----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
> On closer examination:
> The label designs appear identical. However, the copyright notices differ:
> The one lacking the takes says, "This Record (made by patented process) must
> not be sold below price fixed by patentees"
> The other says, "Copyright,patented Record. Not to be publicly performed
> without license nor sold below price fixed by patentees."
> Both Faery Song sides say (A 3551) at the 9 oclock position on the label.
> For The Minstrel, the one without the take says (A 3817) there. The one
> with the take has "speed 80" and the matrix number without parentheses is
> beneath the publisher's logo at the bottom of the label.
> So much for them appearing to be identical labels at first glance.
> I'm not an expert on the sequence of English Columbia labels, but they seem
> to be from the post WW II era, my guess from having handled many of them
> over the years.
> All four sides have the W in a circle in a position different from that
> where the matrix number appers.
> The copy without the takes has th R following the number on the label.
> A3551, Faery Song, is preceeded by the W in a circle before the mx no as
> well. On the other side, A3817, there is no W in a circle in that position.
> On the copy with the takes, there is an R following the number on the label
> on the Faery Song side but not on The Minstrel.
> The circled W preceeds each matrix number in the dead wax.
> The old single side number in the dead wax is
> Faery 23297
> Minstrel 23838
> on both.
> Physical measuremnts from groove beginning to end is identical on both
> So it is with variable reluctance that I ask again, "what's going on here?"
> Perhaps there are significant discographic clues that may flow from this
> comparison, but can't figger out what they might be.
> Is one a dub?
> I recall a similar problem on some post-war English recorded Parlophone
> Tauber discs but don't remember which ones fit into this pattern anymore.
> There may be some underlying factory practice at the root of this.
> At worst, this should indicate earler or later pressings or, perhaps,
> different factories. The sequence of labels should come clear once the
> reason for the change in wording is learned.
What is needed here is a reference work on UK Columbia labels similar
to the one which already exists for US Columbia...which lists all the
minor changes in patent ephemera, along with the more obvious ones...!
Also, note that when a "label variety" changes...especially a very
minor alteration...the record company does NOT immediately pitch all
the no-longer-current stock of label blanks...! It isn't at all
uncommon to see different varieties on either side of a record...!
Finally, keep in mind that labels start out as credit-less "blanks"
which are run off in quantities approaching gazillions...! These are
then printed with record-specific credits in quantities presumed to
be adequate for the disc in question. In fact, Columbia ledgers
don't provide sales figures, but DO provide data on the number of
labels printed for each issue...
Steven C. Barr