When We Rock We Rock… on A&M

Deep Purple When We Rock cover

Older fans of the band will probably recall the release of When We Rock We Rock back in 1978 with mixed feelings.  It was one of the first post-split Deep Purple collections, and did not bode well for the treatment of the band’s catalogue.  The LP originated at Warners and was intended for the American and Japanese markets, but imports into Europe were widespread.  It certainly turned up very quickly at my local branch of Virgin Records in Sheffield. Despite the sci-fi cover art (by Japanese illustrator and designer Shusei Nagaoka – remember the ELO spaceship from Out Of The Blue?) which sort of shows a space bound recording studio, it offered nothing for fans, not even a photograph of the band.  Tracks were split into 50% by Mk 2, three from Mk 1 and just one track from Burn to represent the Coverdale / Hughes years.

When We Rock A&M label.jpg

As for vinyl collectors, the album throws up few variations so I was surprised to see a copy appear recently on the A&M label (above) which turned out to be a rare manufacturing error.  It is not unknown for some albums to have a wrong label slip through a production batch of otherwise correct copies (both sides having a side one label, etc.), but this time an entire run was produced with the correct track information but the gold A&M label instead of the cream Warner label (below) standard at the time.

When We Rock Warners label.jpg

The error appears not to be Warners’ however. RCA ran a record club label for some decades (starting back in 1955), you joined and could buy albums direct at a discount, and get special offers.  Quite often albums sold through this scheme would be pressed by RCA themselves under license, with the correct parent label on, but the RCA Music Services address added to the back sleeve, and this is the case with the Deep Purple compilation (seen below).  In this instance however they used the wrong label design altogether, hence this unusual and rare variant.  My thanks to Pericle Formenti for the A&M scan, he’s just added it to his collection after many years searching!

RCA Music servives details.jpg

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