(Not a record label: use only as Manufacturer / Pressed By ("(SP)" or "SP") / Duplicated By / Glass Mastered At)
Founded in 1946, Specialty Records Corporation was at one point one of the biggest pressing plants in the world. Warner Communications Inc. purchased Specialty in 1978 along with Allied Record Company in 1979 to form WEA Manufacturing Inc. CD pressing started at the plant in September 1986 (first disc: Phil Collins - No Jacket Required). They also manufactured 8-tracks, cassettes, VHS tapes, and DVDs. Specialty pressed records for a huge range of major and minor record labels, including Asylum Records and Island Records, as well as for record pressing brokers. WEA operated the pressing plant under the Specialty name until the plant was officially renamed WEA Mfg. Olyphant at the end of 1996. In 2003, the facility was sold to Cinram as part of their takeover of WEA Manufacturing. Cinram operated the plant until November 2015, when Cinram's North American operations were acquired by Technicolor. Technicolor closed the plant on May 1, 2018.
PRESSING IDENTIFIERS INCLUDE:
• Pressing plant code 49 on labels, as seen on releases from PolyGram's sublabels and partner labels.
• Often denoted by an "(SP)" or "SP" plant code printed on center labels on many of the labels they pressed record for. Often denoted on Atlantic releases or related labels' releases with a "-SP" at the end of the printed matrix number on the center labels.
• Usually on vinyl from late '70s to '00s by the machine-stamped SRC logo in the runout groove dead-wax, although earlier releases will sometimes only have an "-SP" or "-SR" etching, without the logo.
• An "E A S T" embossed around the center hole (sourced from metal parts that were originally made for use at Allied Record Company based on the etchings). Note that usually the "T" is the most visible, sometimes the only really visible letter. Also note that a lone "A" embossed in the label area would indicate it was pressed at Allied Record Company.
• CASSETTES duplicated at SRC are denoted by a printed 'SR' on the cassette itself ('AR' on the cassette indicates Allied Record Company).
• COMPACT DISCS: the "SRC" in the matrix (1986 to 1996). If there is both ARC and SRC, then the CD was pressed at Allied Record Company but the glass master came from SRC.
• COMPACT DISCS: the Specialty 'S' logo in the matrix ring. (1993 to 1996 [possibly into 1997]). Note that this only appears in the matrix of CDs glass mastered in that period, after that the plant was officially renamed and only a WEA Mfg logo appears on glass masters made post '96.
Records that have the "SRC" logo in the runout 'deadwax' were processed & pressed By Specialty Records Corporation.
Records that have the "SRC" logo along with an "SPAR" etching and a "B-#####"-type matrix number in the runout 'deadwax' indicate that the plating (processing / metalwork) was done at Specialty Records Corporation but the record itself was pressed at Allied Record Company. In such cases, add Specialty Records Corporation as 'Mastered At' and also add Allied Record Company as 'Pressed By'.
Records that have an "SP-AL" etching and a "B-#####"-type matrix number in the runout indicate that the plating (processing / metalwork) was done at Specialty Records Corporation and the record itself was pressed at Allied Record Company. In such cases add Specialty Records Corporation as 'Mastered At' and also add Allied Record Company as 'Pressed By'.
Similar patterns can be found on other releases, which were pressed outside U.S. for foreign markets. Here, e.g. "SPGER" can be found in the runouts, which means the masters were plated at SRC, mastered by Record Service Alsdorf and pressed in a German pressing plant (which eventually can be identified by their specific pattern in the runouts). For example, a widely used cooperation can be found between SRC, Sterling Sound, and Record Service Alsdorf on numerous releases. Identified country codes are:
SPGER - Germany
SPENG - England
SPAUS - Australia
SPCAN - Canada
SP-ITA - Italy
Note, on Test Pressings from this company:
"ACC'T ____________"Account" equals the manufacturing company (parent of the label) for major label releases, or sometimes just the Label in the case of smaller indie labels.
"REC. NO. _________" Record Number" equals the Catalog number.
"MTX. NO. _________" Matrix Number" equals the Matrix number.