The Beatles Sgt Pepper - FOURTH PROOF! * WIDE SPINE * MONO * 1967 UK 1st PRESS

Sold Date: November 19, 2023
Start Date: November 9, 2023
Final Price: £255.00 (GBP)
Bid Count: 18
Seller Feedback: 1503
Buyer Feedback: 1171

The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band


I am pleased to offer for sale this superb, UK mono 1st pressing of The Beatles eighth studio album, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts club band.


The album being sold in this listing features a superb LP that is housed within an extremely rare ‘fourth proof’ sleeve. As part of the design process, Garrod & Lofthouse produced ‘proof’ of concept sleeves for EMI executives to demonstrate the quality of the sleeve and their ability to produce them at volume. The ‘fourth proof’ was deemed satisfactory and therefore this design went into production. However, instead of being destroyed a number of the proof sleeves were distributed as part of the general sale. Although the exact number in existence is unknown, it is thought to be tens/hundreds rather than thousands – it is my quite a way the rarest sleeve variant.



Although the Beatles had marked their movement away from their beat-band origins through Rubber Soul and Revolver, Sgt Pepper signified a step change; with influences from music hall, avant-garde, Indian and Western all evident. There was a noticeable before and after


Through a modern lens we acknowledge that the album was one of the first art rock albums, one of the first concept albums, a progenitor to progressive rock, a catalyst for the British psychedelic movement; it was a unique moment in cultural history where at the same time the most popular musical act were also the most experimental. When considering the album cover art designed by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake, the inner sleeve designed by the Fool art collective and the cut-out insert designed by Blake, one must conclude that the Sgt. Pepper LP album is as much a piece of high art as it is a piece of music. In time I am sure this is how we will all view it. 


In my opinion Sgt. Pepper is a must-have addition to any record collection. Despite many modern attempts to improve the audio through digital enhancement, a clean copy of the 1967 UK mono 1st pressing still stands out as the premier listening experience. Don't take my word for it, a complete audio recording is included in the listing below!



Album Details:


Serial number: PMC 7027


Matrix number: XEX 637 - 1 / XEX 638 - 1 


Stamper codes: 2 RMP / 4 RDT


Tax Codes: KT


Vinyl Weight: 165g


The -1 / -1 matrix numbers confirm that the record is a true UK first pressing. 


The black labels with yellow Parlophone logo and silver text are the first variant as is evident from the "Sold in the U.K. ..." text present to both sides.


As mentioned above, the fully laminated gatefold sleeve is a pre-production fourth proof variant identifiable by ‘fourth proof’ printed on the right hand flip-back of the inner gatefold, the extremely desirable wide spine, and ‘patents pending’ printed to the reverse.


The album is complete with the original red and white wavy 'psychedelic' inner sleeve designed by The Fool art collective, and the cut-out insert sheet designed by Peter Blake.


Condition Report:


The condition report provided below is given as a guide only. I include high-quality, comprehensive photographs as well as a complete audio recording in my listings to enable you to make an informed decision on the condition of this record yourself.





Labels: VERY GOOD +


The labels are clean and retain rich, vibrant colours. Extremely minor wear and a handful of spindle trails can be seen to both centre holes.


Visual: VERY GOOD +


The vinyl retains wonderful deep gloss playing surfaces. In bright daylight several light surface marks are visible to both sides. None can be felt, and I would not describe any as a scratch.


Sound Quality: VERY GOOD +


Please note: the eBay app does not facilitate playback. Please use the internet site to enjoy the audio clips.


Side 1:



Side 2:

As can be heard in the recordings the audio is great. Although some light static can be heard during the dead wax it rarely bleeds into the main body of the music - 'She's Leaving Home' is perhaps an exception to this. There is a single click 2 minutes into the title track. Throughout the remainder of the recording no other pops or clicks can be heard which allows the superb mono audio to take centre stage. Overall a characterful record that has been used and played and that still has plenty of life left in it.



Sleeve: VERY GOOD +


The sleeve is in great shape. All four sides are bright and clean with the laminate retaining the original lustre. The cover art is vibrant. A name is written in biro to the left hand side of the left flip-back. This can be removed if requested but personally I prefer the originality. The spine has some creasing but is much better than the majority of fourth proof (which in general are not as strong as production copies). The top, bottom and opening edges are all without wear. The corners are strong.



Inner Sleeve: VERY GOOD +


The original inner sleeve is in great condition. It is very clean with only mild discolouration and minor creasing. The cut-out insert is as-new.


Additional Details:


Before the audio test, the vinyl was cleaned first by an Okki Nokki vacuum cleaner and then an Audio Desk ultrasonic cleaner.


After cleaning, the vinyl was placed inside a brand new mobile fidelity anti-static inner sleeve.


The vinyl will be packaged outside of the sleeve, both of which are stored inside an archival quality polypropylene outer sleeve.


The record will be sent via an insured courier in a padded vinyl mailer.


Please see my other listings for more Beatles rarities.

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