January 31st, 2009
Part 3 in this series of Phonogram label entries covered the Mercury label. This post was entered below on October 29, 2008.
With the fourth entry in this series, we turn our attention to the Vertigo label. Two primary designs were used for Vertigo CDs pressed in West Germany in the 1980s. The designs fit the label name. The first design, used only for the earliest Vertigo titles released on CD, I refer to as the “blue-spiral” label. One normally finds this design only for titles with a catalog number of the form 800 xxx-2. The second design, which is considerably more common, is the “orange-wave” design.
Titles that were first released with the blue-spiral label were subsequenly issued with the orange-wave label. Later Vertigo titles made their first appearance on CD with the orange-wave design. The orange-wave design was used in Europe for many years. Later French and German pressings can be found with this design, for example. In fact, significantly later pressings with a clear plastic ring at the center of the disc are even found with the orange-wave design. Finally, some Philips titles were also pressed in West Germany with the orange-wave label.
For some titles, there are variations of the blue-spiral label. The earliest such discs have blue text and say “MADE IN W-GERMANY” within the label’s interior. Subsequent pressings with the blue-spiral design have black text and say “MADE IN W.GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” or “MADE IN W.GERMANY” in silver along the perimeter.
Shown below are three West German pressings of Dire Straits Love Over Gold on the Vertigo label. Two show the blue-spiral design, while the third shows the orange-wave design. The catalog number for all three discs is 800 088-2. All three discs share the same matrix code — “800088 2 01”. It should be noted that these Love Over Gold CDs were issued outside of the U.S. For simplicity, I refer to these discs as European issues. Note that Dire Straits’ catalog has been issued by WEA in the U.S.
The first West German pressing of Dire Straits Love Over Gold for the European market (Vertigo, catalog number 800 088-2). The disc shows the early “blue-spiral” label design. Note the blue text and “MADE IN W-GERMANY” on the interior portion of the label. Also note the aluminum ring at the center.
The second West German pressing of Dire Straits Love Over Gold for the European market (Vertigo, catalog number 800 088-2). The disc shows the early “blue-spiral” label design. Note the black text and “MADE IN W.GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” in silver along the perimeter. Also note the blue spiral extending to the center ring as compared to the first pressing shown above.
The third West German pressing of Dire Straits Love Over Gold for the European market (Vertigo, catalog number 800 088-2). The disc shows the later and more common “orange-wave” label design. This disc carries over some elements of the second blue-spiral design shown above, namely the black text, “MADE IN W.GERMANY BY POLYGRAM” along the perimeter in silver, and the label motif appearing in the center ring.