a strange period in Mercury catalog numbers










The first of these, MG50039, fits in with the Mercury covers of the 50s – George Maas drawings and designs. Then all of a sudden we are in the 1960s. Various designers, various artists, and a completely different design feel. The last of them says design George Maas on the back, from the period when he was just designing but not drawing. It does not appear to me that there is an earlier MG50047 cover that this one replaced, it just seems they stopped using MG50000 numbers for a ten year period. But the MG50070 series ones are from the 50s.

If anyone can identify any of the artists on these covers, please do.

Sorry about mis-numbering them as ML instead of MG.

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2 Responses to a strange period in Mercury catalog numbers

  1. Wlewis3 says:

    Mercury left large blocks of numbers in the 50000 series unused and then gradually ate them up in various stages when it incorporated the 40000 and 80000 series LPs into the 50000 numbering scheme. They still had empty numbers which they used when the 90000 stereo series was started. Some early 90000 stereos had 501xx series mono equivalents and some had 500xx numbers where those were still available. The Barbirolli Haydn Oboe concerto LP (MG50041) had no stereo equivalent, but was issued in the late 1950s when the other Pye co-productions were issued that were both stereo and mono. That’s why you will find later style covers for early 50000 series numbers. Also, when they issued new stereo recordings that matched older mono LPs in content (piece recorded) they replaced the cover design of the older mono lp with a non-stereo logo version of the same cover (e.g. Dorati Scheherazade MG50009). They also updated covers of other mono LPs with more contemporary designs where they continued to produce only the old monos (e.g. Paray mono Wagner MG50021).

  2. Wlewis3 says:

    I always thought the cover of the Paray Beethoven Pastorale to be unduly dreary

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