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#askNat – concerning valuable copies of “Meet The Beatles!”

Happy Thursday and welcome to another round of #askNat. The reason this little feature is called “#askNat” is because my name is Nat and this is where I take on a Beatles-related question from one of you guys out there who have an interest in The Beatles, have a question that you want an answer too and happen to have stumbled upon this little corner of the Internet. This week, I’m shooting out a response to David Elliott from Chico, California, who has this to say…

Hey Nat…I have been a Beatlemaniac since 1975 or so (since I was 10) and THINK I know just about everything Beatles, but I am puzzled on this:

My wife and I were just watching an episode of this show called Baggage Battles and a couple found a “rare” copy of Meet The Beatles! estimated at a value of $2500!  Now, I have 3 copies of this album, including a 1964 copy in mono that my uncle purchased new in January of that year.  I know this is a VERY common record and the copy shown in that episode was stereo and the inner sleeve was plain white with the label cutout. Any idea why THIS copy would be so rare?

Well David, I did not happen to see the program but I can tell you what pressing of the LP would have a ballpark price right around that amount. Since Capitol Records were in such a rush to release Meet The Beatles!, they did not wait around to receive performance rights information prior to ordering up the initial batch of labels to be used on the records. Consequently, the first labels were printed without BMI or ASCAP designations following each track. This run of labels can be easily identified by looking at the time printed after each song. As an example “(2:11)” appears after the track “This Boy” on the first labels. On all subsequent labels “This Boy is followed by “(ASCAP – 2:11).” All of the album’s tracks on the subsequent labels will have an ASCAP or BMI credit within the parenthesis and preceding the time, but these first labels only had the times within the parenthesis by themselves. Because only a small number of these first-run labels were printed, records without the BMI or ASCAP designations are quite scarce and worth significantly more than the records with labels printed afterwards.

East-Coast side 1 label (no serifs) of mono Meet The Beatles! - first pressing with no ASCAP or BMI designation

East-Coast side 1 label (no serifs) of mono Meet The Beatles! – first pressing with no ASCAP or BMI designation

West-Coast side 1 label (note serifs) of mono Meet The Beatles! - second pressing with ASCAP and BMI designations

West-Coast side 1 label (note serifs) of mono Meet The Beatles! – second pressing with ASCAP and BMI designations

As of this writing the only confirmed Meet The Beatles! pressings with the earlier labels are East-Coast pressings which are identified by the lack of serifs on the “1” indicating side 1 of the record. Jacksonville, IL and West Coast pressings have serifs on the side 1 designator (see photos above).

Since less stereo pressings of Meet The Beatles! were manufactured than mono pressings, the stereo first-run labels version of the record is worth more than it’s mono counterpart. Specifically, it is valued at around $2200 in near mint condition. This album like other sixties copies of Meet The Beatles! came with a blue inner sleeve promoting other Capitol albums (the plain white sleeve David mentions in his question is not original). The labels are black with a circular color band and have no text stating “Subsidiary of Capitol Industries” as later pressings have. The mono version of this record has similar labels, identical inner sleeves and is worth around $1500 in near mint condition.

So if you have it, go take a look at your own copy of Meet The Beatles! and see if you have one of these highly collectible pressings. Thanks David, for a great question about a great album, whichever pressing you have! Have something to add? Comment here.

Meet The Beatles, 1964 stereo pressing

Meet The Beatles, 1964 stereo pressing

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions! Keep #askNat going by sending your questions to me in any of the following ways:

1) There is a designated form that you fill out right on the website where you can give your name, location, email address and submit your question. The form is right here and is the same form used to submit requests for BROWs (Beatles Rarity Of The Weeks), but modfied to do both BROW requests and #askNat questions.

2) If you are a Facebook user, you can submit your question right on TheBeatlesRarity FB wall at www.facebook.com/beatlesrarity. If you think about it, try to remember to flag your question with “#askNat”.

3) Similarly, if you are a Google+ user, you can submit your question on TheBeatlesRarity Google+ page at www.gplus.to/beatlesrarity. Google+ supports hashtag searchability so it will be helpful if you preface your question with “#askNat” here too.

4) For you Twitter users, www.twitter.com/beatlesrarity gets you to the right place. Post your question and be sure to add “#askNat” somewhere in the tweet.

Here are some links to Amazon to read more or purchase some of the music related to this post:

1) The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 2004 remastered 4-CD box set containing mono and stereo versions of The Beatles 1964 Capitol albums: Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65.

2) Any of your favorite Beatles-related music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

44 people think this is FAB!

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  • Tony Maxwell says:

    I have a question similar to David’s, although I don’t have my own ‘potentially valuable’ copy to need any type of estimate on it’s value.

    However, SOME fortunate people were able to obtain the ‘recalled’ Love Me Do 50th Anniversary single, and some comment from a person on this very site was rudely boasting about how HE got his copy of this instant collector’s item, while I was left out in the cold and shunned by my peers.

    I realize it’s difficult to control or moderate everyone’s replies, Nat, but it seems that- hmmm -oh, wait a minute, I KNEW that name sounded familiar; it was YOU, Nat! You were the rudely boasting guy I was writing about, what a coincidence!

    …okay okay, I made it up, Nat was not being rude or boasting, I’m just being petulant and bitter. As John once said, “I’m Just a Jealous Guy.”

    But he also said “It’ll never bring you happiness, son!”

    I’ll get more serious over in the BROW thread

    • Happy Nat says:

      If it’s any consolation Tony, it took me three tries to get one of those. :) I actually hold my 2 50 year old copies more precious, but we’ll see if this one starts appreciating more. It’s amazing what I’ve seen for prices now on Ebay.

  • Tony Maxwell says:

    Hey Nat,

    Hope you appreciated my attempt at humour; I’m really not that upset about missing out, just disappointed at the apparent lack of proper respect and carelessness by a record company that probably owes it’s continued existence to revenue of the very musical act it was most recently exploiting for profit again. When I bought my 12-inch anniversary single thirty years ago I never considered it becoming worth much more than what I paid for it, and always considered any Beatles merchandise produced after they broke up as not being an “authentic” collectible, even though I personally treasure a lot of my post-breakup memorabilia.

    Anyway, I was inspired to go to ‘the vault’ and retrieve my own ‘Meet The Beatles’ albums. I have five copies total, 2 stereo and both in beautiful condition, and one near-mint ‘mono’ record, cover and inner sleeve same condition, the other two in terribly poor condition (in other words, played an awful lot by some real Beatles fans).

    None of them are missing the ASCAP/BMI designations, but they’re nice to have all the same. I’ve been wanting to spend some time checking out the ‘Collectors Corner’ when I retrieved the rest of my LP’s – another project to look forward to!

    • Happy Nat says:

      I received a confirmation earlier today that corrected “Love Me Do” 50th anniversary discs are out by Oct. 22. I ‘spect you’ll be glad to hear that. I plan to get a corrected version too. I hope you find the Collector’s Corner an informative and useful resource. Have a good night!

  • Tony Maxwell says:

    Nat, your news is (soon-to-be-delivered) music to my ears! Thank you for that update, and for your consideration of all the fans who enjoy this site so much.

    Good weekend to everyone!

    • Steve says:

      Hi Nat, love the site!. I have been trying to ascertain whether the Love Me Do withdrawn single I have is a counterfeit (if so, it’s the fastest turnaround for a counterfeiter in history!) – I was instantly suspicious when I looked at the matrix numbers which are all hand etched. All EMI releases thus far have machine stamped matrices – I got the Magical Mystery Tour DVD box set the other day, and this has the replica EP which has machine stamped matrix numbers. What does your copy have? There just seems to be too many copies of this single for sale at the moment on ebay.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Nat, thank you for confirming. I got a copy of the corrected single the other day and that too is hand etched so they are definitely all genuine, so that’s a relief!
      Interestingly, EMI have changed the design of the labels slightly in the new corrected issue – they have silver ink on them (for the lettering) like the original 60s pressings, rather than the grey ink letters on the withdrawn copies. The incorrect number for side B is still wrong though!

    • Steve says:

      by the way, the release date of the revised Love Me Do was actually today (22nd October) but I got my new copy last Friday as I had pre-ordered it a couple of weeks ago.

      • Happy Nat says:

        Thanks Steve. I need to place my orders where you do. You get things nice and fast. I would have thought they’d have fixed the b-side catalog number though. No QC anywhere anymore it seems!

        • Steve says:

          Yes, very strange – I thought the quality of the Magical Mystery Tour replica EP set that comes with the deluxe DVD/ Bluray box is terrible. Looks really cheap. Most of the vinyl I get new these days is slightly warped or has defects. The last Smashing Pumpkins LP reissue release had inner sleeves that don’t fit inside the cover as the card is too thick! There are some real halfwit designers at EMI it seems!
          I just go for random ebay sellers. I was really surprised to get the record before it’s release date – I think that’s technically illegal (on the part of the seller). Not that I’m complaining!! :)

  • Tom Brecht says:

    I have a near mint copy 4th edition east coast version of meet the Beatles album. I have a Capitol sleeve full of their other albums. It is brownish in color and I can assure you that it is original. I bought it at the navy exchange in 1967. Can you tell me more about this album.

  • Frank Cassidy says:

    Hi Nat. I just bought an original vinyl copy of “Meet the Beatles” at Half Price Books for about $7.99. It is in near-mint condition. Also, it is a mono copy, and a second pressing (with BMI and ASCAP labeling in the center of the record). However, it still has a mint blue inner sleeve, I cannot find “subsidiary of Capitol” anywhere on the sleeve. Is there a certain place I shoul check. Also, could you give me a ballpark estimate of what it might be worth. Thanks so much!

  • Sandra Terrebonne says:

    I have a 1964 Capitol Records “Meet the Beatles” that is sealed and has never been opened. How do I tell if I have an East-Coast or West-Coast pressing and what the value might be -thanks!

  • Bob Barker says:

    I have a copy, but the album cover is in poor condition, the outer edges peeled and my mother (who owned it before she gave it to me) has taped the sides so the record doesn’t fall out. Other than that the rest in relatively good condition just with a few small stains. I don’t have the inner sleeve that holds the record. I’m using an extra plastic sleeve that I found. But the record itself plays and sounds amazing. Is it worth anything? If so, how much?

  • Bob Barker says:

    And my copy’s “1” does not have serifs, but is printed with the ASCAP and BMI in the perenthesis.

  • Hector says:

    Nat, I have a copy of Meet The Beatles. My copy does not have serifs on the 1, but it has ASCAP and BMI in the parenthesis. My question is, what pressing does this copy fall under?

    • Matt Steger says:

      If “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is the only song with BMI credits on the lab and the rest are ASCAP, it is a 2nd pressing (likely mid-to-late Jan ’64). The 1st pressings (earlier in Jan ’64) have no ASCAP or BMI credits, as noted in the article. If more than 1 BMI credit exists, then it is a 3rd or later pressing. No serif font on the “1” on the lab, it is an East Coast (Scranton, PA) pressing and look for the small “3” on the rear bottom right corner of the jacket. Of course, it the label has the “subsidiary of Capitol Industries” or has the “Gold Record logo” on the cover’s front, you obviously know this is a much later release.

      I think it would be really helpful to have a listing of the various versions of the Capitol releases (different versions have this and that on the lab or album cover to allow us to figure out exactly what versions we all have).. I know Nat has done this on a lot of his postings, but many of the US Capitol releases aren’t posted here on The Beatles Rarity yet. What I am talking about is like what Nat did on his “The Beatles (white album)” blog post where he lists the various label typos, inserts, etc. I always have a good time learning about the various versions I can look for different ones in my travels.

      Also, BTW, the link to the dealers to learn more about financial values is no longer valid. When I try it I get a dead link:
      “Not Found
      Apologies, but we were unable to find what you were looking for. Perhaps searching will help.”

      Thanks for your work Nat.. lots of great info here!

  • Don Cenkne says:

    I have my original MEET the BEATLES album (owned now for about 50 years) Mine, unfortunately, has the ASCAP text on the label. But it also has the SIDE 1 marking of the 1 without the serif. It’s in incredible condition…it is a STEREO version as well in the blue sleeve. Is this just a common copy or does the SIDE 1 marking indicate an earlier version possibly more valuable?


  • Noel Evers says:

    Nat, I found an estate copy of Meet The Beatles (Capitol Stereo version/ST-2047) that has an original (Independent Dept. Store) in-store stereo baggy wrap/shrink wrap which states “THIS IS A STEREO RECORD TO BE PLAYED ONLY ON STEREO PHONOGRAPHS”. It also has “STEREO” printed from top to bottom in black/red lettering on left side front. Price on wrap is $4.98 layered over an image of the continental U.S. (in black/red) and also has dept. store price tag ($3.89) attached to top left-hand corner above the word “MEET” with one staple. George Martin is NOT on the back. The number “3” is at the right bottom of cover indicating that this would be an east-coast cover. Looking slightly under the wrap, both sides are in damn near mint state! Inside is a Second Label Variation pressing indicated by one “BMI”. Side I : no serif. Inside the wax: ST-1-2047-B2, “IAM” within a small triangle. Side 2 : ST-2-2047-A3. I believe this to be a west coast pressing. The vinyl was in a red sleeve that advertised other albums of the mid 60’s. I don’t think that the sleeve is original. Did they actually sell the west-coast pressing in an east-coast cover? Is the cover valuable in and by itself? Many thanks-Noel

  • Jon Hoyt says:

    Thanks guy, enjoyed your site and your efforts putting it together. Finally getting a chance to go through my album I bought new when the Beatles arrived. Most still play but covers are rough on a few but found some good surprises like a butcher cover that I never knew I had. Glad I found it now as I probably would have under sold it yrs ago. Cheers.

  • Brad says:

    Iam confused I have this album and seem to have a blend of the 1st and 2nd press. There is not a serif on the one on side one but i do have the BMI and ASCAP listed with the time can you help me with this?

    • Matthew Steger says:

      Brad, version 1 covers of “Meet The Beatles” (no George Martin notice on the rear bottom) were used on 1st and 2nd (and some 3rd) pressing releases. So, it is very common to find the same cover for 1st pressings of this LP and even 3rd pressings of this same LP. Looking at the publishing info on the labels (no BMI/ASCAP, 1 BMI, 3 BMI, etc.) is the best way to determine which pressing you have.

  • Brad says:

    and was there a difference in the inner sleeves between the first press and the second

    • Happy Nat says:

      I list some dealers you can check with here.

    • Matthew Steger says:

      When “Meet The Beatles” was first released (Jan 1964), Capitol used a dark blue sleeve that advertised other Capitol LPs and has the ‘CAUTION’ needle info at the bottom. Later pressings released in mid-1964 were generally released with the lighter blue Capitol sleeve that is almost identical to the darker sleeve other than the lighter color (the LP’s listed are the same). The “Beatles Second Album” 1st pressings used the same sleeves as above. Again, by mid-1964, that album’s later pressings switched to the lighter blue sleeve, too. Late 1964 and into early ’65, Capitol moved to a rust (dark orange) sleeve.

  • Paul Johnston says:

    My vinyl itself matches the west coast release, but mine came in an orange sleeve. What does that mean for it?

  • Nic says:

    Hi Nat – Thanks so much for your clear and informative article. It was through your detailed descriptions that I figured out that I have an original pressing of Meet the Beatles (no BMI or ASCAP listed next to the songs). The vinyl is in great shape and the sleeve is in good shape. I emailed one of the dealers you listed on your site, but I wanted to say thank you for providing this info. It’s hard to believe that only ~24 of these are out there (is that still true?).

    • Happy Nat says:

      lol – yes it is Nic – and thanks!

      • Nic says:

        Just heard back from the dealer that the stereo versions are considered rare, but that the mono versions of the first pressings are not really that rare. He mentioned that he has 100+ of the mono first pressing LPs and that anything less than NM goes for ~$100 or less. Well, it’s still exciting to know that I have a first pressing. :)

  • Sandra says:

    Still a little confused – I have the Meet the Beatles album that is still sealed. All of the information to identify if it is rare refers to the inside and the label information. How can you tell from the cover? I really want to keep it sealed. Thanks

  • Lauren says:

    Can you tell me how much my copy of “Meet the Beatles” is worth? I am a caretaker for an elderly gentleman and he would like to know!

  • Steve says:

    I’m a bit befuddled. I have a copy of Meet the Beatles. It is without the serif on the “1,” which would indicate possibly an east coast first printing. Great, but it also has the ascap/bmi markings which would suggest a second print run. It’s a mono recording with the blue Columbia sleeve

    I’m confused here – can you shed any light on this. Just trying to get a grip on what I actually have.

    Thanks ahead of time :)

  • j. vargas says:

    my son found a ,” meet the beatles vinyl with the number,”1 like the first printing and it also has ,:BMI 2:24. the one is a sraight line. is this rare where cn he find a cover for the record.

    • Matthew Steger says:

      j. vargus… how many songs have BMI listed with the running times? If the “1” for side 1 on the label is just a vertical line (no serif) and only “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is the only BMI (the rest of the songs are ASCAP), then you have a 2nd pressing Scranton plant copy. If you have 3 total songs with BMI, then it’s a 3rd pressing. The cover would generally have a small 2 or 3 at the bottom right rear corner next to the RIAA logo. If you have a serif “1” and only 1 BMI, then it’s a 1st pressing West Coast (LA) pressing. This pressing’s cover typically has a 6 at the lower rear of the cover (sometimes at the right corner near the RIAA logo and sometimes on the left). Covers that match the pressing of the record can easily be found on eBay for example. The 1st pressing covers are typically the same for the 1st through 3rd pressing east coast LPs and have “Beatles” on the front in tan. The west coast covers have “Beates” on the front either in olive green or tan.

  • Matthew Steger says:

    Just found myself a MONO 1st pressing of “Meet The Beatles” (no BMI or ASCAP on the labels) still in its shrink and in NM- condition. Awesome record. I also found an authentic stereo version 2 “Introducing..the Beatles” LP in VG+/NM- condition. 2 nice additions to my collection. Wow.. what a week! Thank you to Nat for all of your great posts!

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