Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reaching the summit

Cover version aficionados (or should that be copy-cats) will be familiar with the Summit EP label. But did you know that Summit expanded their horizons in 1965 with a first, and probably only, foray into the album format? No, I didn't think so! Mind you, neither did I until this little beauty popped up on Ebay:

If you didn't know (and you didn't!) you would think from the front cover that this LP was a compilation of original hit recordings - after all, it has the stars of the songs pictured in colour and named in full. But the small print on the back says what it needs to: "Cover versions of top chart successes by..."

So, here's the track listing:
  1. Where Are You Now?
  2. Stop! In The Name Of Love
  3. The Last Time
  4. I'll Stop At Nothing
  5. It's Not Unusual
  6. The Special Years
  7. Somewhere
  8. Girl Don't Come
  9. Keep Searchin'
  10. King Of The Road
  11. Down Town
  12. Help!
This is one of the very earliest anonymous covers LPs to appear in Britain, along with the broadly contemporary Marble Arch round-up of 1965 and a few prior releases on Top Six and one or two other labels. All twelve songs on this disc are, need I say, taken from Summit's 7-inch EP offer, and they span the series from start to finish. Here are some scans of the complete run of EP covers...

What's significant is that the backs of these EP covers also have brief biographies (bizarrely described as 'discographies') of famous chart acts on the backs - and full colour photos of them too! And so, guess where the LP sleeve art comes from?...

So there it is - Summit followed the Top Six label in the mid-60s by gathering EP tracks to make up LPs. This is the reverse of later trends, where LPs dominated and EPs were 'pulled' from them (see labels such as Flag, Avenue and (Mr.) Pickwick, for instance) and is a fantastic example of the genre in its infancy. Who knew?

Great find, and well done to the lucky bidder (not me!).

1 comment:

  1. The owner of this label was a complete con-artist.