This is a fun, collectible in-store promo poster for The Beatles’ Second Album from early 1964, made by Capitol Records.
It dates specifically to March of 1964, when Capitol sent it out to retailers and record stores to draw big attention to their new hit-makers from England. In addition to the poster, the label also serviced retailers – in smaller quantities – with a Capitol Records Beatles Second Album cardboard store display, although I don’t show that item in this video.
This is pretty much considered a Beatles’ Second Album merchandising poster, but the bottom quarter of the poster is given over to plugging the group’s first album, Meet the Beatles, along with their newest single release on Capitol. It’s worth noting that the Beatles Second Album promotional display does not have either of these cool additional features.
Notice the prominent placement of the songs “She Loves You” and “Roll Over Beethoven” on the Beatles Second Album promo poster. Capitol put both songs in a fairly large font in the upper right-hand corner – same as it was on the LP cover. This is one feature that the Beatles’ Second Album retail display does also have.
Continuing on the singles theme for a moment, it also teases “Their New Single Hit – ‘You Can’t Do That’ backed with ‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’” And then right at the end of the poster, you’re lead straight into a plug for a new song from the upcoming movie A Hard Day’s Night. Another great feature of this poster that, unfortunately, does not appear on the Beatles Second Album merchandising display.
When record and department stores received this poster in early 1964, all they had to do was find some window or wall space and staple it up. But things were not so easy with its counterpart, the Beatles’ Second Album window display, which came in a box and needed to be put together by store employees.
This particular Beatles’ Second Album retail poster was once folded; you can make out some of creases if you look carefully. This was never a problem with the Beatles Second Album in-store display, however, because it was constructed of heavy, durable cardboard, a big plus in its favor.
Believe it or not, there are 23 individual Fab Four faces on this Beatles’ Second Album store poster. One would think that it should’ve been an even two dozen, but John Lennon appeared one less time than all the others on the album cover and, therefore, on this poster as well. Naturally, the Beatles Second Album record-store display also has this slight disparity. But that’s OK, because John sings most of the songs on the album!
Everybody who sees it is enthralled with the way this Beatles’ Second Album point-of-purchase poster says at the bottom, “The Beatles on Capitol are the Greatest!” The label was obviously hypersensitive about the marketplace being flooded with Beatle singles on the Tollie, Swan and VJ labels. It’s a really cool marketing slug that, once again, isn’t present on Capitol’s Beatles Second Album promo standee.
Unlike the album cover, this poster lists all of the song titles, which is terrific fun, since they include classic Motown covers like “You Really Got a Hold On Me” and “Money.” All of these titles are also shown on the Beatles’ Second Album countertop display, but for some reason, they’re listed in a different sequence.
This will be TMI for some of you (too much information – grin), but here goes: the poster simply lists the song titles, but the Beatles Second Album promotional standup precedes them with two words: “Also Includes.” For hobbyists, little things like this can be a lot of fun to discover.
Nice, large record stores were prominent from the 1970s through the early 2000’s, but in the ’60s, not so. So it must have been quite a challenge for Capitol sales reps to find the space in retail locations for this Beatles’ Second Album record-store poster. We’re talking approximately 43 x 58” here.
In fact, for that same problem in their homes, some collectors would definitely rather have the cardboard Beatles Second Album promo display instead of the poster. Never mind the expense of framing the darn poster, and its cumbersomeness afterwards, but it’s just easier to find a little flat surface on top of a bookshelf for the display.
Further making it impossible to frame, the Beatles’ Second Album counter display has three-dimensional curves in it, which really adds to its eye appeal. I’ll be sure to do a video blog of the display the next time I encounter one.
But a drawback to the Beatles Second Album promo stand-up is that it’s scarcer than the poster, so I’ll have to wait longer to find one. I’ll have patience if you will! (smile)
The Beatles’ Second Album poster shown in this video was trimmed a bit at both the top and the bottom; usually there’s a little more white paper there. But no harm, really, because it was just blank white space. For some reason, the Beatles Second Album 3-D display has virtually no margin above their name at the top.
This very collectable poster and the Beatles’ Second Album point-of-purchase display are both discussed and evaluated by veteran Beatle fan Pete Howard, who can be emailed through firstname.lastname@example.org or phoned at 805.540.0020. I will pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for this or any original sixties Beatles promotional window displays and posters.
To read my Goldmine magazine article from 1995 which discusses 1960s promo posters and displays, please step over to this page: http://www.postercentral.com/goldmine-promoposters.htm