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British 78rpm record labels whose name begins with A. Using the letter links below you can see pages for other letters.
Unless otherwise noted, all research and images are my own, but as you will see, many other people have helped, especially with the label catalogue listings.

All images are thumbnails, so clicking on them will display a full-sized image. Where the label name is a link, clicking it will take you to a new page with more information, images and, in most cases, an attempt to list all issues on that label., images

Page last updated on: May 21, 2024

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Label Notes Images 
Ace An early "acetate" disc, the example here dates from 1937, based on the tune titles. Cecil Watts, who developed this type of disc recording in the 1930s, has been reported as saying that film studios bought his recording machines, and this may be the product of one of those studios.
Whether the recordings on this (and other similarly labelled) records are from film soundtracks, I cannot say.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.
Aco Aco was a product of the Aeolian (subsequently Vocalion) Company Ltd at Aeolian Hall, Bond Street, London. It was aimed at the popular cheaper record buying market and was available from November 1922 until August 1927. The catalogue for 10" records was from G-15001 up to G-16230. The label design changed little over the five years except to become larger in about 1925. 
12" ACO records used an F-33000 series catalogue number series.
British recordings were generally made specifically for ACO by the Vocalion Company. These have a C-5000 series matrix number and were acoustic until 1926 when electrical recordings, using the Marconi system were introduced and the matrix numbers started at C-1-E. 
American masters came from American Vocalion, Emerson and Gennett and are mainly acoustical recordings, though the later ones from both Vocalion and Gennett are electric.
Actuelle Actuelle was a product of Pathe Freres and was Pathe's "needle-cut" disc (i.e. lateral cut grooves) as opposed to vertical cut or "hill and dale" as it is now often referred to.

Actuelles appeared in Britain in September 1921 and lasted until December 1928. The records used English, French and American Pathe masters throughout. Initially, these were dubbed from a master cylinder recording, generating quite considerable "cylinder rumble" on some records. The surfaces of the records were always very smooth, though.

The English masters were in a 78000-79000 and 90000 series, the American ones ran from 68000 to 70000, then restarted at 105000, reaching somewhere in the 108000 range. French matrices were in a 5000-6000 block. Electrical recording came quite late; only one or two English matrices on Actuelle are electric; the American masters went electric at about 107100, though some early electrics have matrices in an E-2000 range.
All English dance records are by studio bands led by Wag Abbey, though the electrics are actually French bands (despite having English matrix numbers); American ones include the usual Sam Lanin, Lou Gold, Ben Selvin etc. There was quite a lot of interesting Jazz issued, such as The Red Heads and The Original Memphis Five.

Columbia bought the English branch of Pathe in December 1928; it is conceivable there may be some late Actuelles pressed by Columbia using their superior laminated technique. Certainly some of the last "Perfect" records (q.v.) may be found with fine laminated surfaces.

A full listing of this label is currently available from the CLPGS.

Addisco This would appear to be a one-off issue, containing two transfers of rare 1920s jazz recordings from Paramount. The label gives no details about the producer or the reason for the issue, and no catalogue numbers. The reverse side is the Midway Garden Orchestra playing Black Sheep Blues.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the image.
Addison An independent label from the late 1940s. Addison records were 12" in size, cost 7/6 and were pressed in vinyl and they concentrated on new Jazz recordings by local bands from the Manchester area. The label was owned by Noah Ancill and the records were distributed by Messers Hime and Addison of 37, John Dalton Street, Manchester, who also marketed the SLRC label (q.v.).

Thanks to Robert Girling for the label image.
Adelphi This extremely rare British label is also one I know little about, other than it is from the Vocalion stable like Beltona, Guardsman, etc. It may have been produced for export only, judging by their scarcity. 

Label scan kindly supplied by Richard Johnson, from an original record belonging to Steve Paget.   
Aden Crown Manufactured in England for the Middle East, presumably Aden. I'm guessing it was made by Decca or Crystalate, depending on the date of the pressing.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the image.
Adprint Frank Andrews (in Hillandale News 213) reports that these are 7" children's records playing at 78rpm. They were produced by E.R.D. Studios
Aeolian Vocalion This is the full name shown on early Vocalion labels; see Vocalion for all information.
Aerial An very scarce label, Aerial was a so-called unbreakable record manufactured by Duophone and using the same masters and pseudonyms as the Duophone M- series.
It would appear that only one issue of 6 records was ever produced, and probably only a small number of each was manufactured.
It is reasonable to assume these were made for a specific client, such a shop, but to date, who this might be is unknown.
(sold in Australia)
A 7" disc manufactured by Crystalate in England for export to Australia for Salkfeld & Walllace Ltd of 119, Clarence Street, Sydney. They were available from 1926 to about 1928, and used mainly (if not completely) English masters recorded in London.

My thanks to Derek Kell for the label scan.
AFMC A British Educational record, produced for the Anglo French Music Company. These records date from 1923 - 1925 and were recorded and manufactured initially by Vocalion UK (1923), and later by Parlophone (1924-25). The catalogue series was in a 2000-range, irrespective of the record's size.
The majority of the records were of piano music, graded to match the examination of the Associated Board of the Rouyal Academy of Music andthe Royal College of music.
The records were of 10" and 12" in diameter; the 10" cost 3/6 and 12" were 5/-.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label image.
Afrikander A British-produced record made by Edison Bell UK for export, presumably to South Africa. As such, I would date it to the early 1930s.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label image.  
However, due to the usual problem with digitising gold-on-red labels, I have had to mess with the settings somewhat; in reality the label is a much deeper red, more like the Edison Bell Winner of the period.
AGA A rare German-produced label dating from Pre-WWI. Catalogue numbers were in a 5000-series.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.  
Ajax It is not even certain that these records ever appeared. The Ajax Record Manufacturing Co Ltd of 54, Red Cross Street, London were incorporated on May 11th, 1914 and they announced their records would be on sale in July 1914. It is possible that there was a delay and that the outbreak of WWI in August prevented any records being produced, as it is believed the records would have bee pressed in Germany by Berolina.. John Abrahams was a director of the company (see "Invicta").
A label scan or details of any records would be most welcome !
Albion A fairly scarce pre-first world war "British" label actually produced by the German Beka organisation from 1912, although the label state "Manufactured in England". Some may be found as label paste-over on John Bull records. As you'd expect, there's no Dance Band material as the label pre-dates that style of music, though some Ragtime music may be found. The catalogue numbers were in a 1000 series.

Albion records are believed to have been sold by the "tallyman" system. This is surprising as Beka, who produced them, had just introduced their price-busting Coliseum & Scala records in order to undercut the companies such as John Bull who sold their records this way.
Alexander  A scarce label from pre-WWI. This one actually states "Made in Germany" though the labelling is all in English. It is thought to have been produced for the Alexander Record Company of Birmingham, Chester, Coventry & Manchester.
The catalogue series are the same as the Beka discs from whence the masters are all derived. They started at 1 or 100; the highest known being 478, the Beka issue of which was issued in late 1911.
Alexander were not advertised in the trade journals of the time, leading to suspicion that it may have been a "tallyman" label, sold directly to customers, like John Bull records.
Allegro  A product of English Decca, made for export to France. The example shown dates to the early 1930s, but I don't know for how long this label was in production.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label image.
Ambassador  Probably from post-WWII, these were made in England, maybe by Decca, for export.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label image.
American Odeon  Made in the U.S. and imported into Britain from 1905, these were advertised as "Blue Odeon Duplex Records" as they were manufactured from a dark blue shellac. The records were (obviously) double-sided, but had face numbers but no catalogue number. They were 10½" in diameter and sold for 5/-. At this price, it is not surprising they are scarce!
Anchor  A German import from 1912-1914, the original records were called "Anker" in Germany but imported to England by the Anchor Gramophone Co of 14-16 Scrutton Street, London.

Thanks to Norman Field for the label image.
Anchor Phonogram Another German import from 1912-1914. These were 12" records, presumably the equivalent to the 10" "Anchor" record above.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan
Angel An EMI-produced label dating from the 1950s. These were manufactured for export, possibly to America where the "His Master Voice" name and trade mark was owned by RCA, who split from EMI during the 1950s.

Recently, the second style was found in Hong Kong, but nothing is known about its origins, despite the "British Made" statement on the label.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the first label scan; the oriental one was taken from "For The Record" No. 28.

Antone A post-WWII label recorded and produced by The Antone Company of Epsom, Surrey for sale by F & E Stoneham, booksellers to the motorist. The example seen by Frank Andrews (Hillandale News 214) was a 10" shellac 78.  
Apollo A rare pre-WWI label, produced for Craies & Stavridi of 101, Bunhill Row, London.

There were two known catalogue series, but it has not yet been established which series came first, or whether they ran concurrently.

One started at 1 and ran for about 300 issues. These were initially pressed by and used masters from Edison Bell, from their "Bell", "Velvet Face" or "Winner" labels. This continued up to at least No. 130. The few reported with numbers in the 160s & 170s were made in Germany using Globophon masters. Then from about 190 onwards, Edison Bell took over again up to the highest known; at least some of these later ones have a plain red label (as shown).

The other series started at 10001 ("Apollo Green Label") and probably ran for about 100 issues These were manufactured in Germany and used masters from Kalliope. Obviously these date from pre-WWI. 

Apollon A rare pre-WWI label, produced for Craies & Stavridi of 101, Bunhill Row, London, who also sold "Apollo" records (see above). In the autumn of 1907, recording expert Sidney Taylor travelled to Greece and Turkey to make these recordings. The records, though (it is assumed) only being sold in those countries, were made in England, as the image shows. It is not clear who manufactured the records, but it wasn't Edison Bell, so maybe Crystalate?
Thanks to Dave Mason for the label image.

The Ariel Grand Record (to give it the correct title) was produced for Messrs J. G. Graves of Sheffield, England, who sold them on a mail order basis. The label was available from 1910 until 1938, an amazing length of time for a store label.  The masters came from many sources over the years. The early ones from Beka, Favourite, Grammavox & Jumbo; occasionally the label is found to be just a paste-over (I have a John Bull with an Ariel label pasted over it), and examples have been found as Winners with Ariel paste-overs, from the early 1920s.

As far as dance music is concerned, in the early 1920s, Ariel was using Zonophone masters and some sides by "Jack Hylton's Jazz Band" may be found, along with others of a similar period, with a 2000 catalogue series, often anonymous. Generally, apart from this, almost all dance records are labelled as by "Ariel Dance Orchestra".

In the later 1920s, was a 1000 series, again from Zonophone issued sides by the various Bert Firman groups (see picture 1.)
Overlapping with this, Ariel used masters from Parlophone from about 1924 until 1938, using a 4000 series Catalogue number, later prefixed with a "Z". This included many American masters from OKeh records. Although Ariel has not been entirely catalogued, I have not found any using masters not already issued on Parlophone, though it is possible, especially as Parlophone did not use all the masters sent to them by OKeh.

The label design changed little over the years as can be seen by the pictures here.
There were also Classical series of "Ariel Celebrity Records" in a 10¾" size.
The blue example shown here, is a rare "paste-over" Ariel of a different colour. This one was pasted over a Bell or Winner.

Finally, the Ariel Concert is a 12" issue. Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the scan.

Thanks to the generosity of discographer & researcher Mike Langridge, I have been able to produce a reasonable attempt at listing this very complicated and extensive label. In addition, I have added the most familiar 1920s-30s  "Parlophone" Ariels, courtesy of Steve Walker and the late Arthur Badrock.

Argo Better remembered these days as a budget LP (and now CD) label, Frank Andrews reports in Hillandale News 214 the existence of 10" and 12" 78rpm records from the 1950s.  
ARP Sound Studios Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image.
Arrow An early British label pressed by the Carl Lindström group using Beka masters (often of an earlier vintage), Arrow existed from 1913 up to about 1916. It was a cheap line costing 1/1 or 1/- from The Scala Record company, introduced as a result of the Cinch and Phoenix records costing 1/1 produced by the Gramophone Company & Columbia, which themselves were a response to Lindström's Scala and Coliseum 1/6 records!

The catalogue series was numbered A1 upwards to about A224. The label was either Red or Yellow. The Red labelled ones are earlier and were all manufactured in Germany. The yellow ones were made both in Germany and at Hertford, England, where Lindström had a record manufactory built in London in 1913.; some yellow labelled Arrows do not state a place of manufacture.
Artiphon A German record label that made it's first appearance in 1919; Its inclusion here is based solely on the example shown right, which has a British Copyright stamp on the label, and therefore was sold in this country. Whether it was a personal import, or the records were generally imported and sold in Britain is not known, but I've not seen any other examples in over 40 years of record collecting!
My thanks to Norman Field for the label image.
Aspir The Aspir Disc was a French-manufactured record; "Aspir" being an anagram of "Paris". First mentioned as being available in the UK in May 1909 and withdrawn in April 1911, Aspir Discs were vertical-cut (Phono) with an etched-and-filled "label" similar to Pathe discs of the time. They were sold in 11" and 12" sizes for 3/6 and 3/9 respectively. Manufactured by Establissements Phonographiques D'Ivry, all the recordings were French, and the records sold by Aspir (London) Ltd, of 15, Victoria Street, London. This was the trading address of George Davies, who had been the agent for the French-made Phoebus and Phono Disc records in 1908.
I am assuming they are "labelled" as Aspir Disc (rather than the French "Disque Aspir"), so an image of any plus any information would be very useful !
Assimil A language label, in this case for learning German, produced by EMI, dating to the early 1950s. French language courses were also available on Assimil.

My thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label image.
Atlas Atlas was a private recording company, based in Edinburgh, dating from post-WWII.

My thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label image.
Auto Record This was an 8" single-sided record manufactured by Beka Records in Germany, first advertised in the UK trade magazines in July 1905 and therefore assumed to have sold here, though I have never seen any other reference, or image of one. Described as "the cheapest record in the world", they sold for 6d and were "unbreakable", being described as "card, with a hardened playing surface", so presumably a bit like the 1930s Durium records maybe? They were most likely to have only been available for a short period, probably during 1905 only.  
Autograph Not to be confused with the rare American 1920s label, Autograph records in Britain date from pre-WWI. Comedian Billy Whitlock was involved in the venture which seems to have been very short-lived. All those seen are by Billy Whitlock and were sold through W. H. Reynolds Ltd. They were not original recordings, but from various sources, for which Whitlock must have retained some sort of mechanical rights. It is believed there were 36 different records sold. The label shows Billy Whitlock's autograph and the masters came from Beka, Dacapo, Favorite & Polyphon. (The example shown is from Favorite 272. The Autograph label has just been pasted over an unlabelled original, a most unusual example).
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.
A W Gamage see under "Gamage"  

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