Tom Fine wrote:
>I ask again, why is album release date particularly important? I 
>would think session date/info is enough.

I find it very important to know when the public first encountered a 
recording. It is not good enough to assume that taking recording date 
and adding a certain number of months for pressing and administrative 
procedures will equal release date. There are cases when issues were 
held back and not released in a timely fashion after recording. I 
have seen plenty of published books and articles that make the 
incorrect assumption that a 1961 public would have heard a recording 
made (recorded) in 1961, but which in fact was not issued until, say, 
1987 (and even catalog numbers can be misleading). This applies not 
only to first issues but also to foreign releases. When was an 
alternative take first heard? Release date, not recording date, gives 
the answer. Even recent reissue release dates are important. Knowing 
that an LP was rare and little-heard until a CD reissue says 
something to the researcher.

To this end, the discographical database I use allows for the storing 
of issue release date, down to the day if known (in addition to 
session recording date), and I have devoted several bookcases to 
storing nearly 50 years worth of Schwann catalogs.


mike at