RCA Four Channel Record Albums of the 1970s
 
 

 

RCA was one of the first companies to release quadraphonic product in the United States with it's line of Quadraphonic 8-Track cartridges. (These early "quad-8" tapes can be distinguished from the more common RCA Q8's by their orange colored graphics and solid cardboard album graphic sleeves.) The reason for getting these tapes issued early was to insure that RCA quad product was out into the marketplace while their parent company in Japan (JVC) completed work on perfecting their new CD-4 discrete system for quadraphonic record albums. Early CD-4 LPs released in Japan were suffering from excessive wear and tear. Many of these LPs deteriorated after being played just a few times. This caused JVC to announce at that time that their CD-4 discs should only be played on their specially equipped systems. This problem hastened the development of the "Shibata" stylus, which increased the surface area of the stylus, thus decreasing the pressure on the grooves. With a new improved vinyl and the Shibata stylus, RCA was now ready to introduce the Quadradisc to the American publiv. When these first RCA CD-4 LPs were finally released with much fanfare in 1973, the early matrix quad albums had already been available in stores for over a year. Since these early matrix LPs had little or no separation, the thought was that CD-4 would quickly become the preferred method of distributing quadraphonic product on vinyl.

To celebrate a world wide live media event and concert  that would become known as "Elvis Presley - Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite", RCA decided to release the companion soundtrack album as one of it's first single inventory CD-4 compatible Quadradiscs. Since all copies of this 2 LP set were CD-4 albums, this gave RCA the "big sales" they wanted for a debut with the format. Collectors will note that the artwork for the initial issue album cover does not have the "quadradisc" logo printed above the VPSX-6089 pressing number and actually says "STEREO". (See Photos Below) This seems to indicate that this title was "rushed" into the CD-4 format at the last minute. A golden "Quadradisc" sticker was affixed to these "stereo" jackets, and continued to be used on the properly labeled later jackets. At any rate, most folks who bought the LP had no idea what the "quadradisc" sticker or logo was for anyway, they just bought the LP for the "Elvis"! This January 1973 concert was rush released and hit the stores in February 1973, a month later! (In the scans below, I increased the size of the RCA logos for internet clarity)

 
 
 

 


ORIGINAL JACKET w/"STEREO" ----- REPRINTED JACKET w/"QUADRADISC"
(Note: This set was reissued in 1978 as CPD2-2642)

 
     
 

RCA was so sure that the compatible mono/stereo/quadraphonic CD-4 album would become the standard for all vinyl product that they started an entirely new numbering scheme that began with the very next CD-4 release: APD1-0001, which was Hugo Montenegro's "Love Theme from the Godfather". Located below is a list in numerical order of all of the RCA released CD-4 albums with their release dates and the date that each title was deleted - sent to the cut-out bins.

Starting at 0001 and looking down the list, it is interesting to note that it took them almost a year to release a popular commercial title. Most of the early CD-4s were either classical or "easy listening" music. It was not until the end of 1973 with the release of "Best of the Guess Who, Vol 2", "Volunteers", and "Nilsson Schmilsson" that real mainstream pop was available on Quad LP from RCA.

Looking further down the list, you can see that almost 80% of these titles are classical, country or "easy listening". Of course, this represents the type of artists that were signed to RCA during this period. There were some notable exceptions. I never understood why there were never any David Bowie or John Denver CD-4 releases, as at the time they were VERY popular acts, with Denver topping the charts many times in the mid '70s for RCA. Also, they never went back and did any of the classic Elvis albums from their catalog. Very strange - I guess they REALLY had to get those "Danny Davis" albums out!

Most of the CD-4 LPs listed below were released between 1972 and 1975. There were only 11 RCA CD-4 LPs released in 1976. After that, it was down to two Tomita LP's which found their way into quad homes. The LP "Kosmos" (ARD1-2616) was the last US manufactured RCA CD-4, with the final Tomita Quad LP "Bolero" only available in limited numbers, and that was basically the Japanese import LP with a US sticker on the front declaring it ARD1-3412.

 
     
     

 

RCA CD-4 ALBUM CHECKLIST OF U.S. RELEASES
** - Single Inventory Quadradiscs (No Stereo Release)

(To download a PDF file of this checllist, CLICK HERE)

0001
Hugo Montenegro/Theme from Godfather**
1972
1978
 
0636
 Guess Who/Flavours
1974
1977
0002
Eugene Ormandy/Fantastic Philadelphians Vol 1**
1972
1979
0661
Floyd Cramer/In Concert
1974
1980
0013
Henry Mancini/Salutes Sousa**
1972
198?
0663
Ives/Symphony No. 2
1974
1978
0014
Shostakovich/Symphony No. 15**
1972
1977
0664
Tchaikovsky/Symphony No. 5
1974
1980
0015
Dr. Teleny/Stolen Goods**
1972
1975
0665
Tchaikovsky/Symphony No. 5
1974
1980
0017
Eugene Ormandy/Fantastic Philadelphians Vol 2**
1972
1979
0666
Virgil Fox/Entertainer
1974
1978
0018
Sibelius/Symphony No. 2**
1973
1979
0667
Gil Evans/Plays the music of Jimi Hendrx
1974
1978
0025
Hugo Montenegro/Scenes & Themes**
1972
1979
0672
Henry Mancini/Hangin' Out
1974
1979
0026
Bachs Greatest Fuges**
1973
1980
0680
Jazz Piano Quartet/Let it Happen
1974
1977
0027
Nutcracker Suite**
1973
198?
0707
Citizen Kane
1974
1979
0028
Scheherazade**
1973
1979
0708
Sunset Boulevard
1974
1979
0029
Debussy: La Mer**
1973
1980
0717
Jefferson Starship/Dragon Fly
1974
1980
0030
Swan Lake**
1973

198?

0719
Brahms/Symphony No. 5
1974
1978
0031
Rachmaninoff/Concerto No 2**
1973

1980

0757
Charley Pride/Pride of America
1974
1980
0032
Al Stewart/Museum of Madern Brass**
1972

1977

0774
Danny Davis/Latest & Greatest
1974
1980
0034
Danny Davis/Travelin'**
1973
1978
0775
Hues Corporation/Rockin' Soul
1974
1977
0035
Arthur Fiedler/Hits of the '70s Vol 2**
1973

1981

0781
Tchaikovsky/Concerto for Violin
1974
1978
0044
Panasonic CD-4 Demonstration Double Album**
1973
1973
0784
Hugo Montenegro/Others by Brothers
1974
1978
0062
Harman Kardon CD-4 Demonstration Album**
1973
1973
0817
Nilsson/Duet on Mon Die
1975
1977
0071
JVC Presents Hot & Wild CD-4 Demonstration Album**
1974
1974
0820
Hot Tuna/Americas's Choice
1975
1979
0072
RCA Quadradisc Highlights CD-4 Demonstration Album**
1973
1973
0838
Tomita/Pictures at an Exhibition
1975
1980
0080
Nat Stuckey/Take Time to Love Her**
1973
1975
0840
Puccini/Duets
1975
1980
0081
Virgil Fox/Heavy Organ Vol 1**
1973
1978
0842
Massent/Thais
1975
1980
0084
Sylvania CD-4 Quadradisc CD-4 Demonstration Album**
1974
1974
0844
Anna Moffo/Heroines
1975
1978
0086
Carolyn Hester**
1973
1975
0846
Ronnie Milsap/Legend in my own Time
1975
1980
0098
Mancini & Severensen/Brass 'N' Ivory**
1973
198?
0851
Milnes/Arias
1975
1980
0100
Perry Como/And I Love You So
1973
1980
0852
Mahler/Symphony No. 2
1975
1978
0103
Jimmy Caster Bunch/Dimension III**
1973
1975
0863
Perry Como/Just Out of Reach
1975
1980
0130
Guess Who/ #10
1973
1978
0873
Elvis Presley/Promised Land
1975
1980
0132
Hugo Montenegro/Neil's Diamonds
1973
1977
0880
Bach/Great Transcription
1975
1978
0141
Jose Feliciano/Compartments**
1973
1977
0893
Floyd Cramer/Piano Masterpieces
1975
1980
0151
Dotty West/If It's Alright with You
1973
1975
0911
Spellbound
1975
1980
0155
Floyd Cramer/Super Country Hits
1973
1980
0912
Captain Blood
1975
1980
0169
Sleeping Beauty
1973
198?
0933
Pure Prarie League/Two Lane Highway
1975
1980
0173
David Clayton-Thomas
1973
1975
0938
Hues Corporation/Love Corporation
1975
1977
0217
Charley Pride/Sweet Country
1973
1977
0968
Return of the Pink Panther
1975
1980
0232
Danny Davis/Carribean Cruise
1973
1977
0995
Guess Who/Power In The Music
1975
1980
0238
Jerry Reed/Lord Mr. Ford
1973
1977
0999
Jefferson Starship/Red Octopus
1975
1980
0245
Original Cast Recording - Hair
1973
1980
1024
Hugo Montenegro/Rocket Man
1975
1978
0269
Guess Who/Greatest Hits Vol 2
1973
1980
1027
Henry Mancini/Symphonic Soul
1975
1980
0270
Henry Mancini/Country Gentleman
1974
1980
1031
Nilsson/Sandman
1976
1977
0276
Friends of Distinction/Greatest Hits
1973
1978
1038
Charley Pride/Charley
1975
1980
0285
New Birth/It's Been a Long Time
1973
1978
1039
Elvis Presley/Today
1975
1980
0286
Dolly Parton/Bubbling Over
1973
1977
1040
Mahler/Symphony No. 1
1975
1979
0299
Floyd Cramer/Class of '73
1973
1977
1042
Spaced Out Bach. Vol 2
1975
1978
0319
Nilsson/Nilsson Schmilsson
1973
1980
1043
Danny Davis/Dream Country
1975
1978
0320
Jefferson Airplane/Volunteers
1973
1980
1101
Lou Reed/Metal Machine Music
1975
1978
0329
Chet Atkins/Superpickers
1973
1980
1114
Massent/La Navaraise
1975
1978
0335
Main Ingredient/Euphrates River
1974
1978
1149
Shastakovisch/Symphony No. 5
1975
1980
0371
Pucinni/La Boheme
1974
1980
1151
Prokofiev/Opus 78
1975
1980
0397
Charley Pride/Amazing Love
1974
1980
1155
Dvorak/Concerto in B
1975
1978
0405
Guess Who/Road Food
1974
1978
1180
Handel/Concerto in Bb
1975
1978
0410
B.W. Stevenson/Calabasas
1974
1978
1181
Rodrigo/Concerto for Guitar
1975
1980
0413
Hugo Montenegro/Hugo in Wonderland
1974
1977
1191
Floyd Cramer/Class of 74-75
1975
1980
0415
Yellow River Concerto
1974
1979
1199
Korngold/Die Tote Stadt
1975
1980
0422
Casablanca Scores
1974
1980
1220
R Strauss/Also Sprach Zarathustra
1975
1980
0426
Tchaikovski/Symphony No. 6
1974
1978
1238
Hot Tuna/Yellow Fever
1975
1978
0439
Spaced Out Bach
1974
1978
1240
Danny Davis/Country Gold
1975
1980
0453
Spectacular Overatures
1974
1980
1241
Charley Pride/Happiness of Having You
1975
1980
0469
Floyd Cramer/The Young & the Restless
1974
1977
1247
Pure Prarie Leauge/If the Shoe Fits
1976
1980
0477
 Virgil Fox/Heavy Organ Vol 2
1974
1978
1249
Ives/Holidays Symphonies
1975
1980
0484
Camille Saint-Saens
1974
1978
1312
Tomita/Firebird Suite
1976
1980
0488
Tomita - Snowflakes are Dancing
1974
1980
1359
Charley Pride/Sunday Morning
1976
1980
0500
Ronnie Milsap/Pure Love
1974
1980
1415
Beethoven/5 Piano Concertos (5 Disc Set)
1976
1980
0543
Dotty West/House of Love
1974
1977
1490
Film Scores of David Raskins
1976
1979
0552
Arthur Fiedler/Hits of the '70s Vol 2
1974
1980
1541
Floyd Cramer/Country
1976
1980
0565
Danny Davis/Bluegrass Country
1974
1978
1557
Jefferson Starship/Spitfire
1976
1980
0566
Verdi
1974
1978
1578
Danny Davis/Texas
1976
1980
0567
Puccini/Tosca
1974
1980
1599
Barber/Quartet
1976
1980
0570
Nilsson/Pussycats (with John Lennon)
1974
1978
1669
Lost Horizons
1976
1980
0572
Jim Ed Brown/It's That Time of the Night
1974
1975
1919
Tomita/The Planets
1976
1980
0585
Perry Como/Perry
1974
1980
2616
Tomita/Kosmos
1978
1980
0589
Ives/Symphony No. 4
1974
1978
2642
Elvis Presley/Aloha From Hawaii (re-Issue)
1978
198?
0600
Beethoven/Symphony No. 5
1975
1908
3412
Tomita/Bolero (USA Sticker on Japaneses Import CD-4 LP)
1979
1980
0604
Stephen Michael-Schwartz
1974
1975
5890
Puccini/Mass
?
1980
0606
Elvis Presley/Live On Stage in Memphis
1974
1976
 6089
Elvis Presley/Aloha From Hawaii** (original VPSX issue)
1973
1978

(To download a PDF file of this checllist, CLICK HERE)

 

DECODING THE PRESSING NUMBER & PREFIX

ARD1-1234

The First Letter is the Price Code (A, C, D, E)
The Second Letter signifies (P)opular or (R)ed Seal
The Third Letter signifies the music format (D=Discrete LP, T=Q8, Q=Q4, L=Stereo LP)
The Number signifies the number of media (1=1 LP/Tape, 2=2 LPs/Tapes, etc)
The number after the dash is the pressing number

 

RCA Quadradisc Label Variations (Popular)
RCA "Red Seal" Quadradisc Label Variations (Classical)

 

 

 

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Page Last Updated November 23, 2007