Prestige GEM covers

Commencing 7057,  with a few out-of-sequence possible anomalies found ,  Prestige covers were manufactured by GEM Albums Inc.  N.Y. (see example 7087,  inset, bottom right of the back cover)

7087-GEM-cover

Covers with catalogue number 7060 and lower with GEM imprint are second covers, for which the original cover is without GEM. For example 7005, below, has the 1st cover design  and no GEM imprint; the second typography cover has GEM imprint.

A 1st pressing should have an appropriate 1st cover. Hence an original cover is a useful confirmation of the pressing as 1st or at least very early pressing, something often overlooked by sellers

7005-cover-GEM-and--not-GEM

Doubts have been raised regarding a few titles below 7061 that are commonly found only with GEM and not found without – 7044 Miles Davis Collectors’ Items and 7054 Miles Davis Blue Haze.

7054 not GEM full rootsvinylguideThough rare, one copy of 7054 Blue Haze without GEM has been found (without any remark on cover status from the seller).

Screengrab, left, and 1:1 comparison between the non-GEM and GEM cover below. The GEM and non-GEM back cover are otherwise identical in all respects.

7054-cover-GEM-and-no-GEM

However, so far all copies observed in the wild of 7044 appear to be GEM covers, so it may be an anomaly, manufactured later than its catalogue number suggests:

New-style

446 and 447 West 50th St. cover address

While the Yellow and black fireworks N.Y.C. label address  is always 446 West 50th St., the cover address abruptly changes to 447 West 50th St.,  at  PRLP 7046, following  Prestige renting additional office space on the other side of the street.  A handful of non-GEM covers carry the new 447 address, which  quickly becomes standard on GEM manufactured covers. First Pressing Fundamentalists should ensure that their treasured “original” on 446W NYC label is accompanied by the correct early cover, and without GEM imprint.

PRESTIGE-COVERS-TRANSITION (1) -7050-7057--no-GEM-446-447-2500x1500-LJC

PRESTIGE-COVERS-TRANSITION-(2)--7058-7065--no-GEM-446-447-2500x1500

The legend “Printed in U.S.A” appears shortly after, at 7070 and remains a feature of all future covers. Earlier titles with “Printed in USA” at the bottom of the back cover are  later manufactured, indicating later vinyl pressing.

446-and-447-GEM-cover-addressWhilst the N.Y.C. address on the label remains 446, the cover address continues as 447,  until the introduction of the 203 South Washington Avenue, Bergenfield N.J. label is established, at PRLP 7142, with matching change in cover address.The  property moves noted in the business press in August 1958

Prestige Bergenfield date Aug22,1958

Hereafter follows the 203 South Washington St.,Bergenfield NJ address, remaining  until 1971 when Weinstock sold up to Fantasy Records, L.A. and everything moved West.

Cover Anachronisms: Back to the Future

Aside from the tell-tale GEM imprints, one other point to watch with Prestige Records is the presence on earlier releases of reference to or pictures of later titles . In this example of the reissue of  7007 (right), there are at least three anomalies – the cover addresses is 447 not 446, the reference to Plastylite  at the end of the liner notes is found only on the original, and pictures are of five later Miles Davis titles.

Prestige-cover-anachronisms-1800

The front covers of 7007 bear the same picture of Miles but the construction and lamination had changed over time time, the earlier edition a frame construction without lamination.(Hat tip to Diego S for sourcing the example covers above, an Rudolf, jazz collector eminence grise for update on 7007 cover construction)

4 thoughts on “Prestige GEM covers

    • You are quite correct, it should have stated 7046 as the first 447 cover address, as per the Reference Table. This is not the first time the fact-checker has let me down, I’m going to have to let them go – again.

  1. 7007:” front covers may be exactly the same”, true front has same picture of Miles, without text. However, the Plastylite first pressing/version is non laminated and has kakubuchi (frame) cover, whereas later versions are laminated, non frame.

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