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IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
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Grading/ Condition  *  Abbreviations
  
  Identifying:  
 Original record pressings  *  Genuine paper goods  *  Annuals (books) dates 


SALES POLICY * IDENTIFICATIONS * ETC


All descriptions are guaranteed to be as understood by the purchaser.  Assume (my terminology of this word is "it is" and "they are") that unless otherwise stated,  the goods listed are of original issue, and that any reissues or reprints are stated as such!   Re matrix numbers, label and sleeve printings, etc: during the past few years,  what is, and what is not an original "Original",  has become more defined, as further in depth research has been employed by some specialist dealers!  To this end, where I think it is appropriate,   I have noted in  more specific detail  a characteristic/s  that I think  should be annotated,  as I think it is only fair that if someone is paying good money for what is supposed to be "original", then it should be as such!  Stating these points, a lot of time and energy can be saved by all !!
My grading assessment is,  in my opinion,  to be very favourable,  and has proven to be such during the past 20 years of being in the trade.   If there happened to be a problem  with something that the  buyer had purchased from myself,  as long a I am notified on receipt of said item immediately via email or telephone, then I will endeavour to rectify the situation.  If this involves a refund due to an error on my side, then on receipt of return-of-goods as per my instructions, a full refund will be given.

Footnote on this: It has only occurred twice to date, but still not pleasant when someone decides that they would like to return something simply because they changed their mind, only to find the returned item/ s have been downgraded. G.E. + M.C take heed


GUIDELINES TO GRADES USED

M .... MINT = as New (ex-shop stock)
M-.... MINT MINUS as above
NM... NEAR MINT = virtually as New
EX ...EXCELLENT = hardly any defects whatsoever
VG+..VERY GOOD PLUS...not quite EX, but better than "VG" 
VG... VERY GOOD..clean, presentable, no major defects

RECORDS

It is not possible to state that all records are "EX to Mint", because, unless of unplayed stock, this is never the case. Please do not compare my grading assessment like-for-like with other sellers. There are  some reputable dealers out there, but others that I assume employ "Tommy" (WHO?) appraise their own stock. If you are not confident to purchase quantity,  then order just two or three records initially, and make your own judgment from these. 

I do actually play and listen to the records, even ex-shop stock unsold/ unplayed. This is important, as I have found that around 40% of these will have some noise on them, with around 20% having to be disposed of in the bin! So, grades for most vinyl listed is based on visual AND sound quality. I do own a Record Cleaning Machine. Any single, EP, or LP purchased that is priced 15 and up will be professionally cleaned prior to being dispatched. Full information on this can be found on the Record Services ~ Accessories page.

Some of the record listings do include a column stating the playback sound quality. It should be emphasied here that this is a 'reasonable' and honest opinion based on the employment of a comparatively good quality hi-fi (not a midi-system!). I experimented with several record decks, etc, to achieve a sound that I think is near to what one would agree with. As a guide:

NM = as near as perfect as one would expect from a vinyl pressing
EX = no annoying noises, etc
VG+ = possibly some intermittent light surface noise, etc, 
VG = possibly has consistent surface noise, and / or some light clicks in places, but nothing that should be detrimental to one's ear or stylus... will not have the hop, skip and jump syndrome !
      as = as in the description, and not "as is"!

No one is perfect, yet there can be no excuse for a record to be received in a dirty state (obviously not graded), particularly if it was stated as being in at least Excellent condition. By the way, there is no smoking at all in my home, and there are no animals, therefore.. you will not receive a record with tobacco odour, or with hairs clinging to the vinyl!  

nb. There is more information on the Record Grading page.

p.s.
Important information on "still sealed" albums:

It is quite unusual for UK records to be sealed from new. If this is the case, it would have normally been done by a record shop, and not in the factory. There is no knowing what is inside a sealed sleeve, be it a brand new mint unplayed disc, or one that is warped, or in fact a "used" copy. This applies to any record from any country. Therefore, if you are purchasing an LP from this site with this criteria, and with the intention of playing, it is preferred that the seal is opened and the disc is inspected prior to dispatch. This will be done on request, but only after the record has been paid for. If then it is found the record is not mint, the option is available to cancel the sale by the client. If this action is not requested (possibly because it is to be remained sealed?), then there cannot be any redress if, on receipt, the seal is opened and it is found that the record has a "problem"


Abbreviations employed

g/f = gatefold sleeve.
nb. note the terminology 'foldout cover', a term commonly employed by Europeans
does, in most cases, refer to a gatefold sleeve. This, in my opinion is confusing, as a
'foldout' or 'fold-out' sleeve is designed so that it has more than one piece/ side/ section opening out.

nol
= name on label  *  nos = name on sleeve (back)  *  tol = (small) tear on label
  (s) tos = (small) tear on sleeve: on the back *  (s) woc = (small) writing on cover (name or number)
noc = not original centre (affixed middle has been removed) * Tri = original affixed triangular centre
Usually pertaining to sold-off  USA issue LP's:  dr = drilled  *  cl = clipped  *  cc = corner cut 

Also stated for 7" singles, where deemed of interest for completeist:
- 3 = 3 spoke middle  *  - 4 = 4 spoke middle  *  - p = original plastic middle  * - s = solid centre

Records that were distributed to Radio Stations, DJ's, Football Grounds, etc: 
FS = "FACTORY SAMPLE" sticker /or  Sample Sticker = equivalent to a Promotional hand-out
"A" Demo/ Promo = a large "A" on the label   *   + Letter = record company publicity letter included

Therefore, unless o/w stated, labels, picture sleeves, album covers are not torn or defaced.
7" Singles: 
95% that are priced 5 and above are in their original appropriate record company generic 
slip-sleeves.  In most cases, these being in VG+ to EX+ on an EX to NM condition record, while
 expect a "VG" sleeve on a  VG or VG+ disc.  Where there are 2 grades =  Picture Sleeve/ Record..
..if no country code stated following label, then it is a UK issue Picture sleeve.
Please note that no 7" repro sleeves are employed.

 Adjacent to artist name  Exeter2_logo.jpg (39333 bytes) = click on this to view the actual (+ true image) record for sale.

Most LPs have their  original inner sleeves intact - and in good order!  If you require an extra new inner sleeve, this will be provided free on request.  Also, if so wished,  included will be a 800g PVC outer sleeve.  The record (LP or EP)  will be removed from the jacket for safe transit. If you have any other specific requests for dispatch, please state on ordering, so that it can be assessed whether, due to extra weight,  any extra postage costs are involved.

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BOOKS

Unless otherwise stated, there are no obtrusive faults.  Sign of ownership will be noted.

Abbreviations
price clip = printed retail price (usually inside d/w or on fly leaf/ end paper) has been removed.
inscr./ inscription or name = tidy writing on the first page  *  x-word = crossword 
sp split = spine damaged but complete  * bump = corner of board has small dent/ knock
indent 
or imp.= impression line on board surface.

OTHER

Magazines,  Programmes,  Posters are not torn or defaced.  Contents are complete.
 All magazines, etc are in a protective covering.   Toys and Games are complete.

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Useful information for collector's of original UK Records & Memorabilia

Although not groundbreaking to most seasoned English collectors and dealers alike,
the following details are my own observations that can assist the new collector, and 
persons not residing within the UK, to identify genuine first issues. Note that this is
only a general guide. If unsure of item's originality, ask the seller prior to purchase!

RECORDS

LP's

"Flap Sleeve" or Flip-Back;  where I would determine that this is say a Decca & CBS pre 1967 sleeve printing, as opposed to a post 1966 sleeve printing "non-flap"  sleeve - although there is no exact defined date to this criteria .  So, where there is no point to state the obvious e.g. Decca 1968 non-flap sleeve - I  have not!  Decca & CBS are just examples.  The same is applicable to other UK issue albums, the obvious being the
EMI subsidiaries, PARLOPHONE to mention as one.

CBS label: pre 1967 state 33 on the label. Post 1966 state 331/3.
CBS label: dark orange, exception is blue on most Soundtrack albums, green on budget price LP's.
COLUMBIA label:  black with "
COLUMBIA" in blue,  from Spring 1963 to July'ish 1969.
                                              Pre this date; MONO is dark green with gold lettering, and
                                           STEREO having a silver label with black lettering.  
     
                                                                                   Ordering from Japan? re COLUMBIA label
DECCA label: pre late '69; "open DECCA" ~ i.e.. not within a box.

                                (singles pre latter end of 1966 with this criteria).
                 A further study of the 1960's DECCA LP label can be found on the Rolling Stones LP's page.
DECCA/ DERAM label: pre mid '69; matrix number upside down*
PARLOPHONE label: as et out on the BEATLES
as-a-group selling page.
PHILIPS label: type face updated 1965.  Blue label on some of the early 60's Jazz series.
PYE label: red to blue in 1967*
RCA label: pre 1962 have "RCA" within a large silver circle; 1962/ 63 a small silver logo*
           1964 to mid '68 have "RCA" within a small red circle. Mid 1968 onwards is of a mid orange.
WARNER BROTHERS label: 1968 ~ early 1970 plain orange. Mid 1970 ~ mid 1973 is
                                                      plain dark green, then followed by "tree" design*

* = also applicable to singles and EP's .   RCA used the small silver logo on their singles & EP's late 1962-1968.



Pre 1967 Stereo albums are not so common, especially prior to 1964, as these normally carried a heavier retail price tag. At the time, it did not make sense to pay more when only a mono player was to hand!  However, beware of Stereo LP's that have been played with a Mono stylus. This will not be evident until one places a good stylus on the vinyl!  Post 1968 Mono pressings are getting harder to find.

"Rough Label": this refers to the texture of the paper label  - not the condition!  In particular, CBS and Polydor being a prime example, employed up to around the end of 1967.  Definitely post 1968 is a smooth label, which is useful to determine the issue of some of the BYRDS, DYLAN
and BEE GEES records. 

"Yellow Parlophone" (refer to BEATLES DNA)
~ "Unboxed Decca" ~ "Blue Columbia"  ~etc: - these label characteristics, and others,  were all changed at the latter end of 1969, which seems to be part of the "end of the sixties" culture! The biggest loss being the demise of the laminated, flip-back  sleeve!

SINGLES+ EP's

Unlike many European, and all? American 7",  UK singles came complete with their centers (middles):  Decca, EMI and PYE pressings all having these as part of the center moulding, with 3 or 4 spoke centers, with the "solid" design being employed by PYE 1964 on, and EMI 1967 on.  Record labels Liberty, Page One, Philips, Polydor, Track, Vertigo, and other subsidiaries, did press singles without middles, but these did include the 3 point (
not the "Spider" design) plastic middle.. If an original "center" has been removed from a moulded pressing (assume disc has then been played on a Juke Box), and replaced with one of the said plastic middles, this will be evident by the 3 or 4 indentations around the center hole. Beware of replaced centers glued or soldered back into place. In nearly all cases, this would be obvious, as one or both sides of the label design will not line up.  

In the 1950's, EMI did produce some singles that were designed with "removable" centers, for retailers, on special order. I have only seen these on Columbia and HMV, although possibly there are others?  The only important significance of this characteristic pertains to
ELVIS PRESLEY: a few issues of the singles, and the "Love Me Tender" EP ( yet to find a "Good Rockin' Tonight" example!). These still possess the 4 spoke center, but with square ends, as opposed to tapered, slotted into the recess. If the centers are pushed out, the paper label is broken at these 4 points. Hence, unbroken push-outs are scarce, and very collectable!

For a list of UK 7" slip-sleeves available along with sample image, please refer to the Company Sleeves page.

ALL

Publishing dates

Records listed on this web site state the year as published on the record label or sleeve. This may sometimes differ from the actual release date.  Example:  recorded November 1961, but actually issued February 1962, will be noted as 1961. To date (Jan 06), the only exception to this rule for LP's is the Beach Boys 1960's UK listing, as issue date of some totally contradict the 'rule of thumb'. Anyway, this is explained in detail on the appropriate page.

The 7" singles are titled by the song that was issued as the "A" side.  A song that is acknowledged as the "hit" side, but was pressed as the "B" side, is indicated (example: FOUR PENNIES ~ TELL ME GIRL / JULIET).  In particular, 78rpm records listed in price guides may differ than on this site. The lowest of the 2 matrix numbers on a single release is deemed as the 'A' side, as this was the potential 'hit' song or tune that the record company would have assumed.


Beware of dirty tricks

*  "Trimmed" sleeves. This is when the opening edge has been cut , so as to tidy up the overall appearance.  
*  Stickers conveniently placed on a label to cover up a rip, etc. 
*  Likewise, an "original" shop sticker on the sleeve.
*  Any genuine sticker/ s
will not be glued down so tight, that removable
                                      is not possible without causing certain damage.
*  "
FACTORY SAMPLE
" stickers were ONLY employed  by E.M.I. (tapered ends) 
*  "SAMPLE RECORD" = pre 1965 Philips.

= post mid 1969 EMI's new rectangle "FACTORY SAMPLE" stickers being the exception!

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PAPER GOODS
             
It is much easier to identify (most) UK origin items as to being genuine, than products from most other countries. Posters can sometimes be difficult. If in doubt it is wise not to pay more than the cost of a reprint.

Handbills ~ Flyers: due to their size, can be very economical to reproduce.  Beatles are an obvious target. Owning several original general flyers will accustom one to the paper originally employed. I myself can identify 95% of all UK fliers ~ handbills as being genuine or not, but only if the items are in my hands, and not by a scan or photograph. Therefore it is not possible for me to verify one as being genuine over the internet or via email. Note that USA issues are easier to copy, and have been done so in abundance...now what is that quotation that involves a tool to assist the movement of a craft on a channeled waterway?

Also in circulation, SHEET MUSIC , that is not the genuine thing. Artists include THE BEATLES, CLIFF, SMALL FACES, ROLLING STONES, BUDDY HOLLY, BILLY FURY, ELVIS PRESLEY, etc. Desirable "punk" should also be treated with caution. Like anything else, if "demand" is there, so can there be the "supply".

Copies can usually be identified by observing the following:

1: Paper is of the same gauge, but is firmer, having a stronger feel.
2: Paper is slightly, or more, whiter.
3: Ink is more darker, especially the music score within.
4: Covers that have a large colour area can have inconsistency. White streaks within the colour may be apparent.
5: There can be "breaks" in the finer print - typically, at the foot within the inside, where the copyright is stated.
Also can be of:
6: Dark solid print, with "strong" white paper.
                           
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So, if unsure, ask the vendor (not a third party!) prior to purchase. As with anything else, a reputable, established dealer will guarantee the authenticity of goods that they are selling.

Original sheet music and song books for sale, other than listed on this site:
http://www.windmill-records.co.uk (email: windmill.records@virgin.net)
                
               no affiliation

 Addition @ 16th August 2006
Offered by direct sale elsewhere on the Internet by an established company, are some fake Beatles Handbills (Fliers).
These are reprints 'doctored' to give the appearance that they are of original printing, priced well in excess
of 500 each. Whether due to their ignorance or otherwise, it is hoped that this practice does not reflect 
badly against the likes of myself, or fellow trader Paul Wayne.

AUTOGRAPHS 

Any signatures ~ autographs purchased will include a lifetime guarantee. This offer is set out on headed paper, to include an image of the said item. Even though an artiste could have signed over 1.000 times, each set will be like a fingerprint, and therefore unique.

 If, at anytime, it is stated and proven by a recognised bona-fide dealer who is proficient in the field of autographs and / or the material that the signatures are written on, that the item in question is not genuine as had been stated, a full refund will be given, to include postage costs. This will be paid when the goods have been returned by way of instruction.
           
As you can read elsewhere on the web all about the rip-off merchants and fake autographs that are being sold worldwide on a free-for-all basis, I am not going fill up the rest of this page on this subject!

ANNUALS

There can be some confusion as to the "Year", as many do not have a cover* date.  Annuals were printed/ issued during September ~ October, so as to be in the shops in time for purchase as a Christmas present for a deserving boy or girl. 

For example, the first six Doctor Who Annuals were printed with no cover* date stated. Each of these are generally referred to as the year as printed. That is, copyright print of 1965 (the first one), is termed as the 1965 DR WHO ANNUAL. The first Jon Pertwee (the sixth DR WHO ANNUAL), was printed in 1970, is termed as the 1970 DR WHO ANNUAL. The second Jon Pertwee Annual was printed in 1972 (the Daleks exterminated the publishers at the printers in 1971!), and now with a cover date - i.e. 1973. Therefore, it could be argued, and quite correctly so, that 1966 is the first DR WHO ANNUAL, and that the first Jon Pertwee is 1971.. but please do not lose any sleep over this!

To this end, two columns have been included within some of the listings for Annuals, so that identification can be clearly defined.
* Cover date = year stated on the boards and / or spine, and / or on the title page.  Annuals do not get reprinted.

DIMENSIONS

Intriguing, slovenly, or maybe just downright ignorance? On perusing an Internet site of a prolific manufacturer of domestic appliances, I realised that all the dimensions stated were height times width. Call me old fashioned or boring, but it is my belief that is entirely incorrect. Therefore, where any measurements are given as guidance on this site, they are in order of width times height!

Finally...

As a general reminder, NEVER open any file,  or click on anything that has been sent via email, unless:
1) you are expecting something.   
2) you are familiar with the sender.
3) appropriate wording is included (correct manner of communication - virus programmes are very brief).
                 .... There is now a SPAM page with information pertaining to this.

Although I am not a "consultant",  I will endeavor to assist if any person would like to know what criteria identifies an item (manufactured in the UK only) to be of true origin. The only stipulations is that if it is NOT AN ITEM that I am personally selling, there is now a nominal charge for valuations and advice. Monies accumulated from this professional service will be donated to the registered charity, the DEVON AIR AMBULANCE. Unless one is willing to pay then any questions on "valuations" etc will now be disregarded.

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Copyright 1985 ~ 2006 Peter Rice  Destiny One

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