Sunday, August 14, 2016

12 Tops - more 'colured vinyl' discovered!

We recently posted on the subject of coloured vinyl editions of Pye Chartbusters, a discovery made after years of assuming they were all ordinary black pressings. Now, thanks to a tip-off from blog regular, Bro19, we have learned that these were not the only such editions in the world of anonymous cover versions.

According to Bro19, the 12 Tops series got the same treatment - so we dug our our set and duly did the 'torch test' on the playing area. What we found is a little confusing, and we suspect there are multiple editions of some (if not all) of these, doing the rounds.

The coloured editions are essentially of the same nature as the Pye Chartbusters albums - very dark, but allowing light to shine through either very dark red, or in some cases, untinted. Here are a couple of 12 Tops LPs, held up to the light:

Using the torch, we can see the tinting at close quarters:

From what we previously knew, it would be fair to assume that the coloured editions were all made by Pye, this being something of a secret trademark. However, 12 Tops sometimes stated "Manufactured by Pye Records" on the labels, and so one would expect these to all have the colouring.

Not so. Just to confuse us, some of the Pye pressings are regular opaque black (unlike the Pye Chartbusters which are all coloured), while a few of the non-Pye pressings are coloured. That's if the print on the label is anything to go by...

Below are example label details from volume 7 (erroneously labeled as volume 6, but that's another story). The non-Pye copy ("Made in England") has a deep cherry red tint to the vinyl, while the Pye pressing is completely opaque.

Examples like these show that there are different types of pressing in existence. When we went through out collection, we similarly found both types for volumes 5 and 10. Others we had no coloured editions at all, but that's not to say they don't exist. Here's a list of the coloured editions we have:

  • Volume 3
  • Volume 4
  • Volume 5
  • Volume 6
  • Volume 7
  • Volume 10
  • Volume 15
  • Volume 17
  • Volume 19
  • Volume 21
  • Volume 22
  • Volume 25
  • Volume 27

Let us know if you have any missing from the list, and we'll add them to our database.

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