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.
ELVIS PRESLEY SUN 45s: SPOTTING THE ORIGINALS
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.
Original Recordings by Sun Records. Copyright owned by today's owners RCA etc & today's publishers. These actual MP3s sound recording samples are property of select45rpm.
'JIGSAW' aka Removable-Replaceable Centres
THE WHO SUBSTITUTE - CIRCLES - INSTANT PARTY UK STORY
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.
ANOTHER REACTION "CAT" MYSTERY...
***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.
BUT IT DOES ACTUALLY "EXIST"!!!
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.
IDENTIFY LATER PRESSINGS
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