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Get the scoop on copies of ‘Meet the Beatles,’ ‘My Bonnie’ and ‘Magical Mystery’

By Bruce Spizer


Question: I have a copy of The Beatles’ 1961 single, signed by George Harrison. Is this worth more with the autograph? Also I have a signed photo of George.
— T. Stephens, via e-mail
Answer: The “My Bonnie” single you own is the second British pressing from late May 1963. The first British pressing from January 1962 has a wider, bolder font.

The second pressing is more common and worth less than the first pressing. George’s autograph, if legitimate, will certainly increase the value of the record. I am not qualified to render an opinion as to whether the signature is genuine.

Question: Hello, a friend of mine wants me to sell his The Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” soundtrack. It has only ever been played 12 times, is in very good condition, and it’s one of the originals [photo at right] “produced by The Beatles made in England.” (Is that uncommon?) 

Magical Mystery Tour cover

It is a 1967 Capitol SMAL-2835 release, and Includes the 24-page full-color picture book, also in good condition. I am wondering where I could find some info about this release that would set a reasonable grounds for going about knowing how much it’d sell for. Also where this could possibly be appraised, or does Goldmine have a guide? Thanks.
— Idle, via e-mail

Magical Mystery Tour back cover

Answer: The Capitol Records “Magical Mystery Tour” LP was issued in early December 1967. All U.S. pressings of the Magical Mystery Tour LP with the 24-page booklet have “ MADE IN ENGLAND BY THE BEATLES” on the title page of the booklet. The album was packaged with the booklet from 1967 through 1978. If it is a true first pressing, the record will have a Capitol rainbow label (meaning the perimeter of the label will have a multi-colored color band).
Goldmine has a price guide: “Goldmine’s Standard Catalog of American Records.”

In addition, there is a hardcover, full-color book titled “Price Guide for the Beatles American Records” (Sixth Edition) by Perry Cox and Frank Daniels.

Question: Hi, thanks for your time to help ID A “Meet the Beatles” label variation. I have three of your books and do not see it like this in any one of them. The local experts are also only guessing. Here is the info ... Trail-off numbers — Side 1: ST-1-2047-A1, Side 2: ST2-2047-A1 . You can see the credits are missing on Side 2, and present on Side 1. I am hoping you can shed some light on the pressing. Thank you.
— Tim Hoger, via e-mail

Meet the Beatles

Answer: The trail-off area number 2047-A1 shows that this record was pressed from the first masters cut for the stereo album “Meet The Beatles!” That is the good news. The Side 2 label is missing the BMI and ASCAP performance rights information and is the first label printed for the “Meet The Beatles!” album. That is also good.

The bad news is that the Side 1 label has the BMI and ASCAP information. It is the second label printed for the LP. So you have a transition pressing with mismatched labels. While this is less common than properly matched labels, this is not a good thing. You have neither a disc with a set of first labels nor a disc with a set of second labels. A collector wanting either the first or second labels will have neither with this record. Although rarer than a first pressing with first labels on both sides, it is most likely worth less than a properly matched set of first labels. Also, the condition of the labels and record jacket does not look good.

Meet The Beatles Side 2 label

You have a very cool record with exceptional memories, but one that is worth considerably less than a properly matched no BMI/no ASCAP stereo “Meet The Beatles!” in Near Mint condition.

— Bruce Spizer is author of numerous books about The Beatles and their music. Visit him at Send your Sound Advice questions to: