Promo Copy of Sgt. Pepper

I received a comment/question that’s interesting from a reader named Trina following my Sgt Pepper – Label Variations post .

She wrote asking if I had any information about this album she’d found:

In the photo you can clearly see some stamped text in the top right-hand corner of what looks to be a US vinyl copy of the legendary Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

This is a promotional or “promo” copy of the LP. It originally came out in 1967 – but what Trina has here looks like a much more recent re-issue by the Beatles US record label, Capitol Records.

The stamp on the cover indicates that it was probably sent to a radio station, a record reviewer, or someone in the industry. Masses of these “promo” copies (nowadays usually just CD’s) come in to radio stations all over the world. The record companies send new releases in the hope that they’ll be played or talked about on the radio, or written about and reviewed in newspapers and magazines. However, record company promo copy numbers are dwindling due to the growing use of electronic file transfer of new tracks to radio stations.

Here’s a close up of the wording for this one:

Promo copies usually have a sticker or a stamp that states the record is strictly for promotional purposes only. The record or CD actually remains the property of the record company, and is “not for sale”, though how they actually police this is an interesting question….

Promo copies don’t usually have a serial number on them (like this one does) but I guess that’s an attempt at some form of added security indicating that, if they wanted to, Capital could trace back exactly who they sent this copy to.

A promo copy like this one for the Beatles is pretty rare and would be of interest to a collector – and therefore more valuable than just the standard, store-bought version. It also looks to be in really good condition which is a bonus. It also looks like it still has the plastic sealing on it, and I’d keep it sealed if possible as that also adds to the value. All-in-all a really nice, collectable record!

Here’s a couple of variations of the “promo” warning wording on some Beatles-related CD’s:

On the rear cover of a US interview disc for the Beatles "Love" CD

Sticker on the jewel case for the Australian Beatles CD single "Free As A Bird"

Printed onto the disc of McCartney's UK promo CD single for "The World Tonight"

And finally, a disc which was sent to me mistakenly by Paul McCartney’s record company after I complained I hadn’t received my mail-order copy of the deluxe version of his latest CD “Good Evening New York City”. (Click here for the full story on that one…)

Promo copy of the deluxe version of "Good Evening New York City"

3 thoughts on “Promo Copy of Sgt. Pepper

  1. Hi there,
    I’ve got a couple of records just like this. Most of them sealed, with the top-hand corner of the cellophane removed in order to place the stamp.
    Do you have any idea about the worth of these vinyls?


  2. I have a 4′ Sgt Pepper vinyl that my husband received from an old DJ he knew. Said it was given to the station as a promo, I thought. Can you tell me if you have ever heard of this?


  3. Hi Theresa, it looks like what you have there with the large Sgt Pepper’s vinyl LP replica is a nice collectors item. I had never seen one of these before, but a little bit of research reveals these huge vinyl records were made by a store called Think Big that produced oversized examples of everyday items.

    I found a couple online that have gone up for auction at various times. One that was not a great example (it had some damage) was sold in Europe for €66.00.

    The other one sold for US$374.00.

    Not sure of the sale dates but they look to be from years ago, so yours has possibly gone up in value since then.


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