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Song, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles, Vee-Jay VJLP(S) 1092.

Published February 4th, 2011

Song, Pictures And Stories Of The Fabulous Beatles, Vee-Jay VJLP(S) 1092, July, 1964. This album is nothing more that a fancy repackaging of the second version of Vee-Jay’s Introducing The Beatles. Although the company assigned the release a new number and prepared a different and more elaborate cover, Vee-Jay did not bother to print new labels for the records placed in new jacket. The jacket has a gatefold cover whose front flap is two-thirds of the full jacket’s size. The multicolored front flap features a black background with “BEATLES” in large stylized orange print. The lower half of the flap is dominated by the same Dezo Hoffmann photograph that was used Capitol’s I Want To Hold Your Hand picture sleeve. The phrase “All our best” appears above the photograph in hand-writing and autographs of the Beatles are reproduced below. The exposed portion of the white background inside right flap has the same color drawings of each of the Beatles faces that were used on the jacket for the Souvenir EP and the picture sleve Do You Want To Know A Secret single. In typical teenage magazine cover language, the purchaser is urged to “LOOK INSIDE” for the complete story of each Beatles favotite male and female singer, foods, types of girls, sports, hobby, songs and colors as well as their real names, birthplaces, birthdays, height, education and hair and eye color. Once opened , the inside gatefold lives up to its promise of personal information and is graced with additional color tinted pictures. The back cover leaves no doubt that Vee-Jay was marketing this record for young girls. Below Ringo’s color tinted piture is the phrase “RINGO LOVE” and a blue dash-bordered heart containing the phrase “PICTURE HERE”. Similar pictures, language and hearts appear for the other Beatles. The cover goes so far as to give the following instructions: PASTE YOUR PICTURE WITH YOUR FAVORITE BEATLE AND YOUR FRIENDS WITH THEIR FAVORITE AND FOR YOU FELLOWS TOUGH LUCK!!

On the mono covers the number VJ 1092 appears on the lower right corner of the front flap.

The normal stereo covers have the front jacket slick positioned to reveal the number VJS 1092 and the word “STEREO” in blue at the top of the cover. The stereo cover have same gatefold and back jacket as mono cover.

As was the case with Introducing The Beatles, Vee-Jay had the factories improvise stereo covers when only mono covers were available. Mono cover with a white rectangular sticker containing the word “STEREO” in black.

Mono cover modified by a red rectangular sticker with “STEREO” in black affixed to the lower right corner of front.

The album covers were paired with Version Two Introducing The Beatles records. While one normally finds the colorband brackets logo label or the all black with silver print large VJ logo label with this album, other variations have been found with this jacket, including the colorband oval logo label.

Some album covers for Song, Pictures and Stories were customized for verious Beatles concert locations. These souvenir album have a black banner sticker with white print affixed to the album’s front gatefold proclaiming “SOUVENIR OF THEIR APPEARANCE AT [VENUE, CITY, DATE]”.

The Beatles vs. The For Seasons, Vee-Jay DX(S)-30.

Published February 4th, 2011

The Beatles vs. The For Seasons, Vee-Jay DX(S)-30, August 1964. As Introdusing The Beatles had recently been reissued in a different cover as Song, Pictures And Stories, one might think that Vee-Jay would not be able to create another “new” album from this disc. However, one should never underestimate the label’s ability to create new product from old. The mechanics were simple-place an Version Two Introducing The Beatles (VJLP 1062) disc and Golden Of Hits The Four Seasons (VJLP 1065) disc into a double gatefold cover. Not only would this give Vee-Jay a “new” Beatles album, but would also enable Vee-Jay to unilize its overstock of both Introducing The Beatles and Golden Hits Of The Four Seasons disc.

The resulting album titles The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons was designated DX-30, with the DX prefix highligting the deluxe packaging. There are both mono and stereo versions of the cover. The front cover features a boxing theme billing the two record set as the “international battle of the century” with each group “delivering their greatest vocal punches”. The back cover is a score card, complete with rules of contest, enabling the listener to assign points to twelve rounds of Beatles song pitted against Four Seasons songs. The left inside gatefold liner notes recycle the Beatles liner notes from Songs, Pictures And Stories. The right inside part of the jacket conteins the “4 Seasons Biography”, which informs the reader that three of the the Four Seasons are married with children and that they like jazz, Leonard Bernstein and Montovani. A comparison of the notes on the two groups shows that John had the most in common with the competition as he was married and listed traditional jazz as his favorite type of music.

Mono cover have the front jacket slick positioned to reveal the number DX-30.

Stereo covers have the front jacket slick positioned to reveal the number DXS-30 and the word “STEREO” in red at the top of the cover. The stereo cover have same gatefold and back jacket as mono cover.

Although the album cover promised a free bonus 8″ x 15″ full-color Beatles picture suitable for framing, the actual poster included with the album was even larger, measuring 11 1/2″ x 23″. The poster features the same familiar faces of the Beatles that previously appeared on the picture sleeve to Do You Want To Know A Secret, the cardboard jacket to the Souvenir EP and the cover to Songs, Pictures And Stories.

The Beatles vs. The For Seasons were paired with Version Two Introducing The Beatles records. All mono records had colorband brackets logo label. All stereo discs had colorband brackets logo labels with the double STEREO. All the Beatles discs were manufactured by Monarch Records and Allentown Records Company (ARC). The Monarch discs have the MR logo in the trail of areas.

Mono record:

Stereo record:

The Four Seasons records have same colorband brackets logo labels as the Beatles discs. As Beatles records all the 4 Seasons discs were manufactured by Monarch Records and ARC. Many come with ARC pressings of Golden Hits Of The 4 Seasons, which have most of the characteristics of Beatles ARC discs, including the words “LONG PLAYING” and “MICROGROOVE” on the labels and the initials “ARC” in the trail off areas. These discs also have the MR logo, indicating that they were prepared from metal parts previously used by Monarch. Other ARC-assembled albums ARC discs pressed by Monarch. Apparently Monarch sent some of its excess Four Seasons records to ARC. These Monarch discs have the MR logo in the trail off areas and do not have the words “Longplaying” or “Microgroove” on the labels.

Mono record:

Stereo record:

The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage, Vee-Jay VJLP(S) 1085 (Portrait Cover).

Published February 4th, 2011

The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage, Vee-Jay VJLP(S) 1085, late Summer, 1964. The rarest of the Vee-Jay Beatles albums is the second and very limited pressing of The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage. Jolly What! The Beatles & Frank Ifield album was reissued as “new” Beatles album with new cover and “new” name (without Jolly What!) in late Summer, 1964. The reissue cover features the skriking portrait of the Beatles previously used on the Love Me Do picture sleeve. The portrait was derived from the Dezzo Hoffmann color photograph. The Beatles songs are prominently listed on the cover. There are both mono and stereo versions of this cover, which is known among collectors as the “portrait cover”. Both use the same liner notes slick from the first issue.¬†Mono cover has the number VJ 1085 in bottom right corner. Stereo version has word “STEREO” appears at the top center of the cover and the number VJS 1085 in the upper right corner.

Mono version:

Stereo version:

The album was not assigned a new number and was issued with the same records that appeared with the first version of the album. Althougt it is possible that all variations of discs previously issued with the Jolly What! cover were paired with the new cover, the partrait cover is normally found with records featuring the all black label with the large VJ logo in silver print.

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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