Psychedelic Beatles rarities up for auction

beatles album rare psychedelic gold pressingWhat appear to be the rarest and strangest of all Beatles album pressings are coming to auction next week.

The story begins back in the twilight of the vinyl era. A Capitol Records employee who worked in the label’s Toronto pressing plant killed time by making multicolored vinyl records, colorful psychedelic things. Among them, appropriately, were the psychedelic classics “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Revolver.”

Canadian collectors Akim Boldireff and Aaron Keele bought the vinyl beauties from the ex-record presser, who apparently kept them in a closet. They said the presser had access to the original plates of the Beatles records.

Keele told the Vancouver Sun: “The real thing that makes this fascinating is that they were pressed at the original plants, using original stampers with the catalogue number of the original release as issued and created by Capitol Records.”

The eBay sale might have gone relatively quiety, except for the Guardian newspaper in Britain, which decided to dub them “the rarest Beatles albums ever.”

(This days after bestowing the title on an in-house version of “Sgt. Pepper” that had Capitol execs’ faces replacing the 1960s celebrities’ mugs found on the famed cover.)

Here is the Guardian’s description of the eBay goods:

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on bright baby-blue marble vinyl, the 1967-70 greatest hits compilation on swirled blue-and-white vinyl, and a translucent blue LP with side A of “Revolver” and side B of John Lennon’s “Plastic Ono Band” album. However, the most beautiful item in the collection is the Beatles’ “Love Songs” anthology, made with gold vinyl. This is streaked with an abstract expressionist rainbow, like an explosion at a paint factory.

Opening bids for each of the albums is $1,000, but this being the Beatles, look for soaring values. The fun starts on eBay on Nov. 10.

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