SURRENDER was Elvis’ fourth single of the new decade, and was a worldwide smash. At this time (1961–1962), RCA Victor was issuing Presley’s new singles in the US as both standard 45s and as 33⅓ rpm records. The latter was a new format that the company dubbed Compact 33 Singles. Surrender / Lonely Man was one of five.
Surrender is unique among Elvis records: it was the only selection that was issued as a Compact-33 Single in stereo!
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 Surrender / Lonely Man single and picture sleeve in “Living Stereo” 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 Surrender / Lonely Man in NM condition today, one might find the values listed here rather conservative compared to what a seller of such collectables would demand.
Suggested NM value for the record is $500-1,000.
RCA Victor 68-7850 was not issued with a picture sleeve, a very odd occurrence for an Elvis record since ’56. Instead, it was 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 singles in living stereo
Released in February 1961, RCA Victor 68-7850, Surrender / Lonely Man, is a one-of-a-kind record for Elvis: a Compact 33 Single in Living Stereo! Other Presley singles had been issued in Living Stereo beginning in 1960, but they were otherwise standard 45s. Alas, this hybrid of two experimental formats met the same commercial fate as the others and is a rather rare record these days.
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. Therefore, 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 “Stereo Orthophonic High Fidelity” motto. At this time, there is no established difference in the value between the two pressings. 2
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 Surrender compact 33 single in living stereo should be on every Elvis collectors want-list.
Finally, Lonely Man is a soundtrack record taken from his current movie in early 1961, Wild In The Country. It is a fine side, although one that one would hardly think of as A-side material.
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.