Various Vinyl Info

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A Catch-All for various pages we did Acetates, Elvis On Sun, UK Centres, UK Exports, UK Later Pressings, Record Adaptors, Moulded Pressings, Odd Contract Pressings

Other sites like 45cat & Discogs have carried on from our pages. In 2004 there was nothing like this online. One good idea gets a lot of imitators, we'll leave a few sections still, if pictures you can see on other sites.

This page was stolen without asking by a now dead domain... http://www.acetates4sale.com/ copyright theft means you fail, don't bother as no-one will trust you, we are very well known in Records & Hi-fi.

You'll encounter an ACETATE sooner or later in Record Buying. But what is an Acetate? It's a thin aluminium disc coated with a layer of acetate lacquer that was used in studios to get a very first cut of a record before the record was pressed. Usually made in tiny quantities, they were directly cut on a cutting machine, similar to how the Vinyl Record itself is made. Some got used as Demo Discs (instead of the regular vinyl issue with a Demo label) and many were used to sell the song to A&R men for artists to record. Many were cut by artists known & unknown as a way to play back their recording easily, as in the early days tape was the only option. Don't use any Solvent or Meths to "clean" an acetate as it will melt it in front of your eyes & never play again!

UK ones sometimes have an extra hole at the centre. This is to add grip when cutting the disc, rather than to play it wildly off centre for a laugh. The label will have been added once the track was cut & finished, explaining why the label has no hole. Similarly USA acetates in the 50s had 3 extra holes. Traces of these you can still see on the finished discs, eg Elvis early Sun 45s exhibit the filled-in holes, they are not push marks, more amateur nonsense taken as fact. If a record needed that much force to push it from whatever it was stuck to... makes no sense! Some 1957 Oriole 45s show these filled in holes & you can see Emidisc wording left embossed from the acetate. 'Freight Train' B side is often found like this. You see it on some 1954 Decca 45s & much on 78s. The acetate was the first cut master from which the stamper was made.

Acetates were test records
like a CD-R of today & were not considered anything special until more recent collecting interests. acetates are used in the manufacture of records too, the track is cut to the acetate disc & then copies etc are made. You often find an Emidisc re-used on the back years later with a totally unrelated track to the other side. Simply as the discs are Double Sided & if no blanks were available, recut on an old one in good condition. This is how we found a $$$ unissued 1965 NYC soul track as a Laurel Aitken 1969 soul track was cut on the back of it! How the USA acetate made it to the UK & got reused 4 years later is a mystery lost to time. You'll also find acetates that got reused with the "unwanted" side scored out with 4 lines usually. It'll play still usually though it'll need sound restoration on the computer to remove the noises. Always play the B side, we've found some odd things discarded & never even labelled, like a miscut Hammond mod dancer that only played half as the grooves didn't cut properly.

You still read amateurs going on about how short a lifespan an acetate can have. So why are so many from the 60s still around then? Because it's a tiresome myth! An acetate is indeed softer than a regular vinyl 45 but even 60s ones much played on old heavy arm players by the amount of needle trails on the run-in still play remarkably well if properly washed. They can look awful & still play well. The only things that do affect acetates is damp & mould as the shellac can crack & split leaving gaps making playing impossible as the grooves don't line up! 99% of acetates we've had play fine.

Sadly many acetates will remain nameless as plenty never had any artist or even title written on them. A pre c1971 acetate usually has a black surface with black edges to the disc, later ones used a purple colour lacquer that shows purple at the edges. This is a basic help to show the age of the disc, but some old acetates were reused years later on the other side, ie an unissued big £££ USA NY Soul Northern acetate we had was reused 4 years later to cut a Reggae track on the other side! Also old blanks could be used years later too.

Here are some label samples we have, there are an endless amount of Custom Labels, the most common being the generic EMIDISC which was used by many labels to cut their tracks on, ie not just EMI labels used them. Labels like Advision usually seem to be Polydor related artists. Studios likely could buy boxes of Emidisc blanks & add the stick-on labels after typing or handwriting info.

The market for good acetates has taken a dive over the years, ones we sold for good prices we've seen sell very low. Beware of owners adding collectable group names to tracks that sound like the artist but are not known recordings, or a fine UK 1967 pop psych track can get made worthless by the owner putting 'Genesis' on it as it sounded like 1980s PG but wasn't. Some acetates sadly have lost the labels but if one has been there, a shadow of it will show. Sadly too, most 1960s-early 1970s acetates are destined to remain Unknown as few have the Artist written on & just a title.

Beware of alleged 1960s acetates with modern felt-tip writing on.
These are not original period acetates despite using old acetates & labels, they were unofficially made in the 1970s & 1980s, often using old materials. These unofficial acetates are usually "Fantasy" A+B track couplings that would not have existed on one disc, for "Collector" use or just DJ use. If it looks too good to be true it usually is. Buyers unaware (as ever...) pay top prices like they assume a 1960s one would be.

The Northern Soul scene
used acetates in the late 60s-early 70s to cut rare tracks on for ease of use rather than to deceive. These are not official studio product but were just cut for DJ use, the sound is generally pretty poor & as such are very low value, such as £10-20 just for the Historical interest of a disc played in one of the early 70s Clubs, though the idea of a rare track on acetate may fool the unaware buyer into thinking it's something special. It isn't

A pre 1972 acetate will generally be Typewritten. There are many EMI related tracks on Emidisc with Handwritten details in blue biro & these have a Signature by the person who cut them. If it's a Songwriter Demo, it'll have Publisher details, if it's official product made by the recording company it will be properly presented. If it's a home-made or private recording, it could look pretty much any way, but still bear in mind factors to date it & authenticate it. Phone numbers in UK used the old-style Exchange letters, explaining the letters above numbers on Phones, ended in 1968, ie CHI4895.

Apple acetates always appear to have the same person's handwriting on unless typewritten. A large amount of non-Beatle or Apple related music is on these acetates via possible publishing links or use by Apple artists as test-song demos & beyond the artifact, it could be some dull 70s pop even though it's selling for £60-£300. We've even seen £250 paid for a lousy pop reggae track simply as it was on Apple!

Most acetates turn out to be under £10 or worthless junk

although there are plenty good ones we've got £200+ for. For an acetate to make this sort of money, it must be either a name artist, or a track of exceptional quality, like the Jynx one we got £750 for: a prime mod-fuzz R&B gem that was never issued. An decent if unremarkable pop/beat group with an unissued mid 60s acetate is usually between £30-75. Certain labels have added interest, though Oak has a reputation for quality Mod when the majority it cut wasn't anything like that. Anything wilder or with fuzz psych sounds is heading for the higher league. Having seen acetates we sold years ago being resold casually on ebay for low prices is strange.

Music Publishers acetates especially from the early 60s might contain a hidden 'name' artist, such as a early Carole King acetate we had, with her singing lyrics a male would sing, making her "pledge love to a woman" a bit strange for the 60s! Even a Bob Dylan acetate of a 1969 B side track exactly as released is worth £200 to a collector. Tracks in Rock/Pop that were released by minor artists, whether rated or not so rated, are usually more wanted as the Vinyl Copy and the acetate may be worth the same or less than the Vinyl one depending on music genre & the price of the Vinyl Copy.

Official 60s Soul acetates of released tracks usually make higher prices, though usually not as much as a Vinyl Demo makes over the Issue price. An acetate that is unknown & seemingly valuable can nose-dive in value once the real artist is discovered!

Note also you see EMIDISC labels stuck onto vinyl test pressings, they are not acetates, only the metal discs are. USA acetates often have large style centres. Those with 2 or more holes on the label area, such as on 1950s ones, are there to grip on the cutting machine, the "push marks" you see on Elvis 'Sun' 45s are actually the 3 acetate holes being filled in as the masters were made from acetates.

USA acetates were generally cut at a particular Studio & these ones helpfully give much more information to where they were from. USA standard Acetate are the Audiodisc ones, like UK Emidisc. These can be found as 10" discs with 7" size recordings on & also large US-style centres. Music Publishing acetates, like the Motown-Jobete ones are just basically typewritten with no logos, but as with any type of item, experience will only teach you more.

• Hear a sample of all 10 tracks in natural sound from the Original 45s below!

Record Info & Contract Press pages: Original research, photos of our records, soundfile versions & text ©2020 by select45rpm.

The Elvis 'Sun' set has been bootlegged & repro'd several times as well as the official RCA box set. You need to know what the originals are if you are paying top £££ for them. We had a set some years back & kept the photos below. We could straighten & tidy the pics a bit, but best left raw as any editing of photos would affect the object of showing them as they come.

Firstly, we'll rapidly dismiss some repros. Ones with RCA small text around the label edge are the modern box set ones. Any Elvis Sun with a GLOSSY label is not an original. Any Elvis with "Issued 1973" in the deadwax is a 1973 repro, but the earliest one & it has some value. Any different tracks from Sun sessions, or silly ones like RCA-only tracks are always fantasy issues coming under the general term "reissue". Some odd or early ones do have a collector value.

Similarly, if an Elvis Sun 45 is found in a Picture Sleeve that match the record details, do not automatically dismiss the record itself as a reissue. These early bootleg picture sleeves were bought by collectors in the early 1970s who may have put a genuine Sun 45 in it! Only other comparisons of the vinyl will reveal the truth.

Going by the Hand Etched matrix numbers isn't too helpful either as many repros can do the same easily. What they don't always do is add the "72" in small writing higher up, as in (3 to the power of 2 in maths). Original matrix handwriting will look different to newer, as 1954-55 was still ink and fountain pen days where people wrote slower.

There is also a 2005 repress apparently using the original then 51 year old stamper of "That's All Right" but it is a one sided press to be sensible. It's in a book "Elvis Presley Memphis Recording Service. The Beginning of Elvis Presley. The Birth of Rock & Roll. Volume 1 1953-1954" one for sale on ebay for £52 complete reveals the one sided 45 that is mastered like the original, but we've not seen one to confirm.

The 45s all look subtly different to each other as the photos show. Some are thin vinyl, as Sun 209 and Sun 215 are, some are thicker vinyl like Sun 210 and Sun 217 are. The first 4 play with the typical "SUN HISS" which, as we've explained elsewhere (see our Vinyl Quality page) is because they mastered them wrongly with a Transcription size stylus anyone foolish enough to say they used a 78 stylus of 2.8 thou is dangerously wrong & a 78 stylus will wear the grooves wrongly & it'll sound poor as it rides the groove too high. Only the last one can be played with a normal mono or stereo stylus. Any Elvis Sun, once played with the right stylus (1.5 to 1.8 thou) will sound very different to the RCA transfers, which were EQ'd to sound much fuller, compared to the thinner, more natural Sun masters. The spacing of the grooves section & the runout deadwax are is crucial too. The last one, Sun 223 was pressed in several places across America, you'll likely find it with MSICO & on styrene. But the metal master used was always the same on the first 4 as you only find 1 type, so if yours doesn't look like ours then it's not original. One minor difference is "Good Rockin' Tonight" either credits "Ray Brown" (sic) or "Roy Brown" as the writer.

In terms of Elvis, yes. The odds of you finding a real one in the open record market are pretty slim, unless you go to a proper dealer or an established collector is selling up. For Rarity of the Originals, consider some were big hits in the Country market & are rarer than similar size R&B hits simply as the C&W market in 1954-55 was pretty small. The last 2 are still easily found if you have the money as collectors & dealers regularly trade in them. The odds of finding one in the UK in a general music collection bought at the time are zero, but Collectors have been buying them since. Hank Williams in the 1950s had many huge C&W hits with tracks that are familiar to buyers today, but in their initial sales period, they barely touched the Pop Charts. From the Billboard charts, you can see 3 of Hank Williams sold a Million, with eleven No.1 hits, yet only made no 20 his highest rating in the Pop charts, simply as the pop market were buying the Pop versions, of which there were a lot. Most C&W records from 1950 to 1955 you see on 45s never made the charts at all, making the Country Singles Book not as interesting as it could be, as only 10-15 records appeared in the charts per week.

For most records, the 45 is the most valuable & most wanted. But with Elvis the mystique of anything 1950s Elvis on Sun keeps the 78s prices high. We only bought the 45s as at the time we had a 45s collection & these fitted in well. But the 45s are with the Stylus issue & the fact most are heavily played means they sound quite noisy even playing with the correct size stylus. 78s from the USA are usually extremely worn, or unused shop unsolds, but with Elvis be sure they've had 60 years of being played & not always with a light modern 78rpm
player. They'll have been played on the early electric radiograms & jukeboxes, if not the wind-up players perhaps. Our 1932 Pye G/GR gram tracks at 5 ounces! Our 1957 EAR autochanger player tracks at about 15 grammes! But we can track unwarped 78s easily on our Hifi at 2 grammes! We've had Mint looking Blues 78s that were juked to death so the grooves are shattered with gaps between where a loud patch wore out. Elvis 78s will have been more heavily played in their first few years of life than the 45s from the amount of USA 45s & 78s we've had over the years. But if we are talking megabucks to only buy Near Mint barely used copies, as the Good Rocking Tonight auction house in USA turned up in 1998-2000 the prices were going very high. That scene we now see as a bit artificial as the prices of a lot of Big Ticket USA 45s & LPs have nosedived, if buyers still buy, but not at anything like the high prices. A $2000 Swallows 45 is now a $400 item & it makes us wonder about those lofty prices a bit. Back to Elvis, the 78s & 45s were mastered at the same time. A 78 is mastered louder & the 78 EQ is different, as our 1957 EAR Triple Four portable record player (with 4 speakers inside) proves. The 78 is cut louder & bassier so when played on a standard RIAA Phono stage on an amp, the sound is bassier because it's not EQ'd correctly. The EAR player on playing a 78 is bassy on the RIAA setting & more flat sounding on the 78 setting with bass reduced & midrange-treble more open. On playing 78s of the 1950s, the 78 setting we preferred, though as our other pages show, we know Hifi. The big boomy sound of a Jukebox as you hear is a 78 being played with RIAA & it's more fun that way, if less Hifi. Which one you prefer will be your taste. The fact it sounds nicer than a lower mastered 45 is why the Early Bootlegs of R&B & Rockabilly dubbed from a 78, as well as them not understanding the Stylus Size issue, of which we found out ourselves when having these 45s. To buy a NM Sun 45 to us is a better buy than a 78 for the ease of storage & it'll be easier to sell on, The NM Sun 78s will be cheaper but harder to store & the risk of cracked 78s is always there. For Audio needs, the NM 78 will deliver a better sound that can be EQ'd correctly. Which you buy is of your choice & funds. Will people be able to play 78s in 30 years? Yes. Old players will still be around. Will your i-pod bought tracks be any good in 30 years? Doubt it.

ELVIS on SUN: The Chart Positions
Sun 217 with "Baby Let's Play House" made no5 on the C&W Chart & stayed for 15 weeks, making No.5 as Jockey & No.10 as Best Seller. "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" after entering at 'equal No.12' on the 17-21 Sep 1955 "Most Played by Jockeys" Chart (not sales), eventually made a huge FIVE WEEK C&W NUMBER 1 HIT! It also hit the Regional charts. But there's more to that story: it only hit No.1 AFTER the RCA 6357 release in Dec 1955, hitting No.1 in Feb 1956. "Mystery Train" illustrates this, charting at No.11 from Dec 1955. But neither made the Pop Chart & the RCA 6357 record is still fairly hard to find on the first issue.

Sadly the whole story of Push marks is a load of amateur guesswork carried on as fact for decades! The 3 marks in a triangular shape are visible on the label area on the first 4 to some degree and can prove authenticity. You can see them in our photos. The last one does not have them as newer machinery was used, explaining the stylus size problem with the first. The 3 marks you see are found on plenty of other early USA records, what they are is A FILLED HOLE on the acetate master the grooves were cut on to. The holes were needed to stop the disc slipping as it was being cut and once the manufacturing process was started, the holes were filled in. Plenty of early USA indie companies with 45s & 78s going back decades before have this feature. UK 78s can show these marks too. The holes were quickly filled leaving an obvious bump or dip, or well filled & smoothed off so they barely show. No warm record off the press would have itself have such heavy marks impressed that don't match either side, yet without warping the record. These "dents" in the label area could be added to repros to confuse, so take other aspects of originality into consideration & that 'Mystery Train' doesn't have any as the pressing manufacture style changed... It's like with Gold Londons, these tired guessed ideas need correcting!

are exactly as taken. Note the groove to deadwax ratio, the edge of the vinyl. Sun yellow label paper is dull with a deep orangey richness to it. The print is always Brown on the early Suns. Minor label variations exist, ie the catalog number at the bottom or on the right & the Ray Brown error. We've sensibly heavily watermarked these big clear pictures, else shysters could eaily use a raw photo & try to sell you a fake! Enough of the detail shows through to compare yours to.

We want to hear them!! Well we recorded them raw to CD using the right stylus when were selling them, so we offer short MP3 samples of all 10 tracks below. As with early indie pressed vinyl, the pressing quality can be seriously lacking even on VG+ ones played with the best matched stylus, but if that's how they were made, that's how they are.

Here are 60 Second MP3s in good quality direct from the original 45s pictured below
The records were decent copies as you can hear & see, the 1st was EX & the others around VG+ with only Sun 215 with clicks at the start. They are played with the best size custom stylus to get the best sound. We have just run them thru the de-clicker else it's as they came. All original 45s will have the same sound characteristics if played with a custom stylus, if played with a standard shop-bought stylus they'll sound lousy as explained above.

The most different sounding
are "That's All Right" with a more natural thinner live sound from the Sun 45 & the CD version beefed up & added echo losing the "Sun" sound into 1956 RCA sound. We know which we prefer... "You're A Heartbreaker" sounds muffly on every RCA issue as the Sun 45 wasn't mastered with enough EQ & there is distortion. Most will have never heard it like this and further our quick EQ version shows better resolution and how rough it was mastered! Compare both to the RCA "Sunrise" CD version & see what unnatural sounding processed music they are selling you! The transfers you hear on CD & Vinyl today are still based on the 1955 RCA dubbed copies, but "Restored" by careless people over the decades, especially the digital era, just look at the waveforms on an audio program to see the mess they've made...

The 1955-56 RCA transfers
were carelessly done just to be re-released quickly, adding reverb & EQ-ing up the sound to appear less rural. It appears no Master Tapes exist, maybe they were direct cut to acetate which was used in the mastering process & then those acetates discarded of overplayed & worn out. This is confirmed by the 1957 repress of The Prisonaires "Just Walking in the Rain" on 45. The 1953 original 45 with the moving run out groove was cut with the odd stylus size & sounds wonderful played correctly. But this 1957 reissue with the static run out groove is clearly dubbed, and most likely from a 78. Sun was only a tiny company & many pre 1956 tracks on compilations are dubbed from disc. It needs Near Mint copies finding of 45 or 78 depending which was best mastered & properly transferring via the ELP Laser Turntable to lose stylus size problems to release an ultimate 10 track CD of these beyond-important tracks. They'd sell Millions! Elvis as you've never heard him before!

All the RCA masters were EQ'd up some with echo added, making the fresh Sun sound of 'That's All Right' into an awful mess as heard on a later 1958 UK EP version. The Original masters must have been on Acetate discs as no tapes now exist, or modern reissues would go to those. To harshly "improve" the old 1956 transfers is an awful idea. The other Sun session tracks beyond the 10 Sun issued tracks must have been transferred in 1956 & then the masters lost? It seems a bit unlikely, but where are they? The worst sounding Sun track is 'You're A Heartbreaker' which was mastered
from the disc but the Sun 45 was mastered incorrectly without the RIAA EQ, so it sounds thick & muffly on the careless RCA transfers. Hear how it should sound from our MP3 below which we recorded using the correct Stylus size & with the right EQ. It's a fresh sounding track, not that muddy mess that the fools keep fiddling with to lose even more of the 'real Sun Sound'.

Bad Transfers by Amateurs
Other Historical Tracks by Robert Johnson are as poorly treated too: the Columbia reissues even CDs from the 1990s still use the awful limited dubbed versions from the early 1960s. We've had Bessie Smith early UK EP reissues as well as other early Blues artists & the idea then was to use harsh inductance filtering to lose the 78 noise. Only trouble is this makes a mess of the treble & midrange making it "ring" harshly on the vocals & sound awful. But hear a high grade 78 of other artists on the same labels at the same time & beyond the 78 noise, the recordings are actually clear & crisp. 78 mastering is done by amateurs clearly. We have 78s we recorded to CD in 1998 & we recorded them direct, using the right stylus & right EQ. Some late 1920s tracks beyond the 78 surface noise still sound very fresh. By 1929 the sound on a 78 was actually of high quality with treble extended, though most is amid the 78 noise. So why Robert Johnson & Elvis sound so rubbish is because of amateurs thinking to 'remove' is the way. Wrong.

We know how to restore sound, with care not heavy-handed losing the "Real Sound". We've done loads of old Cartoons inc the Disney DVDs of the earliest ones which had sound recorded to a 78 type Transcription "Vitaphone" type disc like WB used. The Disney early DVDs are mostly recorded raw sound & no attempt to clean the sound as they didn't want to spend the money? It is a talent & clearly these amateurs mangle the sound knowing none of the tricks we do. We know Hifi & Sound as well as Hifi design & to get the best sound from a poor source is a fragile balance.

We had Kevan Budd, the guy who made a mess of the 2004 "Sun Sessions" yet other clueless idiots praised his over-restoration & he wanted to buy our high quality 45 transfers, you can hear reasonable MP3 versions below. Bear in mind the huge interest a proper release would make, the sales & all that, the cheeky bugger said this... "as far as payment, as mentioned it will have to come from my own limited funds - nothing unusual there! so may not be of interest just to cover the cost of posting the transfers and making a CDR, therefore at this time i can only offer £20" he never got a reply. We often encounter tight-ass "experts" like him, the bootlegger of those UK 60s 'repro' singles & now the USA R&B, and 'Record Collector' wanting something important for nothing. Pleading poverty too, you think we've not dealt with folks like this before?

Quite worryingly, he says this scary line proving he knows absolutely nothing about how restoring sound should be done! A menace amid "experts" as is often the case! "to minimise both distortion and some noise while trying not to damage the music itself, such as reinserting each of bill blacks bass clicks one by one to ensure the snap was not lost to processing which may otherwise make it sound muted." Processing so harshly it loses the Bass Clicks shows this fool has no idea. What a Menace!

Enjoy our sample of The Real Elvis on Sun!

these are online now...

'JIGSAW' aka Removable-Replaceable Centres

These were a strange type of Centre used by EMI UK from sometime in 1957 to Jan 1958. They must have been experimental and they only lasted for about a year. Their appearance in general records of the era is "scarce". It doesn't mean it's the first pressing at all yet ELVIS PRESLEY collectors surprisingly pay huge premiums for these strange centres despite this. On ebay you can see these centres turn up quite often amid the Gold HMV Elvis 45s though many are without the centre. It's a quirky press at best with no proper status as first or 'ultra rare' to really justify the pricing. Heartbreak Hotel with the jigsaw centre is a 1957 press. Only comparing the 'Gramophone' codes on many copies will explain (GRAMOPHLTD and JR for some first pressings). Similar to Decca's 'Buckingham' code where each letter represents a number 1-10.

These have been called the awkward name of 'Removable-Replaceable' centres for years now, though the more precise 'Jigsaw' name for this centre suits it better as it looks like a Jigsaw piece and will only go back in one way only, if you are unlucky enough to knock it out!

Records lacking these you will never match the centre properly without doing some artwork or paper surgery aligning the label lines. They appear to have been 'cut' when the vinyl was still warm from pressing at the time the record was trimmed at the edge & the centre parts added. They are solid, but 'perforated' in a way that you can push them out easily.

We've tried & you can 'replace' them but they look untidy & don't stay put. Not replaceable really.

We've seen one insanely foolish seller with a high grade Elvis "Blue Moon" who actually took the centre OUT to show it was removable!! OMG!!! That is unbelievably dumb as they were still partly fixed so they didn't fall out & it will have disturbed the centre edges & paper & DEVALUED it as it is now loose and will fall out again & you can bet the fools didn't put it back in the exact same way! You just got to laugh at some people's "thinking"...

These centres are catching people's imagination, but the facts of them as we put here aren't known much yet. They were only used for some time in 1957 to Jan 1958 so a 1956 release with a Jigsaw centre is technically a repressing! Seeing a Gene Vincent "Race" UK 45 with a Jigsaw centre, an item we've seen before, hyped to a not too cluey but rich buyer in VG or less for £120 when the regular one in that low grade is £20 or less is interesting, if it's true. The amount of records relisted after being "sold" shows something is amiss. As with Contract Pressings, only Beatles ones make a premium & that's only for top grade ones. Only Elvis buyers pay a premium for Jigsaw centres. Usually it makes no more difference than 10% if at all, merely to suggest the Jigsaw one is an oddity at best.

Some didn't get the 'jigsaw' part fully cut (pretty rare) & the latest one we've ever seen is the Jan 1958 Johnny Otis one. You do find 1956 release Gold labels, but these are likely 1957 pressings, due to what turns up with these centres, ie only big selling titles, the non-hits you find are only 1957 issues. No other company used this type of centre. You do sometimes find EMI Demos with the uncut version of the centre also, usually with the Test Tone on the B side. These jigsaw centres turn up more often on the big selling Sinatra/Cole EPs by virtue of their big sales. The most 'common' 45 to find with this centre is ELVIS All Shook Up with silver print, despite the RC price suggesting otherwise, but sadly mostly it's found without the middle having gone on jukeboxes or fallen out by autochanger use.

Large Centres
Another EMI related 'Centre' issue are the very first 45s they pressed in January (or possibly March 1953 sources differ) shortly after the November 1952 release of the dark red 7P(?) Classical series. These copied the USA style centre and it's a pity it didn't stay as the format like in USA, think of all those 'NOC' no centre records devalued to half or a quarter of their 'centred' value!

This earliest type of UK 45 sported the 2 earliest R&B 45s to be issued in the UK: Piano Red on HMV 7M108, Jan 1953, a 1950 RCA track, and the lesser-known Sonny Terry on Parlophone MSP6017, Mar 1953, a 1952 Gramercy track. Who would have bought these in tame 1953 Britain especially on 45 is a mystery, though the Sonny Terry (which was used in early 2009 by Paramount Comedy/Comedy Central channel on one of their promos, so it's familiar now!) has the B side with a cheesy pop track, not the Blues vocal of the 'Gramercy' USA issue. The Sonny Terry likely got issued due to the fad for Harmonica novelties as the pop side hints, though the Sonny Terry side is far from that pop style, it's a mad R&B rocking instro.

On further research, the 78 had TOMMY REILLY as the A side, the 78 actually sold pretty well unlike the 45 & he had other 78s issued too. Perhaps issuing ST was a Blues fan's idea to change the styles of UK buyers, if it'd got to be a Chart Hit for the ST side who knows what would come next! The US copy of Sonny Terry was on Gramercy 1004 from 1952 b/w "Dangerous Woman" a midtempo R&B vocal. Oddly the US 45 is cut very low & always turns up on Red Vinyl which sadly has pressing 'crunchy' noises even on a Mint one. The Piano Red 45 must have sold fairly well on 78, though not as many as the TR/ST one, but the 78s & export 78s are not easily found.

It should be said that earlier forms of R&B as it became in 1947 had been issued since at least the early 1930s on Jazz-oriented 78s. UK buyers were already familiar with the R&B Saxophone instrumerntals by Earl Bostic, Tab Hunter & the R&B Piano by many since the 1930s. But these very first 45s in 1953 were aimed at nice middle-class families who liked only the polite pop of the era. How wild it all got shortly after! Play the Sonny Terry 45!

The latest HMV we've seen with a large centre is Buddy Morrow on 7M151 (Aug 1953) over a year before Decca first pressed their UK 45s in October 1954. Philips was even later in 1957 after the JK jukebox only series. 45s are the most loved music format of all, defining generations, the place to find the pioneer artists that are still relevant today. The Indie Record Store Day release of 1000 copies of some EMI artists on 17 April 2010 (and repeated in 2011) shows vinyl is far from finished. The Beatles one selling for between £49 and £115 in the 2 weeks after on ebay. Interestingly this Beatles has a large centre, back where it all began in 1953.

as we're really tired of seeing misinformation, here we'll explain the mess.
First myth to explode: INSTANT PARTY on Brunswick and CIRCLES on Reaction are the exact same song. Recorded for both labels & they are different versions. Instant Party was retitled mysteriously in error or to hide it, maybe music historians know. We know the vinyl story, we only care about the UK vinyl story. The song that plays CIRCLES was issued on Reaction and then as Decca had a DIFFERENT VERSION they then released theirs on the B of 'A Legal Matter', similarly mistitling it 'Instant Party'. The Brunswick issue is just one version so on to the REACTION Releases. Maybe Reaction renamed it when Brunswick issued their version? Reaction issued 4 March 1966, Brunswick issued 7 March 1966. There is the earlier confusing & unlikely Feb 1966 unissued "Circles"/"Instant Party" on Brunswick 05951 that can not exist as both are the same song, unless it was a typo meaning another track was intended instead. There is no proof!

The 2002 re-release of "My Generation" album contains the allegedly intended B-side to the cancelled "IP"/"C" Brunswick, a jokey throwaway out-take randomly titled likely decades later "Instant Party Mixture" just to put a spin on unknown history. We've found no proof of it being titled "IPM" or existing as this title before a typo on a Holland press that plays "IP" & this is it's first appearance/release. You hear the track, no way a conservative Record Company would release such a track on a 45 or ever knowingly master such a track in 1965. It's hardly the image the Who wanted to publicly release either, be it a fun track today. No way, no how, no where. Well we don't publish guesswork, we were interested in stating the several versions on UK vinyl. The story of the song & the legal aggro is easily found in many other places & we aren't interested in that aspect here. Until someone turns up a vinyl test press demo of that cancelled Brunswick, we care nothing for the guesswork or apparent after-the-fact creations of others! This is the same nonsense that has us writing this stuff in the first place! Self-appointed "Experts" are responsible for so much misinformation, look at our Contract Pressings pages for why. ~~ We see one site doesn't like this section, got you talking though as is the intention, well as you have nothing to add or disprove the 'Mixture' B side, then your opinion is a little lacking. We bother publishing because we know things, yet 3 want a record that never ever existed. Oh well... No info apart from ours about the "CAT" record on Reaction as below. But that's not as important is it...

Another know-all who again misses the point we are a UK site & detailing UK issues says a Dutch-Holland copy prints their B side title as "Instant Party Mixture" yet the 45 will still play the "Circles" song. Interesting, but we are only covering UK issues.

The RAREST one is the one with the actual WORD printed "CIRCLES" on the B side.
It plays the song we know as Circles. we're not yet sure if it was the FIRST but to be confirmed or not though stamper codes (sorry..) would perhaps define it. This rarely turns up & makes £50-100+. Why it got Decca Contracts as did the other 2 makes little sense beyond little care being taken to keep the title consistent. Other non Circles-labeled copies are still £25 if Mint, but £10 will buy a respectable one. As an aside, this classic 45 is one of the most often found with writing or damage on the label, for a big hit finding a clean label is not easy.

The next versions appear from seeing equally as many of the Decca Contract Pressings, ignore the WITHDRAWN note you may find in RC temporarily withdrawn means Nothing. The Second version is the one titled INSTANT PARTY which plays the song Circles. The 3rd version is the strangely titled 'The Who Orchestra' with "Waltz For a Pig" a pretty mediocre instrumental out-take type filler track actually by the Graham Bond Organisation.

If you want to see ALL 12 variants of this 45, there may be other Contracts, here they are as we've seen & found 1] CIRCLES: Polydor dark blue; Decca dark blue, Decca Dark Blue test press Solid Centre; Decca light blue. 2] INSTANT PARTY: Polydor dark blue; Polydor Light Blue, Decca dark blue, Decca light blue. 3] WALTZ: Polydor dark blue; Polydor Light Blue, Decca dark blue, Decca light blue.

Immediate cashed in with the Fleur De Lys covering 'Circles' & calling it the right title, just to get buyers asking for 'Circles' in record shops, unaware of the artist after hearing it somewhere.
***EXCLUSIVE*** This will be known to readers of Record Collector in the early-mid 1980s where a certain record shop offered a fortune (in those days) for the 60s stuff that is now big £££ but was still pretty unknown. There was always one, CAT Run Run Run on Reaction that we could never find any info about.


Because we had it & sold it! The story is a very early Rock & Roll Shop in NW1 that now runs a CD company used to be run by an Irish guy who recorded in a Pye label group in 1964 who later developed a USA mid Atlantic accent from his R&R interests. He had this acetate & obviously played it to wind up the BEAT collectors and he never told them the real label details. He would likely have said in his Rockabilly twang "Oh it's by some CAT on REACTION" on being asked who it was. A "Cat" being a term for a Guy in Rockabilly parlance. The song was the Who's LP track so the title was known. Now come the time the Shop closed down, the vinegary guy running it wasn't too into the records so we got it pretty cheap together with loads of other acetates inc Boz "Make Love" on Emidisc, his best track, Teatime Four, duff name but early Boz, Maze unreleaseds & other 60s goodies. The acetate was on ADVISION green on white & there was a matching B side track too. The artist credited was... PAUL DEAN aka Paul Nicholas. No group name but he was "the CAT on REACTION" under the OSCAR name too as well as the Paul Dean one. The music? It was the Who track, but a little disappointingly pop styled version & done without much feeling, unlike the Who cut, which must have come first surely? No producer is credited, Advision is used by Polydor group labels & it was likely produced by the same as the Paul Dean issued 45 which is not a great 45. The potential B side acetate was some forgettable pop nothing. It actually sold to a regular at the time who remembers the owner winding him up about it all the time, never saying who it was & never offfering to sell at any price, so he was likely a little pleased to close the deal. If we could find the old list from somewhere, we'll add a scan in. Sadly we don't have it now & it'd be in a 1997-Jan 1998 list but it gets mentioned in a 1999 one when we sell the Maze acetates!

This is the only source of the knowledge of this alleged CAT on REACTION record confirmed by the one who bought it from us, otherwise what you end up believing are totally baseless rumours get added to the truth in a story that needs telling properly.

Interestingly the YouTube Who version actually still misquotes this CAT info & a 2003 forum asks about it is all you'll find online until our page.

Later pressings of generally hit or sometimes non-hit but steady selling 45s are an interesting category not much covered beyond the Beatles. In the days pre Punk, some records could be on catalogue, ie not deleted, but usually only available by Special Order, or maybe bigger shops would stock them in the Oldies section.

The most famous 'non hit' that was repressed from 1956 to 1965 is Joe Turner 'Corrine Corrina'. There are many likely combinations, but us stating them doesn't mean they all exist, but it's just an example of what there could be. 1956 Silver Letters Tri. 1959 Silver Top Tri. 1960 Silver Top Round. 1963 London-Atlantic. 1965 Atlantic with a London number. There could be a myriad of different variants, eg a 1956 silver tri looks different to a 1958 one as does a 1960 round to a 1962 one. We hear of a collector who found 25 variants of Tornados 'Telstar' which goes to extremes, but may appeal to today's collector who collects not for the music, but the variants, like coins & stamps.

Certain Gold Londons from 1955-57 were repressed in 1960-61 with round centres but still using the old stock of Gold labels. Reasons why a small batch were repressed would need work knowing when a film was reissued or the song used in a TV show. You'd find out why Red Foley 'Hearts Of Stone' from 1955 was repressed in 1961 still using the 1955 glossy Gold label stock.

Later Pressings does not concern itself with Reissues on new labels and/or numbers, but the original release with the original catalogue number but clearly looking like a pressing from a later era. We'll not bother detailing Beatles reissues post 1976, but this page will grow as we find anything odd worth showing a later pressing. We'll only show ones we have in stock to give an accurate date of the repress which only seeing the actual record can tell. Enjoy!

THE FIRST RECORD shown is CAPITOL 1957, with 3 clear label repressings that can be dated by comparison. COMPARISON is the answer, shuffle a million 45s & you'll pick up the knowledge! Differences can be very subtle, label size, paper type & size, typeface, centre pressing contours, matrix stampings, vinyl thickness etc etc. Yours for the reading! eg 1954: 1958 press means RELEASED 1954, showing the 1958 PRESS

**We do save up these old adaptors & sell them once there is enough to bother with, though we have now sold off quite a few hundred that filled 2 big ice-cream boxes, so any further sales could be a long way off, the last lot was 20 years worth!

As you can see we are the sort who like to discover & research things as we see it, we notice it & remember it as a dealer oughta. Here we offer a little bit of unpublished nirvana about RECORD CENTRE ADAPTERS, the bain of record collectors for 50 years & the bad ones (which we'll note) have ruined many a picture sleeve & added a few scratches too! If only UK Decca hadn't seen those OC45 Capitol singles odds are all of Europe would have used large centres & the pain of losing half the value or more on a no-centre record would not exist! And neither would these little swines: as a dealer they are all over the place, they get in everywhere & end up blocking the Hoover even as they lurk on the floor! Look in any drawer & there one is lookin' at ya, even in a place records don't go they are found. The day you find one in your bed is time to seek help! Who was the insane decision made by to need a record with a centre in the UK? Why not leave them like 78/LP centres, but no, some RCA fool decided a 45 was to fit in the hand & the big hole to get his fat fingers in to grip save touching the playing surface! Still we'd not have pretty UK Red & White Motown demos etc. Read on if you have your sanity in check...

were made for the USA market & were imported into the UK. The now-notorious heavy cast aluminium WEBSTERS. They are best avoided as they warp or damage the record centre or even warp the whole record after 50 years of being in a USA record middle, as they only have a set thickness and are unbendable, ie they are suited to the thin early RCA 45s not thick Sun, Duke or Federals! These are hard to remove, it involves slightly bending your $3000 NM Elvis Sun 45 & pushing up from behind on the tab over the label in front of you and sliding the nasty thing along the direction of the bend crease, ie bend at the top & bottom edges & slide the adaptor gently left or right, do not push or force & they slide out easily. This has caused early 50s USA singles to get centre chips, often 2 of them across from each other by impatient music fans way back when! The back on ones found in 1953-54 records says "Patent Applied For".
1953 Duke 1951 Aladdin

Next also starting from the mid 50s we reckon came the pretty coloured USA-made ones with '45 RPM ADAPTOR' helpfully pressed on. These come in many shades from white to brown and almost black & we hear as they are numbered, certain cheery souls collect the whole number run, with the inevitable rare press mould code! These can be a bit fragile & the legs crack off so they are pretty hard to find as a whole.

You find a black cardboard adaptor in the early 60s, that are similar to the plastic ones shown, assuming they are not UK made or even EU made as we've found them in early 60s European EPs, no sure way to tell as no info can be found. See Picture below, 2nd row left. These have an embossed bump for autochangers. The card ones aren't easily found and are prone to going out of shape & falling out, even when new as you find them taped into UK 45s. Having got a couple, they are a sort of plasticised treated cardboard you find with other uses with the traditional bumps half pushed through, but just "45RPM Adaptor". If they were UK made, they would show it as Made In England was put on everything as UK was a proud manufacturer back then! Someone must know who made them, we suspect European origin from finding in French EPs, but who's to say they were not put in by UK shops? Mystery.

There are plenty more 50s USA centres that did not make it to the UK that use various odd methods to stop slipping on autochangers, as an article in a Goldmine US price guide showed in the late 1990s to show the 50 years of the 45, so 1999 issue likely.

THE FIRST UK ADAPTORS were for sale as an accessory and are likely the USA type ones mentioned above, no UK records were sold with an adaptor until the Philips group in 1967 with the skinny adaptors noted below. The EMI group 1952-53 ones with large centres as made were sold like that, until the 4 prong centre arrived in early-mid 1953. The black adaptor on a 45cat HMV 7R134 page is one of those black cardboard ones which from getting ex-jukebox records seem to be no earlier than the early 1960s. The earliest ones UK sees are the imported UK coloured ones, thankfully no Websters make it to the UK at the time. UK players with the big centre post will have existed, but likely long lost or an extra to buy. The Garrard 301s in white have a white plastic adaptor block to put over the spindle which must have been popular.

ROOTS OF AN ICON? As an interesting point, you may wonder why they chose this particular shape. It's sprung so it can be put in easily & be removed easily too. Legs do break off if mishandled. We've added the Goldring & Black Card one photos directly above & another thinner black card one on the right that looks oddly familiar & just about the same size. But we know where this came from: a 1932 Pye G/GR radiogram we have. The early Goodmans speaker needed reconing as it fell apart & this thing held the speaker voicecoil & cone central on a post with a screw in the centre of the magnet part that goes inside the voicecoil. It was glued onto the paper cone and the speaker would have movement limited in all directions by it. The early cone speaker uses an electricity powered magnetic field: electromagnets were used in early electric radios & gramophones, pre the permanent magnets of today that were introduced by the mid 1930s.

Goldring 45RPM Adaptor There is a 6 pronged one you slide in like the metal Websters, this one has the header as wording one side and "Made In England" on the other. Picture directly above, centre one. We've not had one of those on ages & found one in a 1956 Glen Mason 45. It would surely date no earlier than Goldring making Turntables & Cartridges, but they appear in the 1956 Hifi Yearbook, so that's no help. We have to remember where we've seen them & 1960-61 Decca based on ones we've had over our decades of vinyl shuffling. Years ago you used to get collections from those who bought them casually at the time, not collectors collections. These centres will chip at the edge & putting them in is a bit awkward, you have to slightly bend the record & slide the prongs across. Not ideal to do on what used to be $1000 doowop 45s!

Many early no-centre records get the awful sellotaped-in centre & the Philips JK series are found with a square tape mark from whatever centre they used, often one pushed out from another record, but 50 years on the tape dries & they've fallen out taking the evidence.

The appealing thick one 1st on the left below are the first certain to be UK made type to turn up regularly from about 1963 & were used by the Ex-Jukebox selling companies as the NOC records with these adaptors were often found still together in their Jukebox printed sleeves. These are clearly UK product as never seen in records you buy or see from the USA. Previously the coloured USA plastic ones as above or black cardboard ones are found, or horror-of-horrors some fool ripped a middle out of another record & sellotaped it in sadly found from about 1957 on as 45s became the format as 78s faded out. These 1st ones are the best UK ones as they fit any 45 & turntable spindle exactly & we liked these for our UK 45s sans middle as they stay put & are accurate. Note only a small knobbly bit that doesn't cause problems if storing 45s in card sleeves. Not great for EP sleeves though as they press a mark through. Variations on this come with slight recesses along the legs the 2nd one, a thinner bendier versions. The pointy bit (which was supposed to lock with another record on an autochanger to stop skidding) had grown much longer on the 4th one & is pretty nasty for picture sleeves as it goes right through & crappy to use as the centre hole is too loose resulting in slight off-centre playing or bad for cueing on slip mats, as is with the 3rd, 4th & 5th ones. Then comes a more recent typical ex-jukebox shop types centre shown as the 4th & 5th one. You could buy the 3rd in WHSmith etc in the early 80s. These were replaced by the 'pointless' last one, which was probably still the version you get buying new now, though we rember first seeing it around 1982 in ex-jukebox sale boxes newsagents used to have. Those boxes used to mostly have hits, though we bought much older titles like Spencer Davis Group 1966 & even saw a Tony Osbourne 1959 track no-one wanted for 45p!

The first one in the photo below is made by Colton, a UK maker, sold (in boxes of 25?) for 3/6 as an advert in the 1967-68 Hifi Yearbook shows.

THE LAST GROUP are the Phonodisc/Polygram skinny adaptors that were issued with the large-centre UK (& European 45s) from 1967 to 1972. You could buy them seperately as ads on LP inner sleeves show. The early ones are the best as no raised pointy bits & they fit USA 45s nicely, we used these on our USA 45s in days of collecting (ago). These were also used across Europe & later versions (possibly non Polygram-made) were thicker with raised pointy bits & also an angle to the edge as the 3rd one shows. Only the smooth ones are suitable for picture sleeves. The middle one is pretty useless as it's way too big for nearly all records & the thick legs make it very hard to insert. They can all easily get the legs snapped off if you aren't careful & look best in a 'T' design looking like a strongman. Only this way looks cool, other ways look naff!