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April 12 2017
Written By Arohi Chakraborty - April 12 2017
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.
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.