London Gold Labels Info
LONDON GOLD LABELS 8200-8420
Record Info & Contract Press pages: Original research, photos of our records & text ©2011-2017 by select45rpm.
The way to tell the very earliest press of any London on Silver from 8260-8389 is with the Matrix Number (on the label) in Big Text & the Catalog Number in Bold Type on 2 lines, see the photos below, and then Check the BUCKINGHAM codes, eg a 'B' code, the first letter of Decca's code word at 3'o clock to the matrix being at 6 o'clock position. We have since seen 8384 & 8389 as Silver with the Large text.
Some from the 8260-8420 exist as silver only, such as Carl Perkins top 10 hit 'Blue Suede Shoes'. All 45s we've seen of 8271 from March 1956 have silver text, big catalog number, big matrix number & Sun over the title-artist. There is no Gold later repress. See Chuck Berry 8375 on silver with the big text with a 'B' means it was pressed BEFORE the Gold one and looks better than the usually faded Gold and is much cheaper! We know what we'd prefer.
8381, 8382, 8384 & 8389 have been confirmed as Silver with Big Catalog Number/Big Matrix Number, see the photos below. 8386, 8387 & 8388 all only seen so far as the smaller number/matrix type, but the London book says they were issued a bit later in April 1957, not March as the numbers suggest. This can mean 8383-8385 and possibly even 8390-8397 exist as big catalog/matrix numbers! 8398 you can find several copies of to compare & we've had 8399 with a 'B+B' so it only exists as Silver with the smaller numbers. The big matrix number on the label by itself carried on until at least 8396, only a month longer. Since found a one-off much later 8592 with the big matrix too.
The Gold of 8382 (March 1957) reportedly has a 'B+B' code with 2C on TGCHI, the same as the early silver. We have found 2 copies of 8382 as a big text silver, yet one has the TGCHI matrix ending in 2C has 'B+B' and another has 3C & also 'B+B'. Both SGI sides are 1C but the 3C copy has 'B' is stamped differently with an 'H' under it. Now that's confusing! It shows that matrix stamper numbers are full of errors, contradictions, omissions & unless taken amid a sample, pretty pointless! Oh!
If you find a pre 8399 with Silver print but the smallest catalog number (all HLx 8xxx on one line), looking exactly as the Gold but in Silver, then this is a repress after April 1957. Good sellers like Slim Whitman & Little Richard can be found like this. You'll also find them with the small catalog number like you'll see on the London Silver 8399-8625 page from the same era.
As a general rule, if it exists on both Gold and Silver (with the big text) the SILVER is usually the RARER one! Exceptions found so far are 8280 (the gold was pressed much later), and 8317 Jim Lowe. More will likely be added here as research is ongoing. Little Richard 1st 2 are COMMON on the Gold, the 1st Silver of 8366 is a real rare one
As the above 'Silver' section states, some of the Gold Londons 8262-8398 were pressed FIRST on Silver Print! Are Golds really worth the extra money in light of this info only to find most Golds post 8200 are weak & faded?
Some better selling titles pre 8154 have the USA label details repressed with this info in larger print, but still over the title. Similarly some represses of pre 8279 (Gold or Silver) have the US label to the left of the label instead, so 8172 with DOT to the left is a post May 1956 pressing of a Sep 1955 release. Not that this fact is much known either. So the 8253 silver we show with big text can't be earlier than May 1956 press of a Mar 1956 issue. Some early 45 do not show any USA label until 8079, though 8115-8118, 8137, 8139 (USA London), 8143, 8145, 8147, 8148, 8176, 8211-8213, 8235, 8267 (UK Decca), 8272, 8314, 8321, 8341 omit the USA label. 8134 shows 'Dot' to the left, but as there was so much text on the label, rather than the May 1956 style. 8193 shows the wrong USA label, it should be Cadence unlike 8192 a version of the same song. The Gold Little Richards always misprint 'Specialty' as 'Speciality' as do the early silver represses from Apr 1957 using Silver print but the same design as the Gold (ie small cat no). These small catalog number Gold style silvers 1957-58 are always printed on white paper, unlike the other style which is on dark grey.
The Gold may still be more valuable based on the early collectors in the 1970s blindly considering ALL the silver to be repressings WHICH THEY AREN'T as we'll clearly explain here. Read some of the early RC mags from 1979-81 & there is much naiveness, eg "nobody knows why..." sort of articles. 8278 (May 1956) exists on Gold & uses the smaller catalog number type label & still with the US Label over the title, making it a 1956 press for sure. Some records are Gold print only and this article should not leave you now thinking ALL Gold post 8262-8264 are 2nd presses, though many actually are. The Gold print is copper and like coins, it goes brown if touched or if kept in acidic paper, or green if wet, and before the Gold print gets 'finalised' by metal-related aging things beyond a record site. Many EP covers browned the Gold, often found on Brunswick EPs. It also explains why you find 300 year old copper coins still with lustre.
Golds seem to have been revived
just in very early 1957 from what turns up, after having been mostly abandoned in April 1956. Better selling records will have got repressed, in the case of 8280 only the Silver exists until the March 1957 Gold issue, by which the majority of it's sales had been made.
Golds with small text
started around Aug 1955 with approx the 8170s. The Golds ended with 8405 & 8420 in April 1957. Any Silver before 8389 (except 8386-88, see above) with smaller text on the catalog number & matrix number on the label is a post April 1957 press, as this is when the Silvers started using that style.
The large cat number-large matrix appears to start on only a few Golds between 8236 + 8240 as 8240 is this type, as is 8239, 8242, 8262, but 8261 is again the small text. These 'weak' Golds with large cat number-large matrix appear to coincide with Brunswick ending their semi-glossy labels. Similar late Brunswick Golds are the same weak Gold, the most found one is Bill Haley 'Alligator'. 8240 Julie London (Feb 1956) was a UK chart hit a year later due to being in a film, so mostly found on a later Silver label as the record was a hit in the UK in April 1957, no 22 for 3 weeks. The Brunswick label lost those semi-glossy labels between issues 05515 and 05530 also in Feb 1956 and were replaced with the weak Golds until Brunswick went to silver also. Some Brunswick exist as the matt paper Gold too after 05530, ie 05531 Roy Hall and 05538 Don Cherry, but much Brunswick is very rare as non-selling straight pop so hard to know more.
8256 Gold on TWO label types!
Uniquely this exists as Gold large catalogue number & Smaller cat no, clearly large the 1956 1st & smaller possibly the later repress from early 1957. Unique!
Usually the Gold "repressings" were made...
if the record sold enough to warrant another press, maybe after selling 500 copies. Some First-press Gold which sold steadily were repressed on silver WITHOUT the big cat number-matrix after April 1957, but that is beyond what we cover here. As an example the 8382 Little Richard, most silver are later 1957 pressings with smaller matrix/cat number text on the label as evidenced by 'BK' or similar as a later Buckingham code.
It appears all the Gold "repressings" of the numbers this article covers have the smaller number-matrix text whereas the first Silvers have big cat number-matrix printed text. Earlier numbers will have been repressed in varying styles & some like 8004 were steady sellers for many months, ie 8004 is very rare on Thick Tri, turns up more as thin Gold tri, with either the publisher logo like the thick tri or the later wording. No doubt the Slim Whitman early 45s exist in many variations, with some turning up as 1961 round pressings you could have basically 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 silver top all as Tri & then the round.
To conclude this section, Buckingham (or on EMI product the JR/GRAMOPHLTD) codes ARE the best way to age a record, ie early & find label types etc, but used TOGETHER with the LABEL style it proves GOLD isn't the first always & neither is SILVER always the second! Of course some minor facts here could be proved wrong by records that contradict them. If you can prove something worthwhile, let us know!
Unissued 1956 1 sided Demos
This is a real mysterious area to be going into. We had Lew William's "Cat Talk" on a one sided demo as pictured on the Thick Tri page. The sound was top quality, direct from the master tape unlike the muffly USA 45. The London book lists others of an R&B nature, Muddy Waters ones are known to exist, all from 1956. A later Everlys one & a 1956 pop one is in the RC book too. There will have been countless others, go dig up the landfill in London they all went into! These R&B titles would now be extreme rarities as sales would have been ultra low. Even Little Richard has an unissued one, the original B side of Tutti Frutti 'Lonely Guy' we saw on ebay & missed it. There will be a one side demo of the first USA version of George Hamilton IV. Some tracks did turn up on EPs so there may be the 1956 R&B EP tracks out there on unissued demo. The one side demos of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" exist as 1956 demos, if not issued until 1957, the solid centre widely spaced type style of a 1956 demo is what they look like. Only collectors liberating these unknown & undocumented records will reveal them. For the creating interest out of it, if London & the MSC code have a gap in the numbering, it means they may have cut a 45 demo at least of the "missing" number & a demo record will have therefore existed. As with any label using a numbering system, there will have been planned ones given the number, many will have been mastered & pressed on Demo, but there will be abandoned ones as with the 1959 unissued ones that were assigned but not made. Only getting Decca paperwork long since gone would every MSC number be revealed. What did we miss out on? Certain R&B tracks that London should have issued, one huge omission is the Pastels "Been So Long", why London didn't issue this Chess hit is a mystery. Look at the Australian releases, it got issued on Philips over there & their London catalog has several tracks UK passed on.
LONDON LISTING 8200-8420