By Robin Platts
Beatles acetates and rare northern soul 45s dominate this month’s listing of recent top auction items, with a Queen LP and a vintage rockabilly single thrown in.
10. $3,300: Mr. Soul — “What Happened to Yesterday” b/w “You’re Too Good.” We finish up with another northern soul rarity, this one in very good condition, on the Genuine label. This seller, like so many other sellers these days, has included an audio clip of the record, which is bound to make potential bidders feel more secure, given the large sums changing hands.
9. $3,350 — The Beatles: “17” acetate. Another early Beatles EMI disc acetate, this one featuring a rocker called “17” that was later to achieve fame and fortune as “I Saw Her Standing There.” This one-sided, 10-inch acetate is in very good condition. This version, according to the item’s seller, is noticeably different from the released version, with a vocal flub and lack of clapping.
8. $3,383.33: Dennis Edwards — “Johnnie On The Spot” b/w “I Didn’t Have To.” And then back to northern soul with this month’s eighth rarity, a single by Dennis Edwards of the Temptations, on the International Soulville label. This is a DJ copy in VG++ shape.
7. $4,050: The Beatles — “How Do You Do It” acetate.
Here we have another Beatles acetate, this one from 1962 and featuring the Fabs performing a tune they didn’t write but one that producer George Martin infamously tried to get them to record for their first single. According to the seller, this acetate features the group’s first take of the song, rather than the more common second take that’s on the Anthology and various boots.
6. $4,550 — Ted Wilson: “I Can’t Take No More” b/w “My Aim Is To Please.” More northern soul with a VG++ release on the Sierra label.
5. $4,550 — The Celebrities: “I Choose You Baby” b/w “I Choose You Baby (Instrumental).” Another northern soul rarity, this one a late ‘60s release on the Detroit-based Boss label, in mint condition. (This one has also been comped, with “I Choose You Baby” on the Rare Soul Review CD.)
4. $5,000 — Orangie Ray Hubbard: “Sweet Love” b/w David Lundy: “If I Had a Nickle For Every Time Your Untrue.” Next up, a 1957 rockabilly rarity on the Dixie label in very good condition, pairing tracks by Orangie Ray Hubbard and David Lundy (and featuring some bad spelling on the B-side label). “Sweet Love” has appeared on a number of compilations, including Starday-Dixie Rockabilly, Vol. 1 and Original Historic Rockabilly Classics, Vol. 3, which has helped boost its profile.
3. $5,001.55 — Queen: The Works. A blue vinyl Colombian pressing of this LP by Freddie Mercury and the boys, is in good condition. I was unable to track down any info on why this one is so rare, but that in itself suggests that this version doesn’t rear its head often…
2. $5,477.77 — The Beatles: White Album acetate. Next up is a two-sided 12” EMI disc acetate containing songs from the White Album, dating from September 1968, a couple of months before the finished product was released. This disc, in VG/VG+ condition, includes 11 tracks, eight of them different versions than those included on the album. The acetate’s lineup is: Side One — Don’t Pass Me By (3:58); Blackbird (2:17); Goodnight (3:00); Ob-la-di Ob-la-da (3:07); Rocky Racoon (3:32); and Mother Nature’s Son (2:33); and Side Two — Sexy Sadie (3:31); Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me and My Monkey (2:24); Yer Blues (2:43); Back in the USSR (2:43); Birthday (2:39); and Helter Skelter (3:34).
1. $5,750 — Billy Woods: “That Was the Love That Was” b/w “Let Me Make You Happy.” At the top of the list this month is a very rare northern soul promo single, in VG+/VG++ shape. This 1971 release, on the Buddah subsidiary Sussex Records, hardly ever shows up for sale, so the recent appearance of this copy on eBay naturally sold for a very good price. There’s some debate in the northern soul community about how many copies exist, but there are reportedly about 10 known copies, probably all promos, and their owners tend to hang onto them.