Supertramp – Crime of the Century U.S. Mobile Fidelity half speed mastered test pressing LP

Offered for sale is an original U.S. test pressing of the Mobile Fidelity half speed mastered edition of Crime of the Century by Supertramp.

About this copy: This copy of Crime of the Century is a 1978 U.S. pressing on the JVC label.  While technically a U.S. release, the disc was actually pressed in Japan by JVC using their proprietary “Supervinyl” compound.

The cover is a generic white cover and is VG+ with slight wear on the back.  There is a sticker on the cover that lists the catalog number, a date, and says “Sample Record Not for Sale.”

The disc is M- and looks unplayed.  Clean disc!

Matrix information:

Side one: MFSL 1-005 – A SR/2    1 1 1 ꔰ L
Side two: MFSL 1-005 – B SR/2    1 2 1 ꔰ L

This seems to be an earlier mastering than any that are listed on Discogs.

A beautiful copy of a rare Supertramp LP.  Great-sounding LP, too.

Background: Released in 1974, Crime of the Century was the third album by Supertramp.

The album reached #4 on the UK album charts and #38 on the U.S. charts.

Allmusic.com gave Crime of the Century a 4 star review:

Supertramp came into their own on their third album, 1974’s Crime of the Century, as their lineup gelled but, more importantly, so did their sound. The group still betrayed a heavy Pink Floyd influence, particularly in its expansive art rock arrangements graced by saxophones, but Supertramp isn’t nearly as spooky as Floyd … At times the album floats off into its own world, with an effect more tedious than hypnotic, but it’s still a huge leap forward for the group and their most consistent album outside of that 1979 masterwork, Breakfast in America.

Every title ever issued by Mobile Fidelity is collectible in its own right; their pressings from 1978 through 1989 were pressed in Japan by JVC on their proprietary Super Vinyl, an exceptionally resilient, dead-quiet vinyl compound, with later issues pressed in the U.S. by RTI on 200 gram vinyl. These records were mastered at half speed; both the tape and the cutting lathe were run at half the normal speed, allowing the cutting head to cut a more accurate groove in the acetate. The finished product featured dead-quiet vinyl, with improved dynamics, better imaging, and tighter bass.

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Country of origin:
Size: 12″
Record Label:
Catalog Number:
Year of Release:
Format: Stereo
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Ramones – Set of four unreleased U.S. test pressing picture disc LPs

ramones - unrelased rhino picture disc lp set

Offered for sale is a set of unreleased U.S. picture disc test pressings of four albums by the Ramones.

These four albums, Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia, and Road to Ruin, were intended for a 2008 U.S. release by Rhino Records as picture discs, but for unknown reasons, the release was canceled.  The four picture discs exist only as test pressings with all-white “blank” images.

About these copies:  This set of four picture discs were pressed in 2008 by Rainbo Records for an intended release by Rhino Records. (“RHINO” is stamped in the dead wax on all eight sides.)

While these are picture discs, the “picture” on each is an all-white image with a faint yellow line running through the center.  The albums do, of course, play the correct Ramones music on each of the four discs.

No covers were printed; these discs are in plain white generic covers, each of which has the album title and “Rainbow/Rhino 2008” written by hand in red marker in the upper left hand corner.

The four discs are M- and look unplayed.

Matrix numbers are:

1. Ramones – (Side one) RHINO R1-7520 A 79608E1/A  (Side two) RHINO R1-7520 B 79608E2/A
2. Leave Home – (Side one) RHINO R1-7528 SIDE A 79605E1/A (Side two) RHINO R1-7528 SIDE B 79605E2/B
3. Rocket to Russia – (Side one) RHINO R1-6042 A 79606E1/A (Side two) RHINO R1-6042 B 79606E2/A
4. Road to Ruin – (Side one) RHINO R1-6063 SIDE A 79607E1/A (Side two) RHINO R1-6063 SIDE B 79607E2/A

We acquired these from someone who got them directly from a former employee of Rhino Records.

A nice set of ultra-rare Ramones LPs.

Background: While the Ramones never sold a lot of records, they were one of the most influential bands of all time.

Included in this seat are:

Ramones – Released in 1976, Ramones reached #111 on the U.S. album chart.

Allmusic.com gave Ramones a 5 star review:

With the three-chord assault of “Blitzkrieg Bop,” The Ramones begins at a blinding speed and never once over the course of its 14 songs does it let up. The Ramones is all about speed, hooks, stupidity, and simplicity.

Leave Home – Released in 19711, Leave Home reached #148 on the U.S. album chart.

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

Leave Home was in many respects a continuation of the sound and attitude of the first album, with its unrelenting barrage of chunky guitar downstrokes and Mad Magazine-influenced lyrical absurdity. But even a cursory listen reveals the Ramones had made plenty of progress in less than a year. …Leave Home wasn’t as startling as the Ramones’ first album, and it’s not quite as strong and consistent as their masterpiece Rocket to Russia, but it was a positive step forward for the Pride of Forest Hills, and it’s one of their best and most satisfying albums.

Rocket to Russia – Released in 1977, Rocket to Russia reached #49 on the U.S. album chart.

Allmusic.com gave Rocket to Russia a 5 star review:

The Ramones provided the blueprint and Leave Home duplicated it with lesser results, but the Ramones’ third album, Rocket to Russia, perfected it. Rocket to Russia boasts a cleaner production than its predecessors, which only gives the Ramones’ music more force. It helps that the group wrote its finest set of songs for the album. … Rocket to Russia (is) the Ramones’ most listenable and enjoyable album — it doesn’t have the revolutionary impact of The Ramones, but it’s a better album and one of the finest records of the late ’70s.

Road to Ruin – Released in 1978, Road to Ruin reached #103 on the U.S. album chart.

Allmusic.com gave Road to Ruin a 4 1/2 star review:

When the Ramones started work on their fourth album, Road to Ruin, in early 1978, they were in something of a bind. Their previous three albums had helped spark the punk revolution and established them as one of the greatest bands in the long and checkered history of rock & roll, but they weren’t getting the sales that their label wanted or breaking out in the mainstream the way some of their N.Y.C. compatriots like Blondie had. The Ramones also wanted those things, so they made some major moves. …The question was whether Ramones fans really wanted those two things, or did they just want more songs about Sheena. That’s debatable, but what’s clear is that the band’s noble efforts didn’t pay off with the general record-buying public, and Road to Ruin was their worst-charting release to that point.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Rhino
Catalog Number:
R1-7520, R1-7528, R1-6042, R1-6063
Year of Release: 2008
Format: Stereo
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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Deja Vu sealed Classic Records unreleased 45 RPM test pressing box set

crosby stills nash & young - deja vu classic records test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a still sealed U.S. test pressing of the unreleased 45 RPM 4 LP Clarity vinyl box set of Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Note: Classic Records did release Deja Vu as a black vinyl 33 1/3 pressing on 200 gram vinyl.   They intended to release the album as a four record set, cut at 45 RPM, and pressed on single-sided 200 gram clear “Clarity” vinyl, but the company went out of business before the album could be released in that format.   One hundred numbered test pressings exist of the 45 RPM Clarity vinyl version.

This copy is #17 of 100 copies.   The four discs are single-sided, 45 RPM, 200 gram clear vinyl.

About this copy: This copy of Deja Vu is a 2010 test pressing on the Classic Records label.

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

The wrap is fully intact with no rips, tears, or holes.  There are two hologram stickers under the wrap that hold the box shut.  A third sticker on the box says “Classic Records 197 of 100 Limited Edition.”

A beautiful copy of a very rare Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young LP.

Background: Deja Vu is the second album by Crosby, Stills and Nash, with the addition of Stills’ former bandmate in Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young. The album reportedly took 800 hours of studio time to record, and became one of the most anticipated releases of all time.

Deja Vu reached #1 on the U.S. album charts and has been certified platinum 7 times. It also reached #5 in the UK. The songs “Our House,” “Teach Your Children,” and “Woodstock,” all reached the American Top 40.

Allmusic.com gave Deja Vu a rare 5 star review:

One of the most hotly awaited second albums in history — right up there with those by the Beatles and the Band — Déjà Vu lived up to its expectations and rose to number one on the charts. …. Déjà Vu worked as an album, a product of four potent musical talents who were all ascending to the top of their game coupled with some very skilled production, engineering, and editing. There were also some obvious virtues in evidence — the addition of Neil Young to the Crosby, Stills & Nash lineup added to the level of virtuosity, with Young and Stephen Stills rising to new levels of complexity and volume on their guitars…. All of this variety made Déjà Vu a rich musical banquet for the most serious and personal listeners, while mass audiences reveled in the glorious harmonies and the thundering electric guitars, which were presented in even more dramatic and expansive fashion on the tour that followed.

About Clarity vinyl: About Clarity vinyl: In 2008, Classic Records determined that magnetic particles in regular black vinyl were compromising playback results. This was due to trace metal contained in the carbon black that was added to the vinyl during manufacture.

Classic worked with Kenan, a PVC manufacturer, to produce a proprietary vinyl compound that did not use carbon black, and thus did not contain these distortion-causing magnetic elements. The resulting vinyl compound was called Clarity vinyl, and Classic intended to eventually produce all of their titles using this new vinyl.

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Country of origin: U.S.
Size: 12″
Record Label: Classic Records
Catalog Number:
SD-7200
Year of Release: 2010
Format: Stereo
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Stevie Nicks – The Other Side of the Mirror UK 180 Gram Simply Vinyl test pressing LP

stevie nicks -The Other Side of the Mirror simply vinyl test pressing lp

Offered for sale is a 180 gram promotional test pressing of The Other Side of the Mirror by Stevie Nicks, issued by Simply Vinyl.

About this copy: This copy of The Other Side of the Mirror was pressed in 2000 in the UK by Simply Vinyl.

The cover is a generic gray and white cover that says “Simply Vinyl Promo LP” on the cover.  There is a sticker with the title and catalog number on it, along with the words “Promo Only.

The labels are plain and say “Simply Vinyl” on one side and “Promo LP” on the other.

As there are no song titles on the cover or label and no cue sheets, this is more of a test pressing than a promotional release.

The cover is VG+, with no wear, but with a small break at the top seam (see photo.)  The disc is M- and looks unplayed.

A nice copy of a rare Stevie Nicks LP.

Background: Released in 1981, The Other Side of the Mirror was the first solo album by Stevie Nicks.

The album reached #1 on the U.S. charts and #11 in the UK.

Allmusic.com gave The Other Side of the Mirror a 3 star review:

Stevie Nicks’ fourth solo album received more than its share of negative reviews from rock critics, who seemed to mistake her poetic and not always terribly discernible lyrics for pretentiousness. Although not as strong as Nicks’ three previous solo dates, The Other Side of the Mirror is a decent album that has many more pluses than minuses.

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Country of origin: UK
Size: 12″
Record Label: Simply Vinyl
Catalog Number:
SVP 236
Year of Release: 2000
Format: Stereo
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Mamas and the Papas – All About… Japan red vinyl test pressing LP with obi

mamas and papas - all about the mamas and papas japan test pressing lp

Offered for sale is an exceptionally nice original red vinyl test pressing of the Japan-only compilation LP All About the Mamas & the Papas by the Mamas & the Papas, including the original obi.

About this copy: This copy of All About the Mamas & the Papas is an original 1968 white label test pressing for the Dunhill/Stateside label, pressed on “Everclean” red vinyl.

This disc has plain white labels with the catalog number stamped on the side one label.  The side two label is blank.

The gatefold cover is M-, with trace wear at the corners.  The obi is VG, with a few wrinkles, a few small tears, and a small (1 cm square) piece missing.  The “hojyuhyo”, or reorder tag, is still attached.

The lyric insert is missing.

The red vinyl test pressing disc is M- and looks unplayed.  Clean disc!

A beautiful copy of a terrific and very rare Mamas and Papas LP.

Background:  The Mamas & the Papas were quite popular in Japan, and several compilation LPs were issued there that were not released anywhere else.

All About the Mamas & the Papas was released in 1968 and contained tracks from the group’s first four albums, along with a Cass Elliott solo track, “California Earthquake.”

The LP has the same cover as the American LP Farewell to the First Golden Era, Vol. 2, but with a completely different track listing.

First issues of the album were issued on the Stateside label and were pressed on red vinyl.  The 1971 reissue was on the Probe label; those pressings were black vinyl only.

Tracks are:

  • California Earthquake
  • Monday Monday
  • For The Love Of Ivy
    You Baby
  • Twist And Shout
  • Glad To Be Unhappy
  • In Crowd
  • California Dreamin’
  • My Girl
  • Boys And Girls Together
  • Spanish Harlem
  • Do You Wanna Dance
  • Safe In My Garden
  • Dream A Little Dream Of Me

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Country of origin: Japan
Size: 12″
Record Label: Stateside
Catalog Number:
HP-8564
Year of Release: 1968
Format: Stereo
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Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Classic Records sealed Clarity vinyl 45 RPM test pressing 12″

led zeppelin - stairway to heaven classic records clarity vinly 12" single

Offered for sale is a still sealed 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.

The 45 RPM disc plays the full 7:55 version of the song on side one; side two is blank.  These 45 RPM test pressings were made for in-house use by Classic Records in 2010 and were not commercially released.

About this copy: This copy of “Stairway to Heaven” is a 2010 pressing on the Classic Records label.

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

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.”  T

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

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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Led Zeppelin – IV original Japan test pressing LP with obi and star sticker

led zeppelin - IV japan test pressing lp

Offered for sale is an original Japanese test pressing of Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album, also known as Led Zeppelin IV, including the original obi and very rare “star” sticker.

These test pressings were sent to radio stations and stores in advance of the album’s release to help promote it.

About this copy: This copy of Led Zeppelin IV is the first Japanese issue, released in 1971 with the “star” or “Rock Age” obi.  This obi was only available for a few months and was changed shortly after the album’s original release.

It includes the original obi, lyric insert, and custom inner sleeve that contained the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven.”

Also included is the rare star-shaped sticker that was intended to be used when giving the album as a gift.  This sticker is almost always missing.

The cover is VG++ and close to M-, with trace corner wear and faint wear on the inside of the cover.  The obi is VG++, with trace wear on the back side, but no tears.  The “hojyuhyo,” or reorder tag, is still attached.

The star sticker is M- with no tears or writing.

The custom inner sleeve is M-.  The lyric insert is VG+, with slight fading, but no tears or other issues.

The test pressing disc is VG on side one, with a couple of light scratches through the first track and a few sleeve scuffs.  Side two is VG+ with some slight scuffing from the original heavy paper inner sleeve.  It’s a clean disc that plays well with a bit of surface noise.

The label is plain white, aside from the catalog number and the word “sample,” printed in Japanese.

A nice, if imperfect, copy of an ultra-rare Led Zeppelin LP.

Background: I’m not sure how much we need to elaborate about Led Zeppelin IV.   The album, which included “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” and “Stairway to Heaven,” reached #1 on the UK charts and #2 on the U.S. charts, where it has since sold more than 23 million copies.

Allmusic.com gave Led Zeppelin IV a 5 star review:

Encompassing heavy metal, folk, pure rock & roll, and blues, Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album is a monolithic record, defining not only Led Zeppelin but the sound and style of ’70s hard rock. Expanding on the breakthroughs of III, Zeppelin fuse their majestic hard rock with a mystical, rural English folk that gives the record an epic scope. … “Going to California” is the group’s best folk song, and the rockers are endlessly inventive, whether it’s the complex, multi-layered “Black Dog,” the pounding hippie satire “Misty Mountain Hop,” or the funky riffs of “Four Sticks.” But the closer, “When the Levee Breaks,” is the one song truly equal to “Stairway,” helping give IV the feeling of an epic. An apocalyptic slice of urban blues, “When the Levee Breaks” is as forceful and frightening as Zeppelin ever got, and its seismic rhythms and layered dynamics illustrate why none of their imitators could ever equal them.

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Country of origin: Japan
Size: 12″
Record Label: Atlantic
Catalog Number:
P-8166A
Year of Release: 1972
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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