With this year’s National Album Day set for 12th October – one of the events being staged as part of a week-long build up that will celebrate our nation’s love of the album will be a ‘White Label’ Auction of around 300 white-label LP test pressings.
The auction – the first of its kind to be held – will take place the weekend prior on Saturday, 5th October at 11.00am. It will be hosted live onsite/online for UK and international collectors by the music memorabilia and vinyl records specialists Omega Auctions from their Newton-Le-Willows (Merseyside) base. The auction is also being supported by Record Collector magazine.
The explosion in sales of vinyl in recent years has created a wealth of ‘white label’ test pressings – produced to ensure the sound quality is as the artist intended and so called because there is no sleeve/label artwork at this stage. With as few as 5 or 10 of each being produced, these first-off-the-press copies are typically checked by artists and their representatives and are much sought after by fans and collectors.
The breadth of British music will be represented in the sale, including early 60s/70s recordings from David Bowie (Decca), The Who (My Generation), Eric Clapton (Slowhand), Dusty Springfield (Dusty in Memphis) and The Specials (The Specials – signed), to more contemporary offerings such as a signed copy of No.6 Collaborations Project by Ed Sheeran. There will also be discs from the likes of Liam Gallagher (As You Were), Coldplay (The Butterfly Package – signed), Paul Weller (Stanley Road), Arctic Monkeys (Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino), Kylie Minogue (Step Back in Time), 2019 Mercury Prize shortlisted Foals (Everything Lost Will Not Be Saved Part 1) and Anna Calvi (Hunter) among others. One of this year’s National Album Day ‘album champions’, Mark Ronson (Late Night Feelings), also features. See more details further below.
With artist and artist management support, a number of the UK’s major and independent record labels and companies, including Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, BMG, Domino Records, Blue Raincoat Music, Cherry Red, Kobalt Music, Sour Mash and Ignition have joined forces for this year’s National Album Day to pull together a selection of white-label items.
The auction will raise funds to support the work of music industry charity The BRIT Trust – which promotes education and wellbeing through music.
Johnny Chandler, Catalogue A&R Director at UMC, Universal Music UK, who came up with the idea, said: “It’ll be wonderful if, by auctioning these rarities, we can raise funds to support the amazing work of The BRIT Trust, whilst celebrating the ‘art of the album’ through National Album Day. If all goes to plan I hope as long as interest in vinyl continues, the industry can make this auction a regular event.”
Paul Fairweather, Auctioneer, Omega Auctions, said: “Omega are delighted to be able to support this historic auction. We’ve built our success on the continued selling power of the vinyl LP, and we’re excited to be involved in this initiative to champion a format we all love. It’s unprecedented to have a collection of white label titles of this size up for auction and we’re certain that collectors will be as excited as we are when the full catalogue is published.”
The final list is still being added to, and can be viewed on www.omegaauctions.co.uk/
. Among the white label discs that fans will be able to bid for are various recordings released or reissued mostly since 2014, including around 20 that are artist-signed:
Arctic Monkeys (Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino), Richard Ashcroft (Natural Rebel), Rick Astley (Beautiful Life), Bastille (Doom Days and others), Biffy Clyro (Balance Not Symmetry), David Bowie (Early Decca recordings), Buzzcocks (Another Music in a Different Kitchen and others), Anna Calvi (Hunter), Eric Clapton (Slowhand and others), Clean Bandit (What Is Love?), Coldplay (The Butterfly Package – signed), Cream (Disraeli Gears and others), Nick Drake (Family Tree and others), The Fall (New Facts Emerge), Foals (Everything Lost Will Not Be Saved Part 1), Franz Ferdinand (Always Ascending and others), Free (Alright Now), Liam Gallagher (As You Were and others), Rory Gallagher (Rory Gallagher and others), Genesis (Selling England by the Pound and others), Hot Chip (A Bath Full of Ecstasy), The Human League (Reproduction – signed and others), The Jam (Live At The Music Machine), James (Living in Extraordinary Times – signed), Lenny Kravitz (Raise Vibration), Lianne La Havas (Blood), Manic Street Preachers (Resistance is Futile), John Martyn (Solid Air and others), Kylie Minogue (Step Back in Time), Sinead O’Connor (I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got), Primal Scream (Maximum Rock’n’Roll Volumes 1 & 2), Public Image Ltd (incl. 4-LP Album), Mark Ronson (Late Night Feelings), Roxy Music (Avalon and others), Royal Blood (Royal Blood), Jack Savoretti (Singing to Strangers), Sex Pistols (Never Mind The Bollocks and others), Ed Sheeran (No.6 Collaborations – signed), Simple Minds (New Gold Dream and others), Snow Patrol (When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clean Up This Mess), The Specials (The Specials – signed and others), The Streets (Remixe4s & B Sides Too – signed), Dusty Springfield (Dusty in Memphis), Thin Lizzy (Live and Dangerous – signed and others), T-Rex (Electric Warrior), KT Tunstall (Wax and others), Ultravox (Ha! Ha! Ha! And others), The Verve (Urban Hymns and others), Paul Weller (Stanley Road), Whitesnake (Slip of the Tongue – signed and others), The Who (My Generation and others) and many more.