Ahhh it’s unofficially summer!
As we speak it’s a clear, sunny early June day, a slight breeze is blowing through the air bringing the first smells of summer wafting through the windows.
And of course with the advent of spring and summer and good weather that means flea markets and garage sales! And that my dear friends means more records!!!
Today I’m going to take a look at three later day pressings of Paul McCartney and Wings 1975 album “Venus and Mars” which I recently found while out and about in the sunshine.
No other Paul McCartney album reminds me of summer more that “Venus and Mars”.
You see, I was nine years old when this album came out in the summer of 1975 and I remember that you couldn’t turn on the radio and go five minutes without hearing “Listen to What the Man Said” which was the number 1 hit from this album.
It was ALL OVER the radio on those hot summer days from long ago (yikes, forty three years ago- ahhhh, it can’t be!)
And weirdly enough a long lost memory just popped into my head this morning as I was getting this post ready. I was taking a diving/swimming class (my mother couldn’t swim so we were ALWAYS taking swimming classes) at Tri-State college in Angola, IN and remember hearing “Listen to What the Man Said” while waiting my turn to dive.
Funny the memories that get jogged loose but needless to say you couldn’t escape “Listen to What the Man Said” it was a radio mainstay in the summer of 1975.
So, long story short, “Venus and Mars” means summer to me and as I usher in another summer I present three pressings of that album that I found in the last few weeks.
All three pressings are later pressings than the 1975 original and all three are lovely.
The first pressing I found was a 1989 UK pressing of “Venus and Mars” on EMI’s budget Fame label. At least I’m guessing this pressing is from 1989 as it has 5/89 printed on the white inner sleeve of the album (see above).
Anyway, this is the first Fame pressing of a Paul McCartney album I’ve found and it sounds superb! The cover is a bit worn but the vinyl is in terrific shape.
This later pressing does not contain the two posters and two stickers that came with the original pressing nor the colorful inner sleeve but sound wise it’s great!
The next copy I stumbled upon was a 1984 pressing on Columbia Records.
McCartney was signed to the Columbia Records (CBS) label in the United States from 1979 to 1984 and quite a few of his earlier Capitol/EMI albums were reissued on Columbia Records for a short period of time including “Venus and Mars”.
This copy of “Venus and Mars” (with the catalog number of PC 36801) comes with the colorful inner sleeve which is printed on glossy paper but no stickers or posters.
Again, the vinyl in this pressing is in great shape and sounds wonderful as well. I would give the edge to the Fame UK pressing but this one is no slouch, it sounds nice and warm with nice bass.
My latest “Venus and Mars” discovery came this past weekend as I found ANOTHER CBS pressing of “Venus and Mars” this time from 1980.
This 1980 CBS version contains all the stickers and posters as well as the colorful inner sleeve which is made of a thicker card stock like the original Capitol US pressing from 1975.
The bonus for this pressing is that it’s practically new, still in the shrink wrap with the hype sticker still attached (as readers of this blog know I LOVE hype stickers lol!)
The only odd thing is that while the posters inside are mint the stickers have begun to have some sort of bleed through as they are unused but slightly discoloring.
At least the vinyl is mint and is the same sound quality as the later 1984 CBS pressing.
Funny enough, I’ve rarely seen Columbia vinyl pressings of McCartney’s Capitol albums and in the space of a few weeks found two of the same album!
With the exception of not including the stickers and posters, this 1980 CBS pressing has the exact same cover as the 1984 issue only with a different catalog number – JC 36801.
For those Wings fans out there looking for a later pressing of “Venus and Mars” you can’t go wrong with any of the above issues. I’m sure they’re probably in better shape than 1975 Capitol pressings so it may be worth the hunt.
I must confess I have a weakness for albums still in the shrink wrap so I’m very happy to have found the 1980 pressing in such good shape!
Until next time Happy Early Summer and remember – Listen to what the man said, he said …