The German Record Label Book


Rainer Lotz

Hard cover; 8"x10"; 2,600 pp w/over 10,000 full color illustrations

Germany was the cradle of the international recording industry. Emile Berliner, inventor and developer of the disc record, was a German immigrant to the US and the very first disc recordings were pressed in his home country. In the years leading up to World War I, Germany became an international production hub, pressing records in Hanover, Leipzig and Berlin on behalf of hundreds of client labels scattered throughout the world. Likewise, major companies such as Deutsche Grammophon, Lindström, Telefunken, Polydor and Odeon produced recordings sold on their own labels, many of which likewise saw international distribution.

Until now there has been no single source of information on these companies and labels, but Rainer Lotz closes the gap with this magnificently opulent set of five hardbound volumes. An introductory survey of the German recording industry is followed by an A-Z encyclopedia of label entries, all illustrated in full color. In addition to the label images, you will find record sleeves, trademark registrations, historical photos and ephemera.

The work includes labels sold exclusively in Germany, as well as labels of German manufacture produced on behalf of companies based in other countries. Not only are normal commercial labels covered in detail, but other disc formats are also included: picture records, lacquers, flexi-discs, talking doll records, custom and vanity pressings, radio transcriptions, Tefifone recordings, phono postcards, soundtrack discs and even phantom labels that never saw commercial production.

Though the text is in German, much of the information can be easily discerned through the vast number of illustrations (over 10,000 of which are in full color). Furthermore, the entries are highly standardized (catalog series, owners, pressing plants, time period, distribution, repertoire, company histories, etc.). Only 500 copies of this limited edition set will be published, and because the information pertains to virtually every country, language and genre of sound recording produced in the 78rpm era, it is a work that belongs in every serious recorded sound library, private or public.