Sunday, September 2, 2012

12 Tops holidays in France!

Readers of this blog will know all about the "12 Tops" LP series, which was released in the UK between 1972 and 1976, on the Stereo Gold Award label. But something we didn't know, until the record below turned up the other day (thanks to Declan, a keen fellow collector), was that the series also made an appearance - in a slightly different guise - south of the English Channel.

This LP is called "12 Tops Todays Top Hits", which technically is the full title of the UK series, and is compiled from nine tracks from the main LP series, plus another three which previously appeared only on volume 2 of Stereo Gold Award's special American editions ("Mary Had A Little Lamb"; "Rocket Man"; "Tumbling Dice"). All tracks were originally released in 1972, which is of course also the date of this compilation LP.

(For more about the UK series, and to see which records the tracks originate from, click here.)

The label here is Mondio Music, a French imprint much of whose discography to date is printed on the back of the sleeve.

It appears they wanted to credit Stereo Gold Award on the label, but must have mistaken the word "Stereo" for a description of the recording and left it out - hence, it reads just "Gold Award Records"!

There are no previous editions of "12 Tops" in the listing on the back, and since the LP includes tracks as early as UK volume 2, it seems this was the first of its kind. Was it also the last? We don't know, but would love to hear from anyone who knows more.

The cover photo, by the way, might look familiar. It is very similar to a (later) UK cover - "Today's Smash Hits volume 3" which was released on the Enterprise label in 1973 (below).

The photo is by well-known LP cameraman, M. Laguens. On the French LP there is a noticeable swirl effect over the image, which seems to have been included deliberately as part of the artwork, since the yellow lettering over the top does not have this effect.

Please contact us if you know any more about this French LP or any similar ones.

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