London Thick Gold Label Info
LONDON TRI CENTRES L 1037- HL 8199Early London 45s had a few Demo only tracks
Record Info & Contract Press pages: Original research, photos of our records & text ©2017 by select45rpm.
EXPLAINING THE THREE TRI CENTRE STYLES.
Look at the 3 copies of Earth Angel on 45 as pictured below: the first one is a THICK TRI with a bigger tri centre & larger parts attaching to the record, but with no cut-in indents to leave a clean fit on a large centre USA type player. Then look at the 2 other two tri centres: LONG THIN TRI is a bigger centre with a deeper cut-in & more attached to the rest of the 45. The familiar STANDARD TRI is the smaller centre with the thinner centre prongs & a smaller cut-in area.
The legendary Penguins 'Earth Angel' 45-HL8114
exists on all 3 centre types showing it got pressed 3 times, or at least fed into 3 different centre cutting machines, all at a transitionary time, rather than suggesting heavy sales. The long thin one is taken from the VRC book & we've seen a genuine one to confirm it. The alleged 'large centre hole' RC tediously lists is just the thick tri removed, experts, eh? There will not have been a Silver print one either. The UK issue has the same edited intro versions like the USA 45, the longer full versions only surfaced in the 70s, in the UK on a UA 2LP set & the recent Dootone re-pressing has the long versions. But it may have been our guesstimate that just as few as 50-100 copies of the 45 pressed each time due to small demand at the time and the rarity now, as the '3rd press' thin tri still has 'B+B' codes. The Thick Tri overlapped with the Long Thin Tri as the list shows, but the Thick Tri didn't overlap with the Thin tri, these would have been a new tiny batch within a month or two. Oddly, the 45 seems to turn up in high grade mostly, perhaps long lived in Pop collections? The centre changeover was not immediate, yet it's odd that no other London 45 is confirmed on all 3 centre types except the Matty O'Neill 45 which sold steadily into the 1960s. But the song "Earth Angel" was a massive UK pop hit by The Crew Cuts on Mercury MB3202, a chart hit No 4 for 20 weeks from 15 April 1955. This version was 78 only & people asking for the 45 version may have been offered the "similar" Penguins one by enterprising shop sellers saying this was the Original USA hit version, similarly deeper searching UK buyers may have already known that. The Penguins 78 interestingly must have been pressed in Jan 1955 on the Gold 78 label then around Apr 1955 on the Silver top 78 label as 8134 (Apr 1955) on 78 exists as a Gold Print, though 8142 (Jun 1955) is a silver top. The 78 would have sold more & guesstimate 500 copies of each type. But whether they all actually sold or were recycled back as unsolds (eek!) is unknown, though these were pressed at a transitional time giving 3 45s versions doesn't mean you can easily find one! We've gone up to 8150 in July 1955, as if a rogue late thick tri exists March 1955 then a long thin tri might possibly exist in July 1955. Until we see otherwise, the list below is accurate.
UK London will only have issued this for the 'Earth Angel' side, as it was the Hit side in the USA. London only licensed one Dootone record & were after sales based on the Crew Cuts pop hit. Why another site who should know better thinks 'Hey Senorita' would be the A side when it is very uncommercial & never charted reveals fluffy thinking. The USA copy has 'HS' as the A side on all Dootone pressings ewven 1990s ones, but going back to the R&B reviews it was clear 'EA' got the most interest & was made the Top side very quickly as DJs picked up on it based on audience reaction. Plenty of records have a lower matrix number as the B side, to misrepresent one of the Top UK 45s wrongly is plain silly.
The supposed "Large Centre Export" is tedious totally incorrect misinformation still being quoted decades later as no-one can apparently think beyond it, just like with Sun "Push Marks" see our Elvis page. There is no London export series made with large centres beyond the Blue ones for USA & a few for Italy with the P18xxx number. All a record some hack says is this large centre export is actually a knocked out thick tri centre which leaves barely any trace & often the hole was a bit tight so got scraped out bigger. As a no-centre record, the value is often 20% to 50% at best unless extra rare in a few copies known. You now see why the 'export' nonsense is mentioned.
Our Tri Centres page shows a very late Bill Haley Brunswick 05405 from March 1955 which must have been an odd press of a few hundred & not the very first press either as it has 'U+U' codes. From research, this appears to be a late one-off & we have seen another copy. By this time the standard thin tri & still a few last long thin tri were the normal pressings. Thick tri may exist to 8130 therefore.
All Three Tri Centre Types?
We've only found 5 issues that are Thick Tri, Long Thin Tri & standard Thin Tri: L1037, L1149, HL8113, HL8114 & HL8125. These can be explained by two being chart hits L1149, HL8113; HL8114 sold steadily as the Crew Cuts version was a big hit & a few wise souls wanted it on 45 & were offered the original version. L1037 stayed on catalogue until the early 1960s though why such a dreary tune was popular is hard to see now. HL8125 is a Slim Whitman 45, his 45s generally sold well & some Gold labels can be found on Round Centre pressings. The Thick Tri does exist & another collector says he had one, the one we had came fresh to the market so two exist. It's found on Long Thin Tri but mostly on Thin Tri. The possibility of some of the Big Hits being on multiple Tri centre types is possible, though 'Hold My Hand', 'Mister Sandman' big 1954 hits are Thick Tri only.
One oddity we found as we like the 45 is Ottillie Patterson 'I Hate A Man Like You' that is on all three types. She sings it with such sneering disgust for him it is a bit of a cult gem. But it's a Feb 1955 release on Decca F10472, but Decca still used the Thick tri on F10497 Mar 55, Glossy Gold label until F10493 Apr 55 & the Long Thin Tri until F10546 Jun 55. Some of these records are very rare as just typical dated Pop of which there was an endless amount, but it looks pretty on a rare UK 45 but only London gets the big interest, there isn't much on Decca you'd want for musical value sadly. A run of Decca 45s 1954-55 would take an eternity to complete. F10472 came in an early orange cover as our copy had the details written on with the Long Thin Tri, so the Yellow Decca sleeves must have only been used for a very few months, perhaps they were a printing error as they are too hard to read to have been the correct choice?
Are there Large Centre UK release Londons?
No! Beware of amateurs trying to state UK Londons were originally pressed with large centre to get you to buy their no-centre copy, this often heard guesswork is totally untrue. All Decca product for UK release was made with a centre from Oct 1954 onwards. Only proper exports with clearly different numbering may have large centres as made, as with the P18155 pictured below. Note the 7000 series were all pressed with centres if UK pressed, if few still have them. See our Tri Centres page to see how neatly a thick tri can be removed & often the centre was smoothed leaving no centre traces.
Just An Elvis Rumour...
Elvis Presley on London? Sadly Not! The Paul Pelletier book says London were planning to issue the last Sun single 'Mystery Train' and 'I Forgot To Remember To Forget' and were sent a worn Sun 45 as a sample, but RCA bought the rights to Elvis & signed him on 21st November 1955. So if London had issued the track it would have likely been issued December 1955, but it never happened. It would have been in the 8211-8215 range as these were Dec 1955 issues too. A naughty rumour heard is that a One Sided Demo exists we find unlikely, as these only started in April 1956 with a 78 demo of Carl Perkins 'Blue Suede Shoes" and others followed, based on what we've had & have seen. The fact no other Demos on any Decca labels exist before April 1956 (see Golds page) adds to the belief that there is no Elvis London Demo & likely no labels were printed either. How well it would have sold would be interesting to fantasize on: the fact 'I Forgot' would have been the A side it'd have sold to Jim Reeves & Mitchell Torok buyers if not Slim Whitman as only his more Pop tracks sold better & charted. The Bill Haley Londons seem to have sold as well on the back of his Brunswicks & as JR & MT as they turn up, but Alvadean Coker sold almost zero by how unfindable that is. One to go Parallel Universe travelling as it might have happened in one...
Why all this change in Tri Centre types?
The thick tri centre didn't actually remove neatly and likely resulted in broken records as it needed a lot of force to remove! USA Capitol & Columbia actually gave up on the centres before UK Decca even started pressing 45s, likely for similar reasons (see the Tri Centres page). The Long Thin middle size tri centre, introduced Feb 1955, is much easier to remove, but still leaves bits to impede playing on a US style large centre player. That is why the standard thin tri began in June 1955. On popping out the centre, remember it was their record to do with as they wished, having no idea people would care 50+ years later, the standard tri leaves no bits on 95% of attempts, go play with some worthless ones, but you sometimes find label tears at the connecting points! What a pity UK Decca & EMI had to adopt these centres, the amount of records devalued heavily, though UK 60s Red & White Demos wouldn't look so impressive.
We had the Lew Williams "Cat Talk" from 1956. It still appears joyfully in RC as £50 as we paid this for it years ago from a RC contributor. London got the master tapes so it sounded crisp unlike the poor sounding USA 45. If anyone kept our better ebay listing photo, let us know, we only have this! Another 1956 London Demo we've seen (ebay sale) is by Little Richard 'I'm Just A Lonely Guy'. This was the USA B-side of 'Tutti Frutti', London decided to couple 2 hit A-sides instead not knowing if such wild music would get any sales, so 'Guy' was unissued until an EP later. An Everly Brothers 1962 demo was unissued says the RIS book & rumours of another Spiders 45 Demo & a Five Notes (both likely 1956 too) were around years ago in the RIS supplement, though with no other proof, we don't know. There are likely many others that got 'lost' over time though a 1956 Muddy Waters pair exist from 1956.
LONDON TRI LISTING L1037-HL8199