Here we have a genuinely rare item. This record was produced in low numbers in 1969. How many have survived is unknown. That this pressing is very rare to the market suggests that few have survived and those that have are held in private collections.
Armed Forces Radio and Television Service [AFRTS]. I can account for four records with AFTRS origins that contain Hendrix material, with three differing labels but this is the earliest know [from 1969] and is a micro-groove cut album. This is a mono cut LP that contains one side Hendrix of five titles from the Electric Ladyland LP issued in 1968. This given AFRTS is dated week 23 1969 as it clearly shows RL. 23-9 on the label. The tracks in question are:
1. Have You Ever Been To (Electric Ladyland)
2. Come On (Part1)
3. Gypsy Eyes
4. Rainy Day, Dream Away
5. Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Beside the presentation of Come On (Part 1) and Still Raining, Still Dreaming being in mono on an official release it is very interesting to see track 5 as the "natural" successor to track 4! Not how Hendrix wanted this to be presented of course as the album is sequenced with 1983/ Moon between this edited track.
Armed Forces Radio and Television Service P-11039
RELEASED JUNE 1969
The Hendrix side: P-11039 RL-23-9 3-A-[EITHER cg OR eg]
The other side: P-11040 RL-23-9 3-A-[EITHER cg OR eg]
In this 2006 issued set of coloured vinyl pressings "Hey Joe" is b/w "Foxy Lady". The test pressing brings us a B side of "Star Spangled Banner". "Gloria" has Look "Over Yonder" as the B side in the box set, here it has been coupled with "Foxy Lady". Again in 2006 set we had the issue of the miss pressed box set, the one in which "Night Bird Flying" replaced "Dolly Dagger". The test press has "Dolly Dagger" coupled with the erroneous "Night Bird Flying" recording. Simple up to now as all the listed have appeared in either the miss pressed box or the correct pressed box set. "Up From The Skies" originally had "One rainy Wish" on the reverse and that is how it appeared in both of the variants of this set. The test press has "If Six Was Nine" as a reverse to the original A side.
These test pressings show two mastering engineers by way of Ray Janos and Bernie Grundman. "If Six Was Nine" never appeared in this second box set but did appear in the first 45 set that came out of Sterling a little earlier. That though was a stereo pressing and here we have a Grundman mastered mono recording. If that wasn't enough, the song kicks in at the 1:33 mark of the recording, "White collar ..........." vocal.
So we have new entries for the dead wax matrix listing plus an extremely "strange" pressing. From the known [to me] detail for these test pressings, these are the only irregularities and the remainder of the test pressings from this set is/are as per the issued pairings.
HEY JOE B/W STAR SPANGLED BANNER
A: EH2-E-45 BG
B: EH2-15 RJ [STERLING STAMPED]
GLORIA B/W FOXY LADY
A: EH2-14 RJ
B: EH2-13 RJ [STERLING STAMPED]
DOLLY DAGGER B/W NIGHT BIRD FLYING
A: EH2-9 RJ [STERLING STAMPED]
B: EH2-10 RJ [STERLING STAMPED]
UP FROM THE SKIES B/W IF SIX WAS NINE
A: EH2-A-45 BG
B: EH2-B-45 BG
LOVER MAN B/W LOOK OVER YONDER
A: EHB2-245 RJ [STERLING STAMPED]
B: EHB2-345 RJ [STERLING STAMPED]
A selection of slightly odd pressings. I hate the term rare as it is often over used to simply hike a price pre sale but one or two of the pressings found here may well be deemed that ..................... but not by me! I simply find them strange and beautiful pressings that bring a little diversity to proceedings. Though there are occasions that a record is genuinely rare in all sense of the word.
In 2006 we had the Classic Singles box set, Volume 2 released. I found the whole thing a little confusing back then, I still do truth be told. Three mastering engineers initials on 20 sides of vinyl! A missing track in some boxes! Differing colour vinyl per recording! Well maybe this will clarify matters somewhat, or maybe not? Please reference the 45's page for greater detail on this set.
The following are Test pressings and as such should be available as official releases and they should, in theory, be representative of what was released. I'm pleased to say we don't live in a perfect world and it is these imperfections per occasional release that make the perfect world a reality!
These Test pressings are all black vinyl, plain white paper labels though they did come contained in plain paper sleeves with picture sleeve covers and housed in clear plastic outers.
These are the picture covers, front only, as this shows the A side which is representative only with these Test pressings:
The following are included here as it is unusual to find a record sleeve numbered 0000. This is seen here with the Radioactive test pressing, in this instance Studio out-takes Vol 3, though I have seen Vol 2 of this series with a 0000 numbered sleeve and believe others from Radioactive also have this. One of twenty? Most likely. Here also presented are the usual sleeveless test pressings from Radioactive.
Shown here, a copy of the Band Of Gypsys release from Classic Records. Well I say release, in this instance this record remains unreleased as is. The initial thinking on this was to release the album on various weight vinyl and we even have a red vinyl copy pressed up at one point. Initial release date was 1997, see the Band Of Gypsys page for details.
Here we have an unreleased version of the album on 200 grm Clarity vinyl. While this album remains unreleased in Clarity I am aware of test pressings being available [maximum of 20] along with a short run of a numbered issue, 1 to 25. The pictured copy throws up yet another strange variant to this pressing, a possible promo copy! If this is in fact a promo and promo's were indeed produced it is currently unknown as to the numbers though it would be safe to assume that these numbers would be low in volume. As seen, it displays the label but came in a plain white card sleeve.
While this is not a review site I think I should mention that this Clarity vinyl pressing presents us with the "best" possible pressing of this title for those who seek out the "best" available pressing.
I have included an image [from e bay] displaying the numbered sleeve, front and back.
Acetates / Lacquers
The only one I can show is the following. This Lacquer is what you would term "rare" as there is only the one produced by Classic Records. This lacquer was produced for the 2006 Classic Singles Box Set Vol. 2. This disc was cut to 14" and then trimmed to 12". It is the mono Burning Of The Midnight Lamp which made up side A of one of the 10 disc's included in that set. The B side was Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice of course.
RTH 1008-7-45 (EH2 5)
HAND ETCHED DETAIL:
Label side: 13869.5(3) [looks like A or Triangle 0]5193
NON-LABEL SIDE: [3 IN A CIRCLE]BS[CR?] There is also a stamped mark on this side: APOLLO
The following may well be the last of the Hendrix AFRTS pressings though I would like to be proven incorrect in that thinking! Released June 1976 this is again a one sided Hendrix content pressing.
1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. Trash Man
3. Once I Had A Women
4. Gypsy Boy
Midnight Lightning AFRTS
A: (The Hendrix side): P-15693 ST RL24-6 4TJS
B: (The other side): P-15694 ST RL24-6 4TJS
Here's a test pressing [South Saturn Delta] that came up for auction recently, 2015. This is from George Marino's estate and appeared for sale along with both the double set for this release as a test pressing and other Hendrix titles in test pressing format. This one caught my attention as it has George's hand written notes on the plain card sleeve. As a "bonus", this TP came with two sheets of Sterling Studio's headed note paper with more detail as to corrections and changes. This pressing does not play as the actual release of this recording [see the MCA entry for detail of this issued vinyl] though it carries the identical dead wax detail as sides C and D in both instances. From first plays it is the same both musically and mastering. The difference is the crackles and pops in the noted areas of the pressing. I find this a fascinating look into the process of vinyl manufacture and production. That said I am reliably informed by those in the know that pressing plants do not take any notice of these sort of notes!