It is well-known that when the Genesis live album was finally released in 1973 that it was a single LP. It was also amazing that the best and most ambitious track Supper's Ready was not included. For many years, rumors surfaced that a double-LP version was leaked as a test pressing on the Dutch Philips label. However, none had ever been seen. Bootlegs claiming to be copies of these test pressings were eventually made, but the test pressings themselves were almost impossible to find. Some say between 20 and 50 copies were pressed, but to this day I have only heard of about 15.
All parts of the test pressing are handwritten, even the cover
A very strange and super-rare 4-sided acetate version
Due to the lack of labels, matrix numbers, and paperwork it is uncertain if they are genuine
It also seems unnecessary to have an acetate for a test pressing, usually it is one or the other but not both
The test pressings have 4 sides with handwritten labels as shown but no album cover. Since they were done by hand, each label is a little different. The matrix numbers on the vinyl are AA 6830 140 1Y 1 670 1, 2, 3, and 4. On the included cue sheet, the sides are referred to as 6830.140.1/2 & 6830.141.1/2. The cue sheets also show that all tracks were recorded in Leicester on February 25th except Return of the Giant Hogweed which was recorded in Manchester on February 24th.
These test pressings are the single most valuable and sought after Genesis record. One of the main reasons is that it includes recordings that exist only on this record. Also the extreme rarity of the record increases the value. Although they only come up for sale very rarely, the prices I have seen range from $1750-$3500.
So What Is It?
A Test Pressing is made for the simple reason of testing the record press to be sure it is functioning. Usually only 2-5 test pressings are made and once they are tested to ensure the pressing is valid, the final pressings can be made. This Dutch Live Test Pressing is not a regular test pressing because what was finally used on the official Genesis Live LP is different than what was used on this pressing. An extra song is included, the introductions are longer, and the mix is different.
Also, it should be noted that when you play one of these Dutch Test Pressings that you can hear the recording "spin up". By this I mean that the record is playing with no audio yet, then the concert comes in slow at first and then speeds up to the correct speed...sometimes in mid-sentence. It would not make sense for this to be a regular test pressing when the contents are as unfinished as these are.
Some people have suggested that since it says "FOR RADIO PROMOTION ONLY" on the LP and cue sheets that these are simply radio concerts like King Biscuit. But this would not explain the fact that they a make no mention of a Radio network, they have recordings left in an unfinished state, and they are pressed on the Philips label. When contacted for information, Philips does acknowledge the pressing of these LPs but exactly why is unknown. For more information on the radio shows, click here.
Other people have suggested that these may be some sort of bootleg. This seems impossible since no more of these concerts have surfaced than what is on these LPs. If it was a bootleg, it would make sense that by now far more of these would have been pressed or more of the concert discovered. The bootlegs that have surfaced are either audio taken from these LPs or from the radio show that broadcast some of the concert. It should also be noted that bootlegs were very difficult to make in the early 1970s and it wasn't until the late 1970s or 1980s that bootlegs were more prominent.
It is my conclusion that these LPs are a sort of anomaly; neither a regular test pressing nor a radio concert. These are test pressings for the Leicester/Manchester 1973 concert that was to be used on the official Genesis Live LPs, but not a test pressing for the official LPs themselves.