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Mercury Records was founded in 1945 and soon became a major force in jazz and blues, classical, rock, and country recording. This five-volume discography provides a listing of all recordings made or issued by the Mercury label and its subsidiaries (Blue Rock, Cumberland, Emarcy, Fontana, Limelight, Philips, Smash, and Wing) as well as leased and purchased materials and recordings by independent labels distributed by Mercury. Much of the discography is devoted to recording session listings, which include details on personnel, recording dates, and master and issue numbers. Each volume ends with an artist index, which includes all the names appearing in the session listings of the volume. In addition to providing details on stereo/mono master number equivalences, and information on various formats, the fifth volume concludes with a general artist index, including all the names which appear in the earlier volumes. This discography is invaluable to all who seek details on the music and artists recorded in the second half of the twentieth century.
Aladdin and Imperial, two independent recording labels, emerged on the West Coast following World War II. They were hugely successful with their recordings of popular music based on jazz and blues. For Aladdin, the blues and rhythm and blues fields were to become the most important aspects of the label, with later additions of special series devoted to gospel and country. The Imperial label began with recordings of local Mexican groups and folk artists, and later the label took on a country and rockabilly flavor. A move to New Orleans and recordings by such artists as Fats Domino put Imperial into the blues and rhythm and blues fields. After Aladdin's demise in 1961, it was purchased by Imperial which reissued many Aladdin titles. Today Aladdin/Imperial is part of the United Artists/EMI conglomerate which has over the years reissued many Imperial and Aladdin records including such hits as Blueberry Hill. In this complete discographical listing of all recordings issued on the Aladdin/Imperial labels from 1942 to 1974, Michel Ruppli includes every available detail relating to session recording dates and personnel. The discography also lists titles with both master numbers and issue numbers. Included are many jazz sessions with Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet, Billie Holiday, and others; popular and rock artists like Ricky Nelson and Johnny Rivers; blues players such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Joe Turner, and T-Bone Walker; rhythm and blues artists, including Fats Domino, and groups such as the Five Keys. Along with international dance band music, country, rockabilly, and folk can be found here as well. Using the standard format employed in Ruppli's previous volumes in Greenwood's Discography Series, the book is divided into seven parts. Part I contains the Aladdin sessions and includes a list of untraced sessions and a table of Imperial masters assigned to Aladdin titles. The Imperial folk/dance sessions and the Imperial popular sessions are treated in two separate sections. The Black and White label, Minit label, foreign, and miscellaneous labels are found in Part IV. An entire chapter is devoted to single numerical listings and includes seven Aladdin Series labels and eight Imperial Series labels along with foreign series, Liberty/UA Series, 78 rpm albums, and 45 rpm albums. Part VI gives complete album numerical listings. An index of artists completes the volume. This discography has a potentially wide audience including record collectors around the globe interested in Jazz/Blues/Rhythm and Blues/Country/Rockabilly/Rock Music; music book shops; libraries; researchers; record company executives and producers; and licensees.
Ruppli always packs his books with every conceivable convenience, with the researcher in mind. Thus, we find complete listings of every LP and EP issued by Savoy and its subsidiaries, and also all records leased or purchased by Savoy, including, Bop, Dee Gee, Discovery, National, Jewell, Hi-Lo, and Signal. An artist index is the final helpful touch. Goldmine Magazine
Although somewhat more specialized than the Atlantic set because of Prestige's emphasis on jazz, this work is valuable for record collectors and researchers. American Reference Books Annual
This four-volume discography, in chronological segments from 1947 to 1974, purports to cover every recording Atlantic Records ever issued, in serial order, with minor exceptions. . . . It looks like a good job. . . . For collectors it is invaluable. Choice