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Hear The Beatles Tell All, Vee-Jay PRO 202.

Published February 4th, 2011

Hear The Beatles Tell All, Vee-Jay PRO 202, November, 1964. Jim Steck, a radio newsman with KRLA in Los Angeles, and Dave Hull, a popular disc jockey with the same station, each conducted interviews with the Beatles during their 1964 American tour. After portions of these interviews were aired on KRLA, Vee-Jay approached the pair and reached an agreement to release the interviews on an album.

The front cover of the album promises “LIVE IN PERSON INTERVIEWS RECORDED DURING THEIR LATEST-AMERICAN TOUR” in red across the top of the cover. Directly below this print, the title of the album appears in white block letters on an angled black rectangular banner. Phrases and questions relating to the interviews appear randomly throughout the lower three-fourths of the cover. The back of the album cover is reminiscent of the Ad Back cover on the first issue of Introducing The Beatles in that it features miniature pictures of album covers and singles picture sleeves. But rather that promoting other fine albums of significant interest on Vee-Jay, the cover plug the Beatles four Vee-Jay and Tollie singles and their most recently released albums: Song, Pictures And Stories Of Fabulous Beatles, The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons and The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage (portrait cover). Oddly enough, Introducing The Beatles is not pictured.

Vee-Jay prepared a limited number of promotional copies of the record. These records, which were manufactured by Monarch, have an all white label with blue print. The words “Promotional” and “Not For Sale” appear below a large brackets logo, along with the number PRO 202. In its rush to market the record, Vee-Jay mistakenly reversed the roles of Dave Hull and Jim Steck. The labels on promotional record incorrectly state “Jim Steck Interviews John, Paul, George, Ringo” on one side and “Dave Hull Interviews John Lennon” on the other. Upon realizing the error, Vee-Jay requested that all copies of the records be returned.

When the record was pressed for commercial release, Vee-Jay corrected the names of the interviewrs. The has the large white brackets logo printed on a black label with an outer rim colorband. The more common version of this record has the number VJLP 202 PRO on the label. The trail off area to the Jim Steck/John Lennon side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6608 and job number 7109 and the trail off area to the Dave Hull/Beatles side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6609 and job number 7109X. Both sides have the machine stamped MR logo, indicating that this record was pressed by Monarch.

The later pressing has the same typesetting and trail off area markings except that its release number does not have the “PRO” suffix on its label. In typical Vee-Jay fashion, some discs have the “PRO” suffix only on the Dave Hull side. Other may well exist with the “PRO” side only on the Jim Steck side.

In 1979, a resurrected Vee-Jay International re-issued the record in a stereo cover prepared from the album’s original artwork. Although the cover has the words “STEREO” at the top, the record neither has stereo markings not play stereo. The trail off area to the Jim Steck side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6608-A-D-1 and job number L741 and the trail off area to the Dave Hull side has the hand etched matrix number 64-6609-B-D-1 and job number L741X. The marking “QT-1” appears on both sides.

Vee-Jay International also released the record as a picture disc in 1987. The irregular shaped picture disc recordn was released in a clear plastic cover with yellow and black title sticker. The trail off area to the front side contains the number V.J. PROMO-202-7A and L27924 and to the back side lists V.J. PRO-202-7B and L27924X. Due to size limitations caused by the unconventional shape of the disc, the record contains edited versions of the interviews that appeared on previous releases of the album.

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