There are several reasons why a group can release a single-sided LP.

  1. To make an LP, you have to create two masters (one for each side). This costs money, which a lot of the small groups are severely lacking. They can release a single sider and save the second master cost. Actually, this isn't usually a good idea, since the song that they consider second best may actually be the one that gives them their big break. (Example: Simple Minds thought Don't You (Forget About Me) was their worst song, but it made them famous.)

  2. Some folks release vinyl for the sole purpose of having it played in clubs by DJs. Without the grooves, the LP has better sticking power with the turntable. Startups from cues have less slippage.

  3. On a trivia note, how many grooves does a single-sided LP have?

Answer: One long one that spirals. Double-sided LPs have two.

Well, in response to a now-deleted Mingux' response:

I used to work at a radio station in my younger days. While an LP with grooves has more surface area, these grooves are in line with the platter, which gives you less actual surface friction in a circular motion. If the grooves radiated from the spindle hole to the edge, you would be correct. On the second point, there were a lot of single-sided LPs made especially for DJs at disco clubs (we are talking about the 1970's here). Since there is about 1/200th of vinyl pressers as there used to be in my day, I am not surprised that they stopped single-master pressing prices in the places you've checked. The single my cheesy band put out on single-sided vinyl in 1979 cost us $130 less for not creating the 2nd sided master, so I have personal experience in this matter :) and at least it got me an ASCAP membership. On the third point, you are correct, lockgrooves allow multiple grooves per side, but those are specialty items, I was referring to normal LPs (I should've been more specific). Still, you have an interesting node, and it brought up some nifty memories.