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Beatles albums signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo are among the most valuable and desirable Rock ’n’ Roll collectibles. Only about 125 are known; most being their first album, “Please Please Me.” But how many signed Beatles albums really exist?
Autograph Magazine wants to find out.
Announcing Autograph Magazine’s Signed Beatles Album Census. Our goal is to locate and track every Beatles album signed by the Fab Four, in order to preserve our musical heritage and help protect collectors against forgeries. If you have an album signed by the Beatles, I encourage you to have yours counted. It's free.
And if you have a Beatles album signed by all four band members, you’ve got something quite valuable. Albums in good condition typically range from about $15,000 for the most common one, “Please Please Me,” to well over $100,000 for some of the rarest albums, especially U.S. releases. Most are so rare they're worth in the mid-5 figures or more.
Even albums signed by just three are very rare and can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.There will be a section of the census for these.
And while extremely rare, albums signed by both John Lennon and George Harrison and missing Paul McCartney and/or Ringo Starr have a chance of being completed—so we've decided to have a section of the census for those, too.
Most Beatles Albums Are Extremely Rare or Unknown Signed
You wouldn't know it by the hundreds of albums offered online and in some memorabilia galleries, but band-signed Beatles albums are very hard to come by. Many are currently unknown, or there are only one or two examples. Some are "secretarials," where some or all of the autographs were signed in the Beatles' names by their management, staff...and occasionally one of the Beatles signing for others. But most are outright forgeries offered by sellers that prey on the unwary. They often come with certificates of authenticity from dubious authenticators and forensic document examiners.
Rule of Thumb: Only "Please Please Me" commonly sells for under $30,000 signed, and the occasional "With The Beatles." Any other undamaged band-signed Beatles album priced in that range should be looked at with extreme caution.
How rare are genuine signed Beatles albums? These are Autograph’s estimates of the counts of signed Beatles albums that are accepted as genuine by the legitimate autograph community:
US Release Band-Signed Beatles Albums
7-8 “Meet the Beatles” [As of February 17, 2012]
1 “Beatles 65”
1 “Beatles VI”
0 “Rubber Soul”
0 “Magical Mystery Tour”
0 “Abbey Road”
0 “Yellow Submarine”
1 “White Album”
1 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
0 “Let it Be”
15-16 Known [Editor's Note: 2 since May 2011 not added.]
[Editor's Note: 3 Meet the Beatles since May 2011 added to list.]
UK Release Band-Signed Beatles Albums
Roughly 75 “Please Please Me” (Their first album, signed in three 1963 UK promotional tours)
16-21 “With the Beatles” (The tail end of their easier accessibility) [Editor's Note: 1 since April 2011 added.]
8-10 “Hard Day’s Night”
3 “Beatles for Sale”
1 “Rubber Soul”
5 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
0 “Magical Mystery Tour” (All reissues from the 1980s and up.)
0 “White Album”
0 “Yellow Submarine”
2 “Abbey Road”
0 “Let it Be”
Roughly 113-120 Known (38-45 plus roughly 75 “Please Please Me” albums)
How to Participate in the Census
Two Levels of Signed Beatles Album Census Registrations:
Submit your images to Autograph Magazine's Signed Beatles Album Census today!