This section will help you figure out if your 1987 Release of the Black Album is a fake. You can also use it to spot the differences between a genuine 1987 and a fake one to avoid buying a fake one.

A lot of fake vinyls and CDs editions of the Black Album, are still presented on eBay or other websites as genuine Black Album releases. We will list as many of them as possible, at least the most circulating, in order to inform you about them as fakes, and therefore to avoid buying.

This is meant as information for collectors to prevent them to be fooled at auction sites or other points of sale. An informed collector is a happy one.

How to spot a fake 1987 Black Album

What to do first

Look at the pictures presented in the auction. The seller should present pictures that help a potential buyer identify a genuine copy. If these pictures are not presented, ask for them. Do not commit to buy a 1987 Black Album before checking the details listed below:

  • The sleeve must be all black with stickers, label name, address and catalog number (UK: WX 147 925 677) in orange on the spine.
  • At the bottom of the back sleeve, straight below the sticker, an indented Warner Bros. "W" has to be found.
  • The labels must be black with orange font
  • The label must not contain any information about any artist.
  • The label contains record tracks titles, a copyright, and a catalog number, aligned in a certain way (see pictures below).
  • The orange triangle must contain a "33" in white font.
  • The dead wax must contain the following serial numbers:
    Side A: R/S Alsdorf 925677-1-A2
    Side B: R/S Alsdorf 925677-1-B

Compare labels

The images below will help you spot the difference between the real 1987 German issue and the most commonly sold fake. Compare both images. The left one is a fake, the right one a genuine copy of the German 1987 release (courtesy by Sleevographia). Spot all the differences

The picture below combines both fake and genuine labels. Look at them carefully and compare them with your own copy, or the copy onsale on an auction site.

comparision genuine and fake labels

Fake records


For a quick overview, check our "fakes" vinyls gallery.

Unknown label (Cat: UK: WX 147 925677-1)

Black vinyl / Black labels
This fake record attempts to copy the original 1987 German label. This is the closest to a real Black Album, and has recently been seen on ebay for an extravagant 699 € (see our Facebook account for more details).
The sleeve is in glossy finish and doesn't look exactly like the original as the catalog number font size on the spine is bigger than the genuine one. On top of that Warner Bros. Record + address mentions are missing on the spine.
All stickers are also missing.
The record is presented into an inner black sleeve in mate finish. A trick of light causes the triangle below to look white when taking a picture, so beware with this detail and ask a close-up picture to the seller before you bid.
Catalog number in the dead wax attempts to copy the genuine one and read:
Side A: R/S Alsdorf 925677-1-A2
Side B: R/S Alsdorf 925677-1-B2
Red vinyl / Black labels
This is a red vinyl edition version of the bootleg mentioned above. It has a simalar black sleeve, without stickers, wrong size orange font on the spine, missing mentions. It is the exact same record as the black vinyl record, but in red vinyl.
It is beleived to have been released in 1988.
Black vinyl / White labels
This is an attempt to copy a promotional record. In fact this is a replica of the record described above, with all white labels.
Catalog number in the dead wax (as an attempts to copy the genuine copy):
Side A: R/S Alsdorf 925677-1-A2
Side B: R/S Alsdorf 925677-1-B2

Erotic City Records (Cat: Noir-69)

Pressed in 1988, this french bootleg is still advertized (too) many times on eBay as a genuine one. This is the second most common fake of The 1987 issue of the Black Album.

The sleeve is is black and rather shiny. When looking at it sideways a picture of Prince's face appears. Some copies have an oval sticker on the front reading "Prince Black Album" in purple.

The label contains white italic writing. Sides are dubbed Noir-69-A and B. In a thin symbol the words Black Album are printed in bold.

RiKardo Hammmond / Mr X Records (Cat: RDLP 101)

Pressed in 1988, this dutch (?) bootleg is easy to spot as the front sleeve presents Prince as seen on U Got The Look 12" maxi-single over a black background. "Prince" is printed in white "Sign O' The Times" font, and underneath is written "Black Album" in a different white font.

The labels are white, with black lettering. The catalog number reads RDLP 101 on side A. Another version of the same record comes with all white labels, with catalog number RDLP 101 A1 / RDLP 101 B1 in dead wax.

Of note the pitch of this record runs too fast

Unknown label (Cat: Unknown)

This vinyl comes into an all black sleeve, with a big yellow and black sticker on the front cover reading "Prince" in yellow "Lovesexy" font, and "Black Album" in black over a yellow background.

More information needed.

Unknown label (Cat: Unknown)

This vinyl comes into an all white sleeve, with a red round sticker on the front cover. The vinyl is transluscent blue. The labels are black.

More information needed.

TNT Enterprises (Cat: TTE 003RB 89LP)

This is a german release of the black album, but not sung or played by Prince. The album was produced in late 1988 and released in January 1989. Executive producer was record label TNT Records based Frankfurt. Their idea was to copy the whole Black Album instrumentation and songs and issue a "legal" cover version of the record.

The record comes in an all black sleeve with a white sticker that reads: "I OWN THE BLACK Album" and a yellow sticker that reads "The Black Album Including The Smash Hit Supercalifragisexy".

Labels are black with white fonts and bear SACEM logo.

TNT Enterprises (Cat: RB 1289)

This is a 12" pressed in 1989 featuring Superfunkicalifragixesy on side A and Bob George on side B. It comes in a die-cut black sleeve. The labels are black with white font. It is a maxi-single from the TNT Enterprises TTE 003RB 89LP listed above, and therefore the songs are not sung or played by Prince.


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