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* About Mercury
* About This Site

* Label Varitations
* Matrix Variations
* Innersleeve Variations

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* blog (not only Merc.)

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



[In Association with Amazon.com]

Mercury Records Collection: About Mercury label and this site...

[From early inner sleeve]

[English] [Japanese]

About Mercury Records and its Labels

Derived from a comprehensive reference five-volume discography:

...Mercury Records was founded in 1945 and soon became a major force in jazz and blues, classical, rock, and country recording. This five-volume discography provides a listing of all recordings made or issued by the Mercury label and its subsidiaries (Blue Rock, Cumberland, Emarcy, Fontana, Limelight, Philips, Smash, and Wing) as well as leased and purchased materials and recordings by independent labels distributed by Mercury. ...

As it says, Mercury Records has been very big record company and one of the famous major labels, released enormous amount of songs and tunes with wide variety of genre. The catalogue contains historical Modern Jazz recordings (many of them are in a subsidiary label, EmArcy), well-known big-hitters at that time, famous Classical recordings, movie scores, plus much much more.

Most of the lineups are sophisticated and refined, while at the same time they show wide variety of sounds in the U.S., just like a huge toy-box... Actually Mercury's each subsidiary label focus on their own specialized categories, but on the other hand the parent label "Mercury" released all kinds of recordings from Classical music to Psychedelic Rock. Such wide world cannot be done by small "minor" labels (but the musical quality is the other thing, of cource).

So we can enjoy many perspectives of American Popular Music during the second half of the 20th century, through lovable black vinyl records ever released by Mercury Label.

Mercury Records had been formed in 1945 in Illinois, Chicago by Irving Green, Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge. On Mercury's foundation, 78rpm record was common (it needed several years before the introduction of “Long-Playing microgroove” records), and Mercury released their own materials, plus many materials by other record companies. However, In 1949, when Mercury started releasing 10-inch LPs, they increased their own recordings. Among various LPs and recordings, “Living Presence” series (super high-fidelity recordings of Classical music) and “EmArcy” subsidiary label (released a gem of Modern Jazz) are now very famous and collectable.

In 1961 a Dutch company Philips (which holds Phonogram label) signed an exchange agreement with Mercury, and Philips subsequently bought Mercury and its subsidiary labels. In 1962 Philips and merged its record operations with Deutsche Polydor, and went forward to an unified management under the name of PolyGram (Polydor + Phonogram) in the early 1970s. However, the label Mercury still survived until the 1980s, and Mercury kept releasing huge bunch of fine albums.

Since then, PolyGram became bigger and bigger, acquiring Decca, MGM, Verve, A&M, Island, and many others. PolyGram itself was purchased by Seagram, who already owned MCA, in June 1998. Nowadays their catalogues are held by Universal Music Group, and several titles are re-issued as CD by several labels such as Verve Music Group.

And now in 2007, Mercury Records is back (there is only a few contents yet, though) under Universal Music Group.

What is this site for?

Basically these pages are meant for STRICTLY PERSONAL USE, for listing out a part of my own analogue record collection (CD reissues and Japan reissues are NOT listed here except several important ones). I've been trying to collect Mercury vinyls of original issue as far as I can. So please be noted that this site is NOT a complete Mercury discography (if you want for it, you should buy “The Mercury Labels - A Discography”, a comprehensive reference), nor a collecter's guide. Of course this site is NOT a second-hand record reseller (Oops). You can see here, however, some of my favors and preferences in music at most ;-)

In other words, this site has been trying to collect comprehensive information of each records I obtained, including personnel, recorded date, and even master numbers. During such kind of research, the Ruppli's book mentioned above helps me a lot.

Each record number shown in bold face denotes I have the record. Some of them have hyperlinks to the detailed discographic information with larger photos of jackets and labels.
On the other hand, gray-backgrounded lines are just notes: I still haven't got ones yet.

THIS SITE IS ALWAYS IN PROGRESS. Imagine I take each photograph of analogue record jackets, labels, followed by inputting discographic information by hand...

Hope I keep getting great Mercury analogue records. It'll be nice that this list will keep growing, growing... Only money can buy such second-hand vinyls. Doh. Anyway, collecting Mercury stuffs will be one of my lifetime hobbies.

Of course I will keep getting vinyls other than Mercury's :)

My favours in music?

First of all I love all kinds of music, IF they have some points (if any) to give me an IMPULSE.

Once recorded, music itself gets free from so-called “original intension” by musicians, singers, arrangers, record companies, or even from critism et al. Each music has various backgrounds of it's own (including atmosphere of that days), and when putting them together, enormous “web” like relationships, various “perspectives”, never-intended “accidental fusion” to new meanings.

That's why I love music. Actually there are some awesome music to move me by force, too awesome to keep us from diversity of understandings in music. But basically all music are free from the musicians themselves, and even from each of us listeners. Maybe even free from the historical background and characteristics of an certain age. The meaning has been always changing, and they always will, forever.

Just for a note, I love the music of: Samson François, Thelonious Monk (you noticed my e-mail address?), Illinois Jacquet, Jackie McLean, Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, James Brown and his fellows, Fela Kuti, Meters, Dr. John, Al Green, Sam Cooke, any “Philly” sounds, TAFKAP (and Prince himself), Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Brian Wilson, Hollies, Gene Clark, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Soft Machine and “Canterbury” fellows, Syd Barret, many cool unknown “Garage/Psychedelic” bands, Mura-Hachibu, Yura-Yura Teikoku, Wataru Takada, Happy End (and their musical family), and much much more (I can't write all of my favourites, of course). I love “freaky”, “psychedelic”, or “garage” sounds in my tendency.

The reason I collect Mercury stuffs?

The first Mercury album I ever bought was SR-60737 “Another Git Together”. I bought it maybe in 1996. The album itself was great. Soon I loved to play this album. But at that time I didn't care whether it was Mercury record or not, nor whether it was 1st press or not.

In 2001, I moved to Tokyo for my own business, and I found there were so many second-hand vinyl shops out here. They sell various records (which I had never seen in Osaka or Kyoto), and what's more, the price was reasonable.

One day I went to a certain second-hand Jazz record shop nearby, Kichijoji Jazz & Classic shop of Disk Union. The shop have many “hard-to-find” 1st pressing records, including Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Contemporary, Impulse, and much much more.

Then I found attractive records like SR-60143 “Meet Me In Chicago” by Jimmy McPartland & Art Hodes, MG-20673 “There Goes That Song Again” by Brook Benton, and SR-60127 “Chamblee Music” by Eddie Chamblee. YES, THEY ARE ALL MERCURY PRODUCTS. And I found again in my collection that other favourites such as MGW-12126 “Somebody Up There Digs Me” by Louis Jordan or SRM-1-653 “Super Dude I” by Don Covay were also MERCURY stuffs.

I knew the fact that NOT ALL MERCURY VINYLS PLAY ATTRACTIVE MUSIC FOR ME (and some of them I got were actually boring), but I thought:

...what will happen if I continue collecting Mercury albums little by little?

Actually Mercury is not Blue Note, Riverside nor Impulse, all of which focused on great Modern Jazz recordings (and thus original 1st press are very expensive). Mercury as a label is too “major” label that released a wide variety of musical kinds. Some of them are awesome and great, but some may be just TOO BORING for me.

But fortunately, I like to listen various kinds of music. I don't think (nor say) like “Hey I want TRUE Jazz records! I never care other dull and rubbish kind!” This point is important for me. That's why I can enjoy most of Mercury stuffs.

On the other hand, since Mercury is too “major” (released numerous albums of various musical genre), its information has NOT been well organized and summarized, in comparison with famous minor Jazz labels.

Anyway, without any plausible reason, I decided to focus on Mercury records and its subsidiary labels. I don't know why I decided to do so, but I keep going. It would be very happy for me to get and see unknown albums with beautiful jacket covers, listening “forgotten” piece of music recorded in many years ago. Or I collect them simply because I love that Mercury's oval logo :)

At least, this site always is my memorandum, to put discographic information in order. It's another fun to find and put lost pieces to a table, just like enjoying jigsaw puzzle :) (Recently I finally obtained several volumes of Ruppli's comprehensive discographies, and they helps me to identify detailed information)

And I would be happy if I could encounter even one awesome album out of thousands of “boring” black vinyls. Yes it's true :)

MATSUBAYASHI 'Shaolin' Kohji <shaolin@rhythmaning.org>
Counter visitors to this page since June 18, 2002.
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