Sunday, September 30, 2012

New discovery adds to UK Avenue listing

I was lucky enough this weekend to find a copy of the LP pictured below:


What's the significance? Well you'll notice that the label is Stereo Plus 3. This was a sub-label for Avenue, created in 1972 in an attempt to appeal to more record buyers. The LPs itself is made up of 20 hits, all of which charted in the UK during April and May, 1973, and so these recordings sit in the gap between two of the last Avenue covers albums. Were it not for the fact that they shoe-horned 20 titles onto a single album, it would naturally form part of the main series.

So what's going on here? It could be that the LP was conceived as the start of a new series on the Stereo Plus 3 imprint, although as far as I know there were no others released. The exception is the two end-of-year round-up LPs issued on the label and sourced from the main Avenue series; The 1973 collection borrows no fewer than seven tracks from this album alone!

There's more. It is quite well known that Alan Caddy issued two LPs called "England's Top 20 Smash Hits" in Poland during 1973, on the national Pronit label (pictured here).

These are quite widely documented and each LP (volumes 1 and 2) contains 10 tracks. What we have above is an album with the entire contents of both the Polish LPs on one disc! The tracks are even in the same order - side 1 is volume 1 and side 2 is volume 2. It is tempting to view the UK LP as a re-issue of the two Polish ones, but in truth the Polish albums probably arrived later.

There is one interesting point to mention in relation to the UK cover. The lettering might look familiar; it is the same as the lettering used on two Avenue EPs from 1971:

LISTEN: We thought we'd upload a sample track. Have a listen to this spirited version of Paul McCartney's "My Love" - it could have been a hit itself!...    

08 - My Love.mp3


  1. Well the 20 track master has been on my shelf for more than 30 years and i think that's the first time I have heard that track in full.This SRT series was short lived it was the poor mans answer to the K-tel 20 track albums of the early 70's.The best selling disc in this series was without question was 25 non stop rock & roll made up of Avenue tracks of Carl Simmonds and Rockhouse.

  2. Wow - you've got the master tape!

    I am impressed by this version of "My Love". The vocalist does a great job too - I wonder if he sang on the "Goodbye Beatles" LP on the same label? I had a copy when I was a kid.

    Any ideas if this LP came out before the Polish ones? Or was it made for Poland and then issued in the UK?