List of Smiths white labels and test pressings

I've decided to take Grim's advice and try to start a list of known Smiths test pressings and white labels. Most info was gotten off the net, with a special thanks to the Passions website. Some also came from my own collection. The list at this point is incomplete. I will add to it if people are able to help me out with the missing info.

For the 7" pressings, most info I can find is up to 'That Joke isn't Funny Anymore'. I assume this is because most promotion done after that was through the 12" medium. Any info on later releases would be appreciated!

I've tried to paste here from a spreadsheet, but the formatting has gotten all screwed up, so the best I could do was paste to Word and attach it to this post.
This is definitely a work in progress, so any help would be great!

-Peter
 
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good work UD

here's a couple of mine to add to your list.

Sandie Shaw HIG A side RT 130 A-1U-1-1-1 timtom "KISS MY SHADES"
B side RT 130 B-1U-1-1-1 "JM"

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now A side RT 156 A-2U-1-1-2 SMITHS INDEED
B side RT 156 B-1U-1-1-3 ILL FOREVER

I'll have to check the 12"ers sometime later.

love

Grim
 

Stefan R

Member
Hi Peter.

it will be a pleasure for me to help you,
but it will takes a while, because
i have to take the records out of
my bank-safe.

Stefan R
 
Grim and Stefan,

Thanks for the comments and the help. Most appreciated!

Stefan, I had to bring out the white gloves to check some of my pressings (though they weren't in a safe).:)

-Peter
 
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now A side RT 156 A-2U-1-1-2 SMITHS INDEED
B side RT 156 B-1U-1-1-3 ILL FOREVER

Grim
Grim, is that a push-out or non push-out white label? There seems to have been both varieties of the standard mix.
Also, any idea of the meaning of the '2' and '3' at the end of the matrix #?
 

Stephane

Pashernate member
Be aware that this is going to be very tricky. Test pressings are usually white labels (or yellow, blue, green, red labels etc), but white labels are not necessarily test pressings. The test pressing might be given a certain number, but the white labels produced in greater quantities and sent around for promotion might have a different one. I'm not talking about the RTT numbers here, but the ones that look like A-2U-1-2-1

There are test pressings for every vinyl release and often these are extremely scarce. Promotional white labels were usually in the 7" format for the 1983 and 1984 singles, then the band switched to 12"s. Those are much more common. So later 7" white labels and early 12" white labels are usually test pressings. Early 7" white labels and later 12" white labels are very likely promos, but test pressings will only be recognizable if they were given a different number.

For example this is how you can recognize a "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" test pressing from a mispressed "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" white label.

I used to have a file with the matrix numbers for most tp and wl, but it's on neither of my computers right now, I don't know what happened. I might still find it on an old backup cd. I should have a look but I don't think I'll have time before I leave for Europe in a few days.

Stephane
 
Grim, is that a push-out or non push-out white label? There seems to have been both varieties of the standard mix.
Also, any idea of the meaning of the '2' and '3' at the end of the matrix #?
it's a push out UD

love

Grim
 
Be aware that this is going to be very tricky. Test pressings are usually white labels (or yellow, blue, green, red labels etc), but white labels are not necessarily test pressings. The test pressing might be given a certain number, but the white labels produced in greater quantities and sent around for promotion might have a different one. I'm not talking about the RTT numbers here, but the ones that look like A-2U-1-2-1

There are test pressings for every vinyl release and often these are extremely scarce. Promotional white labels were usually in the 7" format for the 1983 and 1984 singles, then the band switched to 12"s. Those are much more common. So later 7" white labels and early 12" white labels are usually test pressings. Early 7" white labels and later 12" white labels are very likely promos, but test pressings will only be recognizable if they were given a different number.

For example this is how you can recognize a "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" test pressing from a mispressed "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" white label.

I used to have a file with the matrix numbers for most tp and wl, but it's on neither of my computers right now, I don't know what happened. I might still find it on an old backup cd. I should have a look but I don't think I'll have time before I leave for Europe in a few days.

Stephane
Stephane,

Thanks for the helpful input. I suspected a lot of what you said, and you've confirmed it - later 7" and early 12" pressings are rare because those are truly 'test pressings' not used for promotion. I would also guess that push-out white labels are for promotion only. Maybe I can add another column to distinguish the two.

If you should find that list, before or after your vacation, please let me know and I will add the data in.

Also, I have almost no 12" white labels. Do these tend to have the 1U-1-1-1 suffixes? Are are they mostly just RTT XXX A1?

Peter
 
12"ers do you just want the singles?

Anyway the singles I've got are

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore RTT 186 A2 (b-side) RTT 186 B-2 (white label)
Shoplifters Of The World Unite RTT 195 A-4U-1-1-1 (b-side) RTT 195 B-1U-1-2- (pinky white label)
I Started Something I Couldn't Finish RTT 198 A-1U-1-1-1 (b-side) RTT 198 B-1U-1-1-1 (white label)

love

Grim
 

Stefan R

Member
a couple of 7" t/p you might be interesetd in,
12" coming soon


Stefan R

7“ HIG white label 2-sided t/p 1983 (just 5 copies exisit, Jonny Marr’s copy)
Matrix RT 131 A1 “Kiss My Shades” + “A Porky Prime Cut”

7” HIG white label 1-sided t/p 1984 (day stamp not readable, but probably: 18 APRL 1984)
Matrix RT 131 A-2U-1-1-1 “Kiss My Shades”

7” HIG white label 2-sided t/p 1984 (day stamp18 APRL 1984)
Matrix RT 131 A1 “Kiss My Shades” + “A Porky Prime Cut”
(different centre to 1983 copy)

7” RATF green label 2-sided t/p
Matrix RT 136 A-1U-1-1-1 “Slap Me On The Radio”

7” TCM white label 1-sided t/p (plays mix of TCM)
(months of stamp not readable, 26 XXX 1983)
written on label: “NOT FINISHED”
Matrix RT 136 A-2U-1-1-1


7” TCM green label 1-sided t/p
Matrix RT 136 A-3U-1-1-1 “Tim Tom-cbs

7” HNIMN white label 1-sided t/p (day stamp 27 APR 1984)
(no push out centre !)
Matrix RT 156 A-2U-1-1 « Smiths Indeed »

7” WIWRN (“Whitelaw version”)
blue label 1-sided t/p
Day stamp 19 OCT 1987
Matrix RT 136 B2 U-1-1 (plays « Please, Please … « )

7” HSIN yellow label 2-sided t/p day stamp 18 JAN 19XX
palys OW instead Well I Wonder on b-sided
Matrix RT 176 A-1U-1-1-1 « The Tatty Truth »

7” MIM 2-sided white label “Mayking testpressing”
Matrix RT 186A1 “Our Souls Our Souls Our Souls”

7” MIM 2-sided yellow label t/p
Matrix RT 186 A-1U-1-1-1 "Our Souls Our Souls Our Souls”

7” Joke 2-sided yellow label t/p
in proof sleeve and scott piering letter
day stamp 23 APR 1985
Matrix RT 186 A-2U-1-1-1 Our Souls Our Souls Our Souls”
cancelled on label :
Matrix RT 186 A-1U-1-1-1

7” Joke 2-sided white label and no label t/p
Matrix RT 186 A-2U-1-1-1 Our Souls Our Souls Our Souls”
cancelled on label :
Matrix RT 186 A-1U-1-1-1
 

jdfjmdf

Member
Good luck with this, it's a tricky one.

Here are some tips as I have some experience getting records pressed in the past (I even used Mayking once).

1. If you get a W/L with a date stamped then that can be regarded as a test pressing, labels will tend to get a handful (5-10) of test pressings unless they specified that they wanted more, and even then usually only 2-3 are date stamped.

2. Each time a new cut is ordered then you'll get a few test pressings for it. When you see "A2" or "B3" or "A-2U-1-1-1" then that will tell you what cut it is for that side; A2 being the second, B3 being the third etc etc.

3. The metal number stamped ones "A-2U-1-1-1" were pressed by EMI's old pressing plant, probably through Mayking who acted as broker (Mayking never had a vinyl plant of their own). Later on Mayking would use MPO (in France) for their vinyl (look for a small "MPO" on the run-out).

4. The ones with catalogue numbers written by hand were pressed elsewhere, I'm not too sure where that was.

5. Rough Trade seemed to get multiple cuts and test pressings for each release so you can get white labels cut and pressed at different places with different run-out details, "That Joke..."/"Meat Is Murder EP" is a good example as there seem to be at least two versions of each variation, same with "Shoplifters..."/"You Just Haven't Earned It...".

6. The record cut is a different thing to the pressing, look for references to Porky's or Townhouse or TimTom to get an idea where it was cut.


Hope this helps identify all the white label variations.
 
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Nice info JD. More pieces of the puzzle.
Didn't know that about Mayking using EMI. So if I've got this straight...the track was recorded, then cut at Porky's, etc, then sent to Mayking or another broker who would press it at EMI facilities or another pressing plant. More complicated than I would have expected, but it helps explains the panoply of pressings out there!
 

jdfjmdf

Member
that sounds about right.

Porky's is at 55 Shaftesbury Avenue and I've had a couple of cuts done there. I think Rough Trade probably used Townhouse too though I haven't got my Smiths stuff to hand to have a look.

When I used Mayking they were getting pressings done by MPO, which is why I used them since dealing with a French pressing plant is obviously difficult. It looks like they used EMI in the early 80s which was one of the best plants in the UK and is now unfortunately closed, though I believe someone has bought the machinery and carried on in some form. The EMI pressings can be identified by those machined numbers rather than hand scribed.
 
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Walkers Crisp

Nobody's Nothing
The only one i have of these thingies is a "William" 7 inch (red label, push out centre)

A side: RT 166 A-1U-1-1-1 "The Impotence Of Ernest"
B side: RT 166 B-1U-1-1-1 "Romantic And Square Is Hip And Aware"

Don't know if its a promo or a TP. Actually, I'm not after or into this stuff at all. Too complicated :confused:. :o
 
Thanks WC for the William red label info. That pressing was a promo sent to promote the single. There was also a test pressing with a white label and light-reddish edge.
 
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