February 1963 R 4983 Parlophone 1. Please Please Me/Ask Me Why
Perhaps it was possible to import "Love Me Do" from Great Britain, but "Please Please Me" was the first of the norwegian-pressed Beatles-singles. The cover may, however, possibly be an import from Danmark. The unreleased "Leave My Kitten Alone"-cover is from the same photo session... Due to it's limited availability this single didn't chart in Norway!
On "From Me To You" a photo appears for the first, but certainly not the last time on a norwegian single. This photo is used again and again on norwegian Beatles-singles this first year. We had no idea press photos of The Beatles were so scarce... Highest chart position: 9
The first domestic release that strayed from the british single releases. Twist And Shout-single "borrowed" this cover photo from the british EP-release by the same name."Boys" was on the b-side. The original sleeve had a misprint: R 5946 instead of the correct prefix SD 5946. First corrected with a sticker, and later reprints has the correct prefix. Highest chart position: 7 (in 1964)
It's "that picture" again. Issued in a green sleeve in 1963, re-released in 1966 with a red one (very rare). This was the Beatles first no.1 chart hit in Norway and it spent two weeks at the top.
The first editions of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" from 1964 had orange as the extra colour on the cover, but a danish advert on the back. The blue one is a pure norwegian version from 1967 (mega-rare). Highest chart position: 1 (where it spent three weeks)
"Can't Buy Me Love" can also be found with orange (very rare) as the main colour, as well as a super rare black/white edition. And as you can se...: that picture again. The Beatles million-selling single only made it to position no. 3 in the Norwegian charts.
The photo from "With The Beatles" is recirculated on this single, another single that wasn't released in the UK. Over here it charted, and it's highest position was no. 2.
The post-1966 re-release with a real typeface for the B-side (it was typewritten in 1963) is very very rare.
The domestic release "Roll Over Beethoven" managed to get George a single-a-side quite early here in Norway. This item is also available in a more orange-y colour. Top chart position: 2.
And here he steps forward as the main person on the cover. As well as "that picture" again! Half the songs from a UK EP, this single didn't chart in Norway (but the imported EP "Long Tall Sally" went to no. 2 here)
Nice to include the name of the band on the sleeve, which was missing on the first edition. Also a bit differently colourized, one can safely say.
A photo from the Beatles visit to Paris in 1964. The picture was taken outside the hotel they stayed in, George V.The single spent one week at no. 1 in the charts.
Finally, "Love Me Do" also appeared as a norwegian pressing, no doubt because it sold well as an import. A tasteful picture sleeve, and as a bonus: the rare "Ringo" - edition of the song! Now where did they put that mastertape..? It didn't chart, though.
The Odeon-logo at the bottom of the left corner was violet, otherwise this cover was in black/white. It was a no.1 for two weeks. There's a variation with an orange logo out there, somewhere...
A funny thing: A cover with pictures of only TWO Beatles! Did they look that much alike that the record company made a mistake? This norwegian release spent two weeks at the top of the charts.
A norwegian drawing was the basis of this picture cover. The drawing was also used on the first norwegian Beatles-EP (below). A huge hit in this country, the single spent seven weeks as a no.1.
This was the Beatles best selling single in Norway in the sixties, the two songs from Beatles For Sale only spent three weeks at the top of the charts, but it sold really well over time. This cover was also for sale in yellow, and on that edition it's pretty hard to see what the picture was depicting...
...which may have been the reason why on the 1967 re-release, the sleeve was completely redesigned. Megarare!
The "Beatles For Sale"-photo was called to duty as the decoration for this single. Four weeks at no.1 in Norway for "Ticket To Ride".
A photo from the filming of Help! Norwegian singles were rarely this much "up to date", picturewise. The Beatles helped themselves to a healthy six weeks stay at no.1 with "Help!"
One of the rare singles, because it didn't sell so well. It barely managed to sneak in among the top 10 singles at 10. Eleanor Bron is the lady in the picture, and the title is one "L" short...
Another Help!-photo accompanied this single. By looking at the front cover, it appears that "Act Naturally" is the A-side here, which was not the case. A girly favourite, "Yesterday" returned the boys to the top of the charts for another five weeks.
This one has the same cover picture as in Denmark. Another still photo from the Help! movie... and a no.1 for seven weeks.
Just like this one, from the opening sequence of "Help!". The cover is available in nuances of blue or violet. Also covered by The Overlanders, but The Beatles beat them to the top, and spent four weeks there. After "Michelle", Norway stopped releasing extra titles as singles for a long while.
A revolutionary single, with a not-so-revolutionary cover. The norwegian buyers liked it though, and sent the single to no.1 for four weeks.
Not that this picture sleeve was very innovative either, but some development can be traced. Unlike the LP which halted at no.2 on the albums charts, this single was a no. 1 for seven weeks.
The norwegian cover looked a bit like the one used on single no 22, and sold alongside the british import-cover. Together they spent six weeks at the top of the charts in Norway. Engelbert Humperdinck, go home!
The british cover was in full colour and must have been more in demand in those days, but the norwegian one is a lot harder to find now...
This single was in the shops a short time after the song had been performed in the first ever satelite-transmitted tv-show Our World, which was an event on norwegian TV too. Four weeks at no. 1 swiftly followed.
The same photos were used on the swedish edition of this single, but the norwegian cover was a lot more psychedelic :)
The single said "Hello no. 1" to the charts and waved "Goodbye" after five weeks.
Now we really started to import sleeves from Sweden, in order to have full colour covers. A stylish cover and a great picture, this one. "The inner light" is missing a word from the title, though. It failed to reach no.1, halting at no.2 in the singles charts.
The Hey Jude-cover suffered from the fact that the photo was taken two tears earlier, and thus not really up-to-date with The Beatles' "look". The photo is from one of the videos for Paperback Writer or Rain. Six weeks at no. 1 in the charts.
At last another domestic release again. A "mad day out" photo had the honour of adorning this single, which was ok, in keeping with it's time and good. The songs are from the mono "White album". It failed to chart.
The Get Back-single was the first single to be released in stereo. Another "mad day out"-photo, but this time the picture didn't quite illustrate the Beatles' "looks" from the time of the recording. It went to no. 1 in the chart and spent six weeks there.
Released around the same time as the Get Back-single, The Ballad of John and Yoko still struggled it's way to the top of the charts, where it stayed for three weeks.
And suddenly it's back to a sleeve printed in Norway and a goodbye to the full colours image. But a nice cover and a photo that fits into the time of the song isn't all that bad... It didn't land them another no. 1 though, as George's ballad stopped it's climbing at no. 2.
The final single in England was this one, the norwegian cover is a bit softer as it was printed on paper, not cardboard. It was probably printed in Sweden, since it's in colour. A solid no. 1 for five weeks.
The final Beatles-single in Norway, The Long and Winding Road had the honour of having another locally printed cover. As did the first of the solo-singles from the former fabs, until we once again got singles printed (and pressed) in Sweden, and later Holland. And no, it didn't chart. Rare!
EP-s used to be a 4-tracks 7-inches record with a thicker cardboard cover than the singles. "The poor man's LP" was one of the nicknames of these records, which were more expensive than a single, but cheaper than an LP. This is the first of the three norwegian EP's.
Michelle / Drive My Car / Run For Your Life / Girl: The cover was printed in Sweden, but the printer's logo is missing on some of the copies we've seen. Norwegian label.
Yellow Submarine / For No One / Eleanor Rigby / Good Day Sunshine: the cover was printed in Denmark. Norwegian label.