Impulse! Complete 1st Label Reference Set: Stereo (1961-78)

Last Updated: August 27, 2022

AS-9149 – earlier “ABC Paramount” label found

UPDATE June 3, 2020: significant find – Coltrane, A Love Supreme thought to be the first example of the -A suffix (characteristic of later pressings of lower catalogue numbers), has itself been found without the suffix as AS-77.  The overwhelming number of stereo auction copies claimed “original” 1st Edition are AS-77-A on the label.

It seems likely from sight of a promo without the suffix, and a second commercial release copy also without the sufffix, that the initial label print run was,  as the mono, simple A-77/ AS-77.


Stereo was well established at the beginning of 1965, Coltrane was ascendant, and extra copies of the stereo will have been pressed after the initial release. From the  sheer number  of suffix -A/-B editions, the initial print label run was small. Copies without the suffix, are, as one seller would say,  insanely rare.


My thanks to Cooper W for throwing light on this significant discovery.  The provenace of a stereo promo is difficult to confirm, but the evidence of a 2nd stereo like copy is hard to refute.

Back to label series:

Pictured, label of  first pressing of every Impulse title released in stereo A-1-S through to AS-9333.

Synopsis (by Dottorjazz)


A-1-S to A-14-S: a product of AM PAR record corp

 AS-15 to AS-33: a product of AM PAR record corp

 (AS-27 and AS-29 first ABC?, not yet found on AM PAR)

 AS-34 to AS-77, AS-80 and AS-99: a product of ABC Paramount records INC


 AS-78 to AS-9133-A, A-9135-A, A-9136-A, AS-9144-A and AS-9151-A: a product of ABC Paramount records INC (except AS-9120-A)

 AS-9120-A, AS-9134-A, A-9137-A to AS-9164-A: a product of ABC records INC New York, N.Y. 10019-made in USA

 9141, 9148, 9154, 9156, 9160, 9161, 9162 (BLACK/RED)


 SPINE: up to 9158, IMPULSE in capital letters, from 9159, impulse in lower case


AS-9141-A, AS-9148-A, AS-9154-A, AS.9156-A, AS-9160-A,

AS-9161-A, AS-9162-A, AS-9165-A to AS-9200-A: a product of ABC records INC New York, N.Y. 10019-made in USA

 AS-9187-A: no address, ® in logo box

 ® in logo box: AS-9187-A, AS-9193-A, AS-9198-A, AS-9199-A, AS-9200-A

Last Black/ Red Rim AS-9229-A



First black/ red rim AS-9230-A through to AS-9275 except AS-9265-A (released a year later than neighbouring titles, in 1975)


ASD-9276 first Green Bullseye (except AS-9265-A, as above) through to last true Impulse (pre-MCA ownership) AS-9333. Green Bullseye continues with “AI – ####” as catalogue number (Abc Impulse?) replacing AS – #### and adds stacked note abc logo to label. Green label continues up to IA-9361, where it is replaced by yellow bullseye.


1st pressing label of all Stereo titles from A-1-S to AS-9333 (1961-78)







Here ends the Impulse Years with the takeover by MCA in 1979



18 thoughts on “Impulse! Complete 1st Label Reference Set: Stereo (1961-78)

  1. Thank you for your excellent website. I have been collecting jazz vinyl records for listening and have only recently begun to identify and classify the albums. I have been enjoying the detective work involved, which has been greatly facilitated by your website, along with some help from Discogs and the most recent Goldmine price guides. I have a few questions and comments.
    I have several Coltrane albums that don’t match up with ones described by your site or Discogs. An example is my stereo version of AS-10 “Live at the Village Vanguard.” I read that this was originally released in 1962 on Impulse (orange/black label) and then in 1968 on ABC-Impulse (black label with red ring). My record is on the orange/black label but does not have the “Am-Par” wording it should have if an original release but rather “A Product of ABC Records, Inc.” Does this mean it is a c. 1967-68 re-pressing, but made before the 1968 ABC-Impulse version? I am in a similar situation with Coltrane’s “Africa Brass,” “The John Coltrane Quartet Plays,” and “Kulu Se Mama” — not quite the original release but not the later ones on ABC-Impulse or subsequent labels either. Was it customary for Impulse to re-release records when the wordings on the labels changed. How would these “intermediate releases” be valued compared to the actual original releases on the Impulse label? Should they be called re-pressings rather than re-releases.
    A second issue involves some albums I have on ABC-Impulse – Ayler’s “Last Album” and Alice Coltranes “Ptah the El Daouad.” They seem to be original releases on the black with red ring label but have ABC/Dunhill printed on the album covers. Any information? These are c. 1970 albums.
    Finally, I have noticed an error in your pictures of Impulse Guide to First Stereo Pressings. In the place where you should have Impulse AS-9202, (actually AS-9202-2) John Coltrane’s “Live in Seattle.” You have a picture of AS-9200-2, “The Best of John Coltrane.” No doubt this error was made because of the similarities of numbers of the two two-record sets.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.


  2. I just saw in Discogs that there is a listing for AS-9134 — Archie Shepp “Mama Too Tight” with the ABC-Paramount label.

    Link for that release:

    So perhaps AS-9137 is the first ABC Records INC first press?

    Btw, thank you so much for such an amazing website. This has been quite the resource for me. Thank you for your great contribution.

    Have a good week.

    Jesus Rodriguez


    • Hi thanks for this, helpful to know it exists in the earlier form ABC Paramount, possibly a first batch of labels for the initial release of the record, which was topped up with further print runs using the next corporate identity. I don’t think we know much about the way these things worked.


  3. thanks for the great info! many of collectors aren’t aware of changes through the orange 4 logo label
    while browsing Internet I’ve found a copy of A-27 Freddie Hubbard – The Artistry Of with Am-Par address on label
    here’s a link

    I still haven’t seen a copy of A-29 with Am-Par address, both records I own have ABC-Paramount on them.


    • Hi and thanks, you have finally nailed the provenance of AS27 as AmPar. Brilliant. Wonderful service,

      Not instant, as WordPress has introduced a bug which messes up the parent-child relationship of pages if you make any changes. Seems the way of the internet world. Wunderkinds are given freedom to make cosmetic changes no one actually wants, which mess up the original code, and its all too complicated to fix the bugs they themselves have created. It’s a vanity project, management in denial. Is this familiar?


      I’ll update shortly


      • Sorry for the late reply – while I thought I’m kinda acknowledged with blog system I couldn’t add anything to your post. Maybe it’s the idea that comments shouldn’t interfere with the initial post, don’t know;)

        By the way, one more little addition – I got a Phil Woods – Greek Cooking album with ABC-Paramount address both sides, mono copy, here’s a link to a picture


        • Hi Thanks for this. Something not right here – the orange printed letters “mpulse” have misaligned in printing, leaving them part-white. From the groove impression the label has not centred with the disc. Now we know how the label was set up for printing – a black and white label over-printed in orange.

          Unless I am mistaken, the existing label for A-9143 says “A product of ABC Paramount Records Inc”?


          • “Now we know how the label was set up for printing – a black and white label over-printed in orange.”

            And now we know why there is no address on the bottom of WLP copies!


  4. Thanks for cleaning up the whole ‘Impulse!” label section. It is now clear and concise. I realize the amount of work it must take to keep this site going. I thank you for all the time and effort. I have never found a better jazz blog. It is much more than a place for collectors to pick up information. It is a fitting tribute to the art form we call jazz.


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