In Stereo banners from LPs

From How to Be a Retronaut, a "Stereo Stack" anthology: 4,000+ pixels of "In Stereo" logos from LP jackets, ganked from the Stereo Stack site.

Stereo Stack


  1. The new “Live Color Stereo” is so much better than the “Dead Black-and-White Stereo” I grew up with.

  2. This inspires me to create a photo series (and I’ll murder anyone who beats me to the punch):  There are many mom-n-pop motels that sit along the lesser highways and county roads in the USA whose roadside marquees STILL advertise “color TV.”

    1. there’s one up on the highway here with a “COLOR TV” sign out front, and of course every letter is a different color…

  3. The Discrete Reproduction method of quadraphonic sound reproduction was incredible.  You could hear the difference in 8-Track or vinyl, even on mono or two-speaker based stereo systems.  In my opinion, it was far superior to anything we have today.  7.1 Dolby is all well and good, but the compatibility is spotty at best, and in some cases just not desirable.  This is obvious in the amount of times I have to switch my surround off in order to properly hear a broadcast.   The DR method made quality recordings that could be interpreted by any system, anywhere, at any time and much better than a standard stereo recording. If you had a four speaker system, even better.  I still have an 8 track copy of Rush’s 2112 in this format, but no way to play it as I don’t have an 8 track player.

  4. But…but…but… the Valiant logo promises High Fidelity MONO, not stereo! The really scary thing is that I recognize almost all of the logos (OK, not the spanish ones) from my own collection (and that I never thought to do this first) – and yes, the logos are mostly from the late 50s to the very early 70s, when mono pressings were no longer an option in new releases (mono used to be a dollar or so less) – of course NOW you have Bob Dylan and the Beatles re-releasing their early stuff in monophonic claiming that’s the way it was intended (often true in the Beatles’ case, where their version of stereo was awful; some stuff on the left, some on the right, nothing in the middle on the early Capitol butchered shortened issues). Anyone remember how the front covers would sometimes have both mono and stereo labeling, with the cover image moved either higher or lower on the sleeve to uncover which version was inside?

  5. I really like this stuff!  But as someone who archives old, yellowed ephemera myself I have one criticism: I 100% cannot stand it when the white-point/black-point is not corrected on old aged items.  They were never released with that yellow patina of age; age affected the acid in the paper stock to create it.  Stuff like this was much more vibrant when first released.

  6. Also, to Greg Miller, you can probably Wikipedia this, but stereo grooves are cut with different “wiggles” at a 45 degree angle on the two walls of the groove, so the stylus moving “up and to the left” is one channel, and “up but to the right” is the other (with some crosstalk between them naturally occurring). A guy named (IIRC) Emory Cook made some early stereo records where you had to mount TWO mono phono cartridges side by side and they played parallel grooves (if you could get it started correctly). That was actual stereo, but very few sold. Stereo reel to reel was the “reel” competition in the early days of hi-fi. Then Monty Python put two grooves side by side on one of their LPs but didn’t tell the buyers, so which groove you landed it was pretty random and confusing to people who thought they knew what was on side two…

  7. I have an old double LP with spoken word performances by Laurie Anderson, William S. Burroughs and another artist whose name escapes me now. Each artist gets a full side. The fourth side is triple-grooved so it will randomly play one of the three artists’ additional works, depending on how the needle chooses to go. Pretty cool randomness for an LP, and some great content!

    1. John Giorno: You’re the guy I want to share my money with.

      Side 4 of this double album is a multi-grooved record. Depending on where the needle lands on the record, one of the following will play:

          Laurie Anderson: For Electronic Dogs/Structuralist Filmmaking/Drums
          William S. Burroughs: My Name Is Clem Snide/Mr. Hart Couldn’t Hear the Word Death
          John Giorno: excerpt from Put Your Ear to Stone & Open Your Heart to the Sky

  8. I love all the solid cyan, magenta, and yellow and the easy trapping on black backgrounds. Graphic designers were so much more practical in the day.

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