Record releases: do numbered copies mean much?

I asked this (admittedly idle-thoughts) question over on Hoffman, having recieved #441/5000 of Marquee Moon. How meaningful is having a low number on the cover, given the total release figure? The number applies to the sleeve rather then the disc. This applies to major label releases in the 1000’s rather than the small independents runs ( ie Up In Smoke), where the total press presumably comes nowhere near exhausting the lacquer…

I was surprised, and happy to get #441: I like having a low number! But does it really matter seeing as the record itself is actually just random within the 001-5000 range?

More to do with collecting (even though the number is meaningless) than listening I guess…

I bet the Hoffmen devoured this.

Nah…one reply…but it wasn’t a specific thread and I didn’t mention The Beatles :laughing:


Iron Maiden Live at Donington is a strange one for numbered sleeves.
According to Iron Maiden fan club secretary Keith Wilfort, it was originally deicided to be released in 10,000 copies, and so the covers were printed first, but the pressing stopped at 5,000! Hence there are some covers with number between 5,001 - 10,000, but there are only 5,000 copies. This pressing mistake also left an unknown quantity of the copies unnumbered, which are now sought after mispresses.

I find these limited number releases rather annoying, if I miss out on getting a copy.

I don’t give much of a thought to what the number might be, as long as I get my hands on the record concerned.

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If the number on the cover bore any relevance to the disc inside, an earlier number makes sense…however…

The Electric Ladyland 2010 ( I think it was) reissue had the first xxx copies in a numbered cover, the rest of that pressing in un-numbered. Exact same record: I bought a un-numbered first and a numbered copy a bit later, thinking they were different in some way!

But…I kept the numbered :man_shrugging:t4: as part of my Ladyland ‘collection’…

Ringo’s copy of the Beatles White album, number 0000001 sold at auction in 2015 for a record $790k.

That’s utterly mad!

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True. Apparently he also said that it was played a lot at the time and would have his fingerprints on it. Not a mint copy!

I’ll bet the new owner won’t be letting it anywhere near an RCM…


I greatly doubt that #1 out of a set of 1,000 sounds any better than #1000. The records and sleeves are produced separately from each other, probably in different locations and at different times. It’s highly unlikely that the sequence of records matches the sequence of numbers when the two come together.

That said, it’s common for the numbered versions to be issued first, and unnumbered versions to be issued after an interval - e.g. DG Original Source - sometimes at a lower price. If the unnumbered ones are unlimited and an actual second pressing, then it stands to reason that the numbered ones should sound better.

As an aside, I’ve noticed an increasing tendency for recent releases to be described as “limited edition,” but without numbering and without even an indication as to what that limit is. This seems like a cynical ploy to cash in on the vinyl boom.

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Well, I’m not selling my number 0000000…

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I have pondered over this as well. I do tend to agree with @Corry and suspect that it could be just cashing in, though I hope not, as I like the idea of limited releases.

I have only one numbered LP. After listening to Yard Act doing a live set for Steve Lamacq on BBC R6M I ordered the album straight away. There was the normal press and a variety of limited presses on offer. As I was so impressed by the live set I ordered the most ‘exclusive’ press, of 300 Assai Records Edition, with the expectation that it is a better quality press.

I can’t verify if it is any better but it is nice to have one of a limited edition, number 33 of 300. The obi is also signed by the band.

I also have a ‘rare’ Patti Smith bootleg of only 750 presses, though it is not numbered. I’m not interested if they have any monitory value as I just like and want them and they will not ever be going up for sale.

I have a few other albums that are worth a fair bit, though they are neither limited editions or numbered, just rare and desirable.

Bit it is nice to have something that is low numbered of limited release.

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