One of the rarer swirls and hard to find in great condition. Gravy Train’s eponymous 1970 debut on Vertigo features a textured gatefold sleeve, designed and photographed by Hipgnosis.
I’ve acquired this in addition to another copy in my collection: this newer copy features stamped matrices, whereas my original copy had hand-etched matrices. I now believe (upon comparison to my new acquisition) that the copy I acquired some years ago is not a genuine 1st issue UK swirl, but a reproduction. The vinyls, labels and sleeves look near identical in style, finish, weight etc. but with the following exceptions:
1. Both gatefold sleeves are textured, but the genuine version is a more pronounced texture and is also textured on the inner gatefold. The repro copy is smoother (you can still see a faint texture to the outer cover but it is less obvious) and has no texture to the inner gatefold.
2. The printing of all wording on the original inner sleeve is black, the repro version is dark purple and not as sharp.
3. Both sleeves have the correct wording and catalogue number on the spine but the genuine version is white and the repro is printed in black.
4. Genuine vinyl weighs in at 146g, the repro weighs 129g. Also, there is less deadwax area on the genuine copy. The repro has much more deadwax area as though the recording grooves are packed tighter together. And of course, the repro has fairly large hand etched matrices.
One thing that is very interesting on the bona fide copy however, is that the matrix on the B side of the stamped matrix has a hand etched ’3′ to complete the catalogue number. It looks as though the stamp was erroneously incomplete. So, did the ‘stampers’ break/get mislaid? Are there versions with fully complete stamped matrices? Watch this space!
588086 – “Vanilla Fudge”, 1967
Vanilla Fudge’s self titled debut from 1967 isn’t particularly scarce and therefore doesn’t break the bank, but finding a barely played copy on pristine ‘red/plum’ Atlantic labels is a rare find.
As with most ‘popular’ records from this era, the vast majority were played to death and trashed at wild parties. This new addition to the collection is in superb condition and the laminated sleeve, too, is very nice indeed.
Mono copies exist, with the catalogue no: 587086
PEG-6 Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick
This was originally intended to be released on either B&C Records or Charisma as the vinyl has the original CAS-1046 matrix stamped into the deadwax and then crossed out. It has been replaced by the PEG-6 matrix. My guess is that given the very traditional, folk music on the LP it would have sat better as part of the B&C catalogue.
Comes with a nice gatefold sleeve that replicates the style and lettering of Jackson Heights’ Ragamuffins Fool sleeve design – Grahame Berney designed the Jackson Heights sleeve in autumn 1972 so this sleeve, designed by Davis/Berney/Wade, predates it by about 1 year.
Martin Carthy appears on the Vertigo sampler, “Heads Together First Round” 6360 045 in autumn 1971, but didn’t get to release anything on the swirl label (imagine the value now if he had…).
Just acquired this superb example of Van der Graaf Generator’s oddly named “H to He Who Am The Only One”.
Gatefold sleeve by the usual manufacturers of EJ Day Group.
B&C Records credit on label and inner sleeve.
A rarely seen example of “Hiroshima” by Wishful Thinking has just been added to the collection. This 1971 release features the smaller B&C logo at the top of the label which has a smooth finish. Earliest B&C releases feature a large logo and a textured label.