The Beatles’ 1968 self-titled double album, more commonly known as “The White Album,” is one of the most iconic and influential releases in rock history. But did you know that some original copies of the album are worth a pretty penny? Here’s how to tell if your copy might be valuable.
What factor affect the value of the White Album?
The value of a Beatles White Album depends on a few factors, including the printing number, condition, and whether it includes the original poster and photographs. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
Printing Number: The value of a White Album can go up significantly if it’s a low printing number. The lower the number, the more valuable the album is. More than 3 million copies of the White Album were pressed, but some of the very first copies that were pressed are worth thousands of dollars.
Condition: The condition of your album is also important. A mint condition album will be worth more than one that has been well-played. If your album is still in its original shrinkwrap, that will also add to its value.
Finally, if your album includes the original poster and photographs, that will increase its value as well. The poster is a highly sought-after collectors item, as are the photographs by Ringo Starr.
How to Tell If your White Album is the First Pressing?
First pressings of the album were released in both mono and stereo versions, and it’s the mono version that is most valuable. Mono copies can sell for anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, while stereo copies hover around the $3,000 mark. So, if you have a mono copy of the album, congratulations—you might be sitting on a gold mine!
To see if your copy is an original pressing, look for the original Apple Records logo. On the A side of each disk, there should be a green apple. On the B side, you will find an apple cut in half. The Apple Records label for the original pressing should also have the Capitol Records logo on it. If it doesn’t, then it is likely a later or foreign pressing.
First pressing also has “Mfd. by Capitol….” in white rim text on sides 2 and 4.
The first pressing’s cover was plain white. It has a gatefold sleeve with openings on the top. Later pressings have the openings on the sides. The band’s name and a serial number were embossed on the cardboard. Generally speaking, copies with lower numbers are more valuable. If no number is present, it’s a reissue.
If your copy is not a first pressing—but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. In fact, some second pressings of the album can sell for upwards of $1,000. To tell if you have a second pressing, look for the words “Recording first published 1968” on Side 2 of the label. If those words are there, then you have a second pressing. Second pressings are also notable for their glossy sleeves with printed text on the cover.
The value of a Beatles White Album can vary depending on a number of factors, including its printing number, condition, and whether it includes the original poster and photographs. However, even if your album doesn’t meet all of these criteria, it’s still a treasured piece of music history that any fan would be lucky to own.
While not every copy of The Beatles’ “White Album” is valuable, some originals can fetch quite a high price tag— especially if they’re mono embossed with “The Beatles” on the white sleeve and original Apple Records logo on A side of each disk. So next time you go digging through your old record collection, keep an eye out for this classic album—it could be worth more than you think!