UK Philips ’60s Cheat Sheet

Black label with silver text; Philips “star/ waves” shield logo at 12 o’clock; PHILIPS text above (pinwheel) Minigroove  (box) 33 1/3; (“Minigroove” = mono); “Rec. first pub. 1959”; no Side # information; rim text at 5-7 o’clock “A PRODUCT OF PHILIPS ELECTRICAL LTD”;

Black label with silver text; Bold 33 1/3 above PHILIPS; “RECORDING FIRST PUBLISHED 1962”; side-number =”1″/”2″(bold);  Philips shield logo at 6 o’clock; no mention of Philips Electrical Ltd. in the rim text from this date on.

Phillips 1967 – Frames;  circled “P” date (not “recording first published ####”)


Type-faced machine stamp

Matrix codes on Philips deadwax indicate country of origin, codes as follows:

  • Austria – 720;
  • Australia – 150;
  • Belgium – 170;
  • Brazil – 200;
  • Canada – 230;
  • Denmark – 300;
  • Far East – 022;
  • France – 380;
  • Germany – 320;
  • Great Britain – 420;
  • Hungary – 450;
  • Italy – 520;
  • Luxembourg – 630;
  • Norway – 710;
  • Netherlands – 670;
  • Portugal – 790;
  • South Africa – 960;
  • Spain – 850;
  • Sweden – 970;
  • Switzerland – 980;
  • Rest of the World 000.


In the ’70s Philips records were pressed at the Philips (renamed ‘Phonodisc’) plant in Walthamstow.  The legend action – for want of a better description – on records in the Philips / Polydor groups and their successors all takes place at the top of the record, and the legend is typefaced.  

The basic matrix number is at twelve o’clock: for Philips / Phonogram singles it consists of the catalogue number followed closely by a ‘1F’ (for an ‘A’ side) or a ‘2F’ (for a ‘B’ side).  Then come two forward slashes, a single number (usually a ‘1’ or a ‘2’), an inverted triangle and (usually, for British singles) the number ‘420’.  For example you might find ‘6006160 1F//s420’ (Philips), ‘6059026 2F//1s420’ (Vertigo), or ‘6076002 1F//1s420’ (Nashville).  

‘Seb’ has written in to identfiy the various components: the first ‘1’ or ‘2’ after the catalogue number are side identifiers; the ‘F’ is the ‘media identifier’ and indicates that the record is a 7″ (‘Y’ would mean a 12″ or an LP)

(LJC: I ‘m not sure this is correct – in the above photo example with “F” is a 12″ LP);

the number before the inverted triangle is the ‘lacquer cut sequence number’; and the number after the triangle (not illustrated) is the ‘lacquer cut machine number’ – it indicates what country the lacquer was cut in.” 

Information  from 7t77.CO.UK/ MATRIX NUMBERS

In addition to their own record labels, such as Fontana, Philips also pressed for some other labels, including some Riverside, (whose UK releases show either the Philips legend at 12 o’clock, or the Decca legend at 6 o’clock)


Philips, a Dutch company, operated a pressing plant in Holland, Phonodisc B. V., at Baarn, with European production alternatively there or UK.

Reader Kyle L sent in this stereo label variation “MADE IN HOLLAND”:

Phonodisc B.V. vinyl pressing, cassette duplicating and printing plant in Baarn. Active under this name from 1962 until 1979

Philips UK pressing plant was located in Chingford on the outer north east London periphery served by London Underground’s Central Line.


Best enjoyed with its spoof train stations – here’s a few more:



6 thoughts on “Philips

  1. Thanks a lot of this – I’ve just got a great copy of a J J Johnson album (J is for Jazz : BBL 7143) and I now know from your article that I live close to where it was originally pressed . Great stuff !

    Best wishes ,



  2. Do you have a particular album in mind? I have Mingus Dynasty on Dutch Philips in stereo, the qualité is excellent, as good as the Columbia originals. Some albums were issued in mono only, in the U.K. and in the Netherlands, like Mingus Ah Hûm.


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