Friday, July 11, 2014

Marble Arch catalogue

We were recently sent scans of an interesting LP insert, discovered by collector, Steve Olsen, who found it lurking inside one of his LP sleeves, where it had sat, undiscovered all along! The insert is titled, "Complete Marble Arch Catalogue September '69", and was printed as a single sheet, designed to be folded four times, concertina-like. Here is the front panel, as seen when folded up:

The listing of LPs (those which had not at that stage been deleted) is split into sections covering various styles. This is one of the printed sides (click to enlarge):

Of particular interest to us of course is the series of LPs listed under "Popular", about two thirds down the left-hand column:

This listing shows every LP in the ongoing Chartbusters series, indicating that none had been deleted since the series started. Note that both mono and stereo editions are listed from MAL 868 onwards. (Mono LPs have the catalogue numbers beginning MAL, stereo LPS starting MALS.)

MAL 848 ("Autumn Chartbusters") is only listed as existing in mono - but we do know it was issued in stereo abroad, so the question is, do UK stereo pressings also exist? I've never seen one, but despite this listing, I wouldn't be surprised if a copy surfaced.

Am I being overly optimistic in the face of this listing? Maybe, or maybe not - here's another detail from the insert, where it mentions the LP, "Showcase - A Marble Arch Sampler":

Note that it is only listed as a stereo LP, MALS 1154. This is inaccurate though - mono copies definitely exist, and are more common than the rare stereo ones. This particular compilation overlaps with the budget LPs, since among the sample tracks from the Marble Arch catalogue, we find the track "Get Back", lifted from "Chart Busters Now!" (MAL/MALS 1127). Interestingly, and perhaps uniquely, the two pressings had different covers. The mono one depicts "Chart Busters Now!" among the mini-LP sleeves on the front, while the stereo one does not (although it does advertise it, as well as "Summer Chartbusters" on the back).

Our thanks to Steve for sending us scans of his insert, a very interesting addition to the Marble Arch output which we'd not seen before.

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