Miles Davis – Kind of Blue Classic Records 200 gram test pressing LP

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue Classic Records test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a still sealed test pressing of the 200 gram Classic Records issue of Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.

This is a 33 1/3 test pressing of the complete album.

About this copy: This copy of Kind of Blue is a 2006 test pressing, manufactured by Classic Records as a test for their 200 gram Quiex-SVP pressings.

As the album is sealed, the record is presumably new and unplayed.

The loose wrap is fully intact, with no rips, tears, or holes.  Label variation is unknown, but they likely have test pressing labels that say “Classic Records” on them.

There is a stamp on the cover that says, “August 16 2006 CS-8163 A/B”

A beautiful copy of a rare Miles Davis LP.  The Classic Records pressings of Kind of Blue are exceptionally good, and were the last pressings mastered from Columbia’s original master tape, as they have since decided that the original tape is too worn for future use.

Background: Recorded in 1959 by a “supergroup” that included Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans, the album is also one of the best-selling jazz albums ever.

Kind of Blue is also a very well recorded album that has long been a favorite of audiophiles.

AllMusic.com gave Kind of Blue five stars:

Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album. To be reductive, it’s the Citizen Kane of jazz — an accepted work of greatness that’s innovative and entertaining. That may not mean it’s the greatest jazz album ever made, but it certainly is a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps it’s that this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. The end results were wondrous, filled with performances that still crackle with vitality. Few albums of any genre manage to work on so many different levels, but Kind of Blue does. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don’t like Kind of Blue, you don’t like jazz — but it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection.

 

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
CS 8163
Year of Release: 2010
Format: Stereo
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Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Classic Records Clarity vinyl 45 RPM test pressing 12″

Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven

Offered for sale is a one-sided U.S. 45 RPM test pressing 12″ single of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, pressed by Classic Records on clear “Clarity” vinyl.

These 45 RPM test pressings were made for in-house use by Classic Records and were not commercially released.

About this copy: This copy of “Stairway to Heaven” is a 2010 pressing on the Classic Records label.  The 45 RPM disc plays the full 7:55 version of the song on side one; side two is blank.

The cover is a plain white cover with a sticker in the upper right hand corner.  The sticker says “Classic Records 1/2010 SD-7208-45-200G Clarity Stairway to Heaven CRWH.”  The cover is M-.

The clear vinyl disc is M- and has a single spindle mark on each label, but no marks on the vinyl.  Clean disc!

This is a single-sided disc, pressed on 200 gram vinyl.  The B side has the words “Classic Records”embossed in the vinyl.

A beautiful copy of a very rare Led Zeppelin item.  Great sound, too!

Background: In the early 2000s, the now-defunct audiophile label Classic Records issued high-quality pressings of the entire Led Zeppelin catalog.

One of their titles was a four-LP box set containing the band’s first four albums.  That box set also included a single-sided, black vinyl 45 RPM 12″ single containing the song “Stairway to Heaven” as a bonus.  The singles were pressed with test pressing labels only; there were no “stock” copies.

The box set was never reissued.

In 2010, Classic Records began experimenting with a clear vinyl compound that they called “Clarity Vinyl.”  They released a number of titles on this clear vinyl compound that year, but went out business shortly thereafter.

They also pressed a few test pressings of titles for in-house use.   One of those titles was this 12″ single of “Stairway to Heaven.”  They likely only pressed a few dozen copies, and unlike the earlier black vinyl test pressings,  none of the Clarity vinyl test pressings were commercially released.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
SD-7208-45
Year of Release: 2010
Format: Stereo
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Reiner/CSO – Also Sprach Zarathustra sealed Classic Records 2 LP Clarity test pressing box set

reiner/cso - also sprach zarathustra classic records test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a 2 LP Clarity vinyl single-sided test pressing of the 200 gram 33 1/3 RPM release of Also Sprach Zarathustra, performed by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, pressed by Classic Records.

This title was never released commercially on the clear Clarity vinyl; all stock copies were black.  This copy is #5 of 20 boxed test pressings of this title.

Had the album been released commercially, it would have been released as one two-sided LP; this set of two single-sided discs was created only for test purposes.

About this copy: This copy of Also Sprach Zarathustra is a test pressing, manufactured by Classic Records in 2010 as a test for a planned release on Clarity vinyl that never happened due to the company’s bankruptcy.

The album was originally released in 1960 on the RCA label.

The album had been commercially released by Classic Records as a 180 and 200 gram pressings at 33 1/3 RPM, and as 180 and 200 gram pressings at 45 RPM, with all pressed on regular black vinyl or the black Quiex vinyl.

This test pressing was pressed on the clear “Clarity” vinyl that Classic was just beginning to use for all of their titles shortly before they went out of business in 2010.

The two discs in this set play at 33 1/3 RPM, but are single-sided.

This set is packaged in a box, with a sticker that says, “Classic Records 5 of 20 Limited Edition.”

The box is still sealed and has two Classic Records hologram stickers on the box.  There is a sticker on the spine that says, “Classic Records LSC 1806 Clarity A1,B1 (1st Lacquer.)”

The wrap is fully intact with no rips, tears or holes.  The records are presumably new and unplayed.

A beautiful copy of a very rare and highly sought-after classical title.  Great recording, too!

Background: Originally released in 1960, RCA’s release of Also Sprach Zarathustra by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony has become one the most sought-after classic records ever released, with original U.S. pressings often selling for $500 or more.

In the early 1960s, RCA Records began releasing classical albums in stereo, and the titles released between 1960 and 1963 have long been sought out by audiophiles.  These early RCA pressings offered great dynamics and wide, impressive soundstages.

Unfortunately, those RCA pressings also sold in limited numbers when new and finding mint used copies has become quite difficult.

Classic Records began reissuing many of these titles in the mid 1990s, first as 180 gram 33 1/3 LPs, and later as limited edition pressings cut at 45 RPM on multiple, single-sided discs for optimum sound quality.  Some of these titles were pressed multiple times at different weights and types of vinyl.

Shortly before they went out of business in 2010, Classic began experimenting with clear, “Clarity” vinyl, which offered a quieter playing surface than black vinyl.  Only a few titles were released using this formulation.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
LSC-1806
Year of Release: 2010
Format: Stereo
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Josef Krips/LSO – Beethoven 9th Symphony sealed Classic Records Clarity test pressing LP

josef krips - beethoven 9th symphony classic records test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a still sealed 200 gram Clarity vinyl test pressing of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, performed by Josef Krips and the London Symphony Orchestra, and pressed by Classic Records.

This album was originally available only in a box set that contained all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies and was not sold separately.

About this copy: This copy of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is a 2009 test pressing by Classic Records, pressed on 200 gram clear “Clarity” vinyl.  This title is a reissue of an album that was originally released in 1960 on the Everest label.

As the album is sealed, the record is presumably new and unplayed.  The shrink wrap is fully intact with no rips or tears.

This album is packaged in a plain white cover, and we obtained it from someone formerly associated with the record company.

It appears that the cover was reused, as it has a sticker on the back side with printing that has been crossed out with a permanent marker.

There is a sticker attached to the front of the cover that says, “Classic Records 12/2009 SDBR 3065-9-200g Clarity A/B.”

The disc has a plain Classic Records label on one side; the label on the other side is blank.

A nice copy of a highly sought after classic title, and a hard one to find, as the box set sold quite poorly.

Background: Everest Records wasn’t a well-known label, even during its prime. The label specialized in classical recordings, and some of them are quite good and have long been sought out by audiophiles.

This recording of Beethoven’s 9 symphonies was released in 1960 as a complete box set, and the individual symphonies were also released separately.

Classic Records reissued the entire box set in 2008 or so and that box set is one of that label’s most difficult titles to find.  Classic Records did not release the individual symphonies separately; they are only available in the hard-to-find box set.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Record
Catalog Number:
SDBR-3065-9-200g
Year of Release: 2009
Format: Stereo
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Jethro Tull – Aqualung still sealed Classic Record 200 gram test pressing LP

jethro tull - aqualung classic records test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a still sealed 200 gram test pressing of Aqualung by Jethro Tull, pressed by Classic Records.

About this copy: This copy of Aqualung is a 200 gram test pressing by Classic Records, pressed circa 2009.

This issue is an audiophile reissue of an album that was originally released in 1971.

This copy is pressed on black “Quiex” vinyl and has blank Classic Records labels.

As the album is still sealed, the record is presumably new and unplayed.

The disc is packaged in a plain white cover.  There is a sticker on the cover that says, “Classic Records ILPS-9145-200g A/B CRWH.”

The loose wrap is fully intact, with no rips, tears or holes.

A beautiful copy of a rare Jethro Tull LP.

Background: Classic Records was a label that specialized in high quality, heavy-vinyl “audiophile” reissues of rock, Jazz, and classical LPs.

Their albums used high quality mastering from the original master tapes, and their albums were pressed on premium vinyl, with most of them being pressed on dead-quiet “Quiex” vinyl.

Released in 1971, Aqualung was the fourth studio album by Jethro Tull.  The album reached #4 on the UK charts and #7 in the U.S.

Allmusic.com gave Aqualung a 4 1/2 star review:

The leap from 1970’s Benefit to the following year’s Aqualung is one of the most astonishing progressions in rock history. In the space of one album, Tull went from relatively unassuming electrified folk-rock to larger-than-life conceptual rock full of sophisticated compositions and complex, intellectual, lyrical constructs. While the leap to full-blown prog rock wouldn’t be taken until a year later on Thick as a Brick, the degree to which Tull upped the ante here is remarkable…. Varied but cohesive, Aqualung is widely regarded as Tull’s finest hour.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
ILPS-9145-200G
Year of Release: 2009
Format: Stereo
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Reiner/CSO – Scheherazade sealed Classic Records 200 gram test pressing with cover

reiner/cso - scheherazade classic records test pressing LP

Offered for sale is a still sealed 200 gram test pressing of Scheherazade by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, pressed in 2003 by Classic Records.

While sealed in a plain white cover, this pressing includes a copy of the finished stock album cover.

About this copy: This copy of Scheherazade is a 2003 test pressing by Classic Records.

As the album is still sealed, the record is presumably new and unplayed.  We don’t know about the label variation; it may have Classic Records labels, RTI labels, or blank labels.

The wrap is fully intact with the perforated strip fully attached.

The plain white cover is stamped in the upper right hand corner – “July 9 2003 LSC-2446 A/B.”

The finished cover is VG++ with faint general wear.

A beautiful copy of a highly regarded (and great sounding!) classical LP.

Background: Originally released in 1960, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Rimsky-Korsakoff’s Scheherazade has long been one of the most sought-after titles in the RCA Living Stereo classical catalog, with original copies selling for upwards of $500.

The album was reissued several times under license from RCA by Classic Records, a now-defunct label that specialized in high quality audiophile reissues.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
LSC-2446
Year of Release: 2003
Format: Stereo
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Dead Kennedys – Mutiny on the Bay U.S. multicolor vinyl test pressing LP

dead kennedys - mutiny on the bay colored vinyl test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a multicolored “splatter” vinyl test pressing of the live album, Mutiny on the Bay by the Dead Kennedys.

All copies sold in stores were black vinyl; the colored vinyl pressings were made for test purposes only.

About this copy: This copy of Mutiny on the Bay is a 2001 pressing on the Manifesto label.

As this is a test pressing, the disc was issued without a cover.

The multicolored vinyl disc is VG+.  It’s probably unplayed, but it has a few stray marks on side one that may be a result of a stamper defect.  It plays well.

A beautiful copy of a very unusual Dead Kennedys item.

Background: Released in 2001, Mutiny on the Bay is a live album by the Dead Kennedys that was recorded in 1982 and 1986 and released after a series of lawsuits between former members of the band.

Allmusic.com gave Mutiny on the Bay a 3 star review:

Jello Biafra would never have released this. The result of a judge siding with the other three members in their lawsuit against singer/leader Biafra, this live LP and the reissues of their LPs via license is messy. … Biafra’s crack about his vocals coming in and out (due to the chaos of those old shows, he never worried much about staying on mic) is entirely valid. The LP sounds great otherwise. Culled from four different shows after Peligro joined in 1982, the sound is consistent, the set list inspired, the playing sharper than many of their New York shows, and the live photos are first-rate history.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Manifesto
Catalog Number:
MFO-42905
Year of Release: 2001
Format: Stereo
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Dave Brubeck – Time Out sealed Classic Records 200 gram test pressing with cover

dave brubeck - time out classic records test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a still sealed 200 gram test pressing of Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, pressed by Classic Records.

While the sealed disc is packaged in a plain white cover, a completed cover from the stock pressing is included.

About this copy: This copy of Time Out is a 2003 test pressing by Classic Records, pressed on 200 gram black vinyl.

The disc is sealed in a plain white cover with loose wrap with a perforated tear-off strip.  The cover has a stamp in the upper right hand corner that says, “Sept. 8, 2003 CS-8192 A/B.”

As the cover is sealed, the record is presumably new and unplayed.

The included finished cover is M-, with a tiny dent in one corner.

A beautiful copy of a terrific (and great-sounding!) LP and a Jazz classic.

Background: There isn’t much to say about Time Out that hasn’t been said before; the album is generally regarded as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, and perhaps one of the greatest albums of all time regardless of genre.

AllMusic.com gave Time Out a 5 star review:

Dave Brubeck’s defining masterpiece, Time Out is one of the most rhythmically innovative albums in jazz history, the first to consciously explore time signatures outside of the standard 4/4 beat or 3/4 waltz time. It was a risky move — Brubeck’s record company wasn’t keen on releasing such an arty project, and many critics initially roasted him for tampering with jazz’s rhythmic foundation. But for once, public taste was more advanced than that of the critics. Buoyed by a hit single in altoist Paul Desmond’s ubiquitous “Take Five,” Time Out became an unexpectedly huge success, and still ranks as one of the most popular jazz albums ever. This belongs in even the most rudimentary jazz collection.

You can listen to “Take Five” here:

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Record
Catalog Number:
CS-8192
Year of Release: 2003
Format: Stereo
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Frank Zappa – Hot Rats Classic Records 200 gram marble Clarity vinyl test pressing LP

frank zappa - hot rats classic records clarity test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a marbled Clarity vinyl test pressing of the Classic Records 200 gram edition of Hot Rats by Frank Zappa.

Most copies pressed on Clarity Vinyl are, as the name suggests, clear.  This one is a mixture of clear and black vinyl.

About this copy: This copy of Hot Rats is a 200 gram test pressing, pressed in 2009 by Classic Records on their proprietary Clarity Vinyl compound.

The cover is a plain white cover with a sticker that says, “Classic Records RS 6356-200g A/B CRWH.”  The cover is M-.

The marbled vinyl test pressing disc is M-, with a couple of spindle marks on the labels, but no marks on the vinyl.  Clean disc!

A beautiful and unusual copy of a classic Frank Zappa LP.

Background: Originally released in 1969, Hot Rats was the first album by Frank Zappa to be released under his name, rather than under the name of his band, The Mothers of Invention and his eighth album overall.

The album reached #173 on the U.S. album charts, but reached #9 in the UK.   The album has since become highly regarded by collectors and critics.

Allmusic.com gave Hot Rats a 4 1/2 star review:

Hot Rats was also the first time Zappa focused his efforts in one general area, namely jazz-rock. The result is a classic of the genre. Hot Rats’ genius lies in the way it fuses the compositional sophistication of jazz with rock’s down-and-dirty attitude — there’s a real looseness and grit to the three lengthy jams, and a surprising, wry elegance to the three shorter, tightly arranged numbers (particularly the sumptuous “Peaches en Regalia”). Perhaps the biggest revelation isn’t the straightforward presentation, or the intricately shifting instrumental voices in Zappa’s arrangements — it’s his own virtuosity on the electric guitar, recorded during extended improvisational workouts for the first time here. …Hot Rats still sizzles; few albums originating on the rock side of jazz-rock fusion flowed so freely between both sides of the equation, or achieved such unwavering excitement and energy.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
RS6356-200g
Year of Release: 2009
Format: Stereo
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Quiet Riot – Quiet Riot Japan-only test pressing LP with Randy Rhoads

quiet riot - quiet riot japan test pressing LP

Offered for sale is a rare original advance promotional test pressing of the Japan-only 1978 LP Quiet Riot by Quiet Riot, featuring Randy Rhoads on guitar.

This album, the debut album by the band, was released only in Japan.

As an advance test pressing, this is an astonishingly rare item; even the stock copies of the completed album are rare.  We’ve only seen the finished album twice in the 40+ years since its original release.

About this copy: This copy of Quiet Riot is an original Japanese test pressing, issued as an “advance” promotional copy before the production of the final album cover was complete.

This disc comes in a plain white cover with a photocopy insert listing the album title, the band members, a scheduled release date, and the songs on the LP, rather than a finished cover.

Also included is a color photograph of the band.  This is the same photo that was ultimately used for the album cover, though the album cover version removed the blue background.  It appears that the photo was at one time attached to the insert with cellophane tape, but over time, the tape has come off.

The cover is VG++, with faint wear.  The insert is VG++ and is attached to the cover with (yellowed) cellophane tape.  There are two small stains on the insert where the tape that held the color photo to the insert used to be.

The color photo is VG+, with a small tear on one edge.  We’ve repaired that with removable tape.

As this was a test pressing and not the commercial release, this LP was issued without an obi.

The disc is M- and looks like it may have been played once. 

A beautiful copy of a rare Randy Rhoads item and the only copy we ever expect to see.

Background: Before joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band, Randy Rhoads was a founding member of Quiet Riot.  The band landed a recording contract with CBS in 1977, but for some reason, the label chose to release the group’s first two albums only in Japan.

Rhoads left shortly after the second album came out to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band and Quiet Riot broke up.  They reformed a few years later with a new guitarist and became somewhat famous in the 1980s.  Rhoads died in an unfortunate accident involving a bus and and an airplane in 1982.

While both Japanese Quiet Riot albums are rare, the first one is considerably harder to find than the second and rarely turns up complete.

Allmusic.com gave Quiet Riot this review:

Few people are aware that, prior to their amazing chart-topping success in 1983/1984, Quiet Riot had already released two albums in the late ’70s through CBS Japan — and featuring guitar god in training Randy Rhoads, no less. In fact, like many hard rock bands feeling ostracized by record companies during the disco era (Cheap Trick, Van Halen, etc.), Quiet Riot found a welcoming audience in the land of the rising sun, where fans’ obsession with ’70s album rock was just now coming to a head. Sure, none of Quiet Riot’s efforts could even compare to the aforementioned bands in popularity (or quality), but they would at least plant the seeds for Radny’s eventual stardom with Ozzy. Launched by a humongous Rhoads guitar riff, album-opener “It’s Not So Funny” is a promising start, but …His playing here is uniformly dull and uninventive, so collectors and blind worshipers should beware.

You can listen to “It’s Not So Funny” here:

 

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Country of origin: Japan
Size: 12″
Record Label: CBS/Sony
Catalog Number:
25 AP 880
Year of Release: 1978
Format: Stereo
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