Stones on DECCA

Beggars Banquet

Mono LK 4955 / Stereo SKL4955

Issued in UK on December 6th 1968

This one exists in both Mono and Stereo versions. Musically Beggars Banquet was musically a return back to the roots for Rolling Stones. It sold in big numbers and became one of their all time classics. But it was a struggle to get the LP to the public. The LP had been recorded during March and April 1968 and on June 1st Stones informed that their new LP will be named Beggars Banquet and that it will be released on July 26th.
The cover design however created a problem for Decca. They refused to issue the LP with the design suggested by the band, the famous Toilet cover. The dispute drags out and only in the beginning of December they finally put it out with the blank white cover.

From a collectors pint of view, Beggars has quite a few interesting things to look out for so, on with the show.

Vinyl versions

Grooved Label

All LP’s have the non grooved label. This is the first LP that originally was pressed without the groove.

Cover versions

"The White cover & The Toilet cover"

Originally it came with the plain white cover. The famous Toilet cover was finally issued in UK as late as 1984 when the reissue of the LP with the silver colored label on the vinyl took place. All standard non boxed and boxed labels are always in the white cover.

The Toilet Cover

There are some copies existing of the original 1968 Toilet cover. In May of 2005 this one was up for sale on e-bay. I copied the text and the pictures of the item back then. I find the text in the item quite interesting so I take the liberty now of publishing it here. The author of the text is Jeff Gold from Mecca Records.

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Here’s a Rolling Stones Collectible that certainly lives up to the description “museum quality.” As far as I know, this is the ONLY known UK cover proof for the banned original cover for the Stones masterpiece “Beggar’s Banquet.” A quick recap of the story: This cover was originally done by LA creative types Tom Wilkes, Michael Vosse and Barry Feinstein, with Mick and Keith, who did the graffiti on the back cover. It was created in the real-life bathroom of Wilkes’ Porsche mechanic in Hollywood. The Stones loved the cover, but Decca in the UK refused to issue it.

After months of arguing, the Stones gave in and went with the simple “invitation” cover to avoid missing the best-selling Christmas season. The original cover has since been bootlegged, there have been fake American “proofs,” and it’s been used on re-issues. A few years back I obtained an original US proof, the only one I’ve ever heard of, from one of the designers, in much worse condition than this. It had the London logo, catalog number, and spine print on it, and had been dry mounted years ago.

This is a paper, UK proof, without ANY type on it (unique as far as I know) that is wrapped around a Mint/Near Mint- UK mono first pressing of this classic album. It is in generally excellent condition with a light bit of sun fading at the spine and on the bottom of the front cover. There is a small missing piece in the lower right corner (see scan.)

Here is an excerpt from a note I received from the UK collector who originally found it: “About fifteen years ago, I was asked to visit a little old lady who’d just been widowed – her late husband had been a hi-fi buff, and she wanted to get rid of the records he’d accumulated over the years. Unfortunately, his area of interest was classical music and MOR-style film soundtracks, but I didn’t know that until I got there. So I thumbed my way through all these uninteresting titles, when a copy of Beggars Banquet presented itself – and it had this weird wraparound-style sleeve over the standard plain white gatefold issue. When I asked why there was a Stones LP in there, she said that her late husband had spent his entire working life in the film/TV industry. Apparently he’d been working on the set of what she described as a ‘Rolling Stones film’ (I later worked out she was talking about Rock’n Roll Circus); as a thank you gesture, a member of the Stones entourage (she thought it was a group member, but I’d guess it was almost certainly a Stones lackey) gave him a copy of their latest album, which they apparently said was due out in a few days. He took it home, stuck it with the rest of his records, and never looked at it again – which is why it’s in such perfect shape. 

I’ve no idea why the outer thing would have been put with the original album given to the film guy, or even who did it – maybe it was just a one-off that had been taken along to the set to wind up Decca employees, or maybe it was one of a number of mock-up copies the Stones camp had concocted as preparation for the intended sleeve – and, once the album was ready to go into the shops, was there fore just another worthless bit of paper to be given away.” So there you have it–an incredible Stones piece with great provenance, relating to one of their all time classics.

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Mono and Stereo on the back cover

The back side of the cover had the Mono / Stereo written out. I have so far not seen any LP’s with the Mono / Stereo hole on the back.

Printed By

The first cover was printed by Garrod and Lofthouse. The time in between the decision on how the cover should look like and the actual manufacturing was probably very short. They had no time to wait for the Patent to be registered so they had to put the “Patent Pending” text next to the name. Patents Pending can be found on both Mono and Stereo sleeves.

After getting the Patent issue solved, they removed the additional text from the sleeve. Can be found on both Mono and Stereo sleeves.

Boxed LP’s are usually found in sleeves manufactured by Robert Stace. So far seen this only on Stereo sleeves.

Boxed LP’s are usually found in sleeves manufactured by Robert Stace. So far seen this only on Stereo sleeves.

Label versions

Lots of label version are existing. Again because of the big amount of LP’s pressed. Here are a few of them. Mono LP’s has so far been found only with the non boxed DECCA and Stereo LP’s can be found with both non boxed and boxed labels.

Mono non boxed labels - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 1 (LK4955/S1/D5/V1)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: At the bottom of the label
Publishers: On the left side of the label

Times New Roman looking font style and J/T tax code at the bottom of the label. Side number 1 is on the left side.

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 2 (LK4955/S1/D5/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Above the catalogue number
Publishers: On the left side of the label

Arial looking font style and J/T tax code above the catalogue number. Side 1 is on the right side of the label.

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 3 (LK4955/S1/D5/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: Missing
Publishers: On the left side of the label

The font style is changed to a Time New Romans looking font style again and the tax code is missing.

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 4 (LK4955/S1/D5/V4)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Missing
Publishers: On the left side of the label

The font sytle is changed back to an Arial looking font style and the tax code is missing. The S code has been added.

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 5 (LK4955/S1/D5/V5)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: At the bottom of the label
Publishers: On the left side of the label

Times New Roman looking font style and J/T tax code at the bottom of the label. Mirage Music above the BIEM box.

Mono non boxed labels - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 1 (LK4955/S2/D5/V1)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: At the bottom of the label
Publishers: On the left side of the label

Times New Roman looking font style and J/T tax code at the bottom of the label. Side 2 is on the left side of the label.

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 2 (LK4955/S2/D5/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Above the catalogue number
Publishers: On the left side of the label

Arial looking font style and J/T tax code above the catalogue number. Side 2 is on the right side of the label.

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 3 (LK4955/S2/D5/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: Missing
Publishers: On the left side of the label

The font sytle is changed to a Time New Romans looking one again and the tax code is missing.

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 4 (LK4955/S2/D5/V4)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Missing
Publishers: On the left side of the label

The font sytle is changed back to an Arial looking font style and the tax code is missing. The S code has been added.

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 5 (LK4955/S2/D5/V5)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: At the bottom of the label
Publishers: On the left side of the label

Times New Roman looking font style and J/T tax code at the bottom of the label. Mirage Music above the BIEM box.

Stereo non boxed labels - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 1 (SKL4955/S1/D9/V1)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: J/T at the bottom of the label
Publishers: Mirage Music above the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in big size font and has a dot in between SKL and 4955. Speed is missing.

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 2 (SKL4955/S1/D9/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: J/T at the bottom of the label
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in a smaller size and there is no dot in between SKL and 4955. Mirage Music is placed under the BIEM box. Speed 33 has been added.

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 3 (SKL4955/S1/D9/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: J/T above the catalogue number
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in a small size and there is a dot in between SKL and 4955. The font has been changed to Arial and the location of J/T is above the catalogue number.

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 4 (SKL4955/S1/D9/V4)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in a big size and there is no dot in between SKL and 4955. The tax code is gone but the S code is in place. The side number is now on the right side.

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 5 (SKL4955/S1/D9/V5)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

Basically the same label as S1/D9/V3 but the tax code above the catalogue number is missing.

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 6 (SKL4955/S1/D9/V6)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

This label has no information above the BIEM box.

Stereo non boxed labels - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 1 (SKL4955/S2/D9/V1)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: J/T at the bottom of the label
Publishers: Mirage Music above the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in big size font and has a dot in between SKL and 4955. Speed is missing.

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 2 (SKL4955/S2/D9/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Time New Romans looking font style
Tax Code: J/T at the bottom of the label
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in a smaller size and there is no dot in between SKL and 4955. Mirage Music is placed under the BIEM box. Speed 33 has been added.

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 3 (SKL4955/S2/D9/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: J/T above the catalogue number
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in a small size and there is a dot in between SKL and 4955. The font has been changed to Arial and the location of J/T is above the catalogue number.

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 4 (SKL4955/S2/D9/V4)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

The catalogue number is in a big size and there is no dot in between SKL and 4955. The tax code is gone but the S code is in place. The side number is now on the right side.

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 5 (SKL4955/S2/D9/V5)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: Mirage Music under the BIEM box

Basically the same label as S2/D9/V3 but the tax code above the catalogue number is missing.

Stereo boxed label - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 1 (SKL4955/S1/D10/V1)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Roman looking font
Estimated use: 1970 to 1972

GEMA and Mirage Music is under the BIEM box on the left side of the label. There is no dot in between SKL and 4955.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 2 (SKL4955/S1/D10/V2)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Roman looking font

Only GEMA text under the BIEM box and there is a dot in between SKL and 4955.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 3 (SKL4955/S1/D10/V3)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking font

GEMA and Mirage Music is above the BIEM box on the left side of the label.

Side 1 / Design No 12 / Version 1 (SKL4955/S1/D12/V1)

Publishing year: On the right side of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: 1982

This is a 1982 pressing on thin vinyl with the rim around the edge of the label. Two vinylpressings existing, one flat center and another one with a ring pressed around the centre

⇒ Picture missing ⇐

Stereo boxed label - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 1 (SKL4955/S2/D10/V1)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Roman looking font
Estimated use: 1970 to 1972

Publishing company Mirage Music mentioned under each song title.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 2 (SKL4955/S2/D10/V2)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Roman looking font

GEMA is under the BIEM box. Mirage Music is missing from this label.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 3 (SKL4955/S2/D10/V3)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking font

GEMA is above the BIEM box.Publishing companyMirage Music mentionedunder each song title.

Side 2 / Design No 12 / Version 1 (SKL4955/S2/D12/V1)

Publishing year: On the right side of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: 1982

This is a 1982 pressing on thin vinyl with the rim around the edge of the label. Two vinylpressings existing, one flat center and another one with a ring pressed around the center

⇒ Picture missing ⇐

80's Silver labels

Design No 13 / version 1 (SKDL4955/S1/D13/V1) (SKDL4955/S2/D13/V1)

White label from mid 80’s. The catalogue number has been changed to SKDL 4955. STEREO text is above the catalogue number.

Design No 13 / version 2 (SKDL4955/S1/D13/V2) (SKDL4955/S2/D13/V2)

White label from mid 80’s. The catalogue number has been changed to SKDL 4955. STEREO text is above the catalogue number.

Explanation on label design numbering can be found here.

Page History

Created January 2010

Updated:
2014 Jan 26th Added text for oxed label version 12
2013 November 3rd Label S1 and S2 D5/V5 added
2012 December 22nd Label S1/D9/V6 added
20111 December 3rd Labels added; D9/V5, D10/V2, D10/V3, D13/V2, thanks to Johan van Breeden
2011 September 29th Stereo label De9 / version 5 added
2010 May 23rd Label mono design 5 version 4 added
2010 March 12th Label design added