No, it doesn’t exist.
At least not yet.
With the invaluable help of Diego S, LJC’s Head of Special Projects Involving Quite Complicated Things, LJC is launching an appeal for information from Prestige collectors about the records they own, in forensic detail. We have reached the limits of blurred photos and descriptions missing essential detail on Ebay, Discogs and Popsike.
To start the ball rolling, we are looking for information on records only on the N.Y.C. label period, PRLP 7001 – 7141. That is where much of the stuff we don’t know about exists. The Bergenfield era is more stable, and less controversial, we may do that later, depending on the response to this appeal.
We have collated the fifteen or so important variables that lead to the classification of original status of Prestige Records in the NYC 7000 series 12″ LPs, in order to build a database that will serve all collectors with the knowledge they need. That includes detail of not only labels and runout stamps, but also important elements of cover design, addresses, even the telltale ads for other titles next to the liner notes. Screen grabs to illustrate:
To make the data collection as painless as possible, Diego and I have developed an Excel template (link towards the end of this post) with simple pulldown lists. Each variable option is already there, No heavy typing, simply click, and select.
Screen-grab: Pull-down menus
The template includes a photographic toolkit for easy identification of all the important variables. Not sure which colour yellow your label is? Where do I find the GEM text? How many different ways can you spell Hi Fidelity? What does the “narrow font” look like?The answers are all there prepared for you..
Screen-grab: The Collector’s Toolkit
What type of Prestige records to include?
Any U.S. issue record title you have in the range PRLP 7001 – 7141 that is genuine US Prestige, manufactured between 1956 and 1970. Before 1970, not later Fantasy / OJC/ modern audiophile. Include Prestige first and / or later issues, not just what you believe are 1st pressings. That includes Bergenfield N.J. and Blue/Trident. Do not include overseas pressings, European or Japanese issues, as the detail is not helpful, wonderful though they may be.
Download the workbook (4.2mb) through the link below (hosted on WordPress) Updated May 9,2015: latest template v6.4 9-5-15 (now includes classification of Spine as printed or blank)
Also added Frequently Asked Questions (as they come in) at foot of post.
Download the latest workbook containing the toolkit and data collection sheet and get busy, get re-acquainted with your Prestige records again! The worksheet is hosted on my WordPress account, not any third party site, so guaranteed clean.
When you are done, email the completed file back to me at the address on the worksheet. When we have everyone’s contribution we will compile the results and make them freely available. You have until the end of May 2015, after which the datasheet will remain available but the database will be compiled and contributions not continuously updated. We have other work to do.
Any questions, if you email me, I’ll try to help, but to share issues you can always add to the Comments, get more brains at work.
If you know anyone with a Prestige collection who doesn’t follow LJC, prompt them – we crossed the 1.5 million page views line today – and send them a link. If they are IT-challenged, ask to borrow their collection (he he he) and fill the template in for them.
The link will also be given a permanent home in the LJC Guide to record labels/Prestige , so it’s not buried by future posts.
LJC – May 8, 2015
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What’s the best way to tell if a font is regular or narrow?
A: In the regular font, some letters are still “thin”, but those which are all or partly circular – O, C, G – are perfectly round. In narrow font, these letters O, C, G, are oval in shape.
Q: What if there is a mixture of both narrow and regular fonts?
A: This happens on some labels due to space restrictions – artists name is in different font to song titles. Assign the font type of the majority of text. It’s not a perfect classification, but it may help distinguish some editions.
Q: I’m an Apple Mac user. Will the template still work?
A: No, the template is designed in Microsoft Office Excel, which is near universally available (except certain quarters of the creative community and hipster ghettos). We don’t have resources for a Mac version as well, sorry.
Update: Woa! Apparently Mac and Excel can still talk to each other – hat tip, Anders B