Impulse! Complete 1st Pressing Label Reference Set: Mono (1961-8)

LJC Illustrated Reference Guide to the label of 1st pressings:

Mono A-1 through to A-9165

Last Updated: July 13, 2015

Synopsis by DottorJazz

A-1 to A-33: a product of AM PAR record comp

(A-29 first ABC?, not found on AM PAR)

A-34 to A-100: a product of ABC Paramount records INC

A-1 to A-80 (except A-79-A), A-99, A-100 : NO suffix -A/-B

A-79-A, from A-81-A on: suffix -A/-B

(A-9101?): third in a series without suffix-A/-B, may exist without suffix -A/-B

A-9101-? to A-9132-A, A-9135-A, A-9136-A, A-9143-A: a product of ABC Paramount records INC

(except A-9120-A: a product of ABC records INC New York, N.Y. 10019-made in USA)

WHITE PROMO, orange label not yet found, if exists: no credits, no address

A-9126-A, A-9133-A, A-9137-A, A-9140-A, A-9144-A, A-9147-A,

A-9149-A, A-9150-A, A-9151-A, A-9152-A, A-9153-A, A-9154-A,

A-9155-A, A-9157-A, A-9158-A, A-9159-A, A-9163-A

A-9138-A, A-9142-A: a product of ABC records INC New York, N.Y. 10019-made in USA)

A-9139-A, A-9165-A: later ABC white promo

A-9165-A: LAST IMPULSE MONO? only in later white promo

A-9141-A, A-9145-A, A-9146-A, A-9148-A, A-9156-A, A-9160-A,

A-9164-A: ??, not found

A-9156, A-9161, A-9162, A-9166 and higher STEREO ONLY

 LJC Illustrated Reference Guide: 1st pressing original label Mono 

Pictured, the  label of original first pressing of every title released in mono by Impulse  A-1 through to A-9165.

Click to view full screen at 2000 pixel-wide

A-1 to A-25 : Orange/black ring label, Am Par Record Corp


A-26 to A-50 Transition from Am Par to ABC-Paramount Records Inc.



A-76 to A-100

At A-79, introduction of A/B suffix to catalogue number (except A-80):  A-##-A / A-##-B format.  Any title A-1 to A-78 with A/B suffix (e.g. A-33-A) is a later pressing, not original.



A-9126 to A-9150 Transition from ABC Paramount to ABC Records Inc. Mono increasingly found only on white label destined for radio play/ promo; commercial releases are stereo



Thereafter, AS-9166 and higher, the Impulse imprint became Stereo-only.

A few titles in the run up to A-9165 are not found in mono. The final run of mono releases may only have been white-label promotional copies destined for radio play.

This Guide relates to US pressing. European pressings, which were mastered locally from copy tape ( see ♪), may have continued with mono format for some time, insufficient information has been collected at this time.

Note – exceptionally, a European edition of an Impulse title has been seen bearing  Van Gelder stamp, indicating use of original US metalware . The title in question, Oliver Nelson Blues and The Abstract Truth, may be unique of possible one of a number of Italian Impulse pressed in this way. It was common practice between Prestige and UK Esquire in the late ’50s/ early ’60s so there is a precedent, but it is otherwise a rare form of overseas distribution.


Update: September 10, 2017

Eagle-eyed reader Rob G spotted this late series mono title, A-9152,  on orange/black label, among a hoard of white  promo label Impulse LPs, no doubt collection of a disk jockey or radio station.

A9152-mono orange black s1-LJC

Photo credit: Rob G

Possbly a rare example of a promo issued on a regular label, but not a commercial mono release.



4 thoughts on “Impulse! Complete 1st Pressing Label Reference Set: Mono (1961-8)

  1. I’m curious about the early mono pressings of “A Love Supreme”, A-77, which seems to be near the boundary for the change in labels to include the A/B suffix. I have a mono copy that I can say with about 90% surety was purchased on August 20, 1965, some 8 months after its release. (The original buyer is still with us, and sold his whole collection to a used vinyl dealer that I know well. The dealer and original buyer visit on a regular basis, and the original buyer wrote the purchase date for every LP on the jacket.) The label and other attributes comply with the “first pressing” characteristics you describe, with the exception of the label numbers on the label itself, which included the A/B suffix (e.g. A-77-A). Was the first run of this release so limited that Impulse had to repress in less than a year? Just curious. The LP sounds terrific and I didn’t pay a ridiculous price for it, and so I’m very happy with it either way. Just curious as to your thoughts. Thanks for a great site. Your work has helped me a great deal in my quest for great vinyl. Cheers.

    • Impulse and many other labels around this time were surfing the wave of demand, unlike labels like Savoy, who seemed to press one optimistic order, then look to cut-outs to offload the unsold stock. It is my impression that Impulse ordered more copies pressed to match demand, and that varied with every title. Since there is no means of verifying the date of manufacture of these “pressing little and often” labels beyond “seismic changes” like a major label change, there doesn’t seem any forensic that helps date their manufacture, except possibly vinyl weight, and that is imprecise.

  2. If you can fill in any gaps, that would be more than welcome, email me. It is sensible to separate out promos from commercial releases, though that would leave large gaps in each series. I mixed them up but gave priority to promos as they are useful in corroborating “early/first pressing” detail, but with Impulse in transition from a mono and stereo label to all-stereo bar some promos, this is a mighty task.

    Right now I’m wrestling with a series on Jazzland/ Riverside, which has long been a gap in my label guides, but it’s a pig, the quality of ebay auction pictorial and written seller material is simply dreadful, some of the worst I’ve seen. Lower value items don’t get the attention given to Blue Notes. Onward onward.

  3. For what it’s worth I can verify the existence of orange label mono pressings of the following CAT #s which are not pictured in orange: 9137, 9144, 9145, 9146, 9149, 9150, 9155, 9157 & 9158. I can provide photos of most upon request. Despite the confirmed existence of orange label stereo counterparts I cannot verify the existence of orange label mono pressings of the following CAT #s: 9133, 9139, 9140, 9147, 9151, 9152, 9153, 9159, 9163 & 9164. If anyone has any evidence of orange label mono pressings of any of these 10 releases I would definitely like to see them.

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