Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Record Store Day


The above event started two years ago in the US and will be celebrated in UK with exclusive releases by a whole host of bands, including LCD Soundsystem, The Rolling Stones, The Cribs, Joy Division, Foals and Crystal Castles.

Head to for the list of releases now.

“There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store,” said Paul McCartney, who has loaned his name to day. “This is why I’m more than happy to support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for us all for many years to come.”

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips also commented on the importance of independent records store in the run up to the event.

“The ‘cool’ record store. It is where you can talk to people who are like you,” he said the band were releasing 500 copies of their covert album of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ on 140g coloured vinyl for the day. “They look like you, think like you and, most tellingly like the same music as you – the only comparable experience these days would probably be an art museum – an actual place where you can stand and simply be surrounded by your heroes.”

For more information on releases and events taking place on April 17, visit

To celebrate here is a track from the first LP I bought with money from my grandpa.

This was Volume 15 released in January 1971.

“My Sweet Lord” – Top Of The Pops

Top of the Pops was conceived back in 1968 by Alan Crawford who pitched the idea of producing cheap alternative recordings of famous songs to Pickwick Records.

They loved it, bought the idea and formed a committee to decide each month the 12 songs to pick that could be replicated as near as possible to the original recordings by hiring session musicians, perhaps the most famous being Reg Dwight (Elton John) and laying down basic tracks in the quickest time possible.

These would then be produced between 3 different studios: one for vocal, one for backing vocal, and one for overdubs.

The first volume was issued in mid-1968, containing versions of twelve hits including “Young Girl”, “Jennifer Eccles”, “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” and “I Can’t Let Maggie Go”. A second volume appeared later in the year and included versions of two Beatles songs.

In 1969 new volumes began appearing at generally regular intervals, with a new LP released every six to eight weeks. Volume numbers were not stated on the record sleeves, each edition simply called “Top of the Pops”, the name derived from the un-trademarked BBC television show with which there was no direct connection.

By volume 4 Bruce Baxter was brought on board and pretty much after Crawford’s departure in 1970 (volume 15 onwards) was left to run the show by himself, arranging session musicians, finding suitable Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart sound-a-likes, etc.

In the late 1970s the main studio band behind the recordings was dispersed, and both the group’s leader Tony Rivers and Bruce Baxter left the fold. As a result, from about 1978, Pickwick compiled the LPs from material recorded by external companies.

Having produced over 65 volumes of the series Baxter had recognised when it was time to quit, for the series had had it by then and was steadily declining in sales. This was not helped by two factors: 1. The ban on copy artistes from entering the charts; 2. The original artistes compilation albums being churned out by other (more respectable) labels coming out around the same time, they being more competitively priced.

By 1979, the subsidiary of Pickwick, Hallmark Records, who had specialised in producing the whole series, dropped the idea—although they regrettably tried to revive it in 1985. The resultant volume 92 (with Samantha Fox’s rival, Linda Lusardi on the cover) was a flop, and Top of the Pops, which had been the forerunner of all the cheap and cheerful albums that were later to follow, with in excess of 3 million copies sold, was no more.

In addition to the central series of Top of the Pops, Hallmark issued an annual round-up for each year starting in 1969 and ending in 1981, plus another in 1984 (which was recorded specially, the main series having been wound up by then). Pickwick also assembled tracks from Top of the Pops for several other spin-off album projects, including collections themed by particular artists (such as “Top of the Poppers Sing & Play The Beatles’ Golden Hits”) and a series marketed at children, under the name “Top of the Tots”.

The main albums also sold well in Europe, and in the early 1970s a short-lived series of special ‘Europe Editions’ was recorded and released, with different tracks to the contemporary UK albums.

There were numerous similar album series in existence in the 1970s, put out by other labels. These include “12 Tops” on the Stereo Gold Award record label, “Hot Hits” on the Music For Pleasure label, “16 Chart Hits” on the Contour label, and “Parade Of Pops” on the Windmill label (and, later, the Chevron label), plus several others. Some of these were also commercially successful.



Click HERE for much more information

April 17, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, New News, Old Music | , , | 5 Comments


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