Led Zeppelin/first pressing?

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Question
I'm not entirely sure how to tell the earlier pressings from the later ones, but my copy i ran across in a flea market seems to be one of those rarities that needs answered.... it has the markings on side one: AT st-a702005-a (1) one mastercraft pr (the p and r overlap) -so mote be it- and side two: AT st-a702006-a (2) two Mastercraft PR (legible this time) PR -do what thou wilt-

Answer
Hi Andrew

There has been some confusion in the past as to whether or not this was a first pressing, a lot of it having to do with the "mastercraft" tag.  Glad you mentioned the overlapping "PR", as that points to it being one an early (probably not THE first) U.S. pressing from 1970.  Here is an example of a record with similar matrix features:

http://www.homeofrecords.com/vinyl_records_browse_auction_auction2470

I'm pretty sure there was another 702005 pressing in 1977, but the additional matrix information was different. Sometimes it's easy to tell an early pressing from a later one.  Definitely not the case with LZ III.  

Hope this helps,
Mike

Led Zeppelin

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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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