In the world of collecting, the subject of condition by experts and novices alike stirs a great deal of conflict for various reasons. For someone such as myself, who has been purchasing new and used vinyl LP’s and singles since the age of five, I’d like to think that my rather large investment of time, energy and money made me a more discerning collector, and later dealer. I’ve also come to the realization through the years, that despite by knowledge, there really is very little exact science and far more subjectivity in this hobby but there are ways to understand the market place better which I feel can make collecting a more fun and happier experience. So it is with this in mind, I’d like to start by giving an overview of grading and condition and their effects on pricing in the market place as well as some little quirks to the hobby.
I was recently asked by a pal about how to tell the difference between legitimate Beatles releases on Vee Jay Records versus counterfeits. Though this could cover a serious amount of ground, I think just a few main pointers might be useful therefore this is by no means a comprehensive list.
Counterfeit Beatles vinyl records were relatively abundant during the age of vinyl in the 70’s and 80’s with the biggest suspect being the Vee Jay Records “Introducing The Beatles” LP. I recently came upon a new counterfeit, though not 100% dubious.
I was fortunate to be able to attend a very limited seating listening party at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on 9/10/14 to hear samples of the new Beatles Mono Box set hosted by Sound & Music editor Mike Mettler, and featuring the renowned recording engineer Ken Scott, reissue mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz and Analog Planet’s Michael Fremer.
Just when I thought it was safe to move on from collecting fetishistic vinyl, comes The Beatles In Mono LP’s available as individual titles or as a box set complete with special hardcover book.
Though I’m not one for compulsively adding every re-release from The Beatles to my collection, I just don’t have that much money or space in my home, I felt a overwhelming sense to the point of obsession with owning this new mono box. The audio was cut to vinyl at Abbey Road Studios, 100% analog with NO digitalizing whatsoever in the chain from the source master tape to disc. I couldn’t have, in my wildest nerd dreams, thought of a better way to deliver the mono LP mixes to the public.