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As with most European countries, Vertigo France did not have the opportunity to sign their own bands. Quite a lot of the British albums were released in France, though. The strategy as to which bands were chosen is unclear. Well-selling titles, naturally, are among them, but also bands like Patto, Gracious and Fairfield Parlour did see a French release and even Cressida's Asylum. The first few French releases that correspond with the ''VO'' prefixed British ones, do have an ''old'' Phonogram catalogue number, the same that were printed underneath the ''VO'' number at the backcover of the British versions. So Black Sabbath's debut holds the number 847 903 VTY and so on.

Status Quo, Piledriver was given the catalogue number 6321 004.
Jim Croce, Life and times was given the number 6360 751.


France made its own covers rather than import them from Britain. If the British release boasted an elaborate packaging, you can be almost sure it was severely restricted in France. Only the gatefold covers survived. Structured covers were ditched, too: all France covers have a smooth and laminated surface, rendering them better protected against the teeth of time. There are no special inner sleeves issued in France.


French backcovers have a ''U'' in a circle on the backcover before the catalogue number. This is the equivalent of the British ''price code''. At the bottom there is a credit of the French printing firm, rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise (scan has this relocated).

Early releases sported a sticker referring to parent company Philips:




The French clearly saw no advantage in the British system of labelling all information on the B-side, the A-side being reserved for the logo. Instead, the information is divided among both sides, just as on any other LP.

The font used on the perimeter strongly ressembles the British one. There is no date of issue on the label and the fonts on the inner part of the label are quite characteristic for the French releases. Not to miss are the abbreviation B.I.E.M, which denotes the international copyright organisation and the wording ''Made in France'', that indeed leaves nothing undecided. Later releases feature the French copyright society SACEM/SDRM, as seen on the single label at the very bottom of this page.


The matrix numbers are machine-stamped and follow a simple routine: the catalogue number, the side (1 or 2) a ''+'' and the country code for France which is 380. So the matrix number of above record side would be 6360002 2 + 380.


As you would expect, France issued cassettes too.
Here's two of them:

BSsamecassF QuoPilecassF


Contrary to British issues, all French single releases had a picture sleeve, rendering these versions much more interesting than the British ones. Some of these are displayed at the bottom of this page. Instead of the circled ''U'' from the albums, there is a circled ''L'' (price code) on the backcover instead. Early releases also have a smaller circled ''M'' just behind this. The printer also got a mention. This was ''JAT'' on the first releases and ''Dillard & Cie.'' on later ones.


As with almost any single from this era, the French sleeves have a printed spine with artist, songtitle and catalogue number, The opening of the sleeve is lightly die-cut to make it easier to get the disc out of the cover. Most of the sleeves we have seen have the ''serie parade'' logo at the bottom. Early singles sleeves are made of sturdier paper than in any other country.


Most of the British singles were released in France too. The catalogue numbers are the same as the British ones, except for V1 and V2. These were assigned the logical numbers 6059 001 and 6059 002 respectively.

Again, in France the singles labels are quite similar to those of the albums. The album the single was culled from is mentioned at 3 o'clock on early releases. Both the B.I.E.M. and the Made in France wordings are present.

Long before the British department changed the singles label design, the French branch did. Instead of the black and white design, there was now an altered design in dark and lighter blue (see scan below).


The last single with the ''normal'' black and white design was 6059 014.


These are similar to those on albums: catalogue number, side, ''+'' and the 380 country code for France.

Some singles that were not released in Britain, did get a release in France, like 6059 005 below.

Some singles have been spotted in a generic sleeve that reproduces the vinyl in red.

As promised we now display some French picture sleeves, but there are many more. If you have presentable scans of these, please let us know!

6059015F 6059005F
French picture sleeve for 6032 900, Aphrodite''s Child Break/ Babylon.
French picture sleeve for 6059 001, Juicy Lucy Who do you love/ Walking down the highway. French picture sleeve for 6059 005, Black Sabbath The wizard/ Evil woman, don't play your games with me.

6059009F 6059015F 6059018F
French picture sleeve for 6059 009, Fairfield Parlour Bordeaux rosé/ Chalk on the wall. French picture sleeve for 6059 015, Juicy Lucy Pretty woman/ I'm a thief. French picture sleeve for 6059 018, Linda Hoyle with Affinity Eli's comin'/ United states of mind.

French picture sleeve for 6059 034, Assagai Telephone girl/ I'll wait for you. French picture sleeve for 6059 047, Gravy Train The new one/ Think of life. French picture sleeve for 6059 061, Black Sabbath Tomorrow's dream/ Laguna sunrise.

6059126F 6131001F
French picture sleeve for 6059 126, Status Quo Roll over lay down/ Where I am. French picture sleeve for 6131 001 (unique cat. nr.) Beggars Opera Sarabande / Think. French picture sleeve for 6173 585 Dire Straits Sultans of swing/ Eastbound train.

A French copy has been sighted of a Cressida single: 6059 004 Cressida/ Down down.
This is quite remarkable since this catalogue number normally signifies Rod Stewart's Gasoline Alley/ Only a hobo.
Still: here is proof:

French label for 6059 004, Cressida Cressida/ Down down.

And now also the following:

French label for 6832 955, Cressida Asylum/Summer Weekend of a Lifetime.

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