FINDING A NEW ITEM TO COLLECT in the world of Elvis records is a rather rare occurrence. After all, the man has been dead for more than forty years and RCA stopped mass-producing vinyl records more than twenty years ago. Nonetheless, “new” things do appear, such as a stash of unusual picture sleeves that recently turned up for sale on the internet. READ MORE
IN 1976, the Gold Standard Series was revamped for the fourth and final time with a new ‘retro’ look. Along with the rest of the RCA catalog, the modern look and layout of the previous orange and red labels was jettisoned and the company opted for a retro look: black was back and so was Nipper! But the effect was cheesy: the paper used for the labels seemed of a lesser quality—a dull black rather than the high gloss stock of the past. READ MORE
IN 1969, the Gold Standard Series was changed for the third time: the visually lifeless orange label was replaced by a more attractive bright red label. (The orange label remain as the primary label for RCA’s standard catalog singles and albums.) Otherwise, the layout and the typeface remained the same from the previous to the newest.
In 1968, RCA had switched from its classic black label to a more ‘modern’ orange label for all its records. READ MORE
IN 1969, the Gold Standard Series label was dramatically modified, along with the rest of the RCA Victor catalog (45s, EPs, LPs, and reel-to-reel tapes). Gone was the familiar glossy black background with “RCA Victor” in traditional serif type with the big “V” across the top. Gone, too, was the dog, beloved Nipper, cocking his head to his master’s voice emanating from the horn of an antique phonograph. READ MORE
IN 1965, the Gold Standard Series label was changed for the first time. The labels remained an attractive glossy black, but “RCA Victor” was moved to the right side of the spindle hole while Nipper was placed on the left side. Again, there was no mention of “Gold Standard” anywhere on the label; only the 447 prefix identified these records as reissues. READ MORE
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, the powers-that-be at RCA Victor decided that the recordings that Elvis Presley labored over in the studio were not up to snuff. You know, the ones that sold a bajillion copies and almost single-handedly justified the invention of the 45 rpm single as a medium. Apparently, some of those recordings simply were not good enough technically to preserve on a 33⅓ rpm LP album. READ MORE
THE GOLD STANDARD SERIES of reissues of Elvis Presley’s 45 pm singles ran for more than forty years. During this time, ninety-five records were released, including thirteen unique picture sleeves! Some of these records went through five label changes, meaning each has five major variations of interest to must-have-it-all Elvis collectors, of which there are more than a few. READ MORE
IN 1964, the Gold Standard Series was used by RCA to expose the old Elvis to the new and younger record buyers brought to the stores by the Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion—which in early 1964 was basically the Fab Four and the Dave Clark 5. Exactly who made the decision is unknown, but five Presley platters from the ’50s were selected and promoted as if they were new releases. READ MORE
WHY ARE THEY SO RARE? When were these records released with these bloody orange labels? How many titles were released? How many copies of each were manufactured? These questions have puzzled Elvis collectors for years—they certainly baffled me as editor of the O’Sullivan Woodside record collectors price guides way back when.
I took the job in 1984, a time when OW had cash-flow issues to a lack of new product. READ MORE