Collector's Corner

Singles, B-sides, remixes, deep cuts and unreleased tracks
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Kes
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Collector's Corner

Post by Kes »

Preesing info and differences interests some people.

Some it doesn't.

A story I heard years ago, was that EMI demo copies of Seven Seas Of Rhye were withdrawn at Freddie's request. I don't know why.

What seems to back this up, is that there are very few copies of the printed "demo record only" with the A on them, in circulation.

At quite fair expense, I recently obtained one. I can't hear any differences in the mix, but looking at the cut (from plate matrix EMI 2121 - 1U), it differs radically from all my stock copies (which are matrixed EMI 2121 - 2U), the demo uses a lot more of the playable area, than the stock copies.

Is anyone else into this sort of stuff? If so, post your observations and/or questions here, please.

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Re: Collector's Corner

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I heard that the reason was that it was the wrong mix, but presumably you can now disprove that?

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Re: Collector's Corner

Post by Kes »

I can't personally hear any obvious differences, but it doesn't mean there aren't any.

There were two early demo issues of Keep Yourself Alive. Why are there two? As far as I can ascertain, this was down to someone, likely Brian, hearing the first on AM radio, and because the medium was in mono, only one channel was audible. The second demo the A side was cut in mono (matrix number EMIM 2036), to get round this problem. Both demo copies sell for obscene prices these days, usually over £100 a pop.

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Re: Collector's Corner

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A bit of info on matrix numbers and pressing info contained in the run off (dead wax) area, on UK EMI 7" singles and albums.

Motherplate info :- This usually contains the catalogue number, ie For Seven Seas Of Rhye, EMI 2121, this will be followed by either an A or a B to indicate which side of the record it is, then a number to indicate the particular motherplate cut, whether it was the first one used -1, -2, etc. There might be a U following this, if the motherplate was not cut in house at EMI.

Sometimes, the person or company mastering the motherplate, might put their own identification, names, messages, logos or symbols, in this area. On EMI motherplates Blair's refers to Chris Blair, Nick W is Nick Webb, and Bilbo - Denis Blackman. All people who worked for EMI in their cutting rooms.

Other facilities used for mastering Queen records issued in the UK include Trident, London; The Mastering Lab (TML) in Los Angeles; Sterling in New York; Allen Zentz, LA; Strawberry, London; Townhouse, London; and Orlake in Essex.

A lot of the later stuff was mastered by Kevin Metcalfe at Townhouse, his work then moved to Soundmasters, but on most Queen pressings, he's identified as Townhouse Kev.

Other info on UK singles, were from rotating wheels within the pressing machines containing individual letters and numbers printed at the 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions, these, as I understand it, help identify it as a unique pressing, and could tell the quality department, if returned, exactly where in the production run it was pressed.

Virtually all of the stuff issued on vinyl in Europe and the US since Queen signed with UMG in 2011, has been half speed mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Mastering.

Think that just about covers what all these strange marks are on the run off areas. Any anomalies or questions, and I'll try and find out the answers.

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Re: Collector's Corner

Post by Generic username »

Kes wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:09 pm
A bit of info on matrix numbers and pressing info contained in the run off (dead wax) area, on UK EMI 7" singles and albums.

Nice one, Huggypoo kissy to you...

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Re: Collector's Corner

Post by Kes »

Yeah, i know that's on some copies of the first album, but I've never found it on anybody else's records, so no leads on that one. So sorry, not a clue.

While we're on albums, the vast majority of original UK copies of NOTW have sterling logos on them, but not all. There are also copies cut by Nick Webb at EMI.

As an extra to that, i did a fair bit of research into this sort of stuff when EMI was still a "live" company, but even then, the pressing plant at Hayes had been shut for years, so they only had so much information on the operations of the plant. They were able to tell me a lot, but the label was formed nearly 50 years ago, and most of the people who worked there then, are most likely dead now.


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Re: Collector's Corner

Post by Kes »

Well found.

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