Persian 45 rpm vinyl record labels
by: Amir Mansour
The first 45s
The first Persian 45s recorded for "AHANG" (means "song") label in early 1959 and produced in Germany. By mid 1960, more than 200 records were released as 45 rpm 7" records, beside 3 "AHANG" LPs. Main artists of these records are Delkesh, Viguen, Mehrpooya, Pooran and Manuchehr and most of them are examples of a new genre in Persian music, may be called "imported pop" and show the influence of western pop, jazz and blues. Ahang records were distributed by Beethoven company based in Manuchehri ave. in Tehran owned by Karim Chamanara, then Ahang label changed to "Ahang e Rooz" and stayed the most important 45 rpm between 1966 and 1977.
The local companies who were owners of 78 rpm labels, changed their format to 45 rpm and beside new recordings, transferred some of their best sellers to 45 vinyl records. MUSICAL RECORD COMPANY (M.R.C) kept on its label and not a long later changed it to MUSICAL and then to MERCURI MUSICAL based in Elizabeth Blvd. in Tehran with a general colored jacket instead of the normal white non-printed jackets.
SHAHERZAD reproduced some its 78 rpm records in new format (45 rpm) but was left very soon and before 1961 and substituted by IRAN GRAM label. This company was based in Tehran, Naderi avenue.
ROYAL stayed the most active label of 3 mentioned 78 Persian labels up to 1975 and beside reproducing some old records in 45 rpm format, produceed many new recordings of different artists and in all genres of Persian music for different new labels. "AJ" prefixes for its matrix numbers show more than 6000 tracks have pressed by Royal factory and its owner "Taraneh" Company in their Farsi series or records although there are some Arabic, Afghani, Indian, Assyrian and Armenian 45s between them. "Royal" had another Series of "AJ" matrix numbers for "Azeri" records similar to used numbers for Farsi series.
labels of 45s
After 1965, more than 100 labels of 45 rpm records appeared in the market except privates and some of them were local labels containing name of a city. Most famous and important of them are:
the label of Beethoven shop was owned by Karim Chamanara (above, from: Shargh newspaper, 2nd of Dey 1382) and his brothers. They established Beethoven shop in last days of 1953 and step by step changed to Beethoven Music Center, the most important producer and trader of vinyl records, still exists in Sanayy avenue in Tehran as a main music center showing off an old record pressing machine in its external view. "Ahang e rooz" was the producer of many other known and private labels like records of Kanoon e Parvaresh e Fekri e Koodakan va Nojavanan .
Ahang e Rooz special label for Golha 2016: Golha No. 319 "Khamoosh", vocal: Elaheh, composer: Reza Mahjubi, lyrics: Kiumars Vosughi
2022: Golha No. 384 "Segah", vocal: Ghavami, composer: Ali Tajvidi, lyrics: Rahi
Ahang e Rooz primary double colored sleeves: Narmella & Edmond
Ahang e Rooz pop records was recorded by main pop artists like Gougoush, Aref and many others: 1, 2, 3
Kanoon e Parvaresh e Fekri e Koodakan va Nojavanan (made by Ahang e Rooz): Started using the audio books by double vinyl records named "Dokhtar e Darya" in 1968 and then a number of 33/45 rpm 7" records like:
1- Mahi siah e kuchulu: text by Samad Behrangi, , music by Esfandyar Monfaredzadeh which was used for "Reza Motori" movie before, 1971 (1350)
2- Bozi ke gom shod: text by Nader Ebrahimi, music by Esfandyar Monfaredzadeh, 1971 (1350)
3- Lili howzak: text by M. Azad, music by Sheyda Gharchehdaghi, 1972 (1351)
4- Pesarak e cheshm abi: text by Javad Mojabi, music by Kambiz Rowshanravan, 1974 (1353)
5- Awazha ye koodakan: arrangements by Hossein Alizadeh, 1974 (1353)
Some other labels of 45s
Other early labels are: LARGO, A.B.C, TOP, PHILIPS, POLYDOR, and MONO most of them were made in out of Iran in late 50's and early 60's. From early 1960's, some companies like Iran Gram, Royal (Taraneh Co.), Musical and Trans Electric started pressing vinyl records. Some other labels from 60's and 70's were made in Tehran like Royal, IRAN GRAM, MONOGRAM, APOLON, CASPIAN, LAVI, PARS RECORD, ANUSHIRAVAN, AREF, GOLDEN RECORD,OLYMPIC, BALET, KONSERSIOM PAKHSH E SAFHEH IRAN, NAGHMEH, FARHANG O HONAR and many others were mainly based in Tehran.
Main labels in other cities were MUSICAL & NAVA in Tabriz, MUSICAL (Shiraz) & DARIUSH (Shiraz), SHAHAB (Kermanshah), ABEDINI (Bandar Abbas), NASSAJI (Khorramabad) and some others just NAVA had factory to press the records for NAVA label and many other labels and orders in Northwest and West Iran.
Also there were many local labels for orders of sellers or stores of small towns which were produced as very limited edition records and less than 1000 copies. Most of Iranian folk records are in limited edition series of 45 rpm vinyl records.
The picture sleeves of 45s and their design are a very beautiful and interesting collection.
Reproducing world music on Iran made singles & EPs
Many of international singles were reproduced in Iran by mentioned companies, most of them as 7" EPs containing 4 tracks. The first known label was Blue Sky and other main labels were Blue Star (for Indian songs), Royal, Orfeh, New Top, Tip Top, Play Boy, Oriental (for exporting Indian, Azeri & Arabic songs), Monogram, Natalie, Merica, Mihan, Top20 and others. Orfeh was a new label for Royal and there are many song title labels for this company pre Royal label
Top4: most of Top4 records were Rock and was made by Ahang e Rooz company. (See TOP4 page and its complete discography)
Top20: About 1970 there was a program in Tehran Radio II with the same name for a Persian chart. In these times, some 45s released with Top20 label beside a quarterly with the same name containing chart, lyrics and their translation to Persian. The label and the quarterly were issued by an Assyrian music programs manager named "Amirkhas" and his name is seen on Semiramis Assyrian EPs.