This is the extremely rare Irish 7” single for Night of the Swallow. This was only ever issued in Ireland, and it’s very difficult to come by these days. This is one single you can expect to pay a small fortune for.
This was issued in a thicker card picture sleeve, so if you do happen to go looking for this single, it’s very important that you know about the sleeve being a thicker card one, which I will explain about in a moment.
People often wonder if the single version differs from the album version; meaning, does it have the entire intro that’s heard at the start of the song? Well, yes and no. It's tricky to explain because, as most people know, the start of Night of the Swallow is sort of tacked onto the end of The Dreaming on the album, and on the CD version of the album the running time for Night of The Swallow doesn't really start until about a second or two before Kate begins to sing. So, if you want to look at the intro of the song as being what's heard after the dreaming, but before Kate sings, then yes... you do hear most of it, but not all of it. It sort of fades in. Have I confused everyone yet???
A moment ago, I said how important it was to know about the sleeve itself being a thicker card sleeve. Night of the Swallow was issued twice. The first issue was the picture sleeve version, and the second issue was released in a green generic EMI Ireland company sleeve. The vinyl record/labels do not differ from one another at all - and that's where the problem lies. Why? The second issue release was pressed in a much greater quantity, and years ago some shady people were buying up the second issue releases, printing off cheap "home copies" of the first issue sleeve with a photocopying machine at the time, and passing it off as the original picture sleeve release. Basically there are a flood of semi fakes out there. I say semi fakes because the vinyl is real, but the sleeves are not. Real picture sleeves are thicker, and the semi fakes come in very cheap paper-like sleeves. This is not one of those urban legends either - it’s a fact because I've even seen one or two in my day at records fairs and other places.
The saddest part about it all is that people actually fell for it time and time again, and still do because they believe they're getting the real deal. Identifying a real sleeve from a fake one is pretty easy if you know what to look for. One of the easiest ways to identify the two is by examining the front picture on the sleeve. The photo quality on the fake sleeve is far too dark for starters, and the majority of the rock detail is lost due to this fact. Even Kate's leg on the left side isn't visible at all due to the quality being so dark. On the real sleeve you can easily make out all the individual rock detail, and Kate's leg on the left side is easily seen. Another thing you can check are the rock details along both edges of the sleeve (especially on the right-hand side). On the fake sleeve they're a fraction longer than they should be, but on the real sleeve they're a fraction shorter. It's not something you would typically notice if you weren't really looking out for it. There are other ways to spot the fake sleeve, but these are some of the easiest ones.