The labels areNear Mint
The original inners are Ex+
The first record has been extremely well maintained and under a bright light I can only detect a handful of fine hairlines with a more obvious one across the first two tracks on Side One. However, it has no affect on the high quality audio whatsoever. The second vinyl does have a few more hairlines and there is a longer thicker one on each side but again as described in my play grading they have minimal impact on the audio with only the last two tracks on Side Four having interference that is intrusive. Overall both vinyls have been very well looked after for nearly 50 years now so you would expect to find some marking. The first vinyl especially still retains that lovely glossy sheen.
As described in more detail below the G & L gatefold is also visually stunning with absolute minimal handling wear.
For such an iconic album I believe it is only fair to listen to every second of every track so as to give a complete representation of the audio.
Side One begins with only a touch of static so I'm already thinking this is is going to play well and the audio does not disappoint! 'Back in the USSR' plays with great quality and has no interference apart from the slightest of static on the top end. The clarity is stunning and there are no clicks or pops. The intro to 'Dear Prudence' has superb sound with again only the faintest of static that you often find even on new vinyl. The remainder of the track has very clear audio with only a handful of very dull pops about two minutes in although they are not intrusive. 'Glass Onion' plays in sublime fashion with Near Mint quality, the lack of interference is astounding. 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' more than equals it with stunning audio and superb clarity and resonance. This wonderful audio continues though I would say '...Bungalow Bill' has a little distortion on the higher levels although that is probably due to a mono record being played through my stereo system. The classic 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' has fantastic sound with no obvious interference whatsoever, just one pop whilst the music is fading out at the end. 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' ends the side with only a little distortion on the top end again. This side plays incredibly well for a vinyl of 48 years and is without doubt one of the best I have heard. It is worth reiterating that it plays with barely any interference and was a real pleasure to listen to.
Side Two begins with barely any static again and 'Martha My Dear' only has a few soft dust ticks near the beginning. You would be hard pressed to hear a better version than this, the quality is breathtaking for a first press. 'I'm So Tired' plays with equal quality and 'Blackbird' only has a little crackle towards the end and some light dust ticks. It does however remain a high quality listen and the minimal interference is not intrusive at all. 'Piggies' has near perfect audio and 'Rocky Raccoon' and 'Don't Pass Me By' have some light crackle but again is very much in the background. The final three tracks on this side play with nigh on perfect audio, the clarity and depth is absolutely stunning. For such quiet acoustic tracks, 'I Will' and 'Julia' play with stunning quality, easily Near Mint, and rank among the best I have heard on any pressing let alone on a very rare first mono pressing. There is complete silence between all tracks, testament to the sheer quality on this side.
'Birthday' on Side Three again does not disappoint and plays with no interference whatsoever. 'Yer Blues' has only a little distortion and no other issues. 'Mother Nature's Soon' plays with Near Mint sound, astonishing quality for such a quiet track. I only heard a couple of the quietest of dust ticks. 'Everybody's Got Something to Hide...' plays with excellent clarity but does have 4-5 pops near the end. 'Sexy Sadie' plays in superlative fashion and the classic 'Helter Skelter' has no background noise apart from some distortion but again this is probably due to it being played through a stereo system. 'Long, Long, Long' ends the side with real quality. For a song having so many quiet sections it is incredible that there is almost no background noise. There is just a small amount of crackle literally at the end. That's how honest a seller I am, so many sellers would not mention it!
Side Four once again has almost no lead in static. 'Revolution 1' has only a little background crackle here and there but in my opinion is not intrusive as the clarity of the sound is still of great quality. There is one pop towards the end. The quiet intro to 'Honey Pie' plays in stunning style with hardly any static and the remainder of the track more than matches this high end quality. A fabulous listen. 'Savoy Truffle' has a little quiet static in a handful of places but still sounds superb after all these years. 'Cry Baby Cry' does have a little crackle but again is not particularly intrusive. 'Revolution 9' sadly has some pops for the first couple of minutes on each revolution of the vinyl (no pun intended!) but the remainder plays extremely well with no further interference. Perhaps not a favourite track anyway! The final track on this iconic LP, 'Good Night' ends proceedings with very clear audio for the majority but does have some pops at the end of the track which is a shame.
In summary it is so rare to find this iconic LP in such beautiful condition and it is only the final two tracks on S4 that have interference of any consequence. The remaining tracks play with a quality that belies the age of this vinyl and for the majority of the tracks to play with literally no crackle is astounding. Yes there are some marks on S3 and S4 but they have very little affect on the quality of the sound bar the last two tracks as described. You would be hard pressed to find a better mono first pressing and especially one with such a low number.
The G & L laminated top loading gatefold is in superlative condition and is without doubt the best I have seen in a long time and has the low number of 0064136. The edges and wide spine are in superb shape with hardly any shelf wear and only the corners have a minimal amount of rubbing. The top of the spine actually has a small amount of wear and a tiny crease in the corner. The laminate has not lifted anywhere which is incredibly rare to see on this 1968 gatefold. There is just a hint of ringwear on the front and back cover and the gatefold throughout is wonderfully clean with no marking or writing anywhere. The inside is in fantastic shape and the flipbacks are very clean with only a handful of hardly noticeable marks. You won't find many better first press covers than the one on offer here. It is just so clean for its age!
This original black inner sleeves have been very well preserved and have no splits which is a rarity. There is just a little creasing as you would expect and one of them does have a minor amount or wear around the centre hole.
Both labels are in wonderful condition with no marking or writing at all. There is some spindle wear although it has to be said not very much for an album of this age.
Lyric Poster and Photos
The large fold out poster with lyrics on one side is in great condition with only some light creasing and there are no marks or writing to be seen. Again this is one of the best I have seen. The four photos are in stunning condition practically Mint if I'm honest. They have obviously barely been handled.
Play tested on my Technics SL-J110R turntable system
PMC 7067/8 XEX 709-1 / XEX 710-1 / XEX 711-1 / XEX 712-1 // Mother stampers LH 3 / LD 7 / PO 3 / LR 2
Any questions please feel free to ask
Please pay within 4 days of auction end
I SHIP WORLDWIDE BUT WHEN SHIPPING ITEMS TO ITALY, RUSSIA AND SOUTH AMERICA I WILL ONLY SEND THEM "TRACKED/SIGNED FOR" AS TOO MANY ITEMS GO MISSING AND THIS COSTS AN ADDITIONAL £6.00. PLEASE ONLY BID IF YOU AGREE WITH THIS.
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REST OF WORLD
LPs/12" singles :£10.95 then £1.75 per extra
7" singles / CDs : £4.95 then £0.95 per extra
On 25-Nov-16 at 15:05:28 GMT, seller added the following information:
In hindsight I believe the cover should be graded as Ex
Sorry for any confusion