While I was at a garage sale today, I stumbled upon a single-sided test pressing from Decca UK. It had no markings anywhere on it about the artist and the album title except for the word "TEST" on the label. When I got home, I researched the catalogue number and it turned out to be that of the mono version of "Farewell to the First Golden Era" by The Mamas and the Papas. Interestingly, the catalogue nubmer was for the US Dunhill pressing, so I had to play the record to confirm that it is actually The Mamas and the Papas. And it is!
I checked on the Internet and I couldn't find anything about this particular test pressing. However, there was one eBay auction for a double-sided test pressing also of the Mamas and the Papas, particularly for their album "The Papas and the Mamas", and the auction claims that it is an export pressing for sale in the US. So mine MIGHT be a rare export pressing made in the UK for sale in the US, but the strange thing is that it wound up here in Canada... maybe somebody worked at the Decca plant and took it with them.
Do these come up often, or do I have a real rarity on my hands? Mind you, I'm not selling it; I kinda like the idea of stumbling across something that may be a one-off private pressing. Visually and audibly, I would grade the record as VG+. This mono cut doesn't have that much bass, but otherwise it still plays nicely with a minor pop in two spots.
Oh, and the record came in a poly-lined inner sleeve that says "MADE IN ENGLAND R.S. 5-78" and a UK patent number. Also, there is a hand-written "TEST" in thick black marker.
I submitted an entry of this test pressing to Discogs with the track listing and everything.