Everybody has their favorite Beatles album and knows every word start to finish. Those dudes from Liverpool really knew what they were doing; They topped the charts, made history and won over the hearts of fans around the globe over the course of a decade. Their music will live on forever. It’s no surprise then that some of the most emotionally and musically valuable songs in history come with a hefty price tag today. Here are 5 unique and pricey pieces of Beatles history.
1.) The Beatles – When the Beatles recorded the eponymous album in 1968, the first copy went to drummer Ringo Starr. Starr and the band loved that album dearly and played it often, until he decided to sell it at an auction in 2015. “We didn’t think, ‘We’ll keep it for 50 years and it will be in pristine condition,’” Starr said. “Whoever gets it, it will have my fingerprints on it.” The album sold for $790,000, and the proceeds from the auction went to The Lotus Foundation, an organization founded by Starr and his wife Barbara Bach.
2.) In Spite Of All The Danger – Before the Beatles were bigger than, well, you know, they were the Quarrymen. John Lennon and a few classmates played gigs at parties, school dances and skiffle contests around Liverpool in 1956. In 1957, the group was introduced to Paul McCartney and invited him to harmonize with Lennon and in 1958, McCartney asked school friend George Harrison to join them on the guitar. Together they recorded a single record containing a cover of Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day” and McCartney’s “In Spite of All the Danger.” Paul McCartney still ones that one, original copy.
3.) Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – There’s no doubt that Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was a hit. It spent 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 in the United States, it took home four Grammy Awards in 1968 and it gave your dad a chance to pass down some incredible music to you. One copy in particular is especially valuable for one reason: It has all four Beatles’ signature. The record, in perfect condition, was sold to an unnamed buyer for $290,500 in 2013.
4.) Love Me Do – Love Me Do is the Beatles’ first single, released in the UK in 1962 and 1964 in the US. The 7” features the title track and “P.S. I Love You” and was recorded three different times with two different drummers. Originally, new member Ringo Starr recorded the drums, but there was too much on the line for the first single, so they brought in Andy White to replace Starr. The group and producers George Martin and Ron Richards couldn’t decide which drummer sounded best with which mix, so they had two different releases. The first, with a red Parlophone label, features Starr on the drums and no tambourine. The second, with a black Parlophone label, bumped Starr to play the tambourine and Andy White bangs the drum. The only one that matters here is the one and only unedited version that features a count-in and is currently valued between $50k-$100k.
5.) Yesterday and Today – By 1966 when the Beatles released Yesterday and Today, they were pretty over it. Even John Lennon claimed the band experienced “boredom and resentment at having to do another photo session and another Beatles thing” according to biographer David Sheff. When the group was invited by photographer Robert Whitaker to take part in a conceptual art piece, they agreed, and really got in to it purely because it was so different. Whitaker had them in butcher’s smocks, surrounded by meat and plastic baby doll body parts. When the shoot played well with the musicians’ sense of dark humor, they submitted it to be their promotional material for Yesterday and Today. Both McCartney and Lennon claimed the cover spoke to their feelings about the Vietnam War and deemed it appropriatete, however it received immediate and harsh critique from the public. Capitol Record produced 750,000 copies with the butcher cover and quickly recalled the album from the plant and ordered all copies be sent back. Some returned copies were destroyed, others had new covers slapped on. One original, or “first state,” vinyl with the butcher cover was sol for $125,000 in 2016. The kicker: it was still sealed in mint condition.