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.
On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 10:33 PM, Bunk Strutts wrote:
Re: LP Albums -Vinyl
Introducing The Beatles
VeeJay Records No. VJLP-1062 Stereo
I have two copies of “Introducing The Beatles” album, and I’m interested in determining valuation.
This article was an eye-opener.
I bought Version 2 at a garage sale in the 1970s, and I don’t remember where or when I got Version 1. I played both albums today, and based upon the article by “Happy Nat” and the grading qualifications he linked to, here’s my assessment:
Vee Jay Records Version 2
Vinyl has some scratches and two manufacturing dimples on opposite sides, but is otherwise playable. It has the expected hand-printed info between the last track and the record label (63-3402 & 63-3403 for Side 1 & Side 2) but includes “ARC – 3-25-4.” The label matches Version 1, has the bracket logo.
Front cover: Matches Version 1 Stereophonic. Color is misaligned and bleached out, no stickers, suggesting a counterfeit. It’s well worn, ripped seams, with aged blank white paper liner.
Back cover matches Version 1 with bracket logo, but it’s not glossy.
I rate the vinyl good, the album fair, but that it’s likely a mono counterfeit.
Vee Jay Records Version 1
This looks like the real deal. As above, here’s my honest take:
Vinyl is either NM or M-. Great shape, no visible scratches. Obviously a stereo recording, bracket logo on the label. Hand-printed info between the last track and the record label (63-3402 & 63-3403 for Side 1 & Side 2) only.
Album is in VG+ with minor scuffing wear, aged blank white paper liner.
Happy Nat responded first, then Gary M. Hein followed with this:
“ONLY authentic copies have DISCS that actually have “printed” on them the word STEREO on BOTH Disc Labels. If it’s missing it, then it is 99.99% a fake.”
Results? It comes down to the disc label. There are NO copies of the VeeJay pressing that have the brackets logo on the stereo pressing, and ALL legit “stereophonic” copies have “stereo” imprinted on the disc label. Fortunately, I purchased neither one of my copies, unless you consider $2 for 50+ vinyl records at a garage sale a purchase.
Epilogue: Copy B is a counterfeit, and Copy A is a counterfeit of a counterfeit, so…
ESTATE SALE – AWESOME RARE BEATLES VINYL – INTRODUCING THE BEATLES 1964 VEEJAY RECORDS – VJLP-1062 Stereo TWO LEGITIMATE VINYL COPIES – BONUS SONGS ON VERSION 2 NOT INCLUDED ON VERSION 1 – MINIMUM OPENING BID $3,500 – SIGNED ALBUMS – EMAIL TO BUNK@RIPOFF.COM
And here’s a bonus video that confirms what Nat and Gary said: http://youtu.be/nNp8ba7UMYk
P.S. Mr. Starr – Let me know when you’re in the neighborhood. I’ve got a Sharpie Pen that wants to meet you.