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GERMANY (and some from AUSTRIA)

Vertigo Germany has issued quite some interesting releases, the albums of which can be divided into two groups.
The first one contains the German equivalents of the British releases. Many UK albums were released in Germany too, but the elaborate packaging was in some cases sacrificed or else substantially altered. Probably Vertigo Germany did not see the need  to cope with the expenses of the more elaborate designs. Of course, there are some general differences too. We will list the releases of which we are sure that they were subjected to above alterations first.
Secondly we will look at the Vertigo albums that were put out in Germany only. Opposed to almost all other countries, German Vertigo had the freedom to sign a lot of German bands, thereby filling in the concept in their own way. Of these German albums the first one by Atlantis was even granted a UK release.
Thirdly we will look at quite some German picture sleeves that were used to house the singles. There will also be some singles that were not released in Britain as far as we are aware of. The links at the bottom of this page will let you access these three divisions.

Austrian releases will be discussed alongside their German counterparts.

[There are no Vertigo inner sleeves known from German releases.]

HA! So we thought, but thanks to our ever growing contingent of meticulous readers, we found out otherwise. Please have a look at below scan.

Front of the one inner sleeve we have found so far from Germany. The sleeve was found in a copy of 6360 050, Black Sabbath's Vol.4. This is even stranger when looking at the backside to your right.
Rear of the German inner sleeve, with small ads for a host of Vertigo releases. The fourth one from the top row is actually Black Sabbath's Vol.4. This has a totally different cover to the released record! Also quite strange: the choice of the downmost segment of the cover for Gentle Giant's debut, visible as the third cover on the fourth row.
Another inner sleeve has been found around a German copy of Catapilla's Changes, though it looks exactly like the British version, albeit without any indication of Britain in print. Please look at the first Britain page to see it (3rd inner sleeve variation there).


Contrary to British practice, German covers are mostly laminated on the outside to protect them against rubbing wear, bar some exceptions like 6360 017. They are constructed out of slightly thinner board than the British covers. The back cover shows after the catalogue number at the upper right hand corner a ''D'' in a square (see scan), making it easy to identify the cover as a German one. When the spine is printed (which is not always the case) the wording is with some releases upside-down for Anglo-Saxon eyes. Since German books have their spines printed the other way around compared to books in English, this practise is in some cases maintained on the cover spines. Most covers were manufactured by Carl v.d. Linnepe in Lüdenscheid, who gets a credit on almost all sleeves.



Just like the French branch, Vertigo Germany did - at first - not like the idea of putting all information on the B-side label, while reserving the A-side for a big swirl logo. Early German releases have the information divided on both sides. The latest release we have seen with this design is 6360 017, Colosseum's Daughter of time. As there are no copies known of some of the earlier numbers with these labels, it may well be that this particular record was released before others with lower numbers. After a while the Germans subsided and followed British practice, albeit with a design that differs in almost every aspect from the British one.

First B-side label design from Germany with the characteristic perimeter text and a stereo symbol at three o'clock. The ''mother'' part of the matrix number appears underneath the catalogue number. There is no ''GEMA'' (German copyright) wording. It is unclear why a late number as 6360 017 can be found with an early label. Later on the ''normal'' design was used for this album too. Variations with and without the GEMA caption are known to exist.
Second B-side label design from Germany, now, of course, with all information concentrated on this side. The stereo symbol travels up to 2 o'clock, as do the partial matrix numbers. The font for the bandname and title is strongly emphasized. ''GEMA'' appears at around 10 o'clock.

Some very early releases were issued with ''old'' catalogue numbers like 847 903 VTY for the Black Sabbath debut LP.
Even stranger: above record has a run-out groove that mentions ''670'' the country code for The Netherlands. Perhaps this is a very early imported bunch to meet demand, before the ''real'' German pressing was ready?


It feels almost luxurious that Vertigo Germany took the trouble to note running time for each track, something that has consistently been lacking from British releases around this era. The wording ''A Philips Record Product'' survived much longer in Germany. Britain dropped this after the first few releases.

The A-side also shows a difference to British releases (see scan below). In the second white rim the wording ''Vertigo'' is placed.



These are build up along a simple formula: the number 10 (what does that mean?) followed by AA and the catalogue number, the side (1 or 2) and the stereo letter Y and lastly the country code for Germany, 320. The matrix is machine-stamped.

6360005DWLP ggpromoD 6360614PROlbl
Vertigo Germany had, of course, test pressings made, as well as promo records. The former had a white A-side label and a simplified B-side label that includes the GEMA credit, the stereo symbol and, most importantly, the Vertigo swirl logo. The top of the label reads: Unverkäufliche Musterplatte - ''sample copy - not for sale''. The design of these labels is not very consistent, here's another one with different lay-out, this time the A-side did have the Vertigo logo, hovering somewhere between test pressing and ''normal'' promo. ''Unverkäufliche'' appears at the bottom.
And yet another design, almost identical to the regular label was used as promo to interest radio stations and distributors. ''Unverkäufliche'' is at 10 o'clock.


As of now, we have found two cassettes from Germany, which are depicted below. The catalogue numbers are 7138 007 and 7138 033, identical to the British issues. It seems certain that there are more of this kind of release in existence.

As there are no other Vertigo albums advertised on the back flap, there is no way of knowing from this particular cassette whether or not there were any more such releases.

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Differing German versions of British albums

Albums issued in Germany only

German singles and a display of picture sleeves

We sincerely hope that you will be of assistance in making this information as reliable as possible.
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