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Stylus Counsel | Area Resident’s Records

Track 12 | Typo Positive.


When somebody sends me something they’re proud of writing, I can be a real ass.

I’ve been a journalist and an editor for too many years and I struggle to just read something for enjoyment rather than with a critical eye.

But I secretly love typos and spelling mistakes.

Last year when I was first cataloguing my record collection on Discogs, I discovered one of my copies of The Beatles (aka The White Album, 1968) was famous for a spelling mistake. Rocky Raccoon is spelled Rocky Racoon on the label and the gatefold.

It got me thinking about how often this stuff makes its way, often hilariously, into newspapers, TV screens, and neck tattoos. It turns out The Beatles (sp?) are not alone in this regard, not by a long shot.

Forget Justin Bieber; I always say the greatest music-maker to ever come out of Stratford, Ont. is Richard Manuel of The Band. Just listen to Whispering Pines. Manuel was friends with Bob Dylan, but that didn’t stop his last name being misspelled as Manual on the sleeve of the boring, recorded-in-three-days Planet Waves album. Probably not the first time that happened to him.

A more prominent and famous one is Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies. Apparently a mistake made by the designer, but it was just kept through all subsequent repressings. I file this under instant karma for such a pretentious title to a wonderful record. I have the 2019 remaster. Engineered by Geoff Emerick!

Tool fans are probably well aware the title track of 2001’s Lateralus — Track 9 — is spelled Lateralis on earlier pressings.

This one’s not really a typo, but it is lazy: First-edition copies of Mike Oldfield‘s Platinum (1979) on vinyl include the song Sally. All other pressings include Into Wonderland in its place, but they never bothered to update the jacket or labels until the album’s 2012 remaster.

The second Pink Floyd album, 1968’s Saucerful Of Secrets, has new guitar player David Gilmour‘s name spelled incorrectly as Gilmore. I have the 1980 vinyl reissue and it’s still there.

The spine of Dido’s Greatest Hits is printed as Grestest Hits. Spelling isn’t the only issue here, clearly they made the factual mistake of pluralizing Hit.

Oh, and don’t get fooled by all the on-purpose spelling irregularities like Prince’s affection for using 2 and U instead of to and you. Slade loved to spell stuff weirdly in song titles like Mama Weer All Crazee Now and Cum On Feel The Noize. The Who used zeroes instead of the letter O sometimes. And then there are album titles like Badmotorfinger and Whitechocolatespaceegg.

Most of the unintentional gaffes, even the corrected ones, never amount to much $ for collectors, though. Unless, of course, you manage to get your hands on one of the 250 advance copies of The Beatles’ first single Love Me Do/PS I Love You where Paul McCartney‘s name is listed as “McArtney.” It will probably cost you around $4,000 to acquire now.

That’s Hi Hi Hi (sp?) indeed.

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Area Resident is an Ottawa-based journalist, recording artist, music collector and re-seller. Hear (and buy) his music on Bandcamp, email him HERE, follow him on Instagram and check out him out on Discogs.