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Antiques and Curios album front cover

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UK first release

Vinyl album: AMLS 994 (A&M UK, 1970). The front cover represents antiques and curios belonging to the band, including:

  • the central object is a herb dryer, owned by Dave; also featured the toy piano he played on Dragonfly
  • the lead sheet for the single "Forever"
  • Tony Hooper's science fiction magazine, his "John Lennon" glasses (seen on the inner spread of Strawbs), his "bilge mug" and Bells' whisky bottle
  • Rick's clarinet
  • Hud's tabla drum
  • John's model car
  • Unclaimed to date: the mandolin (probably Dave's, and probably also played on Dragonfly on "Another Day"); the white pot hot water bottle at the left; the beads and the pendant (possibly John's - there are a few photos of him wearing something like that. Down the front right there's a sort of medicine bottle containing tablets and a ring (not Dave's which has no stone). At the back, lurking there's a case, which I supect to have been owned by the doctor who was the subject of "The Antique Suite". There's something red to the right of and behind the herb dryer, and something between the spout of the herb dryer and the mandolin, again with some red bits, but I can't see either what of those things are. Any guesses?

    The initial 1000 copies of the vinyl album had a different back cover, featuring a "moody" Beatles-style shot of the band, all dressed in black. Apparently their faces were thought to be too green, so later release copies substituted a picture of the band (in a typical pose!) enjoying a pint round the table of the London Apprentice in Isleworth, where the Strawberry Hill Boys were wont to play in the very early days.

    The inner sleeve features an engraving of the grim reaper on the left (courtesy of the Mansell Collection) and the lyrics set out on the right in white reversed text, with sleeve notes and credits in orange. The engraving is by Gustave Dore and you can download images fior use as wallpaper from: (The Mansell Collection was purchased several years ago by The TIME Inc. Picture Collection and transferred from London to New York.)

    Front cover

    For a large scan of the front cover, click on the image: you may need to use the zoom feature on your browser to see it full size (2000x2000 pixels)

    Back covers

    Inner spread

    1st release labels

    UK second release

    Vinyl album: AMLS 994 (A&M UK, 2nd release late 1970 or later). The second release would most likely have had the pub cover. But NB. I have a copy which has 1st release sleeve but 2nd release disc inside. Maybe the change in label design and the revised sleeve didn't happen at the same time (either that or some dealer has got confused ;-)

    2nd release labels

    UK mispress/query promo

    Recently acquired, this oddity has A&M/Ode labels instead of the standard A&M brown labels. (Ode was producer Lou Adler's label, distributed by A&M from 1970-1976, the main artist being Carole King - Strawbs were not Ode artists.) The Ode logo has been scribbled out on both sides, the copyright details match the first release above and the packaging is otherwise the same (moody photo on the back cover), except that a 4-page A4 card insert is included, with recent press clippings about the band. I think this was a mis-press, and when A&M UK released the wrong labels had been used, the copies were redirected as press promo copies to promote the album


    Insert - front page, inner spread, back page (rotated)

    UK silver label reissue

    Reissued on standard UK silver labels. Cover same as the second UK release above, with the pub photo on the back. On the inside spread the former St. George Street address has been removed from top right, right hand side, without the New Kings Road address being added.

    Reissue labels


    US full release (3 variants)

    Vinyl album: SP 4288 (A&M US, 1970). The US had not initially wanted to have a live album as the first US Strawbs release, but Strawbs had just signed directly to A&M, and so North La Brea Avenue stepped up to the plate. Only a single sleeve though, and no lyrics. The front is as per the UK release except withn a small grey logo at top right of the front cover with the US catalogue number SP4288. On the back cover (the pub picture) the track listing and credits have been reversed out in white. The full release copy I have has a nice company sleeve featuring various contemporaneous and earlier releases (Fotheringay came out in 1970, as did Humble Pie's first LP and the Carpenters' Ticket To Ride).

    Three different brown labels . Two have publishing details on side 1 which miscredit all of side 1 to Arnakata Music - wrong as Wakeman's "Temperament of Mind" was not published by Arnakata (in the UK it was credited to Copyright Control (1st rel) and Writers Workshop (2nd rel)). The second variant here corrects the Wakeman publishing details and also "Martin Luther King's Dream" which should have been Strawberry Music.

    Not really possible to determine which - if any - was the true first release, or whgether thhey were all produced at the same time by different pressing plants. Given their reluctance to debut the band in the US with a live set, they are likely to have manufactured a modest number at first, then, as Wakeman-mania picked up, produced a repress and then another.

    Front and back covers

    Variant 1 labels (Monarch pressing)

    Variant 2 labels (Pitman pressing)

    Variant 3 labels (Terre Haute pressing)

    Inner sleeve variant 2, front and back

    Featuring a reproduction of a painting by Ansell Adams, this features 1970 releases such as Carpenters Close To You (SP 4271) and Fotheringay and Humble Pie's first albums (SP 4269 and 4270 respectively), so is likely to have been the original inner for this late 1970 album (SP 4288).

    Inner sleeve variant 3, front and back

    This looks like native American art, but seems to be a stylised picture of two figures, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, complete with figleaves and a strategically placed A&M "apple" to cover Eve's chest!. Albums on the back are rather old - nothing later than Bacharach's Make It Easy On Yourself (SP 4188, 1969) a hundred releases prior to Antiques, so I think it unlikely that this inner was initially paired with the album. Nice though ...

    Inner sleeve variant

    Not clear that this was an A&M company sleeve, but a copy of Grave New World from Italy also has one, so I think it must be.

    US promo releases (3 variants)

    There were three versions of the promo for this, each matching one of the full releases.

    Promo release variant 1 (Monarch pressing)

    Promo release variant 2 (Pitman pressing)

    Promo release variant 3 (Terre Haute pressing)

    inner sleeve variant

    US silver label reissue


    Inner sleeve

    Probably from late 1973/early 1974 - The Carpenters Singles 1969-1973 is the most recent release, coming out in Jan 1974.

    US silver label reissue with promo stamp

    Spotted online - covers for the silver label reissue with a promo stamp.


    Canadian full release

    Vinyl album: SP 4288 (A&M Can, 1970). Antiques was the first Strawbs album released in the US, and in Canada. This release initially had brown labels.

    The front cover is the same as UK, except that the SP 4288 catalogue number replaces AMLS 994 at top right. Back cover is the same as the 2nd UK release, with the pub picture, except with an added tracklisting just above John Ford's head. Inside, the design is the same, with the UK label information at top right of the lyrics replaced by the Canadian catalogue number and "Manufactured and distributed in Canada by A&M Records Canada Ltd." All the text on the lyrics side is white reversed out of black, unlike the UK release which uses two colours, the orange (for label info and thank yous, bottom right) and white for everything else. The cover is not shiny laminated like the UK releases, so old copies have tended to get scuff marks: rather than looking black or very deep brown, it has a lighter tinge of brown.

    Front and back covers

    Brown labels

    NB. Two versions. On the second below, all tracks publishing credits match the UK second release (Strawberry Music, Arnakata and Writers Workshop) except for "Where Is This Dream" which is credited to Irving Music. On the first all tracks publishing credits other than "Where Is This Dream" (also Irving) are Thruppence Music. Not really certain which was earliest, but the early Silver label release matches the second brown release exactly, so that may have been the later. The second brown release also came in an A&M company sleeve which also had From The Witchwood and Fairport Convention's Angel Delighton it, which indicates a release of later than summer 1971. (Same inner sleeve also came with a US copy of Grave New World, so was obviously still in use in 1972. Or it may be a complete red herring ....)

    Some later issues match US releases, others stick with the Thruppence credits.

    Inner (with second release above)

    Canadian promo release

    Spotted online. Note that catalogue number on the outer sleeve is different: AMSP 4288, but appears as SP 4288 on the labels. The inside of the gatefold is same as UK except with Canadian cat no AMSP 4288 at top right of lyrics. Unusually for an album promo there is a big red A on side 1 (normally only used to indicate the A-side of a single release).

    Front and back covers

    Canadian reissues

    Four known reissues on silver label - the oldest in use around 1973/74 (same design and lettering as Early Strawbs (1974) and may well have been issued at the same time as a set of three. They also match typography and publishing detail on first brown label above and so I think that was the earliest silver label release.

    Also subsequent reissues on A&M house white and house black labels.

    Silver labels (early)

    Silver labels (later)

    Silver labels (even later)

    Silver labels (later still)

    Black and white labels (much later)

    Updated back cover

    By the time of the black label reissue the back cover has more info - bottom right repeats the info on tracks, personnel and recording that featured on the UK inner spread, as well as a "Fabrique et distribue/manufactured and distributed" statement along the bottom. Top right there's a price code "G".


    Danish release

    Vinyl album: SLPS 1525 (Sonet, Denmark, 1970). The Sonet release has the A&M logo and catalogue number removed entirely, with the Sonet catalogue number printed at bottom left on the front, top right on the back. The back cover is the 1st release cover with the moody photo.

    Some copies have a "FONA" logo bottom right of the back cover.

    It comes with an odd-sized insert (250mm x 200mm) with the lyrics and other information from the inside of the UK gatefold reproduced in black type on stiff white card; the reverse is blank. Standard Sonet labels.

    Front and back covers, lyric sheet


    Italian release

    Vinyl album: SLAM 47.025 (A&M Italy, 1971). Believed to be the first Italian Strawbs release, this came out in 1971 rather than contemporaneously with the UK release. The front cover has the catalogue number removed from the A&M logo, with the SLAM prefix number at top right. The back cover however matches the first UK release with the moody green portrait. The sleeve isn't laminated. Inside, the inner sleeve is similar to the UK release, with Italian details replacing UK info, but the Dore engraving and the lyrics are all white reversed out of black, with no orange on the inside at all. The labels are unusual, with no white picked out in the A&M logo.


    French release

    Vinyl album: AMLS 994 (A&M France, 1970). Neither the front nor the back cover include the title of the album (the spine does). Instead there's a rather ugly "stereo" logo. The back cover features the Dore print, tinted and highlighted with a vibrant red which gives the effect of flames. Personnel lettering in red, rest in white, and a motley collection of logos in the bottom anf top right of the back sleeve. The labels are a bit carelessly put together - ""Song of Sad" on side 2. No lyrics (unless there was an insert which my copy has lost).

    Front and back covers


    German release

    Vinyl album: 85063 IT (A&M Germany, 1970). Recently acquired a copy but it is a UK first release, with a German sticker on the back cover being the only German thing about it.

    Also spotted online, a later release with the "pub" picture, but it too looks to be a stickered UK release.

    Anyone seen a true German brown or silver label pressing of this one?



    Australian release

    Vinyl album: SAML-934175 (Festival, Australia, 1970?).. Same back cover as test pressing. The front cover has no A&M logo at all, neither the red UK logo at top left or the US style grey logo at bottom right..


    Australian test pressing

    Vinyl album: SAML-934175 (Festival, Australia, 1970?).. Strawbs was released in Australia, and they certainly released From The Witchwood, so it's virtually certain that Antiques came out there as well. So far only test pressing has emerged. The front is pretty bare, with a faint grey A&M logo top right, like US/Can pressings. The back is black & white, again modelled on the US/Can style, with Australian label details at the bottom left and "Display Cover - Not For Sale" at the top, with Australian label number top right.

    Back cover


    New Zealand release

    Vinyl album: SAML-934175 (Festival, New Zealand, 1971).. This is a nice surprise. A textured gatefold sleeve modelled on the UK version. The back cover has the "moody" photo of the band, but in black and white, with the NZ catalogue number top right. Inside spread as per UK, except with Festival Records details bottom right with printer credits, and stuff about being played on mono record players top right. Labels typical mustard A&M release from Festival in NZ). Discogs lists as 1971 release following catalogue numbers.

    Front and back cover


    Japanese release (1972)

    Vinyl album: AML 123 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1972). I now have a copy of this release which pretty much matches the UK first release (moody photo on the back cover). The logo at top left of the front cover has been doctored to givethe Japanese catalogue number and theer's a green and white Obi (the back is blank). Inside is as per UK release (including the UK St George Street address at top right of the lyrics side) but with "King Records Ltd. (p) 1972" added at the bottom of that column.

    I now have a copy with the insert, an album sized 4-pager in black and white. Front cover has track listing in English and Japanese and Japanese sleeve notes, which carry over to the inside. Pp2 and 3 have the lyrics and an advert for the only other Strawbs album available from King at the time, From The Witchwood. The back page is just a big A&M logo.

    Reports of some full release copies having a promo stamp, rather than pressing more promo copies.

    Logo, Obi and Labels

    Insert, front and back

    Insert, inner pages

    Japanese promo release (1972)

    Vinyl album: AML 123 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1972). The copy I have is of this white label promo came in a 1977 reissue sleeve, complete with 1977 insert. King got started releasing Strawbs albums with From The Witchwood in 1971 or 1972, then went back to Antiques for more Wakeman-related material, bringing this out in 1972. There's a typo on Side 1 (no space between "the" and "Queen Elizabeth Hall"), which has been corrected for the release version.

    Reports of some full release copies having a promo stamp, rather than pressing more promo copies.


    Japanese reissue (1977)

    Vinyl album: GXG 1029 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1977). Gatefold sleeve with Obi, logo at top right features the Japanese catalogue number, and at the bottom of the Obi there's a little circular logo "1877/1977 - 100 years of recorded sound", which along with the date on the bottom right of the sleeve notes, show that this was part of a general re-issue campaign in 1977 - other A&M titles which also got the reissue treatment can be seen on the back of the Obi: Humble Pie, Joe Cocker, Supertramp, Esperanto and (on A&M in the US) The Move and Procol Harum.

    The back of the cover is the moody portrait, with tiny print bottom right "Made in Japan". Inside, is pretty much as per the UK release, 2 colours white and faint orange text, including the UK St. George Street address top right, but at bottom right there is a line "Manufactured by King Record Co., Ltd." The spine is a distinctive blue. The quality of the sleeve is first rate, far outstripping UK or US releases, as is often the case.

    There's a 2 sided white insert - on one side track listing and the "sitting by the river" promo shot, with an unusual Strawbs logo. On the back there's a rather dark picture of Rick Wakeman, and some reversed out Japanese sleeve notes which appear to cover both Rick's career and that of the Strawbs. In the right hand column there appear to be notes about each track. Labels are of course silver.

    Front cover detail and front of Obi, back of Obi



    Japanese reissue promo (1977)

    Vinyl album: GXG 1029 (A&M/King Records, Japan, 1977). Usual white label version of this release.


    Japanese reissue (1980)

    Vinyl album: AMP-4030 (A&M/Alfa Records, Japan, 1980). Single sleeve this time, with Obi - logo at top right features Japanese catalogue number. The back of the cover is the moody portrait again. There's a 2 sided white insert - on one side track listing and some sleeve notes by Michinari Yamada, on other side the lyrics and credits as per the UK inner, but with only white text and no colour.

    The back of the Obi features some rather later releases including the 1977 release from Nils Lofgren, "I Came To Dance". However, the sleeve notes in the insert appear to be dated January 1980 (see bottom left of insert). The labels are of course silver, and have the following: "Licensed by A&M Records Inc/Alfa Records Inc. Manufactured and distributed by Victor Musical Industries Inc.".

    Front cover detail and Obi



    Japanese reissue promo (1980)

    Vinyl album: AMP-4030 (A&M/Alfa Records, Japan, 1980). By 1980 Alfa were doing Japan releases for A&M, and they didn't do white label promos it seems: all that distinguishes the release and promo are three Japanese characters on the right hand side of the label, which translate as "promo". To the right of that, a number "3/21", which suggests to me that these may have been numbered copies, very sophisticated if true. Alfa reissued dozens of A&M releases around that time - these characters and similar numbers also appeared on promo copies, inckluding Rick Wakeman's Lizstomani, which had the immediately preceding catalogue number AMP 4029.

    Single sleeve, not gatefold. On the cover shot on Discogs, there's a red sticker with the same characters I think, which looks as though it has been removed from my copy. Came with insert - Japanese text on one side, lyrics from original releae on the other.

    Front cover and obi


    Japanese reissue (1987) ?

    From The Witchwood was reissued in 1987 on both vinyl and CD by Pony Canyon - only ever seen the 1987 CD release of Antiques - was there a parallel vinyl release in 1987?


    South African release (*)

    Vinyl album: AMC 2152 (A&M, South Africa, 1970). Spotted online. In later years A&M in South Africa would use the same cat number as the UK release, but with an AMLH prefix. There was also an "AMC" release of Strawbs (AMC 2090) and From The Witchwood (AMC 2152).

    The South African release has the small grey A&M logo at top right (like US releases), with the SA catalogue number at top left of the cover. Nothing more known - anyone got this?

    Front cover

    South African reissue

    Vinyl album: AMLS 64288 (A&M, South Africa, 1971?). No red A&M logo at top left, this has the small A&M logo at top right (like US releases), with this SA catalogue number below it. The cover is single sleeve, modelled on US/Canada sleeve, with track details and credits at bottom right of the back cover. An "interpack" logo at bottom right. Brown labels, with an amusing typo on the credit to "Fingertips" - step forward D Cupsins!



    A&M original cassette release

    Cassette: ZCAM 994 (A&M 1970). First cassette release, when A&M (as did a number of other labels) had their cassettes made for them by specialist cassette producer Precision Tapes. Gren cassette body, paper labels. Cassette inner has a balack and white version of the "moody" picture of the band which appeared on first release of the vinyl album (later replaced with the "pub" shot), which suggests this was produced at the same time as the first release. My copy has the owner's name, "Bob", handwritten on both sides of the cassette and outer, which I've edited out of the ssans here.

    Cassette sleeve


    A&M cassette reissue (1973 or later)

    Cassette: CAM 994 (A&M 1973?). The outer of both this and the Witchwood cassette use one of the inner images rather than the main album cover - in this case the Dore engraving (Witchwood features St Jerome). It's not released on A&M's behalf on Precision Tapes like early A&M cassette releases, and inside it gives the New Kings Road address, so it's probably a 1973 or later copy.

    Cassette sleeve



    Canyon CD release, 1987

    CD: D32Y3524 (A&M Japan/Canyon Records, 1987). Outer sleeve matches the later version, probably the US issue (address given for A&M is the North American address). Not one, not two but THREE 2x2 inserts - a 25th A&M anniversary mini-catalogue, a biog in Japanese (with tantalisingly English headings) and a 2x2 size folded reproduction of the Dore engraving on one side, with the lyrics in readable size print on the other. Nicely done.

    As a vinyl release of Witchwood from the same exercise has emerged, was this released on vinyl as well ?

    Booklet - outside

    Booklet - inside

    Insert 1, front and back

    Insert 2, front and back

    Insert 3, front and back

    Tray back and CD

    Siwan CD release, 1997

    CD: SRMC 0080 (Si-Wan, 1997). Packaging matches the earliest version, ie. with the moody photo. The inner spread with the engraving and the lyrics is reproduced (tiny tiny print), the sleeve notes are in Korean.

    Booklet - front (p1) and back (p8)

    Booklet - pages 2&3

    Booklet - pages 4&5

    Booklet - pages 6 & 7

    Obi and CD body

    Tray back and inner

    Universal CD release, 1998

    CD: 540 938-2 (A&M, 1998, REMASTERED WITH 3 BONUS TRACKS). Inner includes front and both versions of the back cover (the "moody" one was shot from my own copy) and the engraving. No lyrics, instead, new sleeve notes by Dave Cousins and John Tobler.

    A&M 1998 CD releases (Antiques, Witchwood, GNW, BATS, Hero, Ghosts)

    These Universal releases have manufacturing details printed in the clear plastic centre on the silver side (ie bottom) of the CD. The first releases were made in Germany by PMDC. They seem to have been re-pressed later by other companies - EDC and Universal M&L and these are coming up on Discogs as different releases, but I'm not going to start scanning CD bottoms on Strawbsweb! No other changes as far as I can see in packaging.

    Booklet - front (p1) and back (p8)

    Booklet - pages 2&3

    Booklet - pages 4&5

    Booklet - pages 6 & 7

    CD body

    Russian unofficial CD release, Alkinous 2001

    Front cover

    Inner spread

    CD and tray back

    Japanese "facsimile" card cover CD release, 2003

    CD: UICY 9297 (A&M, Japan 2003 ("Rock Legends series"). A CD replica of the album packaging of the earlierst version, with the moody photo, and there's an Obi. Nice attention to detail, the CD itself looks like an A&M label, again from the earliest vinyl release, with lighter cooured orange and the earlier A&M logo; comes in a little protective clear sleeve. It's even marked "Side 1" (but please don't try playing it upside down to get Side 2 {grin}). A 4CD x4C sized 1-sided black & white insert has track listing and Japanese sleeve notes (dated 10 July 2003).

    Front and back covers and Obi

    Inner spread

    CD and insert

    Universal Japan SHMCD reissue (2018)

    CD: UICY-78835 (Universal, Japan, 2018) Facsimile reissue including Japanese booklet, based firmly on UK vinyl release. Obi mimics original Japanese release.

    CD and Obi

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