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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Fitzgerald" <[log in to unmask]>
> 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.
> 
Note that fact is exactly why my "78 Dating Guide" provides data for
dating discs both by matrix number (i.e. recording date) and by catalog
number (i.e. issue date). The two don't always coincide, particularly
once album sets and reissue records became more common!

Steven C. Barr