Strangely enough for a Christmas album this LP was not sent out to US fan club members until the Spring of 1971. As per the UK release it contains all the previous fan club flexis which, believe it or not, had to be mastered from the actual flexis of Freda Kelly, the fan club secretary, as the original masters could not be found! The Americans weren’t as lucky as us Brits with the original flexi discs in the sixties and this was the first time that the 1964 and 1965 messages had been made available to them.
My copy below is, I believe, a counterfeit copy. The sleeve is in excellent condition throughout but the picture bottom right on the front marks it out as fake as Ringo’s eyes cannot be clearly seen. The LP itself is also in excellent condition though there is a very light scratch on the last track on side 2. Although it has all the markings of a genuine copy – hand etched matrix numbers of SBC 1 100A and SBC 2 100B, a fancy stamped “Bell Sound”, a hand etched SF and a hand etched triangle with a line coming out (I think this represents a rifle as it was pressed by Capitol’s Winchester, Virginia factory) – the indentation ring on the label is further out from the centre than a genuine copy and the “Mfd By Apple Records Inc” print at the bottom of side 1’s label is blurred.
I remember buying this from a record fair in the late 70’s/early 80’s for £5. I wasn’t a collector back then – I just wanted to hear the Christmas messages.
Even being counterfeits I’ve seen a couple go on eBay in the last month (Feb 2016) for £26 and £36, both having several bids each.
Update Nov 2016 – I’ve just watched one of these, exactly like mine, go on eBay for £58 with 10 bids
Estimated Value : £25 – £35