The fascinating story of the Beatles in America on Vee-Jay Records before they were picked up by Capitol Records. In the limited time that Vee-Jay retained its rights to sixteen Beatles songs, they managed to repackage them into ten 45s, one EP, three variations of the first Beatles album, two variations of a compilation album, and one elaborate double album combining the Beatles and the Four Seasons.
242 pages. 9″ x 12″. full color-throughout
“A stunning and masterful work” Beatlefan
“A visual feast” Record Collector
PRINT EDITION SOLD OUT – Click here to Order the Digital Edition
Get this book! That’s my review. Get this book!
Mr. Spizer, who is a contributor to Beatlefan and Beatlology magazines, has rewritten the standards for reference books! Detailed facts are presented with clarity in a logical, impressive, oversized volume. It is impressive because Mr. Spizer has documents and over 600 colour illustrations to back his facts. His book is impressive because of his thorough presentation. In a recent correspondence to Mr. Spizer, a Louisiana lawyer, I commented that because of his ability to dig and retrieve the truth, I hoped that I would always be on his side of the courtroom.
The book chronicles the Vee-Jay Records story, as it pertains to The Beatles, including advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. Mr. Spizer has compiled a complete description of how Vee-Jay lost the Beatles to Capitol Records and their fruitless legal attempts to retain their 16-song Beatles rights.
Copies of original Vee-Jay documents and correspondence validate when, where, and how many Beatles records were pressed and sold. Details are presented, backed by illustrations, to show the differences of the many varieties of Vee-Jay albums, singles, and labels. Clear, instructional facts are given to distinguish a counterfeit Vee-Jay record from a Beatles’ original. (There are many different fakes.)
I have only one small criticism. Vee-Jay once used an innovative ad-campaign to promote their Records of Significance. Mr. Spizer chose to use the Significance theme in all of his chapter headings. I found this unnecessary.
The book costs $50 U.S., but it is absolutely worth every nickel.
The World Beatles Forum, Vol. 3, No. 6, May/June 1999
NAMED “BEATLES BOOK OF THE YEAR” BY GOLDMINE MAGAZINE
“The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay is a landmark book that will easily rate as a “must have” addition to the library of any serious Beatles collector or music historian. Even casual fans of the group will no doubt find this book to be extremely entertaining, enjoyable and enlightening.” (Goldmine, Issue 479, Dec. 4, 1998)
“This photo-rich, exhaustively researched book offers the reader a comprehensive look at the Beatles’ first releases in the U.S. It’s a must-have for any serious Beatles fan or collector.” (Billboard, May 16, 1998)
“Bruce Spizer has pulled off a major coup. A visual feast with every label variation, sleeve design, advert, document and mailer presented in full, glorious colour, and in an easily accessible form. No Beatles collector can afford to be without this masterpiece of a book.” (Record Collector)
“Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay is a stunning and masterful work–one of the most useful and informative books about The Beatles ever published. Lavishly appointed and extremely detailed, the book is an enormously satisfying volume of tremendous historical importance documenting this extremely complicated and often misunderstood chapter in the history of The Beatles in America. This is one book that is certainly of significant interest to every Beatlefan concerned–a souvenir of their appearances on Vee-Jay that is well worth the price of admission.” (Beatlefan, Issue #112, May-June 1998)
BEATLES BOOK OF THE YEAR?
Wow. Bruce Spizer, a lawyer and CPA from New Orleans, has come up with an early candidate for Beatles book of the year. This meticulously researched and beautifully presented tome finally presents the truth behind one of the murkiest and least understood chapters in The Beatles’ story: their association with the small U.S. record label Vee-Jay. Filled to the brim with reproductions of record sleeves, record labels, Vee-Jay corporate documents, telegrams, advertisements, and legal documents (and more!), Spizer somehow finds space in this book to present a well-written (and oftimes humorous) text that chronicles the Vee-Jay story in amazing detail.
Moreover, Spizer has gone out and done what so few seem to do these days: primary research. The sheer amount of new information contained here would be well-worth the price if that were all “The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay” had to offer. It isn’t. From the color photo reproductions to the fantastic layout from the choice of paper stock to the beautifully designed end papers, this is without a doubt the best presented Beatles book ever produced–and it’s a private publication!
And within, revelations abound! From the first ever accurate information regarding release dates of “Introducing The Beatles” to the complete story of the courtroom proceedings that eventually prevented Vee-Jay from issuing further Beatles product. Minutiae regarding Vee-Jay’s pressings, their ad campaigns, marketing strategies. This is an absolute must for the serious Beatles scholar and a hell of a wanna-have even for the more casual collector.
Spizer is now considering a sequel: a similar tome on The Beatles on Capitol Records. One can only hope he takes up the challenge! In the meantime, I can merely bestow the highest possible compliments and accolades to him on this terrific piece of work. It’s so damned good, I wish I had written it.
The 910 Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 6, May/June 1998
Here we have an entire book devoted to Beatles records released on the Vee-Jay label and its Tollie subsidiary. Sound like a short book? Wrong. Sound uninteresting? You obviously haven’t seen this book. Author Bruce Spizer has taken a footnote in the Beatles story and spun it into a gorgeous 242-page hardcover volume. In his diligent pursuit of every detail about this subject, Spizer has assembled everything from record sleeves to royalty statements, making this one of the best-looking Beatles tomes ever published. The glossy pages are packed with illustrations, which not only evoke Beatlemania, but also reveal a lot about the way records were made and sold in the early ’60s. There are fascinating insights into how the Beatles were signed to Capitol, how Vee-Jay tried to cash in on Beatlemania and how Capitol tried to stop them. Spizer is a lawyer and gives special insight into the legal battles between the two labels. In fact he has researched this book as though he were preparing for a court case, leaving no stone unturned in his efforts to tell the story of the Beatles on Vee-Jay. This is–to use the lingo favored by Vee-Jay’s press department–a fine book of significant interest.
Discoveries, September 1998
Songs, Pictures… is one of the most amazing Beatles collecting guides to have come out in recent years. It is similar in look (and weight!) to that of From Star Club to Cavern as far as quality of detail and of layout and production. A very superb book with professionally-produced photographs, all in full colour. The investigative approach Bruce applied to his book is evident in the detailed information in his book, from label variations from the different pressing plants to original record distribution paperwork, royalties certificates and even magazine advertising invoices!
Of particular interest to collectors should be the new cataloguing method Bruce uses to list the various pressings. Since Vee-Jay had as many variations of each release as they did months in which they pressed Beatles’ records, this numbering system is ideal reference for collectors. It sets the standard by which all pricing guides in the future will no doubt follow. I highly recommend that anyone interested in buying any of the original Vee-Jay pressings should have this book close at hand so you know exactly what you’re getting into!
Beatlology Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 1, September/October 1998
“This incredible book goes far beyond being a discography. No question this is the best Beatle book of 1998.” (Daytrippin’, Issue 5, Winter 1999)
“The best and most accurate research on the subject I have seen, with previously unknown or publicized information. A beautiful and most interesting book.” (Alan Livingston, President of Capitol Records, 1961-1968)
“The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay provides the answer to every question any Beatle record collector has ever had about Vee-Jay and its involvement with The Beatles.” (Good Day Sunshine, May 1988)
“Remember what Lewisohn did with the performances and the Abbey Road sessions. Well this one is the ultimate one on Vee-Jay Records. It’s just one sea of delight as soon as you open it!” (Beatles Unlimited Magazine, the Netherlands, July/August 1998)
“All in all an incredible book! Highly recommended for the serious or casual Beatles fan. Definitely seek this one out.” (Belmo’s Beatleg News, Issue #58, Summer 1998)
“Bruce is like the Lt. Columbo of Beatles records collecting.” (Perry Cox, author of The Official Price Guide to the Beatles Records and Memorabilia)
“This book is a must for the Beatle record collector. You get thousands of dollars worth of Beatle records (or at least great color photos of rare records, common records, picture sleeves, promos, etc.)” (Rick Rann, co-author of The Beatles Memorabilia Price Guide)
“I would just like to say that The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay book is by far one of the best in the Beatles collectible market today. Being a graphic designer and a Beatles fan, I am impressed by not only the content, but the quality of the layout, the attention to detail and the computer-generated documents where needed. I was completely astounded at having obtained the original artwork production invoices. So, koodos to everyone involved!” (Andrew Croft, Editor of Beatlology Magazine)
“Absolutamente indispensible.” (Sequimos Juntos Beatles Exclusivamente, Mexico, No. 15, 1998)
Singles Of Significance
Vee-Jay 498 Please Please Me b/w Ask Me Why
Vee-Jay 522 from Me to You b/w Thank You Girl
Vee-Jay 581 Please Please Me b/w from Me to You
Tollie 9001 Twist and Shout b/w There’s a Place
Vee-Jay 587 Do You Want to Know a Secret b/w Thank You Girl
Vee-Jay EP 1-903 Souvenir of Their Visit to America
Tollie 9008 Love Me Do b/w P.s. I Love You
The Beatles on Oldies 45
Teen Fun Cards
The Beatles Christmas Picture Sleeve
Foreign Singles and Other 7″ Wonders of the World
Metal Parts of Significance (Stampers)
How Records Are Made
The Tollie Singles Story
The Tollie Singles Discography
Fine Fakes of Significant Interest
Hall of Shame
Vee-Jay Record Sleeves and Mailers
Section 2 Fine Albums of Significant Interest
Vee-Jay VJLP 1062 Introducing the Beatles (Version One)
Vee-Jay VJLP 1062 Introducing the Beatles (Version Two)
Vee-Jay VJLP 1085 Jolly What! The Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage
Vee-Jay VJLP 1092 Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles
Vee-Jay DX-30 The Beatles Vs. The Four Seasons
Vee-Jay VJLP 1085 The Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage (Portrait Cover)
Vee-Jay Pro 202 Hear the Beatles Tell All
Vee-Jay VJLP 1101 The 15 Greatest Songs of the Beatles
Counterfeits of Significance
Inner Sleeve Dust Covers
Section 3 Stories of Significant Interest
A Brief History of Vee-Jay Records
A Very Brief History of Capitol Records
How the Beatles Ended up on Vee-Jay, Swan and Capitol
Alan Livingston: from Bozo to the Beatles
Lawsuits of Significance
Gold Record Awards
Significant Promotions from Vee-Jay
Beatles with an A (And One T)
Section 4 Other Significant Information
Fine Factories of Significant Interest
Other Fine Books of Significant Interest
Checklist of Beatles Records on Vee-Jay
Fine Vendors of Significance