Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hey presto - Black

I first got to know the UK band Black in 1984, when the music video for 'Hey presto' appeared on television. I'm not sure whether it was this video (which I never saw again since 1984!) or repeated radio play which hooked me, but I was most certainly hooked. I never got to buy the single, because it was only released in the UK - or so I thought until recently.

Back in 1992, I met a fellow fan who owned a rare copy of 'Hey presto', made in the UK, which didn't contain the 'regular' studio version, but rather a demo version. It couldn't be distinguished from other UK pressings, so this was a really strange appearance. A year later, when we spoke to Colin Vearncombe, he explained that a run of copies was made for export to Australia, and WEA retrieved the demo version from the archives by mistake. I never found a copy of this rare run of pressings myself.

This month, after the tragic passing of Colin Vearncombe, I started looking for holes in my collection. It's one way to cope with the loss, I guess. I noticed that there was a German pressing of 'Hey presto', and there was one copy for sale. I decided to order it. The single arrived in my mailbox earlier today. Upon playing this disc, I discovered that this version, too, contained the demo versions of the A and B-side tracks. And just like on the UK pressings, there is no indication that this disc contains the demo versions instead of the regular studio versions. But you can safely assume that all German pressings are the same, since 'Hey presto' probably only had one run of pressings in Germany. Such a pleasant surprise!

My collection: 7" single no. 5827
Found:, received February 17, 2016
Cost: $5
Tracks: 'Hey presto [demo version]' / 'Stephen [demo version]]

Listen to the song

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Such a rare treat to hear Colin's earlier stuff. Is the Stephen demo also available for a listen? Cheers.


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