Pacific Jazz US labels

Pacific Jazz Labelography

BSNPub seem to have difficulty in describing with words what is much more efficiently achieved with simple pictures

The first Pacific Jazz label was black with silver print and logo. “Pacific Jazz” on two lines above the center hole. This label was used from the start of the label to 1957 when the name of the label was changed to World Pacific. The second Pacific Jazz label was black with silver print used for monaural releases. “Pacific Jazz” on one line above the center hole. There is a silver bar across the center with the “World Pacific” logo. Stereo releases use a blue label with silver print. “Pacific Jazz” logo in silver above the center hole. There is a silver band through the center of the label with the “World Pacific” logo. On the left side is a silver vertical strip with the word “Stereo”. This label was used on Pacific Jazz 1 to approximately 100. The third label was used on the 10000/20000 series, it was black, orange and yellow with a blue, white and black logo to the left of the center hole.”

Got that? Why people insist on trying to use words to communicate what pictures do effortlessly with flawless accuracy. May be they can’t take pictures, though that is a pretty weak justification in the 21st Century, when everything is “visual” On with the pictures.

1.1 Black DG mono (1955) red vinyl


1.2 Red “Mark 4” label – DG (1957)

Pacific-jazz-MIV-800pxPrior to the name change to World Pacific, Pacific Jazz introduced a short-lived series, consisting of a dozen titles, at a suggested retail price of $3.98 in place of the regular $4.98 under the code name Mk4. The distinctive red labels were overprinted with giant Roman numerals, leaving a confused jazz buying public wondering exactly who “MIV” was.

1.3 Pacific Jazz, date unknown, probably around 1956, deep groove


2. World Pacific (1957)

In 1957 the label changed its name to World Pacific. A small logo box with an outline elipse and the legend World Pacific Records appears, however the former name Pacific Jazz remains prominent. A horizontal band of silver the width of the spindle hole is incorporated into the label design, separating the artist names from the song titles.

2.1 World Pacific Black DG mono



The mono series is black with silver band, the stereo is blue with silver band and narrow vertical slice on left edge



Picture as found online

2.2 World Pacific Records – DG – 1958

Giant logo for World Pacific displaces the Pacific Jazz name, in a classic serif font, and the ellipse is now a fully formed record disc shape. Other variants update the font to a more “modern” sans serif font, and there are many ad-hoc design changes, all of which indicates a preoccupation with design trivia, and a lack of understanding of strong continuous branding found in the East Coast labels like Blue Note and Prestige.


Both Blue and Black variants appear to be mono, in a typically Californian way, perhaps according to how the designer was feeling that day


Some Stereo titles appear in a luxury Gold label. It’s STEREO phonic.


Photo as found online

2.3 Pacific Jazz – bold sans-serif font – 1/3rd vertical line partition (early Sixties)


The mono (High Fidelity) equivalent is black, the stereo is blue, which makes sense, but the numbering system is chaotic. I blame all that sunshine.


3. The Division of Liberty years (1965-70)

New PJ logo – A Product of Liberty Records


For more on Pacific Jazz:
see: James Harrod’s Pacific Jazz complete disc and labelography


15 thoughts on “Pacific Jazz US labels

  1. I can offer up some info to any collectors of Pacific Jazz since I was on location with some of the Musicians watching the recording process with Pacific Jazz and Contemporary Records and had watched things being made at the plant. If not it’s cool.


  2. Just picked up my first pacific jazz LP, Chico Hamilton / Ellington suite . It is a stereo copy with the ‘luxury gold’ label . The cover has the # STEREO – 1258 but the label has SD-3048. Is this an original pressing?


  3. Ross: THE authority on the Pacific Jazz (and World Pacific) labels is James A. Harrod. He directs a blog entitled “Pacific Jazz / World Pacific Labelography”


  4. I cannot tell you on the basis of the deadwax info, however, are the labels the same? Both shiny or both mate? If one is shiny and the other mate, the shiny one is the earlier.


  5. I have 2 copies of Chet Baker Sings and Plays With Bud Shank and Russ Freeman

    Both have the same c 1955 Black Label, with deep groove and silver lettering.
    Both appear to be early pressings, but which is earlier?

    Record 1 PJ-1202

    Deadwax Info:

    Matrix Stamped

    Side 1 (at 5pm) pj 602 (at 1pm) H
    Side 2 (at 7pm) pj 603 (at 3pm and 9pm) H

    Record 2 PJ-1202

    Deadwax Info:

    Hand Written

    Side 1 (at 4pm) PJ LP 602 D-1 (at 2pm) <>3268-12
    Side 2 (at 3pm) PJ LP 603 D-1 (at 1pm) <>3269-12

    Thanks !


    • My copy with yellow stamped “Demonstration Not For Sale” on the matte black label has the following stamped matrix:

      Side 1: PJ-602 H
      Side 2: PJ-603 H H

      So it would appear that your machine stamped copy is the earlier pressing. The “H” in the deadwax signifies that this was pressed at RCA Victor’s Hollywood plant.


      • my 1202 copy is the same as Aaron’s
        my 1203 on red wax and matte label reads: V-5510-620 on side one and V-5510-621 on side two. I’m almost sure there aren’t shiny labels on 12″. you can find them on 10″ only.


        • my PJ 1201 has shiny labels. You may well be right that thereafter no shiny anymore. I raised the matte vs shiny question, because it could have been possible that the first 1202 pressings still had shiny labels. Btw, the 1202 I have had (but sold) had matte labels.


          • as a rule, Rudolf knocks me out!
            Andrew, if this site will get on just some more only, MOST of our collections, at least mine, will have to be reconsidered on the basis of originals.
            for a FPF (first pressing fundamentalist) as I am, it’s an almost daily uppercut.
            for most of eBay sellers it’s a complete strike out, definitely.


            • Giorgio, it would be better then to completely silence me, unless Andrew can install filters to eliminate any information unwelcome to you.


              • Rudolf, it’s not my intention. I’m very glad to learn the real truth about a first pressing. eBay citation before did not want to offend you, at the contrary: most sellers do NOT know what a true original is. here on LJC, we are learning everyday, mainly from you. it’s not a case I called you the MASTER OF THE MORE. your knowing is a Law for me. Rudolf=Moses
                unwelcome are fake infos, not the correct ones.
                the quick research here above shows how many fake infos for this single record are shown.
                I’ve learned a right info about this Pacific Jazz, and I’m glad.
                LJC is an everyday teacher for me, and you are my best one.


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