There are quite a few variations of the Decca 's' location and size here too.
The solid centre looks a complete ex factory one, its close to a Pye type oft seen on Piccadilly , but has the lower depression that is normally on Decca pressings.
Soild Decca pressings exist on promos, but they seem to have been turned out on a whole variety of presses not consistent with any of these anyway, and they seem to have petered out for promos only by 1960 anyway. Maybe demand mean that shipping without knock outs was quicker.
Ref to Gilbert 003's scans. It is quite unusual to see Decca group records from the early 60's manufactured with solid centres.
They only seemed to appear towards the end of the decade and perhaps some of the experts could throw some light on the matter- maybe they are late 60's re-pressings or were made by other factories under licence.
On closer examination the records might have been dinked and replaced with solid plastic adapters.
Must get out more !
- the two matrix numbers identified the matrices from which the stamper plates pressing the vinyl blob in the stampers turned this into a vinyl record: if these were not matched by the matrix numbers listed on the printed labels stamped into the vinyl at the same time had been produced nobody could know which had been used.
- if more than one stamper were pressing the same single at the same time, each stamper's plates would be identified by the unique combination of letters, digits and (often greek capital letter) symbols immediately after the matrix number on the two stamper plates fitted - again, so each could be identified at need. this addition modifying the matrix number was not needed on the record label, so it would not be printed on it, but would be used to sort out problems that might arise and were noticed - and also recorded in the paperwork for each job number, to keep track of how many copies had been taken from each stamper plate, so predictable wear could be anticipated, and vinyl copies deemed to be below saleable standards due to this not pressed in the first place.
(- whether record-buyers agreed with record corps manglement what constituted "acceptable wear" is, or could be, another matter.)
- "test pressings" or "factory samples" needed to be taken of each fresh set-up on a stamper to check the stamper plates' alignment, etc: these might or might not be good copies, and should not have found their way into the stocks intended for public distribution or as advance publicity copies sent out to press, radio &c. - but some (of course) "leaked out" unofficially.
There must have been large stocks of identical label blanks .
A print-setter would create a metal over print plate with Artist, Publisher, Writer,Label of origin, catalogue number, matrix number etc etc...........a lot of work
As that stock of ready printed labels is used up ....more will be needed
Around that time Decca thought it old fashioned to use "45" as a prefix so the master plate would have to be changed to delete that detail
Varying purchase tax code changes were necessary and would need amendment
Were the varying ways of listing matrix numbers a deliberate factory code (unbracketed, round brackets, fancy arty brackets) some sort of way of dating the reprints
Maybe there wasnt just one set of printing plates. Maybe two blokes working in the same room would have slightly different ways of composing
keiths: well, the label cat# & b-side matrix no. would normally only change, if e.g. the record were re-released with a different b-side (the cat#, not always then); the cat#, if the original licence had expired and a new licence obtained, somewhat later; the cat# prefix on decca's london "american" label, if the existing licence were in some significant way altered - e.g. the territories in which decca could legally distribute the single changed (in which case the third letter would be changed, or a third letter be added, to reflect this); the matrix no, if a different take were substituted for that previously released, or a new master for some reason cut; or (most commonly) either anticipated or actual pre-orders for a single suggested it was going to take off into the charts, and multiple stamper plates made from the master; or if it sold well enough over the years that its stamper-plates needed replacing: the multiple matrix no. extensions in the "dead wax" were changed to indicate which plate produced which vinyl copies, but this would not be reflected in the matrix no. on the label.
- but sometimes, "for no apparent reason" - e.g. some of the decca london "demand performance" singles were straight reissues of singles their licences to which had never been determined, not new pairings of two previously separately-released a-sided: these might, or might not keep their original cat#s on the new "demand performance" orange labels.
- weird and wonderful are the ways of record corpses, and music corpses more generally. (- a bit like wizards in jrrt's the lord of the rings. . .)
Was interested to see the difference in catalogue and matrix numbers on a big selling London single.
Didnt get the same number of alternatives with another big seller - Little Eva's "Locomotion" for some strange reason
I never thought I would be staring at Ned Miller 45s with such interest in the details. here we go ! 's' & cat no. only
Three records with 's' on both sides.
One with 's' on one side only.
HL9658 on one line, HL 9658 on 2 lines, HL.9658 on 2 lines, 45-HL 9658 on 2 lines and 45-HL.9658 on 2 lines.
I need to sit in the dark now.