Stones on DECCA

Let It Bleed

Mono LK5025 / Stereo SKL5025

Issued on December 5th of 1969

LIB was released on December 5th of 1969, the day before Altamont was bleeding. Musically this is one of the best Stones LP’s ever made. It has a lot of strong titles on it and as a matter of fact all songs has at some point been included in the concert set lists during the “modern touring era” of the band, being the last twenty five years or so. It also features two musicians that never met in person, Brian Jones and Mick Taylor. I did personally ask Taylor about this a few years back and he confirmed it to be so.

Let It Bleed is also a wonderful LP to collect as there are lots of versions existing. The LP sold in large quantities for a number of years, resulting in lots of reprints. Another contributing factor is that it came out just around the time when lots of production changes were taking place at Decca. Label change from non-boxed to boxed and mono production was about to be dropped. This is also the first LP where you can say that the boxed logo is an original. You could probably have found four different LIBs in the shops at the same time in the beginning of 1970, Mono non boxed and boxed, Stereo non boxed and boxed.

By having a look on matrix, mother and stamper numbers together with label type it also gives an indication that non-boxed and boxed logos were in production on the same time. I have a boxed with -1W matrix and a non boxed with a -5W matrix in my collection.

In addition to the label versions there are a number of other things to look out for. The cover has lots of differences, so has the inner bag. You also have the famous poster, the poster stickers and the poster text on the cover. Taking into consideration all differences found on LIB, you may easily end up with a collection with something like 25-30 different LP’s.

Vinyl versions

Non grooved label

Only non-grooved labels are existing of LIB as the grooved label type was not in production after summer of 1968. No other vinyl versions are existing on Let It Bleed either.

Cover versions

Then again, the cover of Let It Bleed is another story. Lots of versions are existing. To be noted is that the same cover was used for Mono and Stereo LP’s in 1969 and 1970. The three first versions could be found either with a mono or a stereo LP inside. The fourth sleeve, Clout and Baker, was without the hole and only for Stereo LP’s.

Printed By

There are four different “Sleeve printed” versions.

“Sleeve printed in England” is found only on covers having the Mono / Stereo hole in the upper right corner. In use probably 1969 and 1970.

“Senol Printing Limited” is probably the first company that did LIB sleeves. This cover is found only with the Mono / Stereo hole in the upper right corner. In use probably 1969.

The majority of sleeves are made by “Upton Printing Group”. Both Mono and Stereo LP’s can be found with this cover. All of them has the Mono / Stereo hole in the upper right corner.

“Clout & Baker Ltd” covers can be found from mid 70’s and for the remaining Decca production. No Mono / Stereo holes on these covers and naturally, only Stereo LP’s inside.

The upper right corner

The Mono / Stereo hole was in production from 1969 until early 70’s
Red inner bag = red in the hole = Mono LP inside = catalogue number LK5025
Blue inner bag = blue in the hole = Stereo LP inside = catalogue number SKL5025
“Printed in England” / “Senol Printing Limited” / “Upton Printing Group” covers all had this hole

“Clout & Baker Ltd” covers from end of 70’s have (POSTER INCLUDED) text added. LP’s inside are still blue DECCA Stereo boxed labels. No Clout & Baker covers have been found with the Mono / Stereo hole.

“Clout & Baker Ltd” covers from early 80’s has no Poster Included text. The vinyl is with silver coloured labels.

Inner bag Versions

All original LIB’s have an innerbag like this. Songs and personnel on the songs are listed. Red bag for Mono and blue bag for Stereo.

Shortly after the issue of the LP, The London Bach Choir got upset with something on the LP and they did not want their name to be associated with the record anymore. A quick fix of the situation was that Decca covered up The London Bach Choir with a big black bar. This was done on both Mono and Stereo bags.

Original bag

“London Bach Choir” cover up

The London Bach Choir was then left out on later inner bags. This corrected version is known only on Stereo bags.

Poster

The poster was included in all original first prints from end of 1969 and 1970. Most of the original posters were made on a glossy paper but there are exceptions, at least a few LP’s sold in Sweden in 1969 were with matte posters.
Many of the reprints from 1978 were made on a matte thin paper and did not have the same glossy shine as the original ones. Occasionally you may also find 1978 poster on very thick and rather glossy paper.
There must have been a large amount of posters printed, maybe more than one million, so for sure many different variants of papers were used.

The sticker on the left was used in 1969 and 1970 to indicate that the LP had the poster with it. The sticker is almost always on the front cover but there are copies known with the sticker on the back side as well. Covers with reprints of the poster from the end of the 70’s has no sticker but this text on the back cover.

Booklet

A 12-page booklet was available around the same time when the LP was sold as new. The booklet was separately handed out to buyers in the shops and it was NOT included in the LP from the factory. Some people who got the booklet did put it into the record sleeve and because of this, it is generally believed that the booklet came with the LP from the factory itself.

A Swedish collector, Mats Lindgren, has confirmed this. He bought the LP on the very same day it was issued in December of 1969 and he was separately given the booklet in the record shop.

Label versions

Lots of label version are existing. Again because of the high amount of LP’s pressed. LIB is one of the few LP’s where you can find both non boxed and boxed LP’s of Mono and Stereo versions. Here are a few of them.

Mono non boxed labels - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 1 (LK5025/S1/D5/V1)

Copyright box: On the right side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: Mirage and Immediate on the left side of the label

This label has the publishing year on the left side of the label even though the standard location on all late 60’s labels should be at the bottom.

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 2 (LK5025/S1/D5/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: After each song

The publishing year is at the bottom of the label and the side number is on the right side.

Side 1 / Design No 5 / Version 3 (LK5025/S1/D5/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: After each song

Side number is on the left side of the label.

Mono non boxed labels - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 1 (LK5025/S2/D5/V1)

Copyright box: On the right side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: Mirage is on the left side of the label

This label has the publishing year on the left side of the label even though the standard location on all late 60’s labels should be at the bottom.

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 2 (LK5025/S2/D5/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: Mirage is on the left side of the label

The publishing year is at the bottom of the label and the side number is on the right side. Mirage Music is under the BIEM box.

Side 2 / Design No 5 / Version 3 (LK5025/S2/D5/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: No tax code
Publishers: Mirage is on the left side of the label

Mirage Music is above the BIEM box and the side number on the left side of the spindle hole.

Mono boxed labels - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 6 / Version 1 (LK5025/S1/D6/V1)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Romans looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

Catalogue number in small fonts and Times New Romans looking font style.

Side 1 / Design No 6 / Version 2 (LK5025/S1/D6/V2)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

Catalogue number is a bit bigger than on the previous label and the font style used is Arial. There is also a dot in between the LK and 5025.

Mono boxed label - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 6 / Version 1 (LK5025/S2/D6/V1)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Romans looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

Catalogue number in small fonts and Times New Romans looking font style.

Side 2 / Design No 6 / Version 2 (LK5025/S2/D6/V2)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

Catalogue number is a bit bigger than on the previous label and the font style used is Arial. There is also a dot in between the LK and 5025.

Stereo nonboxed labels - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 1 (SKL5025/S1/D9/V1)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: After each song title

Speed is missing on this label. Master tape number is upside down.

Side 1 / Design No 9 / Version 2 (SKL5025/S1/D9/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: After each song title

Speed is included on the label. The master tape number is the right way.

Stereo non boxed labels - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 1 (SKL5025/S2/D9/V1)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: On the left side above the BIEM box

Speed is missing on this label. Master tape number is upside down.

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 2 (SKL5025/S2/D9/V2)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: On the left side under the BIEM box

Speed is included on the label. The master tape number is the right way. Publisher on the left side of the label

Side 2 / Design No 9 / Version 3 (SKL5025/S2/D9/V3)

Copyright box: On the left side of the label
Font: Arial looking font style
Tax Code: Tax code is missing
Publishers: After each song title

Speed is included on the label. The master tape number is the right way. The publisher in under the song titles

Label combination nonboxed and boxed

The non-boxed label design was changed to the boxed design around the beginning of 1970. Stereo Let It Bleed LP’s has been found with non-boxed labels on side 1 and boxed labels on side 2.

Here is another LP with the same label combination. This LP is my collection and has the following Matrix numbers:

Side 1, non-boxed label D9/V1 with Matrix XZAL-9363-P-5W, Mother 1, Stamper BK
Side 2, boxed label D10/V4 with Matrix XZAL-9364-P-4W, Mother 1, Stamper K

Stereo boxed labels - Side 1

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 1 (SKL5025/S1/D10/V1)

Publishing year: On the left side of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

This has to be one of the earliest boxed stereo labels. The design is very much looking like one of the non-boxed mono labels.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 2 (SKL5025/S1/D10/V2)

Publishing year: On the left side of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

This is another very early boxed stereo label. Speed has been added to this version, otherwise it has a similar design as the previous label, S1/D10/V1.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 3 (SKL5025/S1/D10/V3)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: 1970 to 1972

The big size catalogue number is still in use on this one. Most probably an early 70’s printing.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 4 (SKL5025/S1/D10/V4)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Roman looking text font.
Estimated use: 1970 to late 70’s

The catalogue number is in a smaller size and the text is in Times New Roman. Almost all labels on other Stones LP’s got the publishing year shifted to the right side of the spindle hole in 1972. Let It Bleed labels were not changed for some reason and this label version can still be found on late 70’s pressings.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 5 (SKL5025/S1/D10/V5)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking text font.
Estimated use: 1970 to 1972

Standard 70’s label in Arial text font. Speed is missing again, and the publishers are noted after each song title.

Side 1 / Design No 10 / Version 6 (SKL5025/S1/D10/V6)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking text font.
Estimated use: 1970 – 1972

Speed is included and the publishers are noted after each song title. This label is in a sleeve with the mono/stereo hole and has the poster included. So the usage is early 70’s.

Side 1 / Design No 12 / Version 1 (SKL5025/S1/D12/V1)

Publishing year: Above the catalogue number
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: 1982

This is a 1982 pressing on thin vinyl with the rim around the edge of the label. Two vinyl pressings existing, one flat center and this one with a ring pressed around the center.

Stereo boxed label - Side 2

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 1 (SKL5025/S2/D10/V1)

Publishing year: On the left side of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

This has to be one of the earliest boxed stereo labels. The design is very much looking like one of the non-boxed mono labels.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 2 (SKL5025/S2/D10/V2)

Publishing year: On the left side of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: Late 1969 and early 1970

This is another very early boxed stereo label. Speed has been added to this version, otherwise it has a similar design as the previous label, S1/D10/V1.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 3 (SKL5025/S2/D10/V3)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: 1970 to 1972

The big size catalogue number is still in use on this one. Most probably an early 70’s printing.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 4 (SKL5025/S2/D10/V4)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Times New Roman looking text font.
Estimated use: 1970 to late 70’s

The catalogue number is in a smaller size and the text is in Times New Roman. Almost all labels on other Stones LP’s got the publishing year shifted to the right side of the spindle hole in 1972. Let It Bleed labels were not changed for some reason and this label version can still be found on late 70’s pressings.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 5 (SKL5025/S2/D10/V5)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking text font.
Estimated use: 1970 to 1972

Standard 70’s label in Arial text font. Speed is missing again.

Side 2 / Design No 10 / Version 6 (SKL5025/S2/D10/V6)

Publishing year: At the bottom of the label
Font style: Arial looking text font.
Estimated use: 1970 – 1972

Speed is included and the publishers are noted after each song title. This label is in a sleeve with the mono/stereo hole and has the poster included. So the usage is early 70’s.

Side 2 / Design No 12 / Version 1 (SKL5025/S2/D12/V1)

Publishing year: Above the catalogue number
Font style: Arial looking font
Estimated use: 1982

This is a 1982 pressing on thin vinyl with the rim around the edge of the label. Two vinyl pressings existing, one flat center and this one with a ring pressed around the center.

Boxed label an original on Let It Bleed

The layout on the boxed stereo label here is almost identical to the non-boxed mono label. This would indicate that these two labels were designed and done by the same person at the same time. Most probably the printing of the labels took place on the same time and in the same place. This design may be the very first boxed label and should be considered as an original stereo Let It Bleed.

80's silver label pressing

Design No 13 / version 1 (SKL5025/S1/D13/V1) (SKL5025/S2/D13/V1)

The last pressings from the end of the 80’s and early 90’s had two label versions, this number 13 and the next number 14

Design No 13 / version 2 (SKL5025/S1/D13/V2) (SKL5025/S2/D13/V2)

Similar to version one. Catalog number has been moved to the center of the label. Picture for side on e is missing

Design No 14 / version 1 (SKL5025/S1/D14/V1) (SKL5025/S2/D14/V1)

The last pressings from the end of the 80’s and early 90’s had two label versions, this number 14 and the previous number 13.

Explanation on label design numbering can be found here.

Page history

Updated:

2021 April 28th. Label design 13 version 2 side 2 added
2021 April 11th. Label version 14 added
2020 October 2nd. Changed the text on the Poster
2020 September 6th. New label S1 and S2 / D10 / V6 added
2020 February, New non-boxed stereo label S2 / D9 / V3 added
July 14th 2013 – Factory Sample sticker removed as not original Decca sticker
March 12th 2012 – Non-boxed Boxed label combination added
August 3rd 2011 – New label combination on non-boxed mono – S1/D5/V3 together with S2/D5/V1
August 3rd 2011 – New information added on the poster and booklet.
March 5th 2011 – New text on the boxed label D10/V4