Anyone who may have read this blog before knows that it’s obvious I love my hype stickers!
Hype stickers, for those who aren’t familiar, are the little (or sometimes big) stickers on the shrink wrap of vinyl albums or CDs that pretty much hype the new release with various superlatives trying to entice a buyer into purchasing that particular recording.
For me a hype sticker makes the album or CD seem closer to the time it was sitting brand new on a retail shelf. It’s makes it the nearest to traveling back in time to the albums release day. You don’t run into them too often so finding one is a thrill. Most of these elusive stickers were torn off, discarded and forgotten so it’s always a pleasure for me to find new ones as they can be quite rare.
About a month ago I happened to find a really cool hype sticker on an original Colgems mono copy of The Monkees fourth album “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.”. The fact that I have never seen any sort of hype sticker on an original Colgems Monkees album makes this discovery even more special.
Now granted, this hype sticker more then likely wasn’t put on the album at the factory by Colgems Records so it must have been used by a small local retailer. I found the album in Michigan so I have no idea if any retailers there used this but whomever put it on it’s a very cool thing to see.
I have also seen two different local retailer type hype stickers online for Colgems stereo pressings of “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.” so I’m guessing retailers around the country wanted to make sure buyers knew the albums was by The Monkees. Unless you were quite familiar with the outline of the group members, which I’m sure most young fans were, you may have passed over this album if you walked by it not knowing it was a new Monkees album.
Sure any true fan can see the top of The Monkees guitar logo peeking out of the flowers on the front cover but I’m sure most places that sold records didn’t want to take any chances.
By the time this album was released The Monkees were huge sellers so that meant many small stores selling records wanted their share of those sales. And his album did indeed hit the top of Billboard’s Hot 200 selling over two million copies in the process so I’m sure a hype sticker was a welcome thing.
Anyway, I thought I’d share this groovy hype sticker here as there might be several weirdo fans like me out there who really enjoy this kind of thing. I was also inspired to dig out my other copies of “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.” on both vinyl and CD and post photos of their hype stickers as well.
By the time the later vinyl copies and CDs reissues of this album were released the hype sticker had become the norm and almost every reissue of this album post the Colgems release has one. Looking at some of my other vinyl pressings of this album that I haven’t played in ages really takes me back. I especially love the flyer in the Rhino mid-’80s vinyl reissue of the “Pisces” album that advertises Monkees episodes on VHS! I haven’t seen that in years – too fun.
And of course the 1981 Japanese vinyl with the lovely OBI strip is fun to see again as well. If I remember correctly this Japanese pressing sounds only so-so but the Rhino reissue sounds great even though it’s a bit odd in that it contains a mixture of mono and stereo mixes as Rhino couldn’t find the original stereo master at the time. I remember really loving the mono version of “Hard to Believe” with Davy Jones single-tracked vocal at the closing of the song which gives it a very different feel.
So below are all my vinyl and CD issues of the “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.” album that feature some sort of hype sticker. Take a gander at the photos below and you’ll see quite a nice range of Monkees hype on display.
Btw, all this talk of “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.” has really primed me up for a Deluxe box set treatment of this album along the lines of last years spectacular “Headquarters” set that has recently sold out on Monkees.com.
Well that’s all for now. Just thought I’d take a quick trip back to November of 1967 with what I consider to be the high water mark of The Monkees career with the release of this timeless and classic album.
As usual be healthy and well and see you soon.