The Rolling Stones
Released for promotional use approximately on October 30th 1969
We are located in London around September of 1969. The Rolling Stones is about to go out on tour again after a long break, the last tour had taken place in 1967. There is a new face in the band, Mick Taylor.
There is a decision taken that the upcoming tour of USA is to be promoted in a professional way through radio stations all over US. At this point of time there are two compilation albums on the market, Big Hits from 1966 and Through The Past Darkly that had been released a few days earlier. It is decided that a third compilation album needs to be put together with “the rest of the best” songs that had not been on the two previous hits albums.
The album is put together of old songs and one new previously unreleased track, Love In Vain, and it is named The Rolling Stones. The vinyl label has also the text Promotional Album printed on it and this is the name by which this legendary LP is known today.
The London version of the record is pressed in USA for distribution to local radio stations all over US. It is also decided that a few copies are to be made in UK under the Decca label. The covers for both US and UK pressed vinyls are made in USA.
The US LP on London gets the catalogue number RSD-1 and the UK made Decca album is named RSM.1. However the empty cover sent from US to UK has the US catalogue number RSD-1. This is sometimes causing some confusion, is the UK album a RSD or a RSM? For me it is quite clear, the vinyl has the catalogue number RSM.1 on the label and that is the correct number to be used for Decca album. The LP is being distributed in the end of October both in USA and in UK.
How many did they press?
I have seen so many times the information of only 200 US copies being made but this is just a wrong interpretation of the situation. As the Decca letter states that 200 were made, people just think that 200 is the correct figure for all Promotional albums. Most collectors do not see a difference in between a London pressing and a Decca pressing. Some sources also claims that there were 100 copies on Decca and 100 copies on London. That is not correct either.
The Decca version is extremely rare and during the past few years, 2016 – 2019 only about one LP every second year has been on the market. The Decca letter that came together with the LP states that 200 copies were made. This has to be correct as the LP is not available anywhere.
A much larger quantity was pressed in USA on London Records. It is not known how many they actually pressed but an estimation of 2000-2500 copies would not be far from that actual quantity. The US LP is also quite common, you can find one or more on sale on e-bay on any given day of the year.
There is also the Record Mirror dated Nov 15th 1969 which has the LP on the cover with the headline “THIS IS THE COVER OF A NEW STONES ALBUM, BUT YOU CAN’T BUY IT! Find out on PAGE FOUR .
The article does confirm that 200 were pressed for promotional purposes. Record Mirror at the time took offence to the release believing it should be available to everyone being the record buying public and not understanding it’s promotional only intention. (comment by Peter Hinds).
The Cover, Decca vs London
Front cover is the same as the London Record US LP but the back cover is different. The UK Decca RSM.1 lists only the songs.
US London back cover
The US RSD-1 LP lists all US LP’s including the songs up to Through The Past Darkly on the right side of the back cover.
Printed in U.S.A
The UK Decca sleeve was printed in USA and has the London catalogue number RSD-1 which is the wrong one for UK LP’s.
UK RSM.1 sleeve with Printed in U.S.A. text
US RSD-1 sleeve with Printed in U.S.A. text
RSD-1 mentioned a second time on the UK sleeve
Order instruction missing from the UK version
Another text difference can be found in the left upper corner of the sleeve. London has a bit more text on their cover. They inform how to get the two other hits albums. This information is not on the Decca sleeve as Decca gave their information in the letter that came with the album.
Another difference is that London printed the name of the LP from where the song was taken. This information is missing from the Decca cover.
US sleeve with information on how to order the record.
The sleeve was manufactured in US and sent to Decca in London. One small detail that they missed was the the copyright owners are different in USA than in England. Naturally the US copyright owners were printed on the sleeves. This was then discovered in London UK at a rather late stage and they just corrected the wrong data on the sleeves by drawing a line over the wrong data and adding a sticker on the backside informing that radio DJ’s should look at the publishers on the label.
Some sleeves only got the sticker and the copyright owners did not get covered.
Radio station record planner
One cover is existing with a Decca sticker informing the holder of the record that it is to be given to a radio station record planner and not given to the press for any purpose.
The album was given by Decca to a record company person from Finland visiting London in the beginning of 1970. On returning to Finland, it was given to an employee working as a radio DJ at the Finnish Radio Broadcasting company YLE. The album remained with him until April 2022 when the album was incorporated in the Stones On Decca collection.
Decca included a letter with some of the records. It is not known if all LP’s had the letter or not. Most probably all non signed copies had the letter included.
The letter was printed on official Decca stationary
The content of the letter
Here is a close-up of the text. It speaks pretty much for itself, for example confirming that 200 records has been produced in England = Decca label albums. No mentioning of how many were pressed in US as this was strictly a letter handed out in UK.
Let It Bleed Booklet
Some copies has the same DECCA promo booklet included that was given together with Let It Bleed LP’s. It is not known if all LP’s had the booklet when sent to the radio stations.
Let It Bleed Poster
Some copies has the same poster that was included in early Let It Bleed LP’s. It is not known if all LP’s had the poster. Here is a picture of a Promotional Album complete with all additional items. The poster and the catalog was probably added to the LP at a later stage
Most of the LP’s I have seen on sale for the past 20 years has the red Mono inner bag that can be seen on the picture above. The LP is actually a Mono pressing. I have seen two copies with the blue stereo bag as well but they were in very bad condition and not cared for at all, so a bag change has likely taken place. A red Mono bag should be the correct one.
Probably one of the very first Decca LP records that got the new boxed design. To be noticed is that the LP is actually a MONO version even though the label for some reason is blue!
RSM-1 boxed label
One of 200 made. The ultimate Rolling Stones vinyl collectible. I have not yet found any label differences, well, I would be a bit surprised if I actually find one……
Matrix numbers: side 1 has XARL-9205-2A, mother 1 and stamper B / side 2 has XARL-9206-1A, mother 1 and stamper B.
The -2A on side one actually confirms that the first cut of the master tape to the acetate had some issues and was not approved in sound- or quality control and a new cut had to be done.
RSM-1 non boxed label
While going through old copies of the fantastic Basement News put together by Dieter Hoffmann, I found this amazing information. Seams as if at least one copy is existing of the Promotional Album with a nonboxed label!! The label is white and the text is in blue colour.
This copy of the white label nonboxed version was with the original owner well into the mid 2010’s. He got it from someone who worked with the Stone at the time of release. The owner and caretaker of the LP today is Matt Lee in the UK.
As per the BN article here above, this white label LP has the -1A matrix number on side one where as the 200 copies that went into production has -2A
RSM-1 test pressing
Factory sample with music only on side on. Matrix number XARL 9205-2A. This one was sold on e-bay in May of 2009.
The test pressing re-sold in 2015 again when purchased by the current owner, Hendrik Mulder in Holland.
To continue, the two albums are musically different as well!
The Decca album has seven songs on both sides whereas the London album has eight songs on side one and six songs on side two!
All songs on the Decca album is in Mono and the London album has a mixture of stereo and ERPS versions! (Electronically Re Processes Stereo).
Side one are all ERPS versions and side two are all in true stereo.
Decca album has the long version (5,03) of Everybody Needs Somebody To Love and the London album has the shorter version! (2,57)
So in fact, if you get into the details, these are two different albums!
Songs featured on the UK Decca version
Route 66 / Walking The Dog / Around And Around / Everybody Needs Somebody To Love / Off The Hook / Susie-Q / I’m Free
She Said “Yeah” / Under My Thumb / Stupid Girl / 2000 Man / Sympathy For The Devil / Prodigal Son / Love In Vain
Songs featured on the US London version
Route 66 / Walking The Dog / Around And Around / Susie Q / Everybody Needs Somebody To Love / Off The Hook / I’m Free / She Said “Yeah”
Under My Thumb / Stupid Girl / 2000 Man / Sympathy For The Devil / Prodigal Son / Love In Vain
The signed Promotional Album
I got the following information from Peter Hinds in Australia who owns a signed copy:
There is a Melody Maker magazine from end of October or early November of 1969 that has a picture of Mick Jagger signing Promotional LP’s. On the picture he is in a recording studio, probably Olympic Studios, with his headphones around his neck. The article then states that two dozens LP’s are being signed. (admin remarks, we have looked through magazines from end of 1969 but we have not found such a picture)
Another thing that has come up is that the signed copies that has been sold during the past 20 years or so have not had the Decca letter, nor the poster, nor the Let It Bleed booklet included. Peter knows about a copy that came up for sale years ago with all the extras and it was confirmed by the seller that he had added them after he had acquired the LP. We believe these signed ‘personalized ‘copies were destined to promotional people they knew well or liked. The odd one become a giveaway. One copy was used in a reader competition giveaway in Record Mirror in November. The winner did also get a chance to hear the new Stones songs from their upcoming release “Let It Bleed “ on Nov 28th.
Thanks Peter for giving me the story.
The authenticity of the signatures on these albums has been debated for a long time. We know for sure that Charlies signature is not made by him because he never writes only Charlie or even Charlie Watts. He has been Charlie Boy since the 60’s.
Mick Taylor as a maybe. Keith’s signature is rather far off form period correct genuine signatures. Bills signature is somewhat ok on some of the albums but then again rather far off on a few other albums. Still clearly done by the same hand as Charlies signature.
Mick Jagger’s signature is missing the a after J in Jagger and most of the genuine signatures around do have the a clearly visible.
Most likely all the signatures have been made by someone in the Stones office in December of 1969.
It would be good to locate the picture mentioned above by Peter in where Jagger is signing albums. Could this picture in Melody Maker be the same as is on the front of the album? Here Jagger is in a studio with headphones around his neck. But he is not signing any albums.
But as said, the debate will continue. I cannot confirm them to be secretarial or genuine ones. I have just given my own opinion and the best way is that anyone interested should make up his or her own opinion and be happy with that. I am happy as I own one signed Promotional Album.
Signed copy no 1
This one has been in John Rutherford’s collection but it has been sold to another collector is USA years ago. John bought this copy on Sotheby’s Auctions around 1994. At this point it is not known in who’s collection it is.
Signed copy no 2
This copy is owned by Peter Hinds in Australia. The LP was once sold at Christies in UK and he has the auction catalogue and a letter stating it had come the former BBC Radio One chief , Doug Muggeridge.
Signed copy no 3
This one was sold on e-bay in 2001 and then again in 2006. This copy belonged to a known US collector before being sold in 2006. The seller on e-bay had noted his location as “Midwest – United States”. This one had a Decca letter. It also had a LIB booklet included but most likely that one was added at a later stage. This LP is today owned by a collector in The Netherlands.
Signed copy no 4
This copy is in the Jan Richardsson collection. Bought from the original owner in 2010. He worked at BBC from 1967 to 1970 as a Radio Producer. He was given the LP by a Decca representative in 1969 as a “Thank You” for promoting The Rolling stones on the Radio.
Signed copy no 5
This copy was sold through Sotheby’s Auctions around 2000 and it is today located in Bern Switzerland and owned by Sam Mumenthaler. The album is in great shape and it has no extras included.
Signed copy no 6
This copy is owned by a collector in UK, Julian Hardiman. Probably one of the LP’s signed in the beginning of the session as it is signed “Charlie Watts”.
Signed copy no 7
This copy was sold on e-bay in July of 2011. Quoting the seller’s item description speaks for itself:
“I have gained this LP through my mother having a connection to Kenny Everett as her aunty was married to him. Kenny Everett received a copy when he was Dj and the LP has simply been passed down into my mothers hands over the years.”
The LP has changed owner a few times since the 2011 sale. It is today, 2021, located in Velden, Austria in the hands of Josef Wurzer.
Signed copy no 8
This LP is today owned by Hendrik Mulder in Holland. He purchased the LP in 2015 from a collector in Austria. The item was sold by the original owner in 2011 to the person in Austria. Hendrik is the third owner since new.
The original owner used to work as a producer at BBC Radio One in the end of the 60’s. The item was sold on behalf of him with the following item description:
“This is a promotional album supplied to the vendor by Decca records in 1969. It is a British pressing in a US made Decca sleeve. The LP has 14 tracks and has never been out of the inner sleeve – the sleeve also contains a colour poster of the Stones. The catalogue number is RSM 1 (mono) and the sleeve is slightly worn around the edges where it has been moved in and out of filing shelves”
The vinyl is as close as you ever can get to a mint record.
Signed copy no 9
This LP was sold on e-bay in UK in January of 2012. The seller was located in UK. There was a letter from the previous owner along with the item, quoting “The record was purchased from Aiden Day who worked closely with the late Roger Scott at Capitol Records”.
This LP is now located in Belgium, in the collection of Luc Van der Veken.
Signed copy no 10
This LP was purchased by the previous owner in London in 1993 and it was located in East Sussex UK for many years.
It was sold on e-bay in March of 2012 and the present location is Bremen, Germany and it is owned by Reinhold Boedeker.
Signed copy no 11
This LP was purchased by the previous owner, Jon Gilbert, in London at a Bonhams auction in 2005. He sold it on to a collector i New York where it is possibly still located today. The LP had a Decca letter included but no booklet or poster.
Signed copy no 12
This copy is owned by Thomas Grosh. It has been in his collection for over 30 years. The LP has been exposed to some light over the years so three of the original signatures has faded. They are on the LP but hardly visible on the photo.
Signed copy no 13
This copy is in the Ali Zayeri collection in London UK. The condition of the LP and sleeve is excellent.
Signed copy no 14
This copy is located in Antwerp Belgium
Signed copy no 15
This copy is located in Northern Ireland and has been in the family since the 80’s when the current owners father bought the LP from a second hand record shop.
Signed copy no 16
This picture was found on a discussion forum in 2015. The owner or location is not known. To be noticed here is that Charlies signature is very much different that his signature on all the other albums. This may even be an authentic signature by Charlie.
Signed copy no 17
This picture was sent to me by “Jack”. I need to find out location and history behind this copy
Signed copy no 18
This copy was sold at Omega Auctions in UK in April of 2021
Signed copy no 19
This signed copy was part of the John Peel collection and was sold on auction in June of 2022
Seams as if they not only signed Promotional Albums that day. Here is a promocard that has identical autographs. This card was for sure signed on the same day. The card is interesting as it indicates that the date of the signing of the Promotional Albums may have taken place in mid December of 1969. The picture used for the card is taken during the November – December tour of USA and the Stones had arrived back in London before December 14th when they did two shows at Saville Theatre in London.
The American Promotional Album on London
RSD-1 boxed label
This site is all about Rolling Stones vinyls made by Decca Record Company in UK. But the Promotional album is such an interesting and legendary LP, so I have included pictures of the US labels as well. One version known only, no different pressings exists.
The London version of RSD-1 has been bootlegged. Here is a version probably made in the end of the 90’s or possibly early 00’s.
The ring pressing on the label is different and the text is not a total replication of the original. This one has been offered as an original genuine LP a few times on e-bay. If you plan to buy one, have a close look at the details.
The Australian Promotional Album
The Australian cover
There is also a third so called “Promotional Album” existing and that one is made in Australia in 1979. The Australian version should in no way what so ever be mixed with the UK and US pressings. It even had a different set of songs on it:
Side 1: Walking The Dog, Suzie Q, I’m Free, She Said Yeah, Stupid Girl, 2000 Man
Side 2: Prodigal Son, Doncha Bother Me, Flight 505, High And Dry, No Expectations, Dear Doctor,
The front cover did not have the “A Special Radio Promotional..” text and the back cover had a slightly different layout as well.
Side 1 and side 2 / RS-3006
Catalog number used was RS-3006. These red label records were sold separately when released in 1979
Side 1 / RS-3006
There was also a dark blue Australian version. This was included in a box of Stones LP’s.
Well, this is a plain bootleg. This will probably be the one and only non-official LP I put on my page. As it is the legendary one, I’ll make an exception this time only. The songs are the same as on the UK / US version of the LP.