Offered for sale is a 200 gram test pressing of Joni Mitchell’s 1974 LP Court and Spark, pressed by RTI for Classic Records, which never released the album commercially.
About this copy: This copy of Court and Spark is a 200 gram test pressing of the intended, but ultimately unreleased, version of the album pressed by RTI Records for Classic Records.
The test pressing was issued in a plain white cover with the catalog number and the date “July 8, 2004” stamped on it. The cover is M-.
The disc has an RTI test pressing label on one side and a blank white label on the other.
The disc is M-, with no marks on the vinyl but a number of spindle marks on the label.
Matrix numbers are 7E-1001A and 7E-1001B. The initials “BG” are etched into the vinyl on both sides, indicating that the mastering was done by Bernie Grundman.
A great-sounding copy of a terrific record.
Background: Court and Spark, the sixth solo album by Canadian singer Joni Mitchell, was her biggest-selling album ever, reaching #2 on the American albums chart with the help of two Top 20 singles – “Fee Man in Paris,” and “Help Me.”
You can listen to “Free Man in Paris” here:
The album has long been an audiophile favorite, and there have been several limited edition audiophile pressings of the album over the years.
In the early 2000s, Classic Records, a then-prominent audiophile label, made arrangements to release Court and Spark as a 200 gram 33 1/3 LP and as a 4 record set, cut at 45 RPM. While test pressings of both versions of the album were made, for unknown reasons, Classic never actually released the album to the public. The only versions of the album that exist are a handful of test pressings.
The 45 RPM test pressings seem to have been pressed in far greater numbers than the 33 1/3 version. We know that Classic pressed at least 100 copies of the 45 RPM version, but they likely pressed only 20 or so copies of the 33 1/3 version.
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