Riverside UK / Europe

Last updated: August 21, 2021

1. White label twin reels & mic logo,  under license to UK Interdisc,  pressed by Decca

The white label runs through to around RLP 351 (1961), with pressing by the superb Decca plant, New Malden, London.

Around the late ’50’s and early ’60s, there is evidence that Decca  pressed some of these Interdisk titles with original US metal. LJC reader Ankur from California noted the same  hand-etched matrix code on a US pressing matching a UK Interdisk pressing of RLP 12-311. The US release was manufactured in the closing months of 1959, the UK release some months after but in tandem.

Decca had an established precedent in pressing from US metal with its Esquire pressings of Prestige recordings around the same time.

No doubt in my mind Riverside shipped US metal to Decca to press the UK Interdisc edition. This may be for selected titles only( between RLP 300 and 370,) as the Interdisc edition of 12-315 is clearly remastered by Decca, with the familiar Decca  drilled or stamped  matrix codes A2 / B1.

UK Decca pressing plant, New Malden, machine-stamp legend A2/B1

2. White label twin reels & mic, hand-etched matrix, Decca pressing.

Hand-etched usually very faint, another example of Decca pressing with US original metal stampers. Note both the UK remastered and US metal UK pressings have identical “pudding basin” pressing die rings – evidence of common source of manufacture.

3. UK Jazzland, Interdisc,  1961 Decca pressing

The distictive pudding basin pressing ring again.


4. Blue label, silver text twin reels & mic ;  UK  release, Philips Dutch pressing (670)

in 1961,  Interdisc switched manufacture of these Riverside recordings from Decca to Philips, who remastered from copy tape, and no further signs of original US metal.

Philips legend found usually between the 10 and 2 clock position, (670 = Holland)

Philips pressings are generally on the Twin Reels / Blue label, though anomalies exist, with the occasional Decca-pressed Blue Label – probably due to a difference between catalogue allocation and actual pressing date.

The main differences between Philips pressings is whether they originate from the UK or Dutch plant. About a half of my blue label Philips pressings bear the UK country code 420, the other half the Dutch country code 670, with no obvious pattern by date or artists to explain why the pressing country differs.

Based on listening to my 30 or so Riverside releases, UK Decca pressings are among the best I have ever heard, followed by the UK Philips, which are acceptable, followed by the Dutch Philips which tend to sound disappointing and lack the immediacy achieved by Decca or the UK Philips (may depend on title) .The Dutch pressings tend to be lower volume than others and turning up the volume by 15% can restore the punch. However it does not look as though anyone has a choice. Capacity reasons determined what was done where and you get what you get. Record companies did not recognise differences in pressing quality, though they are self-evident to the fastidious listener with revealing equipment. At least they all sound magnificent compared to what followed.

5. Riverside Polydor: bold serif “R” logo , black/orange ring

Polydor should not be proud of what followed. Feeble characterless pressings that bears little resemblance to the great music underneath. This stuff emerged from the giant production plants geared to churning out millions of pop records, on wafer-thin wobble-board vinyl. They were not alone. Atlantic and CBS were all heading in the same downward direction, losing the battle.

6. Black label twin reels & micmono – France


Unusual – first European vintage Riverside I have seen – mono, despite Riverside house colour for stereo being black. Two matrix numbers, local job code, and original source matrix code, neither the catalogue number.

European 3rd Party Pressing?

Reader Dino sent me this interesting “Riverside” label pressing. According to the back cover, it is an Interdisk licensed pressing, with a UK manufactured cover, no matrix information (so not a Philips pressing) and the labels look like local typesetting. Riverside did not use the term “Monophonic” on labels (just mono), and at the time of issue, RLP 362 had Bill Grauer Productions with INC. They are apparently 92mm “small labels” – see the exposed band of vinyl land next to the run-out groove – which were used briefly in the US earlier history of Riverside. Side 2 has been cut badly off centre.


My guess is that the label is a copy of a Riverside label from an earlier time, hence the square container lines and small size,  probably still “vintage” 1960s. The white stripe on both sides below the Side number looks like an effort to cover up a rights agency attribution, perhaps SIAE (Italy). An interesting oddity.

Update – since come to light that Interdisc  used Italy to press copies for distribution to countries other than UK/France/Holland, who pressed their own. This looks likely one of them.


34 thoughts on “Riverside UK / Europe

  1. Hi, it’s Andy isn’t it? Mark here in Worcester. I think I want to correct you on this, unless you can prove otherwise. I claim that your first pics are nothing to do with Decca. There is no such thing as a 1954 to 1966 UK Decca pressing without a deep groove in either of the two positions, Pancake, at the point where the label ends for the first half of this era, or 1cm in to most of the 2nd half. These “dished” design labels you illustrate are all Pye pressings. I was going on my own experience to start with then remembered i have the complete Decca catalogue, two hardback volumes dated 1969 & 1970 which covers all records issued on vinyl by any sub label between 1949 and 1970. Definitely no Riverside or Jazzland. Let me know if you want pics of the contents pages.


    • Mark, be charitable, when I first wrote this probably in 2011, there was nothing on-line, I was feeling my way. These pie-dish depressions are no way Decca, I recognise that now, I am sure you are right. That’s the thing, with nine years content on line, some things have aged less well than others. It needs updating, be grateful of any photos you can contribute.


  2. Hi Apparently, I have a versione of Adderley’s Work Song which apparently is a mix between what falls under your paragraph 4 and 1.
    The label is blue exactly like your p4, while matrix codes are stamped “RLP M 318A-IL” and “RLP M 318 B-IL”. Side b also shows an upside down 1 before the code…
    The Back of the cover reads “made and sold by Fontana records under rights from Interdisc S.A.”. Might be a later repress made by Fontana from the same original Decca Stampers?


    • Interdisc early Riverside issues were remastered by Decca as I recall. The contract moved to Fontana/Phillips and the masters then reflect the Phillips matrix convention. Fontana was a Phillips operation, Decca was a rival operation. I don’t think they “co-operated” . Both worked from copy tape and were confident in their own respective engineering departments. I have never understood how “Interdisc” operated.


  3. I have Wes Montgomerys The Incredible Jazz Guitar as a White UK Reel label and Im wondering if my info on this Discogs page which I made is correct:


    I tried following the guidelines you put out here but Im a little confused about if there must exist a Stamped matrix variant of this release, as mine is etched, and if that makes a difference for sound quality.

    Best Regards,


  4. Hi again, I have a NM-Mint copy of a Bill Evans Trio – Sunday at the village vanguard by Riverside – With Side 1 – RLP 9376 A and with Side 2 – RLP 9376 B, with Made in Holland. Is this an early pressing and is it rare. Price estimate please. Thx Mark


    • Also: Etched in the black smooth section of the Bill Evans Trio – Sunday at the village vanguard Made in Holland, is as followings.

      Side 1 : 6RLP93761Y16701
      Side 2: 6RLP93762Y1670112


      • The Jazz Concierge Service is closed right now, Mark. To value any record for yourself, there are three easy ways:

        Go to Popsike, search on the catalogue number and/or title, and see what it sells for, picking out the closest matching edition:
        Go to Discogs, search on the artist/ title, go to specific entry for your edition, and see if there are other copies for sale, in similar condition, and what sellers are asking for it.
        Go to rootsvinylguide, and see what similar matching copies have sold for on Ebay in recent years. This method gives you all the sellers description and photos to ensure your match

        That’s how I do it.


          • Riverside Interdisc reissues were pressed in both/either UK and Holland for the European market. It is an “overseas reissue under license to Riverside”. The Evans recording will have been re-mastered locally from copy tape, and it is not meaningful to describe it as “first or second pressing” which might apply to the US original releases. Not to say it isn’t a nice pressing, or that it isn’t desirable, or that it isn’t the first European pressing, but overseas pressings do not attract collector sentiment in the same way as US originals, especially in the US market.

            By my reckoning, these overseas reissues were released around the same time as the original US release, perhaps lagging maybe three to six months behind, I don’t think anyone knows for sure because more copies may have been pressed over time. I would guess late 1961, early 1962.

            What’s it worth? I’d pitch it at anywhere between £80 and £120, only way to know is to put into auction, and auction results can be unpredictable. Serious bidders draw their own conclusions from research like in the three sources I mentioned. so they will have in mind a “market rate”. After that it depends how badly they want it.


            • Here is the photos of BILL EVANS LP “Sunday Village Vanguard” RIVERSIDE Mono RLP 9376 BLUE Lbl DG. Can you tell me more about this LP from the photos for me please? Thx Mark

              Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad


            • Hi, I also have the Miles Davis LP Sketches of Spain. But I can’t find it anywhere on the 3 websites you gave me. I see other ones and 1 that is close, but different Size Font, bigger spaces in between letters and the number 1 and 2 on each side is in a different spot. Also my has the word Orchestra and the website one has Orch. have attached photos to see if you can find out more info, Year, month etc… thx again Mark

              Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad


            • I don’t know if you got all the photos for Sunday at the village vanguard, so here they are again, thx Mark. PS: LP info on Miles Davis and Bill Evans. Can’t find a year made on them anywhere.

              Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain – Columbia – Printed and Made in USA 6 Red Eye. Etchings:Side 1: XLP49956-1B C—–  Side 2: XLP4997-1B TC// Side 1 Label: (x”Lp”49956)Side 2 Label: (x”Lp”49957) No: 4 Back bottom rhsCL1480

              Bill Evans Trio – Sunday At The Village Vanguard – Riverside RLP9376 – Made in Holland Etchings:Side 1: 6RLP93761Y16701Side 2: 6RLP93762Y1670112

              Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad


              • Hi
                You can not attach photos to a blog-comment: it’s simply a text form. If you want to send photos you need to email them as attachments to my email address in the “Contact LJC” on the banner heading of the site, or upload them to a public photo-sharing site and post the link. There are many nuances in identifying a pressing that are easy with sight of a clear photo of the label and back cover.


            • Hi again, I saw this on your website. A KOB for sale. It is almost the same as mine but different font and spacing. Do you know which one is earlier? Thx Mark PS: 1st photo attached is of mine. 

              Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad


  5. I have a copy of RLP 242 with hand-etched matrix numbers (RLP…) but there’s a box with MCPS inside at the bottom center of the Riverside box on the labels. Is this from the same era as #1 described above or something else entirely?


    • Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS). Royalty collection agency. It was in the 60’s everyone became very aware of the need to assert copyright, and register music publishing business. It is normal around this time.


  6. Here the Riverside ABC Polydor are described as bad quality and better avoided, with the label example of Bill Evans’ Moon Beams.

    However, on the review of the same album here: https://londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/bill-evans-bill-evans/
    It is described as “usual Riverside quality”.

    I am based in the UK and for my budget the only Bill Evans Trio records I can afford (and find in the UK) are these ABC pressings and the US OJC from the 80s/90s.

    Reading this page makes me want to go for the OJC, usually cheaper…


  7. Hi there, I hope you might be able to advise me?
    I have of UK original pressing of Portrait in Jazz, vinyl in VG+/Near mint condition (some wear to the cover). Would you have any idea what a fair price would be for me to expect to sell it for? Any guidance would be very much appreciated. Thanks!


    • Sentiment is on the side of the original US release, which is favoured by the majority of collectors, who are unsurprisingly in the US. In an open auction I would expect a UK issue in top condition to fetch somewhere between £100 and £150, most likely from a UK collector. The auction water is muddied by import duties, postage, Ebay commission, and the dark art of salesmanship (“Insanely rare!™” “Impossible to find in this condition!” etc)


  8. Hi guys, I bought a bill Evans Portrait in jazz Lp but I can’t understand which press it is and the value it could have. The serial is 1162
    Can you help me? And the label is white and blue.


  9. Oh no! My copy of Cannonball Adderley’s ‘Nippon Soul’ turned out to be a Dutch Philips pressing after consulting your label research (DP sounds like a lesser known gangster from Atlantic City or somewhere, eh!). Didn’t stop me writing about it though. Caveat emptor and I hope for better luck and greater judgement next time. Thanks for your hard work.


  10. I have a European issue of TATE-A-TATE by Buddy Tate with Clark Terry [SVLP-2014].This is a
    Prestige/Swingville recording, but the label says Riverside in the blue Philips mic and two reels
    design. Is this a one-off or were other records in the series mis-labelled in this way?

    There is no country code in the vinyl, but there are some ‘v’ marks. The sleeve is a straight copy
    of the US issue, but with reference to INTERDISC and the Haycock Press at the foot of the
    reverse side.

    Turning down Memory Lane, I bought the record for 17/6 in a Harlequin record shop in Oxford
    Street on Saturday 28 November 1966, before going on to the JATP concerts at the RFH.

    Happy Days!


    • Thanks for the reminiscences!.

      I still remember mid-’60’s going into HMV in Oxford Street on a Saturday morning, listening to Hendrix and Cream in the vinyl listening booths, and leaving without buying, my pocket money wouldn’t cover it!


  11. I just scored a white label test press in white flip back sleeve of Monk’s Music today, with the hand scrawled matrices in the run out grooves. I thought this might be the place to check this, but as it is not mentioned, I can throw some extra light on these. There is a dishing to the centre of the labels to both sides, and I am familiar with these from my Pye oldies of the same era. Pye were the first people to make a stereo lp for general release (1957 Mindru Katz in the Emperor concerto, if you were wondering), and their vinyl recipe is usually hard, and they play well even when looking battered. As you mention, the sound is a delight to this, played on an Ortofon Mono cart through a valve phono, loving the contrast between Coltrane and Webster here.


  12. Hallo from Crouch End Mr LJC!
    First of all a big thank you for your assiduous research all set out in copy of clarity and wit, and never overlong, and the excellent pictures.

    Today bought Thelonius Monk with John Coltrane, JLP 46 on Jazzland, but the label says Riverside, blue, and the code is JLP 46 2L2 //420 [V V] T (the ‘vv’s are slightly raised from the line). Mono with with the mic and twin reels.Doesn’t say ‘Microgroove’.

    Cost me a tenner. Any idea the date?

    Very best wishes,


    • Hi, what you appear to have is a UK Riverside Interdisk release, pressed in the UK (“420”) by Philips.

      They possibly didn’t have the right label template for Jazzland at the time (though I have seen them on UK pressings) They used Riverside blue twin reels and mic, and retained the JLP catalogue number. Jazzland and Riverside are from the same stable, so its not really material from the rights point of view.

      The original recording is I believe 1961 (my US copy) – when that UK one was released, possibly same or following year, hard to say for sure as Coltrane’s star was in the ascendant at the time, and further pressings may have been made.

      You did well on the price, my US copy cost considerably more.


      • Thanks.
        Also got Ed Thigpen – Out of The Storm. Had never heard of him – I’m a total non-connoisseur neophyte – which I got because it seemed in good condition, plus Herbie Hancock on piano. 1966. This one I really like. I don’t have the usual vocabulary but basically it’s quite funky, but not funk, reminds me of Jimmy Smith (of whom I have heard only “Best of~”). Quiet atmospheric drum parts (remind me of I don’t know, Brazilian stuff), the Mexican number, and piano and drums seem to be the centrepiece though of course Herbie’s tender caresses sweeten every melody… Howzat for a first ever review? OK I’ll get my coat.

        You may be interested in the shop, on Tottenham Lane opposite Hornsey Police Station (I hesitate to tell, lest local readers empty the jazz boxes (there are 3) too fast. Please, no buying!) Opened couple of months ago and David the owner clearly has both good contacts, enjoys the music a lot himself, and I beleive reasonably priced. Open Friday Saturday and Sundays. The chaotic catologuing (or, lack of it) does have the benefit of throwing up some interesting LPs you might not usually consider – at least if you have eclectic taste.


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