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Columbia, Athens

Profile:

"Columbia" pressing plant, established in February 1930 and owned by the local EMI subsidiary; located in Rizoupoli, Athens, Greece. Ceased operations on 30 April 1991.
They started with 10 manual presses and from late 1950s/early 1960s, they had 14 automatic presses, most of them for 7" (45 rpm) vinyl records. They were equally split for 7" (45 rpm) and LPs (33 1/3 rpm) after the mid-1960s.

The first 10" shellac record (78 RPM) was pressed on December 20, 1930 (Μιχάλης Θωμάκος: "Μαρούσκα"/"Λωτός", Columbia DG 1 -DG standing for Disk Greek-). Shellacs were pressed until 1959-1960.
The first "extended play" 7" vinyl records were pressed on July 16th, 1955.
The first "standard" 7" vinyl records were pressed on January 27th, 1958, the last one in 1980.
The first vinyl LP records were pressed in 1961, the last one pressed & publicly released was "Πάμε Βόρεια", in April 1990.
The first recorded cassette tape was produced in 1970.
Until 1967, Columbia was the only manufacturing plant that pressed 7" vinyl records in Greece.

The last ever vinyl record was pressed on 30 April 1991. It was a compilation LP, titled Columbia 1929 - 1991 (no cat#, side A Columbia, side B HMV), compiled by Δημήτρης Φεργάδης & Δαμιανός Σερέφογλου; it was pressed in 117 copies (as many as the pressing plant workers) and distributed to them, then the lacquer was destroyed.
(Δημήτρης Φεργάδης worked initially as technician and later on as sales manager from 1959 through to April 30, 1991).

12"-sized records between 1970-1991 / MT & A/A prefixes:
- Starting in 1970, a sequence of numbers was used, each number corresponding to the specific master tape (and the respective stamper) used for a vinyl LP pressed at the factory. In the 1980's these numbers were used for 12" singles / maxi singles as well. These numbers usually appear twice, with prefix A/A and MT: with the prefix A/A (e.g. Α/Α 12164) they are usually located on the labels; with prefix MT they are usually located on the sleeve (e.g. ΜΤ 12164). (The same number, usually without prefix, appears also in the respective cassette & 8-track versions, duplicated in the same factory).
- Although this sequence was internally adopted in 1970, ΜΤ-A/A numbers started to appear on labels and sleeves at about 1973-74. (For example, the 1st issue of Deep Purple - In Rock, that came out in 1970, didn't feature any such numbers. The 1974-75 repress, In Rock, carries "MT 87" for the first time. All later reissues carry this number as well, throughout the 1980's.)
- MT-A/A numbers are a considerably safe indication of the release year for any Greek LP or 12" release pressed by Columbia, Athens, valid only for the 1st pressing of a release, provided it came out after 1970. For represses/reissues, date is usually not found on the release itself, but a helpful guide is the record company specifics (see EMIAL and EMIAL S.A. profiles for more).
- On LP releases originally released in the 1960's, MT-A/A numbers were appointed later, after the respective master tape was archived (and possibly remastered) for further (post-1970) reissues. (For example, Βασίλης Τσιτσάνης - Τσιτσάνης, originally released in 1966, was appointed number 54 (corresponds to year 1970), however this number appears for the first time in mid-1970's issues, such as Τσιτσάνης,)

Most records pressed by Columbia, Athens pressing plant were made / manufactured (enter under the respective credit role) by one of the following Greek EMI entities:
EMI Greece
EMI Greece S.A.
Columbia-EMI Greece S.A.
Columbia Graphophone Company Of Greece Limited
Columbia Gramophone Company Greece Ltd.
The Graphophone Company Of Greece Limited
EMIAL
EMIAL S.A.

Add in LCCN: Pressed By: the sequential A/A number, without the prefix (e.g. 12164)
* Double LPs will feature two such numbers, one for each record. Please enter two credits in this case, three for 3LP sets etc.
Add in BaOI: Pressing Plant ID: the A/A+number(s), and/or the MT+number(s) along with any additional information, e.g. where it is found on the release artwork, which number corresponds to Record 1 or Record 2 (for double LPs) etc.
* Usually A/A and MT are followed by the same number.
Example: Χάρης & Πάνος Κατσιμίχας - Ζεστά Ποτά

* Prefix definitions:
A/A: "Αύξοντας Aριθμος" (= ascending number)
MT: "Master Tape"

Contact Info:

(obsolete)
Λεωφόρος Ηρακλείου 127
Ριζούπολη, Αθήνα

127, Herakleiou Av.
Rizoupoli, Athens

Links:Archive.org , tovima.gr , urbanlife.gr , huffingtonpost.gr , desertedplaces.blogspot.com

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