Rare Beatles record found in charity shop sells for nearly €5,000

Rare Beatles record found in charity shop sells for nearly €5,000
Rare Beatles record found in charity shop sells for nearly €5,000 Copyright Cancer Research UK
Copyright Cancer Research UK
By David Mouriquand
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A unique find in a London charity shop... But what are the rarest and more expensive Beatles albums out there?


Some Beatles albums have become collector’s items, and you never know where one might pop up. Many of them are sought after promo albums, demo singles, or valuable because of misprints on pressings, like the spelling mistake on the 1965 album ‘Rubber Soul’ - which has the track ‘Norweigian Wood’ instead of ‘Norwegian Wood’.

In a recent case, it’s all down to an original masters first pressing.

Indeed, an “incredibly rare” Beatles vinyl record was found in a London charity shop by manager Jaime-Marie Madden, who works at a Cancer Research UK charity shop in Enfield, north London. Upon finding the record, she initially thought to be worth a few hundred pounds.

“The record was in good condition, with only a few marks, but the sleeve was pretty damaged and worn, with a cut at base, some scuffs, marks, ageing and stains,” said Madden. “There was even a name written on back.”

The rare debut studio album Please Please Me
The rare debut studio album Please Please MeCancer Research UK

Upon further inspection, the vinyl turned out to be a first pressing from the original masters of the Fab Four’s debut studio LP ‘Please Please Me’, released in 1963. The album, which features hits like ‘Love Me Do’, ‘P.S. I Love You’ and the titular song ‘Please Please Me’, features the Parlophone black label with gold text.

This detail is important, as stereo records were produced only in limited quantities in 1963. Most of the 'Please Please Me' albums released in the UK were in mono. And that rare gold and black label bumps up the price significantly.

“Luckily, at Cancer Research UK we’re trained to spot donations that can raise more money for life-saving cancer research, so after taking a few pictures and Googling the record, I knew we had something special,” added Madden.

The find was processed by an online trading team and listed on eBay with a starting price of £1,499.99 (€1,755.31), before it was bought for a winning bid of £4,211.89 (€4,928,33).

Mike Kuklenko, a vinyl record valuation expert at Harper Field Auctioneers And Valuers, stated: "Please Please Me by The Beatles, in this format is an incredibly rare record, and a great spot by Jaime-Marie.”

“We're always grateful to people who donate to the charity, and we always try to make the most of donations,” said Madden. "It's great to see this money go to such an important cause.”

And in case you were wondering whether you may be in possession of a sought-after Beatles records, here are three of their most valuable LPs:

'Yesterday and Today' 1966 "Butcher" Cover

Yesterday and Today 1966
Yesterday and Today 1966EMI

This American studio album released in 1966 is best known for its controversial cover art, which earned it the moniker of “The Butcher Album.” Depicting the Fab Four in white coats, surrounded by slabs of meat and plastic baby doll parts, it was referred to by George Harrison as “the definitive Beatles collectible.” The cover may seem tame by today’s standards, but its satirical chops - reportedly a comment on the Vietnam war - led the chairman of EMI records Sir Joseph Lockwood to recall the album, fearing it would damage sales and tarnish their reputation. Having been pulled from shelves, it’s a collectors item that saw one sealed stereo copy of this infamous album sell for $125,000 (€115,280) in 2016.

'That'll Be the Day'/'In Spite of All the Danger' 1958 Record

"That'll Be the Day"/"In SpitE of All the Danger" 1958
"That'll Be the Day"/"In SpitE of All the Danger" 1958Apple Records

Before there was The Beatles, there was the Quarrymen, consisting of John, Paul and George without drummer Ringo Starr. Recorded in 1958, this was the band's first commercially created record. Experts estimate the original copy is worth about $170,000 (approx. €157,000).

'The White Album' First Pressing

The White Album First Pressing
The White Album First PressingeBay

The Beatles' 1968 self-titled album, known as 'The White Album', tops the list. The four band members were each given one of the first four pressings of the album, each unit with its own serial number on the front, and Ringo Starr's copy (No. 0000001) sold for a record-breaking $790,000 (€729,000) in 2015. This is the highest price ever paid for an album that has been commercially released. So, the next time you’re scouting for records, keep an eye out for serial numbers...

Additional sources • Cancer Research UK

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