The stamped covered album, often labeled as an ‘official bootleg’, you know – to make them look like those old ’70s bootleg LPs, or in some cases – just typed titled, no art or photos [unless inserted]. In some cases, they’re not even Live, but private pressed for promo. When I recently interviewed Andy Curran of Coney Hatch he mentioned and idea behind the band’s presentation of their new album Live At The El Mocambo, that being The Cars famous bootleg from the same venue decades ago. In this list, I came up with 10 LPs [and a few EPs] that came in a simple jacket, minimal packaging, and in some cases an interesting tale behind them. Most come out as some sort of limited press, scooped up years ago by fans, and later worth more.
If there’s anything of interest I’ve forgotten [LP releases only] , let me know in the comments….
The Who – Live At Leeds 
One of the best live albums of all time, featured a simple light brown cover, in a gatefold sleeve, with the band’s name and title stamped on it. Simulating a bootleg release, but within the gatefold were included inserts for buyers, such as band photo, a poster, lyric sheet, adverts, etc…
Turner And Kirwan Of Wexford : Bootleg 
Well, this one is not so live, in fact this LP features a few live tracks with alternate takes, and demos of songs that were either singles or would later feature on the duo’s debut album. Pierce Turner & Larry Kirwan were a Irish duo, who’s music combined folk, pop, art / prog rock, with great vocals. This ‘bootleg’ came out in very limited numbers following the band’s debut single, and prior to their lone 1977 album. I’ve added a link for more info on the duo & this rare release – Turner & Kirwan of Wexford – Bootleg | Rock Roots: The Irish Rock Music Archive (wordpress.com)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Official Live Bootleg 
Recorded at the end of ’76, following the first album. Promo copies of this came in a simple white jacket with the band logo sticker stuck on in the middle. The UK version also got 1 more track than the US, which had 4. The UK versions also only list Tom Petty on the LP label [as artist]. Official releases would later change the cover to feature rows on Tom Petty shots on film.
The Blues Band – Official Blues Band Bootleg Album 
The Blues Band which featured former members of Manfred Mann & McGuiness-Flint, among others. The first UK issue of this LP was limited to 3000, in a plain white sleeve with the band name & title stenciled in the corner, as well as being signed by band members! Consisting of blues standards and a few originals, it was sold at shows and used for promotion, gaining enough attention then for the band to get a proper record deal. The album was soon reissued on Arista in places either with a similar plain cover or with the band photo and new design.
Tokyo Blade – The Cave Sessions (Official Bootleg) 
A 4 track 12″ EP from this NWOBHM act was only issued in France. Not sure on the whole story here, but I read these were demos, with a couple of the tracks finding homes on proper albums, and the whole EP eventually being used as bonus material and in the band’s box set. Cool band stamp, with the title written on cover & labels [copied].
Uriah Heep – Live At Shepperton 
Not intended as a live album originally, these were the recordings of the band at Shepperton, done for US television. Focusing on the band’s latest album at the time – Wonderworld. As it was recorded for TV, the sound was not great originally, with there even being the odd track fade in and out. It was later released with a photo of Mick Box on the cover, and later [CD reissue] with a brown cover and improved sound, and more tracks. First LP issue came with very little info, as well as plain white labels on LP sides, with tracks listed, no record company stamp.
Trisomie 21 – The Official Bootleg (Million Lights Tour) 
Not much out there about this release [or band]. Trisomie 21 were [are] a new wave/synth pop act from France, who released a number of albums in the ’80s. This one not appearing on a label. Pretty simple cover.
The Futureheads – Official Bootleg Pop Recs Ltd. 
A 4 -rack live 10″ EP from this Brit post-punk [?] band. This was recorded in 2019 following the band’s reuniting and recording new material.; issued in limited edition. The only pic I found was from Discogs, so not sure if all copies came signed.
Coney Hatch – Live At The El Mocambo 
Recently released, and what got me thinking about these covers…. CH Live At The El Mocambo comes in the straight white sleeve, 2 LPs, with a stamped label, as well as the Hype sticker on the outer plastic, and a simple white insert with credits & track list. It’s all ya need sometimes. Very limited number of these LPs were issued, signed by the band!
Kiss – Off The Soundboard : Tokyo 2001 
A new release from the band’s 2001 performance in Tokyo [w/ Ace still in the band]. This is a 3 LP set, with cardboard sleeves for each LP (each with their own track listing), all slipped in to a the cover jacket, stamped nicely, with bandmembers listed below. Looks pretty cool, much preferable to a pile of pics of these guys .