There are quite a few pressings of Bruce Springsteen singles. Some are glaringly different from one another, with different cover art and/or track listings. But for others the difference is as simple as country of origin. The 7″ single for “War” is one of the larger singles in terms of pressings with 17.
What is pictured here is the standard U.S 7″ pressing, which comes in a picture sleeve and has “Merry Christmas Baby” on the b-side. The standard pressing has the traditional orange Columbia center labels. There is also a promo 7″ pressing of this single, which has two different versions of “War.” The a-side has the spoken word intro version on the a-side and the version without the spoken word intro on the b-side. The promo pressing comes in the same picture sleeve as the standard pressing, only the back of the sleeve has the promo’s track listing. The center labels are also different for the promo pressing, having plain white Columbia labels with the traditional “not for sale” printed on them. On top of those two U.S. 7″ pressings there is also a more recent re-press done under the Columbia Hall Of Fame banner that comes in a stock HOF sleeve with grey Columbia center labels.
Along with the U.S. 7″ pressing, there is also a UK, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Australian, Japanese and Canadian, pressing. There are two variants for the UK 7″ pressing, one as a double 7″ and one as a single 7″. I’m not too sure on what the double 7″ variant is exactly. I think it’s a promo package where the label bundled in another 7″ single along with the “War” single, shrink wrapping both together with a hype sticker promoting the fact there is a bonus single. The bonus single would be the additional 7″ single that would make up the second disc of the double 7″ variant. The tracks for the bonus single are “My Hometown” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” That track listing is identical to the “My Hometown” 7″ single, but I’m not sure if that respective single is actually included with the double 7″ variant, picture sleeve and all, or if it’s a unique pressing. The standard pressing of the UK pressing is identical to the standard U.S. 7″ pressing, except for the catalog number obviously) and that it has red CBS center labels.
The Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Canadian 7″ pressings are all identical to the U.S. pressing in terms of cover art on the picture sleeve and track listing, save for the catalog numbers and that they have red CBS center labels. There is also a single-side Spanish promo pressing that comes in a stock CBS sleeve The Japanese pressing has exclusive artwork and is the only 7″ pressing to have different artwork. The cover art on the picture sleeve is inspired by the Bruce Springsteen & The E Street band – Live 1975-85 five LP box set, which I have previously featured on this blog and can be found here: https://stitchesandgrooves.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/bruce-springsteen-7-the-e-street-band-live-1975-1985/ .
On top of all the 7″ pressings there are also four different 12″ pressings; a UK, Dutch, Greek and Spanish. All the 12″ pressings have the same track listing, having an additional b-side track, a live version of “Incident On 57th Street” They all also have the same cover art as all the standard 7″ pressings. There are two variants for the UK 12″ pressing, with the only difference being one comes in a poster sleeve.
It’s important to note that all the import pressings are released under the CBS Records banner and has a red center label. The U.S. pressing is the only one to be released under Columbia Records banner.