JOHN LENNON Imagine LP GENUINE UK 1st PRESS EXCLUSIVE TO OCT 1971 UNPLAYED MINT
April 01, 2017
April 08, 2017
Click to enlarge
Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the people,
Living for today.
Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion too.
Imagine all the people,
Living life in peace.
You may say that I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people,
Sharing all the world.
You may say that I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.
JOHN LENNON: "Imagine" LP. VERY FIRST UK PRESSING, 10th OCTOBER, 1971.
A John Lennon masterpiece and a huge selling album in every decade every since, tracing the UK genuine first pressings is very
easy because every item was unique to October, 1971 and "Imagine" is stacked with exclusive features. An unplayed first pressing
is very rare, confirmed by easily marked textured picture Apple labels, complete lack of any spindle contact traces, I must and
will respect that rarity and not play the ultimate condition first issue record myself.
SOFTLY TEXTURED APPLE LABEL, WITH JOHN'S PICTURE ON SIDE 1: PAS 10004.
SIDE 2's LABEL HAS THE UNIQUE FIRST PRESSING ONLY TEXT FOR "Oh My Love."
"All Songs Published By Northern Songs Ltd. NCB" is on both sides, but Side 2 also has this legal disclaimer:
"Joint Copyright Claimed By Ono Music Ltd" for "Oh My Love."
All Paul and John's first pressing only records from this very difficult early 1970's period, have some form of copyright text
for new co-written material. In the wake of the Beatles breaking up in May, 1970, they were involved in legal courtroom
battles and attempts to break free from outside ownership of their solo song publishing. That was still contractually tied
into the no longer functioning 'Beatles' and 'Lennon and McCartney' had severed their songwriting partnership in May 1970,
they were solo artists and no longer working together, well, they were not even talking to each other! If they added another
name to their's as co-composers, 'Northern Songs' still insisted on collecting 'Lennon / McCartney' song publishing royalties.
John & Yoko and Paul & Linda countered that greed by forming new music publishing companies, to at least have the copyrights
shared when they were in new songwriting partnerships. Not much to ask when they were outside of the previous contract that
had earned untold fortunes from those 'Lennon / McCartney' songs. Not according to 'Northern Songs' though, they insisted
they owned the rights to anything written by John and Paul individually, based on the contract signed way back in March,1963,
after the original 'Dick James' agreement. It was still only a year after the Beatles had broken up and none of legal disputes had
been resolved yet, even if "Imagine" was now John's second solo album since the Beatles disbanded.
MAITRIX: YEX 865 - 1U / YEX 866 - 1U
Please read on below, because this genuine 'first of the first' maitrix configurations does NOT exclusively belong to the
authentic October, 1971 first pressings. Including the above "Joint Copyright Claimed By Ono Music Ltd" and heavyweight, deep
grooved 1971 vinyl, if every single one of the features I will detail here is in place, then the above maitrix does indeed signify
the 'first of the first' maitrix machine stamping.
EMI STAMPING CODES; AD 2 / AL ?
The consistency of first pressings is once again established, nearly six months ago I sold a first pressing of "Imagine," it was
in the same true Mint condition and had all the exclusive features. This first pressing was pressed in the same batch and from
the same mothers, only the actual order of the record's pressing differ. The coded letters at 3 o'clock had to be changed far,
far more than the 9 o'clock digits representing the mothers. I will now repeat exactly the same comments I made in November,
2016, this has nothing to do with coincidences, just the meticulous indexing that guaranteed perfect sound for every record made.
You cannot say anything else when the legendary George Peckham had signed his logo next to the perfectly clear digit on Side 1.
Side 1 was sourced from the second mother, Side 2's digit at 9 o'clock in the run-out grooves is totally unreadable, maybe '1' or
'2', but just about anything, so I am unable to give to give a positive interpretation. With '2' on Side 1, there is no question it
was pressed at the beginning of the records first made for releasing on the 10th October, 1971. I have included the '2' digit in a
close up picture, as the logo of the highly respected sound engineer who first mastered "Imagine" in Britain, was hand scribed
very close to it. The same was not true for the maitrix on Side 2, showing a 'blob' of unformed plastic, no problem there with
the wealth of unique features attached to the very first pressings of "Imagine."
WITH GEORGE PECKHAM'S LOGO'S SCRIBED ON EITHER SIDE IN THE RUN-OUT GROOVES, HE WAS THE UK'S FINEST
EVER VINYL CUTTER; "Pecko" & "Porky'"
"Gimme Some Truth, I Only Want The Truth..... (John Lennon, 1971)
All re-issues have that in the run-out grooves, most copies being sold on ebay are indeed later 1970's re-issues, but straight
after John was murdered, the 1980's pressings of "Imagine" were made in astronomical numbers and EMI still used the same
'YEX 865 - 1U / YEX 866 - 1U' maitrix, there any similarity ended. The thin cardboard cover was not laminated on both sides,
a thin paper poster with a sheen surface was inside with with an equally thin postcard, there was not a lyric inner sleeve, just
a standard 1980's EMI type, usually dated on the bottom of one side. The vinyl was painfully thin and so was the sound, but based
entirely on "Pecko" & "Porky'" and the maitrix, those plentiful 1980's pressings are being presented on ebay as the 1971 first
issues. For genuine very first pressings like this, unused /unplayed condition for all the items is extremely rare , I must stress
again, the details given here are exclusive to only very first printed items and of course to the top standard 1971 first pressed
EMI / Apple vinyl.
VERY FIRST ISSUE ONLY, UNIQUELY SHAPED FULLY LAMINATED FRONT & BACK COVER, THERE WAS NOT A SPECIFIC
PRINTER CREDIT GIVEN, JUST "Printed In England" ON THE BACK BOTTOM RIM. ALWAYS A MAJOR CLUE RECORD
COMPANIES WERE USING MORE THAN ONE OR SEVERAL PRINTERS, DUE TO THE DISTINCTIVE DESIGN,'Garrod' MADE
THIS SHAPE IN THE 60's , A FLAT MAIN SECTION, WITH THE TOP AND BOTTOM TAPERED INTO POINTED ENDS.
I HAVE TAKEN AN EXTENDED CLOSE UP PICTURE OF THE TOP SECTION OF THE SPINE, WITH THE FULL LP TITLES
AND INCLUDING TO THE END.
1.) The spine has pointed endings with the main part flat, the distinctive gradually tapered pointed endings, suggesting it was
'Garrod & Lofthouse' who made the first issue only covers.
2.) The top and bottom edges are not folded flat or square, a sloping or 'bowed' like finish to exactly match where the contours
of the spine's initial tapering position, before becoming pointed, therefore a sloping shape to the top & bottom edges. Depending
on individual cover's assembling and gluing, the 'bowed' shape can be on the front or back, often both or a mixture for the top
and the bottom.
3.) The front or the back only, has the laminated edges finished just before the top & bottom edges furthest points, not wrapped
over them. I have never seen the front and finished on either side, it is possible there might be a few out there, but after all
those years I do not believe they exist. I will state the fixing potions are always on one side only, if this sounds too complex
please don't worry because specific details as intricate as this were always a specialist field, my close up picture of the top
of the spine will easily identify these unique, first issue only covers
4.) In spite of the spine's shape, there was not a ridge created where the front and back's vertical edges meet the spine.
So the front's far left side and the back's far right side slope down towards the spine, creating yet another dipping effect
that no other "Imagine" cover was ever made like again.
5.) Without the ridges alongside the spine, the laminate was easily and perfectly smoothed down as it was wrapped over
the spine, I have never seen one of these rare very first issue covers where the laminate never made contact there, but it
still left the the extremely difficulty of laminating over the extreme tips of the pointed spines. Indeed, this is yet another
example of the laminate not taking evenly there, a tiny area near the back top point and a laminate line running from
the tip on the top left front corner. Very hard to see without tilting the cover and I am being over zealous in describing a
spine design from the 60's that would be discontinued very soon.
6.) For the scenario outlined directly above, approximately 90% of all first issue UK "Imagine" covers have ultra slim, but
without the tapered into pointed spine endings. Plus with the standard square or flat non rounded centres, it made them
much more effective for the printed titles and catalogue number.
7.) Finally, the actual internal folded connecting top cardboard strip was ridiculously thin, made to try to compensate for the
pointed endings, but it made no difference and laminating was still very difficult when it covered the front and back of covers.
If you look inside the top cover, the very first issue covers can be identified from that alone, they usually became unstuck due
to the small size with average use of the record.
THERE IS LITERALLY NO WEAR OR AGEING ANYWHERE ON THIS REALLY BEAUTIFUL, AGE DEFYING, STUNNING COVER.
ANYTHING ON HERE, SUCH AS A FEW TINY LAMINATE EDGE LINES, WAS PRECISELY HOW IT WAS MADE IN 1971 OR
FACTORY HANDLING. I HAVE INCLUDED THE LAMINATION'S APPLICATION DIFFICULTIES, FACTORY FINISHES
ARE NOT PART OF GRADING, USE AND STORAGE ALONE COME INTO THAT EQUATION, A RARE UNPLAYED RECORD LIKE
LIKE THIS DEMANDS COMMON SENSE TAKES THE PRIORITY. I ALWAYS INCLUDE THE EFFECT OF NATURALLY JUST
STANDING FOR 45 YEARS WITH A HEAVYWEIGHT RECORD AND A HUGE FOLDED BULKY POSTER INSIDE, WHICH FOR
FIRST ISSUES, MEANT AT LEAST THREE TIMES AS THICK PAPER.
HOW CAN I BE THAT POSITIVE?
My first bought, day of issue "Imagine" has this design and a few tiny laminate edge lines, I still have the album and kept it
in a plastic sleeve and never allowed the sloping shape to be squashed flat, the horrific creases that caused will be seen on
ebay. I accept that is not enough and I deal in solid facts not speculation, no design ever made could hold a heavy circular
circular object and a huge poster and not end up with some degree of an impression from within, that particularly affected
fully laminated covers. That impression was absolutely minimised though by the sloping shape of the cover, creating a
wider, more spacious centre as well, easily accommodating the first pressing only heavy record and massively thick poster.
The record has hardly left an impression, to even see it will require tilting the cover acutely into a light source.
PERFECTLY STORED, LOOKING LIKE NEW, THE STRICTEST GRADING IS NEAR MINT CONDITION.
FIRST ISSUE ONLY, MATT AND TEXTURED OUTSIDE AND INSIDE, THICK PAPER "Imagine" POSTER.
No other following poster was made on such thick, textured paper like this, there was a sheen finish applied to the next
made and they had a smooth non textured finish. Once again I believe 'Garrod' made these stunning, deluxe quality posters.
MEASURING 33" x 22", THE EXTRA ABSORBENT PAPER DOES NOT HAVE ANY AGING, SO I MUST INSIST ON SAYING
THIS AS CLOSE TO BEING THE ORIGINAL PURE WHITE 46 YEARS ALLOWS. PLUS 100% AUTHENTIC AND NOT AS
COMMONLY FOUND , A MUCH LATER POSTER SWAPPED FOR THE ORIGINAL. POSITIVELY UNUSED, WITH ONLY THE
ORIGINAL PRINTER'S FOLDS AND RELATED LIGHT RIPPLES.
IN 'NEVER LEFT COVER' MINT- CONDITION.
FIRST ISSUE "John Lennon with pig mocks the "Ram" cover" THICK POSTCARD, WITH PHOTOGRAPHIC SHARPNESS
PRINTING. IN A DIFFERENT CLASS COMPARED TO ALL THE RE-ISSUE CARDS, IN UNAGED MINT CONDITION.
STRICTLY FIRST ISSUE ONLY, LYRICS AND CREDITS INNER SLEEVE, PURE WHITE, UNUSED, UNAGED, UNSPLIT AND
ONLY A GENTLE RECORD IMPRESSION, HOW COULD THERE NOT BE ONE IN THE SOFT PAPER? THESE FIRST ISSUES
WERE PRINTED ON A MATT TOP SURFACE, VIRTUALLY WITHOUT ANY AGEING WORTHY OF DISCUSSION, NO CREASES,
TEARS OR FOLDS. UNHANDLED, THE TOP OPENING HAS SHARP, CRISP EDGES, IN MINT- CONDITION.
The above is describing the vast majority of first issue inner sleeves, only one variation exists and they are extremely rare and
seldom seen. A die-cut centre to see the labels through on both sides, I must stress only a few were made with that design.
I am delighted to offer an undamaged, unused and virtually unaged standard inner sleeve, the previous "Imagine" I mentioned
selling last year, just happened to have the die-cut centre variant and that reminded to include it today.
THE RECORD HAS IMMACULATE LABELS, BEING SOFLY TEXTURED, I CAN POSITIVELY SAY THERE IS NOT A SINGLE
TRACE OF EVER BEING ON A SPINDLE OR A TURNTABLE. THE ULTRA GLOSSY VINYL IS TOTALLY UNMARKED AND
UNHANDLED ,IN UNPLAYED, MINT CONDITION.
"It's So Hard"
"I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama,I Don't Wanna Die"
"Gimme Some Truth"
"Oh My Love" (Lennon / Ono)
"How Do You Sleep?"
John Lennon - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, harmonica & whistling
George Harrison - electric guitar, slide guitar & dobro guitar
Nicky Hopkins - piano
Klaus Voormann - bass
Alan White - drums,Tibetan cymbals & vibraphone
John Barham - harmonium, keyboards & vibraphone Steve Brendell - upright bass & maracas
King Curtis - saxophone
Andy Davis - acoustic guitar
Tom Evans- acoustic guitar
John Tout - acoustic guitar
Ted Turner - acoustic guitar
Rod Linton - acoustic guitar
Joey Molland - acoustic guitar
Jim Gordon - drums
Jim Keltner - drums
Michael Pinder - tambourine
Phil Spector - backing vocals
The Flux Fiddlers - strings
All Songs Written By John Lennon, Except "Oh My Love", Co-Written With Yoko.
Recorded 23rd June 1971 – 5th July 1971, At John's Ascot Sound Studios
Produced By John Lennon, Yoko Ono & Phil Spector.
I strongly disapprove of ridiculous terms like, 'museum', 'archive', 'investment opportunity' etc. being applied to our musical
heritage but for such a stunning genuine very first pressing of "Imagine," I will give my all to providing essential details of
the vinyl pressing and all connected printed items. How could those soul searching lyrics be at the top of the page and have
any connection to such inappropriate terms that are more suited to antique furniture? For all the magnificence of Lennon's
input to the Beatles recording's, the "Imagine" album artwork, LP title and the song itself placed as the opening track, were
all directly inspired by all that had proceded this album in the 1960's, including his superb first solo LP, "Plastic Ono Band."
For a philosophical view of the world, John had also been inspired by Yoko, but the haunting melody and the actual lyrics are
the genius of Lennon the songwriter and his actual vocal performance was so intensive, the out-takes demonstrated how he
had to compose himself and find the exact feel to produce the vocal you hear on the record. He had written the greatest song
and lyrics of all time, for all his anti-war, Peace efforts, "Imagine" said it all, but for the album itself, John felt he had to
use alternate production techniques found on his "Plastic Ono Band" first solo album, in order to express those sentiments.
John Lennon was also into performing very heavy rock and "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama,I Don't Wanna Die" is still an
underrated masterpiece of a track, 'Lennon the dreamer' and the writer of beautiful love songs like, "How", "Oh My Love" and
"Jealous Guy", also represent the musical genius and 'The Legend.' By the album opening with "Imagine", it was a statement of
intent and and so was the choice of "Gimme Some Truth" for Side 2, it might not be generally known that was originally written for
and performed by the Beatles in 1969 in it's embryonic stages. Then you had that astonishing character attack on Paul McCartney
with George Harrison playing a really mean slide blues lead guitar on "How Do You Sleep?", one of the out-takes went so far, not
even Lennon would have issued it! The actual song and production on "How Do You Sleep?" had a sound that became unique to all
the tracks, so unique, he could not replicate it again and he never tried to either, well, only once and he deliberately recordeda
track to directly mirror another personal onslaught in song and lyrics. That time it was Allen Klein who raised Lennon's anger
in 1974, I have recently mentioned "Steel And Glass" in a description of a superb first pressing, "Walls And Bridges." He named it
as a 'Son of "How Do You Sleep?" in interviews, but that was a one-off and purpose made use of the "Imagine" album's sound.
That very special 'sound' can only be named as 'Imagine.' Such was the biting intensity immediately after the Beatles broke up,
John and Paul had a few tense unproductive meetings, then they virtually stepped straight into a courtroom as enemies on the
opposite sides, perhaps that is better expressed as former best friends/ brothers falling out after spending so long living under
intensive pressures. Just returning to that first solo recording and the presentation of the songs, they had a different but very
special sound exclusive to the the previous "Plastic Ono Band." Lennon was howling out his pain on that first solo album, a
wonderful raw and earthy sound, not to everyone's taste and he felt the Peace message was too important to end up buried on
an album the majority of fans ignored. For "Imagine," he used everything he had learnt in nine years experience of recording
studios, he now utilised an amazing ability to craft some of the world's most stunning records, which "Imagine" certainly is.
I started writing this with the firm conviction it would be incorrect to play such an ultimate true mint record after being kept
so perfectly stored and unplayed for fourty six years now. A huge seller, but with this unique cover and poster etc. I tend to
think in terms of these being more like a 'limited edition' for my own copy! It would be purely indulgence to play it even once,
this is a loved album and it is well documented how perfectly EMI mastered and pressed "Imagine." It had to be with Lennon
still living in England and 'breathing down EMI's necks' and personally checking these first pressings! In fact even when he was
living in New York and preparing "Shaved Fish" in 1975, John refused to accept EMI's dubs of his singles and would only allow
Abbey Road's master tapes to be used for the compilation. Today sellers on ebay reap the rewards of the mistakenly used mix of
"Tomorrow Never Knows" on the UK "Revolver" album. I regularly see most now tying themselves in knots trying to understand
the simple spelling anomalies of "Doctor Robert," if not for John Lennon's scrutiny of all his just released records, none of the
changes would have been noticed or the amendments made, if not for his refusal to allow anything unless it was how he intended
it to sound and even spelled or abbreviated. = I would dearly love to describe every track, I'm bursting with info and have complete
studio out-takes, according to a knowledgeable source, they were given to a collector by John Lennon as a thank you for giving
him several vinyl bootlegs with Beatles material on them. John also collected boots and loved the idea of underground music,
he apparently said, "Make sure these are circulated, there's some great stuff on the tapes!" Without playing the record I had no
idea what to write here after all the pressing info and credits, I wanted to exhaust all of them in my main headings, with the
extensive text and the above twelve pictures, I would have no further details to give here and for once, I toyed with the idea
of just writing nothing else and simply end the description with, "THE RECORD IS IN UNPLAYED MINT CONDITION." If ever
there was one album I ever wanted to write the very basics only about, but the paradox of only wanting to sell a first pressing
in true Mint condition, cannot be resolved. In our 16 years trading on ebay, now my fifth listing of a Mint, unplayed "Imagine"
and I am rather proud to present this revered album in the ultimate condition as the very first pressing.
R & M RECORDS.
My lifetime's love of music and records began at a very young age, the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960's decade
in general had a very profound effect. It was only natural to bring all my first hand experience of collecting vinyl
into becoming a professional record seller. Nearly thirty years ago we entered into the wonderful atmosphere
of record fairs with the highest possible standards set. When the Internet became the world's new market place for
vinyl, in 2001 it was time to join ebay. Those standards were rigidly adhered to as they will always continue to be,
the basics of honesty and integrity were very much part of the era the music I love originated in, so here is our friendly
and very efficient service we are proud to provide;
EVERY RECORD IS FULLY PLAYED AND COMES WITH A 'NO ARGUMENT' MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.
I USE GOOD OLD COMMON SENSE AS WELL AS A GLOBALLY ACCEPTED GRADING TERMINOLOGY
FROM THE U.K. "RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE" BOOK.
THERE IT CLEARLY STATES "Sound Quality" AFFECTS EVERY GRADING LEVEL AND THAT IS THE ONE
AND ONLY POSSIBLE WAY TO ACCURATELY GRADE RECORDS. i.e. COMBINING A STRICT VISUAL
INSPECTION WITH VERY CLOSELY LISTENING TO EVERY SECOND, UNLESS PERHAPS IN THE CASE
OF GENUINELY UNPLAYED VINYL. EVEN THEN WE STILL TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR A RECORD
WHEN A CUSTOMER RECEIVES EITHER A SEALED OR AN UNPLAYED RECORD.
We take 100% responsibility after an item has been posted and offer our fullest support in the event of any problems.
"There Are No Problems, Only Solutions" (John Lennon)
MY DESCRIPTIONS WILL ALWAYS BE 100% HONEST AND TOTALLY ACCURATE ON ALL GRADINGS
FROM 'V.G.' ( VERY GOOD), TO THE ULTIMATE 'MINT' CONDITION.
ANY QUESTIONS ON OUR ITEMS ARE WELCOMED AND WILL BE PROMPTLY REPLIED TO.
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RECORDS AND COVERS ETC. WE WELCOME BIDDERS FROM ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
ALL RECORDS ARE REMOVED FROM THEIR SLEEVES AND PLACED INTO NEW PROTECTIVE CARD
SLEEVES AND THEN PLACED INTO NEW, HEAVYWEIGHT PLASTIC OUTER SLEEVES.
THE GREATEST ATTENTION IS PAID TO MAKING THE PACKAGING EXTREMELY STRONG & SECURE.
EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE A SAFE DELIVERY AND WE ONLY USE THE VERY BEST
QUALITY PACKAGING MATERIALS, THE COST OF THE ITEM IS IMMATERIAL, EVERY RECORD IS
TREATED EXACTLY THE SAME.
WE DO NOT TREAT POSTAGE AS A MONEY MAKING PROJECT, POSTAGE IS LESS THAN COST, USING
ONLY PROFESSIONALLY PACKED BOXES WITH SUBSTANTIAL PROTECTIVE PACKAGING THAT DOES
WEIGH A LITTLE EXTRA.
UNDER PAYPAL & EBAY'S GUIDELINES, ALL RECORDS WILL BE SENT VIA A FULLY INSURED TRACKABLE
We have kept all our charges at the same level for years now, but due to the Post Office's new price increases, regretfully we
will have to increase the cost of LP's, however, singles will remain unchanged. Ebay were aware of that happening and have
increased their minimum postal cost for LP's to £7.00, that figure has been enforced by the UK Post Office and it will become
our UK First Class, Recorded Delivery cost for albums up to the value of £46. A temporary reduction this week means we can
now post LP's for £5, but who knows how long before the Post Office return to £7?
For LP's valued above £46, the cost will be £9, we are unhappy about either increase but our high standard of packaging has meant
in 13 years of ebay trading, there has not been one record damaged, we are determined to maintain that in the present and future.
IN THE UK RECORDS UP TO THE VALUE OF £46 WILL BE SENT RECORDED DELIVERY, OVER £46 WILL BE
SENT SPECIAL DELIVERY.
FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD ALL RECORDS WILL BE SENT VIA 'INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR.'
POSTAGE COST FOR LP's
UK: UP TO VALUE OF £46, FIRST CLASS RECORDED DELIVERY £5.00
UK: OVER VALUE OF £46, FULLY INSURED SPECIAL DELIVERY £9.00
EUROPE: FULLY INSURED VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £15.00
USA,JAPAN & REST OF THE WORLD FULLY INSURED VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £20.00
POSTAGE COST FOR EP's & 7"
UK: UP TO THE VALUE OF £46 FIRST CLASS RECORDED DELIVERY £3.00
UK: OVER THE VALUE OF £46 FULLY INSURED SPECIAL DELIVERY £6.00
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USA, JAPAN ETC. AIRMAIL VIA INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR £12.00
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AS NEAR TO THE AUCTION ENDING AS POSSIBLE.
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