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"The Lonely Bull" Pressing Question

reechie

New Member
Thread Starter
I've just acquired a sealed, apparently vintage stereo copy of "The Lonely Bull" LP, and I'm trying to identify approximately when it was pressed, without actually opening it (No need, as I have others to play). In comparing it to an opened copy from around 1965 (based on the albums shown on the inner sleeve), the main differences I detect are that the sealed copy has a noticeably clearer and more natural color cover photo, and on the back cover, a small number "4" in the lower right hand corner that doesn't appear on the '65 copy. Looking through the versions listed on Discogs, the only version I can find with the "4" on the cover is this one:
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - The Lonely Bull

If I'm not misreading it, this would make it an early copy. Does anyone know what that "4" indicates?
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I can think of a few things that might make an older, unsealed copy appear less clear and sharp than a sealed copy -- fading (from either sunlight or UV light from other sources), scuffing, or just a different press run. The two examples could be from the same factory on the same day and look totally different after 50+ years, given their storage circumstances.

I have no idea about the little "4" on the back. Maybe it is an indicator of where it was printed, or the press operator. I don't have a TLB vinyl anymore to compare, unfortunately. But somebody on here is bound to chime in.
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
Moderator
If I'm not misreading it, this would make it an early copy. Does anyone know what that "4" indicates?
It is a 4th pressing. But no outward way of knowing what the pressing runs were or when they were pressed. Also look at the number - the first stereo pressings of THE LONELY BULL were 101S. Later the number was SP 4101 (which is a version I also have with a 4 on the back cover). It later became SP 3101 when it moved to the Mid-Line (re-issue) series.

A&M used the prefix LP for monaural (with three digits following) and SP for stereo, initially followed by three digits, but a few albums in, they also put a 4 after the SP, for example BAJA MARIMBA BAND RIDES AGAIN (1965) mono was LP 109, stereo was SP 4109. Another thing to look for is the trademark symbol on the A&M logo - the 1st album to have it was Sergio's LOOK AROUND (SP 4137) in 1967.

So I would approximate that the 4th pressing was at least 1965, maybe a bit later.
 

reechie

New Member
Thread Starter
Thanks, that actually gives me a lot of info. This one appears to indeed be a 1001S (# in lower left hand corner of the cover.). I see no SP 4 or 3103 anywhere on the cover. I suspected the "4" was a pressing number, thanks for confirming that. Needs more investigating, but this gives me some more clues to work with.
 
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