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Collector’s Corner: “She Loves You” – The Beatles on the Swan label

This time in the Collector’s Corner the focus turns to the “She Loves You” single released in America on Philadelphia’s Swan label, first on September 16th, 1963, and then re-issued in January 1964. At the time, The Beatles had only recently gone from being the hot new act on the British Isles to being the source of a full fledged onslaught in the entire region dubbed “Beatlemania.” In America, however, when the single was first issued, the frenzy had yet to catch on. In fact, at that time most Americans had never even heard of The Beatles.

Happy Nat holds 1963 and 1964 pressings of Swan She Loves You singles from his collection.

Happy Nat holds 1963 and 1964 pressings of Swan She Loves You singles from his collection.

Background information

John Lennon and Paul McCartney teamed up to write “She Loves You” while The Beatles were in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a gig at the Majestic Ballroom. The date was June 26th, 1963 at which time their previous single “From Me To You” had only just topped the U.K. charts and was still in the top 5. Both John and Paul recall working on the words and melody together and John credits Paul with the idea of having a third party being the go-between in a message of love, instead of the more simplistic “I love you” approach written for earlier material. On the following night, the two finished up the song at Paul’s house on Forthlin Road and then played it to Paul’s dad, Jim McCartney, on acoustic guitars in the living room. Jim said “That’s very nice son but there is enough of these Americanisms around. Couldn’t you sing ‘She Loves You, yes, yes, yes!’?” Paul told his dad he just didn’t get it.

John remembered “oh yeah” and “uh-huh” from Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” and this may have had an influence on using “yeah, yeah, yeah” in “She Loves You.” Wherever it came from, “yeah, yeah, yeah” became a the slogan most associated with Beatlemania in the months to come. Another shot of excitement in the song are the “wooooos!” heard just before the refrains. John credits the inspiration for this to The Isley Brothers’ “Twist And Shout” which The Beatles had also covered.

Only four days after the writing was completed, The Beatles were in EMI Studio 2 recording both “She Loves You” and the song previously planned as the single’s a-side, “I’ll Get You.” Although no documentation has survived as to the exact number of takes, “She Loves You” took a lot of time to perfect on the two track recording equipment in use at the time. There were at least seven edits made before it was mixed down to mono to create the master. It was customary at the time to erase the session tape for re-use once the master was created and that is why no stereo mix of “She Loves You” exists. Re-channelled (fake) stereo mixes have been prepared over the years for various releases including Capitol’s The Beatles Second Album, but unfortunately a true stereo mix is impossible to create.

B-side of U.S. single that was to come later in 1963. Click to enlarge.

B-side of U.S. single that was to come later in 1963. Click to enlarge.

The same misfortune over no possibility for a true stereo mix is also true for “I’ll Get You” assigned as the single’s b-side. “I’ll Get You” was another true Lennon-McCartney” collaboration and was written a few days before “She Loves You” at John’s home on Menlove Avenue. Just like the a-side, the song makes ample use of the word “yeah” with the “oh yeah” phrases repeated 14 times. It was actually planned as the a-side of the next single before “She Loves You” was conceived.

 

U.K. 1963 Parlophone pressing of She Loves You with originally issued sleeve.

U.K. 1963 Parlophone pressing of She Loves You with originally issued sleeve. Click to enlarge.

 

“She Loves You” was released as the fourth Beatles single for Parlophone as Parlophone R 5055 on August 23rd, 1963 and almost immediately reached the top of the charts on Record Retailer, Melody Maker and other U.K. listings. It became the groups’ first million seller by the following November, having sold half a million units in the first two weeks after it hit the stores. “She Loves You” went on to be recognized as the highest selling Beatles single in the U.K. and the highest selling single by anyone in the U.K. until 1978 when Paul McCartney broke the record with his Wings single “Mull Of Kintyre.”

“She Loves You” was also the first single to give the composition credits to “Lennon-McCartney” instead of “McCartney-Lennon.”

But what about America?

The first three Parlophone singles by The Beatles (“Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me” and “From Me To You”) got them big in the U.K. but it was the fourth single “She Loves You” that opened their success up to the rest of western Europe. By late October 1963, after completing the recording of their second album With The Beatles, they were on national radio and television in Sweden, including a televised appearance on the variety show Drop In, where they opened with a performance of “She Loves You.” In the United States however, The Beatles had still not caught on.

After Capitol Records in the U.S. showed no interest in releasing either of the first two Beatles singles earlier in the year, EMI set up an agreement with Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records to release the “Please Please Me” single. Despite the poor sales of the record, Vee-Jay had the right of first refusal written into their contract and were therefore offered the follow-up single “From Me To You,” which they released on May 20th, 1963. Unfortunately, it too met with nothing short of complete disinterest in America and at this point Vee-Jay was encountering financial difficulties. As a result, their leasing agreement with EMI was terminated due to non-payment of royalties. It was for this reason that when August rolled around, “She Loves You” was up for grabs as a U.S. release. Capitol, being an affiliate of EMI, was once again offered the single first, but again they passed it up. Other major companies such as Decca, RCA and Columbia also showed no interest and the single ended up being offered to the Philadelphia-based Swan Records.

 

1963 commercial Swan She Loves You single (A-side)

1963 commercial Swan She Loves You single (A-side)

B-side of 1963 Swan She Loves You single featured I'll Get You.

B-side of 1963 Swan She Loves You single featured I’ll Get You.

Click photos to enlarge.

“She Loves You” b/w “I’ll Get You” was released by Swan on September 16th, 1963 as Swan S-4152, three and a half weeks after it’s Parlophone counterpart was released in the U.K. The American Bandstand television show with Dick Clark featured the song on its Rate-A-Record segment where it got a less than commonplace score of 73. Cash Box magazine gave it a great review and a few radio stations played the disc, including New York DJ Murray The ‘”K,” but none of this helped. The “She Loves You” single was a complete flop and failed to chart in America. But things were about to change.

Beatlemania hits America

By December of 1963, Capitol finally saw the light and began their Beatles campaign, starting things off the day after Christmas by issuing the “I Want To Hold Your Hand” single (Capitol 5112). Additional major releases by The Beatles followed in January 1964 including Vee-Jay’s Introducing The Beatles LP, Capitol’s Meet The Beatles! LP and Vee-Jay’s reissued single “Please Please Me” b/w “From Me To You” (VJ 581). The Beatles were being heard on radios and phonographs everywhere, and by the time of the legendary February 9th performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Beatlemania had taken total control in the U.S.

 

Highly collectible picture sleeve for 1964 Swan She Loves You single.

Highly collectible picture sleeve for 1964 Swan She Loves You single.

1964 pressing of the Swan She Loves You single

1964 pressing of the Swan She Loves You single

Click to enlarge.

In January, 1964, Swan wisely reissued the “She Loves You” single. This time the record skyrocketed up the Billboard Hot 100, making it’s debut on January 25th at number 69, then climbing to number 21, then number 7. In the following 5 weeks it stalled at number 2, being held out of the top spot by “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

On March 21st, 1964, it topped the charts for two weeks. This was the first time a release by Swan had topped the singles charts ever. The following week on April 4th, it was knocked out of the top spot by another Beatles classic – “Can’t Buy Me Love.” It was during this week that the entire top five were by The Beatles, with “She Loves You” at number 3. Having all of the Billboard top 5 singles in the same week is a feat never before accomplished, nor has it happened since.

1964 Swan single for Sie Liebt Dich

1964 Swan single for Sie Liebt Dich. Click to enlarge.

On May 21st, 1964, Swan released another Beatles single pairing the German version of “She Loves You” (“Sie Liebt Dich” – Swan S-4182) with the same b-side as the “She Loves You single, “I’ll Get You.” The Beatles had recorded the German versions of both “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on January 29th, 1964 in France just before their first visit to the U.S. Swan took a big risk releasing the single because they technically did not have the rights to “Sie Liebt Dich.” The record had no commercial success anyway as most American fans naturally preferred, and already owned, the English language version.

Pressing details

 

A-side label for commercial 1964 pressing of Swan She Loves You single. Notice Don't Drop Out slogan in upper left.

A-side label for commercial 1964 pressing of Swan She Loves You single. Notice Don’t Drop Out slogan in upper left.

A-side label for commercial 1964 pressing of Swan She Loves You single with Don't Drop Out slogan in upper left.

A-side label for commercial 1964 pressing of Swan She Loves You single with Don’t Drop Out slogan in upper left.

A-side label for commercial 1964 pressing of Swan Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You) single.

A-side label for commercial 1964 pressing of Swan Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You) single.

Click images to enlarge.

The 1963 pressings of the Swan “She Loves You” single had white labels. Promotional copies had black print while commercial copies had red print . A scripted Swan logo appears at the top of the label and the song title, group name, songwriter credits and catalog number appear at the bottom of the label (see photo above). No picture sleeve was issued with this pressing. Authentic copies of any of these 1963 first pressings are quite rare.

When the “She Loves You” single was reissued in January 1964, it was manufactured with black labels and silver print, except for one scarce variation which has a white label and blue print. A picture sleeve was issued with the same Dezo Hoffman photo that appeared on the back of Capitol’s Meet The Beatles! album (see photo in Beatlemania Hits America section above).

The pressings of the Swan “Sie Liebt Dich” single had white labels. Promotional copies had black print while commercial copies had red print. A scripted Swan logo appears at the top of the label and the song title, group name, songwriter credits and catalog number appear at the bottom of the label (see photo above). Like first pressings of “She Loves You,” no picture sleeve was issued with this pressing.

Some variations of these records contained a “Don’t Drop Out” slogan on the label which was a national campaign initiated by President Kennedy to keep American teenagers from dropping out of high school.

Spotting the fakes

There are numerous counterfeits of the discs described above. Here is a list of a few things to check to see if a copy you are examining is authentic or not.

  1. All legitimate white label “She Loves You” singles have a machine stamped logo of block letters in the trail off area that reads “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA.” If this is missing on either side, it is a fake. No exceptions. There is a known white label/red print counterfeit that has tall thin print, quotes on the song title, no “Don’t Drop Out” slogan and is missing the machine stamped logo in the trail off area. I see a lot of these on Ebay. Buyer beware.
  2. All legitimate black label “She Loves You” singles have a machine stamped logo of block letters in the trail off area that reads “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or a hand etched “VIRTUE STUDIO” and “BS” on both sides. If neither of these variations are not on both sides, it is a fake. No exceptions. There is a known black label/silver print counterfeit that has tall thin print, quotes on the song title, no “Don’t Drop Out” slogan and shows no credentials in the trail off area.
  3. All legitimate copies of the “Sie Liebt Dich” singles have a hand etched “VIRTUE STUDIO” in the trail off area on both sides. If this is not on both sides, it is a fake. No exceptions. There is a known counterfeit that is missing the “VIRTUE STUDIO” etching and also has a longer trail off area on the a-side than the legitimate disc (around 1.25 inches as opposed to 7/8 of an inch on authentic copies). Some of these fakes have purplish print instead of red.
  4. If the record has “Sie Leibt Dich” as the a-side, but “How Do You Do It” on the b-side instead of “I’ll Get You,” it is not authentic. This is actually a fantasy piece and is usually seen with catalog number S-4197.
  5. Fakes will often show pit marks in the vinyl when held up to a bright light.
  6. All Swan colored vinyl discs are fakes.
  7. Picture sleeves (only issued with 1964 black/silver label copies). Photo lacks clarity on counterfeits. Some counterfeits have perforated edges.

Worth

Original authentic pressings of the Swan “She Loves You” and “Sie Liebt Dich” singles have become quite collectible over the years. I have listed the known variations of the pressings below and give their worth in near mint and very good + copies as defined here by Goldmine magazine. The values are only my best guess based on considerations to include interpolation between various price guides, recent auction sales, assumed appreciation and more factors. The figures are only ballpark estimates as there are always many outside factors that determine worth such as the immediate demand (or lack thereof) at the time of the potential transaction. I have seen many sales of this record on Ebay for far cheaper prices than what I’ve listed for value below but I cannot attest to authenticity or accuracy in the descriptions of the record’s condition, so buyer beware. For further guidance, consult one of the dealers I’ve listed below.

  1. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – promo, flat white label w/black print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan not on label. Factory printed “X” appears twice on a-side and label reads “PROMOTION COPY NOT FOR SALE.” Quotation marks around titles. Issued in September 1963. $2500/$1250
  2. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – promo, glossy white label w/black print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan not on label. Factory printed “X” appears once on a-side at right and label reads “PROMOTIONAL COPY NOT FOR SALE.” Quotation marks not around titles. Issued in September 1963. $2500/$1250
  3. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – promo, glossy white label w/black print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Factory printed “X” appears once on a-side at left and label reads “PROMOTIONAL COPY.” Quotation marks not around titles. Issued in September 1963. $2500/$1250
  4. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat white label w/red print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan not on label. Quotation marks around titles. “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” stamped in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Issued September 16, 1963. $2500/$1250
  5. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – glossy white label w/red print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan not on label. Quotation marks not around titles. “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” stamped in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Issued September 16, 1963. $2500/$1250
  6. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – glossy white label w/red print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Quotation marks not around titles. “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” stamped in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Issued September 16, 1963. $2500/$1250
  7. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Quotation marks around titles. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. “Gil Music Corp. BMI” appears on 2 lines on a-side label. Issued in early January, 1964. $150/$75
  8. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Quotation marks not around titles. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Pressed by Monarch Records. Issued in early January, 1964. $150/$75
  9. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Quotation marks not around titles. Titles are thin print. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Pressed by RCA. Issued in early January, 1964. $150/$75
  10. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan not on label. Quotation marks around titles. “Gil Music Corp. BMI” appears on 3 lines on a-side label. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Issued in January, 1964. $125/$65
  11. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Bold print titles without quotation marks. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Pressed by Monarch Records. Issued in January, 1964.$150/$75
  12. Picture sleeve – issued with 1964 black/silver label copies (Counterfeits lack photo clarity and some have perforated edges). $400/$200
  13. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Quotation marks around titles. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. “Produced by George Martin” appears on a-side of label. Issued in 1964. $150/$75
  14. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. No quotation marks around titles. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. “Produced by George Martin” appears on a-side of label. Pressed by Monarch Records. Issued in 1964. $150/$75
  15. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Thin print with no quotation marks around titles. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. “Produced by George Martin” appears the label. Pressed by Monarch Records. Pressed by RCA. Issued in 1964. $200/$100
  16. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Quotation marks around titles which are in wide print. Either “ARP” and “AudioMatrix” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. “Produced by George Martin” appears on the label. Pressed by ARP. Pressed by RCA. Issued in 1964/1965. $200/$100
  17. “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – glossy white label w/blue print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan appears on label. Thin print without quotation marks around titles. Either “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA” or “VIRTUE STUDIO” appear in trail off area along with matrix numbers. “Produced by George Martin” appears on the label. Pressed by RCA. Pressed by RCA. Issued in 1964. $3200/$1600
  18. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – promo, flat white label w/black print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Factory printed “X” appears twice on a-side and label reads “PROMOTION COPY.” Song title and translation appear on one line in quotes. Issued in May 1964. $1300/$650
  19. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – promo, glossy white label w/black print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Factory printed “X” appears once on a-side and label reads “PROMOTIONAL COPY.” Song title and translation appear on two lines. Wide print. Pressed by Monarch Records. Issued in May 1964. $1300/$650
  20. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – promo, glossy white label w/black print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Factory printed “X” appears once on a-side and looks handwritten. Label reads “PROMOTION COPY.” Thin print. Pressed by RCA. Issued in May 1964. $1300/$650
  21. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – flat white label w/red print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Song title and translation appear on one line in quotes. The words “VIRTUE STUDIO” are etched in the trail off area along with the matrix numbers. Issued in May 1964. $300/$150
  22. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – glossy white label w/red print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Song title and translation appear on two lines. Wide print. The words “VIRTUE STUDIO” are etched in the trail off area along with the matrix numbers. Pressed by Monarch Records. Issued in May 1964. $350/$175
  23. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – glossy white label w/orange print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Song title and translation appear on two lines. Wide print. The words “VIRTUE STUDIO” are etched in the trail off area along with the matrix numbers. Pressed by Monarch Records. Issued in May 1964. $400/$200
  24. “Sie Liebt Dich” (SWAN 4182) – glossy white label w/red print. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan on label. Song title and translation appear on two lines. Thin print. The words “VIRTUE STUDIO” are etched in the trail off area along with the matrix numbers. Pressed by RCA. Issued in May 1964. $350/$175

Note: These estimates on worth are based on the Introducing The Beatles Record Price Guide (2nd edition) by Stanely Panenka and The Price Guide For The Beatles American Records (6th edition) by Perry Cox & Frank Daniels, with additional interpolations to adjust for appreciation and current demand using recent auction activity from various outlets, including Ebay. Naturally these values can vary based on specific condition of the vinyl, it’s packaging and other physical attributes as well as immediate demand, availability, and many other factors. For additional information please consult with one of the reputable dealers I’ve listed below.

Final info/acknowledgments

The subject of all photographs of album jackets, etc., in this article are of actual items within my very own record collection. My Swan “She Loves You” singles are listed in my online vinyl inventory here. My copy of the Swan “Sie Liebt Dich” single is listed here.

A few dealers in Beatles collectibles

Perry Cox: email to perrydcox@aol.com
Gary Hein: visit online at www.beatles4me.com
Rockaway Records: visit online at www.rockaway.com.

Happy Nat would like to credit the following people and resources for assistance with this article:

  • The Beatles Swan Song by Bruce Spizer
  • Introducing The Beatles Record Price Guide by Stan Panenka
  • Price Guide For The Beatles American Records by Perry Cox & Frank Daniels
  • www.mybeatlescollection.com
  • Heather for photography

Please let me hear from you if you have questions, comments, corrections or anything to add about the Swan “She Loves You” single. I’d love to hear from you!


Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, Beatles music related to this post:

1) Past Masters – 2009 2-CD remaster of original 1988 compilation of non-album Beatles tracks. Includes original U.K. mono mix of “She Loves You” and stereo mix of “Sie Liebt Dich.”

2) The Beatles: 1962-1966 2010 remastered 2-CD set of original 1973 compilation of early Beatles hits. Includes original U.K. mono mix of “She Loves You.”

3) The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 – 2004 4-CD box set featuring mono and stereo versions of 4 Capitol Beatles albums from 1964: Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65. Includes U.S. mono and fake stereo mixes of “She Loves You.”

4) More Amazon links for any of your favorite Beatles-related music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

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5 Comments

  • Mark D says:

    Thanks much for this! I am now pretty sure that the copy of the black label version I have is authentic, though it is not in the best shape. Still, a great record to own!

  • Happy Nat says:

    Absolutely Mark!

  • Brian C says:

    Nat, what can you tell us about Gil Music Corp. I guess this is the publishing company for “She Loves You”. I have not seen ‘Gil’ before for Beatles songs. Thanks.

    • Happy Nat says:

      Brian, Gil Music Corp. was founded by George Pincus in 1953 in New York and originally had the U.S. copyrights to six Beatles songs: “I Saw Her Standing There,” “From Me To You,” “Misery,” “There’s A Place,” “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “She Loves You.” As of January 2012 Round Hill Music and Adage Classics own the U.S. copyrights to these same six.

  • Len says:

    How about: “She Loves You” (SWAN 4152) – flat black label w/silver print, white (plain) sleeve. “DON’T DROP OUT” slogan not on label. Quotation marks around titles. But no “Gil Music Corp. BMI”. It does have “MASTERING RECO-ART PHILA”in trail off area along with matrix numbers. Genuine? Value? I personally purchased it a record store near 5th and Olney in Philly in 1964.

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