Iron Maiden – The Soundhouse Tapes
1) 7" black vinyl record with a square picture sleeve measuring just a shade over 7 1/8 inches across and 7 1/4 inches vertically.
2) The picture sleeve is made of heavy paper identical to the sleeve of the UK version of the 'Running Free' release. This is the only similarity of the two.
3) The picture sleeve has the opening from the top. The cutout on the back of the sleeve and at the opening is exactly 3 11/16 inches long. The cutout is curved and has diagonal cuts on either end. Fakes that mimick this cutout are extremely rare.
4) The picture sleeve inside paper is off white in colour. An aged look, almost beige color is seen at the cutout on the top of the back of the sleeve. Fake sleeves have the colour often pure white.
5) The picture sleeve is orange in color. In original copies, the colour varies very little and only because of exposure to light. Fakes are often too red in color.
6) The picture sleeve back has flaps that extend from the front cover that fold and wrap around to the back of the sleeve where they are glued. The wrap around flap has diagonal cuts which are approximately 22 degrees on all four corners of the back sleeve. Most of the fakes do not have the cuts on an angle or never at the right angle. One tell-tale sign of a fake is if the flap corner cutoffs are too smooth. On the originals, there is always an 'ear' left from the die cast on where the diagonal cuts were made which is almost impossible to fake with modern day equipment.
7) The cutout on the back sleeve at the opening has a curved shape extending downward. There is usually a small hit of orange gap between the lowest point of the cutout and Paul DiAnno's photo. It's a myth that this gap appears on every single original copy and it should not be used as a sign of a fake if it does not appear. Depending on the diecast and how the paper sat at this procedure determined how the sleeves look.
8) The black vinyl record paper label's orange colour is darker than the picture sleeve. While the sleeve is orange the paper labels are almost a light red in color. Fakes often have the labels and picture sleeve use the same orange colow or the paper labels are even in a lighter orange.
9) The black vinyl record side 1 and side 2 have markings in the run off grooves. These markings beyond anything else will tell you if you have an original. They have not been faked so far.
10) The black vinyl record side 1 markings in the runoff grooves are
*EG* SA LYN 7627 - IT ROK - 1 - A
While most of the markings are quite easy to see, the LYN 7627 - IT is not. By having very good light and turning the record into the light is the only way to catch the markings with the bare eye.
11) The black vinyl record side 2 markings in the runoff grooves are
ROK - 1 - B LYN 7628 - IT *EG* SA
Again, the LYN markings are barely seen with the bare eye without turning the record to catch the light of these markings. Fakes try to copy the original markings and all don't come close as they are scribed crudely into the vinyl.