Real vs. Fake Vigotone Releases

One of the growing problems facing Vigotone collectors is getting burned by buying a "fake" release.  Since the time that Vigotone was put out of business in the summer of 2001, many of their titles have been "re-issued" by other bootleggers.  These copies have been appearing with greater regularity and are fast becoming more common than the originals.  Knowing a legitimate release from a fake one is concern all of us have, so I've created this special page.

Copies of Vigotone releases range in quality.  They can be CDR copies that the seller is knocking off himself, they can be "silver" CDs that are being pressed at a real CD plant, or they can be something in-between.  One thing they have in common - they are fake!

The most common fakes used to be copies of Vigotone's more expensive box sets (like Thirty Days, Voodoo Brew & Voodoo Stew).  Thirty Days was knocked off as a set of CDs in a plain white box (with the name stenciled in the side).  All 17 disks have also been bootlegged onto one CDR (in the MPG-3 format).  Vigotone only released Thirty Days in a large-sized full-color box (with an extensive glossy-paged booklet).   The Buddy Holly set also is turning up on eBay a lot.  When the seller says that the set "doesn't include box or booklet" assume that it's a fake!   Vigotone never released their multi-disk sets with just the disks; they always sold them in the box with the booklet! (There are a few single-disk releases that Vigotone is known to have re-issued without the box & booklet - see below.)   It seems that most of the later period Vigotone stuff is what the "re-booters" are knocking off these days.

 

How To Spot a Fake:

Thankfully, the copies are usually quite easy to distinguish from the originals.  They may say "Vigotone" on them, but they tend to lack the special packaging (like boxes & booklets) that make the original Vigotones so much fun to have!.

Spotting a fake Vigotone can be a challenge, but the chart below features some of the more common (and blatant!) Vigotone fakes (if you know of any more, write me and I'll post the info here!):

Real Vigotones

Fake Vigotones

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

arrivewithoutagingreal.jpg (24235 bytes)

arrivewithoutagingfake.jpg (20564 bytes)

This fake of Arrive Without Aging shows up on eBay all the time.  The seller always has "HTF/OOP" in his auction's heading.  If it's so HTF (hard to find) and OOP (out of print), then why does he have so many to sell?   Probably, because he's selling fakes!  (The original doesn't have the name on the cover!)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

Here's another fake Arrive Without Aging.  The original 1st pressing CD was made in Taiwan.  This fake was made in EEC.  (There are fake "Made In Taiwan" copies of this title, but they can be distinguished by their very fuzzy jewel case inserts...)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

The authentic Get Back Journals II was released on CD and CDR.  The fake was on CD only.  It's this fake release that is missing data (not the CDR version!).  (This faulty fake has been identified as a "reissue" or a "second release" on some websites.   Since Vigotone also reissued the collection (on CDR), it has long been assumed that it was the CDR version that has missing data.  Not so.  It's this fake that has been giving this set such a bad name!)

The fake has the same running time as an original, but it will run silence from when the glitch starts to the end of the track.  Of the 8 discs, only discs 1 through 3 have the problem.  These are the tracks that are affected: Disc One - 25, 33, 36, 37;   Disc Two - 19;   Disc Three - 15. 

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

The authentic Get Back: The Glyn Johns Final Compilation was only released on CDR.  The fake includes the box, booklet and a real CD.  (If you compare the box & booklet to an original, you'll see that they are slightly fuzzy..)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

The original Making of All Things Must Pass came with rather simple-looking discs.  The fake has discs with fancy printed labels.  The printing style is also different on the fake (yet it matches the fake All Things Must Surface).

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

The original All Things Must Surface included either real CDs (in Japan) or "Silver" CDRs (in the USA).  It had a "thick" jewel case.  The fake has discs with printed labels, a "thin" jewel case, and a jewel case insert unlike the original.  (Since the original came in a "thick" jewel case, its title card and insert are separate.  The fake combines them into one insert.)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realfromkinfauns.jpg (37130 bytes)

fakefromkinfauns.jpg (43048 bytes)

The original From Kinfauns To Chaos came with a box & booklet.  The fake doesn't.  The original was CDR only.  The fake is a CD.  Note the difference in cover art.

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realmoreimagine.jpg (26049 bytes)

fakemoreimagine.jpg (32880 bytes)

The original Imagine...More Session Tapes came with a box & booklet and was released on CDR only!  The fake (CDs) doesn't have the box & booklet.  The artwork on the fake is rather handsome, but it's NOT authentic Vigotone!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realwhen it rains.jpg (32176 bytes)

fakewhen it rains.jpg (19630 bytes)

The original When It Rains, It Pours came with a box & booklet.  The fake doesn't.  The original was CDR only.  The fake is a CD.  Note the difference in cover art.

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

reallastflight.jpg (34792 bytes)

fakelastflight.jpg (15254 bytes)

The original Last Flight came with a box & booklet.  The fake doesn't.  The original was CDR only.  The fake is a CD.  The fake's cover art is the original's booklet.  The fake's back cover is similar to the original's but includes a UPC barcode!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realmccartneycostello.jpg (37001 bytes)

fakemccartneycostello.jpg (20583 bytes)

The authentic Vigotone The McCartney/MacManus Collaboration came with a CDR, a box, and a booklet.  The fake (a CD) comes in a box with really boring artwork.  The fake also a different name! (The Studio Collaboration)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realpizzaandfairytales.jpg (30189 bytes)

fakepizzaandfairytales.jpg (18130 bytes)

The original Pizza and Fairy Tales came with a box & booklet.  The fake doesn't.  The original was CDR only.  The fake is a CD.  The fake's front and back cover art uses the original's box!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realpiratesongs.jpg (30250 bytes)

fakepiratesongs.jpg (19153 bytes)

The original Pirate Songs came with a box & booklet.  The fake doesn't.  The copy may or may not have an "import" sticker on it.  The original was on CD & CDR (but always with the box & booklet).  The fake is a CD.

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

real12arnoldgrove.jpg (30250 bytes)

fake12arnoldgrove.jpg (19698 bytes)

pb1007boxbacksmall.jpg (13051 bytes) pb1007backsmall.jpg (13292 bytes)

Note the lack of copyright info & the Pegboy logo on the original's back cover (left), but the fake having copyright info & the Pegboy logo on the back cover  (above - under George's picture)!

The original 12 Arnold Grove came with a box & booklet.  Being post 1997, it was released on CDR only!  The fake (a CD) doesn't include the box or booklet.  This fake is easy to spot because the clowns that made it used the original's booklet for the cover art!  The back cover also has a clue to its illegitimacy: the copyright info & the Pegboy logo.   The original had this info & logo on the box, not on the back cover of the jewel case!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realsomewherinengland.jpg (21393 bytes)

fakesomewherinengland.jpg (13722 bytes)

The original Somewhere In England came with a box & booklet and was released on CD & CDR (both versions having the box & booklet).  The fake (a CD) doesn't have the box & booklet.  As with the release above, the original's booklet serves as the cover art on the fake!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realthroughmanyyears.jpg (28276 bytes)

fakethroughmanyyears.jpg (17678 bytes)

For Through Many Years, the fake uses the original's box art for its front and back covers.  The original was released as a CDR only.   The fake is a CD.  If you don't get the box & booklet, you're getting a fake!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realcantfightlightning.jpg (29839 bytes)

fakecantfightlightning.jpg (21025 bytes)

The original Can't Fight Lightning came with a box & booklet and was released on CD & CDR (both versions having the box & booklet).  The fake (a CD) doesn't have the box & booklet.  As with other fakes the original's booklet serves as the cover art!  The back of the box is used as the back cover on the fake!

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realvoodoobrew.jpg (16984 bytes)

The original Voodoo Brew came in a large slipcase style box with a large booklet.  The fake comes in a slightly larger box, where the top lifts off.  The fake's CDs are in a plastic tray, which fits into the bottom box.  The original release was on CD, as is the copy.  (Note how the CDs are arranged in the boxes.  Two of the original's CDs are sideways in order to fit all of the CDs into the box.  None of the fake's CDs are sideways.)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

realvoodoostew.jpg (17622 bytes)

The original Voodoo Stew also came in a large slipcase style box with a large booklet.  As with Voodoo Brew, the fake comes in a slightly larger box, where the top lifts off.  The fake's CDs are in a plastic tray, which fits into the bottom box.  The original release was on CD, as is the copy.  (Note how the CDs are arranged in the boxes.  Two of the original's CDs are sideways in order to fit all of the CDs into the box.  None of the fake's CDs are sideways.)

 

Real Vigotone

Fake Vigotone

vigotone218-234cdrsmall.jpg (6710 bytes)vigotone218-234cdsmall.jpg (5279 bytes)

Authentic US-made CDR (on left) and Japan-made CD (on right).  (These are the only two styles made.)

This fake item was seen on eBay.  The seller claims it's got the original Japanese CDs.

No, it's got fake CDRs.

Fact: original Japanese CDs do not have the words "The Beatles" on them.  (As with most boots, CD pressers tend not to put the artist's (or artists') name on the discs.  It's therefore easier to lie to the authorities if caught.)  (Click on the real Vigs to see better pictures.)  What's more, the entire fake is green, where the original only has green around the apple image.

Also, the fake only has the discs - no box or booklet.

Finally, you can tell the fake is a CDR due to the way the light is reflecting off it.  The authentic  Japanese CDs have a much different look to them.

 

In addition to the titles above, there are a number of other titles released as copies:

Alf Together Now (Spank) - The original is quite rare due to it being released right before Vigotone got busted.  The fake is in the same packaging, but it's very fuzzy.  The fake's disc (a CDR) has the same artwork as the Japanese *CD* version (no "Beatles" written on the disc)!

All Things Must Surface (Reproman) - The original is also quite rare due to the same reason why "Alf" is so tough to find.  The original came in a "wide" jewel case (ala The White Album).  The fake comes in a narrow jewel case - and it has rather fuzzy printing!

 

Here's a fake that I knowingly bought!  Why?  Well, the re-bootlegger of this title copied the vinyl version of "Strobe Candles", not the CD version!  (You can even hear some slight vinyl clicks and pops!)  But, the main reason why I bought this is because the re-bootlegger did such a great job!  He created a Vigotone sticker for the jewel case and he reproduced the insert that came with the vinyl version (on the same style textured purple paper)!   I give him 10 points for creativity.

 

1994 "Fuzzy" Fakes

Most of the 1994 releases were knocked off by someone and sold as original Vigotones.  Since the artwork was merely copied from the Vigotone CDs, the printing on the fakes is quite fuzzy.  The discs themselves also differ, so by using this guide you should now be able to avoid the "fuzz"!

1994 fakes.jpg (34762 bytes)

The fakes have an "etched" band inside the mirrored band, a backward matrix number, and tend to look like the 1993 releases.  (They are lacking the asterisk!).  The fakes also have a disclaimer running around the outer edge that real Vigotones don't.

1994 fakes vs real.jpg (39839 bytes)

I've seen "fuzzy" fakes for these titles, but I'm sure more could exist:
Good Times Comin'
March 5, 1963
Come Back, Brian!
Daybreak On The Land
The Lost Pepperland Reel
Lei'd In Hawaii Rehearsal
Peco's Blues
Mike Love, Not War
Shea! / Candlestick Park
In Case You Don't Know...
Lost Lennon Tapes 30/31/32

 

Real Vigotones Without Boxes & Booklets:

There are a few releases that Vigotone is know to have re-issued themselves without the original box & booklet.  But, unlike fakes, these releases came in the original jewel case packaging - not modified packaging like the fakes use.  These releases were done after Vigotone made the switch to CDR, so expect them to be on CDR, not CD.

The Beatles - Shea!/Candlestick Park (Spank)
    The Beatles - Atlanta * Munich * Seattle (Spank)
    John Lennon - Free As A Bird: The Dakota Beatle Demos (Pegboy)
    John Lennon - The Dream Is Over (Pegboy)

 

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How did Vigotone achieve its high
level of quality?  Click here to find out!
What's the deal between Vigotone CDs and CDRs?  Click here for some info on this subject.
Fake Vigotones are flooding the market!  Click here for some info on this important subject!

    Do you want to see scans of the discs themselves, or learn how to distinguish a real Vigotone from a fake? Click here!
Click here to see some original Vigotone dealer brochures.

Write to me here:  vigotonefan (at) hotmail (dot) com