October 29th, 2008
Part 2 in this series of Phonogram label entries covered the RSO and Polydor labels. This post was entered below on August 30, 2008.
With this third installment of Phonogram label designs, we arrive at Mercury. Mercury titles pressed in West Germany were issued with two primary designs in the 1980s. The original, which is only found on select early titles, is referred to as the “green-arrow” design. Only Mercury titles with catalog numbers of the form 800 xxx-2 are found with this design. As one might expect, these green-arrow discs are quite rare.
The green-arrow design was replaced very early on by the more familiar “atomic” design. Many more titles were issued as West German pressings with the atomic design than with the green-arrow design. In fact, Mercury used the atomic design for its original U.S. pressings in the late ’80s as well. For the most part, West German and U.S. pressings with the atomic design are quite common.
Shown below are West German pressings of Rush Moving Pictures with the green-arrow and atomic label designs.
West German pressing of Rush Moving Pictures (Mercury, catalog number 800 048-2). This disc bears the original Mercury “green-arrow” label design. As is typical for early West German pressings of Phonogram titles, the disc has “MADE IN W-GERMANY” printed in small text. The matrix code is “800048 2 01”. This disc is very rare.
West German pressing of Rush Moving Pictures (Mercury, catalog number 800 048-2). This disc bears the later Mercury “atomic” label design. As is typical for later West German pressings of Phonogram titles, the disc has “MADE IN W.GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” printed along the perimeter. The matrix code is “800 048-2 03”. This disc is considerably more common than the above green-arrow pressing.