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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 and, in most cases, an attempt to list all issues on that label.

Page last updated on: August 11, 2017

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Label Notes

Images

Ace This appears to be a semi-private record; this is the only example I've seen and there are no numbers on the label.  Based on the tune, I would say it dates from 1937ish.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.
Aco

(now a tabular listing like the other labels here)

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.).  
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 the rarity. 
Label scan kindly supplied by Richard Johnson, from an original record belonging to Steve Paget.   
Aeolian Vocalion This is the full name shown on early Vocalion labels; see Vocalion for all information.
 
Aerial An extremely rare label, Aerial was a so-called unbreakable record manufactured by Duophone and using the same masters and pseudonyms as the Duophone M- series. Only a few have turned up and so the extent of the label's catalogue is so far unknown, as is the "reason" for the label, i.e. who was the label produced for.
Thanks to discographer and collector Mike Langridge, who recently found a batch of these records, I can list the known extent of the catalogue (below). If you can add to this list, do please e-mail me the details.
Cat No Matrix No Title Artists
B-1 DU-8426
DU-8434
Sweet Thing
Sheila O'Shay (waltz)
Ariel Recording Band (=Greening's O.)
Savile (All-Masters) Dance Orch
B-2 DU-8423
DU-8436
The Birth Of The Blues
Back Beats
Savile (All-Masters) Dance Orch
B-3 DU-8419
DU-8420
Ain't She Sweet?
Crazy Words, Crazy Tune
Savile (All-Masters) Dance Orch
B-4 DU-8432
DU-8435
The Little White House
Shalimar (waltz)
Savile (All-Masters) Dance Orch
B-5 DU-8422
DU-8424
Side By Side
Where Do You Work-A John?
Savile (All-Masters) Dance Orch
B-6 DU-8431
DU-8433
I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
My Heart Stood Still
Savile (All-Masters) Dance Orch

Note: The first side above (Sweet Thing) is actually by Stan Greening's studio dance band. Also note that the spelling of "Ariel" in the band name doesn't match that of the record label!

Aerona
(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 images.



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 likely the masters and possibly the records themselves would have come from Germany.
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.
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.
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.
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 late 1940s or early 1950s.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan
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.
Ariel

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 10" 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.














Arrow An early British label pressed by the Carl Lindstrom group using Beka masters (often of an earlier vintage), Arrow existed from 1913 up to about 1916.
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 initially made in Germany, but production was switched  to England as a consequence of the War; 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.
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.
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).
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.

 
A W Gamage see under "Gamage"
 

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