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Simon January 23rd 2011 03:30 PM

How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
I posted this in another thread a while ago but thought it'd be a good idea to give it it's own thread, so people know about it. I hate the thought of fellow collectors getting duped into buying worthless bootlegs they thought were genuine.

It's not that easy if you don't have the real thing to compare, but some are easy to spot:
  • If it's pressed on anything other than black vinyl it's fake. The album was only officially released on standard black vinyl. I've seen green and blue at least.
  • If it's listed as being a "limited re-pressing" or anything similar it's fake. It's never been officially repressed, hence it's rarity.
  • If it's listed as being "new and sealed" it's most likely fake. I'm sure some people do have a genuine sealed copy but very very few and they wouldn't be 'new' either.
  • Price. There is the phrase 'too good to be true' and it's right most of them. There are lots going up recently with buy it now prices less than £50, some as low as £20 or £30. Real copies are worth £75 - £100 generally, so a low price should put you off.

Those are things you can just take from the auction listing. If you still aren't sure the actual vinyl itself:
  • All bootlegs I've seen are claiming to be the US press because they don't need to reproduce the little red sticker that always came on the UK press. So if it's claiming to be the UK press and has the sticker it's probably genuine. I've not seen a fake UK press with a fake sticker yet, but that's not to say they don't exist.
  • Colour and quality. After seeing two fakes compared to my genuine copy I can now easily spot a fake. There is just something about the fakes, they look flat and dull and off colour. The real ones were quite dark and non-shiny, the fakes are a different blue. On one of my fake copies the white text on the back wasn't printed properly, it was blurred and a perfect sign of an average, non-professional printing.
  • Also the actual quality of the cardboard sleeve. Again the album is from 1997, whilst some people would have kept them pristine locked in a draw most of them should show signs of wear and tear in places and the even clearer sign, ringwear. That is where the LP makes an impression into the cardboard sleeve. Very common with 2LPs in one standard sleeve. If the sleeve looks new with no wear and no ringwear you should be curious as to why.
  • Another thing to do is check the seller history, see if they have sold copies of it before. If the seller is a dealer they may have got ahold of a few copies over the years but if they've sold say 10+ in the space of a few months you should wonder how they got so many copies of a rare album.

Here are some examples of fakes, working with the above points.

This one ticks many of the fake boxes. It's very cheap ($40), claims to be 'rare limited repress', 'new and sealed' and then just look at the front. I know it's under a camera flash but the blue is just wrong and the red is too bright. Compare it even to the back picture.

Easy fake since it's pressed on Blue vinyl. Or black Vinyl resprayed. :rolleyes: Either way, obvious fake.

Another fake blue one but take note of the sleeve on this one as well, really bad quality and just doesn't look right. If you don't have a Vinyl copy even look at your CD booklet and compare. Just not right.

Finally, a genuine copy:

It's the UK pressing and it has the red sticker in the top left. The seller lists it as used, the sleeve shows a bit of wear on the edges but more importantly look at the colour and quality of the sleeve. Much darker blue and it just looks different in a good way, looks like a professional print. Definitely real.

Hope that helps.

Go-kart Mozart January 23rd 2011 03:40 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Hey this is nice. :)

Is this the only foo vinyl with so many fakes?

Simon January 23rd 2011 03:44 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
There may be others but this is the most prominent because it's the rarest and most sought after. Bootleggers obviously create the stuff that's going to get them the most money, so if genuine copies of something only got for £20-£30 it's not worth it, but £75 - £100 or more and it is.

Mike2 January 23rd 2011 03:50 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
With the current prices I wish I would have held on to mine longer. You are right Simon, there are fakes of this everywhere because of the demand and rarity. Good luck to those of you looking for a legit copy.

Simon January 23rd 2011 03:52 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
I just wish they would reissue all of the albums on Vinyl. Plenty of other bands do it, there have been several reissues of the Nirvana LPs recently for instance, but FF all were produced once, never to be seen again.

theurbanraconteur January 23rd 2011 06:12 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Nice post Studmuffin, I've almost bought a few fakes in the past before I realised that it was 'too good to be true'.

Now I tend to go after the singles and promos as I don't have the type of money laying around to buy a real TCATS vinyl.

NickNickNick January 23rd 2011 07:13 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Thanks for the tips. Hope I can get one of these records eventually.

Felipe. January 23rd 2011 09:23 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
wow, thank you so much for that, as always!

is there a similar guide pointing out the most rare and wanted items? I'm sure this knowledge comes from time and experience but if someone was kind enough to write some of them down, it's a cool thing to look at and be cautious as to what's next on someone's 'what to buy/trade next' kind of list.

Felipe. January 23rd 2011 09:57 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
also, postboarder no code has one and it matches the genuine copy you showed at the end of your post. the red has and orange-ish aspect on the cover, probably because of ink "behaviour" on a coated cardboard instead of the standard couché paper from the cd booklet. that or the yellow on the CMYK mixture is obviosly in a different amount when priting LPs, which would force us to discard a pantone guide for their printed material. the blue is also different, which would back this theory up too...

Simon January 23rd 2011 10:12 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Yeah it's hard to describe but once you've seen a genuine copy and a fake copy you can just tell which is which.

FooZealand January 23rd 2011 10:49 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Studmore - one other big tip to add to your list. If you are buying Foo LPs on Ebay, and your seller is registered in Japan, the chances of your item being real are significantly higher.

Why? Because throughout the years when vinyl was mostly ignored in favour of CDs the Japanese were notorious collectors of vinyl. They are in general also quite fastidious is the way they look after their pressings too.

Almost all my Foo LPs have been from Japanese sellers for this reason with truly excellent results. And I guess sadly (for them) as the credit crisis has even hit there quite badly, a number of collectors have been releasing their valuable vinyl to cash up needed funds.

Simon January 23rd 2011 10:55 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Very true, you can usually always trust the Japanese. As you say they were massive collectors on the whole of Vinyl in the 90s and the vast majority of genuine Foo vinyl you will find on ebay is from Japan.

Felipe. January 23rd 2011 11:13 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
good thing I just bought a vinyl from a japanese seller then. :D

Simon January 23rd 2011 11:22 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
I mean I'm sure there are some Japanese guys with fakes, but I've certainly never seen any obvious ones in all the time I've looked at them. Most Japanese Vinyl you see are clearly from genuine vinyl traders who know vinyl, they'll always have details descriptions of the vinyl using the universal Goldmine vinyl grading system.

Felipe. January 23rd 2011 11:29 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
it's also a culture thing I think, they're really much attached to honesty and honor that comes from thousands of years, that doesn't keep some of them from being a bit harsh and sometimes even mean, there's a conflict there because that's a concept they're pretty much alone with in the world. obviously that also means that you can't think 100% of them are trust worthy, but for sure they have the most reliable reputation allied to the fact pointed by FooZealand above. I'm pretty much aware of that culture from almost getting married to a japanese girl. =P

FooZealand January 23rd 2011 11:31 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Some of you will have seen my recent collection post. Never have enough time for this stuff, but I thought on this record in particular I'd just go take some pics so you all can see what you are looking for. All photos taken today 24th Jan 2011.

Here we have the US front cover - very dark blue, with orangy-red Foo Fighters text. Note the ring wear at the top. Basically though a pretty mint copy.

Note also the spine at the left DOES show when viewed straight on from the front.

And here is the vinyl - one sleeved, one unsleeved (one by one, yes OK you'll get used to my bad jokes...). Black and shiny.

Back cover - dark blue with matching ring wear.

The holy grail - sealed US copy. Again - note the ring wear - ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL! Any true copy of this vinyl in sealed condition will be well ringed. Its been pressed down on by the wrapping for many years.

Colours nicely match the unsealed copy, slightly altered by the wrap. Wrap has perforation run down the center. Spine printing correctly showing on the left.

Close up of the ring wear, plus bend in top left hand corner.

Rear - more ring wear

Spine edges. Ok I didnt line this one up quite right, its better in the next couple. Colours match. Sealed copy on the right has been pressed over time and lost its full shape.

Much better picture of the spines - they line up perfectly, colours are clearly identical.

Other end of the spines.

Finally the lower back covers together, everything matches perfectly.

If it doesn't look like either of the above, then you are looking at a fake US copy. Do yourself a favour and keep looking / saving.

Yes its basically just all about the Colour And The Shape - sorry I did warn you :)

Simon January 23rd 2011 11:38 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
You just reminded me of something to add, as far as I know all genuine US copies should be in those clear plastic type sleeves, not paper. I've not seen a genuine copy in paper, only fakes.

Felipe. January 23rd 2011 11:40 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
funny enough, it really is all about the Colour and the Shape when it comes to this album of all albums. =P

FooZealand January 23rd 2011 11:46 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
The joy of feedback - Ebay I mean, not amplifier :)

A Japanese seller is probably even more wary of negative feedback than any other, and if they sell internally within Japan as well as internationally, you can basically bet your house the item is real. One fake feedback post and their internal Japanese sales would stop overnight - your culture reference being the exact reason.

FooZealand January 23rd 2011 11:58 PM

Re: How to spot a fake Colour And The Shape LP
Yes I believe these square sleeves are the originals, but I only have one way to confirm that ... :D

That said, the "opened" copy came from Japan as I've mentioned, and collectors there almost uniformly use Japanese made antistatic plastic sleeves. Even the best paper sleeves can cut vinyl, unless they are the super high quality ones with the plastic anti static built inside the paper.

So they could have been re-sleeved. And I should add, those Japanese plastic sleeves are totally the business, super fine and super strong. And most come pre curved to the shape of an LP, different to the ones pictured, so they have likely been kept original.

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