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.
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.
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.