Pharaoh Sanders Quintet / Pharaoh / Mono

Pharaoh Sanders Quintet / Pharaoh / Mono



This is an oddity, for sure, which I cannot find data for online, so bear with me.

The original pressings were clearly ID’d as mono or stereo on the labels. This pressing’s labels say neither, but it is definitely mono.

The original pressings did not feature the artist name on the front cover—just the swirl. This one has the swirl and the name.

The original mono pressing was released in a stereo jacket with the word "stereo” crossed out by hand. This one was issued in a sleeve that reads both mono and stereo with the word stereo crossed out by hand.

The original stereo was Plastylite stamped. The original mono was both Plastylite and BELL SOUND stamped, which means it sounded amazing. From what I can find online, no later pressings were identified as either, which makes sense given the year of release (1965) and the years of reissue. This one is stamped both Plastylite & BELL SOUND.

The album was reissued in the USA in 1970, with labels that match these (meaning stereo/mono was not indicated on them)—however, at that time, the front cover artwork was different altogether. And, to my recollection, Plastylite folded in 67/68 after losing Blue Note as a major client in ‘66 when Lion sold the label to Liberty, so the 1970 repress wouldn’t be Plastylite anyway.

Also, the rear cover of this pressing features ads for other ESP titles. The latest released album in that ad is The Fugs (ESP 1028), which was released in ‘66. The ad is laid out in a grid and after The Fugs portion of the ad, there are empty squares that could have been occupied by two later titles (Charles Tyler and Sonny Simmons were the next two released, both in ‘66). Since they are instead blank, one has to assume those records weren’t yet released and that this cover is from ‘66 and no later. (I believe ESP also moved from 5th Ave to Riverside Drive in ‘66. This cover has a 5th Avenue address.)

So… my guess is that it’s an original mono pressing of the wax that was late-run and ended up in a slightly altered cover, probably because ESP realized omitting the artist name from the front cover wasn’t the best marketing decision



Beautiful copy. Clean vinyl. Solid sleeve showing minor wear. But for a very few crackles and two faint pops, it sounds amazing, as all Plastylite Bell Sound pressings do.



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