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Meeting #125:
1ST PRESS – what is it?

What is the „first press” of an LP and how is it different from others – a guide for collectors and music lovers


The Definition of a first pressing or pressed vinyl record, is a record that was pressed from the 1st original masters. There seems to be some controversy between record collectors of what is a first pressing as opposed to first issues. source:, accessed ” 12.02.2020

| Text: Wojciech Pacuła

lready this brief introduction introduces an element of uncertainty to the topic of the "1st press LP". And the matter could seem simple - we're just talking about the first pressing of a vinyl, right? That is one, that was released by the record label at the very beginning, as soon as the title was introduced to the market. As you will see, it is much more complicated. Let's quote the again, with the article entitled How Do We Define A First Pressing Or Pressed Vinyl Record?:

An important point is that it is possible to have a 1st issue and a later issued pressing that is 1st pressed. This means that although perhaps the album may be issued with different label variations or in some cases different cover variations the records are still pressed from the 1st original masters hence1st pressed or pressing. This doesn’t always apply of course but it is an important point because many people loose the point that at 1st pressing doesn’t have to mean 1st issue.

What is this all about? Well, it’s about the fact that the first pressing of an LPs is considered the best. Regardless of what period we are talking about, what music we specialize in and what system we use to listen to it. Interestingly, both collectors, music lovers and audiophiles agree. Collectors, because the first pressing is most often associated with the first release, i.e. the most desirable one, except for the exceptions the aforementioned quote speaks about. It is also important for them that they get the original cover and label, i.e. they have the original artifact in their hands.

Meeting leader, Mariusz

Music lovers agree, because the first pressing/edition means that they get the original sound recording of the event, i.e. something like a "first edition" or original edition in the literature. Later issues often change the composition of the tracks as well as the covers. Audiophiles are also happy because - this will be a short summary of this text - the first pressing of LPs, especially those with the lowest matrix numbers, sound best. There are exceptions to this rule, but really very few.

All you have to do is look at the prices of the original releases of well-known albums - four-digit prices for the debut of Led Zeppelin, or The Doors, for the Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the moon other popular titles are something normal and only a five-digit sum raises eyebrows. It’s just that with time it is increasingly difficult to assess what is the first pressing. High-volume releases were pressed in hundreds of thousands of copies, in various press plants, often from different masters, and were released on the very same premiere day. Sometimes there was a change of master and the first pressing was then only a short series, and the subsequent pressing became the most common one.

So there are a lot of elements to be considered, and only few people really now hot to navigate them, and usually only in some narrow sections of the market. Websites such as The Pink Floyd Archives, the aforementioned, also and others, but mostly in Japanese, are also helpful - but these are only general signposts. The most important is the experience gained through hard work and having large amounts of money at one’s disposal.

It so happens that among the oldest members of the Krakow Sonic Society there is Mariusz, a music lover, collector and audiophile, who sensitively combines all these aspects together. We have talked about a KTS meeting regarding the "1st press" for years, but something has always stood in our way. After the last meeting on the occasion of one of the concerts - it was probably Misteria Pashalia in 2019 - we came to the conclusion that if we wouldn’t do it very soon, it wouldn’t probably happen at all.

The following text is the result of several hours of listening together, but preceded by years of searching. The meeting was led by Mariusz, with whom beforehand we agreed on a list of albums to listen to:

|1| España, dyr. Argenta, wyk. The London Symphony Orchestra | Decca • SXL 2020 (1958)

  • Decca (UK) • SXL 2020 | 1st PRESS
  • London (US) • CS 6006 | 1st PRESS
  • Speakers Corner Records • SXL 2020 | 180 g | REISSUE (2004)
  • Original Recordings Group • ORG 104 | 2 x 45 RPM, 180 g | REISSUE (Bernie Grundman, 2010)

|2| Power of Orchestra, dyr. Leibowitz, wyk Royal Philharmonic Orchestra | RCA Victor Red Seal „Living Stereo” • VCS 2659 (1963)

  • RCA (US) • VCS 2659 | 1st PRESS
  • RCA (NIEM) • LSC-2659 | 1st PRESS
  • Chesky Records • RC30 | REISSUE (Tim de Paravicini, 1990)
  • Analogue Production • AAPC 2659-45 | 2 x 45 RPM, 180 g | REISSUE (George Mariano, 2009)

|3| Pink Floyd, The Dark Side Of The Moon | Harvest • SHVL 804 (1973)

  • UK | 1st Press/1st LABEL A2/B2
  • UK | 1st Press/2nd LABEL A3/B3
  • US Capitol | 1st Press/1st LABEL
  • Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab • ‎MFSL 1-017 | 1. REISSUE (1979)
  • Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. • MFQR 1-017 | 2. REISSUE (1981)
  • Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. • MFSL 1-017 | 3. REISSUE (1981)

|4| Led Zeppelin, II | Atlantic • 588 198 (1969)

  • 1st press UK | 1st LABEL (tzw. Wreck Label - z Living Loving Wreck i Lemon Song)
  • 1st press UK | 2nd LABEL (Living Loving Maid i Lemon Song)
  • 1st press UK | 3th LABEL (finalny z Living Loving Maid i Killing Floor)
  • US Robert Ludwig | tzw. Hot Mix (RL” Cut)
  • Atlantic 2014 • R1-535225 | REISSUE (Jimmy Page, 180 g)

Let me take you for the ride – Mirek will take the lead. ♦ WP

| Text: Mirosław | Selected and transcribed from a tape by: Wojciech Pacuła


My „vinyl story” began when years ago I asked Wojtek (Pacuła - ed.) what to buy to listen to vinyl records. He told me then - and it was quite a few years ago - get the SME V tonearm and Air Tight PC-1 cartridge, a nice turntable and it will be a very fine set. And so I did. I came to the conclusion that this set offered quite good sound, so I started to buy records - it was around year 2000. Then some common elements began to appear in my purchases.

On their basis, I came to the conclusion that from an audiophile perspective only the so-called "First presses" have real value. As a side note, let me add that these opinions are the result of my internal beliefs and experiences. They should not be over interpreted - everyone must find their own path.

Back to Wojtek - when I read his article about the Astigmatic by Komeda I thought that in the case of this one album he took a miraculous shortcut of the path that I, with some number of titles, took through in a dozen or so years. Because you have to understand that all these beautiful new covers, all remastering ideas - all this leads to interesting solutions, but still the 1st press is what is the most valuable.

I will be honest - I used to think that Wojtek is afraid of this comparison. His colleague Michael Fremer prepared a film in which he presented 120 reissues within 60 minutes, which one must buy. So I thought that Wojtek may also not want to promote something that virtually no one - except some private people trading in it - benefits from. Because re-editions are part of the business that makes real money, and the 1st press is a competition for them. As you can see - I was wrong.

What is a 1st press | The concept of 1st press is not explicit. You have to get into it, do a lot of research and study it. For example, one of the suggestions that I sent to Wojtek earlier, which unfortunately will not fit into this meeting, is King Crimson’s Starless in Bible Black. The first press debate is unresolved in this case. The copies were made by Island label, but EMI also commissioned them to external companies. To this day, it is not known who first pressed this album, the more so because two different matrix numbers were used. The discs sound different, but you can't tell which one was first.

Reference system

In the case of multi-edition discs, and we will listen to two such cases today, getting to a "very early" or "very 1st press" copy is not easy at all. On one hand, there is the logic in matrix numbering, but on the other hand we will listen to an RCA release, which is a different case. In the early 1960s, the company pressed records at three different factories. And they did not use the same matrices for this, each factory used a different one, and all of them were the "first" ones made of the master.

Meeting | Preparing this meeting, I chose the albums using a certain key. I didn't want us to listen to unremarkably recorded, mastered or pressed records. It would be a waste of time. We will use only good ones. In the case of the classical music, there will be examples of absolutely spectacular releases, in my opinion ones of the best.

With the classical music releases I once fell into a trap - if it was a record from a record label that had good technology at their disposal and was known from good quality releases, even if they were titles outside the spectrum of my interest, I bought them. At some point I came to my senses. Now I have three labels that - in my opinion - assure certain quality. These are Decca, RCA, preferably the „Living Stereo” releases, and the third one is Mercury, also with the „Living Stereo”.

Matter of price | In the case of 1st press albums, one of the most important things is their price. In 90% of cases, a first pressing is not more expensive than a re-edition. It is different though, in the case of records I brought with me. Each of these LPs can be bought for as little as $ 10. The better the copy, the more expensive it will be. You will see that these discs crack a little - not so much, but still. I adopted the rule that I don't buy LPs graded lower than "Very Good +", according to the "Record Collector Guide", which establishes standard of LP quality gradation (more HERE, accessed: 12.02.2020 - ed.). "Very Good" means a slight degradation in sound quality.

There are various prices therefore on the market. But there is such a thing as a "price guide". In this version of the España, which I will show you in a moment, the "price guide" shows about 500 pounds level. But this applies to the "Mint" condition, which is impeccable. In the case of records with classics, this sometimes happens. But in the case of popular rock records - there is no chance. Buying a "II" by Led Zeppelin in perfect condition is, I think, out of the question.

|1| España | Decca • SXL 2020 (1958)

The label of the original Decca issue

The first position today is Decca - of course we know it, for example from the First Impression Music label. By the way - the topic of Decca's releases from the UK and US is really hot, because there is no way to tell, which to give priority to. In this case, the American edition has a completely different cover. But both are stereo releases. Decca with this logo is a sure thing you can safely buy.

As for the label, one can recognize Decca from this era by the so-called "White band""at six o'clock", which is at the bottom of the label. In subsequent editions, "Made in England" disappears from this position. These two elements allow to recognize the 1st press. The next stage of the search are the numbers of the first pressing matrix. I believe the lower the numbers, the better.

We shall listen to the track 2: Rimsky-Korsakov, Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34, 2nd Mov. Variazioni. The recording was prepared by Gordon Parry. He is a man who made many recordings for Decca. Important information - the recording was made at Kingsway Hall (Holborn, London), in a hall that no longer exists, but which had fantastic acoustics.

In Great Britain it came out with the Decca logo, but in the United States the albums of this label were released under the London label. There this record also featured a different cover. On many American versions of the label we will find the inscription "Made in England", which would indicate that they were made in the UK, from the same matrices as Decca. That is why many music lovers buy the version with the London logo, because it is 80% cheaper than Decca. But for me the American editions sound worse - and certainly different.

1st PRESS | Decca vs London

Jarek Waszczyszyn (Ancient Audio, FRAM) was skeptical about whether there would be any differences at all, because it was ultimately the same label, the same master, etc. But, as he said, they sounded different. The tonal balance was different, and the stereo image was different. The second album appealed to him more because the performance of instruments was in his opinion better. Also Rysiek B. chose the US version because it was more dynamic, he said.

The American London release

For Wiciu, two aspects of the London version were important - deeper bass and stronger orchestra tutti. He preferred the former version, but not by much. Our host, Julek, expressed similar opinion. He pointed out that it's a bit of a matter of taste, because both versions sounded great. In turn, Wojtek Padjas (RMF Classic) drew attention to something else. However, he started with an anecdote:

I heard about Wojtek Pacuła, present here, many years ago, when I read in one of his articles that he heard "what rosin is used by violinists". Despite understanding the laws that columnists can follow, I thought it was at least ridiculous. Now I realize, that the problem at the time was, that I didn’t pay much attention to the sound - I'm primarily a music lover - and I can admit now, that it was I who was wrong. But why am I telling you this story? To confirm that today I understand perfectly what did Wojtek mean back then and I think so too - as I could distinguish the rosin in the first recording, but not the the second one...

He mentioned also the fact that the UK version showed rustling, the noise of a violin, and thus emotions. Tomek perceived it similarly, emphasizing better readability of the Decca version. Janusz could not understand those who preferred the London version, definitely choosing the British version.

REISSUE | Decca vs Speakers Corner Records

Jarek, at the beginning, asked a question that should accompany all conversations about re-editions: "Who is the re-edition intended for?" It will be bought by someone who starts his adventure with LPs and, importantly, this type of reissue will not disappoint them. This was confirmed by Tomek, who mostly buys re-editions. The sound of the Speakers Corner version went ,in his opinion, towards the American edition. There was powerful dynamics and a large spectrum of sounds, but he still thought that English 1st press sounded best. Although he would be quite happy also with the reissue, also because there were no pops and cracks with it - which, as it turns out, is an important advantage of reissues.

Wojtek Padjas took up another topic, noting the collector-audiophile distinction. For him, above all a collector, it is more important to have something from the era, and the sound is less important. There is nothing wrong with good reissues, he said. The problem, however, are the reissues of LPs sold in grocery stores, virtually anywhere. He considers them a misunderstanding, which spoils the market for valuable re-editions. For him, the Speakers Corner version was, after all, the best in terms of sound. Although, he said, the 1st press by Decca offered more information, but the aesthetics of the Speakers Corner reissue appealed to him more.

Wiciu swa it similarly - the dynamics pointed to the superiority of Speakers Corner, although - as he added - the sound as a whole was too bright, too aggressive. Janusz immediately agreed, adding that he was missing something in the new edition, which he couldn’t even describe. Rysiek confirmed his initial opinion - the London version. Speakers Corner, he said, was too showy. Everyone emphasized that the Speakers Corner reissue was very good.

REISSUE | Decca vs Original Recordings Group

Wiciu, right away, pointed out that everyone who doubted Bernie Grundman (and some were among us), i.e. the mastering engineer of this version, should apologize to him. He liked the sound a lot, because there was excellent spatiality and a great tonal balance. Wojtek Padjas pointed out that modern remasters are made with different studio equipment and for other people than before. They have to sound dynamic, colorful, they have to offer a lot of everything. In his opinion, the system should be selected depending on music one listens to, also taking the era one’s music comes from into consideration. And maybe that's why, in his opinion, in the system used for the presentation, the ORG reissue, or the last one we played, sounded best.

Jarek confirmed validity of the whole meeting, because we did not reject from the bat the reissue as a bad one. Tomek only added that everything was more balanced here than in the Speakers Corner reissue. Even Rysiek agreed that it was a great reissue, although he kept insisting that the best edition was the American 1st press. In turn Janusz didn't like it at all. As he said: "terrible." First of all, because the sound was "too shrill".

Finally, Mariusz added that he was disappointed with the ORG pressing, but it sounded better than the Speakers Corner’s version. He summed it up with one sentence: "The British 1st press has the features of a reference release of classical music, mainly due to extreme resolution, full-range and amazing space." For him, the re-releases are flattened in terms of colors and are „empty”.

|2| Power of Orchestra | RCA Victor Red Seal • VCS 2659 (1963)

The RCA catalog is one of the basic ones when it comes to classical music. We are listening maybe not the best, but Rene Leibovitz was born in Warsaw, so it should be clear why I chose him ... An interesting fact - this album was released as "Living Stereo", but without a characteristic banner on the front. For the first releases the label is very characteristic, referred to as "shaded dog", because the label's logo is on something like a shadow.

The „shaded dog” label of the America release

I brought a copy featuring the 1S/1S matrix - if you find one, you can be sure that it is a very popular version. In the so-called "Dead Wax", there is the letter "i", which suggests that this copy was pressed at the Indianapolis plant. At that time, RCA had three factories - in Rockaway (New York), Hollywood and in Indianapolis. There is an opinion that the pressings from the latter are the best. The label prepared several lacquers and often made additional matrices. The 1S/1S is the best, but you can find equally good matrices with different numbers in other titles.

Kenneth Ernest Wilkinson (1912-2004), one of the best producers in the world, recorded this album. Short information about Chesky Records - this reissue was prepared by Tom de Paravicini, who then developed all the electronics for Mobile Fidelity tape recorders. The re-edition was created on a tube system. But this is a company that released few titles and all with changed covers - they did not receive a license to use the original ones. We listen to the track called A Night on Bald Mountain. American pressing costs around $ 100, the German version is cheaper, and Chesky Records cost $ 30.

The Analog Productions remaster was prepared in Sterling Sounds and releases as a double 45 rpm album on 180 g vinyl.

1st PRESS | RCA (US) vs RCA (NIEM)

Rysiek immediately noted that - for him - there was a "huge gap" between these two original editions. Janusz immediately raised the ball say "it’s just weak!" The thing was that - according to them - the German version sounded rather dull and compressed. Wiciu didn't call it a quality gap, but he also noticed that the first album is more vivid and has better dynamics. Jarek did not want to talk about it at all, because the German version was really bad for him. Janusz added that the "German" sound is "pointless to him". Julek just nodded. I (Mariusz - ed.) do not buy German pressings, except with krautrock.

REISSUE | RCA (US) vs Chesky Records

Chesky Records version with a completely different cover

Listening to the Chesky Records version was extremely interesting because everyone listened to it carefully. Rysiek liked it very much and said that he was "positively surprised". Wiciu added that this is a much better release than the German 1st press. Jarek talked about the large spaciousness and that it was really cool. And Julek was very positively surprised by this reissue. Only Janusz broke away saying it was a "safe" reissue. The midrange, he said, was fantastic, but the treble and bass were not very expressive.

So, we may say, it is a very good reissue. As for me (Mariusz - ed.), this is the only reissue of this album that I would keep and it offers about 95% quality of the original, which is a shocking conclusion for me. But this is also good information for buyers (from financial point of view).

REISSUE | RCA (US) vs Analogue Production

Interestingly, Rysiek found a "leader in this set". Colors, emotions - all that was great for him and he was "delighted". Janusz said that it was a great example of why 45 rpm and two discs releases are a good idea - it serves presenting an excellent range of sound. Wiciu did not take it so emotionally, although it "sounded beautifully" and for him it was an equivalent version to the one by Chesky Records. Jarek, in turn, said that in this case he did not have the impression that this was an old recording, because it sounded fresh, nice. There was dynamics, colors, space and differentiation.

We would like to find a common denominator in the activities of labels releasing reissues. But this is not easy because they usually outsource the remastering to someone outside. So it works out differently. The Sterling Sound does not deal with the classic, that's why they made this version a bit like a rock album, with dynamics and a slam, but - in my opinion - it did not sound three-dimensional, like the original. It's not here. Which would confirm what Jarek said.

|3| Pink Floyd, The Dark Side Of The Moon | Harvest • SHVL 804 (1973)

The label of the A2/B2 „Factory Sample” 1st press

I have the 1st press of this record with the A2/B2 matrix and there is a G1 marker on it. The first release of the DSOTM album is characterized by the fact that the song titles on the label are marked inside a blue triangle, which makes them difficult to read - in subsequent editions this has been corrected. And they have the lowest matrix numbers. I have a special version with the "Factory Sample" sticker, so it comes from a special selection. I saw it at the auction only once and bought it immediately.

You can hear the opinion that the song Money on the 1st press, right after pressing, skipped. Therefore, the label decided to change the matrix. After 5000-6000 thousand first matrices (exact numbers are not known), a new "cut" (varnish) was made, which sounds different. This second batch starts with A3/B3 matrices and has a corrected cover - it is black, not bluish. The triangle is also corrected - it is now black. The A2/B2 version, in good condition, costs around 400 pounds or more. But there are no perfect copies (Mint). It's just that prices are rising 20% year-on-year, so it's worth buying it today. But it is worth paying attention to the lowest matrix numbers. As the numbers increase, the reproduction mechanics increase, and the treble and bass evaporate.

We also have American 1st Press by Capitol and all three Mobile Fidelity remasters at our disposal. Master (Half-Speed Mastering) was prepared by Stan Ricker, and the disc was pressed by the Japanese JVC. Three versions of Mobile Fidelity have been released - one in 1979 and two in 1981. The first version from 1981 was released in a box as an UHQR album, i.e. Ultra High Quality Recording. The two editions without box (1979 and 1981) differ only by the font on the yellow bar at the front of the cover - the first edition of this album, i.e. from 1979, has a simple font, and the 1981 version has an italic font. They all feature a white label.

1st PRESS | UK Harvest A2/B2 vs UK Harvest A3/B3

Janusz quickly decided - for him it is a badly recorded album, incredibly compressed. But if he had to compare the two releases, the first version (A2/B2) was much better because it was more open and less compressed. The A3/B3 version, i.e. the second one, seemed cleaner, but it was incomparably more dynamically suppressed. For Wiciu, the second version presented harder, not so pleasant bass. So he would choose the first one (A2/B2). But Rysiek B. "did not agree with his friends" because for him the A2/B2 version was boring. Janusz felt sorry for him, but couldn’t do anything to change his mind. Tomek turned the discussion back on the right track and decidedly chose the first version for colors, space and dynamics. Julek confirmed it, but he in turn liked the shorter, compact bass of the second version (A3/B3) more.

1st PRESS | UK Harvest vs US Capitol

This is the cheapest version of the first pressing. And yet everyone liked it a lot. It wasn't as dynamic as the British original, but overall the impression was fantastic. Everyone loved this pressing.

REEDYCJA | Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-017, 1979 vs MFQR 1-017 (UHQR, 1981) vs MFSL 1-017, 1981

One of the most sought after Mobile Fidelity releases – DSOTM in UHQR version

Wiciu said that the UHQR version sounded better out of these two reissues. He noted that on the first two reissues, the vocals were shifted towards the middle. If he were to evaluate them, then the first would be the best, then the second and finally the third. Two re-issues from 1981 were dimmed, somewhat "killed". He would compare the 1st reissue to the American version of Capitol 1st press. Also for Rysiek, the first Mobile Fidelity reissue was the coolest one.

Tomek did not notice any big differences between the releases, except that the last issue, from 1981, seems the most subdued. He liked them all because they presented the aesthetics of the American Capitol edition. The Mobile Fidelity label has its own aesthetics of sound, which is why Jarek noted that it was too smooth. Julek also liked the American edition of Capitol the most and he compared it to the first MoFi reissue from 1973.

|4| Led Zeppelin, II | Atlantic • 588 198 (1969)

You can clearly see the difference in the saturation of bronze color on the British 1st press (front) and the American Bob Ludvig version

The same status as Pink Floyd has in progressive rock, Led Zeppelin has in harder rock. I like the first four albums of this band, but for this session I chose the II album because the issue of the 1st press is most complex with it. From the graphic side, the first editions are easy to distinguish, because the bronze on the cover is much brighter than in later editions.

However, the complications have only just began. On the earliest release, there is a song called Living Loving Wreck and that's how this version is usually referred to. On the first side there is a track called Lemon Song. When the album came out, Chester Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf, contacted the record label claiming he was the author of this song. The band agreed with him. The next labels were given new titles, but it was still the first release, so we are still talking about the 1st press album.

On the second label there is already the Living Loving Made, instead of the Living Loving Wreck, because the word "wreck" had some bad associations for the American branch of the company, but the song Lemon Song is still there. The final version of the label is Living Loving Made and Killing Floor that replaced the Lemon Song. So there are three versions of the label, although it's still the 1st press.

The lowest matrix numbers of the British "II" start with A2/B2 and there are no lower ones - apparently the first matrices were destroyed. Instead, there are copies with only A and only B matrix and they are probably the pressings of the Pye plant - Atlantic commissioned part of the release to them. After hearing the original (Wreck Label) we sat excited and speechless at the same time. This system played this music sensationally well! Janusz said "that’s true mastery".

1st PRESS UK | 1st label vs 2th label vs 3th label

Label of the original release – British 1st press

Both copies feature the same matrix number, so they come from the same pressing. And yet they sound different. And this is because the farther with the pressing in time, the more the matrices were worn off - that's why the 1st label is rated as the best. Due to the enormous demand, the pressure to use each matrix for as long as possible was enormous.

After listening to all three British editions, Janusz quickly said that it was a waste of time - 1st press, 1st label is unrivaled, and the remaining ones sound like broken. The first was "brilliant", the second definitely worse, and the third worst. Rysiek agreed with Janusz. "One" touched both him and the host’s system. Each subsequent version was flatter in terms of dynamics and the space aspect deteriorated.

Tomek liked the first two editions very much, but both were different. With the third, "there was something wrong." Jarek said it was a transition from a good wine to a non-alcoholic beer. Everyone said the same thing. And that was a good lesson in humility. Many people think that Led Zeppelin discs sound very bad. And this is not true - records pressed from worn off matrices sound badly. The first label of the 1st pressing in reasonable quality will sound brilliantly. That's why you have to pay for some things. You have to pay for it from 300 pounds up. And there is no choice but instead of buying three worse releases just get the right one.

US | Robert Ludwig, Hot Mix

Bob Ludwig's reissue is not the first American pressing - the first had a brown-purple label and costs $ 900. US collectors believe the reference is Bob Ludwig's mix. However, it had a short life - apparently it seems that a copy of the album went to the daughter of Ahmet Ertegun, the owner of Atlantic Records, who said that the album skips. They were afraid that there would be a lot of complaints, so Sterling Sound and Ludwig were commissioned to prepare the rest. The fact that it is his mix can be recognized by "RL" in Dead Wax.

Label of the American release of Bob Ludwig’s album

Janusz said that the British edition was unrivaled. In the American version the treble was unbearable, it was too strong. This was confirmed by Wiciu. Rysiek also pointed out that the bass phrasing was hard to read. Tomek liked the American edition, maybe not as much as the first British one, but "it wasn't bad". Julek believed that the first version was way better, and than, but light years apart, the American version.

REISSUE | 2014, Jimmy Page

There are countless reissues of this album. In my opinion, after hearing the A2/B2 British version the case is closed. But out of curiosity, I bought a 2014 reissue, digitally remastered by Jimmy Page. The album was released on 180 g of vinyl, the cover is a copy of the American edition.

Tomek told us how after the release the new version of the Led Zeppelin catalog in 2014 he listened to all the albums and he liked what he heard. He said it offered a very nice sound. For people who just start to take interest in a given music. If he had not heard the first pressing of 1969 a moment earlier, it would have been the best version of this album. Wiciu agreed with him, and soon after that also Rysiek did, who had no objections to this recording. Jarek confirmed it, and Janusz finally smiled. As he said, "he began to pulse into the music." The first pressing was still the best, but this one was still excellent.


In my opinion, only the 1st press, as early copy as possible, makes sense. Everything else is optional, if we can't afford the first pressing. Looking for the best sound in 99% cases, we'll end up with the 1st press. Anyway, a similar conclusion comes from the meeting, even if we didn't always agree with each other. My advice is not to wait and spend the money.

Tomek asked when this "bubble" would burst - unfortunately I have no idea if it will happen at all. There is my generation on the market right now - people who know this music and have money to buy it. But there is also something else - all of Asia, incredibly fast-growing Asia, it is like a black hole that sucks everything it can in, including the first releases. So their prices will only grow.