An original 1970 test pressing of the James Gang Rides Again, complete with the unedited version of "The Bomber."
Offered for sale is an original 1970 test pressing of Rides Again by the James Gang, complete with the full unedited version of the song, “The Bomber.”
Test pressings are records manufactured prior to the release of an album in order to verify that the sound of the finished product is acceptable and to make sure they’re using the correct stampers. Only a handful of test pressings are usually made for any given title and they’re frequently discarded after they are no longer needed to evaluate the pressing in question.
Rides Again, released in 1970, was the second album from the James Gang, and it’s the album that finally made stars out of them. Featuring the radio favorite “Funk #49,” the album was certified gold by the RIAA.
On original pressings of the album, the track “The Bomber” was divided into three sections, with the middle section being an instrumental rendition of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” that ran about a minute and a half.
Due to legal issues with the Ravel estate, this section of “The Bomber” was removed from all subsequent vinyl pressings of the album, though manufacturing errors led to versions of the album that listed the long version but didn’t play it, and other versions that did not list “Bolero,” but did include it.
You can listen to “The Bomber” here, complete with the “Bolero” section:
Most vinyl copies of Rides Again do not include the “Bolero” section.
About this copy: This copy of Rides Again is an original 1970 test pressing of the LP, pressed at the Monarch pressing plant. This is the original, unedited version of the album, including the long (and later withdrawn) version of “The Bomber.”
The disc is VG+, with a number of sleeve scuffs and a few light marks. It’s fairly heavy for its time, weighing 158 grams.
Side 1 ABCS-711A ?14798
Side 2 ABCS-711B ?14798-X “Love From Jessica”
Test pressings are issued without covers, and that’s how we received this one. We’ve found a fairly nice original and correct cover (that mentions “Bolero” inside and on the back). The cover is VG+, with light ring wear, some edge wear and a repaired bottom seam split.
A nice copy of a terrific record, and a nice collectible from a band that really doesn’t have a lot of collector’s items in their catalog.
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