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Reference Library: Beatles Picture Sleeves

From: (EgwEimi)
Subject: US picture sleeves, article, repost?
Date: 15 May 1995 16:18:59 -0400

THE COLORFUL (and sometimes black and white)
in chronological order

The Parlophone Company in England very rarely used picture sleeves to promote the single (45) releases of their artists. In fact, there were only two original British picture sleeves for Parlophone/Apple releases: "Penny Lane" and "Let It Be." Polydor releases contributed a couple more. But in the States, there were numerous picture sleeves (PS) and title sleeves issued with Beatles records in the sixties. For completeness' sake, this article will trace all PS releases on Beatles singles up to the present. EP releases are not considered.

Fakes exist of almost every original PS. Any copies with blurred writing (especially the small writing in the Capitol logo) or photographs should be considered fakes. Other notes are found below.

All values given are for NM condition copies. Lesser conditions rapidly reduce the values.

Capitol 5112     I Want to Hold Your Hand/I Saw Her Standing There
     The record company was sent mono mixes of the fifth Beatles single.
Instead of "This Boy," Capitol chose to release "I Saw Her Standing There"
as the b-side of the single.  Copies pressed on the east coast (Scranton
factory) differ from those made in LA.  The eastern PS is cropped so that
it displays all of George's head.  The western PS is cropped so that part
of George's head is chopped off.  This (slightly larger) photo became a
standard for Capitol; it was used several times.
     This PS is in black and white.  It is common to find worn out copies
doctored by unscrupulous dealers with black magic marker so that they
appear to be in better condition.  One way to check for this is to look
inside the sleeve to see if any magic marker bleeds through the sleeve.
     NOTE:  The sleeve was reissued in 1984.  The 1984 sleeve does not
feature a cigarette in Paul's hand; the original does.  There are other
                                                         value:  $35-$40

Capitol 5112 I Want to Hold Your Hand/I Saw Her Standing There Special promotional picture sleeve issued only by WMCA radio. WMCA's deejays were known as the "good guys." Several promotions (unrelated to the Beatles) were made by the group of disc jockeys. This PS, to be given out by the radio station with the record, features one side normal, while the other side of the sleeve promotes the station and pictures and names the six deejays. value: $1250+

MGM K-13213 My Bonnie/The Saints Green title sleeve, featuring "The Beatles" in large letters. MGM started their shameless promotion of the Tony Sheridan material with this single and the accompanying album. The PS is reasonably easy to find. value: $50

Swan S-4152 She Loves You/I'll Get You The Swan single was never actually out of print, but the company decided to reissue the record (onto a black label) when Beatlemania reached the US. With the record came this black, white, and red PS. This picture sleeve has been counterfeited. The counter- feit's picture lacks the quality of the original. Also, some counterfeits have perforated edges. Not so with the original. value: $50

Vee Jay 581 Please Please Me/From Me to You Blue and white TITLE SLEEVE for promo record. This is known as "the record that started Beatlemania" sleeve because that line is written across the top of the sleeve. Sleeve advertises the upcoming appearance by the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Extremely rare. value: $1200-1500

Vee Jay 581 Please Please Me/From Me to You This PS, for commercial copies, featured the photo from the front of the Introducing the Beatles album, this time in black and white. The sleeve is an attractive one, with some of the print in color. It has been counterfeited, though, due to its rarity. No original has a "curved cut" at the top of the sleeve. If you have the "Love Me Do" sleeve or the "Christmas sleeve," the cut is the same on this PS as on those more common sleeves. value: $200

Capitol 5150 Can't Buy Me Love/You Can't Do That This was actually the sixth "official" Beatles single. By this time, the Beatles were so popular that over 3,000,000 advance copies had been ordered by dealers. These were sent out as quickly as possible, with standard Capitol sleeves. There was a PS for this single, however, but because of the bulk order, very few copies were issued. The photo is the same as the photo on "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and the sleeve is black and white. This is a very rare sleeve which has been counterfeited rather well. Fakes that I have seen have the number "5150" in thinner print than the original. If you are thinking of buying a CBML sleeve, get a money-back guarantee to its authenticity first. Also, some original sleeves have been "doctored" with magic marker, as mentioned with the "I Want to Hold Your Hand" sleeve. value: $675-700

Capitol Custom RB-2637/2638 The Beatles Talking/You Can't Do That This title sleeve (manila envelope) was issued with the rare promo single. These were issued to promote a record store chain (Wallich's Music City) and radio station KFWB (or KFWBeatles, as they called themselves at the height of Beatlemania). value: $1000

Vee Jay 587 Do You Want to Know a Secret?/Thank You Girl This sleeve features a black background and a drawing of the four Beatles. This drawing also appeared on the poster of Beatles vs. Four Seasons and on the album Songs, Pictures, and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles. value: $40-50

MGM K-13227 Why/Cry For a Shadow Red title sleeve with black print. Very similar to the "My Bonnie" sleeve or the MGM album Beatles With Tony Sheridan and Guests. "The Beatles" appears in large white print. The original sleeve is 7 1/4" wide; one known fake is only 7" wide. This sleeve is somewhat hard to come by, although budget copies (with a drill hole through them) are easier to find. value: $150

Tollie 9008 Love Me Do/PS I Love You Purple sleeve with a drawing of the Beatles. This drawing was also used on some copies of the album Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage. Nice colors. value: $50

Atco 6308 Ain't She Sweet/Nobody's Child Blue, black, and white sleeve features stylized Beatles "mop tops." Sleeve has a smooth texture; some counterfeits are flat. Many originals are found with "drill holes" through them. As always, these affect the value. value: $175-200

IBC BRS-1/2 Beatles & Murray the "K" as it Happened PS to an interview disc by famed "5th Beatle," disc jockey Murray Kaufman. Sleeve features a b/w photo of the group with Murray. If the sleeve has staple holes in it, the NM value given is for a sleeve with no damage around the staple holes. Semi-gloss paper. Straight cut across the top of the sleeve. value: $75

Capitol 5222 Hard Day's Night/I Should Have Known Better Capitol decided to feature one of the film songs as the b-side of the single. This sleeve is reasonably common and features three color shots of members of the group in concert. value: $25-30

Capitol 5234 I'll Cry Instead/I'm Happy Just to Dance With You Two follow-up singles were issued from the soundtrack album by Capitol. This one is red, black, and white, and features the same photo as the PS to "I Want to Hold Your Hand." This sleeve is one of the less common Capitol sleeves. value: $50

Capitol 5235 If I Fell/And I Love Her Sometimes, this single is listed with "And I Love Her" as the a-side. The single is blue, black, and white, and features 1963 photos of the Beatles. value: $50

Capitol 5255 Slow Down/Matchbox Featuring a color photo of the Beatles at a concert appearance, this is a nice sleeve. Capitol was getting as much mileage as they could out of this 1964 material. value: $45-50

Capitol 5327 I Feel Fine/She's a Woman In the UK, this was the single that immediately followed A Hard Day's Night. A nice color photo adorns this sleeve, which is one of the most common of Beatles PS's. value: $25

Vee Jay (no number) Christmas sleeve This sleeve was issued with various singles which did not have PS's. It features the same drawings as the VJ 587 sleeve. Somewhat harder to find. value: $50

Capitol 5371 Eight Days a Week/I Don't Want to Spoil the Party This single preceded the album Beatles VI by a few months. Not the best color photo of the group, but still a very common sleeve. This is the second most common Beatles PS issued while the group was together. value: $15-18

Capitol 5407 Ticket to Ride/Yes It Is Even though this single was hot, the sleeve is fairly uncommon. One known counterfeit depicts no shadowing behind the group. I find it good to mention now that Eastern sleeves of most Capitol singles, including this one, feature the words "Printed In USA" in a line or in a circle. One known counterfeit of this and other sleeves does not feature those words. value: $65-75

Capitol 5476 Help!/I'm Down The PS features a nice color photo of the Beatles in the Bahamas, during the making of the film. In fact, one major reason to buy the US Help! album was to obtain a set of pix from the movie. value: $20-25

Capitol 5498 Yesterday/Act Naturally Not a very attractive shot of the Beatles in suits, but it's still a picture that's not found on any album cover. Note: these songs weren't on any album in the US until nine months later. value: $20-25

Capitol 5555 We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper The single to accompany Rubber Soul featured a PS with a brown strip across the top and a photo from Beatles For Sale. By this time, American fans were probably wondering what the group actually looked like in late 1965! NOTE: this was the first occasion on which Capitol did NOT issue a single from the accompanying album. And Rubber Soul hit #1 easily without any singles. For the first time, Capitol seemed to have full faith in the Beatles ability to sell albums without plugging them with singles. value: $20-25

Capitol 5587 Nowhere Man/What Goes On? These were Rubber Soul tracks in the UK, but in the US they were held over for the still-unreleased Yesterday...and Today album. More old (color) photos. value: $20-25

Capitol 5651 Paperback Writer/Rain Finally some more recent photos, and a fairly attractive sleeve. As always, the standard info about identifying fakes applies (and see "Ticket to Ride"). value: $20-25

Capitol 5715 Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby A tinted photo of the group at what appears to be a press conference adorns this PS, which is mostly red to brown in color. value: $25

Capitol 5810 Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever This sleeve is essentially identical to the UK sleeve. A nice composition and a good sleeve to have. value: $40

Capitol 5964 All You Need Is Love/Baby You're a Rich Man This single followed the success of Sgt. Pepper, which again went to #1 without the benefit of any singles. This PS is the most common Beatles PS that was issued before 1970. The photo is from the Sgt. Pepper album. value: $15

Capitol 2056 Hello Goodbye/I Am the Walrus This is a very attractive color sleeve of the Beatles in their finery. A nice sleeve for any PS collection. value: $35-40

Capitol 2138 Lady Madonna/The Inner Light The sleeve is mostly purple and features the heads of the group members poking, as if from around a corner. As with all the sleeves, continue to beware of counterfeits. One fake I've seen has a darker purple (almost blue- violet) than the original. Some copies were issued with a slick paper insert promoting the Beatles USA fan club. value: $30 value of insert: $15-20

Apple 2276 Hey Jude/Revolution Jeff Levy, author of the Apple-Log, reports that this single was issued with "Beatles on Apple" sleeves that have no "hole" in the center. I do own one of these, and they are indeed very hard to find. Whether or not they were intended to accompany Hey Jude is not known to me. The valuation given is his. value: $700

Apple 2531 Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe For some reason, Capitol/Apple let one single go by without a PS (Get Back), but this sleeve is noteworthy because it is the only one (accompanying a standard issue) that features someone other than the members of the group. Yoko Ono can stake her claim as 5th Beatle based on her appearance on this PS (and her singing on the White Album). Speaking of the White Album, it went by without any singles, although it too hit #1 on the charts. A tribute to Beatles excellence. value: $30-35

Apple 2764 Let It Be/You Know My Name Another single before this, the double a-side "Something"/"Come Together," went by without a PS. This one featured the same sleeve as in the UK, with a layout very similar to that of the coming album. Beware of copies doctored with magic marker. value: $30

Apple 2832 Long and Winding Road/For You Blue Capitol/Apple issued one "posthumous" single in the States, and this was it. The PS has a white border and four pix from the film. A fairly attractive sleeve for what would be the four Beatles' final least until 1995.

Capitol 4274 Got to Get You Into My Life/Helter Skelter Six years went by without any Beatles singles. This sleeve featured a drawing of one of the photos from the Beatles Second Album. This was also the cover to the new compilation album, Rock and Roll Music. This sleeve continued to be available for many years. value: $3

Capitol 4347 Obladi, Oblada/Julia Years later, a single was issued from the "White Album." This sleeve was numbered, like the original album. The sleeve continued to be issued with later pressings, so only lower numbered sleeves (under 1000) have any special value. value: $4

Capitol 4506 Girl/You're Going to Lose That Girl A promo single was issued to promote the sale of Love Songs. This sleeve (which resembles the album cover) was going to be issued with the commercial single. The commer- cial singles never emerged, but the sleeves were sold to dealers by people at Capitol. value: $15-20

Capitol 4612 Sgt. Pepper's/With a Little Help//A Day In the Life In order to make money off of the popular disco movie, Capitol issued this sleeve and a picture disc of the album. The PS is mostly yellow and pictures the album cover. value: $5-7

Capitol B-5100 Movie Medley/Fab Four On Film The cover features the cover to Reel Music, which this single was made and issued to promote. The Medley was made before Capitol obtained stereo mixes of certain songs which are featured on the album. The b-side was pulled just before it was released, due allegedly to royalties considerations involving Walter Shenson. value: $15

Capitol B-5107 Movie Medley/I'm Happy Just to Dance With You This sleeve lists the new b-side and number. It is otherwise the same as the above. It is very common. value: $3 or less

Collectibles 1501, 1502, etc. various titles In 1982 and in 1987, Collectibles Records issued singles of the Hamburg and Sheridan material. Many of these had PS's. value: $2 or less

Capitol B-5189 Love Me Do/PS I Love You This PS was issued in conjunction with the "20th Anniversary" celebration. A nice color photo, but very common. value: $3

Capitol 5112 I Want to Hold Your Hand/I Saw Her Standing There The single was reissued for the 20th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America. The sleeve was also reissued. A touched-up version of the photo (which actually goes back to 1964) was included on the PS. Paul's cigarette is removed from his hand. There is also print at the bottom left of the sleeve. There are other differences between this and the original. The same sleeve accompanies the "30th anniversary" reissue single. value: $3

Capitol B-5439 Leave My Kitten Alone/Obladi, Oblada (alternate) The a-side circulated on radio stations as the first single from the upcoming Sessions album. The album was never released, although bootlegs exist from several countries. The PS, a blue-tone picture of the group in suits, got out to the public in large quantities. The sleeve was once priced much higher, but due to lack of interest, the values have come down greatly. value: $35-50

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