CD Singles: Review of German Catalog Numbers

Date: 2010-07-25 Autor: Kamil

written by Kamil Kaznowski and Maciej Stańczak
pictures by Kamil Kaznowski and Maciej Stańczak

The very first Madonna's German CD singles were released in 1989: full set of 3" CD singles (they are not re-issues of original 7" and 12'' pressings released previously because of new tracklists and artworks) includes: Lucky Star [921 139-2], Holiday [921 140-2] and Into The Groove [921 141-2]:



Next series of 3'' CD singles were released in 1989 as well: Like A Prayer [921 191-2], Express Yourself [921 249-2] and Cherish [921 326-2]:



Each of them has RSA printed close to CD hole, for example: Lucky Star [921 139-2] 3" CD single details:


What is RSA?

RSA is a company which makes CDs in Germany. Record Service GmbH Alsdorf is a part of CINRAM corporation which created a German division of the company in 1975. They (RSA) were responsible for CDs pressing since 1986 in general and since 1988 for Warner Bros. Each single and each album which was released untill 1991 have RSA printed close to CD hole.

When full set of six 3" CD singles had been released, another single - Dear Jessie [921 421-2] - was released as the first Madonna's 5'' CD single. There is a short catalog number on CD [921 421-2], but long catalog number with prefix 7599 was was shown for the first time close to CD hole:

Dear Jessie [921 421-2]:


5" CD single of Dear Jessie was released as the first picture CD as well with short catalog number on CD [921 452-2] and long number close to CD hole [RSA 759921452-2].

The first 3'' CD singles [Lucky Star, Holiday and Into The Groove] were re-released as 5'' CD singles in 1990:


This series of 5" CD singles with characteristic star on the cover has long catalog number on CD [with prefix 7599], but we can see still short number [921] close to CD hole [A], although it was used a new way of numbering [long number close to CD hole, short number on CD] on the Dear Jessie 5" CD single.

In the same time (around 1990) some of these singles were re-pressed and re-released once again. After catalog number we can see a dot and additional number (.2) [B]:

[A]       [B] 

Vogue/Keep It Together [7599-21525-2], Justify My Love [7599-21825-2] and Justify My Love [7599-21851-2] were the last singles which have never been re-pressed and which have long catalog number [7599] and RSA printed close to CD hole.


The view of the last CD hole with old prefix [7599] released on Justify My Love single you can see below.


Since 1991 CD singles still had RSA printed close to CD hole, but prefix of the catalog numbers was completely changed. New prefix - 9362 - was introduced for the first time with Crazy For You [9362-40021-2] single in 1991.



Rescue Me was released in 1991 as a new regular double set CD singles [9362-40034-2] and [9362-40035-2] including catalog numbers with new prefix. With Crazy For You and Rescue Me CD singles, a new system of UK catalog numbers was introduced as well: Crazy For You [W0008CD] and Rescue Me [W0024CD].

RSA appeared for the very last time next to CD hole in 1991.

Since 1992, starting with This Used To Be My Playground CD single, all CDs had WME (sometimes WMME what is no mistake!) printed next to CD hole.



An example of WMME CD hole released with Secret Remixes [9362-41806-2] in 1994:

WME (WMME) is a short of Warner Music Manufacturing Europe GmbH - Germany. Every single issued in Germany had WME printed next to CD hole (including re-releases of some older singles) until 1998.

Warner Bros. re-issued most of Madonna’s singles (which had not been previously released on CD) in 1995. Well-known yellow series includes most of singles released between Everybody and Vogue. Those CDs got (unexpectedly) catalog numbers with old prefix [7599] and WME next to CD hole.


In the middle of 90's three singles with characteristic star on the cover were re-released with WME next to CD-holes. It is assumed that this set of re-issues is linked to the Madonna's departure from Sire Records.

As we mentioned before, every new re-pressing was marked by an extra digit after catalog number printed close to CD hole, for example: Bedtime Story [WME 9362-41977-2] - the first [A] and the second [B] pressing of this single.

[A]      [B] 

WME showed up for the last time in 1997 with re-issue of Bye Bye Baby [9362-41196-2] CD single. This CD hole is very unique because it contains elements of the new [you can see date of production - July 1997] and old labeling [WME] at the same time.

The look of CD holes and information printed next to them changed in 1998. Prefix 9362 was still used for every single released in slim jewel case but system of catalog numbers for singles released in card sleeves changed completely. New prefix [5439] appeared but we are going to analyze this at the end of this article.

As we mentioned above, WME was no more printed next to CD hole since 1998. Small W logo appeared as well as production date (month and year) when Frozen [9362-43990-2] CD single was released in 1998.



This system was used until 2005 with small change in 2002: V01 appeared next to date and catalog number when Die Another Day [9362-42494-2] was released as the first single from a double set of CD singles.



The only one exception is the first German 6-track maxi CD single Die Another Day [9362-42492-2] released in 2002 (there is no V01 close to CD hole).

Another change in a look of CD holes was brought in 2005 when Hung Up [9362-42848-2] was released. Production date disappeared. The catalog number with V01 was still printed next to CD hole, but new element appeared as well: a CD sign between W logo and catalog number.


2008 brought another small change (rather insignificant) when 4 Minutes [9362-49868-2] was released: three random letters TOD or UVL or VQJ or VCQ (and other combinations) appeared next to catalog number and V01. This is the last change. The very last Madonna's single pressed by Warner Bros. was released in 2009.



All re-pressings of older singles released in the 90's and 00's look exactly the same like regular singles released in a particular period of time with characteristic dot and number behind it, for example: Holiday [759920178-2.3 WME] – the third reissue somewhere between 1995 and 1997 [A]Borderline [759920218-2.2 04/01] – the second reissue from April 2001 [B]Rescue Me [936240035-2.4 12/02 V01] - the fourth reissue from December 2002 [C].

[A]   [B]   [C] 


In the end of 2009, after departure from Warner Bros. Revolver [9362-49685-9] was released as the final Madonna single for that company.




Card Sleeve CD Singles - Made in Germany


System of numbering for German/French card sleeves was changed by Warner Bros. in 1998. Every card sleeve released between 1994 and 1997 had catalog number with prefix 9362 (French pressings released between 1992 and 1994 had the same classification). The only difference between singles released in slim jewel cases and card sleeves was the end of the catalog number: slim jewel case single had always catalog number ended with -2 [A], but card sleeves with -9 [B]. For example:

[A]      [B] 


Because the track-lists were often the same for both singles (released in slim jewel case and card sleeve), it happened that CDs were pressed for both at once. That’s why some of card sleeves had the same catalog number close to CD hole as the slim jewel case single (although they have a different catalog numbers printed on CDs). For example: You'll See [9362 43623-9] [A, B] and You'll See [9362 43623-2] [C, D]. General look of CD (which is different for both) was made separately. The same situation applies to Bedtime Story and Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.

[A]       [B] 

[C]       [D] 


Situation changed when Frozen [5439-17244-9] was released in Europe as 2-track card sleeve. It was the crucial moment for German catalog numbers (WME, whcih was printed close to CD hole, disappeared and production date showed up). New singles released as card sleeve received catalog numbers with new prefix 5439 which became obligatory for every another card sleeve (German or French) released in Europe since 1998.


Every new singles released as card sleeve between 1998 and 2000 had unique track-list which had no equivalent in slim jewel case release. It was changed for the first time in 2001 when What It Feels Like For A Girl [5439 16752-2] was released as the final single from the Music album. 2-track CD singles released as the slim jewel case [A, B] and card sleeve [C, D] had the same track list and catalog number with prefix 5439 which was characteristic only for card sleeves.

[A]       [B] 

[C]       [D] 


The situation with the same track-lists of German card sleeve and slim case happened again twice. Slim case pressings got numbers with prefix 5439 but they got different numbers than card sleeves releases:

     * American Life[5439-16656-2] card sleeve – 2 track CD single

     * American Life[5439-16658-2] slim case – 2 track CD single

     * Hollywood[5439-16578-2] card sleeve – 2 track CD single

     * Hollywood [5439-16643-2] slim case – 2 track CD single


In 2005, after 11 years of break, the first French card sleeve was released and since then for few another years, both - French and German - card sleeves were released in parallel. But none of German card sleeves had equivalent in slim jewel case single. It changed three years later. Every single from Hard Candy album had equivalent in slim jewel case pressing, but they got different catalog numbers [both with prefix 5439]:

     * 4 Minutes [5439-19939-4] card sleeve – 2 tracks CD single

     * 4 Minutes [5439-19939-5] slim case – 2 tracks CD single

     * Give It 2 Me [5439-19925-6] card sleeve – 2 tracks CD single

     * Give It 2 Me [5439-19925-8] slim case – 2 tracks CD single (CD hole: 5439-19925-6)

     * Miles Away [5439-19909-2] card sleeve – 2 tracks CD single

     * Miles Away [5439-19906-8] slim case – 2 tracks CD single


Miles Away [5439-19909-2] is the last single released as card sleeve by Warner Bros. in Germany [Notice: Celebration was released as two card sleeves set by Warner Music France (SNA and MPO close to CD-holes)].