I spotted an article about the resurgence of the popularity of vinyl records recently. The Missus and I were discussing dumping our collection of LP records (actually, only the Missus was) and I remembered that I had some albums that might be of value to someone. The first one that came to mind was this:
I knew a little bit about the history of Introducing The Beatles. It was their first release in the US. Capitol Records and others had turned them down, but VeeJay Records took the plunge and released it in 1964. Quite the collector’s item for an audiophile, but what might it’s value be?
Copies list on Ebay with a surprisingly large spread for such a well-known rarity: $25-$900. Certainly the condition of the disc and album cover affects the value, but it’s still an odd price range.
So I went to fetch my copy of “Introducing…” and I found TWO – one a bit worse for wear, and the other in good shape. There were noticeable differences. The Copy A songs on the disc don’t match the album cover list, but those on Copy B do, and there is an obvious disparity in printing quality of the cover faces. Both copies have the “stereophonic” banner.
That’s my Copy A on the left with my Copy B on the other left. It’s a single photo of the two copies, side-by-side, cropped for posting.
Here are the reverse sides of the covers. Copy A is matte finish and faded; Copy B is glossy.
Here’s a detail with the bottom of the banners aligned. Both images were scanned and cropped with the same software. Obvious differences are obvious, and they’re even more obvious when one looks closer:
Kinda suspicious, eh? By now I was curious, and I found an article entitled “Collector’s Corner – ‘Introducing The Beatles’ (the world’s most counterfeited album)” penned by a guy who calls himself Happy Nat. The guy knows his stuff, and described the history of the album. There were two basic versions printed due to a dispute between VeeJay Records and Capitol records over recording rights. I determined that my Copy A was Version 2, while my Copy B was Version 1. I also noted that the stereo versions are the rarest, and a genuine copy may be worth thousands, depending on other minor variations.
I was convinced that my Copy A was a counterfeit, but what about Copy B? I was drooling, so I emailed both Happy Nat and Gary Hein. (more…)