I recently obtained an unusual copy of Ray’s first album, the 10″ lp, “An Evening in Copenhagen”. I had seen photos of another copy of this release before, but it was interesting to see it up close.
The jacket uses different artwork than the normal pressing of the album and features a drawing of a unicorn. Ray’s name and the record label aren’t mentioned on the cover. The cover is the same on both the front and back.
Curiously, the labels on the record are different from the usual pressing of the discs – it doesn’t mention “UTC Records” nor Ray’s name, but does have “UTC” in the record number. The label is white – others seen are gold colored – but the typestyle is like the normal pressing. Collector J.D. Doyle sent me a photo of a copy he has that includes the words “SAMPLE – Not for Sale” stamped on the labels.
This pressing appears to use the same pressing plates as the normal 10″ issue of the album – there’s no difference in the recordings included and the matrix numbers notations look the same as the more common copies.
What’s most curious is that the pressing isn’t made of vinyl – it’s made a styrene, a cheaper substitute that was often used for children’s records or ultra-cheap compilation 78s of hit songs issued by labels in the 50s recorded by “sound alike” artists. Collector Michael Biel has run into a 10″ shellac ls on the budget Royale label from the early 50s. Perhaps these were pressed by the same company.
There’s no documentation of why this version was made. It could have been the initial release of the album, an unauthorized bootleg, or an alternate version made for another reason.