FROM THE VAULT
8 LP BOX
Company: BoxTop Records
Release Date: Summer 1986
1 - FILE UNDER 1
2 - FILE UNDER 2
3 - DECCA TAPES
4 - BROADCASTS
5 - FROM US TO YOU - A PARLOPHONE REHEARSAL SESSION (10")
6 - COMPLETE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
7 - N.3 ABBEY Rd NW8
8 - THE GET BACK MASTERS
All records pressed from the original stampers.
This de-luxe production includes 7 LPs plus a 10" record, a t-shirt and an 18-page booklet with notes for each record. It was limited to 300 numbered copies. This was the first production by the bootlegger who later released many records under the VIGOTONE label. Here we add an abstract of a post published by him on the 910 discussion board (https://dsulpy.proboards.com/), regarding the preparation of this boxed set. "In 1985 I was working at a record store in Los Angeles but was really wanting to open a store of my own. A friend and intense Beatles collector named M., who I had met through the store, and I came up with a plan to raise money. (…) The big moneymaking idea though was to put together a set to collect the best bootleg titles in one box, that would compliment the official Beatles blue box, called FROM THE VAULT. (…). To begin I called and made an appointment with a box manufacturing company I found listed in the L.A. Yellow pages. I met and talked with the head of production and described what we were looking for. A box to hold about 10 LPs and a shirt with a hinged front lid. (….). I'm in the office at the box manufacturing company talking to the head of production. I am 25 years old and frankly quite nervous about the whole thing. (…). He asked me how many boxes I was looking for and I said 300. He chuckled and said that was far below their 1000 minimum. He took pity on me as this was clearly my first project of this kind and we settled on 400. The company produced a prototype box to my specifications which turned out a little on the small side but they wanted too much money per box, over ten dollars each if I remember correctly (…). The Beatles FROM THE VAULT was definitely going to have to be done in house. A week or so after we placed the order our boxes were ready, plain heavy duty cardboard with a top that slid over the back like a board game box. The salesman was super nice and supplied us with blocks of the special glue we would need to keep the paper adhered to the boxes as well as die cutting the heavy duty paper stock so it would fit the boxes just right (…). The team putting this project together consisted of myself, my girlfriend and my partner who was doing his share to raise money to open our record store. My girlfriend was an artist so she knew what to do to create a screen used to create a shirt. (…). The shirts I picked out were plain gray to match the box color. Once the shirts were screened and dry, they were wrapped around a 12 x 12 inch piece of corrugated cardboard and shrink wrapped using the machine at the store I was working at. To create the hinged front to match the official blue box, each of our boxes were cut with a very sharp razor knife. Then a piece of paper tape was used on the outside to reattach the top of the front to the bottom. (…). A rubber stamp on the inside of the folded down lid completed the construction of the box itself. Each one was hand numbered from 1 to 300. Eight Beatles titles were chosen from what was offered to me. Original stampers were used and all were pressed on color vinyl. One half of the partnership that supplied the records was an original TMOQ founder so when he suggested using the original label design I said sure. (…). Early on, a deal was reached with my bootleg record supplier for 300 copies of each to come in sleeves and ready to be placed in the boxes. Original covers for the FROM US TO YOU 10" were available to use but all others were put in a new style printed generic sleeve identifying the label as Box Top Records out of Battle Creek, Michigan. My supplier put these together using rubber stamps for the artist and title on the front and a sticker with track information on the back. Also on the front was glued a 3 1/2 x 5" glossy picture. (…). Also occurring during this box making event was the creation (writing) of the eighteen page booklet. (…). At this point we stacked 50 or so copies of each record and the wrapped t-shirt in the order we wanted them to be in the box. Then we each went down the line grabbing one of each LP and placed them in a box. Three of us repeated the above process until the 300 boxes were full. Finally, each box was shrink wrapped with the contents sheet inside on the back. Now we had 300 of what we thought was a very cool and desirable collectible and it was time to sell. Soon we would have plenty of money to open our record store. Or so we thought. (…)."
This story enables dating the appearance of the BoxTop jackets, which were used throughout 1986 at least, and it also gives information on the Los Angeles bootleg world in the eighties, when the owners of the original stampers of various titles of the TMOQ group were open to cooperation with other producers.
The musical content of each record is analyzed in each specific entry.
As indicated by the producer, there was only a single release of this box. All the records were pressed on colored or marbled vinyl, with TMOQ colored labels. For the same LP in different copies, the color of the vinyl and labels varied as well. Based on the dates written on the stampers of some of the LPs, 300 copies were pressed in August 1986. It is quite probable that these were the copies used for this box.
INTEREST. An item of great quality, of high value to collectors. ****