Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For sale: the Avenue LP that never was

The treasures that turn up on Ebay! This week a lot has appeared which the seller describes as follows:

Here are the two 10"  15 i.p.s. STUDIO 1/4" MASTER TAPES of the very collectable AVENUE RECORDS. Release to be titled 'ENGLAND'S TOP TWELVE HITS' Catalogue No:  AVE 0139

These 12 recordings were made at COMMAND STUDIOS in early November 1973. Regrettably, there was not enough cash in the AVENUE bank account to pay for this record to be pressed.

The last 12" AVENUE ENGLAND'S TOP TWELVE HITS followed a few months later bearing the Catalogue number AVE 0141 and was pressed outside of the United Kingdom.

Full re-sale and manufacturing rights for these Master Tapes will be assigned to the purchaser.

I imagine I am not the only one who did a double take on reading this. In essence, these studio tapes contain the original recordings of what would have been the penultimate Avenue LP in their "England's 12 Top Hits" series, but which was never pressed up, let alone released. According to the details, session supremos Danny Street and Martin Jay are on these sessions, although there is no indication of which songs they appear on.

However there IS a full track listing given for this LP that never was, which is also just about readable on the tape boxes above. The proposed listing ran as follows, with the original hit artists in brackets:

Side 1:
  1. Let Me In (Osmonds)
  2. Top Of The World (Carpenters)
  3. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
  4. Won't Somebody Dance With Me (Lynsey De Paul)
  5. Photograph (Ringo Starr)
  6. The Day That Curly Billy Shot Down Crazy Sam McGhee (Hollies)
Side 2:
  1. Daydreamer (David Cassidy)
  2. My Friend Stan (Slade)
  3. Sorrow (David Bowie)
  4. Daytona Demon (Suzi Quatro)
  5. Helen Wheels (Paul McCartney & Wings)
  6. The Old Fashioned Way (Charles Aznavour)

Although this album never materialised, it is noticeable that five of these recordings did make it out after all. At the end of the year, Avenue released their annual round-up LP on the Stereo Plus 3 label, 20 Smash Hits of '73, and on it you can hear "Won't Somebody Dance With Me", "Photograph", "Let Me In", "Daydreamer" and "Sorrow".

What price to hear the remaining recordings? Well, the Ebay ad has a starting price of £5,250, which includes rights to start production of this LP forty years on. Please - someone with the means at their disposal, do it! Find the listing by searching for item number 150994339377 and make us covers fans very happy!


  1. .....very happy indeed! This was a great period for the UK charts and most of the numbers on this unreleased album are my favourites, such a shame it never saw the light of day. I wonder if any of the recordings are the same as what appeared on 12 Tops Volume 16 which was out at the same time as this album would have been? :-D

    1. Interesting thought. Recordings on the very last Avenue album did also turn up on "12 Tops" vol 19, so it is quite possible. Without shelling out several thousand pounds for the tape (and several more for a machine to play it on!) the best way to find out would be to directly compare the "12 Tops" LP with a copy of that "20 Smash Hits" album shown above, which contains some of the tracks.

      Maddeningly, I don't have a copy of "20 Smash Hits" to check, but I can't help noticing the four coss-over tracks are all together as the first four songs on "12 Tops" vol 16. Seems like a strong likelihood to me.

  2. The track "Dance in the old fashioned way" by Danny Street was on the Artistry Recordings C.D. 18 Great Ballads Vol.One. I think it was sold mainly via mail order in mags like SAGA & Best of British publications.I believe the guy who ran Artistry is still involved in the budget recording scene but have not seen anything from the label for a long time. I met him once back in the late 70's at Avenue House in Harlow Essex where they were making Fifth Avenue & Artistry cassettes.

  3. Good spot re: "The Old Fashioned Way".

    You are right about the Artistry guy - I presume you mean Colin Richardson. He and Artistry are still very much involved in the industry and still releasing CDs to the delight of collectors. If you click "Artistry" from the list on the right of this blog, you'll find details of a couple of recent releases.

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