Caveat emptor: Surprises Discovered in Sealed LPs

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Imagine…you just plunked down $XXX.98 on a sealed DECCA copy of Who’s Next — only to break the seal and discover a warped record — or worse, the LP inside the jacket is actually a Donny Osmond album.

Oh, good grief! The perils of purchasing "vintage" SS LPs…

So…offer up some stories of surprises you’ve unveiled in an SS LP — good and bad.

Here are a few recent stories of my own:
  • Melba Montgomery / The Big, Wonderful Country World of — [CAP/ST-328 (’69)]: Inside the jacket was a giveaway 8-page booklet, "Country People Scrapbook", documenting the then-current CAP c/w roster.
  • Al Hirt / Plays Bert Kaempfert — [RCA/LSP-3917 (’68)]: The LP was warped (DynaFlex version of course). I purchased another SS and actually got a Nipper (dog) label, which was what I wanted in the first place.
  • Nancy Wilson / Can’t Take My Eyes off of You — [CAP/ST-429 (’69)]: The LP was pressed off-center, which made the LP unlistenable. The next SS purchase was fine.
  • Sky / Sky -- [RCA/LSP-4457 ('70)]: A poster was included, but it was too large to fit inside the jacket (somebody really goofed: the poster's dimensions were the same as the LP jacket!!), so it was shrink-wrapped against the LP rear jacket.
Luckily, Al’s and Nancy’s late '60s are not sought after by collectors; therefore, SS LPs of theirs can be had for under $10.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
For me, not too many surprises.

A 12" single of Chic's first hit, "Dance Dance Dance" on the Buddah label, arrived cracked. I wanted this one as it is supposedly better sounding than the Atlantic version. (There's a long back story of how Chic signed with Atlantic despite having the first single on Buddah, and Buddah was able to keep the original master as part of the deal for losing the group to another label.)

My LP of Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends arrived with a pinch warp. After opening it, I could see the shrink wrap shrunken away from the edge where it had gotten overheated. Such a beautiful new pressing, too. The first track (depending on cartridge) may or may not be playable, and there's a "swish" through most of the record.

A Dynaflex copy of a Van Cliburn is a bit warped, but still playable...and actually plays quietly aside from the warp.

I've bought a couple of mid 60s A&Ms that had no innersleeve, which I found odd; yet, the records inside were new and untouched.

Back in the late 70s, I was in the record store opening multiple sets of the Commodores Live 2-LP set to find one that didn't have two copies of the second LP in it (like the one I had returned).

I've had the odd noisy record every so often but was able to replace them easily enough. Most notable was the Isaac Hayes Don't Let Go LP--the second time was the charm.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I've bought a couple of mid 60s A&Ms that had no innersleeve, which I found odd; yet, the records inside were new and untouched.
Way back when, you found me some BMB LP's that were sealed, yet the innersleeves were all plain white.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Way back when, you found me some BMB LP's that were sealed, yet the innersleeves were all plain white.
Hopefully they were new and unplayed!

I thought maybe my copies were resealed, but aside from riding in no sleeve, they had no marks on them (especially no spindle marks). I don't know if we ever solved that mystery. They certainly weren't promos.

And that reminds me, I think one of those was a Claudine album, but it was the incorrect Claudine album in the sleeve (LP was Colours but I forget which jacket it was in--maybe The Look of Love.)
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
For me, not too many surprises.

A 12" single of Chic's first hit, "Dance Dance Dance" on the Buddah label, arrived cracked. I wanted this one as it is supposedly better sounding than the Atlantic version. (There's a long back story of how Chic signed with Atlantic despite having the first single on Buddah, and Buddah was able to keep the original master as part of the deal for losing the group to another label.)

My LP of Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends arrived with a pinch warp. After opening it, I could see the shrink wrap shrunken away from the edge where it had gotten overheated. Such a beautiful new pressing, too. The first track (depending on cartridge) may or may not be playable, and there's a "swish" through most of the record.

A Dynaflex copy of a Van Cliburn is a bit warped, but still playable...and actually plays quietly aside from the warp.

I've bought a couple of mid 60s A&Ms that had no innersleeve, which I found odd; yet, the records inside were new and untouched.

Back in the late 70s, I was in the record store opening multiple sets of the Commodores Live 2-LP set to find one that didn't have two copies of the second LP in it (like the one I had returned).

I've had the odd noisy record every so often but was able to replace them easily enough. Most notable was the Isaac Hayes Don't Let Go LP--the second time was the charm.


I don't know what it is with the Commodores, but I've had some bad luck with them on vinyl in terms of radio use. Even the promo copies of "Live" we got at WATO-1290 had that same problem as yours did. I had major trouble finding quiet, centered 45 RPM singles of "Three Times A Lady" or "Still", and "Sail On" had a lot of off center copies pressed. We played some disco programming but getting 12" promo service from Motown was very spotty. The Buddah Chic single was pressed on such poor styrene, it wore out very fast, though sonically it was far superior to the Atlantic reissue.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
For me, not too many surprises.

A 12" single of Chic's first hit, "Dance Dance Dance" on the Buddah label, arrived cracked. I wanted this one as it is supposedly better sounding than the Atlantic version. (There's a long back story of how Chic signed with Atlantic despite having the first single on Buddah, and Buddah was able to keep the original master as part of the deal for losing the group to another label.)

My LP of Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends arrived with a pinch warp. After opening it, I could see the shrink wrap shrunken away from the edge where it had gotten overheated. Such a beautiful new pressing, too. The first track (depending on cartridge) may or may not be playable, and there's a "swish" through most of the record.

A Dynaflex copy of a Van Cliburn is a bit warped, but still playable...and actually plays quietly aside from the warp.

I've bought a couple of mid 60s A&Ms that had no innersleeve, which I found odd; yet, the records inside were new and untouched.

Back in the late 70s, I was in the record store opening multiple sets of the Commodores Live 2-LP set to find one that didn't have two copies of the second LP in it (like the one I had returned).

I've had the odd noisy record every so often but was able to replace them easily enough. Most notable was the Isaac Hayes Don't Let Go LP--the second time was the charm.
"YOWSAH YOWSAH YOWSAH " ( I remember Chic's catchphrase from "Dance Dance Dance" I only had only a few surprises with vinyl myself although I can't remember the exact albums except I remember buying some that had the aforementioned Abnormalities such come with the Joy's of collecting sometimes you unfortunately encounter a few Duds or less than perfect items.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Chic's "Dance, Dance, Dance" was first issued on Buddah Records (brown label) in 1977 BUT Atlantic Records decided to reissue that song!!
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
In CD land, I found that the Robert Plant CD Now and Zen that I'd bought new was actually Steve Winwood's Arc of a Diver--yes, even the disc label was Robert Plant's. I returned it, of course. And I figured if I liked Steve Winwood, I'd rather get an actual CD of his where the jewel box and CD label match the contents. 😁 (Which I did later on!)
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Never a problem with a vintage record (and I've hardly bought any), but one time at work, a person returned a cassette tape because it had the wrong music on it. The music was Carole King's Wrap Around Joy album, but the package said some other artist/title. I forget what it was.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I do recall from my high school days the Rockpile LP (Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds) had a 7" bonus EP inside the jacket with 4 songs from an in-studio performance; it was a duet.

I have one strange Blue Note CD: The color scheme is not blue but black -- probably a printing error.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
One of the best-known 7" EPs included in an album (a double, for that matter) was Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. Even the early 80s pressing I bought still had the 7" included. On the original CD version, two songs were tacked onto each of the two CDs.

One LP (used, though) with a similarly odd color variation was Chico O'Farrill's Married Well. Verve release many jazz, Brazilian and other Latin artists on their black label, yet with O'Farrill's:

1612243817529.png

The blue label. I had one other Verve blue label, Danyel Gerard's self-titled album in 1972. I've heard the blue was for pop/folk (?) on Verve, but O'Farrill's is pretty much a Cuban big band jazz recording.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I've heard the blue was for pop/folk (?)
That's how I understand it. Black was jazz (though Astrud Gilberto was on the black label -- at least the 1st LP....you know the only issue that doesn't have the distortion! -- it's gotta have the VAN GELDER stamp in the deadwax). The Yellow label was for promos.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
A number of years ago, I bought Commodores Anthology in a cut out bin. One of the records inside was Diana Ross Anthology.
I was able to exchange it and both in the second were Commodores. I have never seen a Diana Ross Anthology other than that.
I also once got a Santana poster in a Chicago 5 album that was supposed to be a color photo of Chicago. That one was purchased through Columbia House.
I occasionally got a warped lp from Record Club of America but they exchanged it with no trouble.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The biggest surprise I ever got in a sealed album was when it was new, a Carole King album I bought (maybe MUSIC - ?) had no printing on one side of the label. The album played fine, though. Stupidly, I typed and pasted a label on it.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
The biggest surprise I ever got in a sealed album was when it was new, a Carole King album I bought (maybe MUSIC - ?) had no printing on one side of the label. The album played fine, though. Stupidly, I typed and pasted a label on it.
I picked up a copy of Tapestry in a used record store in Northern Va back in the 80's. It was open but the back cover looked different. It was a release done by Capitol Records. The real funny thing though is that the label for Side 1 plays Side 2 songs and vise versa. I also have an issue when Ode went back to Columbia for distribution.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
That reminds me...that sealed Roger Nichols LP I received had the same label on both sides of the record, if I'm not mistaken.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
This doesn't really qualify, but I remember buying the Buggles Age of Plastic album (their debut, the one with "Video Killed the Radio Star" on it) and was irritated that it came with just a plastic innersleeve, no printed lyrics. It wasn't until many years later when I got one of those LP replica CD issues of the album, and it came with a replica of the proper printed innersleeve -- which DID include the lyrics. Pretty microscopic, but readable.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
had no printing on one side of the label. The album played fine, though. Stupidly, I typed and pasted a label on it
Oh, my! It's funny how back in the '70s those were worthless rejects -- yet, today there's a collector somewhere who'll pay a notable sum for such a unique LP.

Once at the record store I worked at in the early '90s, a regular came in with an LP he wanted to show me: It was a '70s reissue of an early '60s Blue Note date I can no longer recall. He said side two was a different band, but other than recognizing Stanley Turrentine, he couldn't place the actual LP! I put it on the turntable and quickly identified that the "side two" stamped on his LP was actually side two from Stanley Turrentine's Rough & Tumble -- one of my favourite Stanley dates.

I remember purchasing The Byrds / Dr. Byrds And Mr, Hyde in 1981 -- side 2 had two LP labels (the second label was sitting freely atop the adhered label).
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
it came with just a plastic innersleeve, no printed lyrics
Was it issued a few years following initial release? I remember buying The Who / Tommy round about 1982-3 -- which would've been about 13 years following initial release -- and the LP was not the triple gate fold that some of my friends had; it also did not have a lyrics sheet. Of course, what I bought was the MCA version of the day and my friends probably had the old DECCA LP.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
When I first bought the album "The Worst That Could Happen" by The 5th Dimension, I discovered that the record itself was "the Magic Garden." I later saw the latter title by itself but it was a long time before I found out why it had a new cover. Years ago, I had also seen a two record set by Dusty Springfield called Something Special. There were several copies at the store but were out of my price range at the time. Then they all disappeared and later popped up as cutouts in the same store so I bought one. It was the first two albums released as one set. I did not know that but it was okay.
 
Top Bottom