This is where the Sproutologist smirks a little smirk in the direction of, say, the Smithsonian or Pink-Floydist collector. I do occasionally sort an eBay listing of one of the widely collected bands by price, descending, look incredulously at the pricing, and consider myself fortunate. For what could cost almost literally thousands were it from one of the big guns can be had for peanuts in the Sprout world.
So it was with these records. Firstly a Mayking test pressing of the second single, “The Devil Has All the Best Tunes”. Very rare: Mayking pressed a lot of Indy singles in the 1980s and test examples were produced in single figures only. Marks the start of the Sprouts debut with their major label and with the exception of the Candle “Lions” the earliest existing piece of vinyl.
And then from January 1985, a single sided acetate of Steve McQueen. The mixes are identical to the release but the track order is different, with “When Love Breaks Down” moved to the end of the side. The story goes that the mastering wasn’t acceptable and it was re-done. But another little bit of history. It’s astounding what turns up if you look hard enough for long enough.