The Wurzels EMI Ireland Releases

Record releases by The Wurzels outside England are poorly documented as this was something managed by EMI worldwide rather than something that the group themselves were able to control - so this may be a page that will be updated and expanded as more information becomes available! 

Until recently it was believed that no Wurzel discs were pressed and released in Ireland. However following a find in an Irish record shop together with research by several record collectors it now appears that at least two Wurzel single were pressed and released in Ireland - the 1977 Farmer Bill's Cowman and the 1980 I Shot JR (both were musically identical to the releases in England by EMI).

 7" Single:

1977:    Farmer Bill's Cowman 

Until recently a 1977 pressing of 'Farmer Bill's Cowman' with one label (B side) stating that it was made in the Republic of Ireland was put down to the wrong label blank being used. The discovery of another copy of this single in a green EMI sleeve purchased in Ireland has led to this theory being reconsidered.....

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So bit of techy background!

In the 1930's EMI  opened a pressing plant in Ireland at Ferrybank in Waterford and was the only pressing plant in Ireland until the late 1960s. EMI moved the whole operation to a Dublin Industrial Estate in 1976 as the Ferrybank works was considered too old to be refurbished.  All record companies had to use the plant and it accepted orders for very low runs, as low as 250 up to the 1000s. 

Overall the new plant was not a success and closed down after operating for only a few years. One of the issues was the occasional inability to keep up with demand and they often had to import labels from England - sometimes fully printed, sometimes they were proforma blanks. Labels printed in Ireland were clearly distinguished by the fact that they used a lighter font.

Going back to the 1977 Wurzels' single 'Farmer Bills Cowman' mentioned above (in the green sleeve): The single was released in England on 10th June 1977 on the EMI label, this  particular disc would indeed now appear to be a classic case of an Irish pressing and release with all the hallmarks - UK label on side A, an Irish printed label (with the different style of font and very light) on side B with the additional tale-tell signs of the master being tapered with (the 'ANIKICUT' signature on the master has been scrubbed and there is no mother or stamper letter on the vinyl run-out.

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7" Vinyl Single 1977:
 Farmer Bill's Cowman b/w Springtime

Catalogue number EMI-2637. All the tracks are identical to the UK version. The A Side Matrix is EMI2637 A-1, 
B Side Matrix is EMI2637 B-1.

These  images show this record in its original EMI Ireland company sleeve - thanks to Peter May for these.

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The Wurzels Archives

For clarity - close-up of the EMI logo

Same logo as for EMI England but with the address being given as


 [Many thanks to Alex Mcdermott of Ireland for supplying additional information that helped the creation of this page]

The Wurzels Archives

 7" Single:

1980:   I Hate J.R. 

Until recently a 1980 pressing of 'I Hate J.R.' released on the John Miles label using a PYE record blank had been overlooked and put down to the pressing plant in England running out of the 'normal' JM label blanks. Following the investigation for the Farmer Bill's Cowman single (above) this item was looked at again in the context of the Irish record industry.

PYE records had a branch in Ireland for many years, but was particularly active in the 1960s onwards. Following some financial issues (including CBS not renewing a contract with them)  PYE closed down in Ireland in late 1971 and distribution of their releases in Ireland was carried out via Polygram. Eventually the UK company known as PYE was rebranded as P.R.T. as of Sept 1980.

So, the  April 1980 pressing of 'I Hate J.R.' released on the John Miles label using a PYE record label, which until now has been included as an 'oddity' on the UK Wurzels' singles page on this website, can now be seen as a distinct Irish release - using the master from JM records in England, pressed by Polygram in Ireland and distributed by PYE records.

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This rare example was pressed by Polygram, using the PYE record label The vinyl itself is identical to the version released in England.

'A' Side Matrix:JM1001 A1 DTONE

'B' Side Matrix: JM1001 B1 DT 

The information within this page is intended to be used only for purposes of private study, scholarship or research, in accordance with the legal principle of fair use.