Unexpected Tom Petty "stamper" discovery

Did some New Years cull of Rock albums. Went through the Tom Petty catalog.

My faves are his first 3 albums, with my interest fading by his 5th, "Long After Dark"
I was a big fan, saw TP & the Heartbreakers perform arguably at their peak -New Years Eve, 1978 at the Santa Monica Civic.

Playing my 2nd least favorite album "Hard Promises," the great sonics kept me listening to it.

A quick Wiki revealed this, which I thought was cool:

"During the recording of the album, John Lennon was scheduled to be in the same studio at the same time. Petty was looking forward to meeting him when he came in. The meeting never occurred, as Lennon was murdered before the date of his planned visit the studio. Petty and the band paid tribute to the slain former Beatle by etching "WE LOVE YOU J.L." in the runout deadwax on early U.S. and Canadian pressings of Hard Promises."

After side 1 was finished, a quick inspection verified my suspicion-I have a Tom Port HOT STAMPER$$!!

All those Tom Port descriptors used for those $3-500 "WHITE HOT STAMPER" were heard!

Reality, I just thought the sonics were quite nice, so im keeping it. The album was a sealed copy. I found it during one of my neighborhood store, bin diving sessions years ago. It was played once back then, never saw daylight since.

Played side 2, then back on the shelf, where it likely won’t get played for another couple years.

Thinking about this got me curious, don’t want people thinking I’m cheap or a tightwad or anything. So I looked it up. Even worse than I thought. A new album in 1976 was $7! No wonder I was so picky. Those things were even more expensive than I thought!

I would be terribly conflicted,if I had to give up TP's debut or "Damn the Torpedoes.

TP's music was caught up in the 80's MTV movement, and I thought that was the "jump the shark" period. Also, Rock radio was turning into what is now-a list of songs on repeat.

My DTT copy may be an elusive "WHITE HOT STAMPER" grade that would list on Tom Ports sight for an amount I could never imagine coughing up!

Both of my copies are early  Backstreet labels. I believe later  presses are the blue/rainbow MCA label.

I have taken "Damn the Torpedoes" to shows and played it  on uber systems, and it would grab the attention of anyone in the room. 
Spectacular/breathtaking  sound on one of those 50k+ tables.

IMO, those 2 albums are in the rare, exclusive club-every cut is a great song.
Yeah well and looking back now I can see why. Price inflation has so distorted thinking we look at $7 and it feels like nothing. But $7 back then was not nothing! It was more like five times the minimum wage. So in other words, in order to get an album made back in the 1970’s your material had to be good enough to convince the suits kids would pay the equivalent of $60 in today’s money. I can hardly imagine how much better music would be today if the choices were like back then, radio or the $60 album. No wonder we had Rumours, Dark Side of the Moon, Crime of the Century....

Anyway you got me curious to see if I can find a nice copy of DTT. Sounds like it needs to be Backstreet to get that stunning/breathtaking sound. How can you tell? From the cover? Or do you need to look at the LP itself?

It is mind blowing and depressing to realize the "value" of our hard earned cash these days.

I have a small stack of double/triple buys of albums from the cull.

A DTT is in the pile. It is a later, MCA rainbow. Since you'll just have to do some bin diving and check the record label, should be just a matter of effort. 

In the event you come across a sealed copy, I notice the Backstreet WILL NOT have a bar code. That's typically the easiest way to determine an early press of certain material. In this case, I'm not certain how to determine the lineage from there?

I must correct my earlier claim on my  TP debut. It is a SHELTER, yellow label.
It appears Shelter must have been absorbed later by Backstreet, which was distributed by MCA? The record label thing gets confusing.

Maybe someone  can chime in for some history. I think bdp24 may be able to shed some light on the label history. He is the R&R history guy.

In any event, I played a side of the TP debut. My copy is a level down since it wasn't a sealed album.  The sonics however, are reasonably close to my DTT.
I notice REALLY great presses can be played at low volume,and the dynamics/punchiness of bass,drums and cymbals can be easily noticed.

"American Girl" is such a great Rock and Roll tune. Love the jangly, Roger Mcguinn-Byrds guitar tone.

Interesting discussion about sound quality. T Bone Burnett and Tom Petty were always sticklers for sound quality.