Who pressed these records in the UK?
Hint - It wasn’t EMI
The majority of Beatle records distributed by EMI were pressed at EMI’s Hayes Factory, however, despite the fact that the factory had approximately 120 record presses with the ability to press up to 120,000 records a day, the demand for Beatles records outstripped supply.
Welcome to the dark world of contract pressings.
The Hey Jude on the left was actually pressed at the Phillips Plant in Walthamstow, easily recognizable by the three prong cut out, this is the only Beatles record pressed at this plant. Along with its own records and subsidiary label Fontana, the factory also pressed records for Polydor, Reaction, Track and prior to 1965 CBS.
The Hey Jude on the right was pressed by Pye at their Mitcham plant in Surrey, identified by a larger cut out gap and a wider step on the cut out than the EMI pressing (See below left). Pye also pressed The Beatles “Million Sellers EP” and just to add to the confusion both were also available without the cutout, known as solid centres (See below right).
Above - EMI Hayes Pressings – Cut out & Solid Centre.
At Decca’s record plant in New Malden, Surrey, both “Please Please Me” & “With The Beatles” had mono albums pressed here, along with the singles “She Loves You”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “I Feel Fine”, “Help!” and “Hello Goodbye”.
Unlike the flat edge of EMI & Decca, Orioles pressings can be identified by a sharp edge. The singles “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Feel Fine” were pressed at Oriole’s Slough factory. These are sometimes confused with Pye pressings because Oriole also manufactured singles for Pye.
There is another UK pressing of Hey Jude out there, in both cut out and solid centre, pressed at their Buckinghamshire plant, it’s the only Beatles UK pressing by CBS.
Decca Pressing "With The Beatles"