Frankie say, merge, don't do it?

Another one, as I pick through my collection. I believe these are likely the same release. They are:

  • A two-12" 7+9 track U.S. release, which is connected to well-documented recordings; and
  • A two-12" 8+9 track U.S. release, whose recordings don’t look connected, that includes a “(tag)” track at the end of side B, and that has better release-level metadata.

The physical track does actually exist, at least on my disc; I can see it on the record. It’s not documented as a track anywhere in liner notes or disc labels. My barcode matches the 8+9 (the 7+9 has none); the catalog numbers are the same. Neither has any attached photos (the covers below appear to come from the release group).

Are these the same release and should be merged? If not, which one am I holding? I can attach additional photos and info and fix track casing, but I’d do this only to the release matching my disc in hand.

If they’re two separate releases, should the recordings be merged so that both releases are comparably documented?

This is mainly a problem with how the vinyl is split. There is no ultimate correct split, so I would leave them separate and write an annotation.

But these two releases should not be merged anyway!

According to the linked Discogs releases, these were made by different manufacturers (Specialty Records Corporation and Allied Record Company). Releases from different pressing plants should not be merged by definition: What should be added as multiple releases?


You can easily find out looking at the runout. Allied pressings have SPAR or SP-AR etched into the runouts - SRC pressings have not.
These are certainly the same records (same masters) - how they should be split is subjective.

Yes, except B3

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Excellent, thank you. I’ll include a runout photo when I figure out which I have.


Really?! That’s great. I do that, but otherwise there aren’t many runout photos in the database

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I’m not in the habit of doing it, but I’m only now beginning to understand the role they play in sifting releases. So for this, or that other thing I ran into with nearly identical releases, I’ll put them up. (The other one I finally figured out from putting a microscope on the back cover, but a runout would have made it clear.)

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For the Britney Spears example you don’t need a microscope to distinguish US and European versions, but even in this case different manufacturers can be read from the runout.

Both records were plated (and probably lacquer cut) at GZ Media, Loděnice, CZ¹. Records pressed by MRP have additional code engraved and can be identified by codes such as “A4”. Records (probably) pressed by GZ Media have no additional code.

¹) records have both Loděnice and Memphis cat#s in the runouts (