First Pressings vs. Reissues
In January, 1984, EMI released The Single File, a limited collection of Kate's UK singles released to date, packaged with a 16 page photo/lyric booklet in a custom, cardboard box. In addition to the 12 singles released up to that point, it also contained Ne T'enfuis Pas -- the only place you'll find a UK pressing of this single to this day.
Early Kate singles were highly collectible and becoming increasingly scarce by the time The Single File was released, so a number of dealers simply sold the contents of the box set as 13 separate singles. Many of these reissues are easily distinguishable from their original counterparts, while others, like the one shown above, are not.
Some originals have messages etched into the dead wax (runnout section) of the vinyl. Others have different logos or altered text. Unfortunately, some need side by side comparisons to distinguish the originals from the reissues.
Babooshka (shown above) is one of the most difficult to distinguish. Discs and front sleeves are identical; there are no dead wax messages or other readily apparent markings to indicate an original pressing.
Held side by side, you'll notice the paper stock of the original is a little heavier, but you never get to hold them side by side in real life -- especially when you're digging around in some used record store trying to determine if the single you just found in the bargain bin is an original issue or not!
Unlike some of the other early singles, the rear sleeves of Babooshka are practically identical as well, making them even more difficult to differentiate. If you look closely, you'll notice the thumb notch on the first pressing (above left) is angular; while the notch on the reissue (above right) is rounded. Sharp eyes will also notice the tip of Kate's guitar is covered by the sleeve's flap on the reissues. These are nominal differences at best, so a wise collector may wish to avoid seeking out an original pressing on this one.
If you have any questions or comments about the differences between the first pressings and reissues, please send me a note.