In Japan the label was launched on March 1,1968 by CBS/Sony Records Inc., with a capital of ¥720,000,000. It was a joint-venture company between Sony of Japan (50 percent) and CBS of the U.S. (50 percent), formed to produce and merchandise records and recorded tape products. They released their first product on August 21,1968.
Before 1968, CBS' licensee in Japan was Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.. In August 1973 the CBS/Sony label became part of CBS/Sony Inc..
Following Sony's acquisition of CBS Records, the CBS/Sony label in Japan was renamed to Sony Records in 1991. (The logo simply dropped the word "CBS", before a new logo was introduced in 1998.)
In Spain the label was active in the 1990s.
Sony dropped the CBS label in 1991 in favour of Columbia, which they acquired the rights for from EMI. In Spain however, the Columbia brand was not owned by EMI, but by Discos Columbia, S.A.. Because of this, Sony introduced the CBS/Sony label in Spain. Eventually Sony also acquired the rights to the Columbia brand in Spain. The CBS/Sony label in Spain was discontinued around 1996/1997.
Please note that the catalogue numbers of CBS/Sony releases in Spain often have the 'COL' prefix. This does not mean they are Columbia releases!
Japanese catalogue numbers
From 1968 to 1976 most releases have a cat# with 4 characters, first two always SO, followed by two more characters (mostly SOL_, SON_, SOP_) and a number (1 to 5 digits). Early releases have a 5-digit number, from about 1972 a 1 to 3-digit number has been used.
From 1976 to 1989 most releases have a cat# with a 2 digit prefix as price code (price in ¥ divided by 100 is the price code, e.g. 3200 ¥ --> price code 32.
Code 00 stands for prices from 10000 ¥).
Followed by a character defining the format:
A = Analog media (Vinyl, LP / 12")
D = Digital media (CD 5")
E = Digital media (CD 3")
K = Cassette
L = Digital media (Laserdisc)
S = Analog media (Vinyl, 7")
Z = Video Tape
The next character defines the genre:
C = Foreign Classic (non-japanese)
G = Domestic Classic (japanese)
H = Domestic Pop (japanese)
P = Foreign Pop (non-japanese)
followed by a 1 to 4 digt number, the numbers are counted within every character group (e.g. "AP", not regarding the price code. Releases with multiple media have a own cat# for each media, the cat# of the release is the cat# of the first media plus the different digits of the last media (e.g. 35AP 3344~5).