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. Some of these reissues are easily distinguishable from their original counterparts, while others are not.
Some first pressings have messages etched into the dead wax (runnout section) of the vinyl. Others have different logos or altered text, or they're printed on heavier stock. Some need side by side comparisons to distinguish the originals from the reissues, but unfortunately, you never get to hold them side by side in real life -- especially when you're digging around some used record store trying to determine if the single you just found in the bargain bin is an original issue or not!
Breathing (shown above) is one of the easier ones to spot. First pressings of the discs are easily identifiable -- they all have "We all share the same air" etched into the dead wax on side A, and "Happy Anniversary to the P's" etched into the dead wax on side B. Original pressings also have a slightly different mix of the song, but it takes a close side-by-side comparison to hear them.
Original sleeves were printed on glossy, coated card stock with angled thumb notches (above left). Reissues were printed on paper stock with rounded thumb notches (above right). The obvious difference in paper weight and the dead wax messages on both sides of the disc make original Breathing singles fairly easy to distinguish from later pressings.
If you have any questions or comments about the differences between the first pressings and reissues, please send me a note.