India pressed them the longest, with 78rpm singles being available throughout the Beatles' career.
By the mid-1960s, the 78rpm shellac record had become a dusty memory in the world of record playback. The persistence of the format in some countries however resulted in some of the most unexpected releases. Among those were a number of releases by the Beatles that were pressed in India.
India was one of four countries known to have been pressing 78s when the Beatles came along — the Philippines, Argentina and Columbia being the others. Demand for the format in India existed since it could be played on winding gramophones that didn't require electricity – a rare commodity at the time.
It is believed that when Parlophone stopped pressing 78s in 1963, they shipped their machines off to India. By then, Indians were already in the grip of Beatlemania. The Indian division of Parlophone saw opportunity, and so in the summer of ’64, pressed 30 Beatles singles on shellac records.
All of the 78s today are either scarce or in the custody of private record collectors. Few of them have fetched sellers up to $3000. Below is a complete list of all the singles that were issued.
- Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You (R 4949)
- Please Please Me / Ask Me Why (R 4983)
- I Saw Her Standing There/Hold Me Tight (DPE 159)
- Long Tall Sally/I Call Your Name (DPE 164)
- From Me To You / Thank You Girl (R 5015)
- She Loves You / I'll Get You (R 5055)
- l Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy (R 5084)
- Can't Buy Me Love / You Can't Do That (R 5114)
- A Hard Day's Night / Things We Said Today (R 5160)
- If I Fell / And I Love Her (DPE 167)
- I'm Happy Just To Dance With You/I Should Have Known Better (DPE 168)
- I Feel Fine / She's A Woman (R 5200)
- Tell Me Why / I'll Cry Instead (DPE 172)
- Eight Days A Week / I'm A Loser (DPE 178)
- Rock And Roll Music / No Reply (DPE 179)
- I'll Follow The Sun / Words Of Love (DPE 180)
- Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is (R 5265)
- Help! / I'm Down (R 5305)
- Dizzy Miss Lizzy / The Night Before (DPE 183)
- Yesterday / Act Naturally (DPE 184)
- You Like Me Too Much / Tell Me What You See (DPE 185)
- Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) / Drive My Car (DPE 186)
- We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper (R 5389)
- Michelle / You Won't See Me (DPE 187)
- Girl / Nowhere Man (DPE 188)
- Paperback Writer / Rain (R 5452)
- Here There And Everywhere / Good Day Sunshine (DPE 189)
- Hey Jude / Revolution (DPE 190)
- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da / While My Guitar Gently Weeps (DPE 192)
For more anecdotes on 78s from India, join Dr Suresh Chandvankar in his talk on ‘Advent of Recording in India’ at The Record Store Day on 22nd April. Keep watching this space for further updates on the event.