View Full Version : Thriller Vinyls - Pressings/Matrixes

29-05-2010, 08:59 PM
I've been discussing this for a while over at the Steve Hoffman forums but thought perhaps if we bring in the Jackson fans into the loop we may get some more answers.

Essentially, when it comes to Thriller on vinyl there are first pressings (good) and repressings (less good, and in some cases pretty terrible).

I thought perhaps here we could help document pressings and matrixes (those numbers carved in the dead wax of the record, near the label) to help people like myself who are buying records from Ebay to ensure they get the best one possible.

When it comes to US First Pressings the easiest way to know if you've got one of the earlier/first pressings is to check the back of your records Jacket. It should list Quincy Jones as the producer and thats it. Later repressings included the Michael Jackson co-production credit. Matrix numbers will be low (though its tough to know what is low and what is high without references to check). That said, here are some matrix numbers from known early/first pressings:

Promo US
PAL 38112-2A
PBL 38112-2D

1982 Epic Quincy Jones Only (First Pressing)
PAL 38112 2C
PBL 38112 2C

Early December 1982
PAL 38112-1F
PBL 38112-1J

US - Bought Day Of
Side 1: PAL 38112 -2A
Side 2: PBL 38112 -2C

Right now my biggest question is regarding the UK pressings:
I recently purchased what I was told was a UK First Pressing to replace one that I had purchased earlier that was a bit more worn than I would have liked.

The first one I had listed Jackson as a Co-Producer (for * tracks) on the back Jacket, which for US pressings meant that it was *NOT* a first Pressing. However, the record inside had the matrix of what looks like
EPC-85930 A1 for side A
and what looks like
EIC-85930 B1 for Side B.

The REPLACEMENT I recently bought however is a bit different.

The Jacket does not list Jackson as a co producer (which if it were a US pressing would mean 1st) but the matrixes are:
EPC-85930 A2 and B1

This would lead me to believe that this is in fact a REPRESSING, but the different packaging is a bit confusing

Can anyone help clear things up? Obviously those who bought their copies back when it was released in the 80s will be able to better answer.

I wish there was an easier way for me to determine all this. Not to mention find a copy of a UK First Pressing in which the second side is actually decent quality (beat it and billie jean are ALWAYS worn down and noisey, guess those brits liked those songs!)

If there is a real interest in this sort of topic we can expand for the other releases from Michael, but Thriller is the main one I'm interested in because of the sheer number of pressings out there...