Monday, December 9, 2013

Avenue Records in Romania

I thought it was about time to update my long-neglected blog with my latest LP acquisition - an early Xmas present, in fact. It's a Romanian LP which was presumably issued in 1968, and mirrors the very first UK album on the Studio 33 label. To refresh our memories, here's the UK album:

And below is the Romanian equivalent, with its rather groovy cover design. Romania, incidentally, was under Communist rule from the end of the war until 1989. I am of the correct generation to recall tales of popular music being banned in the Communist world, something which my Bulgarian, Soviet and Yugoslav "Top of the Pops" records reveal to be just a little bit untrue - and so here is Romania's contribution to the world of cover versions...

The label here is Electrecord, the central record producer in Romania. And the title of the LP is "Şlagărele Anului 1968" - or "Hits of the Year 1968", despite which it is not a best-of-year round-up.

Note how the two sides are swapped as compared to the UK edition, and see also how the style of each track is indicated, next to the song titles; "Those Were The Days" is a "foxtrot", "Do It Again" is a "shake" and "On The Road Again" a "bounce" (!?).

Interestingly, there are other versions of this Romanian album in circulation. Here is an alternative sleeve, which re-names the LP as "12 Şlagăre", or "12 Hits" (which is closer to the familiar UK Studio 33/Avenue LP titles):

And as if this wasn't enough, there are a couple of alternative labels in existence too:

None of these mention Studio 33 or Avenue anywhere. However I am very pleased to be able to add this LP to my collection, and it is (need I say) my first Romanian album!

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