Elvis 1961b 800

I Feel So Bad compact 33 single and picture sleeve

I FEEL SO BAD was Elvis’ fifth single of the new decade, and was a world­wide smash—or at least it or the flip-side was a smash some­where. At this time (1961–62), RCA Victor was is­suing Pres­ley’s new sin­gles in the US as both stan­dard 45 rpm records and also as 33 rpm records. The latter was a new format that the com­pany dubbed Com­pact 33 Sin­gles. I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country was one of these.

All five of these Com­pact 33 Sin­gles are rather rare records and their pic­ture sleeves are even rarer! This is not some­thing that can be said about many Presley records that were com­mer­cially re­leased by RCA. These records are also very poorly un­der­stood as col­lec­tables by most buyers and sellers.

De­spite the fact that the market for Presley plat­ters is con­sid­ered “dead” by many (un­en­light­ened? cyn­ical?) wheelers and dealers, col­lec­tors should keep in mind a few points:

•  Compact-33 records com­mand prices up to sev­eral hun­dred times as much as their 45 rpm coun­ter­parts!

 Compact-33 pic­ture sleeves are even rarer and more valu­able than the records!

 

The Com­pact 33s are an im­por­tant part of any Elvis Presley col­lec­tion and the I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country single and pic­ture sleeve should be on every Elvis col­lec­tors want-list.

 

In fact, the Compact-33 pic­ture sleeves are among the most valu­able of all Elvis Presley record-related col­lec­tables! The rarest sleeves sell for thou­sands of dol­lars even in less than NM con­di­tion.

In fact, should one want to buy a copy of the record and pic­ture sleeve to I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country in NM con­di­tion today, one might find the values listed here rather con­ser­v­a­tive com­pared to what a seller of such col­lec­tables would de­mand.

 

C33_FeelSoBad_NOHF_left

C33_FeelSoBad_NOHF+right

Sug­gested NM value for the record is $300-400.

 

C33_FeelSoBad_PS

Sug­gested NM value for the pic­ture sleeve is $1,000-1,500.

 

Elvis_C33_FacSleeve

Later or­ders for the record may have been shipped in a sleeve like the one above. Sleeves of this nature—uncoated paper with a die-cut hole and the record com­pa­ny’s name or logo—are often re­ferred to as ‘fac­tory sleeves.’ They have only nom­inal value to most col­lec­tors.

Compact 33 single

Re­leased in May 1961, RCA Victor 37-7880, I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country, was the second Presley title re­leased as a com­pact 33 single and pic­ture sleeve and RCA’s ex­pec­ta­tions were till so this still had a rel­a­tive good-sized press run, if not as con­fi­dent a pressing as Sur­render / Lonely Man.

The record and the pic­ture sleeve are listed and valued sep­a­rately. All values rep­re­sent copies of the record and the sleeve in Near Mint (NM) con­di­tion. The values that I have as­signed are es­ti­mates based on re­cent sales re­ported on the Pop­sike and Col­lec­tors Frenzy web­sites com­bined with forty years of ex­pe­ri­ence. 1

Vari­a­tions for this record exist: As each RCA pressing plant used local printers for their la­bels, each plant’s records can usu­ally be iden­ti­fied by the pe­cu­liar­i­ties of each plant’s label. Most of the dif­fer­ences are in type-face and the sizing of that type.

There are other dif­fer­ences: copies can be found with or without RCA Vic­tor’s “New Or­tho­phonic High Fi­delity” motto. At this time, there is no es­tab­lished dif­fer­ence in the value be­tween the two press­ings. 2

Both the record and the pic­ture sleeve for the I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country Com­pact 33 Single are con­sid­er­ably rarer and con­se­quently con­sid­er­ably more valu­able than the first Sur­render / Lonely Man.

 

Elvis 1957 goldsuit standup 1000

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, many Elvis col­lec­tors shunt these records to the side, con­sid­ering them ex­tras as they are not part of Presley’s stan­dard cat­alog of 78 and 45 rpm sin­gles and EPs and 33⅓ rpm LPs. But that is a mis­take: these were com­mer­cially re­leased and ap­par­ently sold tens of thou­sands of copies.

They are an im­por­tant part of any basic Elvis Presley col­lec­tion and the I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country com­pact 33 single and pic­ture sleeve should be on every Elvis col­lec­tors want-list.

Fi­nally, Wild In The Country is a sound­track record, being the title of his cur­rent movie in early 1961. It is an ex­cel­lent side, al­though one that one would hardly think of as A-side ma­te­rial. Yet that didn’t stop the British: for some in­ex­plic­able reason, in Eng­land, the record was flipped and Wild In The Country be­came the fea­tured side. It reached #1 on at least one of the weekly UK charts .

 


FOOTNOTES:

1   Should you do some re­search on Pop­sike or Col­lec­tors Frenzy, you will see that re­gard­less of the grades given the items, the photos in­di­cate that few if any of the sleeves are truly NM. I have to as­sume that many of the records are also over-graded, hence the rel­a­tively modest prices fetched for these items on eBay and else­where on the In­ternet.

2   This can be also be done by looking at the iden­ti­fying code of each plant that is etched into the trail-off vinyl (or ‘dead wax’ among older, aging, de­crepit col­lec­tors like my­self) of each record.

 

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