Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top Ten Tunes on 10-inch disc

When did the cover version LP format really start? It's difficult to say. 1964 seems to have been a watershed, with the Top Six label issuing a run of four, while the World Record Club label issued "Everyone Who Had A Hit" - apparently a one-off but covering recent chart successes with studio men and women. At the same time, the record below materialised - "Top Ten Tunes" on Jabot Records.

Unlike the other releases from 1964, this record was pressed as a 10-inch disc. There is a suggestion that it was for sale by mail order only, although this is not confirmed. Notice that each side has its own catalogue number - JBT 161 and JBT 162! The scans above also show a copyright "tax" stamp, issued by Mecolico, who were the UK's performing rights authority, responsible for distributing royalties to musicians. Looks like they surcharged this record to the tune of six and three-quarter pence. (Mecolico is short for Mechanical Copyright Licences Company.)

If we were to be pedantic about this release, we would say it's not anonymous, since the studio musicians are named on the back. Nevertheless, there is no overall act cited. As for the person who wrote the sleeve notes, he is keeping well out of the limelight - we still don't know who it was whose story runs,

"It all started in a pleasant hostelry in Kensington when I was introduced to Ray Davis [not to be confused with Ray Davies of The Kinks]. I told him that I thought the Market was right for a Monthly 10" Record with the Top Ten on it... Ray agreed with me."  

Sounds like a familiar tale in the budget covers world. Many such musicians, producers and band leaders hit upon the same idea, which is why we have so many covers LPs to enjoy today. It's interesting that the concept is described as a "monthly" release; we've not yet heard of a volume 2. Anyway, whoever you are supping a pint in Kensington in early 1964, 48 years on we salute you! And what better way to say "cheers" than with a couple of samples from the record. It's 1964, so there's no choice really - it has to be the Beatles and the Stones - as realised through Ray Davis's prism:

TTT Hard Days Night.mp3
TTT All Over Now.mp3

A couple of pieces of trivia - the record was recorded at Rymuse Studio, which was located on South Moulton Street in Mayfair, a little lane running off Oxford Street. Cream recorded several records here, with John Timperley engineering - and it is Timperley who engineered this 10-inch record as well. Did he write those sleeve notes perhaps?

And one more piece of altogether less interesting trivia - check out the lettering on the cover. It would be used again on Deacon's first "Pick of the Pops" LP, in 1970:


  1. Here's another bit of trivia. According to the notes, the female lead singer was also appearing on a BBC Radio program called 'Parade Of The Pops' I wonder where we've heard a slight variation of that name before.....

    Also the drummer, Andy White is the same drummer that played on the album version of The Beatles 'Love Me Do', Ringo played on the single version, but that's another story lol. How ironic that he can be heard here playing on a cover of The Beatles tune 'A Hard Day's Night'. :-D

    1. Good points. "Parade of the Pops" was indeed an old BBC show - a chart rundown I think.

      I did wonder if Andy White was the same one as on Love Me Do. I'm surprised they didn't name-drop the Beatles in the notes, but yes, it's probably the same guy. A well respected session man in the 60s. Just emphasises that some of these covers LPs were seen as quite serious projects - not just thowaways done in someone's back room.

  2. Exactly, that's what the critics of the cover albums don't get. I don't think they realise just how much work went into the making of these albums, and then be able to sell them at a price anyone could afford - quite an achievement. Like I mentioned the other day about having a 1974 Parade Of Pops album with a Morrisons price label of just 49p. Even by 1974 standards, that was an absolute bargain, even more so considering the work involved in putting the albums together. :-)