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Other numbers, letters or symbols can often be found in association with the matrix number or at other places on the run-off; these refer to things such as the 'take' (which version of a recording is being used).

At three o'clock there is usually a letter which, Keith points out, indicates which stamper was used to do the pressing.Making a record involves several stages, and marks can be added at each - it should be kept in mind that once a stamper has been made by one firm it can be taken to a different firm for the actual pressing to be done.Identification, therefore, is likely to be less than an exact science, and the following guide should be approached with caution. A comprehensive list of the various markings and their meanings can be found at https://At nine o'clock there are usually three dots, making the points of a small triangle; sometimes these dots have faint lines partially joining them, suggesting a badly-formed 'A'; on better-selling singles this may be a shallowly-impressed letter such as B, C or D, which lends support to the 'A' theory. At three o'clock there are usually one or two numbers; again these may be so faintly impressed as to be barely legible: I've managed to scan a '2' and a '5' as examples, but it wasn't easy and the results aren't good.Around 1977 the typefaced legend was replaced by a handwritten one but the layout remained the same, as can be seen in the third and fourth examples shown above.Some EMI pressings can be found with a 'U' after the single number, giving 'UP 35760 A-4U', 'BELL 1299 B-1U', 'ARISTA 1 A-1U', MAG 127 B-1U' and so on.

Phil Elliott has been kind enough to get in touch to explain that this 'U' indicated that the mastering had been done somewhere other than at EMI's own Abbey Road facilities; it was first added c.1970.

They tend to consist of the matrix number of the record with a few add-ons at the end.

The matrix number is often accompanied by a 'cut number', which refers to the 'stamper' (the metal plate being used to press that side of the record).

If it's at the top of the record, that's twelve o'clock; if it's at the bottom, that's six.

The three and nine o'clock positions are where you'd expect them to be, as are all the rest of the hours.

The symbols at three o'clock and nine o'clock remained unchanged.