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Led Zeppelin/Led Zeppelin II Blank Label

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QUESTION: Hello: Trying to find some info on Led Zeppelin II album SD 8236.Side one label under tracks it has ST-A-691671CTH.It appears to be an original pressing due to Track 4 (Thank You)time incorrectly listed as 3:50.My question is that the side Two label is blank.It is the same Atlantic label as front except that it does say "Two" but there are no tracks no titles ,And I mean absolutely nothing. Is this rare or common? Thank You for your time.

ANSWER: Hi

The almost-blank label on side 2 is something I have not seen sold or offered by collectors, so in a sense, it's a rarity.  However, there were many different labeling errors from the early LZ II pressings, so the mislabeled side two doesn't particularly drive up its desirability.  Only the famous "Living Lovin' Wreck" misprint has seen exceptional bids in auctions, mostly due to it being a subset of the UK first pressing.

In any case, you have either the first U.S. pressing or its subsequent "do over".  The very first U.S. pressing had "RL SS" scratched in the run-off portion of the vinyl ("deadwax").  The subsequent run did not have these codes, but used a differently mastered plate, despite also having ST-A-691671CTH on its label.  You'll have to inspect the deadwax area of the vinyl for "RL SS" to see if your copy is a true U.S. first pressing. These copies have been averaging around $100-$150, and other ST-A-691671CTH pressings (without "RL SS"), quite a bit less.

Overall, the labeling error is a curiosity, but one of many.  The fact that you might have the absolute first U.S. pressing of the album is likely to be more intriguing in terms of rarity.

-Mike



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mike thanks for your quick response. As far as the dead wax is concerned . Side one does have the "RL SS" but side two has "LH SS".Side two has "ST-A-691672-DH " with side two also having an O and a T in different locations.Side  one has ST-A-691671-1A with a T in different location.Maybe this will help Identify it better. Should have included in first question ,Sorry.

Answer
Ok - the "LH SS" indicates that side two was from a mastered plate by Lee Hulko at Sterling Sound.  This was somewhat of a "re-do" of Robert Ludwig's aggressive mastering which caused some inexpensive phonograph needles to skip.  Here's some detailed information, in case you're interested in investigating:

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/archive/index.php/t-73450-p-14.html  

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Mike Caldwell

Expertise

I have been a lifetime Led Zeppelin researcher (not just fan). Have gained a strong reputation as an appraiser of their rare records and memorabilia. For various reasons, I cannot respond to emails sent to my personal account, but I will always respond to questions posted here!

Experience

Countless hours of biographical research and personal interaction with relevant individuals. Avid contributor to Led Zeppelin newsgroups since 1997 (check Google groups!)

Publications
Bullseye News Magazine. The Vapid Voice.

Education/Credentials
Masters Degree, Computer Science. Bachelor's Degree, Psychology.

Awards and Honors
Several literary awards.

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