French Info



The French RCA singles came with price codes on the back of their sleeves which helps to date them, these are the French price codes:

Old letter system (State controlled)

L : from 1968 to March/April 1972

J : from March/April 72 to October 73

N : from October 73 to September 74

NA : from September 74 to September 75

E : from September 75 to September 76

EA : from September 76 to spring 78

EC : from spring 78 to autumn 78

After this record companies were free to charge what they liked and each distributor had it’s own price code. RCA after the last old letters system (EC) had RC 110. Two letters and three numbers (RC = RCA)

Also at the bottom of some of the sleeves you can find the print date of the sleeve. (These dates are only for the first pressings and don’t usually change for later pressings, for the date of later pressings the price code is the best guide.)

Example : “ Imp. A.R.E.A.C.E.M. - C 9 “ this means printed by A.R.E.A.C.E.M - 1974/September. A = 1972, B = 1973, C = 1974, etc. The number is the month. Before this they ware printed by A.C.E.M. with a more obvious coding like this “Imp. A.C.E.M. 11-70” (meaning November 1970).   (Big thanks to Bela Corduroy)

David receives the Insignia of Commander of Arts and Letters from the French Culture Minister Catherine Trautmann. Paris 14th October 1999


As well as the issues there are Test Pressings, Juke-Box and Promo versions of most (if not all) of the French EMI America releases:

Test Pressings

These came in plain white sleeves (one side has a hole cut, the other doesn’t ) with a sticker attached (the sticker can be on either side of the sleeve). The sticker usually had the catalogue number and artist stamped on them (often the song title is also hand written on the sleeve or sticker). The records have no labels.

Let’s Dance with metallic Juke-Box Sticker

Two examples of EMI America test pressings, China Girl on left and Underground on right


These are standard issue records in their normal Picture Sleeves that have an attached sticker on the front of the picture sleeve.

Pre-Release (Promo)

These are standard issue records in their normal Picture Sleeves that have a stamp that embosses or punctures through the picture sleeve.


Some records were not pressed in France but were still available to buy in French record shops, these include ‘Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy’, ‘Under The God’ and ‘Maggie’s Farm/Tin Machine’ these were imported UK records. The ‘Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy’ had a sticker with the price code ‘RC 110’ on the back of the UK Picture Sleeve.

This section is now complete, unless you have something else?

‘This is not America’ with Pre-Release stamp

‘Day-In Day-Out’ with Pre-Release stamp