Rare Record Guide


Call me a complete nerd, but a rumor that Universal Music will name its new “indie” distribution company Fontana, after the old Mercury Records subsidiary, motivated me to Google for an image of the old Fontana logo. I found this amazing Russian Web site, a database containing well more than 1,000 Western record labels, plus a number of old Soviet-bloc ones. For example, click on a big-label name like Columbia, and thumbnails of 112 center-label designs come up, each of which can be clicked to enlarge into a larger-than-life-sized image. And though completists will notice that there are a lot of label designs missing, the sheer number of designs that are here—including many international versions, in 33-, 45- and 78-r.p.m. variations—is mind-blowing. Ergo, a fine rabbit hole for record geeks.