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Strange Obsessions has long been the holy grail of fervent record collectors worldwide. Rumors abound that this album had been released in Holland and or that there were a small number of white label test pressings in existence but none of these claims have ever been substantiated. As far as I can ascertain, this is the first time that ten of these tracks have become commercially available anywhere. The fruits of these Chas Chandler sessions had only been previously hinted at with the bands final singles and the track "All I Wanna Do Is Rock ‘N’ Roll" that appeared on the American only Polydor compilation album Made In Britain.

I don't see the necessity of the past perfect in this extract. Could you please explain it simply?

Why is it not and or that there had been a small number?

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    It's only necessary because the previous clause (which should be "Rumors have abounded") was in the present perfect, and the release of the record is being described relative to the rumors. In general we'd rather avoid the presnt perfect in the first clause and say "Rumors abounded", but we'd still need to use the past perfect for "released" to set that event further back than the abounding of the rumors. – The Photon May 8 '15 at 21:01
  • OK for the backshift But why not backshifting there had been a small number of white label because both actions are almost simultaneous, just after the release of a record, you' ll receive test pressing – user5577 May 9 '15 at 6:25
  • The reference to the white label test pressings stresses "in existence" - ie the most important thing is the (believed) ongoing situation not what happened in the past and therefore present tense is the only appropriate option for that phrase. It would indeed be possible to refer to the creation of the test pressings using past perfect, but that doesn't tell you whether they may have been lost or destroyed. – bruised reed Jul 18 '15 at 2:51
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Two rumors, among the rumors that "abound".

1) some had been released in Holland (previous to the rumor)

And/or

2) some were in existence (concurrent with the rumor).

It is correct as it stands. But the author failed to state explicitly that not only are the rumors abundant now, but some of them have been around for a long time.

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The subject of the paragraph seems to be the recent release of a previously unreleased record album called Strange Obsessions. That means that the past perfect is required to describe rumors that the album "had been released" before this point in the recent past.

The phrase

and or that there were a small number of white label test pressings in existence

is probably incorrect when compared with rumors abound. It should be either

Rumors abound ... that there are

or

Rumors abounded ... that there were

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Past perfect becomes necessary when there is a reference to two past events. "Rumours abounded" would require a past perfect "had been released" , but I think when you have only "rumours abound" then "album was released in Holland" would be sufficient. Correct me if I wrong.

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Rumors abound that this album had been released

The rumours are currently circulating. They are circulating about an event which was in the past and which had a definite endpoint.

The past imperfect would be "Rumours abound that this album was being released in Holland...", potentially implying that the past activity - releasing the album - was still ongoing to this day.

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