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  Our First Four (U.K. Version)
(Update: 31th. December 2018)
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Apple Original Sleeve



Notice* Click the disk of each single, so you can see the large picture image.

#1 Our First Four (U.K. version)
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"Our First Four" Advertisement / "New Musical Express" 31th August 1968 --> Click!

sleeve
On 26 August 1968, Apple Records released their first four singles:
including tracks by The Beatles, Mary Hopkin, Jackie Lomax and Black Dyke Mills Band.

The idea for The Beatles’ Apple Corps began to take shape following the death of their manager Brian Epstein; their newly formed company’s first project was the film, Magical Mystery Tour. Apple Records was officially founded The Beatles return from India in 1968.

The Beatles were contracted to EMI’s Parlophone label in the UK and Capitol Records in America and they struck a new distribution deal with the two companies to distribute Apple Records’ releases. Beatles recordings issued in the UK on Apple had Parlophone catalogue numbers, while US issues had Capitol catalogue numbers.

The first four 7" releases of Apple Records boxed and sent out to radiostations etc. as promotional package / Cardboard Box.
An advertisement in the British press on 31 August 1968 was similarly structured and consisted of the biographies in the press folder in the promotional package.

On 26 August 1968 Apple released four singles in the UK. There was the Beatles, ‘Hey Jude’ backed by ‘Revolution’, with its Parlophone number, but the now familiar Apple record centre. Apple 2 was Mary Hopkin’s ‘Those were the Days’, produced by Paul McCartney. Apple 3 was Jackie Lomax’s ‘Sour Milk Sea’, a song written and produced by George Harrison and Apple 4 was ‘Thingumybob’ by the Black Dyke Mills Band. This was a Lennon and McCartney instrumental that was the theme to a Yorkshire Television sitcom of the same name starring Stanley Holloway.

‘Hey Jude’ topped the UK singles chart for two weeks from 11 September and was replaced at No.1 by Mary Hopkin’s ‘Those Were The Days’ that stayed at No.1 for six weeks from 25 September. No other record company has had such conspicuous success with it’s first two releases. Neither of the other releases charted.

Apple 1 was a one-off pressing of Frank Sinatra singing ‘Maureen Is a Champ’ (with lyrics by Sammy Cahn) to the melody of ‘The Lady Is a Tramp’ for Ringo Starr‘s then-wife Maureen as a surprise gift for her 21st birthday.
Apple Records went on to sign James Taylor, Billy Preston, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Iveys (who later became Badfinger) and Doris Troy.


#1-1 Our First Four (U.K. Promotional Kit: Plastic Case Type)
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#1-2 Our First Four (U.K. Promotional Kit: Paper/Cardboard Box Type)
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Our First Four
RELEASE DATE
26th. August 1968 / Promotional Use Only
PAPER / CARDBOAD BOX
BOX: FRONT BOX: BACK BOX OPENED --> Click!
sleeve sleeve sleeve
BOX: FRONT CLOSE UP BOX: BACK CLOSE UP
sleeve LABEL Original UK release promo-only "Our First Four" box-set with its thin paper/cardboard box.
Apple Records address "3 Savile Row London W1" was printed at the bottom of the front of the box.
FOLDER 1 (GREEN): THE BEATLES
sleeve sleeve Each single was accompanied by a press release written by Derek Taylor printed on the outside of a coloured folder containing an artist photo and a plastic sleeve to hold the record.
FOLDER CLOSE UP
sleeve LABEL On 30th. August 1968 Apple released four singles in the UK. There was the Beatles, ‘Hey Jude’ backed by ‘Revolution’, with its Parlophone number.
LABEL CLOSE UP --> Click!
sleeve LABEL LABEL LABEL LABEL
TITLE SIDE 1 Hey Jude (Lennon - McCartney)
SIDE 2 Revolution (Lennon - McCartney)
CATALOG NUMBER R 5722
LABEL Dark Green Apple Label
MIX
Mono
VINYL COLOR
Black
MATRIX No. SIDE 1
7XCE 21185 -1
SIDE 2
7XCE 21186 -1
RECORD COMPANY'S NAME Apple Records + An E.M.I. Recording
CENTER Push-Out Center
CENTRAL REMARK
"SOLD IN U.K..."
Yes
PUBLISHER'S NAME SIDE 1 Northern Songs Ltd.
SIDE 2 Northern Songs Ltd.
PRODUCER George Martin
COMMENTS Hey Jude, with Revolution on the b-side, was also the group's first on their Apple label. The single was issued as Apple R 5722, although the catalogue number followed Parlophone's convention, and the rights remained with the EMI subsidiary.
FOLDER 2 (ORANGE): Mary Hopkin
sleeve sleeve Each single was accompanied by a press release written by Derek Taylor printed on the outside of a coloured folder containing an artist photo and a plastic sleeve to hold the record.
FOLDER CLOSE UP
sleeve LABEL Apple 2 was Mary Hopkin’s ‘Those were the Days’, produced by Paul McCartney.
LABEL CLOSE UP --> Click!
sleeve LABEL LABEL LABEL LABEL
TITLE SIDE 1 Those Were The Days (Raskin)
SIDE 2 Turn Turn Turn (Seeger)
CATALOG NUMBER APPLE 2
LABEL Dark Green Apple Label
MIX
Mono
VINYL COLOR
Black
MATRIX No. SIDE 1
1002 A-1   APPLE 2 A-1
SIDE 2
1002 B-1   APPLE 2 B-1
RECORD COMPANY'S NAME Apple Records
CENTER Push-Out Center
CENTRAL REMARK
"SOLD IN U.K..."
Yes
PUBLISHER'S NAME SIDE 1 Essex Music Ltd.
SIDE 2 Essex Music Ltd.
PRODUCER SIDE 1 Produced by: Paul McCartney   Arr: Rechard Hewson
SIDE 2 Produced by: Paul McCartney
COMMENTS Mary Hopkin is a Welsh folk singer best known for her 1968 UK number one single "Those Were the Days". She was one of the first musicians to sign to the Beatles' Apple label.
"Those Were The Days" is Mary Hopkin's 1968 version of the song, produced by Paul McCartney, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind McCartney's own band The Beatles' hit "Hey Jude".
FOLDER 3 (RED): Jackie Lomax
sleeve sleeve Each single was accompanied by a press release written by Derek Taylor printed on the outside of a coloured folder containing an artist photo and a plastic sleeve to hold the record.
FOLDER CLOSE UP
sleeve LABEL Apple 3 was Jackie Lomax’s ‘Sour Milk Sea’, a song written and produced by George Harrison.
LABEL CLOSE UP --> Click!
sleeve LABEL LABEL LABEL LABEL
TITLE SIDE 1 Sour Milk Sea (Harrison)
SIDE 2 The Eagle Laughs At You (Lomax)
CATALOG NUMBER APPLE 3
LABEL Dark Green Apple Label
MIX
Mono
VINYL COLOR
Black
MATRIX No. SIDE 1
1001 A-1 APPLE 3A-1
SIDE 2
1001 A-1 APPLE 3B-1
RECORD COMPANY'S NAME Apple Records
CENTER Solid Center
CENTRAL REMARK
"SOLD IN U.K..."
Yes
PUBLISHER'S NAME SIDE 1 Apple Publishing Ltd.
SIDE 2 Apple Publishing Ltd.
PRODUCER Produced by: George Harrison
COMMENTS John Richard Lomax was an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. He is best known for his association with George Harrison, who produced Lomax's recordings for the Beatles' Apple record label in the late 1960s.
The Beatles' new record label, Apple Records, took over responsibility for Lomax's recording career, and George Harrison became involved in production. Despite having three-quarters of The Beatles on the record, plus Eric Clapton and Nicky Hopkins, Lomax's 1968 debut single on Apple, the Harrison-penned "Sour Milk Sea", backed with "The Eagle Laughs at You" written by Lomax.
FOLDER 4 (MAGENTA): The Black Dyke Mills Band
sleeve sleeve Each single was accompanied by a press release written by Derek Taylor printed on the outside of a coloured folder containing an artist photo and a plastic sleeve to hold the record.
FOLDER CLOSE UP
sleeve LABEL Apple 4 was ‘Thingumybob’ by the Black Dyke Mills Band. This was a Lennon and McCartney instrumental that was the theme to a Yorkshire Television sitcom of the same name starring Stanley Holloway.
LABEL CLOSE UP --> Click!
sleeve LABEL LABEL LABEL LABEL
TITLE SIDE 1 Thingumybob (Lennon - McCartney)  John Foster & Son Ltd.
SIDE 2 Yellow Submarine (Lennon - McCartney)  John Foster & Son Ltd.
CATALOG NUMBER APPLE 4
LABEL Dark Green Apple Label
MIX
Mono
VINYL COLOR
Black
MATRIX No. SIDE 1
1003 A-1  APPLE 4A-1
SIDE 2
1003 B-1  APPLE 4B-1
RECORD COMPANY'S NAME Apple Records
CENTER Push-Out Center
CENTRAL REMARK
"SOLD IN U.K..."
Yes
PUBLISHER'S NAME SIDE 1 Northern Songs Ltd.
SIDE 2 Northern Songs Ltd.
PRODUCER Produced by: Paul McCartney   Arr. & Cond. by: Geoffrey Brand
COMMENTS The Black Dyke Mills Band, a brass band from Yorkshire, England, was one of Apple Records' first signings. On 30th. June 1968, Paul McCartney recorded them performing the Lennon-McCartney composition Thingumybob, which became their first single for the label.
The recording took place in Saltaire near Bradford, with McCartney producing the session. As well as Thingumybob, the group recorded Yellow Submarine for the single's b-side.
Thingumybob was written as the theme tune to the Yorkshire Television comedy of the same name, which was transmitted from August 1968. The single, credited to John Foster & Sons Ltd Black Dyke Mills Band, was released as Apple 1800 in the US on 26 August, and in the UK as Apple 4 on 6 September.
OTHER ITEM
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COMMENTS
Their very first releases were marked by the issuing of a limited edition press kit of the first four 45rpm vinyl singles to come out on Apple – which they called “Our First Four”.

In the UK there seems to have been two versions of this:
One was in a stronger, hard plastic outer case. Examples of this version were very limited, and these were hand-delivered to dignitaries like Stanley Gortikov, President of Capitol Records in 1968; to Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace; to her sister Princess Margaret at Kensington Palace; to the Queen Mother at St James’s Palace; and to the then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson at Number 10 Downing Street, London.

The other, lower cost version was posted to radio disc jockeys, music journalists and critics. It was in a cheaper, thin black cardboard box.
Was released in 1968 to commemorate the launch of the APPLE label. It was manufactured in an extremely limited amount of copies.

Both versions contained four singles:
The Beatles “Hey Jude/Revolution” (R 5722);
Mary Hopkin “Those Were the Days”(APPLE 2);
Jackie Lomax “Sour Milk Sea” (APPLE 3);
The Black Dyke Mills Band “Thingumybob” (APPLE 4).

Each of the records have push-out or solid  centres and the overprint "Sold in U.K. subject to resale price conditions, see price lists" on the record centres. This identifies them to be very first issues.
Each single was accompanied by a press release written by Derek Taylor printed on the outside of a coloured folder containing an artist photo and a plastic sleeve to hold the record.

In the USA, the set was designed in a somewhat more complex manner. The white binder included the photos, biographies and four booklets with four sheets carrying further information about the records.




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