Friday, April 22, 2011

Jolly What ! The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage

The second Vee Jay LP to hit the United States and released less than a month after "Introducing The Beatles". "Jolly What!" was released on or about February 26 1964 and the catalogue number for this "cash-in" LP was VJLP 1085 for mono copies and VJLPS 1085 (on certain labels) or VJS 1085 (on covers). The Vee Jay company was never very consistent making these LPs with label and cover variations.

There are versions of the front cover: the first cover released in February 1964 shows a cartoon of a man with a Beatle wig, glasses and Victorian looking mustache/beard in black and red. The mono catalogue number is on the lower right of the front cover but the stereo catalogue number appears on the upper right of the front cover as the slick was moved up or down depending on it's mono or stereo designation. (Fakes usually have the word "STEREO" and the mono catalogue number on the lower right of the front cover). Although the words "On Stage" appear as part of the title for this LP, all tracks are studio recordings. This was probably just a method of trying to sell LPs and misguide teens into thinking this was a live LP which is is not.

The second version of the front cover is the rarest of all Vee Jay LPs. This cover shows the Beatles drawn from a Dezo Hoffmann photograph with George and John having their elbows down and fists holding their chins while Ringo and Paul stand behind them. This is actually a much better and nicer looking cover with the colours mainly blue and the four Beatles songs heard on the LP highlighted below the title. The words: "Jolly What!" are gone and this version is known by collectors as the "portrait cover". There were mono and stereo slicks prepared for this cover version as well with the word "stereo" in blue at the top of the cover when required. This particular second version was a re-issue released probably in September 1964.

The back cover for both versions features black print on a white background. "The Beatles And Frank Ifield" are highlighted and bold and underneath are the short liner notes. There is a great sentence in between the liner notes and the track listing where "compilation" is spelt "copulation". The track listing follows with the side one songs on the left and the side two songs on the right. Of the 12 songs on the LP, only 4 are by the Beatles.

The track listing for side one is: "Please Please Me" (Beatles), "Any Time", Lovesick Blues", "I'm Smiling Now", "Nobody's Darling" (Frank Ifield) and "From Me To You" (Beatles". Side two has "I Remember You" (Frank Ifield), "Ask Me Why", "Thank You Girl" (Beatles), "The Wayward Wind", "Unchained Melody" and "I listen To My Heart" (Frank Ifield). Interestingly, this is the ONLY US LP where "From Me To You" could be found until the 1973 release of Apple's "The Beatles 1962-1966".

The labels for this LP have a variation of the "oval" Vee Jay logo, the "brackets" logo or just the block letters logo. The stereo labels have the stereo wording at the top, at three o'clock or at nine o'clock depending on the logo variation. It should also be noted that the four Beatles songs do not play stereo on stereo copies as Vee Jay never acquired the stereo masters.

My oval logo mono copy came with the white inner sleeve featuring various gospel mini covers on one side and pop mini covers on the other side.

1 comment:

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