August 30th, 2008
Part 1 in this series of Phonogram label entries covered the Rocket label. This post was entered below on June 29, 2008.
In the second installment of Phonogram CD label designs, we cover the RSO and Polydor labels. They are combined into one entry due to their similarity. The first CDs on these record labels have an orange paint coating with black text. Many RSO and Polydor titles with this design bear the earliest catalog numbers for these labels, which are of the format 800 xxx-2. That said, some titles with higher catalog numbers do exist with the orange paint design.
The orange paint coating was quickly replaced with a more common design having no paint coating. For these discs, the RSO or Polydor logo is produced in black and orange, and the surrounding text is black. RSO and Polydor titles that were released on CD after the orange paint coating had been abandoned were only released with the second design.
Shown below are pictures of RSO and Polydor CDs with both label designs. Discs with the orange paint coating command a premium since they represent the initial releases and because they are generally very rare.
West German pressing of Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard (RSO, catalog number 811 697-2). This disc bears the original RSO label design with the orange paint coating. This pressing is particularly noteworth in that it contains just 10 tracks, omitting “Better Make It Through Today”. The matrix code is “811 697-2 01”.
West German pressing of Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard (RSO, catalog number 811 697-2). This disc bears the second and more common RSO label design with no paint coating. This version has 11 tracks, with “Better Make It Through Today” added as track two. “Give Me Strength”, which appears as track two on the orange-paint disc above, is track 11 on this disc. The matrix code is “811 697-2 02”.
West German pressing of ABBA Super Trouper (Polydor, catalog number 800 023-2). This disc bears the original Polydor label design with the orange paint coating. This is a particulary early issue by virture of the catalog number (of the form 800 xxx-2) and the simple designation “Made in West Germany”, with no reference to the Polygram plant. The disc was actually pressed at the Polygram plant. The matrix code is “800023 2 01”.
West German pressing of ABBA Super Trouper (Polydor, catalog number 800 023-2). This disc bears the second and more common Polydor label design with no paint coating. Note that this disc states “Made in W. Germany by PolyGram” at 3 o’clock. The matrix code is “800 023-2 03”.