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Vinyl album: AMLH 68144 (A&M, UK, 1973). Single black sleeve, with metallic silver inner sleeve with lyrics. Issued with brown A&M label, almost certainly re-issued at later date with silver label.
Front and back of sleeve
UK release signed by band
Around the time that the Bursting At The Seams got back together, with added Brian Willoughby (1999 onwards) I asked the original BATS band members to autograph an album sleeve.
UK silver label reissue
Given that so many were pressed in 1973 on brown labels as the album took off, the UK silver label reissue is quite hard to find.
US promo release - variant 1
Vinyl album: SP 4383 (A&M, US, 1973). Cover same as full releases, but with A&M white promo labels matching full release variant 1 below.
US promo release - variant 2
Vinyl album: SP 4383 (A&M, US, 1973).Cover same as full releases, but with A&M white promo labels matching full release variant 2 below. Came with lyrics inner.
US promo release - variant 3
Cover same as full releases, but with A&M white promo labels matching full release variant 3 below. Came with lyrics inner.
US release variant 1
Vinyl album: SP 4383 (A&M, US, 1973). Single black sleeve. Inner (less metallic, so easier to read, otherwise same as UK) inner sleeve. 1-sided insert, slightly smaller than album size.
Back of sleeve and insert
Label - matching promo variant 1
US release variant 2
Labels - matching promo variant 2
US release variant 3
US first silver label reissue
Copy has come to light where the silver label printing is the same as variant 2 above of the brown label on side 1 (side 2 matches the later re-issue below, so not scanned). Silver labels were introduced in US in late '73/early '74, so this may have been an early reissue, the first for this album with silver labels. No Jim Bickhart insert or lyric sleeve in this copy, but they probably were included.
US second silver label reissue
Reissued with standard silver A&M labels for the Hero/Ghosts/Nomadness period, still includes Jim Bickhart insert.
Canada promo release (*)
Vinyl album: SP 4383 (A&M, Canada, 1973).
Canada full release
Vinyl album: SP 4383 (A&M, Canada).. Single sleeve (very thick card). Came with two sided grey paper insert (shinier on the non-lyric side), modelled on US insert, with "Litho in Canada" overprinted. Labels are brown.
Vinyl album: SP 4383 (A&M, Canada).. Reissed with silver labels. Same as original release otherwise. Came in nice light blue A&M inner - all albums featured (including Carole King' album Fantasy, Carpenters Singles/Now And Then) are 1973 or earlier, so I'd assume this quickly supplanted the brown label release at some point in 1973. No insert in my copy but I'd be pretty sure there was one.
Also released subsequently with A&M black labels (and possibly white ones too).
Vinyl album: SLPS 1544 (Sonet/Dansk Grammofon) . Same sleeve as UK, except for back cover Sonet info and logo - see scan below. No lyrics inner bag for the LP with my copy, don't know whether there was one.
Back of sleeve and logo
Vinyl album: A&M 86 658 (A&M Germany, 1973) Same as UK release, except with Im-Ariola Vertreib on the bcak cover at the bottom. There's also a sticker "Including Part Of The Union" been added to the front cover. Brown A&M labels.
Labels from 86 658 release
Sticker from 86 658 release
Vinyl album: A&M 88 004 ET (A&M Germany) . Silver labels. The copy I have has a stickered catalogue number on the back cover - the spinr carries the brown release catalogue number (86 658 IT), so presumably that's what's underneath the sticker. UK address details on back of sleeve with "Im Ariola Vertreib" overprinted at the bottom.
Back cover/sticker from 88 004 release
German black label reissue
Vinyl album: A&M 394 383-1 (A&M Germany, 1988?) . Black labels. Polydor Hamburg archive copy: no outer sleeve, but it came with a couple of archive pages. They are date-stamped "27 Juli 1988", but not clear whether the release was that year, or that was just when they were archived. The white inner sleeve is stamped Ungepruftes Muster" (which I think translates as untested sample.
Vinyl album: A&M SLAM 68144 (A&M Italy) . Single sleeve, nothing much to differentiate it from other release, except A&M logo with Italian number on back cover. No lyric sleeve/insert in my copy, but there would probably have been one. Brown labels (with an import stamp).
Spanish release (*)
Vinyl album: HDAS 371-82, (Hispavox/A&M, Spain) . Spotted online. Track titles (except "Part Of The Union") translated into Spanish on the labels.
Vinyl album: AML 34846) . Same sleeve as UK, except: refernces at bottom back to Festival Records, Aus cat no at top left of back, and a little addition to the band logo - reference to "Part Of The Union" (so likely that the Australian release was a little later than UK release.
Detail from front sleeve, labels
New Zealand release
Vinyl album: AML-34846). Single sleeve, as per everywhere else. No insert/lyric sleeve in my copy. Back cover has Festival Records NZ info.
South African release
Vinyl album: AMLH 68144) . Laminated single sleeve. Lyrics inner sleeve, as per UK release. The back cover has South Africa details - note that an unusual version of the A&M logo is used on SA releases - one colour, no red box around the letters & trumpet. No lyric sheet in my copy, but have seen one on Ebay.
Venezuelan brown label release "Reventando Por Last Costuras" (*)
Vinyl album: LPS 88105, A&M Venezuela, 197?) . Spotted online Likely the sleeeve is same as later reissue below.
Venezuelan silver label reissue "Reventando Por Last Costuras"
Vinyl album: LPS 88105, A&M Venezuela, 197?) . Based on US sleeve (has US address on rear). Front bottom left has Venezuelan cat no above the A^M logo, and bottom right "STEREO COMPATIBLE" inside a rectangular box. Back sleeve has "Fabricado y distribudo por la Palacio de la Musica SA Apartado 1637 Caracas.
Silver labels. Label text including song titles is in Spanish. I think:
Vinyl album: AMLH 68144, A&M Israel (dist by CBS), 1973) . Same front cover, but cream back cover with lyrics from UK inner. Typical Israeli labels, no white in A&M logo.
Japanese promo release
Vinyl album: AML180, A&M/King Records, 1973) . Same as below but with white label.
Vinyl album: AML180, A&M/King Records, 1973) . Same sleeve as UK (with changes to cat nos and distribution credit at bottom of back of sleeve). Green & white obi, which folds over itself at the back. Inner sleeve same as UK Inner sleeve same as UK (except that Japanese catalogue number substituted). Labels brown A&M (2 variants known). But best of all - bespoke insert with Japanese notes and lyrics.
Obi front, back and back with foldover pulled away
Korean promo/full release
Vinyl album: SEL-RA 354, Korea, 1986) . Laminated single sleeve. Back cover has Sung Eum catalogue number at top right manufacturing/licensing details at the bottom. No lyrics inner sleeve in my copy, though Hero And Heroine which was released in Korea in 1985 had a Korean language insert, which may have been the case with this. There are two protective plastic sleeves, one plain, one Polygram printed, but with Sung Eum Record address added. and the "SEM Gramophone" logo under Polydor.
Silver labels. Dates on the label indicate that this release is 1986 or later. The 1985 Korean Hero And Heroine release was SEL-RA 344 and came out with black A&M reissue labels rather than silver ones.
The back cover has a sticker "Sample Record (Not For Sale)" and the actual record labels are stickered too, so it's unlikely there were separate promo and full releases.
CASSETTE & 8-TRACK
UK cassette release
Cassette: ZCAM 68144(A&M, UK, 1973). Produced for A&M by Precision Tapes (their details on the inside of the cassette cover), the cassette cover includes the Strawbs logo but not the band picture.
The running order on the cassette release differs from the album on vinyl. On cassette it goes:
UK cassette reissue (*)
Cassette: CAM 68144 (A&M, UK, ?date). Highly likely that this album would have been reissued on cassette after A&M took over making their own cassettes from Precision Tapes. Anyone seen/got one?
UK 8-track release
8-track: Y8AM 68144 (A&M, UK, 1973). Also produced for A&M by Precision Tapes (their details on the inside of the cassette sleeve), the labels and outer cover broadly match the minimalist packaging for the cassette release, including the Strawbs logo but not the band picture.
8-track outer cover
Front, back and head
The running order on the 8-track release differs from the album on vinyl (8-tracks when played had gaps when the track changed) and also includes the non-album track "Here It Comes":
Down By The Sea
Tears And Pavan
The Winter And The Summer
Part Of The Union
Here It Comes (bonus track not on vinyl, but later appeared on 'Strawbs By Choice')
US cassette original 1973 release ? (*)
Anyone have an original 1973 cassette? Does one exist?
US cassette reissue ?
cassette: CS-4383 (A&M, UK, 1974 or later) . Outer follows design of the vinyl album. Inner cover has list of other A&M US cassette releases including Rick Wakeman's Six Wives and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth the latter not released until 1974. This matches closey the Ghosts cassette I bought at the same time, so I think this may be a reissue from 1974 when Ghosts came out.
Cassette itself has printed on details. Track listing same order as the album (no extra track like the UK cassette).
US 8-track release (*)
8-track: Y8AM 68144 (A&M, UK, 1973). Noted online - pictures seem to have Epic packaging, not certain why. Opens with the three Hundson/Ford involved tracks - "Lady Fuschia", Tears And Pavan" and "Part Of The Union".
Front and back
Tears And Pavan
Part Of The Union
The Winter And The Summer
Down By The Sea
Australia cassette release
Cassette: CAM 24846 (A&M/Festival, Australia, 1973). Referenced on Australian vinyl LP sleeve.
German CD release
CD: 394383-2 (A&M US ? stated to be made in West Germany) ??. Minimal reproduction of original - front and back cover, no lyrics.
Booklet pp1 (front) & 4 (back)
Booklet pp2 & 3
CD and tray back
Universal CD release, 1998
CD: 540 936-2 (A&M, 1998, REMASTERED WITH 3 BONUS TRACKS) Front and back covers reproduced. No lyrics, but six pages of new sleeve notes by Dave Cousins and John Tobler.
A&M 1998 CD releases (Antiques, Witchwood, GNW, BATS, Hero, Ghosts)
These Universal releases have manufacturing details printed in the clear plastic centre on the silver side (ie bottom) of the CD. The first releases were made in Germany by PMDC. They seem to have been re-pressed later by other companies - EDC and Universal M&L and these are coming up on Discogs as different releases, but I'm not going to start scanning CD bottoms on Strawbsweb! No other changes as far as I can see in packaging.
Booklet pp1 (front) & 8 (back)
Booklet pp2 * 3
Booklet pp4 & 5
Booklet pp6 & 7
Lithuania LimeCD bootleg CD release, 2000 (*)
CD: LIMECD 10010005, Lime CD, 2000) Spotted on Ebay
Russian Alcinous bootleg CD release, 2001
CD: AL 0100 (Alcinous, 2001) with 3 bonus tracks) Reported as an "unofficial" release, based on the Universal remaster. 4pp booklet.
Booklet pp1 (front) & 4 (back)
Booklet pp2 & 3
Tray back and CD
Japanese card sleeve CD release, 2002
CD: UICY-9215 (Japan only, A&M, 2002, REMASTERED WITH 3 BONUS TRACKS). Card sleeve is mini replica of the original album release, nicely printed. There's an inner sleeve in grey which exactly matches the UK LP release. The CD is got up to look like an A&M release with the 1969 logo, and light orange background. There's a 3CD x 2CD sized black and white insert with Sleeve notes in English (by John Tobler from UK 1998 release) and Japanese (translated).
This is a release program "British Rock Legend Series" which includes: Moody Blues: Days Of Future Passed (UICY 9210), In Search Of The Lost Chord (UICY 9211), On The Threshold Of A Dream (UICY 9212), To Our Children's Children's Children (UICY 9213), A Question Of Balance (UICY 9214) and Strawbs: Hero And Heroine (UICY 9216)
Obi and CD
Insert Japanese and English
Vox Humana "facsimile" card cover CD release, 2006
Back of card sleeve and CD