Tuesday, July 23, 2013

mfp stickers on the inner sleeves!

I was recently contacted by fellow blogger Andy Howells, about the mfp covers album, Hits '67. Andy had picked up a copy out of curiosity, writing up his observations on his blog, Andy's Retrospace (click to see the blog). Anyway, this is the LP in question:

Note how mfp have incorporated the selling price into the cover art. 12 shillings and sixpence equates to 63p in decimal currency, although in 1967 that would have bought you a lot more than the bag of crisps it buys today. Obviously. You could get the whole of the above album for that sum!

But not for long, it seems. Quite what happened with the pricing of these 1967 mfp albums, I'm not sure of, but there exists besides this edition, another, with a higher retail price:

13 shillings and 11 pence is quite a hike - up from 63p to 70p - a ten percent rise, or thereabouts.

So far as this LP is concerned, the situation is relatively straight-forward with just these two varieties in circulation (as far as I know). But on other mfp albums, things are less clear. The follow-up, Smash Hits has three cover prices - these two plus the higher rate of 14/6. Just a result of inflation? Maybe, but then others, eg Hits '68 use stickers to amend the sleeve prices, showing that the lower ones were not discontinued - they were still being printed and sold at different price points for quite some time.

Anyway, I am finally getting to the point of this post - Andy made an amazing discovery when he took his LP out of the sleeve. Inside, it was still in the original, as-sold 1967 inner sleeve. This is what it looks like:

What is interesting with this comparatively rare inner sleeve is that it too shows a retail price on it. All the albums pictured and listed are priced at 12/6, the lower of the two prices which Hits '67 was sold at, and the one at which Andy's own copy was priced. But to his amazement, and mine when I found out, his inner sleeve was itself stickered, upping the price of every album listed to 13/11!

Here is a close-up of the sticker. It has flaked away from the paper but you can see where it was originally stuck, since there is some yellowing caused by the gum.

On the other side of the inner sleeve the same thing has happened, although the second sticker had come off too, and was now lost. I can safely say, in all my years collecting records, I have never come across a stickered inner sleeve before!

A point of interest: In tiny lettering beneath the 12/6 box above, one can see some text which in full reads, "UK price only, Eire 13/11". So these albums, it seems, were always on sale in Ireland at 13/11 - but since it says so here anyway, there is no reason to suppose that the 13/11 stickers were added for the Irish market. They do indicate, therefore, a blanket price rise for all of mfp's albums, which contradicts the clues given by the covers, which maintained two or three price points over a year or more.

Anyway, thanks to Andy for discovering this and bringing it to our attention. One day, we will get to the bottom of it all!

No comments:

Post a Comment