Project Description

The Many Faces of Beatles Monthly No 1

The star of the show for most collectors, the first issue and for certain one of the scarcest. Around 80,000 (some sources say 40,000) of these were printed back in August 1963 and by early 1964 they were out of stock, with no plans to reprint. As a consequence, it is the most desirable issue and copies are quickly snapped up when they appear for sale.

However, since 1976 it has been reprinted a few times and reprints are more plentiful than originals. I don’t use the word “fake” as these are all official prints with no intention to deceive; just to be faithful representations of the original. The basic content remains unchanged. So how will you tell if you’re investing in a 1963 original or a later copy? Here I’ll give you the clues you need to avoid an expensive mistake.

ORIGINAL: FRONT COVER

1963 Original

This first image (left) is of an original August 1963 print.

Front covers of originals generally show just minor variations in positioning of the black print. On some prints “MONTHLY” might be printed closer to or further from the “B” of Beatles.

On the back cover, two variations may be found, with a slight difference in the relative position of “No 1” and the date.

ORIGINAL: BACK COVER, TWO VARIATIONS

Reprint #1 (1976)

The Beatles Monthly series was first reprinted in 1976, when Beat Publications commenced publication of the Beatles Book Appreciation Society Magazine, which included a “collectors copy” of each of the 77 books. The image (left) is the first of these reprints. The first thing to note is the shading in the photo background which has a grey tone. Compare this with the original (above), where the background is very pale, almost the same shade as the “Beatles” lettering on the page header.

With the darker shade on the photo, a white line is often visible between the photo and the purple header, another easy sign that it is a reprint.

The third clue is the black lettering – “AUGUST” should be quite separate from the white “S” of Beatles, here they are almost touching. It is very rare that this would be seen on a 1960s print (but not impossible, see separate page VARIATIONSERRORS AND MISPRINTS).

Reprint #2 (1977)

The image (left) is of the second reprint which appeared a year or so after the first, following a change of printers and some changes to the content of the Appreciation mag. The background of the photo now better matches the original although the photo lacks tone, and there are changes to the black print on the header. The word “MONTHLY” is in a taller typeface and it touches the “B” of Beatles. A second sign that marks this as a reprint is inside, above the editorial on page 3. There should be a line across the page below “World Copyright Reserved”. If this line is missing, the book is a reprint.

Reprint #3 (1983)

In the early 1980s, the “Cine Club” of Japan reprinted many issues of the Beatles Monthly. These were not for distribution outside Japan, but they do show up from time to time.
If you look at the purple footer on the front cover (left), there is no white dot in the centre, always present on U.K. originals.

Secondly, look how much of Paul’s cuff is cropped on the Japanese book.
Thirdly, the typeface of “1963” is wrong; compare it with a U.K. book and note how the tails of the 9 and 6 curl round on the Japanese book (right).

Reprint #4 (1984)

In 1984, all 77 issues of the Beatles Monthly were reprinted in a commemorative box set in Japan (see more information in the Overseas section of this site).

This print is unlikely to appear separated from the set, however there are a couple of differences to note. Firstly, pictured left, the photo is cropped at the bottom, where there is less of Paul’s cuff in the photo. Secondly (right photo), the printing of “BOOK” on the back is in a bolder typeface than the original 1963 issue.

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