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NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIAN RECORD LABEL DESIGNS
Many people are interested in the New Zealand and Australian Record
Companies' "local" Label artwork. Often the designs and colours are
quite different and therefore very desirable for the serious Collector. We hope
you find this page interesting.
Did you know, for example, that New Zealanders remember the early
BEATLES 45rpm's as being on a pinkish red label with silver type.
By 1965 the red had darkened, the Parlophone name moved and the
overprinting was in black. Pictured left, the first Asylum label in N.Z.
So England has the Pink and Blue sided Virgin Labels. 'Down Under' we liked something a bit brighter, like Bright Green and Fire Engine Red. The best Virgin label was the full coloured version of the 'original'. Eye-catching on the shelves at the local Record Stores. RCA got more daring with this orange-tan coloured label in New Zealand while EMI (NZ) changed their image on a regular basis - this being one of the last ones used before all pressings were made in Australia. The A&M label as Festival New Zealand felt it should be.An early version.
Elektra's catapillar (45rpm) and butterfly (12" Lp) are perhaps one of the best ever. Harvest's lime green/dark green combo also stood out in the shops. Rak was always the same from day one in New Zealand. Being a country where the ocean is never more than a 2 hour's drive away for all Kiwis, this sea theme went down well. Epic had a number of changes, this blue and
yellow version is just one of many different 'looks' and is, perhaps, the most colourful
of them all. The black and blue Arista label in Australia. In New Zealand the same design was in tans with a bluish spot near the top. Chrysalis was another label with the fade-out colour pattern. Emi America appears to have had a more 'universal' look around the World.
A truly New Zealand label, La Gloria recorded many of New Zealand's early pop stars, like The Howard Morrison Quartet. Reprise in NZ under EMI distrubition in the 1970's . They also produced this EMI regionalised one a yellow 'key' on a brown background. NZ's Beatle's early singles were on this pinky-red label, first with silver type, then black (as above). The original
Virgin label that caused such an uproar and Stigwood's own label, RSO, which released all the Bee Gee's material after they moved to the UK from Australia.
The elaborate 20th Century Fox label and a more unusual design is this Full Moon label. The coloured image was ringed in black with the copyright ownership details in white (like the Tree label) which appeared to be written on the vinyl itself but in fact, wasn't. CBS of the 1980's, complete with the 2 colour background. Pye's "Family" label is unique to NZ. "Logo" was made by EMI in NZ.
The early NZ Deram label was plain but eye catching in it's brown and white label and matching paper bag. Indepenent New Zealand label "Warrior", Philips had a change from their traditional blue and silver label in the late 1960's. Many Australians will recognise this truly "classic" local label - note, "The Seekers". But it was the small (in NZ) label Dot that took the prize for being the most colourdul of them all.
Philips (NZ) tried several different looks. This orange and black label came out about the same time as the pink and red stiped label above. Columbia turned from green to lack with a blue name and large white 45rpm. Island had a duel sided appreach. Here is the "A" side (or Daytime) side. On the back was night and the Sun was replaced with a rising Moon. Very clever. Columbia Records
as known to New Zealand music lovers, circa mid 1960's (Herman's Hermits). The name/logo may be the same but many from Europe won't recognise this "Down Under" colour scheme. Ditto these Stiff Label and NZ Charisma full coloured label.
The 1980's look for Atlantic in NZ. Sire Records was one of several labels to use the gradual colour change concept. Issued in NZ, GTO Records had a very distinctive logo and used a slate blue to highlight the design. Australian Label Wheatley produced many International hits for their Australian artists. The Moody Blues label, Threshold Label was created for the group by Decca.
And this is ... um...er....Hmmm ! Looks familiar, yes? This is the B side on an Australian Apple 45 rpm. We think the song's "Don't Let Me Down", what do you think?