According to Goldmine, John Tefteller, owner of John Tefteller’s World’s Rarest Records, has found an extremely rare Beatles LP, featuring an alternative cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Hearts Club Band.” The cover, rather than featuring the Fab Four on the front as it is commonly seen, instead features black and white photos of Capital Record employees of the time replacing not just the Beatles, but a few choice members of the famous ‘audience’ photo.
Tefteller found the rare LP after the widow of a deceased Capital Records exec invited him to take a look at her husband’s record collection. Initially dismissive of the find, he believed it just to be the standard LP, but with the exec’s faces taped on, until he realized that this particular copy was still factory-sealed and unopened, with very little evidence of the replacement photos being seperable from the LP cover.
Noted Beatles collector Stan “The Beatleman” Panenka confirmed the find as an extreme rarity, and estimates that fewer than a 100 were pressed. This would be due to the seldom news that such a version of the LP has been found — less than five in the past 30 years. Likewise, the cost of producing a special print would be far too great to produce a select few: “In knowing what I know about how records are manufactured and the process that it takes to do that, it doesn’t make any sense for a record company, even one as large as Capitol, to go through all the trouble of making up a special cover, printing those covers and then factory sealing them and all that unless you’re going to do a minimum of a hundred.” He continues to say that in all likelihood, each person featured on the special album cover may have one to possibly three of these special covers each.
As for what’s to be done with the record, Tefteller is currently bargaining with Penenka in order to give it to him. Penenka is the proprietor of UltimateBeatlesCollection.com, and is believed to have the best collection of American Beatles releases.
In other Beatles news, “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game has outperformed the Guitar Hero series’ latest offering in September sales. The video game was the third best-selling game overall for the month of September, behind “Halo 3” and “Madden ’10,” and analysts speculate that sales will increase by year’s end, with the release of entire albums to play for download — “Abbey Road” this month, followed by “Sgt. Pepper” next month, and “Rubber Soul” in December.
For the rest of us, there’s still picking up your guitar and playing along to “Helter Skelter.”