Sunday, April 21, 2013

Getting to grips with the EP discographies...

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed the mention of on a few of my recent posts. I should state from the outset that I have nothing to do with the existence or running of the site, but I have recently opened a user account and have been busy adding records.

For those who don't know, 45cat only contains user-generated content. Its laudible, and in fact quite staggering aim, is to catalogue every 7-inch single and EP ever released in the world - and they mean every one. The site depends entirely on collectors for its contents, and many thousands of individuals (myself now included) have scanned record covers and labels, and typed out details of 45s and EPs in their collection to add to the growing number already available to view.

It will come as no surprise to learn that my particular area of interest has been the discographies of cover version records, from the very early EP-only labels like Cannon and Hit Parade, through the well-known Avenue and Top Six imprints, into the 1970s, when relevant EPs were almost entirely pulled from better-known LP series. There is of course already a super website which details many of these (see here), but 45cat allows for much more imagery and documentation, and has the advantage that other users can add to the known listings. It therefore covers a wider range of covers EPs.

What I have done, apart from scanning and editing images, and creating new pages for missing records, is compiling a list (two, actually) which groups all the cover version releases together in one place, like a stand-alone website would. The first listing is called Budget Cover Versions From The Charts, and has as its avatar the cover of the EP, Hits For Six. Clicking the image below will take you to this first list.

By creating this list, I hope to be able to provide a point of reference for all the UK cover version EPs known. There are a few missing, which there are no details for, and these will only get filled if people who do know the details, or do own copies, join the site and add them (it's all free). So if you see any which you can help with, please go ahead! My particular list misses out a few borderline categories - there are no non-UK releases, and I decided not to include Embassy singles. Apart from these, I think it is as complete a catalogue as you will find.

The other list focuses in on my pet project - Top of the Pops. See it by clicking the image below.

The point of this list is to catalogue 7-inch records (from all over the world, this time) which contain Top of the Pops tracks. There are 44 on the list so far, many of which - but by no means all - are UK releases. Again, if anyone can add to the site, please do!  

Personally, I have found adding records like this to be quite addictive. The site has just launched parallel sites dealing with 12-inch singles, CD singles, 78s - even magazines! It's an amazing project, and one which hopefull will create a permanent record of items like cheap old EPs, which were in danger of being forgotton.

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