STARLINE - The Beach Boys on 45

USA regular issues

Capitol labels  - a short introduction

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Collecting Beach Boys Capitol singles can be quite a task if you're a collector that wants to have all variations available. Many Beach Boys 45ís were re-pressed, and there are factors that affect label variations. Many variations. The big one is being where the 45 was pressed.  Capitol initially had four pressing plants: Los Angeles, Scranton, Jacksonville Il, and Winchester VA. In the sixties most Capitol singles were pressed in either Los Angeles or Scranton. In the late 60ies Jacksonville also started pressing Beach Boys singles. And this does not take into account further variations; information on the label's outer ridge changed, and there are tiny differences in font type, and -space.

Pressing plants

The way to differentiate between the pressing plants is stamped in the run out grooves (from a post on Steve Hoffman's site):

  1. A machine stamped triangle with the initials IAM indicates that the record was pressed at the Scranton, Pennsylvania plant. Again per Mr. Spizer, "IAM" stood for the International Association of Machinists' union whose members worked at the Scranton plant. It first took effect on Scranton pressings around February, 1963. Prior to then (and after NAMI's takeover), an abstract anvil-type symbol was used.
  2. A star (*) indicates that the record was pressed at the Los Angeles, California plant.
  3. An 0, either stamped or hand written, indicates that the record was pressed at the Jacksonville, Illinois plant.
  4. A line that branches into a V at the end (looks like a long stemmed wine glass: >-- ) was supposed to be a Winchester rifle and indicates that the record was pressed at the Winchester, Virginia plant.

And the full matrix number as scratched or stamped into the runout grooves will also give an indication of the order of label variations at a particular plant.

Font type

Until mid 1968 it is fairly easy to distinguish the LA and Scranton pressings. Not only the run out groove information usually provides that information, but also the font type that was used helps out. The LA font type is a bit thicker than the Scranton font type. And the catalogue number - although being a thicker font type - is smaller than the Scranton font type. In one case (Help Me Rhonda) a third font variation pops up: times new roman. Apparently these were pressed by RCA Rockaway (NJ), reason unknown.

Los Angeles pressing Scranton pressing RCA pressing

In 1968 things changed a bit. This could be seen on the labels used for the 2160 Friends 45. A different font type was used. The Friends 45 is to be found with both the old (LA and Scranton) font and the new smaller font that was now used at both pressing plants. The same seems to be the case for 2239 Do It Again. And from the time of Capitol's 1968 reorganization as "A Subsidiary of Capitol Industries, Inc." (see the outer ridge info) the new small font was common use, and - on top of that - a smaller label was used. From this point the only way to be able to determine from at pressing plant the single was made, was by the symbols in the run out grooves.

Los Angeles pressing - large font Los Angeles pressing - small font Los Angeles pressing - small font, smaller label, "A Subsidiary of Capitol Industries, Inc." info added in outer ridge Capitol info

The last 2 singles on Capitol, 2530 Break Away & 2765 Cottonfields, were pressed in 3 factories: Los Angeles, Scranton, and Jacksonville.