designer back then and I contacted Piers, offering him to revamp any material he thought could be updated. He gladly accepted my offer and my first task was to redesign the website and prepare a concept for an upcoming book (that would eventually become "the origins of Beatlemania" many years later").

New era, new platform

In 2013, after working with Piers on these projects for a few years, I wrote my own book, on what is now my main focus: the different variations of all Beatles releases in Canada. The book sold very quickly and had been updated continuously in my personal archives for a future updated edition. I soon realized that a more flexible platform would allow us to continuously stay up to date with new information, and more importantly, it would allow us to add much more information and details than the slightly telegraphic style book I had published then. In 2019, Yahoo announced it would officially shut down the blog service altogether, and that all data would be lost. That is when we saw an opportunity, and with the help of Fred who was an administrator of the Yahoo group, I moved the community on a more modern platform: Facebook groups. We tried to gather as many yahoo members as possible; the migration was quite successful and today, the collecting community rose from its ashes and with its new members, it is as vibrant as it was in the old days. Unfortunately, a social platform soon proved to be a limited option if we wanted to reach more people with more information. The group is great, and we urge you to join it to keep an ongoing conversation going, but it touches specific topics and it can get a bit confusing to use as a research or reference tool.

So, what is this archive exactly?

All of this then, is what triggered us to create this new unique platform that we hope will become the main reference point for every Beatles collector of Canadian releases (!), listing EVERY DOCUMENTTED VARIATION of Beatles music released in Canada, on every format. Yikes! Through the research for my book, we currently have the vinyl section under control and we have also started building sections on tapes and CDs as well.

As of now, the archive is complete and fully functional (identifiying all known and verified variations to date), but instead of waiting for EVERY detailed entry to be completed before publishing, we figured that releasing new detailed sections for each variation on a regular basis would be more interesting for you. That way, in a few years, a complete online archive for you to use and share as you need will be available here under beatlescanada.ca/com.

Bookmark our WHAT'S NEW section to stay up to date with our latest additions to the website.


All release dates of Canadian Beatles first pressings
and historical information on first releases was sourced form Piers Hemmingsen's
Beatles Canadian Discography books.

What is a variation (and what is not)?

To better understand the scope of this archive, one important question needs to be addressed: "What is a variation and what is not". First and foremost, the definition differs from one collector to another, so we will define here what is considered as a "variation" for this archive.

Beatles records were undoubtedly popular, and that popularity has seen unprecedented longevity, to the point where 50-year-old albums being reissued today still manage to chart. Fifty years of demand led to multiple reissues of these titles, and almost every time something changed; sometimes something subtle like a type of paper or a marking on the cover, sometimes something more obvious like the colour of the label. In any case, all these details can be used to date with astonishing precision the moment a record was pressed and issued. Of course Revolver was released in 1966, for example, but was a particular copy made on its first day of release, or was it a reissue from 1969, or 1972 or even 1983? This is what the archive is looking at: all official variations that can identify different pressings of a same title.

Now these changes can be of different nature:

1- Differences that were INTENDED by the record companies

These, for example, include differences in:

  • • Cover printer and pressing plant
  • • Mono vs Stereo
  • • Label changes, reissues and different legal notices
  • • New mixes implying audio differences
  • • Differences in fabrication processes
2- Differences that were NOT INTENDED by the record companies

These, for example, include differences in:

  • • Hybrid labels that were produced in significant quantities
  • • Errors and corrections in printed information (e.g. title or timing errors)

3- Other types of differences NOT CONSIDERED as a variation for this archive

This archive does not consider accidental differences or one-off occurrences. We would not, for example, create a new entry for a pressing showing differences like:

  • • Any physical difference caused by the manufacturing process.
  • • Label or cover hue, if they are printed within a same batch.
  • • Defects in fabrication like upside down slicks, or any other error that happened once or twice by accident.
  • • Matrix information differences resulting from the normal evolution of the pressing process.
  • • Text placement differences due to human manufacturing and not a difference in the approved blueprint.
  • • Difference within a same batch (different depths of a pressing ring, how / where the ink stamped on the label, etc.).
  • • Blank labels caused by labels stuck together in the pressing process.

Finally, a word on value

This archive is not a tool designed to determine the value price of a record. We prefer to give a scarcity index in order to give an idea of the difficulty one might encounter trying to find a copy, but keep in mind that a hard-to-find record does not mean it is worth a lot of money, or even that they have anything special; sometimes they are just really hard to find because so few copies were made. An extremely scarce variation could yield no attention at all and be close to undesirable, and therefore still sell for a few dollars (ex. a regular "boring" orange label pressing from 1975 that could sell for 5-10$). Conversely, a very common variation can be worth a lot because many people are trying to find a copy (ex. a MT copy of Revolver in shrink wrap that could sell for 500$).

This is to say that "value" is determined by many factors, some are dynamic factors that change over time, others are regional, linked to interest, knowledge or a simple trend because people hope that a release would become an instant rarity in the future. This archive then, will focus on identifying, describing and grading variations according to factual information on what they are and how many copies are documented, and does not position itself on suggested values.

The content found on this site (but not from any of the linked sites) can be used, shared or featured, but ONLY IF two essential conditions are respected -
When using our material, you must cite us by:

A - crediting the authors and
B - linking our website address
to your content.

Thank you.