Saturday, February 15, 2020

Chevron cassettes - new research project underway

Chevron cassettes - those of Parade of Pops fame - have interested me for years, but I've never yet found anything like a full discography.

Many years ago I was contacted by a collector named Tony who was part-way through assembling a full label listing. However there remained many gaps and uncertainties, whch would need some more work to sort out. It only took me the best part of a decade, but I've finally gotten around to addressing the issue and starting a full, online discography with images. (And if you're reading this, Tony, thanks for getting the ball rolling.)

You can see the work as it currently exists here

Those familiar with the site, 45Spaces, will know it's an open-access collaborative platform. Anyone can sign up and start adding info, listings of missing cassettes, images, comments - anything you like. It would be great for collectors and fans to pool their info, and help build up the site to its max potential - so, if you're reading this, please join up and help!

The first 100 releases are included already, but research is ongoing - we still have some gaps. It's a learnng process, and so far we have found the following:
  • Yellow inserts - Chevron released its first cassettes in mid-1977, a set of 50. These all re-issued LPs from the Windmill label, and all had basic-style yellow inserts in the cassettes. Most, if not all, would be re-issued later on, with better artwork.

above: CHV 001, first release and one of 50 'yellow cover' cassettes

  • Chevron launched its LP range in March 1979, with 60 LPs, many of which were vinyl editions of already existing cassette albums. All the LPs show 1979 as their release date - and for some reason, Chevron started putting 1979 on the cassettes too, even when they had been issued before this. Just to confuse us collectors, I presume...

above: 1978 release, which started having 1979 printed on it when the LP version arrived
  • Red cases - based on what we have found so far, it appears Chevron may well have used red cases throughout its lifespan. We used to think they were only in use for a fixed period, but we're starting to change our minds.

 above: red cassette case 

  • Chevron Classics - from the mid-1980s, Chevron issued double-cassette packs in their Chevron Classics range. Not all were classical, and some were soudalike covers of hit singles. We've so far identified at least 80 and perhaps as many as 100 such double packs.

above: Chevron Classics double-pack of soundalike cover versions
  • Cassette shells - so far we can see no real pattern to the sytle of cassette shells - white with blue ink, black with paper labels, cream with black ink - you name it - and sometimes two or three different types are known from the same release. In addition, many of the Chevron Classics double packs had different styles on each of the two tapes! Maybe some day we will get to the bottom of all this...

above: cassette shell variants

These are a few of the areas of interest we've stumbled upon.

By collectors joining forces and pooling info, we can surely learn more and get the world's first illustrated discography complete. So, do help out if you can, and if not, feel free to stop by the site and have a good look around. I'm sure it will be of interest, and a useful resource for Chevron fans out there.

* At the point of writing this, we have ten albums from the first hundred which we cannot identify. Please let us know if you have the artists or titles for any of these:

  • CHV 002
  • CHV 011
  • CHV 014
  • CHV 019
  • CHV 023
  • CHV 030
  • CHV 041
  • CHV 065
  • CHV 080
  • CHV 097


  1. CHV0255, which isn't listed on here, should be 'A Tribute To Roxy Music' - I don't have the cassette, and I've never seen it, but I do have the quarter-inch master tape (one of a number of ex-Multiple Sound Distributors masters that turned up on eBay a couple of years ago - sadly I was only able to buy one other, for CHV 027, the Bacharach album. I dread to think what happened to the rest, probably skipped when they didn't sell!)

  2. I have that one: A Tribute To Roxy Music.

  3. How can i hear some of these. Online