Issued in UK 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 1966. There is a new face in the band, Mick Taylor
There is a decission 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 issued 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 name Promotional Album printed on it and this is the name by which this legendary LP is known today.
The LP is pressed is USA for distribution to local radio stations all over US. It is also decided that a few copies is 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 albums. 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 maximum of one or two copies per year is sold on the market. The Decca letter that came together with the LP states that 200 cpoies 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 1000-1500 copies would not be far from that actual quantity. The US LP is also quite common, at least ten copies a year is for sale on the market.
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 4 .
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 Record Mirror article can be found here
Songs featured on the UK and US version
Route 66 / Walking The Dog / Around And Around / Suzie 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 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
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.
The UK Decca sleeve is made in USA and has the London catalogue number RSD-1 which is the wrong one for UK LP’s
The US London sleeve has the catalogue number under the London logo
Antother 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.
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.
It was printed on official DECCA stationary
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.
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.
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 was 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 stamperB / side 2 has XARL-9206-1A, mother 1 and stamper B.
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 has been with the same person since new. He got it from someone who worked with the Stone at the time of release. The LP is located in UK.
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 signed Promotional Album
The first time I saw a signed copy of RSM.1 was on e-bay in 2006. The LP failed to sell I think twice but it was eventually sold on the third attempt. The first thought that came to my mind was that this has to be a fake. I came to that conclusion as Charlies autograph was for sure not done by him. In 2010 another copy came up on e-bay in UK and I compared the new one to the picture of the copy sold in 2006 and I was struck by the similarity of the signatures, even the fake Charlie was looking similar on both LP’s. So I bought the one for sale in July of 2010. After this there was a lot of mailcommunications going on and the story of the signed LP’s unfolded to me.
The signatures. All signatures but Charlies are looking like typical late 60’s and early 70’s made by the band members. But Charlies do not look authentic. After a close study of the autographs it is quite clear what took place at the time. All signatures of Charlie Watts are done with the same pen and with the same handwritting style as Bill’s signature. In fact Bill did them. Most likely Charlie was not present in the studio when the LP’s were signed so Bill just took care of that part.
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.
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 aquired the LP. We believe these signed ‘personalised ‘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.
A short list of confirmed copies:
Pictured signed copy no1. Bought from Sothebys Auctions in 1994 by John Rutherford. Sold on in USA. Present location not known
Pictured signed copy no 2. Sold once at Christies in UK. Originally owned by BBC Radio One chief Dough Muggeridge. Present owner is Peter Hinds in Australia
Pictured signed copy no 3. Sold on e-bay in USA in 2006. Present location Holland.
Picture signed copy no 4. Originally owned by a radio producer at BBC who sold it in 2010. Present owner Jan Richardsson in Finland
Pictured signed copy no 5. Sold on Sothebys around 2000 and present owner is Sam Mumenthaler in Bern Zwitzerland.
Pictured signed copy no 6. Owned today by Julian Hardyman, a UK based collector.
Pictured signed copy no 7. Originally owned by Kenny Everett and now in Tommy Palmqvists collection, aka NSV RollingTom
Pictured signed copy no 8. Sold on e-bay in December of 2011. UK seller and sold to a collector in UK
Pictured signed copy no 9. Sold on e-bay in January of 2012 by an UK seller. Present location in Belgium and owned by Luc Van der Veken
Pictured signed copy no 10. Present location in Bremen, Germany and owned by Reinhold Boedeker
Pictured signed copy no 11. Present location in New York. This copy was documented and added to the page in January of 2013.
Confirmed but without picures are:
Confirmed copy no 01: There is one confirmed copy in Italy but a picture of that one is still missing here.
Confirmed copy no 02: August of 2012 I got another one confirmed. One copy is with a former Decca Press Manager who got the LP as new. The LP is not used and still with the original owner
Signed copy no 1
This one has been in John Rutherfords collection but it has been sold to another collector is USA years ago. John bought this copy on Southeby’s Auctions around 1994. At this point it is not known in who's collection it is.
Signed copy no 2
This is Peters copy. 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 and a LIB booklet included but most likely they were added at a later stage.
This LP is today owned by a collector in The Netherlands.
Signed copy no 4
This is my copy. 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 Bill still signed “Charlie Watts”
Signed copy no 7
This copy was sold on e-bay in July of 2011. Quoting the sellers item description speaks for it self:
“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 is now in the collection of Tommy Palmqvist, Nordic StonesVikings member in Sweden
Signed copy no 8
This LP was sold on e-bay in UK in December of 2011. The seller was located in UK and it was sold to another collector in UK. The text in the item on e-bay states that:
“has never been out of the inner sleeve - the sleeve also contains a colour poster of the Stones” and “the sleeve is slightly worn around the edges where it has been moved in and out of filing shelves” Based on this item text it may be that the seller was the original owner, or at least it had been with him for a long time.
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.
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 ringpressing 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
RS-3006 boxed label
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. It had a red boxed Decca label and and the number was RS-3006.
There was also a dark blue Australian version. This was included in a box of Stones LP's
The Picture Disc of Promotional Album
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 legendare one, I'll make an exception this time only. The songs are the same as on the UK / US version of the LP. There are also "repressings" of the original London version existing. They were on sale on e-bay a few years back. If you don't have the original, that would have been a nice possibility the get a copy, fake though.