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Collector’s Corner – Introducing The Beatles (the world’s most counterfeited album)

Happy Nat holding one of his stereo copies of Introducing The Beatles

Happy Nat holding one of his stereo copies of Introducing The Beatles

The U.S. album Introducing The Beatles (aka Introducing…The Beatles) will be the subject of this second installment of the Collector’s Corner.

Background Information
When The Beatles released their first single, “Love Me Do” b/w “P.S. I Love You,” in the U.K. in October of 1962, it went on to be a top 20 hit. That was one thing, but can you imagine the excitement when on November 26, 1962 after recording the two tracks for their follow-up single, producer George Martin predicted it would go all the way to number one. The “Please Please Me” b/w “Ask Me Why” single did just that on the British charts, reaching the top spot in Melody Maker on March 2, 1963. It also reached number one on the New Musical Express and Disc charts, and number two on the Record Retailer charts. Since Record Retailer is recognized today as being the British standard, “Please Please Me” was left off of the hits compilation CD of Beatles #1′s called, One, released in November of 2000.

One, Beatles #1 hits compilation released in Nov. 2000

One, Beatles #1 hits compilation released in Nov. 2000

In America, EMI offered the “Please Please Me” single to Capitol Records (a company owned by EMI) in January 1963, but Capitol declined, and the rights to the two songs ended up with a much smaller label known as Vee-Jay Records. Vee-Jay released the single and entered into an agreement that eventually gave them the rights to the first 16 tracks released by The Beatles in the U.K. – specifically the 14 tracks from their first English LP, also titled Please Please Me, and the two tracks from the follow-up single “From Me To You” b/w “Thank You Girl.”

On February 11, 1963, The Beatles recorded an incredible 10 songs and supplemented them with the 4 songs from their first two singles, in order to complete this first U.K. album, Please Please Me. By April or early May 1963, Vee-Jay was in possession of the stereo and mono masters for these songs as well as “From Me To You” and “Thank You Girl” (both recorded on March 5, 1963), which they released as a follow-up to the “Please Please Me” single during the first week of May 1963.

Vee-Jay’s plans to release the Please Please Me album were altered since the norm in America was for albums to only contain around 12 songs and there was 14 on the British LP. Possibly since the “Please Please Me” single did not chart, the decision was made to drop it’s two songs from the line-up. The running order of the album was otherwise left the same as the U.K. album. Paul McCartney’s count-in at the intro of “I Saw Her Standing There” was truncated (except for the “four!”) as it was thought to not be intended as an actual part of the song. Since the title song had been removed, a new album title was necessary and Introducing The Beatles was chosen – an apt title considering it was the groups first U.S. LP. Initial plans were to release the album in July 1963 and preparations were made to do that, but that is not what happened. When it was discovered that Vee-Jay President, Ewart Abner, was using company funds to cover gambling debts, a management shake-up ensued, and one of the consequences was canceling the release of Introducing The Beatles, along with a few other albums.

Meet The Beatles! Capitol's first Beatles LP, released on Jan. 20, 1964

Meet The Beatles! Capitol's first Beatles LP, released on Jan. 20, 1964

Since Vee-Jay was struggling with a large amount of debt by the summer of 1963, the company ignored it’s obligation to pay the royalties owed for the sales of it’s two Beatles singles. After all, it wasn’t like The Beatles were a very high priority in America at this time, so Vee-Jay execs were more focused on the important stuff. Consequently, EMI affiliate, Transglobal, declared Vee-Jay’s contract with them null and void on August 8, 1963. By December of 1963, when Capitol announced it was going to do a full scale promotional campaign for The Beatles, Vee-Jay was desperate for cash. Fully aware that it meant some legal troubles afterward, Vee-Jay released Introducing The Beatles around January 10, 1964, which was 10 days before Capitol released their first Beatles album Meet The Beatles!

The first bit of legal trouble however was not directly from EMI/Transglobal, but from Beechwood Music. Beechwood held the U.S. publishing rights for “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You,” and furthermore were a subsidiary of Capitol Records. Naturally they refused to allow Vee-Jay a license, especially since the two songs had not been previously released in the U.S. A restraining order was issued to stop distribution of the album, and in response Vee-Jay instead reconfigured the record by removing “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” and replacing them with the other two previously deleted tracks, “Please Please Me” and “Ask Me Why.” The initial version of Introducing The Beatles with “Love Me Do” is now termed ‘version 1′ of the record and the reconfigured album that instead includes “Please Please Me” is referred to as ‘version 2′. The version 2 copies made it into the stores on around February 10, 1964. There were also a few version 1 albums deceptively included in version 2 jackets, to avoid the suspicion of breaching the restraining order.

Here is the track listing for Versions 1 & 2:

Version 1
Side 1: “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Misery,” “Anna (Go To Him),” “Chains,” “Boys,” “Love Me Do”
Side 2: “P.S. I Love You,” “Baby It’s You,” “Do You Want To Know A Secret,” “A Taste Of Honey,” “There’s A Place,” “Twist And Shout”

Version 2
Side 1: “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Misery,” “Anna (Go To Him),” “Chains,” “Boys,” “Ask Me Why”
Side 2: “Please Please Me,” “Baby It’s You,” “Do You Want To Know A Secret,” “A Taste Of Honey,” “There’s A Place,” “Twist And Shout”

Needless to say, there was a big court battle over Vee-Jay’s right to issue The Beatles on record. In the end, the court ruled that Vee-Jay would be allowed to continue to release the 16 songs it controlled in any configuration, until October 15, 1964, at which time it would relinquish all rights over this material to Capitol. By this time, Introducing The Beatles had sold 1.3 million mono copies and 41,000 stereo copies. Since only about 3% of these records were in stereo, these copies are much more rare than their mono counterparts. Introducing The Beatles stalled at number 2 due (held out by Meet The Beatles!) on the Billboard and Cash Box album charts and managed to top the Record World album chart.

Songs, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles, released by Vee-Jay, 1964

Songs, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles, released by Vee-Jay, 1964

Vee-Jay did exercise their rights to the songs while they had the chance and repackaged Introducing The Beatles twice before the October 15 deadline. The first time introduced the LP as Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles. The album jacket had a gatefold cover with lots of pictures and information about each member of the band. The record inside was a copy of version 2 of Introducing The Beatles and still labeled as such. There was also a repackaging called The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons, which included a version 2 Introducing The Beatles album as well as a Four Seasons Vee-Jay compilation titled Golden Hits of the Four Seasons. The gatefold jacket of this configuration invited the listener to be the “judge and jury” on which band was the best.

The Early Beatles, released by Capitol, March 1965

The Early Beatles, released by Capitol, March 1965

Giving six months for supplies of Introducing The Beatles to dwindle in the stores, Capitol put out it’s own collection of all but 3 of the tracks previously on Introducing The Beatles, calling their album The Early Beatles. It was released on March 22, 1965. The songs left out of this collection were “Misery,” “There’s A Place” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” “Misery” and “There’s A Place” did receive separate Capitol releases in 1965 as part of Capitol’s Starline singles series. They never appeared on a Capitol album until the 1980 compilation The Beatles Rarities. “I Saw Her Standing There” was already on the Capitol album Meet The Beatles!


Introducing The Beatles, mono front cover, released by Vee-Jay Records, circa Jan. 10, 1964

Introducing The Beatles, mono front cover, released by Vee-Jay Records, circa Jan. 10, 1964

Version 1: The front covers of the version one LPs use the same photograph (credited to photographer Angus McBean, who also shot the Please Please Me album cover) that appears on The Beatles Hits EP in the U.K. For the cover slick of the album, the photograph is cropped just below Paul’s hands (just above his hands on the stereo cover seen in the photo at the top of this article) and the negative is reversed. Stereo copies of the album have a white banner across the top of the jacket containing in bold all capital gray letters ‘STEREOPHONIC’ (again see top photo). Some copies have the words ‘Printed in U.S.A.’ on the front. There are 3 variations on back covers:

'Ad-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 1)

'Ad-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 1)

1) Ad-Back: This back cover has no information about the music included with the record. Instead there are photo miniatures of 25 other Vee-Jay albums. It has a heading across the top that reads ‘Other Fine Albums Of Significant Interest’, along with a bracketed Vee-Jay logo. It is the same exact layout as one side of the inner paper sleeve that comes with the record. Apparently no other back cover had been prepared, or if it was, it was no longer available when Vee-Jay elected to issue the record in January 1964. Since timing at this point was critical (due to the plan to beat Capitol to the punch by getting Introducing The Beatles out before Meet The Beatles!), the lack of a better back cover caused no delay. The “ad-back” covers are now considered quite rare.

'Blank-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 1)

'Blank-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 1)

2) Blank-Back: This back cover also has no information about the music on the album, but instead is simply a glossy white blank cover. Some collectors believe that the blank-back covers were a transitional cover when the ad-backs had run out and the third back cover variation was still being printed. The “blank-back” covers, like the “ad-backs” are now considered quite rare.

'Titles-On-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 1)

'Titles-On-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 1)

3) Titles-On-Back (aka column-back): These back covers list the song titles in two columns. One for the side one songs and the other for the side two songs. The album title runs across the top with a bracketed Vee-Jay logo centered above it. This is the most common of the three back covers for mono copies, but for stereo copies, there are only a couple of these known to exist.

One side of Inner Sleeve of Introducing The Beatles, the other side looks like the Ad-Back

One side of Inner Sleeve of Introducing The Beatles, the other side looks like the Ad-Back

Each side of the paper inner sleeve shows ads for 25 other Vee-Jay albums. The print from one side was also used on the “ad-back” cover (see above).

The record labels for the stereo and mono version 1 records have numerous variations. The Vee-Jay logo used on all of these is either the ‘oval’ logo (see photo below) or brackets logo. One variation uses a smaller label (designed for single/45rpm) than the standard LP sized label.

Side 2 of record label (version 1)

Side 2 of mono record label (version 1) w/oval logo

'Titles-On-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 2)

'Titles-On-Back' back cover slick for Introducing The Beatles (Version 2)

Version 2: The mono version 2 front covers are identical to the mono version 1 covers other than the fact that they may also include a rectangular sticker affixed to them that says “Featuring Twist And Shout Please, Please Me”. The back covers are of the titles-on-back variety, however modified to include “Ask Me Why” and “Please Please Me” instead of “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You.” There have been cases discovered where a version 2 back cover slick has been pasted over a version 1 back, making it apparent that this is how some of the version 2 covers were created. On the version 2 back covers, there exists a much lesser common variation that does not include a comma in the “Please Please Me” title. Most of the stereo front covers are identical to their version 1 counterparts, however there are some that do not have the white banner across the top and instead have a sticker that reads “stereophonic” or “stereo” usually affixed near the lower left corner of the front cover (as you face the front of the jacket). There is another lesser common variation where the word “Stereophonic” in all capital letters appears above the word “Beatles” in the title. Version 2 albums came with the same paper inner sleeve as the version 1 albums.

As with version 1 records, the record labels for the stereo and mono version 2 records have numerous variations. The logos used on all of these is either the Vee-Jay ‘oval’ logo, brackets logo or plain letters logo (all pictured here).

Oval, Brackets and Plain Letters Vee-Jay logos used in 1963-1964

Oval, Brackets and Plain Letters Vee-Jay logos used in 1963-1964

It should also be noted that although a record may be packaged as a version 2, the actual record could play as a version 1, or vice-versa.

The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons, 2 LP set, released in 1964 by Vee-Jay Records

The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons, 2 LP set, released in 1964 by Vee-Jay Records

Version 2 records were repackaged as Song, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles or as 1/2 of the 2 album set The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons.

For further details on the numerous variations of this record, consult Songs, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles Records On Vee-Jay Records by Bruce Spizer. Bruce’s book is an incredible resource, but unfortunately out of print and quite hard to locate now. Bruce has recently issued a new digital version of the book with a few updates and these can be obtained from his website.

Authentic copies of Introducing The Beatles have become quite collectible over the years. The Price Guide For The Beatles American Records by Perry Cox and Frank Daniels (2007) cites this as a guideline for how much they are worth (keep in mind since this book is some years old, the prices are in all likelihood somewhat lower than what you could expect to buy them for today. Also, mint copies are worth considerably more than near mint copies, but can show no wear, age or signs of being played. I’m not sure if there are any authentic mint copies of this record in existence. Shrink wrapping albums was not common until late 1964, so shrink wrapped versions of these records are likely suspect. Note: “Near mint” (NM) or “Very Good” (VG) conditions are in line with the standards of Goldmine magazine as defined here.

Note: values updated in 2014

-Version 1 ad-back mono – Very Good: $1600, Near Mint: $8000
-Version 1 ad-back stereo – Very Good: $6000, Near Mint: $30,000
-Version 1 blank-back mono – Very Good: $1100, Near Mint: $5500
-Version 1 blank-back stereo – Very Good: $1800, Near Mint: $9000
-Version 1 column-back mono – oval logo label: Very Good: $500, Near Mint: $2500
-Version 1 column-back mono – oval logo 45rpm size label: Very Good: $540, $2700
-Version 1 column-back mono – brackets logo label: Very Good: $600, Near Mint: $3000
-Version 1 column-back stereo – oval logo: Very Good: $5000, Near Mint: $25,000 (only a couple are known to exist)

-Version 2 mono brackets logo on label: Very Good: $120, Near Mint: $600
-Version 2 mono brackets logo 45rpm size label: Very Good: $200, Near Mint: $1000
-Version 2 mono with silver letters, ‘VJ’ on top of label no logo: Very Good $150, Near Mint: $600
-Version 2 mono with oval logo and color band on label: Very Good: $140, Near Mint: $700
-Version 2 mono with silver oval logo and no color band on label: Very Good: $200, Near Mint: $1000
-Version 2 mono with silver small brackets logo and no color band on label: Very Good: $500, Near Mint: $2000
-Version 2 mono -plays version 1 but labeled as Version 2: Very Good: $840, Near Mint: $4200
-Version 2 mono -plays version 1 but label on only one side is version 2: Very Good: $640, Near Mint: $3200
-Version 2 stereo brackets logo on label with color band: Very Good: $70, Near Mint: $3500
-Version 2 stereo with oval logo 45rpm size label: Very Good: $750, Near Mint: $3700
-Version 2 stereo with silver letters, ‘VJ’ on top of label no logo: Very Good: $600, Near Mint: $3000

Value enhancements for Version 2 copies:
-If version 2 has no comma in Please Please Me on back, add this – Very Good: +$250, Near Mint: +$400
-If version 2 has Twist & Shout Sticker on cover, add this – Very Good: +$200, Near Mint: +$300
-If version 2 has version 2 paste-over slick over version 1 slick, add this – Very Good: +$450, Near Mint: +$700
-If version 2 mono has a stereo cover corrected with a black rectangular sticker reading mono in white letters affixed over the letters “STEREO” in the white “STEREOPHONIC” banner, add this – Very Good: +$250, Near Mint: +$400
-If version 2 has DJ Copy stamp, add this – Very Good: +$300, Near Mint: +$500

Believe it or not, there are still more variations than those I have listed. For more information, talk to a reputable dealer such as Gary Hein at Hein’s Rare Collectibles (www.beatles4me.com).

Introducing The Beatles is commonly thought to be the most counterfeited album of all time. There are a few tests that you can do to evaluate the authenticity of a copy of this record but just because it passes a test or two, doesn’t mean it is authentic. You should do as many tests as possible and if you are still not sure, talk to a reputable dealer such as Gary Hein at Hein’s Rare Collectibles (www.beatles4me.com). If this album fails any of the tests I mention here, then it is definitely a fake (other than exceptions mentioned below), so buyer beware!

1) Covers with a brown border around the front cover photo are fakes.
2) Covers with a bright yellow tint and the word “STEREO” printed in black at the upper left are fakes.
3) Covers without George Harrison’s shadow, visible to the right of where he stands, near the edge are fakes.
4) Covers with red, blue, and yellow dots under the top of the back cover, are fakes. The dots are used by the printers. On originals, these dots are in a different area and not normally visible. (This fake is of particular importance, due to the high quality of the front cover photo. For that reason, this cover has fooled many collectors).
5) Covers for the stereo issue that list “Love Me Do” and “P. S. I Love You,” among the two columns of tracks on the back, are almost always fakes. Only a couple of authentic copies of these versions are known to exist.
6) If either the front or the back cover is flat (lacking gloss), it’s a counterfeit.
7) The ‘Honey Test’ – On the column-back covers look at the title “A Taste Of Honey.” On the ‘E’ in the word ‘Honey’ if some of the ink is missing in the upper left corner of the letter, it is a fake. Also check the upper left corner of the ‘H’ in ‘Honey’. The ink deficit in the ‘H’ may not be quite as discernible, but if seen indicates that it is a fake.
8) For Songs, Pictures and Stories of The Fabulous Beatles repackaged versions, if the title on the cover is shortened to Songs And Pictures of the Fabulous Beatles, it is a fake. These covers are also lacking the gatefold jackets.

1) Any labels with flat textured rainbow/colorband labels are fakes.
2) Labels that have “THE BEATLES” and “INTRODUCING The BEATLES” separated by the spindle hole are fakes.
3) If the width of the vinyl trail-off (i.e. the gap between the end of the last track and the edge of the label) is greater than one inch, it is a fake. This distance is between 7/8″ and 1″ on authentic copies.
4) Any copy with black labels that do not have the rainbow colorband, that are printed on glossy paper stock, are fakes.
5) Copies with rainbow/colorband labels that have faint print and/or weak color brightness and a lack of clarity are fakes. Often these fakes are missing the color green.
6) Stereo copies of the album (version 1 or 2) will have “Stereo” printed on both labels (A & B side). If not, it is fake.
7) In almost all cases, you should see one of these four stampings in the trail off area of the disc: (1) the term “AudioMatrix”, (2) The letters “MR” inside of a circle, (3) the letters “ARP” in italics or (4) the letters “URJ.” There are a few Santa Monica pressing where these stampings may not be apparent, but 90%, or so of the time, they should be there.

Again, for further questions concerning the legitimacy or worth of your copy of this record please contact one of the dealers listed here or at the conclusion of this article.

Final info/acknowledgments
The subject of all photographs of albums, album jackets, sleeves, etc. in this article are of actual items within my very own record collection. These items are listed as entries in my own online vinyl inventory as linked below:

1) Introducing The Beatles, Version 1, mono
2) Introducing The Beatles, Version 1, stereo
3) Introducing The Beatles, Version 2, mono
4) Introducing The Beatles, Version 2, stereo
5) Songs, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles, mono
6) The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons, mono

In closing, I’d like to credit the main sources of information used in this post: Bruce Spizer’s Songs, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles Records On Vee-Jay, Bill Harry’s The Beatles Encyclopedia (revised And Updated, 2000 edition), Perry Cox and Frank Daniel’s Price Guide For The Beatles American Records (6th edition), and websites: Wikipedia.com, The Beatles At The Web Spot, and MyBeatlesCollection.com.

A few dealers in Beatles collectibles:

Perry Cox: email to perrydcox@aol.com
Gary Hein: visit online at www.beatles4me.com
Rockaway Records: visit online at www.rockaway.com.

Please let me hear from you if you have questions, comments, corrections or anything to add about this album. I’d love to hear from you!

Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music related to this post:

1) Please Please Me (Remastered) – 2009 remaster of original U.K. Please Please Me LP on CD, contains all tracks from versions 1 and 2 of stereo Vee-Jay Introducing The Beatles LP.

2) The Capitol Albums Vol. 2 (Longbox) – Box set of 4 CDs of 4 Capitol Beatles albums in both stereo and mono (The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! and Rubber Soul) – The Early Beatles is the Capitol version of the Vee-Jay album Introducing The Beatles.

3) More Amazon links for any of your favorite Beatles-related music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

80 people think this is FAB!

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  • Elliott Marx says:

    Thanks, I did not know anything about that release. In fact, I’m not sure I knew that it even existed. The sleazy, scummy record company hijinx do not surprise me, and only embolden my occasional free-download searching alter ego.

    What I found curious was the McCartney-Lennon credit on the original composition (as shown on the sticker on the vinyl.) What is the story with that ordering?

    • Happy Nat says:

      Good question Elliott. Vee-Jay merely copied the composition credits given on the U.K. Please Please Me album which also originally listed McCartney before Lennon. By the follow-up LP With The Beatles, this ordering was reversed.

  • Paula says:

    I love these kinds of post. They remind me why I never tried to be a completist. Lol. Of course, I went to look and see what version I had. Have you ever heard of a cover that, instead of the white banner, has “stereophonic” impressed in black above the the word Beatles?

    • Happy Nat says:

      Hi Paula, The answer is yes I have heard of the “Stereophonic in black” covers. I mention it in the section above on Version 2′s. These are actually worth $350 – $700 more than the white banner stereo jackets (depending on condition). This is one of the variations I left out of the worth section of the post (there are so many) so I’m glad that you asked.

      • Paula says:

        Oops! I must have missed that part. Yea me for actually having something worth something this time. I never had a buying choice, owing to the fact I was yanking on my mom’s dress to buy me anything Beatles back in the day! :D

  • JRobert says:

    I think I got the version 1 stereophonic album with titles at the back of it. I’m Dutch; what does ‘near mint’ means?
    Gota tell my girlfriend about this.
    grtz JRobert

    • Happy Nat says:

      If you have a real one of those, it’s worth lots of cash. Caution though…most of these are fakes. Near mint means that it looks brand new with little to no signs of wear.

  • Judy says:

    Hello to Happy Nat
    I think we already sent you a message, but my son wanted to write again. I have an original LP like yours. How much is it worth and is anyone looking to buy it?

  • Annie says:

    Have you ever heard of the Meet the Beatles” record, put into a “Introducing the Beatles” Album?

    • Happy Nat says:

      Hi Annie. This would be quite a screw-up given that their from different labels (sort of like getting PBR in your Heineken bottle). I haven’t heard of this one.

  • craig hasser says:

    hi, I have a Meet the beatles lp and the cover looks mono with no “capital full dimensional stereo” heading on top but it says STEREOPHONIC on the spine and ST2047 next to “file under beatles”. Back side has all Stereo cover markings and stereo needle damage statement,RIAA 6. Ive never seen a cover like this, and can find no info. Is this just a factory error? would appreciate some help. Craig

  • Happy Nat says:

    I am not aware of this pressing, Craig. Sounds like an interesting find. You may want to ask Gary Hein about this. Gary can be reached from his web site at Beatles4me.com.

  • RBurke says:

    Hey Nat,
    I recently picked up a Version 1 Introducing… The Beatles at a yard sale because I thought it looked interesting and early. I was mildly dissappointed in reading about the large % of fakes, ( I did only pay 5 bucks though!) The cover is fairly beat up but looks very similar to your picture. Stereophonic in gray, Harrison’s shadow, that brown fold thing at top right. It is the column back with Love Me do. It does have the 1/4″ cardboard flaps on the inside. Unfortunately the title and The Beatles are seperated by the center hole on the vinyl. Run-out is exactly one inch. Interestingly it has a hand inscribed 63-3403 on the run-out area. Haven’t listened to it yet but there is no chance of this being authentic because of the center hole? Thanks!

    • Happy Nat says:

      @RBurke – Authentic stereo version 1 column backs are extremely rare (only a few are known to exist). It is the one that is most commonly bootlegged too. If it fails the spindle hole test, it isn’t authentic. No exceptions there. Sorry to say but yours sounds like one of the early 70′s fakes. Chances are it plays better than the late stereo fakes which sounded atrocious. I’ve had both of these variations in my own collection. Be glad you only spent $5. I would say you got a good deal if it plays okay. It is not a collectors item though.

  • Sayeda says:

    Hi there. I have the stereo cover you are holding in your photo with the “STEREOPHONIC” written in grey at the top. I also have the back cover with the listings of songs in the two columns. They contain the songs “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You.” I’ve checked all of the other counterfeit facts and my record cover contains none of them except for the fact that it contains those two songs on the back. However, you said that only a few rare ones were printed with those two songs. How can I tell if my version is one of those rare copies? Thanks for reading!

    • Happy Nat says:

      Sayeda…If you have truly gone through the ways to spot a fake and it’s passed all of the tests in the article, then it would be impossible for me to confirm authenticity of it without actually having it with me. If you would still like confirmation, I would suggest reaching one of the dealers I listed in the article, such as Gary Hein (visit online at http://www.beatles4me.com and his contact info is there). You may reference this article to him if you like and tell him the specific details of all of the authenticity checks you did. I’m sure he will be glad to help. Alternatively you can send me some photo scans of the album jacket (both sides), record (both sides) and label close ups (both sides) and I will be glad to have a look, but as I said, I cannot guarantee this will be good enough, without having it with me.

  • Happy Nat says:

    Author’s note: About the jacket (one thing I did not include in the article): This only applies to the ad-back jacket. If you look on the front of the jacket, toward the bottom of the left edge, there should be a “Printed in USA” statement in small black letters, running vertically (parallel with Ringo’s leg). If not, it is likely the later issued, less valuable, column back version with an ad-back slick removed from another record and pasted on the back, to pass it off as an ‘ad-back’. This process often leaves tell-tale wrinkles on the border of the slick.

  • Rick says:

    I have a version 2 MR bracket logo that has the same tracks on both sides! The record passes every test… Have you ever heard of this? Thanks…

    • Happy Nat says:

      Interesting Rick! Thanks for sharing! I haven’t heard of this particular production error, but I’m not surprised. The truth is ANY production error by Vee Jay is not that uncommon. The company was in bad shape at the time. Vee Jay president Ewart Abner had been secretly using company funds to pay off gambling debts and that was already quickly leading to the company going under. While this was happening, there was also quite a frenzy to get Beatles records out as quickly as possible before the Oct 1964 deadline when Capitol secured all of Vee Jay’s rights to the 16 Beatles songs they controlled. They were contracting other factories besides their own to get enough records in production, and this led to lots of mistakes, which apparently are still being discovered today. I recently heard from someone who had a VJ 581 single that had the labeling correct, however the From Me To You side, plays Thank You Girl.

  • martin brady says:

    So what do these “fake” records sound like. If they’re not pressed from masters, what are they pressed from?

    • Happy Nat says:

      Martin, the “fake” records appear to be fine but when you drop the needle on the wax they play the “Leave It To Beaver” theme over and over while spreading an audio virus throughout your turntable circuitry.

      Seriously, some sound okay (not much if any different from real ones). One late 70′s pressed fake I have sounds horrible. The music has no bass and sounds very ‘murky’.

  • Happy Nat says:

    Note: A newer price guide called Introducing The Beatles Record Price Guide by Stanley Panenka published in late 2011 assigns the following near mint values (for very good values, multiply by 40%):
    Version 1 mono ‘ad back’ – $8000
    Version 1 mono ‘blank back’ – $5500
    Version 1 mono ‘column back’ – $2500
    Version 1 mono ‘column back’ (w/45rpm size label) – $2700
    Version 1 mono ‘column back’ (w/VJ brackets logo) – $3000
    Version 1 stereo ‘ad back’ – $30,000
    Version 1 stereo ‘blank back’ – $9000
    Version 1 stereo ‘column back’ – $15,000 (reportedly only 20 exist)
    Version 2 mono – between $600 & $1300 depending on specific pressing
    Version 2 stereo – between $3500 & $4200 depending on specific pressing

    Update: I am updating new values from 2014 in the article so above values are now outdated.

  • Judie Watson says:

    I was wondering where to go to sell an UNOPENED Introducing The Beatles album with the original price tag still attached? It is a Version 1 of the album. I can share photo’s of the album. We just want to sell it. Any questions feel free to contact me at fuzzywhumper62@aol.com email. We haven’t ever bother taking the time to research selling it until now and we happened upon this web page. HELP

  • It's Barry says:

    I’ve read about many of the oddities this record could have except the one on my “introducing the beatles” LP…
    top half inch of the back cover, under a slick, and upside down it reads, “sr1062″ in the left corner, then centered is the word “stereophonic”


    Thanks for your time!!

    • Happy Nat says:

      Barry, most of the stereo albums have a white “STEREOPHONIC” banner across the top of the front cover on the slick (see my pic with the album at the top of this post). For the mono albums the top part of the slick that has that banner is trimmed off before the slick is applied to the jacket. Without the use of the necessary space for the stereophonic banner, the mono covers have more room at the bottom of the front, which is why we can see Paul’s hands on the mono covers but only part of a thumb on the stereo version (see pics above). My point is that the same slicks were used for both the mono and stereo slicks, but the mono’s were simply trimmed. It sounds like yours is a mono that was not trimmed properly and the stereophonic banner has been folded over to the back. Another similar possibility is that you have a stereo copy that is one of those rare “converted” from mono slicks that have a sticker indicating it is stereo on the front instead of the banner. In either case, it must have been intended to be for a mono record but the machine that does the trimming must have burped when it got to yours.

  • jessrena says:

    Hi Happy Nat,
     I picked up this Beatles record at a thrift store, probably for about $4, I am a big Beatles fan. It has the version 1 cover and the version 1 back with songs listed in collumns. THE RECORD ON THE INSIDE has no sleeve, that decrease the value I am sure, and it has the version 2 songs. I did not see any fake indicators. The plastic is still on the jacket but there is wear and tear on the corners where it has been handled. The vinyl itself is ok it has smudgy marks and a few very thin hairlike lines. It has been played, and sounds good, it dosn’t skip. My question is do you think it has any value or should I just hold on to it.
    Also, I have about 250 vynyl records mostly rock, some jazz, some eighties stuff, a few soundtracks ect. and want to sell them.  Please, might you have any suggestions or should I just go down to the local record shop and see what they’ll give me?
    It’s hard to get rid of them for what I feel they’re worth ya know?

    • happynat says:

       @jessrena Hi Jessica. More often I see the version 2′s that have version 1 records and not vice-verse however people have swapped these out over the years. In your case I doubt you would get much money for it at a local store. I would either reach one of the dealers I listed above or hold on to it. 

  • April says:

    I have version one with columns on back no scratches. Anybody know the worth?

  • Nikki Darling says:

    I was going through my Dad’s old record collection and just like Jessica, I have the same thing. Mono version 1 column backed cover with a mono version 2 record. I’ve been researching it all day. I am going to play it and see if there are any oddities with the recording itself. I read somewhere else that if it is a version 1 record with a version 2 label, then it’s very rare.

    My cover is in really great condition though and the record is as well. There are no signs of it being a fake. My record has 63-3402 and URJ etched on side one and 63-3403 and URJ etched on side 2.

  • jim grasso says:

    i have this beatles album which i actually purchased at woolworths when i was in high school, some time between 1975 and 1976 and i think i paid 50 cents for it. much to my surprise, it has the noted to have many of the conterfeit trademarks including the titles on each side of the album hole. i wonder if there is any value to having one of the original counterfeits..!!!!!

  • Rick Duszynski says:

    Happy, I’ve got the #1 stereophonic in unopened shrink wrapped mint condition,it shows all the signs of a fake. My question is;
    Is it worth anything at all for being a mint condition classic fake?
    Thanks, Rick

  • Happy Nat says:

    Rick, it’s worth less than the ability
    to play the music. Maybe a few dollars. Of course, there are often fakes on Ebay being sold for hundreds.

  • rube says:

    i had a fake as i can figure.. from the large distance of trail off.. mine was very large… from last song to end of vinyl… however .. my question is .. who did these fakes and when .. i ask coz i bought mine in the early 70s in a legit record store (music world in yorkdale mall)
    thanx cheers and keep up the great work.

    • Happy Nat says:

      Good question Rube. Vee Jay went bankrupt in 1966 but reformed as Vee Jay International from 1967-1972 and reissued a replica pressing of Introducing The Beatles. These are of questionable legitimacy since Vee Jay lost rights to Beatle product in 1964 and are not considered to be the “real deal.” In 1978 they revived again briefly for the 25th anniversary of the company and made a late 70′s pressing of the LP with terrible sound quality and a very “washed out” looking jacket not showing George’s shadow. These too were seen in record stores usually in a budget rack for about $2. Vee Jay reorganized yet again in 1998 with an office now in Redding Connecticut. In 2000 they began issuing some of their vintage albums on CDs but not Introducing The Beatles. If you see Introducing The Beatles on CD, it is a bootleg.

  • becky says:

    grrrr! i was so worked up until i read the how to spot a fake part!!!!

  • Rick says:

    I’m a 60 year old Canadian musician, and have a lot of Beatles records.
    I just have a few questions.

    Releases like the Canadian only lps, “Beatlemania” and “Twist And Shout” would have been pressed from the original British masters in 1963, and obviously have no ‘production’ from Dave Dexter Jr.

    But, what about later lps like “Hard Day’s Night” and “Help”? Dave Dexter Jr. is credited on latter, but not the former.

    I guess my question is, are the early Canadian releases the same as the UK versions of songs? And when did we (as Canadians), start getting the Dave Dexter Jr. recordings?


  • Ray Valdez says:

    Hello, I have a Version 1 label and plays Version 2 Side 1 with Stereo at 9:clock and and Brackets with Stereo at 3 o’clock that plays Version 2

  • Tabitha says:

    I have Version 1, Stereo, with the track listing on the back, but the logo on the actual record is in brackets. Didn’t see a category for these combinations.

    • Happy Nat says:

      Tabitha, all authentic stereo version ones with the titles on back have the oval logo. Others are without a doubt – fakes. There are only couple authentic stereo version 1 – title backs known to exist. This is the most counterfeited pressing out there.

  • Chuck Rutherford says:

    I have the sterophonic copy but inside sleeve is regular sleeve

  • Paul Besmertnik says:

    Great article. I have a version 2 with no comma, bought from Mays Dept Store on Fulton Street in Brooklyn in very early 1964. It has a little ink stamp that says Mays. Mays was gone by the 70s along with the other stores in this great Brooklyn shopping street

    • Happy Nat says:

      Something to cherish indeed Paul!

    • Craig says:

      You should examine the back cover carefully to see if this is one of the rare pasteover back covers. Vee Jay pasted version 2 back covers over version one to use up their supply of version 1 covers after they lost the rights for Love Me Do and PS I Love You. All the pasteovers are on covers with no comma. Very rare but you have a chance. Good luck!

  • Cody White says:

    Hi! I recently found an original mono copy of this LP at a record store for 28 bucks! I couldn’t believe it, what a find. This copy has the ad back and rainbow label with brackets. I also found an original VJLP 1092 at an antique store for 30 dollars. this copy has the rainbow label and brackets label as well. Just thought you might like to hear about my Beatles finds. Thanx

  • Cody White says:

    Hi Again. I made a mistake in my previous post, my copy of VJLP 1062 has the song title back cover not the ad back like I said before. sorry bout that. thanx

  • Stew Hall says:

    Isn’t it crazy that Capital wouldn’t release their material even though they were owned by EMI?!

  • Nicole says:

    I think I have the version 1 with the titles on the back. It is unused and in original sealed. Where can I sell for maximum price? (translate by google)

    • Nicole says:

      Ohh, it´s a fake… Cover without George Harrison’s shadow-visible to his right of where he stands :-(

      • martin brady says:

        I find it hilarious that the authentic cover pic has the shadow of George. Was that the best Angus McBean could do that day? That shadow looks very amateurish and it’s hard to believe a pro photog would allow that pic to be used. Put more light over there, or direct your light differently. or move George over a bit, or crop the pic differently. Anything to avoid having a cheesy shadowy photo of the band! Yet ironic, cause now that photo is what certifies the album as genuine.

  • margo bloomberg says:

    My cousin was a Promo person and had access to alot of albums. In the early 60′s he gave me a “PROMOTIONAL/ not for sale” copy of Introducing the Beatles that he was distributing to radio stations. I was upset that MY version was not like the ones my friends bought. Mine had PS I Love You on the back. I KNOW mine is an authentic version. Is it worth something because it has a “promotional not for sale” label on the record? I was once told that there were very few of these promotional copies made (1600?) and no one really knows exactly how many. Does it have value?
    Thanks, margo

  • Happy Nat says:

    Margo…you must have missed this in the article above. Pasting it in for you.

    Believe it or not, there are still more variations than those I have listed. For more information, talk to a reputable dealer such as Gary Hein at Hein’s Rare Collectibles (www.beatles4me.com), or consult the book mentioned above.

    I actually mention three dealers above, so read carefully and good luck.

    • margo bloomberg says:

      @ Martin….YES the inquiry is legit. And have just discovered that I have a few other rare Beatles Albums WITH the inner sleeve in tact. One of which was given to me as a Christmeas present from my cousin and he told me to NOT Play it or only play it a few times. It is a promotional copy of Hear the Beatles tell all… white label with turquoise print on record marked promotional only. My cousin gsve me a regular copy of the record to that has the ad sleeve.

  • Theresa says:

    I believe I have -Version 1 column-back stereo – oval logo in near mint condition. My brother was a big Beatles fan and collected all of their music and kept it in good condition. How would I find out if this is the real deal and how much it is worth?

    • Happy Nat says:

      You’re off to a good start by getting here. The next step is to read the article above.

    • Craig says:

      If your album has an oval logo on the vinyl label and it has the word STEREO on the label then it is most likely a genuine version one stereo column back. Very rare. 99.99% are counterfeit. Counterfeits never have the word stereo on the label and are almost always missing ink in the upper left hand corner of the letter E of the word Honey in “A Taste Of Honey” as listed on the back cover.

      • Happy Nat says:

        Thx Craig for reading the article and letting her know.

      • Theresa says:

        Turns out I was wrong. Not sure how it could be counterfeit since it was purchased way back when it was released but there you have it. The label has the Introducing and the Beatles separated by the whole. I was also wrong about the stereo bit. Thought it referred to what it said on the cover and not on the label. The label says nothing but the cover says stereophonic. Also, same with the oval and the brackets–was looking at the cover and not the label. My mistake. So, the record is worthless. My brother does have the other one put out by capital records (Meet the Beatles) but I haven’t found the white album yet and am surprised he doesn’t have it or at least a version of it. I did see an album with them sitting (or some sitting) and body parts all over on the inside cover–rarities or something but I doubt it is worth anything either. Anyhow, thanks for your help!

  • Liz De Leon says:

    Thank you so much for this piece of history. It’s amazing to hear that so much went into this one album! It’s almost sad, but incredible to know. AND I wouldn’t have known if it were not for a version of the album that I have in my possession. I had a question about the album and took your advice to ask Gary Hein…hoping to get a reply. The information helped me determine if it was fake or not, what version it is, and the possible value. Anyway, thank you so much for your article!

  • Jim Clark says:

    Happy; Thanks for the great site and all this info! I have a mono ad-back version of this album. It passes all the tests as far as I can tell. Another site says that they have never seen a counterfeit copy that had the mechanical stampings in the dead wax. My copy has all of them, being a Monarch pressing. I have collected since the 60′s and know my grades well and figure this would fall about vg+ for both the record and cover. This record has been with me about 30 years now. All of your contacts are either east coast or southern CA. Do you know of any one I could contact in the Pacific North West who could help me authenticate it and help me sell it? Any help, thanks!

  • Noel Evers says:

    Why was a reverse negative used on the “Introducing…The Beatles” Cover? Was Vee Jay that much in a rush to get the album out that it couldn’t get the photo right or were there other reasons ?

  • Tim Garrison says:

    Thank you Happy Net for your informative articles. I really like how much attention to detail you put in your blog. I collect everything from vinyl to US coins and counterfeited products are a big problem. Nothing disappoints a new collector than to pay a lot of money for something he or she thinks is a rare or valuable item only to find out what was bought was a fake. This person never buys anything again and who knows how many people have missed the joy a collecting hobby can bring a person Bootlegs are a big problem that seems to be getting a lot worse with the way prices are surging for vintage vinyl that is worth money. I have all the red vinyl versions that were released in Japan for the Beatles and it is my favorite part of my record collection. Now I am collecting The Beatles UK and US releases and I see more fakes than genuine albums sometimes. I am lucky that I learned the rule while collecting coins when I was 15 years old. If you want to collect something and are serious about spending money on it the best investment you can make is buy a book to help you separate the fakes from the real thing. It is not as exciting as hunting down a rare album or whatever you want to collect but 30.00 spent on a book can save you from losing a lot of money on a fake so it is money well spent. I read your blog faithfully and I just want to say keep up the great work you do and congratulations on your expert advice.

  • Rick says:

    Hi Nat,

    I picked up a “Stereophonic” copy of “Introducing The Beatles”, which is almost certainly a fake….but is it unusual to have the back cover print “Love Me Do” while the record plays “Ask Me Why”; and print “P.S. I Love You”, while the record plays “Please Please Me”. I also found the vinyl to be quite heavy (at least 150 grams) which is strange for a bootleg, isn’t it? All the counterfeit qualities are there though…”The Beatles” written under the spindle, a 2 inch run-ff, a picture of the lp cover with a piece of yellowed tape on the upper right corner, etc. The quality is not bad, though, albiet ‘thin’ sounding.

  • Rick says:

    Oh Nat, I forgot to ask if you would know the value of Indian produced Beatles lps, on The Parlophone label? I’ve got a VG+ mono copy of “Rubber Soul” and a NM- mono copy of “Help”.

    Thanks again,

  • Denis Fournier says:

    I just realised my Beatles Love Songs album has a misprint on it…They put 2 side four labels on the same album when it should have been side one and side four , anyone else have this? The album was given to me and i’m pretty sure it was purchased when it was first released.

  • Craig says:

    Nat, just scored a version 1 stereo column back for 150. Cover has marker name on front top and the rest is clean but tattered. Haven’t received it yet but the disc in the picture looks superb with clean labels. Stereo at 12 o’clock. Anyway thought I’d tell somebody. A rare bird and now one. I’ll probably play it once and store it away. Wish the cover was as good as the disc but still a score!

  • Alex says:

    I was curious about why Vee Jay wouldn’t buy the rights to their other albums, because every of their albums contains the Please Please Me material.
    I always wanted to buy the album Songs, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles mainly because of the attractive things inside the album.

  • Carlo Kaminski says:

    I found a copy of Introducing the Beatles at a flea market here in South Africa, in around 2002. Although I wasn’t aware of counterfeits at the time, I did think that it was too good to be true to find an old Beatles record amongst other LPs, especially knowing that sellers at flea markets are usually in tune with any rare record. Hence, I wasn’t surprised to read about the counterfeit copies. It is, however, nice to know that I have a copy of one of the most counterfeited albums in the world!

  • J.R. says:

    Was able to deduce pretty quickly that mine is not one of the authentic ones – ‘bright yellow tint and the word ‘stereo’ printed in black at the upper left’, plus the lack of George Harrison’s shadow.
    But I’m still curious about the album’s origins. You said above that in the late 60s/early 70s (the period of time I’m certain my album comes from) that Vee-jay reissued the album during that time. Is that the only known illegitimate version of the album from that time period? Do you by any chance know where the yellow-tinted, STEREO in the upper left versions come from?

    • Happy Nat says:

      I know there was another string of replicated copies of this one around 1978 and these had the stereophonic white banner and “Love Me Do”/”P.S. I Love You” in the track listing (version 1). There are tons of fakes so I don’t know when they were all issued. Tracking all those down would be quite an exhausting project – but yet we know they are all fakes anyway so would it be worth it?

      • J.R. says:

        No, I suppose it wouldn’t be worth it. I figured there might be enough interest in the history of the counterfeits themselves for it to be known where various versions came from, but I knew it was just a shot in the dark. Thanks anyway.

  • Lou says:

    I just got a real copy that has oval on side 1 and brackets on side 2. You ever hear of that?

    • Happy Nat says:

      These types of mis-matching (on the real ones) is actually pretty common Lou. While none of my own copies are like this I have heard from a few others that have encountered this and even seen a few of them in the past. It doesn’t have a real bearing on the value.

      • Lou says:

        Thats too bad. I have t seen any like this after searching ebay today. Why wouldnt it affect value though.

        • Happy Nat says:

          Lou, I’m just saying it is not a rare find to see a mis-matched label with these so since it is not that uncommon, it does not increase the value. Talk with one of the dealers I list on this page for further info.

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