Online auctions turn up Beatles trunk covers, promo recordings

By Susan Sliwicki

Beatles fans are seeing double in this edition of Market Watch with two different Trunk Cover versions in our countdown. What other records made the cut in our online auction Top 10? And what rare pressing claimed the top spot?

10. $2,900 — The Velvet Underground, “The Velvet Underground And Nico,” LP. Seems like collectors just can’t get enough of albums featuring artwork by Andy Warhol. In this countdown, it’s the Banana cover of Velvet Underground’s iconic album “The Velvet Underground And Nico.” But this copy of V-5008 is more than just a pretty, unpeeled cover. Its vinyl is in EX condition, and a super rare sticker placed over the torso on the back cover is in Near Mint condition, the seller wrote. “This is the best vinyl condition of this promo I have seen in my life,” the seller wrote. Twenty-nine bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

9. $3,000 — The Beatles, “Yesterday and Today,” LP. A faint outline of the original Butcher cover art is visible through the Trunk Cover pasted over the top, according to the seller. Both this Second State cover and its vinyl record have been handled with care and stored in a controlled environment since the seller bought it in 1966. “The cover is in Mint condition; the white area is as white as it can be with almost no yellowing. You will have to find a new sealed one to outdo this,” the seller wrote. “You’re bidding on a rare, truly minty LP of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday and Today’ (Capitol ST 2553).”  

8. $3,186.93 — Dr. Strangely Strange, “Heavy Petting,” LP. We didn’t know anything about this record on the Vertigo label (6360 009) before this auction, and, unfortunately, the seller’s description didn’t shed a lot of light on the artist or music. “Audiowise, the record grades as Mint. Stunning audio. No pops, clicks or background noise. Visually mint,” the seller wrote. “Absolutely amazing audio considering this record has not been cleaned. I would be surprised if there is another copy this good out there.”  The seller also deemed the sleeve to be in “simply stunning” Mint condition, but later noted that there was slight spine damage. The fold-out sleeve features interesting cutouts and artwork. Forty-three bids were exchanged before the auction ended.

7. $3,634.48 — U2, “Out of Control”/“Stories for Boys” and “Boy/Girl,” 45 RPM promo. Featuring three songs, this record was originally issued in Ireland by CBS Records (CBS 7951). A sticker on the A-side label declares that the band was only signed to CBS for Ireland and that it was available worldwide for recording and publishing. The record and sleeve were both graded in VG+ condition. Twenty-seven bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

6. 3,886.50 — The Beatles, “Yesterday And Today,” LP.  Pardon us if we doubt the No. 9 seller’s insistence that copies of Capitol ST 2553 are incredibly rare, given that this is the second stereo copy of a Second State record to turn up in this week’s countdown. This NM copy, which comes with the original shrink wrap and price sticker, is accompanied by a letter of authentication from Perry Cox. “Current market value if they come up for sale is approximately $10,000 plus,” the seller wrote. “This is still cheap to own what is probably one of the Top 10 copies of the rarest and infamous Stereo Butcher cover.”

5. $4,050.11 — I Santoni, “Noi,”LP. Described as Italian progressive rock/progressive jazz, this copy of LP 00026 was pressed on the Car Juke Box label in 1972. The cover earns a grade of VG++, while the label clocks in at EX and the inner sleeve is VG. “Unfortunately, LP has been factory cut at the middle of right edge, so the record is cut, too. Too bad for such a monster rarity,” the seller wrote. “But it still plays perfect; record is not broken. It is still perfectly flat, so it still plays perfect (except the first track of each side, of course!)” The seller then assigned grades of EX- for the cover and record. Sorry, but we beg to differ. No matter how rare or shiny the vinyl is, if you can’t play two of the nine tracks, it’s not in EX- condition. Eleven bids were exchanged before the auction ended.

4. $4,800 — Hank Mobley, “Hank Mobley,”  LP. We’ve seen Hank Mobley’s eponymous album turn up Market Watch on a regular basis. Seems like collectors just can’t get enough of Blue Note 1568. This first-pressing copy features a Mint Minus play-graded record and VG++ cover. “One small hairline coming potentially from the insert,” the seller wrote. “Overall, amazing copy, very clean and well maintained.” Twenty-five bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

3. $5,488 — The Lively Set, “Soul Diggin’”/“Blues Get Off My Shoulder,” 45.  A play grade of VG/VG+ didn’t discourage the sale of this single. “Killer soul funk obscurity from Texas,” the seller wrote. “Extremely rare with only two copies known to exist.” Two bids were exchanged before the auction ended.

2. $11,750 — The Aristocrats, “Don’t Go”/“Me and Mr. Jones,” 45. Up is another hard-to-find record, this time a Mint Minus copy of Rondo 1126. “This is only the second known copy of this 1974 recording. This one came, some time ago, from a lot of 45s that were discarded by a local Louisville (Ky.) Soul/R&B icon radio station WLOU, which had changed to a gospel format.” There was only one bid for the record.

1. 12,700 — The White Stripes, “Lafayette Blues” b/w “Sugar Never Tasted So Good,” colored vinyl 7-inch single. With his Third Man Records label, Jack White has built a reputation for doing all he can to preserve the legacy of music on vinyl and make record collecting fun, while he’s at it. Before he was quite so famous, White was in The White Stripes, the source of this colored-vinyl record on the Italy label, This is No. 1 of a limited-edition of 15 copies featuring a hand-painted cover by Italy Records owner Dave Buick. Both the cover and vinyl are in Near Mint condition. “Guaranteed original pressing and not a forgery or a fake!” the seller wrote. “Will provide a letter of authenticity signed by Jack White himself on Third Man letterhead upon completion of the auction.” Twenty-three bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

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