DEAR JERRY: A friend told me that my copy of “Introducing the Beatles,” which I bought in the mid-'60s, might be a very valuable original, or just as likely could be a fake.
What is the current value of an original? How do I know if it's real or a not?
Shannon Houseman, Milwaukee
DEAR SHANNON: I'll tackle the first question, which is somewhat complex, then tell you what you need to know to determine if anything in the first part matters.
First is the near-mint price range, followed by the essential identification details:
$20,000 to $30,000: “Introducing the Beatles” STEREO (Vee-Jay VJLP 1062).
Front cover reads “Englands (sic) No. 1 Vocal Group,” though back cover neither mentions nor pictures the Beatles.
Instead, back has photos and publicity for 25 “Other Fine Albums of Significant Interest,” a subjective mix of earlier Vee Jay LPs by Jerry Butler; Jimmy Reed; 4 Seasons; Frank Ifield; John Lee Hooker; Eddie Harris; and others. Collectors refer to this as the “ad back” cover.
Reportedly, Vee Jay was at the time embroiled in a dispute over song licensing rights, and not wanting to further fan the litigious flames, decided against calling attention to the tracks on the album r especially “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You.” Notification to cease issuing these two songs had already been sent to Vee Jay.
On subsequent pressings, Vee Jay replaced those two tracks with “Ask Me Why” and “Please Please Me,” along with a listing of all 12 tunes on the back cover.
Interestingly, labels for stereo discs show the selection prefix/number as VJLP 1062, yet front cover has only “SR-1062.”
$8,000 to $12,000: “Introducing the Beatles” MONO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Same as above for stereo ad back, but with monaural sound and without SR-1062 on the cover.
$8,000 to $12,000: “Introducing the Beatles” STEREO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Variation of above issue, using the same front cover. Back cover, however, has no printing whatsoever. Whether caused by a production error, or intentionally left blank so as to have product for sale during the changeover from ad back to column back covers, we do not yet know. Appropriately known as the “blank back” cover.
$5,000 to $7,500: “Introducing the Beatles” MONO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Same as above for stereo blank back, but with monaural sound and without SR-1062 on the cover.
$15,000 to $20,000: “Introducing the Beatles” STEREO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Second issue. Front cover is the same as first stereo issue. Back cover lists contents in two columns; six titles on Side One, the last of which is “Love Me Do,” and six on Side Two, the first being “P.S. I Love You.”
Later pressings replaced “Love Me Do” with “Ask Me Why” and “P.S. I Love You” with “Please Please Me.”
This and future versions all have the column back cover.
$4,000 to $6,000: “Introducing the Beatles” MONO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Same as above for second issue stereo column back, but with monaural sound and without SR-1062 on the cover.
$4,000 to $6,000: “Introducing the Beatles” STEREO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Third issue. Stereo records can be found in stereo covers, though many came out in mono covers with “Stereo” or “Stereophonic” stickers affixed. Record labels and column back cover reflect the inclusion of “Ask Me Why” and “Please Please Me” instead of “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You.”
$800 to $1,200: “Introducing the Beatles” MONO (Vee-Jay VJLP-1062).
Record labels and column back cover reflect the inclusion of “Ask Me Why” and “Please Please Me”
As we are so fond of pointing out, the price ranges stated are ONLY applicable to copies with both the cover and the record in at least near-mint condition.
Damaged goods, or even those showing slight wear and tear, will have values lowered by an amount commensurate with their flaws.
IZ ZAT SO? Unfortunately, many mono copies and nearly every stereo “Introducing the Beatles” in captivity is a five dollar counterfeit. Authentic stereo copies, of any of the three versions, are extremely rare, as evidenced by their grandiose values. Most folks will never even see one in person.
There is a lengthy checklist collectors use to spot a fake LP, but one quick and reliable test is to look at the record label.
Originals have both the LP title, “Introducing the Beatles,” and the artist credit, “The Beatles,” ABOVE the center hole.
This is true no matter which version you have, and applies to both mono and stereo.
Counterfeits have only the LP title, “Introducing the Beatles,” above the center hole, and place the artist credit, “The Beatles,” below the center hole.
There is an excellent website to further assist with counterfeit identification of this album: Click here!