My Sweet Lord / What Is Life 7″ Single

 

UK Release Date 15 January 1971
UK Catalogue Number Apple R 5884
Weeks On UK Chart (to date) 17
Peak UK Chart Position 1 (for 5 weeks)
Lowest Matrix Numbers 7YCE 21511-1 / 7YCE 21512-1

 

My Sweet Lord was released on 15 January 1971 in the UK and had a seventeen week stay in the charts, five of those spent at number 1, on it’s way to becoming the biggest selling single of the year. It was re released in the UK in January 2002, shortly after George’s death, this time backed by Let It Down and My Sweet Lord 2000, and had a further fourteen weeks in the charts, the first of those being at number 1. This gives George the honour of being both the first and the last solo Beatle to have a number 1 single! Another interesting fact about the 2002 release was that it replaced Aaliyah’s More Than A Woman at number 1 – the first time ever that an artist who’d passed away replaced another artist who’d passed away at the top of the charts!

In the US it was released on 23 November 1970, where it was backed by Isn’t It A Pity, and spent four weeks at Number 1. Three of these weeks coincided with All Things Must Pass being at number 1 giving George his first US double – the second was when Give Me Love and Living In The Material World topped the US charts at the same time in 1973.

On the down side, in February 1971 Bright Tunes filed a suit against George claiming copyright infringement of The Chiffons’ track He’s So Fine. The case was not heard in court until 1976 when it was ruled that George had not deliberately copied the tune but had done so subconsciously and he was ordered to pay damages of $1.6 million. Even then it was not done and it wasn’t until February 1981, ten years on, that everything was finally settled with the damages being reduced to $587,000. What’s perhaps surprising is that Phil Spector didn’t pick up on the similarities when he was producing, given his knowledge of girl groups like the Chiffons!

As well as the 2002 re release mentioned above, it was also re released in December 1976 to promote the Best Of George Harrison album but failed to chart on that occasion.

Details of the 7 copies I own are shown below though I’m not 100% sure what order they were released in.

First Press, Solid Centre

The pictures below are of my solid centre first press copy which has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-1 and 7YCE 21512-1 and also has a KT tax code in the run off. Notice the text at just above 9 o’clock on the label – Harrisongs Essex Int. MCPS Britco NCP – this varies from copy to copy. The record has a few light marks but these do not affect the play which is excellent. The original picture sleeve is in good to very good condition, it has some ringwear and feathering at the opening (see pics).

Estimated Value : £5 – £10

 

First Press, Push Out Centre

The pictures below are of my push out centre first press copy which has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-1 and 7YCE 21512-1 and also has a KT tax code in the run off. The text at just above 9 o’clock on the label – Harrisongs Essex Int. MCPS Britco NCP – is the same as the above copy. Visually the record appears to be in excellent condition and plays likewise. The original picture sleeve is in very good to excellent condition, it has some ringwear and just a touch of shelfwear (see pics).

Estimated Value : £5 – £10

 

Contract Press, Solid Centre

The pictures below are of another solid centre first press copy which has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-1 and 7YCE 21512-1 and also has a KT tax code in the run off. The text at just above 9 o’clock on the label – Harrisongs Essex Int. MCPS Britco NCP – is the same as the above copies. The ridge around 1cm in from the centre tells me it’s a CBS contract pressing. Visually the record has a few very light marks and playing wise I’d say it’s good to very good – it plays with some light crackle, especially on the B side. It’s housed in a plain black sleeve.

Estimated Value : £3 – £5

 

First Press, Solid Centre, Label Variation

The pictures below are of another solid centre first press copy which has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-1 and 7YCE 21512-1 and also has a KT tax code in the run off. Notice the text at just above 9 o’clock on the label on both sides just reads Harrisongs this time. The record has a few light marks but these do not affect the play which is excellent, just some light crackle on the B side. It is housed in a plain black sleeve.

Estimated Value : £3 – £5

 

1976 Press, Push Out Centre

The pictures below are of my 1976 push out centre copy which has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-2 and 7YCE 21512-1. It also has BLAIR etched into the run out of side 1 and a KT tax code in the run off of side 2. Notice the text at just above 9 o’clock on the label on both sides just reads Harrisongs this time with “EMI Records Ltd” added just below. The record is in excellent condition both visually and playing wise, just 3 very light clicks at the start of side 2. The “Gnome sleeve” is in excellent condition, just the slightest touch of ringwear.

Estimated Value : £10 – £15

 

1976 Press, Push Out Centre, Label Variation

The pictures below are of my 1976 push out centre copy which again has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-2 and 7YCE 21512-1. Like the above copy it also has BLAIR etched into the run out of side 1 and a KT tax code in the run off of side 2. Notice this time that the text at just above 9 o’clock on the label on side 1 reads Harrisongs Ltd Peter Maurice Mus Co Ltd. “EMI Records Ltd” is still seen on both sides. The record is in excellent condition both visually and playing wise, just the odd very light click and odd spot of very light crackle. The “Gnome sleeve” is in excellent condition, just a slight sticker removal mark top left and the slightest touch of ringwear.

Estimated Value : £10 – £15

 

1976 Press, Solid Centre, Label Variation

The pictures below are of my 1976 solid centre copy which this time has the matrix numbers 7YCE 21511-2 and 7YCE 21512-2. Again it has BLAIR etched into the run out of side 1 but I can’t see a KT tax code in the run off of side 2. Like the push out variation above the text at just above 9 o’clock on the label on side 1 reads Harrisongs Ltd Peter Maurice Mus Co Ltd and “EMI Records Ltd” is still on both sides . The record is in excellent condition both visually and playing wise, just the odd very light click and odd spot of very light crackle. This one just has a plain sleeve.

Estimated Value : £5

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.