UK Contract Pressings Info


All contents of this Website are Copyright. Original research, photos of our items & all text is ©2017 by select45rpm. This is all published freely on the internet by us to further the scene. We Do Not Authorise any Copying, Republishing or Quoting of Our Research, though we are aware our Vinyl & Contracts research is now common knowledge stolen by others, as it the nature of the internet. You Read It Here First.

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This page and now in multiple Sections, all on this one page, we began in 2004 & have added much to since, is....

THE ORIGINAL ONLINE REFERENCE SOURCE


for VERIFIED & ACCURATE details on the UK 60s Contract Pressings as well as London Gold & Tri centres scene.

We first Published the Beatles Contract Pressings page as a FEATURED ITEM on ebay (costing us ££) in 2004 to educate buyers, so BE AWARE THIS IS OUR ORIGINAL RESEARCH OTHERS ARE COPYING and cynically passing off as their own work. Our 2004 article was the first publishing of this accurate info simply as no-one done it properly before. We lead, others copy...



ORIOLE CONTRACT confirmation... BY SELECT45RPM in 2004

ORLAKE CONTRACT info revealed... BY SELECT45RPM in Oct 2010

Record Collector later wanted us to write an article on Contracts for them, but we declined. For the pittance they pay, why would we give them the published "credit" for printing our work in their outdated rag? No, Sir.


Much here is our own work with our own-found discs & the rest clarified the confusion. We offer this for free online to forward collecting to keep records alive whether you buy for the music or collect them like any other vintage item. We have a detective's mind & recall the smallest details into making THIS the correct source for info about Contract Pressings. We update & add to the pages as new info turns up, but generally the main labels are completed. Just some small pressing company info needs more work & with so much vinyl to view online now as well as what we see & have seen, you can be assured we aren't quoting guesswork as facts as that is irresponsible Take note Record Collector

But shame on those who just openly steal our work from us such as happens everywhere online, even with their own record pics & words after comparing to ours, without giving us credit for clarifying the main issue. There was no info like this around in 2004, now look at all the instant-'expert' sites ripping us off One good thing is it gets people noticing the oddities after knowing what to look for and it brings them out to the market at prices that show their real rarity & interest.


Beware a inevitable consequence of this "Rare Contract Pressing" is getting amateurs saying that one is rarer than the other just to get you to pay more Up to the Buyer as with anything, but no Beatles 45 Contract makes more than £60 now despite our early successes. Beatles 60s Contract LPs are much rarer, EPs are extra rare. But the high prices are only paid for top grade ones, see the difference in pricing as an example. One seller that got us typing this caveat said for a vaguely Beatles related 45 that his was the "rarest of 6 variants". And he's seen every copy made, no doubt. Even if pressing count data was available, many records were permanently disposed of over the decades. As an example, in books, 1923 Pip & Squeak Annual sold 100,000 copies by Xmas 1922, as the Daily Mirror reports, but this book by it's type may only have 5% of those copies left by the amount you see. Tyrannosaurus Rex Magical Moon sold 10,000 copies we read once but is not particularly hard to find. With collecting, what was rare can become common if a cache is found and what was high priced and desirable may go out of fashion. Some items may now appear so far out of date & undesirable, they can be mixed with the items that have never been wanted.

These articles are our work done discovering & finding stuff out just because it interests and there is/was a gap in Collectors' knowledge. We have enough records to check we're making sense of things rather than guessing like most 'experts' do in most things and creating confusion. Record Collector's foolish Pye Press Parlophone nonsense is still doing the rounds via dealers who should know better as most just don't bother checking facts. If you can correct or confirm anything with facts, please do. Read on...


ARE CONTRACT PRESSINGS OF ALL ARTISTS WORTH MORE AS THEY ARE RARER?

Apart from Beatles & solo 70s efforts, no Contract press by other artists has attracted ANY premium, so the answer is NO THEY ARE NOT. Until collectors of other artists find added value, they are priced the same. Also, on the opposite side, buyers of 60s hits don't mind the Contract Press as it's the article sold at the time. Those adding premiums on are not going to get sales, even Elvis & Cliff collectors show no interest currently.





CBS PRESS
late 60s, earlier AAG CBS were made by PHILIPS group. UK CBS bought Oriole in late 1964 to get their pressing plant mainly, so CBS from 1966 still look pretty like Orioles. CBS generally did not do many contract pressings in the 60s. They can have textured or smooth labels. Knife edge vinyl, squashed looking serrated label edge. CBS mainly used push out centres, but by the later 60s solid centres were often used on bigger selling items, as with EMI, see below

****missing photos we hopefully have on another HDD, oops!
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1967 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1971 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1969 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1982 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1975 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1966 CBS CONTRACT
ˆ1974 CBS CONTRACT



DECCA PRESSING
Decca pressed many licensed labels such as London, Brunswick, Vogue, Coral and others as well as it's own Decca label.

No other company from 1954 to 1980, when the Company was sold, pressed any Decca product except Decca. Only from 1980 do you find the Polygram ink printed moulded plastic labels.

There are no Contract Pressings of big sellers like the Rolling Stones to prove this true.

They were the biggest Contract Pressing company of all the major labels such as Oriole, CBS, Pye & Philips.

Decca sometimes mastered the Contract Pressings into their own master plates, this can be found with 1964 Fontana & Philips 45s. The Decca style typeface in the runout gives this away. As of yet we've not found any difference in the take or mix used as Decca were the top company of the day, errors weren't made

Decca were always made with the Push Out centre in the 50s & 60s, though you do find unfinished untrimmed-edge test pressings with the centre prongs uncut, as well as solid centre Demos in the 50s, alternating between Tri & solid centre at random & even within the pair of 1 sided Demos even as we've found. Some 70s Decca have solid centres.

SOLID CENTRE DECCA PRESSINGS
are nothing special at all, despite crazy hype by Elvis Presley & Rolling Stones sellers. These are records taken as samples in a run, part of a batch that a fault in machinery meant they cooled too much to cut the centre parts out. They should have been thrown away but Decca factory workers sneaked them out or raided the bins The centre hole is pressed with the record grooves & label, the 4 curved parts for a push-out are done after. These records always have untrimmed edges or are done by hand with scissors Having had some Gold Londons like this, Bill Haley & Fontane Sisters, we didn't like them for the fact they weren't proper records. Some may like them for that, but those Gold Londons had little of the value of a proper Tri centre one with a neat edge. They were like mongrel records, neither Arthur or Martha. You get the idea. But certain artists get a certain sort of buyer, if someone pays the hefty price for a 1966 Stones 45 usually found for a pound or 2, then we hope they enjoy it.


BUCKINGHAM [Decca] and GRAMOPHLTD [EMI] codes
were used on approx 1000-2000 pressings before they were replaced as worn out. Exact numbers depended on many factors naturally. A 1963 copy of the Beatles 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' still with the first label style has 'ARO' and 'APD' CODES, meaning 325th stamper on the A side and 350th on the B side (or is it 360th?). Either way, it shows over 300 stampers there was about 15% tolerance here. 1000-2000 pressings per stamper = 325,000 to 650,000 copies, though the higher seems more likely as the record sold a million very fast.
ˆ1973
ˆ1973
ˆ1964
ˆ1965
ˆ1973
ˆ1970
ˆ1972
ˆ1973
ˆ1977
ˆ1967
ˆ1963
ˆ1974
ˆ1966
ˆ1966
ˆ1964
ˆ1974
ˆ1972
ˆ1968
ˆ1974
ˆ1973
ˆ1966
ˆ1969
ˆ1971
ˆ1968
ˆ1966
ˆ1968
ˆ1967
ˆ1974
ˆ1961
ˆ1974




EMI PRESS
THIS IS OUR ORIGINAL RESEARCH
EMI done few contract pressings. Note KT on the centre of the CBS label. Narrow centre cut out gap, thin squared vinyl edge. EMI pressings usually had a push-out centre. They began pressing 45s in 1953 with HMV, MGM etc having a large USA style middle, but this was short lived & by 1954 the push out centre was normal. They gave advice how to remove the centre, usually resulting in a snapped record surely as early EMI vinyl now (53-56) is known to be a bit brittle Solid centre EMI only began in 1966 after the initial batches used by Juke Box operators. Push out centres were on EMI pressings thru the 70s at least on the earlier pressed copies. It was cheaper not having to cut the push out seemingly.

We were asked what "LPFB" on those 1 sided 7" EMI test pressing demos from the early 50s to at least 1974 stands for.
Sorry, no exact idea, though this could partly answer it. There was a Columbia "FB" 78rpm series in the mid 40s & maybe the LPFB code is a historic related one to those as they may have started using similar on 78s. As in names we give items today relating to previous incarnations of an item, it continues beyond it's original meaning. "FB" could be Face or False Back, "LP" can only be "Long Playing" not the 10" or 12" disc itself but the choice of LP (microgroove) or 78 (standard) playing stylus being on ceramic flip-over cartridges of the day. Philips early releases show 'Red 45RPM' and 'Green 78RPM'. Cartridges such as Acos had green or red dots on the cartridge to show which was 78 or LP side. Maybe a 1 sided LP has a similar code. EMI's tone was about 1KHz & Decca used a similar test tone of about 150Hz (need to record them & compare to test tones to get accurate frequencies, anyone care enough?), but they have "45-RPM-BACK" etched over something that was erased, as there is a cut-out looking recess where the wording appears.

Around 1968-69 EMI used a strange soft vinyl
that can go cloudy even without the PVC sleeve sweat problem on a small amount of pressings, giving a slightly different centre contour and always with a push-out centre, but EMI it is. Seen this on SCAFFOLD Lily The Pink, Beatles hits & The Hot Chocolate Band 45s. Fortunately it was abandoned as it wears badly. It appears the same cheap mix was used again by around 1975, worn records from heavy play look really awful with grey grooves. The later 70s pressings can also show as strange cloudy streak in the vinyl that plays OK using a stereo stylus, play it with a mono one & it can sound very different

BUCKINGHAM [Decca] and GRAMOPHLTD [EMI] codes
were used on approx 1000-2000 pressings before they were replaced as worn out. Exact numbers depended on many factors naturally. A 1963 copy of the Beatles 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' still with the first label style has 'ARO' and 'APD' CODES, meaning 325th stamper on the A side and 350th on the B side (or is it 360th?). Either way, it shows over 300 stampers there was about 15% tolerance here. 1000-2000 pressings per stamper = 325,000 to 650,000 copies, though the higher seems more likely as the record sold a million very fast.


1967-1970 MGM Pressings
Seems best to put this here as MGM were licensed to EMI from 1949 to 1967. But around 1967 they became Independent, reasons why you may find elsewhere. But to us the pressing is the thing. 1967-1970 EMI looking pressings are still similar to early product & in 1968 the design changed in line with USA MGM. But there were no more Company Sleeves for MGM from 1967 until the Polydor ones from 1970-71. They just came in a plain white EMI made sleeve with a wobbly top design. The confusing & slightly Illogical thing here is a lot of the DEMOS in 1967-68 are made in a very odd way. They are just a plain white label with the basic text but not even an MGM logo or writer/publisher credits. Some escaped just like this, looking like test pressings & most had a more proper Pink/Silver MGM full texted label just lightly glued on top which is very obvious. A waste of money making 2 sets of labels surely & applying another by hand Anyone know why?
ˆ1968 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1969 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1967 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1964 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1970 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1961 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1965 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1964 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1968 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1968 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1961 EMI CONTRACT
ˆ1967 EMI CONTRACT



LYNTONE CONTRACT PRESSING
This is a new one to us, we all know Lyntone flexi discs that started in the early 60s, as well as some solid vinyl advertising records as well as solid vinyl test pressings of the flexis. The last 2 photos are 1960s Lyntone product with the Orlake machine etched numbering matrix & Orlake pressed vinyl. The Flexis from this era show the similar features.

But it appears from 1974 they were into the Contract pressing game too. RCA in 1974 used them and these thick pressings with no serrated label edge together with the "LYN" hand etched in the vinyl are the clues. They also pressed the DIP-DL INT reggae label and others from 1973-74. You also find later 70s early 80s contract pressings by them too, but that is a bit beyond our scope here.

How to spot a Lyntone Contract. A larger heavier disc very smooth & well made. Big clue is the LYN hand etched into the deadwax & all matrix numbers are handwritten. No serrated label edge either.

Earlier Lyntone vinyl & flexis use the Orlake mastering with the boldy machine etched matrix number. These Lyntone 1973-74 presses look very like the Damont ones you find in the early 80s, ie on Magnet label hits etc, There is likely a link as Damont name is handwritten in the vinyl like the Lyn is.

As an extra bit of oddity, the obscure Python blues label UK made 1968-69 is an odd unidentified pressing. It's cheaply made & not much care in the whole 45, ie the titles are on the wrong sides though the matrixes match. The sound is pretty lo-fi & the vinyl is pretty uneven It could be a SFI or an earlier Lyntone press perhaps. The matrix number is machine cut, a bit like a 1968 era Pye but narrower typeface & not like Pye enough. Who the name CH Rumble is remains unknown, maybe they had a tiny pressing plant somewhere? Info needs to be found before it's too late
ˆ1972 Lyntone Vinyl Press LYN 2501
ˆ1972 Lyntone Flexi LYN 2496
ˆ1973 DIP INTL Lyntone Press
ˆ1973 DIP INTL Lyntone Press
ˆ1974 RCA Lyntone Contract
ˆ1974 RCA Lyntone Contract
ˆ1974 RCA Lyntone Contract
ˆ1974 RCA Lyntone Contract
ˆ1974 Rockfield Lyntone Contract
ˆ1968-69 Lyntone or SFI Contract?
ˆ1966 Lyntone Vinyl Test
ˆc1968 Lyntone Vinyl Test
T


ORIOLE PRESSING
Thicker vinyl with a knife edge and often a rough textured label, if not always by 1963. Oriole owned EMBASSY, a budget-priced cover-version 45s/EPs/LPs label sold by Woolworths shops, that ended the same time Oriole did when CBS (UK) bought it out on 21 Sept 1964. This explains why no further Oriole Beatles 45s exist. All Embassy were pressed by Oriole and no contracts of Oriole product exist. CBS bought Oriole simply to get their Pressing Plant, explaining why 1965 CBS (that weren't Orlake or Philips contracts) look like Oriole pressings

Oriole generally were all made with push out centres though a small minority with solid centres exist around 1962 for some reason. Demos of Oriole exist on the Black design with a silver 'A' on the centre being the only difference. By late 1964 the Demos were the more usual white with red 'A' type.

Embassy records are finally becoming collectables after initial minor 80s interest in the quality Bud Ashton instrumental covers. A good amount are now worth more than the previous £2-£5 we are pleased to say due to our efforts Some were actually great versions in their own right, ie Move It, Rave On & Baby Please Don't Go are outstanding versions and we've been hyping the best ones for years to a receptive market to create more interest. The later 1964-65 beat era 45s & Big 4s especially with the 2 Who covers are particularly collectable and some versions are very worthy of a listen in the idea of they are a rare but good cover version.

Plenty of Embassy covers were only average at best, and the 1959-62 era could be frustratingly full of slow pop tunes instead of covering the R&B classics that sold well at the time, if more steadily over a longer period than the chart hits. The Beatles 'Love Me Do' also got ignored as it sold only steadily, but 'Please Please Me' got covered yet is a harder one to find. The funniest one is the 'Rocking Goose' cover, the backing band is good, but the 'goose' sounds like paper over a comb & is quite hilarious To the typist, the Embassy version of "Go Now" by The Jaybirds is much better than the weak Moody Blues UK No1 hit version, if it was the Embassy one we had first years ago.

Some semi-famous names hide within Embassy titles, we found Hal Munro is the 'Oh Boy' artist Neville Taylor, by knowing his other 45s, who also recorded for Oriole. Earlier known was Chas Mc Devitt as the Skiffle Group on EP.

Oriole was a defunct label by March-April 1965 as CBS pressings like Bob Dylan "Times" look like Oriole pressings, the reason USA Columbia bought Oriole for their pressing plant to issue UK product themselves instead of using Philips. The first CBS in the 20xxxx series were apparently in February-March 1965, we've had a few of the non hits but they never have release dates. CBS would not have any interest in pressing Oriole product but did sign or had to put up with as part of the deal some UK Oriole artists like The Rats, Dane Hunter, Maureen Evans, Screaming Lord Sutch, Termites, Senators, Bambis, Guy Darrell & Jan Panter who mostly only got one more 45 issued.

ˆ1962 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1963 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1961 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1964 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1961 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1963 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1963 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1964 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1963 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1965 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1959 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1964 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1962 ORIOLE CONTRACT
ˆ1959 ORIOLE CONTRACT




ORLAKE PRESS
==THIS IS OUR ORIGINAL RESEARCH==


It's not Common Knowledge published ANYWHERE ELSE so if you see anyone saying ORLAKE PRESS about ANY record they've read our pages & miserably not given us a credit for our efforts, hmmm.


Orlake pressings we can now identify as going back to at least 1959. Thicker looking vinyl with a heavy cut matrix number (as found on a typical 1963 or 1965 Island reggae 45) or the thinner type cut number (as found on a typical 1969 Ember 45). Other small labels used Orlake, this is a good representation. Orlake are still in operation, but we are only considering those to 1974. You often see ORLAKE or just OR scratched in the matrix of various 70s-80s records.

Orlake as you can see from our selection, mostly had push out centres. We've had a 1960 Top Rank Orlake press (Safaris 424 extra rare on UK) with a solid centre so they are around, also as found on the Sue & Island issues.

An oddity with early 70s Orlake is many are Purple vinyl if held up to the light. But if it looks Black in normal light. it's no big deal, as echoed with Pye on the 70s often being shades of red to the light.

TOP RANK LABEL
T
his is a confusing label on their 1960 pressings. They started being pressed in 1959 on Dark Blue labels until 193-203 by the Philips group. The 1st few issues were Dark Blue with Gold logo & Gold print. The 'Bell Notes' 102 has been found in all 3 early variants (& a proper white Demo): Gold logo & Gold type; Gold logo & Silver type and then Silver logo with Silver type. Pre the EMI takeover the Orange/White labels can be found as Philips press, Orlake Press, Qualition & EMI press as standard for that issue. No 1960 Top Rank can strictly be called a Contract as pressing companies changed by issue. A hit like Freddie Cannon Jump Over we've had as EMI & Orlake press, yet neither is unofficial as such. Confusing indeed. Company Sleeves from our later research with titles & numbers to help appear to be Red Sleeves on Blue Labels, Blue Sleeves on pre EMI credit Orange labels & the lines-squares pattern Sleeve on all ones with the EMI credit on the label. We were told Red was for USA product & Blue for UK but this has been proven wrong a few times & also the Red have no blank box for the shop to write the catalog number as they did when new, but the later Blue ones do. QED.
ˆ1959
ˆ1960
ˆ1960
ˆ1961
ˆ1962
ˆ1963
ˆ1963
ˆ1963
ˆ1964
ˆ1964
ˆ1964
ˆ1964
ˆ1965
ˆ1965
ˆ1966
ˆ1966
ˆ1966
ˆ1967
ˆ1967
ˆ1970
ˆ1970
ˆ1971
ˆ1974
ˆ1974
ˆ1966
ˆ1968
ˆ1965
ˆ1959



PHILIPS PRESSING
Philips pressings is the term we use for a Philips or Fontana pressing. The company may have been variously called Polygram and Phonodisc but there were no record labels of the name, so Philips it stays.

(as from the Beatles page...) Typical late 60s 3 prong centre. Contract pressings were usually made with a small spindle centre, many Philips pressed standard labels 1967 on were made as large centre. 'Hey Jude' as Philips press turns up often on ebay as it's the easiest identifiable and is relatively common of type. The other 'Hey Jude' contracts are very rare. Thin vinyl with mildly raised vinyl edge.

These usually had push out centres. Some Philips c1962-65 had solid centres though this was not the norm, Starting in 1967 a cheaper pressing method using the USA style large centre hole began, these were originally sold with the skinny 3 prong adapter, not the jukebox operators thicker swirl one. This continued until about 1972 when the even cheaper (& easily snapped) moulded labels began. These were based on European countries using this cheap pressing method from c.1968. A contract of Jethro Tull 'Living In The Past' hit is so far the only Contract we've seen with the big centre.Fleetwood Mac's 'Albatross' unusually is remastered by Philips as the matrix shows Philips style, not EMI.

Philips was initially a Dutch electronics company founded in 1950 and in 1962 they became part of the Phonogram group with Deutsche Grammophon and later combined with Polydor as Polygram by 1972. As Philips is the label UK collectors are familiar with, so Philips is the easiest name to use.

They pressed many UK labels: Philips, Fontana, Polydor, Mercury (1964 on), CBS (to 1964), Track, Reaction & lots of smaller labels. If you see the typical line of stamped numbers in the matrix, the other way up on the curve of the dead wax area to eg Decca & EMI, then it's a Philips press. You even see Jamaican Studio 1 mid 60s that were mastered in the UK by them.
ˆ1965 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1968 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1969 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1964 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1968 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1977 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1974 PHILIPS CONTRACT
ˆ1968 PHILIPS CONTRACT



PYE PRESSING

Amazingly some 'dealers' still state this obviously really an Oriole press is still Pye. Tiresome isn't it. Pye from 1964 era is a quite thin record unlike the thick ORIOLE vinyl. Many indies used PYE to contract press. A harder one to spot if you don't know UK vinyl, it has the centre ridge like a DECCA but the serrated edge matching will confirm. The record edge is rounded off unlike a Decca. Pye always have a small scratched number (usually 1) on the runout at the right when the matrix is at the bottom. They smell different to other vinyl too

Pye were mostly pressed with push out centres, though we've seen as early as 1960 with a Lonnie Donegan with a solid centre. Through the 60s you find solid & push out centres used at random, the push out being used more for jukebox use. See below for 4 different types of 1964 Pye pressing, Pye itself & 3 other Contracts.

THERE IS A PYE CONTRACT PRESS OF A BEATLES EP
Yes, EPs were done as Contract Presses as were LPs. EPs are extra rare as Beatles Contract presses & we saw one Decca one a long time ago. But October 2015 turns up a 100% PYE press EP Parlophone GEP8946 with the "Golden Discs" label looked like a Decca from the picture, but PYE it is There are still NO PYE CONTRACT 45s by The Beatles & saying this for 8 years hasn't turned one up. For those who care about Matrix info, we'll make an exception: it has EMI "5" stampers both side in the Mother codes area & added "1" and "A" in Pye format each side. The vinyl is thin like a mid 1965 Pye issue. It'll be for sale on our next update...


Beware PYE "RED VINYL" isn't real Red Vinyl

From about 1972 to 1990 Pye actually used a non-black vinyl to press a large amount of their 45s with. Laid on a turntable it still looks black, but hold it up to the LIGHT and it appears a SHADE OF RED, from weak pinky red to a rich blood red.

This is not a special pressing & holding "black" records to the light isn't very interesting. If it's red (or any colour) vinyl in normal light it's red vinyl, these "hold up to the light" jobs aren't. You find other countries with streaky vinyl that lets light through & then proper streaky coloured vinyl you can easily see. Some USA Diamond 60s vinyl looks brown up to a bright light. If you think it's worth more, then enjoy it. You put a light in a Tiffany Lampshade to show it's beauty, records aren't held by 100w lamps as they get hot & warp.

We saw one ebay seller find the Pye Contract of Special AKA 'Gangsters' and backlit it on his scanner to make it appear red in the photo. Some sucker paid £60 for it & you can imagine the scene on receiving a black record & being told that's the red vinyl item
ˆ1967 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1969 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1974 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1973 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1967 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1973 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1971 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1972 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1975 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1968 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1965 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1965 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1977 PYE CONTRACT
ˆ1968 PYE CONTRACT
 
ˆ1969 PYE CONTRACT
 



RCA 1970 PRESSING
As they changed from Decca to CBS pressings. The Decca press came first.
A word about RCA pressings: by the late 70s it appears RCA pressed their own vinyl, Not very well either, you often find vinyl with flaws from 1977-1981: a bit of label paper pressed into the vinyl that can go from not affecting play to making it unplayable if it has delaminated You also see mis-shapen edges (also found on some EMI & they do look pretty similar...) from bad pressing too.
This cheap vinyl can wear badly & look awful despite playing OK still as with similar EMI.
First RCA Press, 1970
Second CBS Press, 1970



SAGA CONTRACT PRESSING

This relates to the Contract Pressings of Saga from 1960-61, see below. The fuller name from 1960-61 is Saga, Associated, Allied, Dandy Records. They were generally a budget label
(over the years they operated, mostly in 1968) but still used high grade vinyl and were related to the RGM label Triumph which were generally pressed by Pye, though we have seen the type we see as Saga on a Triumph press once.

The Saga matrix stamping type as found on a 1963 Saga Hoyt Axton 45 is identical to this 1960 Top Rank oddity. The wide spaced but feint 3mm high stamped matrix numbers as shown match. The Top Rank one we searched & found 2 copies again eventually years later has "AR" stamped in the dead wax, relating to the fiuller Saga name? A Saga indeed. Has a 3 prong centre on the 1960 one similar to a Philips and on thinner vinyl. The Safaris, very rare on Top Rank JAR 424, exists as a similar stamped matrix but on thick vinyl with a solid centre.


Note earlier 1959 Saga 45s were pressed by Pye
as on the red label Larry Page & Saga Satellites R&R singles & a blue Label Larry Page EP of mediocre pop. The apparently one-off 1963 Hoyt Axton is an odd one & the original USA version of the song.

In 1968 the mysterious Black or White label 45s & budget quality LPs Saga-Opp & Saga-Fid, mostly are uninteresting & the Saga Big Chief 1970 reggae series, rare but again uninteresting. Saga did issue Johnny Nash Hold Me Tight somehow & can be found in a PS with a black label & large centre, maybe export only like the other 45s? Really still pretty much unknown. Maybe Topic related?

Associated may be ARC (Associated Record Company) the budget EP & LP label from 1963-65, the Blues EPs do turn up. Allied made no records in the UK at least under that name, though UK 1963 Pye Int with "An Allied Release" means unrelated US product. Dandy Records made Children's EPs of a budget quality.





QUALITON CONTRACT PRESS

Qualiton Records (Wales). Pontardawe, Glamorgan. 1967 sleeve printed by Talbot Printing Co. Ltd Port Talbot.

AT LAST WE CAN CONFIRM THIS CONTRACT PRESSING TYPE EXISTS FROM 1960-1961 and to at least 1963 on their own labels eg Top Six. The 4 prong thicker vinyl ones with similar handwritten lettering can possibly be seen to be earlier Saga pressings, but now are proved not to be. Note one of the 4 centre prongs isn't properly cut, implying the one piece machinery used was damaged & no big company would leave it like that or just have one machine. The matrix handwritten style is pretty similar, but really the only link beyond Blue Beat using both types of pressing. Compare the 2 handscratched matrices, they are similar yet different enough to only make it a possibility.

These thicker vinyl records you find on Melodisc red label EPs such as Leadbelly, as opposed to the more usual green Decca pressed ones.


Qualiton label is the same type of pressing & unusually this company made company sleeves as found on a 'Jan Rohde' release. Not found any further labels to compare further. These Qualiton pressings show the age of their existence ties into only being on 1960-61, but why would a tiny Welsh label have it's own pressing plant & print it's own sleeves?, Money talks & maybe the owner overspent & went bust, but info online says it did so no reason to doubt it. Who did it sell out to? Around Neath, South Wales are mostly houses, no industrial area likely then or now. These thick 45s appear to have the same pronged centre fault where a bit of the centre prong cutter is missing, leaving a bigger prong on one. Their 3 prong ones are later and show new machinery & thinner vinyl was used to cut costs

Qualiton exists with a 3 prong centre on a Blue and a Red Label
in their 45s company sleeve, and the centre looks exactly like the 3 prong Blue Beat BB 44 & Melodisc 1570 with the centre ridge as shown. But most Qualiton we've seen don't contain collectable music, the Jan Rohde one we got £40 for as a Teen Popcorn Rocker type 45. The only ones that sold were the Jan & Kjeld ones it appears & then they went to Ember with the Qualiton styled vinyl as mentioned above. Added a Top Rank Craig Douglas Qualiton, clearly different to the Saga Garry Mills.

A late 1967 Qualiton QSP 7001 by Y BLEW on a dark blue label is an Orlake press as the features show on one listing. Not quite the mega wow hype they claim (is it ever?), but an OK amateur 1965 beat sounding record really in the £50 range. But how long did Qualiton exist then? 1959 to 1967 at least is still only all we know.






See the 2 Qualition styles matching the Melodisc, Kalypso & Bluebeat 45s as shown. Note the Scratched Matrix is very similiar esp the "4". Top 6 issued 8 EPs 1963-64 but the last 1964 one, from a photo only, looks like a Pye pressing. The early 1960-61 red-gold Ember look like this thinner Qualiton type too. Top 6 records come in a printed company sleeve, but no further details given. If you know more with old paperwork or similar, please help.

FACTS: MELODISC never pressed their own records.
They started with Decca in the 78s era, then by Blue Beat BB6 (excluding later pressings) were this thick 4 prong Qualiton (but not on Blue Beat), then Pye 1960-61 with the large label edge bumps, then the Saga 3 prong type as pictured 1960-61, then Pye again 1961-64 (where the Blue Beat sleeve was issued). Then onto Orlake 1964-67 and finally CBS as seen on some late Blue Beat & early Fab by 1967, Decca again by 1968, Philips by 1969 (Fab label) and Orlake again by c1970 & that's likely it. Confusing

Of the above records, the 'Evening News' Qualiton press is the best quality sound, the Decca pressing of this was messed up & it has a bad delay echo beyond reverb timing & it's unlistenable The 'Baba' one exists as a Pye pressing, showing it was repressed in 1961. Some 1960-61 Bluebeats you can find as 3 pressing types & BB6 Keith & Enid was repressed often until 1965 & it appears on about a dozen different JA labels through the decades.

• was WORK IN PROGRESS now forgotten•

UK CETRA LABEL.
Another oddity are the pretty obscure UK CETRA 45s from 1958-61, found CARLA BONI 45s. 1958 one (Cetra SP 4001, May 58 dated) with Yellow label. Manufactured by Rare Records Manufacturing Ltd it says, the vinyl is very thick at the label & similar to Qualiton on the rest. But with Italian stamper info only showing there are no clues. The 1960 one (Cetra SP 4014, Feb 60 dated) with a Black Label is the same pressing type, but without the pronged cutout. These use the original Italian master stampers, as only Italian releases are issued, with the usual curved edge lettering & the (recording?) date, but are UK vinyl & UK labels. One Carla Boni we had was the Popcorn tune 24 Mila Baci (Cetra SP 4021). The vinyl looks like the Qualiton, but has a deep groove on the centre on the 1958 one & a large centre dip on th 1960 one, close but not close enough. Whether it is needs research & beyond that above it is currently unknown.

SFI label one that may have done Vinyl Contracts is SFI, the 1968 Blues 45s on Python (see the Lyntone page) we half-think is a SFI press, but there aren't many vinyl 45s to compare. They pressed some Flexis & another 45 that looks like the Python one is Don Downing Dream World on People 108 from 1974, having a few copies all pressed the same, yet no other People 45s look like this. Not even that site shows any Python 45s

Topic label is another one that could have done contracts, those strange 8" folk LPs from 1958 need researching next time we see one. Some Topic 7"s were pressed by Pye on the 1962-63 beige-cream labels that turn up, though the later dark blue ones need researching as Topic were still pressing into the 70s. One 1963 single looks very like the Python/People unknown, but with just a scratched matrix it'd just be nothing more than guessing saying they are Topic pressed. On comparing a few, they do look like Saga pressings if with different matrix etchings. Maybe Topic bought the pressing plant? One 1963 blue one looks a bit like an Orlake, but too thin vinyl & the small hand scratched numbers clearly both non-Orlake. The 1968 Saga 45s & LPs look very like Topic product of the same era. Saga or Topic product are related somehow, we'll dig deeper.

(from the Lyntone page...) As an extra bit of oddity, the obscure Python blues label UK made 1968-69 is an odd unidentified pressing. It's cheaply made & not much care in the whole 45, ie the titles are on the wrong sides though the matrixes match. The sound is pretty lo-fi & the vinyl is pretty uneven It could be a SFI or an earlier Lyntone press perhaps. The matrix number is machine cut, a bit like a 1968 era Pye but narrower typeface & not like Pye enough. Who the name CH Rumble is remains unknown, maybe they had a tiny pressing plant somewhere? Info needs to be found before it's too late


Sites listing & giving photos of thousands of records for info is very useful, but when it comes to identifying a Contract, you really need to see the record in person.

What we publish is considered well before it gets found by Search Engines & quoted as fact




WIRL PRESS
(West Indies Recording Studios/Label)


==THIS IS OUR ORIGINAL RESEARCH==
Only ever seen this one


Obvious raised pre-run in groove area more apparent on the B side on the Tymes 45. Looks exactly like a 1967 Doctor Bird/Pyramid/Treasure Isle type press. We're still not sure who actually pressed these unless WIRL themselves, but Graham Goodall owned these labels.

The later 'Doctor Bird' series by 1968 were pressed by PYE as you'll find Israelites etc. This type of press disappears after 1968 with DB1170-1180 when WIRL (etc) sold out after a fire. These here look similar to the 1964 Orlake pressings but clearly aren't. This has the typical small "A" stamped into the vinyl & the usual CBS metalwork.

You'll find BAF label 45s with TRANSCO but they are Pye contacts

"They" sold out to Trojan in 1968 due to difficulties, but 1968 Trojan are obvious Orlake pressings like the 1967 Studio 1/Coxsones. It could be as simple as Doctor Bird were pressed on older machinery that was Orlake related at some time. The Tymes record dates to Jan 1969 though, maybe the very last WIRL pressing as a Contract Press service to try to survive?

B&C label itself appeared in 1968 with soul & pop and are Orlake pressings until the later 1971 EMI ones, as with Action (previously Sue). Anyone care to add any info to this obscure story?



STILL UNKNOWN:

ˆ1972 [Unknown] CONTRACT
small stamped numbers like the thin LPs of the same 1971-72 era but on thick vinyl

ˆ1968-69 Lyntone or SFI Contract?