Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Spanish cassettes...

One thing I've learned from collecting cover version albums is to expect the unexpected. There I was, thinking I had the Spanish discography nicely sketched out when I received an email from collector, Clive Hetherington, telling of a Spanish cassette edition of "Top of the Pops" volume 15, and on the Baccarola label.

Of course, this couldn't be. Baccarola, as I 'knew' were behind the Austrian Top of the Pops releases (see here), not the Spanish ones, which were instead appearing on the good old Hallmark imprint at the time. Moreover, Hallmark Spain had released the vinyl edition of volume 15 - so what business would Baccarola have there?

Clive's scans duly arrived, and I realised how little I really knew about all this:

Clive was of course spot-on. You can see the Baccarola logo, and there's no question the address is given as Barcelona, 'Made in Spain'. They have re-named volume 15, "Top of the Pops 4" - and even more curiously, there is a printed credit for Ember Records (Shome mishtake, shurely?).

So what's going on? It's not at all clear. When Baccarola issued their Austrian LPs, they called our volumes 12 and 13 volumes 1 and 2. Without any apparent direct links to the Spanish discography, that would have made the Austrian series (had it continued) read volume 3 for volume 14, and volume 4 for volume 15 - which is exactly what we see here!

Great find this, and a neat opportunity to look at some of the other Spanish cassettes we've come across - surely just the tip of a great complicated iceberg...

Here's an early one - volume 7 of the series, in a brand-new cover and issued on the Belter label:

The 'Sing and Play' albums also appeared. Spain issued "Top of the Poppers Sing & Play Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits" twice - once in a familiar-looking Hallmark edition (actually, on the Palobal label, but with the UK artwork unchanged), and again in a very different looking form which actually is on Hallmark:

We also know of a Spanish edition of volume 36 - again actually on the Palobal label but looking outwardly like the UK Hallmark cassette:

And two volumes further on Palobal change things entirely, with this edition of volume 38, which they've decided to call "Top of the Pops no. 25":

Here's one volume of a triple Spanish compilation of Top of the Pops tracks, which is essentially the same as the UK release, "50 Red Hot Black Music Hits", but issued on the Olympo label. (Note the inscription on the front, 'The Top of the Poppers Sing and Play'):

And lastly, this compilation tape which contains three Top of the Pops tracks:

And here we end our known examples. Eight tapes known, issued variously by Hallmark, Palobal, Belter, Olympo and now Baccarola - some with unique cover art. I've no idea what will turn up next, but I'm certain something will. Watch this space for updates...

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