Do you have a Beatles record worth over £4,000 in your collection?

18 March 2024, 15:01

Good Ol’ Freda trailer – the Beatles secretary Freda Kelly

By Mayer Nissim

A rare Beatles record sells for £4,200 despite having an incredibly shabby sleeve.

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The Beatles aren't just one of the greatest bands of all time, but also the biggest selling.

Every proper Beatles album went to number one (and the Yellow Submarine soundtrack stalled at "only" number three) and they've sold anything from 180 million to 500 million records across all formats, depending on how you're counting.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that surely none of these old records can be worth all that much, given that there are so very many out there.

But for collectors, there are records, and records. There are mis-pressings, rarities, imports, the quickly withdrawn controversial "butcher cover" for the US album Yesterday and Today, and all sorts of variations that can make a single record incredibly valuable.

So while you can buy a brand spanking new 2012 repressing of Please Please Me for less than £40 today, a copy of the album that found its way into a Cancer Research UK charity shop in Enfield, north London was always going to cost a bit more.

The Beatles: George John, Paul and Ringo
The Beatles: George John, Paul and Ringo. Picture: Getty Images

Shop manager Jaime-Marie Madden spotted that it was an original release from 1963, and thought it could be worth a few hundred quid for good causes.

But it turned out that the record was a first pressing from the original masters, making it a lot more valuable than that, even with a name scrawled on the back.

"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," she said.

Please Please Me (Remastered 2009)

"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."

Jaime-Marie put the record up on eBay with a starting price of £1,499.99. It eventually sold for more than double that, fetching a massive £4,211.89.

Harper Field Auctioneers And Valuers vinyl record valuation specialist Mike Kuklenko said: "What an amazing story! Please Please Me by The Beatles, in this format is an incredibly rare record, and a great spot by Jaime-Marie.

Crate digging...
Crate digging... Picture: Alamy

"I’ve seen a few stories like this in my time as a professional vinyl valuer. People have shared their old collections, thinking it will raise a few pounds, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be the one who surprises them that they have a gem or two worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

"In this case, it is fantastic to see all this money going towards lifesaving cancer research. What a find!"

So if you have some old Beatles records from back in the day in your front room or loft, it might be worth having an expert take a close look at them.