12" (black) / test pressing / Waterfront / DAMP-114 / made in Australia / 1989

The white label test pressings came in standard Australian D-shaped plastic inner sleeves and light brown die-cut cardboard sleeves. While one copy has been found with blank labels, all others have handwritten titles and catalog numbers on the side A labels. Two different variants have been found; "DAMP-114 A NIRAVANA" and "W/FRONT SG A NIRAVANA".

The lacquers were cut at Festival Studios by Rick O'Neil, as identified by the "®" in the matrix codes [1]. However, there is some conflicting information regarding where they were pressed.

According to Frank Cotterell, co-owner of Waterfront, the test pressings were pressed by CBS Records in Sydney, who supposedly manufactured all of Waterfront's vinyl releases at the time. Cotterell also said that Nirvana was misspelled by a non-English speaking pressing plant employee, causing amusement to himself and his partner at Waterfront. [2]

Another industry person was certain that the records were actually pressed by Festival Records, based on the matrix codes and the size of the ring under the labels. Further, he also recognized the handwriting as possibly belonging to a woman named Donna who worked at Festival. Donna is a native English speaker, and there were never really any issues with non-English speaking workers. [3] It is possible that the records were cut (and processed) at Festival to be pressed at CBS, but it seems that Cotterell remembered wrong and they were entirely manufactured at Festival.

One cardboard sleeve came with description of test pressing noise artefacts, also stating that they will not be present on the production run.

Cotterell has given conflicting guesses regarding the quantity of test pressings. Waterfront never kept records of number of pressings for any items, especially not test pressings [2]. Frank had seven test pressings which he sold in 2002 via an Australian collector [4], and two were sold some time before that [5]. A few others have also been on eBay after 2002. So far, eleven different copies have been confirmed with pictures below.

The test pressings sold by Cotterell in 2002 all came with printed and signed certificate of authenticity. Later eBay auctions came with slightly different letters from Frank, which were dated 2003.08.26 and 2004.04.02, and another with a completely handwritten letter, not dated. Another copy from a different seller came with a black and white Nirvana sticker, which was probably added by a later owner.


Side A
  • Blew - 
  • Floyd The Barber - 
  • About A Girl - 
  • School - 
  • Love Buzz - 
  • Paper Cuts
Side B
  • Negative Creep - 
  • Scoff - 
  • Swap Meet - 
  • Mr. Moustache - 
  • Sifting


Side A
DMX  71211   ®2AC
Side B
DMX  71212   ®2C

Copy 1, side A
1. Copy 1, side A

Copy 2, side A
2. Copy 2, side A

Copy 3, side A
3. Copy 3, side A

Copy 4, side A
4. Copy 4, side A

Copy 5, side A
5. Copy 5, side A

Copy 6, side A
6. Copy 6, side A

Copy 7, side A
7. Copy 7, side A

Copy 8, side A
8. Copy 8, side A

Copy 9, sleeve detail
9. Copy 9, sleeve detail

Copy 9, side A
10. Copy 9, side A

Copy 10, side A
11. Copy 10, side A

Copy 10, side B
12. Copy 10, side B

Copy 11, side A
13. Copy 11, side A

Copy 11, side B
14. Copy 11, side B