Sunday, August 11, 2019

New discovery completes Deacon EP set

Deacon was one of the smaller players in the budget covers LP market, issuing just half a dozen instalments of Pick of the Pops through 1970 and 1971.

But apart from those full-length collections, they also issued a small number of EPs directly pulled from the LPs - like the Avenue label did - containing the same cuts.

Until now, we knew of two such EPs, DEA 5022 and DEA 5023. Then last week, we were contacted by Jason Stevens, who has discovered DEA 5021.

Here are some images of the labels:




The tracks are: The Wonder Of You / Rainbow / Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours / (It's Like A) Sad Old Kinda Movie. 

Here are the other two EPs: 



Tracks: In The Summertime / Lola / Yellow River / Up Around The Bend



Tracks: All Right Now / Natural Sinner / Neanderthal Man / It's All In The Game

Together, these three EPs include every track from the album, Pick of the Pops volume 4, and in the correct sequence:



There can be very few collectors out there who own all three of the EPs. It has taken us literally years to even get confirmation they all exist. Our thanks to Jason for the latest find.

Now, eagle-eyed readers will spot two anomalies with all this. The first is that the EPs are not called Pick of the Pops; they are called Top of the Pops. It is known that in 1971, Pickwick sued Deacon for brand infringement, something we initially thought was the result of Pick of the Pops sounding too similar to Top of the Pops for comfort. Now we have a second theory: Deacon has brazenly used Top of the Pops right here on these EPs; so Pickwick were bound to do something.

The second anomaly remains a mystery - the LP above, volume 4, was issued immediately after volume 1. In other words, Deacon missed out volume 2 and volume 3. Possibly this was some kind of mistake - but look at the corresponding EP labels: they all say Top of the Pops vol. 2. So they did get the release number right, even if they changed the name!

We are going to stick our necks out and say these were the only Deacon EPs released. Well, apart from this promo item, which came in a picture sleeve but has nothing to do with the above:




So, that's Deacon's EP series concluded. We think. Now go try and find copies - as is well documented elsewhere, some of these cuts include vocals by Elton John, and must be among the rarest commercially released recordings from him. If only collectors knew...


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