Beatles 'Portrait' Album Fetches $22,268

A 1964 Flop for Vee Jay Records, has become a Boon for Collectors.

July 24, 2012
By James Massey

(Source: - This rare record album, 'The Beatles and Frank Ifield' fetched $22,268 in an eBay auction on July 23rd.

Interestingly, the 1964 album, known by collectors as “the Portrait cover,” by Vee Jay Records (Vee Jay VJLPS-1085), was considered to be a flop at the time of its release.

The record has only four (4) Beatles songs, of the twelve songs on the album. Eight (8) of the songs were by Australian-English easy listening/country music singer Frank Ifield.

Why's It Rare?

According to a story; "It (The Beatles and Frank Ifield On Stage) was the last album manufactured by Vee Jay Records, before their rights to the Beatles were to expire on Oct. 10, 1964. They had taken their Jolly What! The Beatles and Frank Ifield On Stage album, of which the cover had a drawing of a British Statesman (referred by collectors as the "old man" cover) and quickly redesigned a new cover, prominently featuring a drawing of the Beatles, for a rush release. This re-issue version hardly made it to record stores, and less than 100 copies are believed to have been pressed."

In 1964, the record was considered to be a major flop for Vee Jay, which later helped it become a boon for collectors. An article by stated; "Due to it’s poor sales performance, the “Portrait Cover” version of this record has all but “disappeared” from history, making it the rarest of all of the Beatles Vee Jay albums."

The sellers listing describes the album as being in exceptional condition, which also added to its rarity, stating; "Condition is nothing short of factory as new near mint all the way around on the cover and it is still in the original shrinkwrap! (Wrap has no tears!) it is, in fact, the very best condition example of this album I have ever seen. It tops even the sealed examples I've seen."

Video: More Beatles, Ifield, and British Invasion Vinyl (Source: Youtube)

Auction Data & Statistics

The album received 31 bids from 17 bidders over the course of 10 days. The opening bid on July 13, was 99 cents. The final bid was $22,268. The eBay view-counter recorded over 1,700 visitors to the listing. The auction was ended on a Monday, July 23, (2012) at 3:00pm Pacific Standard Time.

For more information and close-up photos of the album see; **eBay auction listing; #290744006518 (auction links may expire after 90 days).

Rare Beatles Memorabilia Staying Strong in 2012

In addition to this sale, early other Beatles vinyl and memorabilia items have continued to be hot in 2012, as illustrated by the following sales:

  • April, we reported an fully-signed early record had fetched $24,675, and a rare promotional demo (record) collected $19,586. Both were on eBay.

  • May, The Guardian reported The Beatles famed 'Backwards' Abbey Road photograph had sold for $25,000 (£16,000).

  • June, an extremely rare Cavern Club Beatles Poster fetched $42,515.

  • July, (last week) a rare album known as the first Beatles album released in the United States collected $14,999.

Other Related Auctions and Information:

Story Resources:

  1. The Beatles & Frank Ifield History - Wikipedia
  2. The Beatles & Frank Ifield Albums -
  3. Vee Jay ‘Flop’ becomes Coveted Collector’s Item -

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