First Pressings vs. Reissues

Hammer Horror First Pressing (front)

Hammer Horror First Pressing (rear)

First Pressing

Hammer Horror Reissue (front)

Hammer Horror Reissue (rear)


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.

Hammer Horror (shown above) is one such example. First pressings of the discs are easily identifiable -- they all have "We're all playing a hunch" etched into the dead wax on side A; and the workmanship on some of the box sets was so shoddy, some of the labels on the reissues are missing entirely!

But the sleeves are a little tougher to distinguish. Held side by side, you'll notice the paper stock of the original is a little heavier, and the Kate image is a little sharper. 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!

In the case of Hammer Horror, spotting an original sleeve is actually quite simple -- IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR. Take a close look at the two rear sleeves. The one on the left has an angled thumb notch, but the one on the right has a rounded one. First pressings of Hammer Horror (and many of Kate's other early UK singles) feature angled thumb notches; box set reissues do not.

If you have any questions or comments about the differences between the first pressings and reissues, please send me a note.

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