Back in 2011, a rare West German pressing of the 1979 Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers album, Night in Tunisia, was featured here on keithhirsch.com (click here). That disc is noteworthy by virtue of its prominent blue-arrow motif. The blue arrow was one of the earliest label designs used for CDs on the Philips label. As such, this Blakey pressing is quite rare and popular with collectors.

Now we consider a variation of the blue-arrow pressing that is also early, rare, and sought by collectors. Behold the green-blue-arrow pressing of Night in Tunisia. This disc is similar to the copy we discussed in 2011. In one case, the arrow and the text printed on the label side of the disc are dark blue. For the copy considered here, the arrow and text are green-blue, like a teal color.

The two arrow pressings of Night in Tunisia were pressed by Polygram and share the same matrix code, “800064 2 01”, meaning they were made from the same glass master. The two discs have identical inserts. By inspection of the disc and inserts, it is not clear which color variation came first. It also is not known why the variations exist. Was Polygram consciously testing colors? Is one variation a pressing error? Did Polygram get the wrong ink lot at some point?

Both of these early arrow pressings of Night in Tunisia are rare. Based on the limited number of copies likely to be found in used CD stores and online, determining which variation is rarer is not expected to be definitive. If you can only buy one of these variations, take either one happily.

Shown below is the cover and back insert for the West German Philips release of Night in Tunisia, along with the green-blue-arrow pressing.

 

The cover for the West German green-blue-arrow pressing of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers Night in Tunisia (Philips, catalog number 800 064-2). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

The back insert for the West German green-blue-arrow pressing of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers Night in Tunisia (Philips, catalog number 800 064-2). This is the identical insert found with blue-arrow pressing.

 

The West German green-blue-arrow pressing of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers Night in Tunisia (Philips, catalog number 800 064-2). The matrix code is “800064-2 01”. Three spelling errors are noted. Tunisia is twice misspelled “Tunesia”, and alto next to Robert Watson in the personnel list is misspelled “also”. The same spelling errors appear on the blue-arrow pressing.

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