Prestige covers continued: the second issues

Bob Weinstock, ever resourceful, selected many of his prime recordings for a second issue with a new catalogue number and a new cover, and occasionally an altogether new title to snag the unwary. It is worth noting these pairs as they offer the opportunity to acquire very scarce rare early issues effectively pressed with metal derived from the original master. Or enable you to avoid mistakenly buying a later copy of an original release you already have, something I have done more than I care to admit to.

Many of the second issues sought to capitalise on the craze for stereo, late ’50’s recordings being remastered for pseudo-stereo, something absolutely to avoid, though some of the later are genuine stereo properly remastered from multi-track recordings

Designers of original Prestige covers

( quoted from Prestige Records: The Album Cover Collection by Larry Taylor)

Tom Hannah did many covers and among the most striking are his abstract design in red and black for Thelonious Monk / Sonny Rollins (1954) and the silhouette of Sonny Rollins for Saxophone Colossus (1956). 

Phil Keys’ bold black on white super graphic lettering spelling out Cookin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet (1956).  Many covers deal with the Davis recordings. Lots of fun, too, is to see early photos on covers of James Moody.
Esmond Edwards  Picassoesque Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet (1956) and his Mondrian-like blocks of color on saxophonist John Coltrane’s Soultrane (1958) and organist Shirley Scott ‘s Great Scott! (1958). 
Richard “Prophet” Jenkins’ take off on Dali for reed player Eric Dolphy‘s Out There and Outward Bound—New Jazz (both 1960).

Bob Weinstock himself begin delving into photography.  See his famous photo of a defiant Miles Davis in a white cap and seersucker jacket for Davis’ Musings of Miles (1955) and his stark shot of Davis squatting in front of a fence near Hackensack River for Miles Davis and Milt Jackson Quintet/Sextet (1955)”

Don Martin‘s quirky cartoon-style hand-drawn misanthropic figures decorate a number of early Prestige covers

 The design quality of second issue covers is generally not good, often merely a middle  of the road photograph overlaid with shonky typography, but such was the twighlight years of Prestige, struggling to make money, before being swallowed up by Fantasy Records.

Sound quality of second issues

Second and sometime third reissues: In a world of “re-issues” these are not the usual ’70’s and ’80’s fare – they are mostly “vintage reissues” late ’60s Prestige pressings (Blue/trident label) and can sound very fine, though not always. Some reuse original master metalwork, others are remastered for the reissue. Some I have encountered are sonically poor whilst others have all the hallmarks of feisty originals. It’s sort of a lottery, but with a low ticket price.

If anything, perusing the second covers reminds you of the quality of many of the first covers.

Cover Gallery

All covers here are as found, the best of the bounty of the internet, resized and retouched for the gallery at 800 pixel square, and a click on the picture offers full screen view at 1600 pixel-wide for the pair. Not everything in life can be done well on a phone.

7053 Monk kicks off with two different reissue covers in addition to the Warhol original alternative cover, unfortunately, the second issue retitled We See and later as The Golden Monk is available in pseudo-stereo. (Fortunately my copy of The Golden Monk is mono)










7014-as-7254-reissue 7002-as-7256-reissue










7027 reissued as 7508 The High Priest (electronically remastered for stereo)













7131-two-colour-variation8327 New Jazz 800x800



Whatever happened to the Bossa Nova? 7257 gets a new face as 7552 Jungle Soul










Unexpected alternative cover in blue

Unexpected alternative cover in blue, on blue/trident label (late ’60s)

 The show must go on!

As we progress to the later titles in the PR 7600 series the second issue covers become variously poor, under the aegis of Fantasy Records, early ’70’s and the green label, many with the Original Jazz Classics designation. Not to say there isn’t the very occasional gem, but on the whole, the golden era has been and gone, the later reissues are not collectible or desirable, and from the few copies found in auction, people at the time thought that too.  

It’s been a bit bumpy in a few places but hopefully you have enjoyed the ride. That’s all for now folks.  


21 thoughts on “Prestige covers continued: the second issues

  1. (1) There were also some Prestige LPs re-issued under the Swingville label with the same name but a new cover and pressing number: 7127 (a fun record) and 7149 (a disappointment) come to mind.

    (2) There were a few 16000-series reissues: 7037 was issued as 16007; 7055 was reissued as 16008; and 7026 was reissued as 16009. (I think the other 16000 pressings are reissues of purple New Jazz pressings, or were new issues. I’m sure Rudolf and others can shed some light on them.)

    • it is not clear which 16000 albums were finally issued. I have had 16007 with the classic yellow/black Prestige labels; ditto # 16009. My copy of 16008 was a blue trident label. I sold these because of little interest compared to the originals.
      16001 was a yellow Prestige label. This record is the only issue, ditto for 16003 and 16004. Others up to and incl. 16011 probably never issued.

    • 7149: the combination of Ray Bryant and Hawk is a success. I always dug Hawk’s rendition of “Greensleeves”. SOUL is one of my favourite Hawk albums.

  2. It would be nice to produce the first re-edition of 7027, “Monk’s Moods”, PrLp 7159. A nice portrait of Monk by Esmond Edwards.
    P.S. I see that the projects advances rapidly. Great job.

  3. Some Googling revealed that the artist on 7022-7025 and 7031 was the cartoonist Don Martin. I’m not sure just how successful those covers are – they work design-wise but are very much like a kind of odd wallpaper, I think Warhol’s Blue Note covers were much more apt.
    I have very few original Prestige and just a smattering of Esquire. They are both hideously expensive items so I’m really very happy with the Blue Silver Trident reissues and two-fers and the 80s Fantasy Two-fers and even the 80s OJCs which I find are generally excellent.
    The OJCs with a GH in the deadwax (engineer George Horn I think?) are always excellent.

    • Don Martin’s creations were the result of a succesful (and rare) venture between Prestige and a creative pictural artist.
      7024 is in two versions, one with the artist names printed horizontally, the other has them vertically. Like Rollins on BLP 1542. These variations don’t merit a special place in the alternative cover art list, maybe a footnote.

  4. I will second the notion that the reissues are often a great way to get excellent-sounding pressings at a fraction of the cost. While obviously not as desirable as the originals for a number of reasons, you could do worse than a mono blue trident reissue. I have a copy of Art Farmer “Evening in Casablanca” that cost about $8, is in perfect condition, and sounds superb. I will eventually get an original of 7017, but, in the interim, the reissue sounds just fine when it’s spinning.

  5. without exception the re-issues are less aesthetic. Banal as they are, they are sometimes also anachronistic: Sonny Rollins with this mohawk head anno 1963 on the sleeve of a 1956 recording is really bad taste.

  6. All the later covers are completely lacking. A few to add: New Jazz 8289 (reissue of 7017); New Jazz 8290 (reissue of 7068); 7159 and 7580 (both reissues of 7027, but 7159 actually has a good cover!); 7433 (reissue of 7058); 7326 (reissue of 7079; changing from the original cover is criminal!); 7609 (reissue of 7105). Those are the only ones I can recall off the top of my head.

    You are doing God’s work with this project! Thanks.

    • my first copy of Sax Colossus was 7326, then a Bergenfield, then 3 or 4 copies of New York, improving to a mint one.
      beyond the musical content, that blue cover IS 50’s Jazz.
      changing has been criminal indeed.

    • Agreed. And it’s not like the early 1960s were a bad time for cover art in jazz overall. Riverside was still holding its own, and the art departments at Impulse!, Blue Note, and CBS were consistently producing some of their best work.

  7. Great post. In terms of aesthetics I love the later, Freudian-esque Subconscious-Lee cover, and I interpret the later Kenny Burrell All Day Long cover as a minimalist collage of the original!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s