LP: Left Channel Drops In and Out


I just experienced something I have never seen in almost 50 years of listening to LPs.  

I was playing a vinyl copy of Bob James Grand Piano Canyon and side one played perfectly.  However, when I put on side 2, music only came from the right speaker, even though I could hear surface noise in the left channel.  I immediately panicked and thought something was wrong with my stereo, so I played part of side 1 again and it was perfect.  So I played side 2 again and the first two tracks played only the right channel.  When I played track 3 it started out with only the right channel, then part way though the left channel began fading in and out, finally outputting both channels normally for the remainder of the LP.  I repeated this several times with the same results, so obviously it was the record.  

Has anyone experienced this?  Warner Brothers must have had some type of quality control problem--is it a probable pressing problem, or electronic problem in the mastering?  Maybe some of these defective records slipped through before they caught them.  

Anyway, I will pick up another copy and see if it has this same problem.  Weird.
rlawry
Could happen. The cutter is an analog lathe, so it’s definitely possible that the master for the LP was cut when one channel stopped working.

These pressing masters need to be re-cut every so many LP's, so it's quite possible that in a large run one of them went bad and no one noticed.

Best,

Erik
Try another record...but it's quite obvious that its the fault of the record

As an update on this Bob James LP, I bought a sealed copy and it displays the exact same phenomenon of the missing left channel on the first two songs on side 2 and fading in and out on the third cut before correcting for the rest of the LP side.  I also have the CD and it does not suffer from such a problem, so the problem is obviously in the mastering of the LP, which to me sounds electronic in nature.  Not sure if this is merely a sampling problem where some of the pressings got out before Warner Brothers finally noticed the problem, of whether the entire LP population has this problem.  Definitely a quality control problem and wonder whether WB was ever aware of this issue, probably an outsourcing problem that WB either didn't catch or didn't care about.  Interesting.
Could happen. The cutter is an analog lathe, so it’s definitely possible that the master for the LP was cut when one channel stopped working.

These pressing masters need to be re-cut every so many LP's, so it's quite possible that in a large run one of them went bad and no one noticed.
This is really really unlikely. What is far more likely is that its simply a pressing defect.
I saw on Audioasylum Vinyl Asylum that someone else noticed this problem.  Surprising that WB never found it.  Since the recording was in 1990 at the end of the vinyl heyday, I seriously doubt that more than one mastering or pressing was done of this album, so I would guess the entire outsourced LP run to be defective and it simply was not on the WB radar.  In any case, I am going to assume all pressings are defective and not waste any more time and money trying to find a correct one.  Too bad as it is a great record.

I had a MFSL 45 rpm copy of Patricia Barber Modern Cool where on the first track the sonics almost entirely disappeared, this on a $50 limited edition reissue, so I guess it happens.