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Mercury Series

* 10000 Series
* 15000 Series (10")
* 20000 Series A
* 20000 Series B
* 25000 Series (10")
* 30000 Series (10")
* 35000/JATP/MGC
* 40000 Golden Lyre
* Living Presence
* 80000 Custom
* 90000 Tono
* PPS Series
* SRM Series
* Demo/Sampler


* EmArcy 26000 (10")
* EmArcy 36000 (12")
* EmArcy MGE/SRE
* EmArcy EMS
* Wing 12000
* Wing 12100/16100
* Wing 14000/18000
* Wing 60000
* Limelight
* Philips U.S.
* Fontana U.S.
* Smash
* Blue Rock
* Cumberland
* ...

(33rpm 7")

* Mercury 200/600
* Limelight 300
* Smash 700
* Fontana 750
* Philips 800/2700

Extended Play
(45rpm 7")

* Mercury EP 3000
* Mercury EP 4000
* Mercury EP 5000
* EmArcy EP 6000
* Wing EP 16000
* Mercury MEP
* Childcraft/Playcraft
* miscellaneous


* Mercury 2000
* Mercury 3000
* Mercury 5000
* Mercury 6000
* Mercury 8000
* Mercury 8900
* Mercury 11000
* Mercury 70000
* Mercury 89000
* EmArcy 16000
* Limelight
* Wing
* Blue Rock
* ...

Index by Artists



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Mercury 20000 Series A (Summary)

[Original Mercury Logo]

This is the main series of Mercury label for 12" LP, started around early 1950's. The series covers various sounds thru Popular, Folk, Latin, Rock, Jazz, R&B, and much more.

Monaural records were numbered sequencially, starting from MG-20000. Around 1958, the "45/45" Stereo issues were also available, but the numbering was irregular. This was maybe because Stereo and Monaural version were NOT issued at the same time. For most albums, stereo issues came after monaural issues.

By the way, it was happy for us that 2-tracks (or 3-tracks) recording systems were introduced to record companies and recording studios BEFORE they start pressing stereo records. As for Mercury Records, they already started experimental stereo recordings in 1954. That's why we now have true-stereo LPs which were recorded before stereo LPs were introduced.

NOTE: I devided Mercury 20000 Series into two categories, Series A (from MG-20000 to MG-20599) and Series B (from MG-20600 and later) for the sake of convenience.

[English] [Japanese]

Label Variations

The earliest original Mercury label (for 12" LP 20000 series) was black label with gold letterings. After a while, the quality of label paper had been changed, and gold letterings were switched to silver colour.

With the start of Stereo issues, the label design had been changed: black label with silver letterings, but round-shaped Mercury logo was placed. There are several variations even in this type.

For detail, please take a look at here.

Jacket Design Variations

In the earliest Mercury 10" and 12" LP issues, front jacket designs were simpler. The logo printed on a front cover was rectangular, as seen in the right-top of this page.

[Mercury Logo A]

Here is a next Mercury logo. A "Mercury RECORDS" with a logo in a single-oval printed on jackets. This logo was used until releases in 1955 or 1956.

[Mercury Logo B]

The next Mercury logo shown here was common in the 1956 releases. Similar logo was used on the jackets of EmArcy Jazz Series released circa same period.

[Mercury Logo C]

The next logo was used in the 1957-1958 releases. A combination of double oval Mercury logo with “REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.” and a rectangle with “CUSTOM HIGH FIDELITY”.

[Mercury Logo D]

This type of logo was also used in the 1957-1958 releases: placed in a double oval, along with “CUSTOM HIGH FIDELITY”. This type was used just before Stereo issues began.

When Stereo issues were started, jacket design scheme was changed to match both stereo/monaural issues - an introduction to horizontal "Obi"-like letterings. Large "STEREO" logo (with small "Hi-Fi" at the letter "T") at the top of the front jacket for the stereo issues, while large "HIGH FIDELITY" logo (with small "Custom" between "HIGH" and "FIDELITY") at the bottom of the jacket for the monaural issues. This was because a same jacket paper (with both STEREO on top, HI FIDELITY at the bottom) could be used to produce Stereo and Monaural jackets.

[Monaural Obi A]

Stereo recordings were started maybe around 1957-1958, although most of the recordings were issued in monaural format at first. In the beginning, stereo versions were issued “at random”: You can see disc numbers for stereo issues is not in line compared to sequencial monaural numbers. This was going to be fixed after the MG-20600/SR-60600 disc.

So in the early 20000 series, some front jacket layout had been changed along with the start of stereo issues. Here is one example:

(Mono, 1st design)
(Mono, 2nd design)
[Front Cover] [Front Cover] [Front Cover]
This type of jacket had been made available before stereo verson was introduced. Round-shape Mercury logo (with “Custom High Fidelity” sentence) was simply placed in a rectangle, at the right-up side. When stereo version starts, monaural jacket also changed like this. “HIGH FIDELITY” obi printed at the bottom of the jacket This is the stereo design.
“STEREO” obi placed on the top in this stereo version.

MATSUBAYASHI 'Shaolin' Kohji <shaolin@rhythmaning.org>
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