Sold: The Smiths - Reel Around The Fountain 7" original test pressing


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FOR SALE: The Smiths - Reel Around The Fountain 7" original test pressing

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This is an ORIGINAL UK 7" test pressing (Rough Trade RT 136) in unused and visibly mint condition. Yellow-green label with black die-cut sleeve and anti-slip serrations around edge.
Etched in on side B is 'SLAP ME ON THE PATIO' and in run off RT136 A-1U-1-1-1 / RT136 B-1U-1-1-1

The Smiths - Reel Around the Fountain green label test pressing with a catalogue number given as the same as "This Charming Man" - RT136.
This is the Troy Tate intended release and Possibly only 25 of these were pressed.

More Info on this release:

Catalogue no. RT 136 - Rough Trade Records
Smiths collectors will know that this test pressing for 'Reel Around The Fountain' is one of the most desirable collectibles owing to its unreleased single status and its place in the history of the Smiths back catalogue. 'Reel Around The Fountain' was originally planned as the second single after the release of 'Hand In Glove', before the plans changed and 'This Charming Man' was released instead. The original release plans made it as far as the test pressing stage, and these resulting yellow-green label test press 7" records which were produced have consistently been ranked amongst the most sought-after Smiths collectibles. The sleeve artwork was clearly intended to be the 'Jean Marais' image which was eventually used for 'This Charming Man'. An advertisement for the 'Reel Around The Fountain' single appeared in 'Jamming' magazine featuring the familiar artwork normally associated with 'This Charming Man' but with the 'Reel Around The Fountain'. The catalogue number for this test pressing 7" is 'RT 136', which was, of course, subsequently retained for 'This Charming Man' when the plans were changed. Consequently, a record dealer looked up the catalogue number for this test pressing, in the early days of Smiths collecting, and wrote "Smiths" and "TCM" on the green label for the B-side when the value of this test pressing was far low The matrix numbers on the run out area of the A-side are "RT 136 A-1U-1-1-1" and those for the B-side are "RT 136 B-1U-1-1-1" with the etching "SLAP ME ON THE PATIO" as also subsequently appeared on the B-side for the 'This Charming Man' 7". I have studied the record carefully, and there are several factors which have reassured me that the item is genuine. One is that the record has 'anti-slip' serrations in a ring around the inner label area on both sides, which is often-cited as an indication that the record is genuine. Another factor, which would be practically impossible to fake, is that the hand-written capital letters of the "SLAP ME ON THE PATIO" run-out groove etching on the B-side are actually identical in style and positioning to the run-out etching which appeared on the officially-released B-side of the 'This Charming Man' 7" due to the re-use of the 'Jeane' pressing plate for the B-side of the record in the subsequent official release. This is immediately evident in the close proximity of the words "ME" and "ON", for example, but also stands up under closer scrutiny in the style and positioning of all of the letters and, indeed, in relation to the position of the stamped "RT 136 B-1U-1-1-1" matrix number on the opposite side of the record.

A test pressing of the single slated for The Smiths second release, withdrawn due to press controversy. Features the Troy Tate production of Reel Around The Fountain c/w Jeane. The rarest of Smiths collectables? Only 25 pressed although some sources say there may be less than that.

UK 7" - test pressing [Rough Trade RT136]
Yellow-green label, usually slipped in a generic white or black die-cut record bag. Estimated 20-50 pressed. Fakes have been reported: true copies are recognizable by their anti-slip serrations.
RT 136 A-1U-1-1-1 / RT 136 B-1U-1-1-1; etched 'SLAP ME ON THE PATIO' on side B.

"Reel Around The Fountain" was originally intended as The Smiths' second single. It was, however, ultimately put back in favor of This Charming Man and never passed the stage of test pressings. Only a very limited number are in existence.

"This Charming Man" kept the catalogue number originally assigned to "Reel Around The Fountain" (RT 136), but its runout matrix is RT 136 A-3U, whereas this entry has 1U. "Jeane" was kept as b-side.

Barcode and Other Identifiers​

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A, runout, stamped): RT 136 A-1U-1-1
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B, runout, stamped / etched): RT 136 B-1U-1-1 SLAP MEON THE PATIO
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