Bleach

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. The lacquers were cut at Festival Studios by Rick O'Neil, as identified by the "®" in the matrix codes [1]. According to Frank Cotterell, co-owner of Waterfront, the test pressings were pressed by CBS Records in Sydney, who manufactured all of Waterfront's vinyl releases at the time [2].

While one copy has been found with blank labels, all others have handwritten titles and catalog numbers on the side A labels. Two different variations have been found; "DAMP-114 A NIRAVANA" and "W/FRONT SG A NIRAVANA". Cotterell said that Nirvana was misspelled by a non-English speaking pressing plant employee, causing amusement to himself and his partner at Waterfront [2].

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

Another industry person suggested that the records were actually pressed by Festival Records, not CBS, 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. [3] It is possible that the records were cut (and processed) at Festival to be pressed at CBS, but it is also possible that Cotterell remembered wrong.

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, ten 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.

Tracklist

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

Matrix

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

References