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Jolly What! The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage, Vee-Jay VJLP(S) 1085.

Published February 4th, 2011

Jolly What! The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage, Vee-Jay VJLP(S) 1085, Fabruary, 1964. The cover features a drawing of a mastached English statesman holding a pair of spectacles. The front jacket proudly bills the Beatles and Frank Ifield as England’s greatest recording stars, must be viewed as either a total lie or a gross distortion since all 12 songs on the album are studio recordings, not live version of the songs as the title implies. The back of the Jolly What! album jacket reveals the inclusion of only four Beatles songs: Please Please Me, From Me To You, Ask Me Why and Thank You Girl. These were the song that appeared on VJ 498 and VJ 522, the first two Beatles singles released in the United States. The text on the back cover of the album was apparently written by Muriel Gaynor, a Vee-Jay employee who handled production matters and assisted Jay Lasker. All of the Frank Ifield songs on the album are in true stereo as are Please Please Me and Ask Me Why. As From Me To You and Thank You Girl were not included on the group’s first Parlophone album, Vee-Jay never obtained stereo masters for these songs and they appear in mono.

The album’s mono jacket has the cover slick positioned so that the number VJLP 1085.

For the stereo jacket the word “STEREO” appears at the top center of the cover and the number VJS 1085 in the upper right corner.

As with all Vee-Jay Beatles released, collectors are treated and /or tormented with several mono and stereo record label variations.

1. Mono label variations:

First mono record variation has a black label featuring an oval logo with an outer rim colorband and left justified artist-only credits. Its trail off areas include the following hand etched markings: the matrix number 64-3852 on Side 1 and 64-3853 on Side 2; the job number 6295 on Side 1 and 6295X on Side 2; and the date 1-18-64 and “URJ” on both sides. Both sides also contain the machine stamped MR and Audio Matrix logos. This variation was pressed by Monarch Records in California.

Second mono record variation has a black label featuring a large white brackets logo with an outer rim colorband. There are two variations of this label. With centered artist and songwriter credits and with “Long Playing” and “Microgroove” on the label. The matrix number, the date 1-18-64 and “URJ” are hand etched in the trail off areas, which also contain the Audio Matrix stamp logo. This variation was pressed by ARP in Owosso, Michigan.

And with left justified artist-only credits without “Long Plying” and “Microgroove”on the label. Its trail off areas include the following hand etched markings: the matrix number 64-3852 on Side 1 and 64-3853 on Side 2; the job number 6295 on Side 1 and 6295X on Side 2; and the date 1-18-64 and “URJ” on both sides. Both sides also contain the machine stamped Audio Matrix logo. MR logo is scratched so that it can not be read. This record was pressed from metal parts that were previously used by Monarch Records.

Trird mono record variation has an all black label with silver print and the large VJ logo with left justified artist-only credits. Its trail off areas include the following hand etched markings: the matrix number 64-3852 on Side 1 and 64-3853 on Side 2; the job number 6295 on Side 1 and 6295X on Side 2; and the date 1-18-64 and “URJ” on both sides. Both sides also contain the machine stamped Audio Matrix logo. MR logo is scratched so that it can not be read. This record was pressed from metal parts that were previously used by Monarch Records.

1. Stereo label variations:

First stereo record variation has a black label featuring an oval logo with an outer rim colorband and left justified artist-only credits, the album number VJLPS 1085 and “STEREO” at 3 o’clock. Its trail off areas include the following hand etched markings: the matrix number 64-3852S on SIDE 1 and 64-3853S on SIDE 2; the job number 6298 on SIDE 1 and 6298X on SIDE 2; and the date 1-21-64 on SIDE 1 and 1-26-64 on SIDE 2; and the initials “RA” on both sides. Both sides also contain the machine stamped MR and Audio Matrix logos. This record was pressed by Monarch Records.

Second stereo record variation has a black label featuring a large white brackets logo with an outer rim colorband. There are two variations of this label. With centered artist and songwriter credits and with “Long Playing” and “Microgroove” and with “STEREO” at 12 o’clock on the label. The matrix number and “RA” are hand etched in the trail off areas, which also contain the Audio Matrix stamp logo. This variation was pressed by ARP in Owosso, Michigan.

And with left justified artist-only credits without “Long Plying” and “Microgroove” and with “STEREO” at 3 o’clock. on the label. Its trail off areas include the following hand etched markings: the matrix number 64-3852-S on SIDE 1 and 64-3853-S on SIDE 2; the job number 6298 on SIDE 1 and 6298X on SIDE 2. Both sides have a faint hand etched “RA” and the machine stamped MR logo. MR logo is scratched so that it can not be read. This record was pressed by Monarch Records.

Trird stereo record variation has an all black label with silver print and the large VJ logo with left justified artist-only credits and “STEREO” centered above the album number at 9 o’clock. Its trail off areas include the following hand etched markings: the matrix number 64-3852-S on and 64-3853S SIDE 1 and 64-3853-S on SIDE 2; the job number 6298 on SIDE 1 and 6298X on SIDE 2. Both sides have a faint hand etched “RA” and the MR logo is scratched over. This record was pressed by Monarch Records.


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.

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