Thursday, August 4, 2016

MFP tots up Australian double

This week I was pleased to hear from Phil Watt, who emailed from Australia with some images of the album below. At first glance, it's a copy of "Top of the Tots" volume 3 (which is where the sleeve art originated) - but look again...

It's called "The Best of Top of the Tots" but isn't a compilation in the usual sense. The track listing below reveals all:

This is in fact a double album re-issue, not of volume 3 but of "Tots" volumes 1 and 2, both of which, incidentally, had previously been released by Summit in Australia

How this album came about is a bit of a mystery. The stand-out feature is the MFP logo, indicating this is part of their Australian "Two of a Kind" series of double albums. We know from our other Australian "Top of the Pops" LPs that by about November 1972, the Australian Summit label behind "Top of the Pops" there had moved in with the Australian MFP, at offices on South Creek Road, Dee Why. This particular release is the most overt example of the two labels merging their interests, and we believe it appeared around 1975.

The cover reminds us of something else, too. A few years ago, MFP went all digital and issued a download-only album called "Hot Hits Presents Junior Choice Favourites". Look what they selected for the artwork:

One final thing to note - "Top of the Tots" volumes 1 and 2 also ended up being released in the UK as a double-pack. However this was not on vinyl, but cassette, as part of Pickwick's Ditto series of twin cassettes. Here's one of the pair of tapes:

Amazing find, this, and great to see MFP and Pickwick joining forces.

Thanks to Phil for the images.

+ + + + + + UPDATE + + + + + +

Further to the above, Phil has sent some info and images about the packaging of this Australian album.

The two LPs were housed inside plain paper inner sleeves, both of them slipped into a conventional sleeve (not a gatefold). And the labels are 'orange' mfp, as shown below. Great to see Pickwick mentioned straight above the mfp logo!

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