Autograph Magazine Launches Signed Beatles Album Census

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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]
2 “Help”
1 “Beatles 65”
1 “Beatles VI”
0 “Rubber Soul”

2 “Revolver”
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”
2 “Help”
1 “Rubber Soul”
1 “Revolver”
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

  1. Email large images of your album showing the autographs clearly to Beatles@autographmagazine.com, along with your name, state or province, and country. Put “Beatles Census” and the title of the album in the subject line, along with how many signatures are on it: 2, 3 or 4.
    Example: "Beatles Census Revolver 4"
    for a Revolver signed by all four Beatles
    Please only send two signature albums if they're signed by John and George.
  2. Send each album in a separate email.
  3.  Owners of albums will not be disclosed without their permission.
  4. You may request that your album(s) not be publicly displayed without your permission. 
  5.  When possible, we want to inspect your album without knowing where you got it or who authenticated it, so please don't include receipts or authentication papers at this time.  If there is an authentication sticker on an unsigned side of your album, please don’t send an image of that side at this time. We may request an image later.
  6. Images of albums submitted to the census will be available for viewing on Autograph Magazine Live! unless you request we keep yours private. We will not list your name. You’re welcome to participate in any and all discussions


Two Levels of Signed Beatles Album Census Registrations:

  1. Confirmed: For albums inspected in person by at least one of our accepted experts. This is in addition to online authentication by several of our experts.
  2. Online: For albums authenticated and approved online only by our experts.

 

Submit your images to Autograph Magazine's Signed Beatles Album Census today!

 Beatles@autographmagazine.com

Views: 5253

Tags: Albums, Beatles, Signed, authentic, census, genuine, george, john, paul, ringo

Comment by john reznikoff on January 25, 2011 at 6:59pm
Great job steve! An incredible undertaking.
Comment by A.B. on January 25, 2011 at 11:14pm
This is really cool!!
Comment by Joseph Perino on January 26, 2011 at 7:06am
Fascinating idea!  Really hope participation is high and it works out as expected!
Comment by mark peterson on January 26, 2011 at 8:25pm
Cool idea Steve,I wish I had an lp to contribute!!I hope for a good turnout!
Comment by Stephen Duncan on January 28, 2011 at 8:01am

I will submit my 5 complete signed albums..........(then I woke up) Dang!!

GREAT idea Steve and a huge THANK YOU for all your hard work.

Comment by Jason Cornthwaite on January 30, 2011 at 6:50am

Steve,

 

Is this just for signed albums or signed EP's and singles as well?

 

Jason Cornthwaite

TRACKS LTD

Comment by Bjarne Soderholm on January 30, 2011 at 6:17pm
I know there is some signed albums in Sweden, since they had a signing in Boras 1963. But I don't know how many album that was signed that day and how many that have survived.
Comment by roger epperson on January 31, 2011 at 5:10am
I just found another UK fully signed "Beatles for Sale" LP in Sweden.  The Paul and George are light but John and Ringo are quite nice.  It's signed on the reverse on the image of them playing at the bottom.
Comment by Robert Kelly on January 31, 2011 at 10:07am
Great Blog Steve! Why didn't someone come up with this before!!
Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on January 31, 2011 at 10:52am

Jason,

We feel this census should be for signed albums only, since they're the most popular, rarest and most forged.

 

What do you think of our estimates of known albums to date? Tracks has been out there for years trying to buy them, so no one knows their rarity better than you do.

Steve

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