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Reference Library: Introducing The Beatles

From: dhaber@primenet.com (David Haber)
Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles
Subject: Re: Rare record (long)
Date: 18 Dec 1994 03:51:47 GMT


Indentifying and Pricing VJLP-1062

Introducing The Beatles is easily the most counterfeited album in all of Beatles collecting. The knowledge of how the original should look in every aspect would be the best weapon one could have in detecting counterfeits.


Original covers

From 1963 to late 1964 Vee Jay records manufactured this album at their Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis contract factories. The covers produced at this plant consisted of the following characteristics:

The front and back of the cover featured a glossy (not extremely high-gloss) enamel-like finish, any copies that have either side in a flat finish are fakes.

Although color shades and tint can vary even among originals, the albums are usually very sharp in print and photo clarity. Copies that are of poor quality in either department are most likely counterfeits.

As far as cover construction is concerned, all of the Chicago originated copies we have examined had a characteristic 1/4" flap of cardboard that was folded over the top and bottom of the inside cover. Many fakes used fold flaps that were either much larger than the 1/4" or not there at all. To date, we have not seen a fake that used the correct measurement on the flap.

All original copies used cardboard of either gray or tan or varied shades of both.

In early 1964 Vee Jay moved their headquarters to Santa Monica, California, however the pressing facilities remained in Chicago and St. Louis and only a few were subcontracted in California. The covers that were constructed in California were identical to the above descriptions except for the following:

Back slicks were somewhat less glossy (not flat, however), and the 1/4" fold flap discussed earlier was not present. The California albums were not nearly as widely distributed as the Chicago copies and are actually somewhat rare in comparison.

It should be noted that some counterfeit covers have been done very well with photo clarity to 95% of the original quality, however, even these copies fall short in the areas of cover construction and/or disk reproduction.


Original Disk Identification

Most, but not all, counterfeit discs use the Version I song selection (P.S. I Love You and Love Me Do) on the disk label printing. A good many of the fakes will actually play the Version II selections (Please, Please Me and Ask Me Why). Any copies that list Version I and play Version II are most likely counterfeits. (Original factory error copies have been verified with similar mislabeling, however, these are quite rare and check out well in every other area of testing.)

All original disc labels print the artist and LP title together above the play hole, any copies that seperate the two titles by the play hole are fakes.

The largest trail-off area we have ever seen on an original disc is 1" (most are 7/8"), any copies with trail-off areas larger than this are most likely fakes.

Most all of the discs that were pressed out of the Chicago plant had some sort of machine stamping in the trail-off areas. Symbols like "Audio Matrix", a circled "MR", and "ARP" or any combination of these are quite common on these pressings. Copies pressed later at the California location have very seldom been found with these trail-off stampings, however, like the Chicago discs, they have the bright, sharp print that is characteristic of original Vee Jay records. So far, we have not verified any counterfeits with trail-off stampings, and disc labels on the fakes usually lack to some degree in label color, print sharpness, brightness and clarity. (Usually more noticeable when compared to an original.)

We have found no fakes copies (Stereo or Mono) with the word "Stereo" printed on the label.


Original Versions Identifications and Pricing
(as of May 1987)

[1] Vee Jay LP-1062    7/22/63    NM $350.00   VG $175.00   G $80.00
Monaural copy, black label with color band, Version I, first issue
(features the songs Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You), oval style logo.
Back cover displays 25 LP ad miniatures (in color).  NOTE: All original
Version I, ad back covers feature the words "Printed in U.S.A." in the
lower left of the front in small black print.  Any copies found without
this print are not original.  Can be with or without the words "Long
Playing" and "Microgrove" printed on the disc label.

[2] Vee Jay SR-1062 7/22/63 NM $750.00 VG $375.00 G $180.00 Stereo, as [1]. Front cover has white banner across the top with gray print which reads "STEREOPHONIC".

[3] Vee Jay LP-1062 1/64 NM $300.00 VG $150.00 G $75.00 Blank back (Promotional) issue. As [1]. Back cover is glossy white and entirely blank, reportedly these were issued by Vee Jay as Promotional copies, however disc label is identical to Version I stock copies and bear no promotional markings.

NOTE: Although the Blank Back copies have been generally regarded as promotional issues, there are some collectors and historians who now believe them to be simply the result of an oversight at the factory. The fact that Vee Jay rarely used, before or after this LP, blank back covers as a designation for promos would support this theory to some degree. Also there are individuals who claim they actually purchased these in retail stores. Whether promos or not, they are definately rare and deserve their higher value.

[4] Vee Jay SR-1062 1/64 NM $650.00 VG $325.00 G $160.00 Blank back (Promotional) issue, Stereo copy, as [3] and [2].

[5] Vee Jay LP-1062 NM $75.00 VG $35.00 G $15.00 Monaural Copy, Black label with color band, Version I, second issue, oval style logo. Back cover lists the song titles in two large columns. Can be found with or without the words "Long Playing" and "Microgrove" printed on the disc label.

[6] Vee Jay LP-1062 NM $100.00 VG $50.00 G $25.00 As [5], with brackets style logo.

NOTE: To date, we have been unable to produce a verifiably original sterophonic Version I cover with the song columns (with the Version I songs Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You) on the back.

[7] Vee Jay LP-1062 1/27/64 NM $70.00 VG $35.00 G $15.00 Monaural copy, black label with color band, Version II (features the songs Please, Please Me and Ask Me Why), oval style logo.

NOTE: All Version II copies feature the song titles in two large columns on the back cover.

[8] Vee Jay SR-1062 1/27/64 NM $250.00 VG $125.00 G $60.00 Stereo copy, black label with color band, Version II, oval style logo. Version II stereophonic covers exist in three distinct variations. The most common version features the word "STEREOPHONIC" in grey print on a white banner across the top of the front. The others include the word in black print on a white sticker adhered to a mono cover, or the word embossed in black print on a mono cover. Value given is for the more common Banner version, for the Sticker version add $50.00 and for the embossed version add $75.00.

NOTE: It was common practice for Vee Jay to print stereo markings on mono discs of Version II copies, check by carefully playing disc, or an "S" suffix to the master number should be found in the trail-off area of true stereo copies. There is no value seperation.

[9] Vee Jay LP-1062 NM $30.00 VG $15.00 Monaural copy, black label with color band, Version II, brackets style logo. Can be found with or without the words "Long Playing" and "Microgrove" on the disc label.

[10] Vee Jay SR-1062 NM $175.00 VG $80.00 G $40.00 Stereo copy, as [8], brackets style logo.

[11] Vee Jay LP-1062 NM $40.00 VG $20.00 Monaural copy, all black label with silver print, Version II, plain VJ logo.

[12] Vee Jay SR-1062 NM $200.00 VG $100.00 G $50.00 Stero copy, as [8], all black label with silver print, plain VJ logo.

[13] Vee Jay LP-1062 NM $90.00 VG $45.00 G $20.00 Monaural copy, all black label with silver print, Version II, oval style logo.

[14] Vee Jay LP-1062 NM $100.00 VG $50.00 G $25.00 Monaural copy, all black label with silver print, Version II, brackets style logo.

[Information from "The Beatles Price and Reference Guide For American Records" by Perry Cox and Michael Miller]


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