Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bill Wellings - life before mfp...

If there is such a thing as a Godfather of UK cover version albums, it has to be the man who started it all, Bill Wellings. Bill was behind BWD Productions, who in turn were behind mfp's "Hits" album series, which set the ball rolling for the format - but thanks to another contribution from budget LP collector extraordinaire, Declan, we have some scans of an even earlier Bill Wellings cover LP from the UK.


Now, most readers will have heard of Top Six, an old EP label which Wellings was behind, and which ran until the mfp albums launched. But here we have a label called Top Ten - which presumably represented Wellings' designs on the long-player format. It contains (of course) ten hit cover versions.

Checking out the vintage of these songs confirms that "Top Ten Spectacular" pre-dates the mfp "Hits" launch. The LP contains four songs which entered the UK charts in late-1966, with the rest of them debuting in January 1967. By contrast, the first "Hits" album - "Hits '67" - was not released until around March 1967, so there is every reason to suppose that "Top Ten Spectacular" came first.

When "Hits '67" did appear, it contained four tracks borrowed from "Top Ten Spectacular" ("Green Green Grass Of Home", "Peek-A-Boo", "Sitting In The Park" and "I've Been A Bad Bad Boy"). These have been confirmed as the same versions.

Personally, I doubt Wellings' "volume 1" was ever followed up with a "volume 2" - after all he was working through mfp from here on - but it's great to see him attempt to launch his own series before mfp got in on the act. With its black and white cover, the LP looks extra-low budget compared to "Hits '67" and what would follow - but that merely adds to its charm. A great find from Declan, and one we're pleased to be able to feature here.

Please contact us or leave a comment, if you know anything more about this great LP.


  1. I have a copy of this for sale if anyone is interested

  2. The Top Ten Vol 1 is a great LP.
    I bought mine today in very nice condition indeed,for a whacking £2.00.