COUNTERFEITS, KNOCKOFFS, AND FANTASIES
"Not surprisingly, most of the world's rare and valuable records, including 'Introducing the Beatles' have been counterfeited - numerous times and in a myriad of variations. It is probably the most counterfeited record in history, and deserving of consideration for a gold or platinum award in the category: Rock Album Most Frequently Faked."
- Perry Cox
A counterfeit is a fake product made to look like the genuine article. A knock-off is a type of fake that looks similar to an original but has subtle differences that set it apart. A fantasy is the fabrication of a record or sleeve that never originally existed. All have one thing in common: they're designed to defraud unsuspecting collectors. Although some hobbyists collect fake Beatles memorabilia, in only a select few cases does it have any real value.

Don't confuse fake with "bootleg." Bootlegs (sometimes simply called "boots" contain recordings not officially released. Material from Vigotone, Swinging Pig, and Yellow Dog (to name just three) are good examples of bootlegs. 

The information in this section should give the inexperienced Beatle record collector a baseline idea of what to watch out for before spending hard-earned cash on a worthless piece of cardboard and vinyl. To be fair, some sellers openly admit a record is a fake. However, others insist their copy is genuine when it's not or misuse the term "boot(leg)". Still others are mysteriously short of offering a detailed description one way or the other. 

Before making a purchase, do some research. The best way to avoid being ripped off is to have a known genuine record for comparison. Since this is not always practical, avoid records with a lack of clarity in photos and disk labels. Try to discern uneven print and an unprofessional appearing record sleeve and disk label. Ask a lot of questions. Get a money back guarantee from a reputable dealer or on-line seller. Many fakes look like what they are - fakes. Others are difficult to spot, especially for the novice collector. 

The following describes some of the U.S. fakes and fantasies only. I have no specific knowledge of U.K. fakes though they undoubtedly exist. 

Note: Any Vee-Jay LP should be closely scrutinized, especially if it has the all black label with brackets logo.


 
LPs
Introducing the Beatles
Vee-Jay LP 1062/SR 1062

click here

The Beatles & Frank Ifield on Stage
Vee-Jay LP 1085/LPS 1085

click here

The Savage Young Beatles
Savage BM-69

click here

Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles
Vee-Jay VJ 1092/VJS 1092

click here

Hear the Beatles Tell All (includes a description of the legitimate 1979 reissue)
Vee-Jay PRO-202

click here

Magical Mystery Tour
Capitol (S)MAL-2835

There is a rare non-gatefold fake of this LP.

Let It Be
Apple AR 34001

Look at the disk trail-off area - if there's no "BELL SOUND" machine stamp, the record is a fake. The white border around the sleeve cover photos is thicker on fakes.


 
EPs
Souvenir of Thier Visit To America
Vee-Jay EP 1-903

click here

Their Biggest Hits
Tollie/Vee-Jay

The hoax: click here


 
Singles
Almost every Capitol sleeve has been counterfeited. In general, look for blurry photos and printing on unusual paper stock. Any Capitol sleeve with a die cut opening (vice straight cut) is more than likely genuine.
Please Please Me
Vee-Jay 498

click here

My Bonnie
Decca 31382 (commercial record)

click here

My Bonnie
Decca 31382 (promotional record)

click here

She Loves You (Swan 4152)
Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand (Swan 4197)

click here

Music City/KFWBeatles
Capitol Custom RB-2673

click here

I Want To Hold Your Hand
Capitol 5112

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Fake sleeves have inferior photo quality.

Please Please Me (commercial release)
Vee-Jay 581

click here

Please Please Me (promotional release)
Vee-Jay 581

click here

Tollie singles and picture sleeves

click here

Can't Buy Me Love
Capitol 5150

click here

Why
MGM K-13227

The counterfeit sleeve is too small for the record.

Sie Liebt Dich
Swan 4182

Originals have the record number and "VIRTUE STUDIO" stamped into the trail-off area. Fakes have only the record number.

Sweet Georgia Brown
Atco 6302

Fakes have inferior vinyl, sound quality, and label print imperfections.

Ain't She Sweet
Atco 6308

click here

Oldies 45 series
OL-149, OL-150, OL-151 and OL-152

click here

Matchbox
Capitol 5255

I Feel Fine
Capitol 5327

Fakes disks and sleeves have inferior photo quality and print.

Eight Days a Week
Capitol 5371

Ticket To Ride
Capitol 5407

Help!
Capitol 5476

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Any sleeve with both a straight (vice die-cut) top and inferior photo quality is fake. Some fakes do not have the shadows found on the the original picture.

Yesterday
Capitol 5498

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Any sleeve with both a straight (vice die-cut) top and inferior photo quality is fake. Fakes sleeves also lack the text "PRINTED IN U.S.A."

We Can Work It Out
Capitol 5555

Nowhere Man
Capitol 5587

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Any sleeve with both a straight (vice die-cut) top and inferior photo quality is fake.

Paperback Writer
Capitol 5651

Yellow Submarine
Capitol 5715

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Any sleeve with both a straight (vice die-cut) top and inferior photo quality is fake. "Printed in U.S.A." is also missing from fake sleeves.

Penny Lane
Capitol 5810

All You Need Is Love
Capitol 5964

Hello Goodbye
Capitol 2056

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Any sleeve with both a straight (vice die-cut) top and inferior photo quality is fake.

Lady Madonna
Capitol 2138

Fake disks have illegible print in the Capitol logo. Any sleeve without the "Printed in U.S.A." text is fake. Fake sleeves have inferior photo quality.


 

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