Monday, March 4, 2013

Record of the week – the Norton singles

The second press to the left.

Billy Miller was a record dealer in New York, Miriam Linna used to be the drummer for The Cramps for a short period. Together they started the independent label Norton Records in 1986. The label has focus on garage rock, garage punk, lounge music and early rock.
In 1987 Norton records released a single with two tracks from the 914-session. Ramones recorded their first demo in september 19, 1975 at the 914 Studios in New York. The producer was Marty Thau who was working with the New York Dolls by the time.
Ramones went to Thau because they thought he would be a suitable manager for the band. Marty Thau was more into to become a producer and the recordings with the Ramones was his first experince. He knew that Sire already was interested in the band and played the tracks for the A&R assistant Craig Leon who later became the producer of the Ramones debut record.
"Leon was surprised that I had some Ramones recordings. When he heard the his eyes started shining. When he made (the Sire president) Seymur Stein listen to them, every possible doubt about the group was dispelled after five minute", Marty Thau remembers.
The recordings are interesting because they are made a year before the first album, the songs sounds different.
In 2011 Norton re-released the single, this time with a blank cardboard sleeve (the first one had a thin paper sleeve) and with heavier vinyl, 40 g instead of 30 g. The first sleeve is a bit bigger on the upper side. The labels and the matrix number are the same.
In october 2012 Nortons warehouse in Brooklyn was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and most of the records got destroyed. The Ramones single is sold-out today.

Songs: I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend/Judy Is A Punk
Number: Norton 45-065
Year: 1987, re-released in 2011
Country: US

The second press to the left.

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