This compilation CD was released alongside a cassette of the same name on July 3rd 2000. Issued on the EMI 'Gold' label it featured well-known tracks by both Adge Cutler & The Wurzels and The Wurzels in their own right: It was reissued in August 2001 - with minor changes (track 24 changed and track 25 added) - following on from the success of The Wurzels' new single The Combine Harvester Remix 2001 - this did not affect the tracks by Adge Cutler.
This CD was issued in stereo on the EMI Gold label (a label that been set up for the issue and re-issue of existing albums and compilations) and of the tracks featuring Adge Cutler And The Wurzels some had been originally released in stereo, others were electronically reprocessed from the original mono to produce stereo sound.
The 2000 CD release of this album was 7243 5 27046 2 0 and the 2001 re-release was 7243 5 34401 2 1. (By 2000 EMI had dispensed with the traditional catalogue numbering system for their releases - between 1969 and 1982 they had an international coding system which they hoped would get adopted industry wide, and they used it worldwide for their own releases. By 2000 this system had been generally adopted and became the EAN/UPC barcode-based cataloguing system).
In 2013 a complicated buy-out occurred in the music world which effectively resulted in the American Warner Music Company buying the Parlophone branch of EMI Music. The end result so far as Wurzel releases were concerned was that all re-pressings of this 'Finest 'Arvest Of The Wurzels' CD after 2013 were released on the Parlophone label. This only occurred with the CD - no examples of the cassette being issued under this label have been found so far, neither have any examples been found of the original 2000 release, only the 2001 release.It is worth noting the three song title spelling errors on all versions of both this CD and the cassette: Firstly, track 15 on the CD is the song 'Down The Nempnett Thrubwell' instead of 'Down In Nempnett Thrubwell'. Secondly, track 22 there is the 'Wurple-Diddle-I-Do-Song' instead of 'Wurple-Diddle-I-Doo Song'. Thirdly, track 16 of the CD appears the song ' I'd Love To Swim in The Zider Zee' which should read '...Zuider Zee'. These errors appear to have remain uncorrected on all pressings.The Wurzels' tracks are very much as per the album or single from which they are taken. Many of the Adge Cutler tracks required some editing to the originals at the beginning and end of each.
The CD discs on the EMI 'gold' label for 2000 and 2001 are identical except for the different catalogue number which can be found at the 6 o'clock position beneath the central spindle, and the copyright year:
The CD disc-cases on the Parlophone re-pressings (2013 onwards). Top left on the backing sheet can be seen the Parlophone logo instead of the EMI logo as shown on previous two images.
Additionally at the 6 and 9 o'clock positions on the disc itself the text has been changed to reflect the Parlophone rights instead of EMI.
The 2001 re-release of this CD usually had a sticker on the front of the case promoting the addition of the 2001 remix of Combine Harvester.
The back of the CD cases for the 2000 (left) and 2001 (right) EMI releases were identical except for the catalogue numbers (beneath the barcode), the copyright year and the track listings.
The back of the CD case for the post-2013 Parlophone release remains the same as the 2001 EMI releases except for the information on the copyright belonging to Parlophone on the bottom right of the case.
This image of the spines of the three CD variations shows clearly the differences between them:
Top - original 2000 EMI release
Middle - 2001 EMI re-release
Bottom - post 2013 Parlophone release
The case insert for all the CD releases was a glossy paper booklet:
The front page was the album artwork, pages two and three had the track-listings, the centre spread was a stock image of a combine harvester in a field overlaid with two images of the band, pages six and seven contained sleeve notes and the back page was (in 2000 release) a stock image again of a combine harvester in a field and the 2001 re-release had an image of the band with description.
The case insert showing track listings for the 2000 release
The case insert showing track listings for the 2001 release.
The case insert showing track listings for the post-2013 Parlophone release.
The case insert centre pages. The two photographs were taken from the video photoshoot for the 1976 hit 'Combine Harvester' and the 1967 film (released only in black and white) for Adge's 1967 single release 'I Wish I Was Back On The Farm'. These are the same images - uncropped - as used in the 1991 self-titled CD release.
There only two variations of the sleeve notes - and the difference is only very minor in that the word spacing is very slightly different resulting in a different line length within some paragraphs. The first example is the 2000 release, the second is the 2001 and 2013 sleeve notes.
A signed case insert is always a good addition to a collection - this example signed by Tommy Banner and Pete Budd.
Of particular interest is that this example was signed 'To Paul With Thanks'. This was Paul Gunningham who wrote the information sleeve for this disc. Paul, who tragically died in 2007, was the web-author of the first website devoted to The Wurzels and was instrumental in persuading EMI to make this CD release.
This is a very rare example of a white-label pressing of a CD in its very early stages. The album hadn't yet been titled as per the final release and here is called The Very Best Of The Wurzels. Track listing and tracks are indentical to the final Finest Arvest Release. The reference catalogue code is also the same.
A fascinating addition to any collection!