Thursday, 26 June 2014

Headscratching

I am reposting this question posed to me regarding the Ultraviolet albums by a friend. And it's not to highlight his confusion about these albums. It's to address their SIGNIFICANCE. 

"Guys, I am scratching me head trying to figure out what the big deal is? I know
Collectables , but is there anything more to the significance of this find other than
rarity? I thought perhaps decoded messages or something?"

With any ultraviolet album that was released to the public, the record company announced it. I was trying to find you an image of one of these. You can tell they have had a treatment done to them, and most actually look a bit gimmicky. 

With these ultraviolet albums:
  1. The consumer never got an announcement. 
  2. The oldest one found so far was from 1955. And they didn't know it was UV then, and they STILL don't know it's UV 60 years later. 
  3. We don't know the process they used.
  4. Whatever the process is, the LP itself looks just like any normal LP. But it's not. 
  5. Multiple record companies in direct competition with eachother have employed this process, not told the consumer, and not sought profit / gain in doing so. (That right there should make you say ????????????????)
  6. There is a possibility these same record companies in direct competition with eachother did not even know this process was being done to their products. 
  7. We don't know if these are radioactive, harmful, or using a chemical we have never heard of. 

I could go on and on. These are simply the most rare, unexplained, unknown amount of albums manufactured in the over 100 year history of album manufacturing. In the recording world, these are your Pyramids.


And we don't even know how many are out there. I have 1000+ LPs. I found 5% to 7% of my album collection were UV. 

At best, 70 albums. Out of a rounded 1000. 

Go to Sgt Pepper. Let's say 200,000 mono copies were manufactured. 14,000 is our mean figure of ultraviolet version Peppers. But we can't go off of that because not all 200,000 Peppers that are mono 1st pressings, glow. We don't actually know how many are out there, because they never said a word about making them in the first place.

A guy has 35,000 LPs in his collection. 

Only 2450 of them are likely to glow. At best. That is NOT a lot. It's the difference between a warehouse and a garage.

Here's the world's largest record collection. 1 million LPs. 
http://portable.tv/film/post/the-archive-sean-dunne/

One, the probability this guy doesn't even know some of his albums are UV, is high. 


Only 70,000 of them might glow. And that's without knowing when this process started (because they let no one know), and when it ended. (If it did)

You've barely cracked 100,000 of those LPS and you still got 900,000 more that are "regular". Do you realise how rare they are??? And we don't even know why they were made!!!!

These are the Pyramids of the Recording World. I can say that no other way than that.





Ultramega OK

~ CONTINUATION ~

When I stopped writing about Ultraviolet LPS, was sometime after May 2013. I just stopped. I couldn't get anyone interested in the subject beyond my friend who assisted me greatly in tracing the "phenomena" back to the 1950's. It needed to go back further to stop those who had been informed of its existence, from thinking it was a by-product of 1960's hippie culture, or 1970's club culture. My gut feeling was it preceded these decades. I just needed to establish I was right. And the avenue was this friend who was locally close to many record shops in the Washington, D.C. area. And he was the one, instructed with "go either RCA Victor or Capitol in the hunt", who found it going back to 1955. I just provided the criteria. He provided the expense and time. But these weren't expensive purchases. As evidenced in this post back from May 2013 at a group I created to collate data.


Nat King Cole "This Is Nat King Cole" (1953) - strike out. My mistake, should've asked the seller if it was from the USA as listed in the item details. Thing arrives, manufactured in Canada. Negative. Bah. I still like the King though. It was £1.99.

Kingston Trio "Here We Go Again!" (1959) - Mono. Negative. Bah. It was £1.00.

David Bowie - "Heroes" (1977). The effort to get a full set of Bowie LPs that do this. "Low" "Heroes" "Lodger", I'm getting a general sense of what to look for in these 3 albums. In the original pass through of the LPs by him I have, "Hunky Dory", "Low" and "Heroes" were the only albums that had nothing. So the mission was to get these with the anomaly. Low/Heroes/Lodger all have attributes that made it possible to make an educated guess of what was more likely to have signs of the anomaly. After much searching through items for sale, found a "Heroes" that looked likely. Received today. Result: POSITIVE.
After Cole and Trio I was getting a bit meh. Bad run of finding stuff, and the effort to find ones before 1959 looked long and laborious. Decision made, can't count on Capitol before 1959 in this search. Sticking with artists on RCA Victor when affordable. The Perry Como, Fats Waller, Julie Andrews, Elvis Presley, Eartha Kitt and others brigade. Just trying to find affordable ones.
 OR THIS from April, 2013



Our first Elvis sighting.
All Shook Up/That's When Your Heartaches Begin
I was waiting for him to turn up, I just don't have any of his stuff in my collection. But someone else did. And I had a pretty strong hunch he would show up. Which is why in a record shop the other day I was going through his albums like never before, looking for particular things.
Elvis is important in this, because it might be a good indicator of how far BACK it goes. I don't know when it started, and I surely don't know when it ended. But getting an idea of these unknown dates, is better than not knowing at all. And Elvis is a good start to finding a beginning.
(Almost picked up Nat King Cole, and Perry Como the other day, but the issue of 45 single I felt much too late. Needed earlier. I also saw a 78rpm LP for the first time in my life going through a charity shop. Dag, those things were heavy.

Proving this pre-dated the 1960's was vastly important. One, it may establish WHEN it began. And with WHAT record company. And if you could trace what record company it started with, you could follow somewhat a trail of how it spread out amongst many record companies. Was it an employee? Was it a union? A cabal? What the hell was it? Finding out how it came to be, is essential in finding out what it was. 

Why have I chosen to go full force with this again?

Because no one seems interested that's why! These are the most unexplained LPs manufactured in the 20th century, that's why! We have no idea why they were made, we have no idea how they were made, we have no idea how many were made, and we certainly have no idea why certain artists received this treatment and not others. And why it followed that artist even if they changed record companies. Like the case of Ringo Starr going from APPLE to ATLANTIC. Or James Brown going from KING to POLYDOR. It followed them. One explanation would be, both Atlantic and Polydor were already practicing this procedure before Brown or Starr ever showed up. That's one explanation. Which opens up the original question. WHY?

 The former missives posted were all part of a thing entitled "The Ramblings of Viola Turtle" (there's an anagram in there somewhere). I got 32 pages in I believe. I easily could have made it 100. I had enough material evidence to stretch it that far, and enough questions. Raising this issue up again, and its appearance at RED DIRT is really a full blown effort to find out what these albums are all about. It would be great if they made an income. Made these albums the choice of collectors. Like those baseball cards of years ago. In fact, my mission in the beginning was to get all The Monkees and David Bowie albums as a full ultraviolet set. I just needed to get the ones I didn't have (which I didn't know I had for almost 30+ years). And to get those remaining Beatles albums that glowed beyond Sgt. Pepper. 

As written back in 2013:


These are what you're specifically looking for at present. These ones do it, in differing ways.

MEET THE BEATLES (Stereo - 1st Pressings - Los Angeles Pressing Plant - * symbol)
BEATLES' SECOND ALBUM (Stereo - 1st Pressings - possibly Jacksonville Pressing Plant)
SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (Mono - 1st Pressings - Scranton Pressing Plant - IAM symbol)
LET IT BE - (This is on the APPLE Label, and distributed by Capitol. Jacksonville Pressing Plant - () symbol.)
HEY JUDE (THE BEATLES AGAIN) - Apple Label, and distributed by Capitol. Scranton Pressing Plant - IAM Symbol)
ROCK 'N' ROLL MUSIC - (Capitol Label - More information needed about these. Scranton was closed by this point so no IAM need be looked for. Most likely Winchester with the ----< symbol, or Jacksonville with the () symbol.)

PAUL MCCARTNEY - London Town (1978 Capitol Records) - Winchester Pressing Plant
GEORGE HARRISON - Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976 Dark Horse/Warner Bros Records) - Winchester Pressing Plant.
JOHN LENNON - Shaved Fish (1975 Apple Records) Jacksonville Pressing Plant.
RINGO STARR -
Rotogravure (1976 Atlantic/Warner Bros Records)
Ringo the 4th (1977 Atlantic/Warner Bros Records)

PINK FLOYD
Meddle (1972 - Harvest Records - distributed by Capitol Records - Winchester
Pressing Plant)
Animals (1977 - Columbia Records - possibly New York, have to research their
pressing plants.)

But don't stop there. Check all you have or come across. These are the known
ones. Also check singles/45s, especially Hey Jude/Revolution and Let It Be/You
Know MY Name (Look Up the Number), both on Apple Records.
Research. I did heavy research into the Ultraviolet albums. And this was gathering information from different people who had known ultraviolet albums. I didn't need them to send me the LP. I didn't need them to go out and buy any. I needed to know what they had, and what the criteria was. And that's all. With information one can assemble a basic system, identifying those that do, from those that don't. If today you asked me "can you get me a Sgt.Pepper that glows?" I would say YES. I can. You go out, hit Ebay or whatever, ask that seller what the matrix code is and what plant produced it, and I can get you that glowing pepper in one shot. Just like I did with HEY JUDE (The Beatles Again) on the first try. I bought it for less than £10. In the listings of the album for sale from multiple sellers, it was the only one I was absolutely sure would be ultraviolet. I was right. Not because I'm lucky. Not because I'm a good guesser. It was because I researched, gathered data, and knocked out the ones that wouldn't from known failures, to establish the success. It's not rocket science. There was a system to these, you just have to figure it out.



BOWIE was a little harder. Capitol has a very simple numbering system when compared to RCA Victor. And when RCA Victor pressed albums for Motown, it gets even more confusing. So isolating the Bowie albums that were known to have ultraviolet properties, required a lot of deadwax information from different sources. 

I wrote about the difficulties with the Diamond Dog back last year. Click 'An Oddity'  below.


When going through that sweep of 1000+ LPS in my collection, David Bowie was the anomaly. When you've got a stack of 200 LPS, sitting on a bed, under an ultraviolet light, and none of them glow at all; and then you get to your Bowie albums, and nearly every one of them (Space Oddity {1969} through to Scary Monsters {1981}) look all crazy under a black light, believe me you notice it. I was disappointed finding ones that didn't. And I didn't have all that many. Which set me out obtaining the ones I didn't have yet to complete the collection. And all I had to go on to secure such a thing, was the albums I had that DID, and the ones I had that DIDN'T. 

And when you're looking at quite a few different matrix codes for multiple albums, it can get frustrating. Especially when you approach different people you know who have the same albums, that could check for you if they do glow, therefore eliminating more of your choices to narrow it down to a select few ... and they don't do it. Very frustrating. 

So BOWIE took some work. 


Aladdin Sane (1973)





The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

The Man Who Sold the World (1970)




I had to get LOW, HEROES and LODGER to glow. All by figuring out which ones were more likely to, and which ones weren't. From hundreds of online sellers. Information, is indeed, power.

 
"HEROES" (1977)

And from my encounters with The Monkees albums (and later 10cc) I knew that I didn't always have to go to the USA to get an ultraviolet album. 


I could go in through West Germany and get near, to the same results. And different colour combinations.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cross the Border and Find Infrared and Ultraviolet

   ~ A METHOD TO THE MADNESS~
 
A method you say? Surely there’s a reasonable explanation why certain artists at certain
record companies, received an unheard of treatment to their products, that was not
announced or advertised by any of these individuals or organisations, and remained
unknown to the public for decades. Surely. In a world of Capitalism believe that Art for
Art’s Sake MIGHT still exist. There’s a reason these LPs glow under ultraviolet light.
I’m sure there is. I’m just not sure what that reason is.


One question that bugged me to no end was, how did people miss this? Especially those
1960’s pot smoking black light party Hippies. Or those 1970’s disco blacklight DJs? And
since this process continued on for decades, I could not see how this escaped the
public’s attention. Surely there’s a reason for that too.


But I can understand how the Hippies and DJs missed this. It didn’t become clear to me
until I looked at my own spotcheck of my collection, and talking to a friend whose dad
never noticed this anomaly while partying it up blacklight style. In the 1960’s. You see
what I was doing was taking stacks of LPs and one by one, checking through each and
every one of them. I have at least 1,000 LPs. And when you’ve gone through 250 LPs one
after the other, spotting this anomaly becomes a lot, lot easier. You recognise it as soon
as you take it out of the inner sleeve. Unlike the 249 other LPs you just looked at, that
reflected only black, this one LP goes all murky and dirty looking. Like something’s on it.
And the closer you bring it to the light, the more clear and bright it becomes. It
sometimes goes one complete colour. Other times it comes out looking marbled. Other
times it looks flecked like an Iris would. It seems a random process, but with desired
results. And each one is aesthetically pleasing with the colors the record label used.
Even if they changed label design for a brief time.


Like Motown Records, who used RCA Victor’s pressing plant to make their records until
they could do their own. Their light yellow and brown TAMLA labels go very well with
the ochre coloured ultraviolet effect. Someone knew what they were doing.


Or RCA themselves, who changed their label many times, and assigned different colours to
specific genres in their roster. If the label was Orange, then the ultraviolet effect was a deeper or lighter orange. Always complimentary.


RCA gives the best examples of the variants I believe, and it’s my research into record
manufacturing history that tells me either RCA Victor, or EMI came up with this
“procedure.” Whatever it is. Which might be a liquid. And if you read as many
books/documents as I’ve read, you’d actually start thinking this was a magical elixir that
such people in the occult world like A.E. Waite did not care to find out if it existed.
Which is odd. I think that’s why Aleister Crowley despised Waite. What if there WAS an
occult fluid of magickal, alchemical changing properties. Who is a man like Waite to
dissuade anyone from imagining it might be so. Just because he doesn’t believe it. I
would have the same problem with Waite as Crowley had. If that was one of the
problems.


But let’s scoot away from magical elixirs. Or alien liquids.


Okay, let’s really scoot away from such theories. This process was important enough to
keep going for decades undetected by the consumer. If it had damaging effects to the
product itself, recalls would have been consistent enough to stop the process
altogether. It has none that I know of. Apart from PVC degrades under ultraviolet light
be releasing hydrochloric acid when under it. Keep your records out of sunlight they say!
But hold it under this type of light and see some beautiful colours and stunning effects.
All quite aesthetically pleasing. One of my favourites is James Brown’s “Mighty
Instrumentals
,” stereo version.



That’s one’s really nice. It’s that flecked effect that makes it truly artistic and beautiful.
So is this a mark of 1st pressings? To make sure genuine versions of the product can be
identified later on? Maybe. But then in the case of Sgt.Pepper, why wouldn’t ALL first
pressings of Sgt Pepper bear this distinction. Why is it only certain ones do it, and others
not. With money, ultraviolet markers are placed so that vendors/bankers can tell the
counterfeits from the real. That isn’t done to only certain £5 notes. It’s done to all of
them. So marking LPs with an ultraviolet stamp of authenticity would be given to all
products. No? The mark of the true doesn’t seem to apply here. So why is this done to
certain ones and not others. And why certain artists, and not others? And why certain
record labels and not others?


I haven’t found many instances, if at all, yet on Columbia, CBS, Epic, Elektra or Virgin. It
was “not found” so much, I practically counted on it not happening. The exception
would be Pink Floyd, when they changed record label after Dark Side of the Moon from
Harvest/EMI, to Columbia/CBS. The process “followed” them. Much like James Brown
going from KING Records to Polydor in the 1970’s. It followed him. Or Ringo Starr
changing from Apple Records to Atlantic in the mid-70’s. It followed him.




And You'll Get Them for Free, Infrared and Ultraviolet

             ~ THE PEPPER PREPPER ~

Cool title aye? I think deliberating over that took longer than deliberating over what was
going to come next. But I feel it’s important to approach this first, because it then makes
the next bit make more sense. The next bit is a LOT of speculation. And theorising. This
bit here is the same, but with more facts and data presented. Making those guesses and
hmmms a bit more weighty.




I’m not sure why Stereo took so long to catch on, because in essence, Life is in Stereo.
Sound surrounds us everywhere. But it’s not like Stereo was not being experimented
with. Multiple speaker systems were being utilised in avant garde circles, that made
surround sound and quadraphonic seem primitive compared. Sound was to be utilised
and experimented with. So Mono and its perceived limitations, just by today’s
expectations, would seem shorter lived than its truer to life cousin. But it wasn’t. It was
an exceedingly popular way of listening to recorded works. And as said, Beatles albums
were mixed for Mono. Stereo was a fad. The mixes for the stereo versions of their
albums are sometimes vastly different to the Mono versions. Which are why the Mono
versions are sought out. Different edits, different speeds or tempo, etc. John Lennon
even said, you have not heard Sgt Pepper until you’ve heard the Mono mix of it.
So why in the above photo of two Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Mono copies,
does one appear flat black when held up to ultraviolet light, and the other looks like
someone’s eye?


I don’t know! I’m trying to figure that out, and have been for the past few months.
Back when I was deliberating whether I should even try and buy one of these 1st
pressings, to see if it would glow, I didn’t know what I know now. I know now I was
extremely lucky to get one on the first attempt. With what I believed to be the right
criteria, which turned out to be wrong. Let’s go over those again.


A. It needs to be a 1st pressing of the LP.
B. It needs to be from the Scranton, Pennsylvania CAPITOL pressing plant, marked by an IAM in the deadwax area, surrounded by a triangle.
C. The sleeve must have no mention of NEMS Enterprises Ltd. Or Maclen Music
publishing. None.
D. The label must say “A Little Help From My Friends”

After receiving mine in the post, discovering that one of above bullet points did not
match what I received, looking at the instances of people posting their success and
failure results online from 7 years ago, I had the thought come to me. There must be
something else signifying which of these LPs are going to do this. It must have a pattern.
There must be a system. What is it.


Let’s go back to Capitol Records for a minute. Actually, let’s go back to the Astronaut
who in 2002, went and told George Martin something no one had heard before.
Somewhere in Palo Alto, California, a young man walks into a record shop on the 1st
June, 1967, and buys Sgt.Pepper. Most likely a Mono copy. He brings it home, plays it,
then dreams of becoming an astronaut one day. Or something. Years later he notices it
glows under ultraviolet light.


Back in 1967 Capitol had 3 main production plants. Its main one, that produced most of
its LPs nationally, was the Scranton, PA plant. They had a plant in Jacksonville, IL, and
another in Los Angeles, CA. As the astronaut did not give much more information, our
natural presumption is that he received a local pressing of this LP. We might be wrong
though. Just because he bought it in California, does not mean it was produced there. It
may have been a Scranton pressing. Most of the early 60’s Capitol LPs you find will bear
the stamp of the Scranton plant, which looks like this.


It’s a triangle with the letters IAM in it. It’s also the mark you are more likely to find on LPs that have ultraviolet properties. Why? Because. That’s the way it is. We don’t even know why they have ultraviolet properties, and now you want to know why just this particular plant? You want the world. I’ll give you this instead. IAM stands for the International Association of Machinists' union, whose members worked at Capitol’s Scranton plant. Does that have anything to do with it? I’m not sure about that either. It might, it might not. I may address it later. For now, it’s enough you know their symbol, and that it appears on Beatles albums that are more likely to glow. The other album shown in the comparison, comes from Los Angeles, as denoted by a symbol that looks like this.

It looks a little like a snowflake or star. So we’ll signify Scranton from this point on as IAM, and Los Angeles as
*
So we have one difference between the two of them. Still, this is not enough. Yes we can find instances that even having an IAM does not guarantee you an ultraviolet LP. No we do not know what plant produced the astronaut’s album. We have problems based on limited information and criteria. The two albums shown above both have matrix numbers in their deadwax area. The one from IAM, that glows, has this:


What does this tell us? Well first, let’s recall the Boring Chapter. And I’ll bring up some
other information I had to find out, by approaching serious collectors of all things
Beatles. Just to get an estimation of what we’re talking about here.


Back in the studio, the engineer either stamped, or wrote the matrix number on the
Lacquer disc. In the case of Capitol, this was more of the handwritten type. Each
alpha/numeric character signifies something about that product. In the instance of the
ultraviolet version it is:


MAS - 1 - 2653 - F1 #2

 
We’ll just deal with Side One for now. The first letter signifies whether this release is
Stereo or Mono. With this record, it is Mono. Therefore M. The second letter signifies
how many LPs are contained within this recording. Capitol used an alpha character to
identify this, such as A=1, B=2 etc. In this instance, there is 1 record in this package. We
have the second identifier. This album is Mono, and contains 1 LP. I have information for
one identification of a Capitol album, with a different set of Matrix numbers, so the
third character is a guess. My guess is that S signifies the packaging or the price code of
this product. So it’s Mono, with 1 LP, set at this price code, or packaging standard.
The 1 indicates which side of the recording this Lacquer Disc is. Either Side One or Side
Two. This is Side One.


The 2653 is the catalogue number of this product. Sgt.Pepper bears the catalogue
number MAS 2653 for Mono versions. This is also on the label of the LP itself.
The last components tell us what Stamper was used in the pressing. The Stamper is
based off of what Lacquer Disc was sent to the plant. In this instance, F1 #2 was used.
The question is, how many Lacquer Discs were manufactured, and which one was the
first? In the 1960’s, F and G denoted 1st pressings of Mono LPs. P and T denoted second
pressings. What’s the difference between a 1st and second pressing? Let’s see if we can
find out. As we know, the original audio recording that was etched into the Lacquer Disc
is on a reel to reel tape. This tape is going to deteriorate over time. So that first
recording, onto that first Lacquer Disc, is the best that product is going to sound. As time
wears on, and more discs are made, that audio recording is going to lose clarity, fidelity
and eventually, may even deteriorate to a degree it cannot be played anymore. And
until modern computer/digital methods, this was the case for all recordings. The
Lacquer Disc goes to the pressing plant. It’s used to make the Master disc, which is then
used to make the Mold, and then the Stamper. The Stamper may make anywhere from
one to 250,000 LPS in a day. In Capitol’s case, by 1967, this was 50,000 LPs a day. On
good days. We know in the instance of Pepper, that Stereo copies outnumber Mono
copies at least 4 to 1. And in contacting collectors of Beatles recordings, an estimate was
made about the number of Mono LPs out there. This has to be somewhere above
200,000 LPs. How many are 1st pressings? That’s anyone’s guess. Even though this
information would actually be available if Capitol, like RCA Victor, implemented a
system in which all LPs made were filed into a database system. This would tell you
what press produced which LPs, how many on any given date, where these were
shipped to, etc. I believe Capitol would do this, especially in the instance of a product
recall. Or having to reprint the sleeves for the product, which Capitol had to a number of
times for Sgt Pepper. And its labels. This information would also tell you what stamper
was used on what press, and how many LPs that stamper was used for. Because like all
things, the Stamper becomes unusable. It’s pressing, heating, and cooling individual
products 50,000 times on a good day. If the press is completely operational, and without
error. Which is why the IAM crew would be at this plant to fix any major problems with
a press. A press may break down after 5,000 pressings. Or it may have a whole run of
50,000.


Either way, like that reel to reel audio source recording, the stampers wear out as well.
So new ones have to be made. And the best way to do this, to get the best quality, is to
go back to the studio, and record another Lacquer. Should the LP be a major seller, the
amount of times this is done to that master recording is unknown. But each time it’s
going to wear down that tape. And the process only begins all over again when going
back to the pressing plant. This is why 1st pressings are so valuable to collectors and
audiophiles. They are the 1st generation of products, and hold the truest, accurate
sound that was aimed for by the artist/production team.


In hunting down information about Sgt.Pepper, and what its matrix numbers were, and
what ones were most likely to have ultraviolet properties, I had to ask a lot of people.
Mainly people who were selling them on Ebay or elsewhere. It was no indicator whether
they glowed or not. It was solely to gather data, to get an idea of what kind of
production run Pepper had, and how many possibly pressings were utilised. I also went
back to the people who tried, succeeded and failed to get an ultraviolet version of this
album. Though they hadn’t spoke of such things in detail 7 years ago, I was able to get
enough information from those who were still around now, to get an idea of the new
criteria.


What was this new criteria? Well, it’s in that F. I found an instance where someone had
purchased a Sgt.Pepper, that had all the wrong criteria for sleeve, label etc, but it turned
out to be an ultraviolet LP. The matrix numbers for both sides of this LP, ended in F1.
The only difference in each side’s matrix number was the identifying it as side one or
two. From that information, and then looking at a series of other matrix numbers, my
hypothesis was that this double sided F1 series, could in fact be the FIRST Lacquer disc.
The original, the very first. The one that was tested for its quality after it had etched into
it the best run of the audio recording.


This is what I had to work with, after establishing that F1 on both sides may mean the 1st
pressing of them all.

MAS-1-2653-F1 #2
MAS-2-2653-G2
MAS-1-2653-F1 #5
MAS-2-2653-G2 #3
MAS-1-2653-F1 #3
MAS-2-2653-G2 #3
MAS-1-2653-G2 #3
MAS-2-2653-F4 #2
MAS-1-2653-F1
MAS-2-2653-F1
MAS-1-2653-F1 #3
MAS-2-2653-G2 #2
MAS-1-2653-F1 #2
MAS-2-2653-G2 #4
MAS-1-2653-G5 #2
MAS-2-2653-F1 #4
MAS 1 2653 G2 #1
MAS-2-2653-G2 #2
MAS-X1-2653 G22 #2
MAS-X2-2653 G16 #2
 
These were combined matrix numbers from sellers, searchers for the ultraviolet, my
own copy, and another copy purchased knowing it did not have the anomaly. But
possessed something else having to do with a typo on both sleeve and label. All but the
last set come from IAM. The final one is from *, and our photo comparison Pepper. I
gathered the ones that did have ultraviolet properties (MY OWN/SEARCHERS), and
compared them to the ones that didn’t (SEARCHERS). And then took into account the
ones that were unknown (SELLERS). What were these numbers telling me.
They were telling me that only certain matrix numbers were going to have ultraviolet
properties, and that others were going to show no ultraviolet properties at all. No
matter if it was a first pressing or not. As shown before, Capitol used F and G to denote
1st pressings of this product. All the above are 1st pressings. But the number of Stampers
used you see has been growing all along. Let’s call the double F1 matrix number,
Stamper No. 1. Without saying, which ones glow and which ones don’t, what do we see
by these sequences of numbers?

That F1 has an increasing number after it, as does G2. Without the total number of
matrix sequences, I have no idea truly how many increments they went up to. We know
from the * pressing that G has gone into the double digits. We also know that’s the one
that was pressed at a different plant than the others. We know it doesn’t have
ultraviolet properties. So we presume; products that come out of this particular plant,
are less likely to have ultraviolet tendencies. So scratch them off the list of must get. Out
goes Los Angeles. We then concentrate on IAM. I know which ones glow and which ones
don’t. I know this from a combination of seller/searcher/self owned Pepper LPs which
are more likely to glow than others. And it’s down to what matrix number they have.
The engineer at the studio assigns these. Of all people, they would know which Lacquer
discs received something special that the others didn’t. If this process was implemented
at the studio, before ever going to press. At the pressing plant, it’s business as usual,
because the PVC remained to production standards. We know this, because there was
no mass recall for defective product with this anomaly for Pepper. The recalls came
because of misprints and typos on the sleeves. They were not due to errors with the
recording. Which would have been noticed before it ever left the studio, or after the
first record was produced at the plant. By the time it actually gets to be pressed, the
album has already been listened to numerous times before ever having a production
rollout.


Which brings up the instances of receiving a record which signifies a 1st pressing, but in a later sleeve variant.

 
The production rolls out as scheduled. By the end the Scranton plant has manufactured
200,000 Mono copies of Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The sleeves are ready,
the labels have been affixed. The stock destined for each state of the union has been
assigned and logged. I don’t know when or how this happened, but it was noticed that
one of the songs was mistitled. Here’s an indication of the number of times the sleeve and labels had to be changed. This was more true in the case of the Stereo copies, as more were distributed. The changes were adhered to. As Mono was going out of popularity, these changes were not necessarily followed. It was kind of “let go.”



Version 1 of the sleeve mistitled “With a Little Help From My Friends” as “A LITTLE HELP
FROM MY FRIENDS.” As did the label affixed to the LP itself. It also gave no publishing
copyright notification to NEMS Enterprises or Maclen Music. This of course, had to be
amended. So back comes the product. OR a new batch of sleeves are printed, and any
remaining stock of the first pressings are simply repackaged into the new variation.
Which seems far more likely than re-running a whole new slew of LPs, which would be
at cost, and unforeseen loss. The plan was make 200,000. They did. The sleeves are
wrong. Make another 200,000 LPs? Hardly. We’ll just reprint the sleeves with the
amendments, and then take that remaining stock and just shove it in there. OR notify
our sellers that whatever stock they possess needs to be repackaged. As this would
involve a retail outlet unwrapping the received product, putting that stock in a new
sleeve, and then shrink wrapping it back up again, I highly doubt that was the
procedure. So somewhere along the way, someone noted the sleeve was in error.
Someone got notified. Someone took already manufactured LPs and put them in new
sleeves. That’s what I know. I know this because people get glowing LPs regardless if the
sleeve says this or that. Or that “first pressing” is a true indication of ultraviolet
properties.


As you can see, the sleeve went through 3 more changes before getting it right. And in
truth, there’s at least 7 to 8 variations that needed to be done to make sure everything
was amended. They just seemingly stopped bothering with the Mono versions of
repackaging/reprinting. There were far less to worry about than the Stereo versions.
Let’s not forget with all this rumination, that some of these LPs glow under ultraviolet
light. And not only was this a highly anticipated album, but it was by a group that if they
could sell a toilet seat one of them sat on, they would do it.


So why no
HEY KIDS! GET YOUR CRAZY GLOW IN THE DARK
SGT.PEPPER AT BIFF’S RECORD OUTLETS. IF YOU
DON’T GET ONE THE FIRST TIME TRY TRY AGAIN!

 
And keep trying, because eventually you’ll get one. And each one you fail at getting,
only earns Capitol Records more money. It’s win win. You get a sense of adventure and
accomplishment. We get the profit.

All the Mystic Treasury

          ~ THE BORING CHAPTER ~

Oh dear, here it is. This is where you yawn your head off, wondering what any of this
has to do with anything. And I’ll say, no wait, this has a lot do with everything. Let’s just
have you make up your own mind if a yawn is forthcoming.


Without dragging you through the entire history of the gramophone record, we’re just
going to pay attention to some key details. We’re trying to establish a stage at which
such a process could be done. By whom, and when; is another question altogether. The
process itself does not say to me RANDOM. It seems controlled and planned. Is there
evidence that such things can be controlled, as far as colour variation, and certain LPs
receiving this, and others receiving that?


Yes there is. There’s RCA Victor in 1949, and its trend to have a designated colour/label depending on what genre the album was.

This happened with their 7 inch 45 records, in eight different colours, until things got
too expensive. Red and Black remained as designations for Classical and Pop,
respectively. Even as early as 1910, and the LPs made out of Shellac, Vocalion Records
issued coloured products. Such products were advertised, and not easy to ignore. And I
cannot think of any new fad or gimmick employed by record companies that was not
heavily advertised. Picture discs. Marbled Vinyl. Flexi-disc. Even paper and laminated
cardboard records. Whatever could have a groove cut into it, they tried it. Even
chocolate. And the special turntables you needed to play them. And then when you
were bored, you could eat them. Each of these requires a certain process, and in fact,
none are all that more expensive than regular vinyl production. It doesn’t mean such
products played as well as your standard disc. And in most circumstances, especially
with picture discs, playability was not what was desired in buying it. You’re buying it
because it looked cool, and it was usually a one-of-a-kind issue. I have a George
Harrison, Got My Mind Set On You b/w Lay His Head 12” 45 picture disc. Never played it.
It’s not meant to be played! It’s meant to be looked at. Flexi-discs tended to be more
novelty than anything else, and an easy way to mass distribute a single through
periodicals mainly. They could also be functional, and practical, in the case of music
publishers providing a sound source to band leaders and orchestras, along with their
sheet music. Here’s the notation. Here’s the song. The flexi-disc was yesterday’s mp3.



In the Ultraviolet question, two methods listed above are relevant, and that is the
manufacture of coloured and marbled vinyl. We’ll get into that later. We also have to
look at what vinyl LPs are made of, and the process of mass distributing them.


An important step in the early manufacture of records, was moving from various
materials like hard rubber, to shellac. Shellac comes from the excretions of a Southeast
Asian Beetle. I have to take a brief aside and wonder what a Shellac Extractor made per
annum. And did they have to follow the beetle around, and how many beetles did it
take. Anyway! 25% Shellac comprised early records, along with a cotton compound like
manila paper, powdered slate, and a wax lubricant. I own one 78rpm Shellac record.
These things are heavy. Their mass production started in 1898, and continued on until
the 1950’s. In September 1931, RCA Victor introduced its new Victrolac compound,
vinyl based, and the long playing record. The Great Depression and Radio virtually killed
the idea of the LP, and record sales dropped so dramatically, it soured RCA’s vision of its
product being the standard. Only for awhile though.


This is when Columbia Records jumped in, and envisioned a way to make the playing
time longer than what RCA managed (RCA had 15 minutes, Columbia shot for 20).
Granted, they had to jump in truly after World War II, but when 1948 rolled around, it
was Columbia that revolutionised music purchased for home entertainment. In 1949,
RCA struck back with the 7” 45. Before researching these albums, I had not realised the
fierce competition between Columbia and RCA. And the competition was indeed fierce.
In looking for this effect on the many LPs I own, I did not find one that was on Columbia
Records. It got to the degree that if I came to an artist that was on Columbia, I was
already prepared to have nil results. RCA on the other hand, I was surprised when they
didn’t. (Depending on artist). The competition between Columbia and RCA continued on
beyond the LP, as they consistently found new ways to outdo eachother. It was fierce.
This is why it surprised me when I found that multiple record companies showed the
ultraviolet effect. What record company shares a trade secret with another record
company it’s in direct competition with for sales, yet neither company tells the
customers about what it’s selling? As if this was meant to be kept hidden. It’s a question
I’ve asked again and again, and I haven’t stopped asking it yet. Where does Commerce
step into this equation, and the multiple instances throughout gramophone history
where even chocolate was turned into a record?


Between RCA and Columbia, competition was so fierce, that even that little plastic
doohickey that adorned 45’s allowing you to place it on the turntable like any other
record was fought over. These two companies were not on friendly terms. And I doubt
that friendliness was shared with any other record company either. I cannot imagine
RCA and Capitol being buddies, when both have Columbia on their backs. The advantage
of teaming up is of course wise. But then again, implementing a process that makes your
product distinctive from everyone else’s is something you’d surely advertise. At least
once. And I believe you wouldn’t go telling your rival competitors how to do it.
Especially if they somehow improved the process, like Columbia did in RCA’s downfall
with the LP. I’m fairly sure RCA would not let that happen again. Ever. There were
probably dartboards with the Columbia logo as the bullseye in RCA canteens and
recreation rooms. And the RCA vs Columbia Golf Tournament. I don’t know if that ever
existed, but I like to imagine it did.


So we have the mighty Vinyl entering the market around 1930/1931. Most sources tell
you this is Polyvinyl Chloride. Or better known as PVC. And you know, no matter where I
look for information about the properties of PVC, ultraviolet is always brought up in
respects to it. An interesting fact about Vinyl LPs are; that if they are exposed to
ultraviolet light in excess, they will degrade through release of hydrochloric acid
. It’s
why collectors tell you to keep your LPs out of direct sunlight, and in darker places. Yet
here we have a process that reacts to ultraviolet light. Why would a manufacturer make
something that under the very conditions that would degrade the product, have that
product become uber-special? It is almost like that chocolate record. And then not tell
anyone, except for other record companies, so that they could do it too. But not all
record companies.


You can see why to me, it makes these albums not only highly collectible, but also one
of the biggest mysteries of the 20th century. How did they do this? What did they use,
and when did it start? One way to get to that answer is to look at the vinyl LP making
process.


We’re going to skip over the guys who make the music. And the guys who record that
music onto what was then reel to reel tape. We’re jumping ahead to where they make
the master disc. This is where the album you have sitting at home got its start. Well, a
version of your album, as each master disc is assigned a distinct number. It tells the
press operator, for one, which side is which. As the press operator, or the machine,
needs to make sure that Side A is A, and Side B is B, this distinct number called the
Matrix Number, is very important. It not only tells the manufacturer which side is which,
it also tells them what plant it was manufactured at. Sometimes what year. Sometimes
if it’s Mono or Stereo. Or even what classification of music it is. This matrix number for
the master discs is usually assigned by a single engineer. The guy or gal who sits with a
microscope poised over the lacquer disc, analysing the continuous groove being cut into
it.


This disc starts off as aluminium. Gritty, rough, unworkable at first, it is then smoothed
down to a polished sheen, then coated with Nitrocellulose lacquer. This is used on many
products, including instruments, going back to the 1920’s. Nitrocellulose was originally
known as guncotton, when used as a low explosive or propellant. It was highly
flammable, as it is made when cellulose is exposed to nitric acid. After the disc is
inspected for any defaults or imperfections, it’s then given a hole, and packed to go to
the studio where the recording awaits.


When it arrives at the studio, a guy or a gal sits there waiting for it. Back in the day (the  images are taken from a 1958 film about record manufacture for RCA Victor), audio
recordings were on reel to reel tape. The Lacquer Disc (Stage 1) is set on a turntable, affixed, and then is prepared for the audio. A lathe, with a sapphire tipped cutter, etches a
continuous groove into the disc once the recording starts. They constantly check to make sure the grooves are correct by looking through a microscope. Once the recording is done, this is then listened to for any errors or inconsistencies. If it’s good to go, the engineer writes a matrix number onto the deadwax area of the disc. This is a unique number for every LP
manufactured, even if it’s the same recording. To be explained later.


The Lacquer disc is then washed with soap and water, then sprayed with tin (II) chloride
and liquid silver. In the old days it used to be kept in liquid silver for over 2 minutes.
Then the electro plating process begins, where it’s given a coating of Nickel. Then given
a thin deposit of Copper, and then another thicker layer of Copper. Once the disc has
been separated from the deposits, the Master Disc is the result. It is an inverted version
of the Lacquer. The Master Disc cannot be played. The process the Lacquer Disc went through is then applied to the Master Disc. The deposits are pried loose, and the
new part is called The Mold. It is playable, just like the Lacquer Disc, because the Master Disc leaves its impressions in the Mold. The Master goes back again to the process of
layering deposits, but not before the Mold is cleaned and prepared to be played, checked for errors, and if ready; to go on to the next stage.


If the Mold has proven correct in the audio testing, it then goes to the final stage. It is
brought through the electro-plating process again to make The Stamper. This is
unplayable, and resembles the Master. This is what will be sent to the pressing plants
for manufacture. In truth it’s a third generation copy of the original Lacquer Disc, which
will be archived by the record company, but the Stamper differs from the others. By this
stage the disc is nearly pure Nickel. A Stamper is made for both sides 1 and 2 of the
recording, sent to the pressing plant where it is smoothed and trimmed of any excess
deposits before being put in the machine. The machine uses compression to mold the
final LP that is to be made.



In 1958, RCA Victor’s pressing plant in Indianapolis, Indiana could produce a quarter of a
million records a day. They also had plants in Rockaway, New Jersey, and Hollywood,
California. In 1967, Capitol’s Scranton, Pennsylvania plant could produce 50,000 LPs a
day. This number jumped up to 100,000 by the turn of the decade. Even with Capitol’s
four plants by 1970 (Scranton, Jacksonville, Winchester and Los Angeles), they would
sometimes utilise RCA’s massive production facilities to press records. Many local and
national independent labels approached RCA to press records, and the deadwax area
often tells you which of RCA’s pressing plants was enlisted to do the job. The deadwax
area would already have the unique number assigned to it by the engineer back at the
studio, which was written or stamped on the Lacquer Disc.


Any additional numbers in this area would most likely be written by someone at the
press, according to the job, whether RCA, or independent. Motown is an example of
this, where many of their records were pressed by RCA. In the deadwax area, you’d find
Motown’s original matrix number. And then a series of numbers signifying RCA’s
handling of the product. Or in the case of The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night”, on the
United Artists label as it was considered a soundtrack. United Artists did not have its
own pressing facility, and certain runs of the Stamper went to RCA for manufacture.

In the instances of coloured and marbled LPs, the process is truly no greater. As said
before, even with the Shellac LPs, coloured vinyl was in mass production as soon as they
figured out how to do it. RCA manufactured LPs in 8 different colours, until it got too
expensive. What would that expense be? It requires no more PVC than any regular LP
production. That number would remain the same. All you’re truly doing is taking PVC,
and giving it a pigment. Either from Primary, Secondary or Tertiary colours. I imagine the
cost comes in producing the stampers. With a standard black PVC production run, a
stamper is only going to have that one colour reproduced over and over again, on that
singular press. In the instance of having eight different colours, as RCA had for its entire
catalogue, this might require them to produce more stampers. Or more presses running
for each individual colour. I don’t know. I’m speculating on that. I imagine the
production expense would be in the stampers, and not the PVC pigments.
In the case of marbled LPs, the process only requires mixing 2 or more pigments
together. It produces a completely random effect for each LP, with no set pattern other
than the colours that appear. After RCA stopped mass producing coloured vinyl, the
trend to do so by them, and other companies, ran into the special items or collectible
category. It’s announced, packaged and sold as “collectible, one time only, special
product” to the consumers. They are limited run at best. Picture discs even moreso as
the process is completely different, as was laser etching. And in most instances, the
playability and sound of these discs were far inferior. They are merely novelty. Or a
creative enterprise undertaken by artist/label.


With the ultraviolet LPS, this was not the case. The PVC black, remains intact. The sound
quality does not suffer, nor does the quality of the record itself. It is in fact,
imperceptible, and difficult to distinguish from its siblings that don’t have this quality.
There is no difference, other than its properties when held under ultraviolet light.
Which, in turn, causes PVC to release hydrochloric acid, and begin to degrade. What’s
that all about? A product is given an attribute that designates it as different, but that
designation in turn destroys the product. That’s an Ourobouros. The thing that eats
itself in principle. I think.


It’s at this point I decide what the next chapter is going to be. Are we going to go back to
Sgt.Pepper, or are we going to discuss the reasons why this was done. As you’re reading
this now, the chapter headings on the second page already told you what I decided. But
I thought I’d bring you through that deliberation process as you read along. Because it is
deliberation indeed. I think I’m going to go with ….



In the Light, You Will Find the Road ...

~ DEADWAX CHRONICLES ~

When this came to me as a theory, it was like a light itself. It occurred to me that if you
could get a database of the matrix numbers, and a collection of data about which ones
DID glow, and which ones DIDN’T, finding a Pepper that glowed would be easier than,
well, finding anything with enough information. It didn’t have to be a needle in a
haystack approach. It didn’t have to be risk. It could be entirely systematic, and with an
error rate so low, that one could guarantee to get one on first attempt. That was the
idea that came to me. So off I went.


I approached some of the people who were still active at this site, as I educated myself
about the manufacturing of LPs. Particularly the history of Capitol Records and their
pressing plants. Scranton, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Winchester. What their symbols
were. How long they stayed open for. As I’m a fairly impatient person when waiting for
others, this education sometimes was done at a fairly great speed. I pour over things in
a fury, because I don’t want to wait. I send an email to a stranger, and after 3 days it still
remains unanswered. In my mind I say, does this person even come to this site
anymore? Do they receive notifications? What if they don’t want to answer? And as
these questions build up in my head, it only fuels that search for education, where I try
and eliminate needing that person entirely from the equation. If you cannot be my
resource, I will bypass you. It’s really that simple. There’s nothing malicious about it, or
vindictive. I simply want to know what I’m asking. And I want to know it now. Not next
Tuesday. Not tomorrow. Not even an hour from now. I want it now. And if I can’t get it
from you, asking as nicely as possible, I will launch myself into Learn Everything In An
Hour 101, until I’m almost an expert and hold my own against the anoraks and
collectors in the world. It’s not my goal to do that. I just want to know what the matrix
number is of the one you purchased that FAILED, and the one you purchased that
SUCCEEDED. And that’s it. In the interim, I will find out as much as I can about
everything, until you get back to me. If you don’t get back to me, my mind automatically
takes you out of the equation, and I seek a different method of attaining what I want.
Just not from you.


It all sounds fairly relentless. But, it’s the way I’m built. In truth, I like it. Yes I get
stressed out. Yes I get temperamental. Yes I lose all patience entirely and begin shouting
to the clouds. But I get there in the end. And usually, most times, it’s through my own
efforts. It’s not my fault that everyone can’t match my passion for finding something
out. Not my fault at all. They just may be interested in other things. Different strokes.
One of the questions that occurred to me in this relentless pursuit of education, while
waiting for someone to get back to me about deadwax stuff, was “How was this process
done?” I mean, what is it? Is this radioactive? Is it a mineral? A liquid based solution?
What makes this album do what it does, and almost 50 years later, STILL do it. Now
granted, LPs don’t usually stay in direct sunlight that often. They’re taken out, played,
put back, and then repeat at completely random intervals. So being worn away of its
effect, can’t truly be applied. But any gimmick type black light LP I ever saw, where it
was fully advertised such a thing had this process done, looked … well. Cheap. And it
faded. It looked like a gimmick, it acted like a gimmick, and it was forgotten by the
public just as quick. Sgt. Pepper Ultraviolet was no gimmick. I don’t know actually know
what it was. But Capitol Records saw fit not to tell anyone they had done it.


And then that question entered my mind. What record company DOESN’T advertise a
new process its implemented, which may have cost extra time and money to do so, and
then doesn’t capitalise on it? Because surely advertising “Hey Kids! Some Sgt. Peppers
are crazy wacky cool, and glow in the dark. See if you can find a copy! Collect the whole
set!
” (Because who knows. Maybe it came in different colours.)



I mean look at it. How cool would that be back in 1967, to bring this home, try out your
black light, and then call your friends and say “HEY! I got one!” And they all came over,
in the days before YouTube, and Emails. Riding their bikes, leaving them all in your front
yard, in a mad race to get in the house; first to check out your Sgt. UltraPepper.

Honestly. It’s the American UV Dream. And a cash cow to be sure. Why did Capitol not
tell anyone about these? Did this process cost extra? Was it a danger to the consumer?
Did The Beatles themselves know about it? And reading about the tales of trying to find
one, a constant fact kept prevailing.


The Beatles British LPs didn’t do it.


These were solely an American production. Whatever process undertaken to do such
things to an LP, were not shared worldwide, or even with EMI / Parlophone. So maybe
The Beatles were completely unaware of it. If this was true, how valuable would this LP
be? How many were out there? When did this process start? When did it end? Is it just
this album alone? Why The Beatles? Did it have something to do with Paul Is Dead?
See? These aren’t the questions someone listening to “Jet” for the 504th time asks
themselves. They’re too busy rocking out, ain’t they. It would get to Matrix number, and
then their list of Keanu Reeves movies they liked and disliked would roll out. Meanwhile
I’d get frustrated and storm off. Probably. So I struggled with this awhile. What company
implements a brand new process, undetectable in natural light, disperses said product
to the consumer without telling them, and then … lets it go. Nowhere in my readings of
business practice, or numerous examples of corporations latching on to any fad that
happens to limp along slowly enough to get caught, lets opportunities pass by. This was
an opportunity. They did not act on it. And that puzzled me to no end. It totally goes
against every capitalistic ideal I’d ever heard, seen or known about. Even as a consumer
that may fall prey to such manipulations of want, and must have. I had baseball cards as
a kid. They were just bits of cardboard with a picture on them, and stats. Lots of stats.
But I collected them, just like any other boy in my neighbourhood. And getting THIS
card, or trading THAT player, for THIS player, to get the entire team, or homerun record
breakers; was paramount. We are born into a culture that likes to own. We like
possessions. We like collecting. We like being experts on one thing, or the source for all
things particular to a fashion, trend, or pursuit. It’s purpose. It’s meaning. We are told it
helps define us. “He was an avid collector of Nazi Germany regalia.” Not many collect
such things, and of course the stigma behind collecting such artefacts makes you almost
pariah in society. But it’s part of history. And people do collect these things. Like they
collect arrowheads, and get out their metal detectors. Or save all their stamps from the
days of snail mail.


Everything about this Sgt. Pepper Ultraviolet LP says COLLECT. It’s a process unheard of,
never advertised, never capitalised upon, and the collectability of such an item has an
untold potential. As said, those who sell a Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,
manufactured by Capitol Records in the USA, Mono, with “A Little Help From My
Friends” on the label, can sell these still in the shrinkwrap it was bought in, for
anywhere up to $1500.00 and beyond. In this instance, these collectors have to break
that seal, open up the album, purchase a black light; and see if it glows. Goodbye
$1500.00. It is now null and void. But … what is it worth now?

Well, that I can’t tell you. 


Because I went looking endlessly for information on these albums, or to see if anyone was even selling one. I could find nothing. Other than what was found at those nutty, conspiracy loving, Paul Is Dead sites. And these people had no interest in selling them either. Neither would I personally. This was because, at the time, I believed Sgt. Pepper, MONO, was the only LP that did this.

I was wrong. It was a few weeks later that someone alerted me to a person on YouTube
who had uploaded a video of the OTHERS he had found in The Beatles catalogue. I had
already decided by this point, that I was going to try and obtain as many Peppers as I
could that did this. The Matrix number solution had already been discovered, extensive
research told me that the number may be very limited as to how many were out there.
And here was a person telling everyone on YouTube about what he had found. Granted,
the video had been up for almost three years, and only had over 500 views. To me, that
was 500 too many. Not when I had a plan in mind. And not when he was only showing
one copy of each he had found. The OTHER Beatles albums that did this. Which up until
that point, I was unaware of. And either the people who had tried to get a Pepper, were
satisfied thinking this was the only LP that did it, or had tried others only to get negative
results, is probable. He owned about 5 altogether. So I contacted him, urging him to
take the video down. Did I have right to do so? No not at all! At the same time, the best
way I could put it to him was this.


You are showing people albums that glow in ultraviolet light, which you picked up at tag
sales, and garage sales, or somewhere, for no more than $5. And you are showing them
when you only have one copy of each. When you can pick up more for those same
prices. Unless of course, you go showing everyone these things, and wiping out your
market completely. Eventually he understood, and he turned out to be a very cool
person. And completely and utterly helpful in the search for such things. So here I was,
still in awe of the Pepper That Glowed, meanwhile understanding this process had been
going on all along. Pepper was not special, it was a series of LPs like this. And under the
same rules. Only certain ones were going to do it. And that’s when I began trying to
figure out, what that process was.


Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, something clicked. Another light went on. If there
was going to be any band that had something freaky on their LPs, what other band
would that be? My first thought was Pink Floyd. My Meddle (1972) and Animals (1977) both showed that at one time they had the effect. I hadn’t seen what we’ll call RESIDUAL up until this point. I’d only seen the full on, complete disc covered effect. Discovering Residual was an important stepping stone. It got me to think, well, if it’s Pink Floyd too, then it could be …. And then I began going through my entire record collection.

And that’s when Commerce and Capitalism went out the window. Because what I saw
informed me that a record company not only started a completely new process
undetectable to the consumer, not tell that consumer whatsoever it had done it,
therefore decreasing profit potential derived from such fantastic things in
technology/production, but it also SHARED that process with other record companies,
who in turn, did the same practice and did not capitalise on the possible profits gained
from such things. It was a conspiracy now!


Maybe not a conspiracy, but it suggested to me that this was implausible as a
commercial enterprise, novelty, or gimmick. This was something I imagine no
corporation would ever do. They were not bothered in telling consumers about this
technique, and more interested in sharing it with competitors for those same very
customers, and not the money. This was … Art? It surely wasn’t Commerce. It said Art
for Art’s Sake, but this axiom in the corporate world does not jibe. Especially with an act
like The Beatles. Capitol Records and the American market saturated every single store
with whatever they could to earn capital from this band. But they let this go? Highly
doubtful. In fact, downright implausible to conceive. There was something more to this.
Much, much more.


Unfortunately, we have to go to the boring chapter now. Because we have to look at the
record manufacturing process to see, or at least hazard a guess, as to when this special
treatment took place. And maybe what it was. Since no one bothered to tell us.