London Classical ffrr/ffss Labelography (1949-1970s)

constructing

London ffrr LPs are, almost accidentally, remarkable. Midway through the Second World War, RAF Coastal Command found that its sonar was not able to identify Axis U-boats. It seems the signals returned from Allied submarine hulls and Axis U-boat hulls were so similar that it was impossible to distinguish one from the other. To be able to tell the boats apart, the RAF would have to refine its sonar equipment, and this job was given to Arthur Haddy, the chief engineer of English Decca. Haddy was able to increase the frequency response of the sonar signal to 15000 cycles, thereby making the signal more sensitive and able to clearly distinguish one hull from the other. He was also asked to produce a set of training records so that sonar operators could learn to use the new equipment. To do this Haddy needed to cut 15000 cycles into master discs-he eventually developed a cutting technology that could do just that. Now he had a high-frequency signal that could be transmitted underwater and a cutter that could produce the signal on disc. But to record music with this technology, Decca had to be able to capture up to 15000 cycles through air. With the subsequent development of Haddy's FR-1 microphone, the company was able to do so. Decca, through wartime sonar research, had incidentally developed its wide-range ffrr sound.

When the war ended, Decca had a technology that enabled it to make wide-range commercial recordings. This the company first did with its 78 RPM new releases. As a clerk in New York City's Grammophon Shop in the late '40s, Harold Lawrence remembers, ". . . it was my job to arrive an hour and a half before the rest of the staff in order to take inventory and replenish the stock. It also gave me an opportunity to audition new releases. I can recall my excitement on hearing the Decca/Khachaturian recording fill the empty shop. It didn't seem possible that such glorious sounds could emerge from the grooves of a 78 RPM disq." The recording Mr. Lawrence remembers is of Aram Khachaturian's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D Flat Major with Moura Lympany, piano, and the London Symphony conducted by Anatole Fistoulari (Decca 1145/8).

Although English Decca (American London) had been producing wide-range recordings for its postwar 78s, its earliest LPs also featured this technology.

The sound of these early monaural LPs is astonishing.

 

 

No. 1a. This label was used from the introduction of London records in 1949 and into 1950. The background color is orange-red and all printing is silver-gold. The label finish is glossy. The ffrr-ear logo, without the circled R, is at 12:00 o'clock. MADE IN ENGLAND is printed horizontally, immediately above the spindle-hole and is centered. UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 8:30 to 3:30. The recording venue is often printed on side A. The record number prefix is generally LLP for 12 inch releases and LPS for 10 inch releases. The same numerical sequence is used for both 10 inch and 12 inch disqs. Stampings of this label are on a fairly rigid platter without the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 3/8th inch out-board of the spindle-hole.The record-edge is beveled. Recordings on this label are monaural only and use the London LP equalization-curve. The record jacket has no spine-printing and a copyright date for text is found on the jacket-back, usually in the lower left-hand corner. Printed in U.S.A. is found on the record jacket-back in the lower left-hand corner.

 

Coates, Eric. The Dance of the Orange Blossoms. The Three Bears Suite. The Three Men Suite. New Symphony Orchestra. Eric Coates, conductor. London ffrr LPS 27-10" (c1949). Recorded in Kingsway Hall.

c1949

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 1b. This label was used in 1950 and 1951. The background color is orange-red and all printing is silver-gold. The label finish is glossy. The ffrr-ear logo, with the circled R to the left, is at 12:00 o'clock. MADE IN ENGLAND is printed horizontally toward the label bottom and is centered. UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 8:30 to 3:30. The recording venue is often printed on side A. The record number prefix is generally LLP for 12 inch releases and LPS for 10 inch releases. (However, the LD prefix was used occasionally and a LLPA prefix was used for the Bizet/Carmen release.) The same numerical sequence is used for both 10 inch and 12 inch disqs. Stampings of this label are on a fairly rigid platter without the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 3/8th inch out-board of the spindle-hole.The record-edge is beveled. Recordings on this label are monaural only and use the London LP equalization-curve. The record jacket has no spine-printing and a copyright date for text is found on the jacket-back, usually in the lower left-hand corner. Printed in U.S.A. is found on the record jacket-back in the lower left-hand corner.

 

Bach, J.C. Sinfonia for Double String Orchestra in E Flat, Op.18 No. 1. Schubert, Franz. Symphony No. 3 in D (c1815). Cincinnati Symphony. Thor Johnson, conductor. London ffrr LLP 405 (c1951). Recorded in Cincinnati Music Hall, Ohio.

c1951

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 1c. This label was used in 1952 and into 1953. The background color is orange-red and all printing is silver-gold. The label finish is glossy. The ffrr-ear logo, with the circled R under ffrr, is at 12:00 o'clock. MADE IN ENGLAND is printed horizontally toward the label bottom and is centered. UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 8:30 to 3:30. The record number prefix is generally LL for 12 inch releases and LS for 10 inch releases. (However, a LLA prefix was used for the Debussy/Pelléas et Mélisandé release.) The same numerical sequence is used for both 10 inch and 12 inch disqs. Stampings of this label are on a fairly rigid platter without the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 3/8th inch out-board of the spindle-hole.The record-edge is beveled. Recordings on this label are monaural only. The record jacket has no spine-printing and a copyright date for text is found on the jacket-back, usually in the lower left-hand corner. Printed in U.S.A. is found on the record jacket-back in the lower left-hand corner. The change from the LLP prefix to the LL prefix generally took place in the late 400s. Though a LLP can be found as late as 512: Greig, Edvard; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in a, Op. 16; Clifford Curzon, piano; London Symphony; Anatole Fistoulari, conductor. And, the occasional LL can be found in the 300s. LL 320 is Boccherini, Luigi; String Quartet in D, Op. 6 No. 1; Haydn, Franz Josef; String Quartet in E Flat, Op. 64 No. 6; New Italian Quartet.

 

Dvorak, Antonin. Concerto for 'Cello and Orchestra in b, Op. 104 (c1894). Zara Nelsova, 'cello. London Symphony. Joseph Krips, conductor. London ffrr LL 537 (c1952).

c1952

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 2. This label was used in 1951. The background color is red-brown and all printing is silver. The label finish is semi-matte. The ffrr-ear logo, with the circled R to the left, is at 12:00 o'clock. made in u.s.a. is printed horizontally to the right of the spinde-hole top. UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 8:30 to 3:30. The record number prefix is generally LLP for 12 inch releases and LPS for 10 inch releases. The same numerical sequence is used for both 10 inch and 12 inch disqs. Stampings of this label are on a fairly heavy, rigid platter with a slightly raised lead-in groove. A recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 5/8th inch in-board of the record-edge.The record-edge is sharp. Recordings on this label are monaural only. These disqs are manufactured in the U. S. and have alpha-numerics stamped in the American Columbia Record font. The record jacket has no spine-printing and a copyright date for text is found on the jacket-back, usually in the lower left-hand corner. Printed in U.S.A. is found on the record jacket-back in the lower left-hand corner.

 

Strauss, Johann. Egyptian Polka. Eljen a Magyar. Im Kapfenwald'L. Pizzicato Polka. Tales from the Vienna Woods. Train Polka. Strauss, Josef. The Dragon Fly. Jockey. Mein Lebenslauf ist Lieb und Lust. Vienna Philharmonic. Clemens Krauss, conductor. London ffrr LL 484 (c1951).

c1951

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 3. This label was used in 1953 and into 1955. The background color is orange-red and all printing is silver-gold. The label finish is glossy. The ffrr-ear logo, with the circled R under ffrr, is at 12:00 o'clock. MADE IN ENGLAND is printed at the label-bottom following the label-edge and is centered. All rights of the manufacture and the Owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorized public performance, broadcasting and copying of this record prohibited is printed following the label-edge from 10:00 to 2:00. The record number prefix is generally LL for 12 inch releases and LS for 10 inch releases. The same numerical sequence is used for both 10 inch and 12 inch disqs. Stampings of this label are on a fairly rigid platter without the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A recessed circle is stamped into the disq radiating 1/4th inch out from the spindle-hole.A recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 1/8th inch in-board of the record-edge. The record-edge is beveled. Recordings on this label are monaural only. The record jacket has no spine-printing. Printed in U.S.A. is found on the record jacket-back in the lower right-hand corner.

 

Strauss, Richard. Don Quixote, Op. 35 (c1897). Pierre Fournier, 'cello. Vienna Philharmonic. Clemens Krauss, conductor. London ffrr LL 855 (c1954).

c1953

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Britten, Benjamin. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 ( c1942). Copenhagen Boys Choir. Mogens Wöldike, director. Benjamin Britten, conductor. London ffrr LD 9102-10" (c1954).

c1954

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Divertimento No. 11 in D, K. 251. Schubert, Franz. Five German Dances. Five Minuets. Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Karl Münchinger, conductor. London ffrr LL 1393 (c1956).

c1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Fall of 1958 London introduced their ffss FULL FREQUENCY STEREOPHONIC SOUND records to the US market.

 

This label was from the introduction of stereo records in 1958 through 1962. The background color is red and all printing is silver-gold on red or red on silver-gold. The label finish is semi-matte. The ffss logo, circled by FULL FREQUENCY STEREOPHONIC SOUND is at 12:00 o'clock. Made in England is printed at the label-bottom following the label-edge and is centered. ALL RIGHTS OF THE MANUFACTURE AND THE OWNER OF THE RECORDED WORK RESERVED UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 9:00 to 3:00. The record number prefix is generally CS. Until (?) stampings of this label are on a fairly rigid platter without the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A circle is stamped onto the disq radiating 1/4th inch out from the spindle-hole.A recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 1/8th inch in-board of the record-edge. The record-edge is beveled. Recordings on this label are stereo only. Until (?) the record jacket has a light-blue back.

 

Falla, Manuel de. El Retablo de Maese Pedro. Julita Bermejo, soprano. Carlos Munguia, tenor. Raimundo, Torres, baritone. National Orchestra of Spain. Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin and 'Cello. National Orchestra of Spain Soloists. Ataulfo Argenta, conductor. London ffss CS 6028 (c1958).

c1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This label was used from the introduction of stereo records in 1958 through 1962. The background color is red and all printing is silver-gold on red or red on silver-gold. The label finish is semi-matte. The ffss logo, circled by FULL FREQUENCY STEREOPHONIC SOUND is at 12:00 o'clock. Made in England is printed at the label-bottom following the label-edge and is centered. ALL RIGHTS OF THE MANUFACTURE AND THE OWNER OF THE RECORDED WORK RESERVED UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 9:00 to 3:00. The record number prefix is generally CS. From (?) stampings of this label are on a less rigid platter with the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A circle is stamped onto the disq radiating 1/4th inch out from the spindle-hole.A simple recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 5/8th inch in-board of the record-edge. The record-edge is sharp. Recordings on this label are stereo only. Until (?) the record jacket has a light-blue back.

Frescobaldi, Girolamo and Giorgio Ghedini. Quattro Pezzi. Petrassi, Goffredo. Concerto for Orchestra No. 1. Orchestra of Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome. Fernando Previtali, conductor. London ffss CS 6112 (c1960).

c19??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This label was used from the introduction of stereo records in 1958 through 1962. The background color is red and all printing is silver-gold on red or red on silver-gold. The label finish is semi-matte. The ffss logo, circled by FULL FREQUENCY STEREOPHONIC SOUND is at 12:00 o'clock. Made in England is printed at the label-bottom following the label-edge and is centered. ALL RIGHTS OF THE MANUFACTURE AND THE OWNER OF THE RECORDED WORK RESERVED UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORD PROHIBITED is printed following the label-edge from 9:00 to 3:00. The record number prefix is generally CS. From (?) stampings of this label are on a less rigid platter with the raised lead-in groove and raised label. A circle is stamped onto the disq radiating 1/4th inch out from the spindle-hole.A complex recessed concentric-ring is stamped into the disq 5/8th inch in-board of the record-edge. The record-edge is sharp. Recordings on this label are stereo only. Until (?) the record jacket has a light-blue back.

Searle, Humphrey. Symphony No. 1. Seiber, Matyas. Elegy for Viola and Small Orchestra. Cecil Aronowitz, viola. London Symphony. Three Fragments for "A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man." Peter Pears, speaker. Dorian Singers. Melos Ensemble. Matyas Seiber, conductor. London ffss CS 6196 (c1961).

c19??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any comments would be appreciated and if used will be credited

 

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