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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 [email protected], 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!

 [email protected]

Views: 5729

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

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Admin on January 31, 2011 at 10:54am

Roger,

Great find. That one isn't counted in the current numbers. Please see if the owners will submit it.

Steve

Comment by Kyle M. on January 31, 2011 at 11:15am
Who is the lucky guy/gal that owns the white album?  Whats it worth today?
Comment by James R. Altmann on February 1, 2011 at 9:54pm
I had the good fortune of owning two Parlophone editions of "Please Please Me" and one "With The Beatles" all signed on the reverse, but sold them in the nineties. I must say if I owned them today I would be very weary of letting anyone know that I did still have them. I realize the point is to catalogue and verify, but you're talking about pieces that are worth a LOT of money, and I wouldn't need someone knocking on my door asking if they could take a look at my Beatles signed albums followed by a thump on the back of the head. I also hope this isn't a ploy by dealers to track down items for resale. Commendable idea - but participants beware?
Comment by James R. Altmann on February 1, 2011 at 9:57pm
I couldn't imagine the one known white album signed by all four valued at any less than $100,000 usd
Comment by Jason Cornthwaite on February 2, 2011 at 3:53am

Steve,

 

Apart from Please Please Me which I see a couple of copies a year all other titles have become virtually impossible to find now.

 

Jason

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Admin on February 4, 2011 at 1:32am

James,

I agree on the White Album. If it was in good condition I wouldn't be surprised if it brought $150,000.

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Admin on February 4, 2011 at 1:42am

James,

I agree that some people won't want to have their names mentioned. Owner names can be kept private, and they can have a dealer submit it. We're just starting this, so we have flexibility and are open to suggestions.

The survey is not a ploy by dealers. The purpose is twofold.

First, to find and preserve albums that may be hidden away so they can be preserved--and yes, some of them may be sold to collectors or dealers if they want to sell, but that's not the purpose.

Second, and most important in my book, to identify the genuine ones and educate collectors, so collectors know how to buy safely.

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Admin on February 4, 2011 at 1:45am

Jason,

What do you think of the lists of known albums, above?

Comment by Jason Cornthwaite on February 4, 2011 at 1:51am

Steve,

 

it looks quite accurate on most of them. I have just made a few changes to the UK albums but this is just my opinion.

20-30 “With the Beatles” (The tail end of their easier accessibility)

5 “Beatles for Sale”

2 “Revolver”


 

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Admin on February 4, 2011 at 2:03am

Jason,

Thanks. I take it you have confidence that there are two "Revolvers" and not just one.

Roger just found a so-so "Beatles for Sale". With what you know that's enough to increase the estimate to 5 now.

If you can count at least 20 "With the Beatles" we'll move up the estimate.

I hope you'll be able to help us get images of albums you've sold for the census. The customer can remain anonymous.

Thanks,

Steve

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