Saturday 3 January 2015


Depending on your age, and your musical compass, the RCA Victor label will either mean Elvis, Perry Como and Clodagh Rogers, or, most likely, The Sweet, Bowie and Lou Reed.
  Regular readers know that my love affair with their classic green and white paper sleeve goes back to a time when men wore hats, women wore hairnets and children played in the street dodging Ford Cortinas and white dog poo.

And then through the seventies RCA did the whole rebrand thing and before you could say Eight Track Cartridge we were surrounded by rainbows and flowers. But, alas, labels and sleeves have gone the same way as 4 Star petrol and phone boxes. However, these miniature canvasses, painted by my friend Tony and now hanging in my music room, will serve as a memory to a time when the pound in your pocket could buy you two singles (sometimes three) and Steve Priest could still get into a pair of 30 inch waist trousers.


  1. Oh yes, these are brilliant. To me a generic green, gold and white sleeve meant Sweet, Bowie or Nilsson, deep blue was RAK and Suzi Quatro, an equally deep green was Warner Bros, which is how Alice Cooper singles arrived, a lighter green with the little blob logo was Harvest for Wizzard and Deep Purple, the red of Polydor equaled Slade, the Vertigo swirl for Quo and Sabbath and then of course there was the T.Rex Wax Co's own unmistakable design. Who needed pic sleeves?

    1. Of course, Nilsson, how could I forget? I posted a couple of years ago that I could quite happily wallpaper my house in RCA sleeves; though I may face stiff opposition.

  2. Quite a collection. Deep rooted nostalgia (and age) will always maintain my love of the classic green/white paper sleeve and plain orange label. My first encounter was via 'Sugar. Sugar' by The Archies.

  3. The Radio Company of America have got a lot to answer for, haven't they?

  4. Blue is Bowie for me - although have a black one for Boys Keep Swinging. There's an edition of the rainbow sleeve that has Bowie on one side, Elvis on the other...