Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Vinyl Curiosities — Summer Beach Read ’22

Vinyl: The Art of Making Records by Mike Evans (2015) provides the launching point for this summer’s beach bonanza of offbeat and occasionally useful music history trivia — lavishly illustrated with streaming audio and hyperlinks for maximum multimedia impact. Italicized text comes directly from this book.

Birth of Recorded Sound = 1877

The first machine to reproduce the human voice was Thomas Edison’s cylinder-playing phonograph. When Edison introduced his invention in 1877, one of the uses that he proposed was an aid to the blind via talking books.

1878 Cylinder Test Pressing

Oldest known surviving Thomas Alva Edison recording

“Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Birth of the 12-inch LP Record = June 21, 1948

Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E Minor for Violin and Orchestra (Op. 64)

Bruno Walter Conducting The Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York

AUDIO LINK: “Allegro Molto Apassionato” (side one)

In terms of cataloging, the official first LP, issued on June 21, 1949, with the number ML 4001, was the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor, performed by Nathan Milstein, with Bruno Walter conducting the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York.

Discogs adds this historical note:

This is the very first vinyl LP printed for the (soon to be announced) “12 inch LP’s” for the Columbia catalog, and is considered the first (modern) 12 inch LP ever. This LP also coincides with the first 10″ LP The Voice Of Frank Sinatra [below] that Columbia Records unveiled at a press conference in the Waldorf Astoria in June 1948.

Birth of the 10-inch LP Record = June 28, 1948

The Voice of Frank Sinatra

Columbia‘s Long-Playing Microgroove CL 6001

AUDIO LINK: “You Go To My Head

With long-playing vinyl in its infancy, Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours (1955) broke new ground by presenting a series on songs on related themes — loneliness, failed love, and despair — leading it to be hailed as the first concept album. Sinatra had been developing the idea since his [4-disc] 78 rpm Columbia debut The Voice of Frank Sinatra (1946) which became pop’s first [ten-inch] LP in 1948.

Streamlined listening booths

Record Retailing (1948)

Birth of the 45 RPM Record = March 31, 1949

Texarkana Baby” was a hit for Eddy Arnold long before it became RCA’s first seven-inch single in 1949. It was initially released on 78 – by RCA in the United States and EMI in Great Britain – as the flipside of the number one “Bouquet of Roses,” but also hit the top in its own right in 1948.

Record No. 48-0001-A

Original pressing on green vinyl

RCA ad

Record Retailing – Apr 1949

First Commercial Stereophonic Recordings = March 1958

Audio Fidelity‘s 1st Four Stereo LPs

Audio Fidelty’s fame crystalized in March 1958 when it released the first-ever commercial recordings in stereophonic two-channel sound … The first four LPs — Johnny Puleo and His Harmonica Gang; Railroad: The Sounds of a Vanishing Era; Lionel Hampton’s Lionel, and Marching Along with the Phenomenal Dukes of Dixieland Vol. 3were in keeping with Audio Fidelity’s popular approach.

AUDIO LINK = “Peanut Vendor

AUDIO LINK = “Blues For Stephen

In the summer of 1958, it began releasing classical music, with thirteen albums specially recorded in London. The LPs were expensive and were priced accordingly. Special equipment was required to play them, so they were a luxury item.

Stereo recording of “Train & Railroad Sounds

Early Sampling!

Audio Fidelity’s stereo train recording was undoubtedly sampled for the opening whistle of Little Royal‘s “Soul Train” from 1972 — released on Starday-King* subsidiary label, Tri Us.

Discogs adds this historical note:

According to many sources, The Dukes of Dixieland Volume 3 is the very first commercially produced and released, intended for retail sales, available to the general public stereophonic disc. Volumes 1 and 2 were released earlier in mono but later than Volume 3 in stereo. The few earlier stereo discs were promos and giveaways.

AUDIO LINK = “Tromboneum

Jukeboxes =

Major Market for Early Vinyl

In their heyday, jukeboxes were big business, contributing to a significant proportion of record sales. By the mid-1940s, three-quarters of all records produced in the United States went into jukeboxes. Manufacturers, aware of the money-making potential, often set the speed at slightly more than 45 rpm, allowing for more nickels per hour to go in the machines. They were also an important sources of income for music publishers, who received a royalty on every song played, as did the record companies. Perhaps not surprisingly, the control of jukeboxes often fell into the hands of organized crime.

Drop Some Silver in the Juke Box

Dick Curless

B-Side Only

Zero to 180 is delighted to discover that Dick Curless’s recording “Drop Some Silver in the Juke Box” is only available on 7-inch as the flip side of 1970’s “Drag ‘Em Off The Interstate, Sock It To ‘Em, J. P. Blues” and has since been reissued only in Europe on two different Dick Curless anthologies — 1983’s 20 Great Truck Hits and Bear Family’s 4-CD box set Hard, Hard Traveling Man from 2000.

Decca’s West African Series:

Decca Presents E.T. Mensah and his Tempo’s Band

This calypso collection from the Ghanaian bandleader known as the “King of Highlife” was part of Decca’s West African Series [which launched in 1958 and focuses largely on artists from Ghana, according to Discogs].

Streaming audio link to “Donkey Calypso,” the album’s opening track — song originally released by Decca as the B-side of “Nkebo Baaya” in (by all indications) 1952.

Moses Asch & Folkways Records

Launched in 1948, just as the vinyl long-playing record appeared, Folkways became one of the world’s largest and most influential independent record companies, accumulating a massive catalog of folk music, spoken word, and documentary material.

The Montgomery Express

Montgomery Movement Folkways LP

Recorded in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November 1973, this is the sole album by a group described by the Numero Group label (who reissued it in 2014) as “Funk’s answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama.” At their helm was Indiantown, Florida, resident Sandy Montgomery, who — in the words of Folkways’ sleevenotes — “is well-known for his work with young people in and around his hometown. He believes that the best way to keep them out of trouble and off the streets is to keep them busy doing something useful.”

Released on Folkways Records in 1974

AUDIO LINK = “Party Fever

Recorded at SRS International Recording Studios – Ft. Lauderdale

Originally released on Dove Records in 1973

Smithsonian Folkways per Discogs:

In 1987, following the death of Moses Asch (owner of Folkways Records), the Smithsonian Institution acquired from his estate the rights, papers, and masters for Folkways Records. This was done with the Smithsonian’s promise to keep all of the 2168 Folkways titles in print, which they continue to do to this day under the Smithsonian Folkways banner.

Annals of Audio Engineering =

Really Long LPs

Sound quality theoretically declines as a record’s grooves run more closely together. It therefore stands to reason that there’s an optimum length for long-playing records — hence the convention that a twelve-inch LP lasts between thirty and forty minutes, with a maximum of about twenty minutes per side.

In the 1950s, budget label Vox crammed an entire sixty-three minute performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on one disc. Apart from similar budget labels in the pop field, the standard length of vinyl has held steady ever since, with a few notable exceptions.

Notable LP #1 = One particularly ambitious album needs to be singled out with regard to length —

Todd Rundgren‘s Initiation (1975)

According to Discogs

[Initiation] is one of the longest running single disc LPs ever issued (1 hour, 7 minutes and 34 seconds; side B’s total time [“A Treatise on Cosmic Fire“] is almost 35½ minutes). However, because of its fragility and reduced dynamic range, the following note was printed on the inner sleeve:

Technical Note: Due to the amount of music on this disc (over one hour), two points must be emphasized. Firstly, if your needle is worn or damaged, it will ruin this disc immediately. Secondly, if the sound does not seem loud enough on your system, try re-recording the music onto tape. By the way, thanks for buying the album.”

Notable LP #2 = One other major label LP of mind-boggling length is a 75-minute Barry Manilow hits collection released by Arista in 1985 that is believed to be a payback move by Clive Davis against Manilow for leaving the label. Steve Hoffman Music Forums has a conversation thread devoted to The Manilow Collection – Twenty Classic Hits.

Big Bang for the Buck

Notable LP #3 = Thanks to a tip from the Steve Hoffman Music Forum, Zero to 180 has been alerted to an absurdly long compilation album — 14 tracks on side A, 15 tracks on side B — that pays tribute to Judy Garland. Discogs affirms the impossible:

“Possibly the longest single-disc record ever produced. It clocks in at just over 90 minutes!
Release date unknown, but must be after 1969, because the jacket commentary mentions her death.”

Judy Garland Collector’s Remembrance Album

Other notable long-winded LPs

UFO‘s UFO 2 – Flying LP from 1971 = When released in Germany, the album was more accurately re-titled One Hour Space Rock — side two ends with the 26-minute title track “Flying.”

Rolling StonesAftermath LP from 1966 = What’s the big deal, you say – a total of 14 songs that “only” clock in at 53 minutes? Don’t be so hasty in your assessment and consider the following facts, advises Discogs:

Aftermath, released in April 1966 by Decca Records, is the fourth British studio album by the Rolling Stones. It was issued in the United States in June 1966 by London Records as the group’s sixth American album. The album is considered an artistic breakthrough for the band — it is the first to consist entirely of Mick Jagger–Keith Richards compositions, while Brian Jones played a variety of instruments not usually associated with their music, including sitar, Appalachian dulcimer, marimbas and Japanese koto, as well as guitar, harmonica and keyboards, though much of the music is still rooted in Chicago electric blues. It was the first Rolling Stones album to be recorded entirely in the US, at the RCA Studios in California, and their first album released in true stereo. It is also one of the earliest rock albums to eclipse the 50-minute mark, and contains one of the earliest rock songs to eclipse the 10-minute mark (“Goin’ Home“).

LP cover = UK & Europe

LP cover = Uruguay only

Pink Floyd‘s Atom Heart Mother from 1970 = Side one’s 23-minute title track is the lengthiest “uncut studio piece” recorded by the band — early UK pressing includes a locked groove that repeatedly plays the sound of water dripping at the end of “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast,” notes Discogs.

Cassette cover

Spain

Annals of Audio Engineering =

Locked Groove

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Audio demonstration = Sgt. Pepper‘s inner groove played forwards and backwards

Closing Theme” + Locked Groove

The Muppet Show 2 (1978)

Rael (Pts. 1 & 2)” + Locked Groove

The Who Sell Out (1967)

Elaborate Packaging in Vinyl

The Monty Python Instant Record Collection

Released on Charisma in the UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand (1977)

With just one, extremely brief sketch that hadn’t already appeared on a Python album [“Summarized Proust Competition“], this set contained little to excite completists, hence its self-deprecating subtitle “The pick of the best of some recently repeated Python hits again, Vol. II.”

Comedy Alert = Best of the 65 fake album titles:

  • Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay Again!
  • The Beatles Chauffeurs Live!
  • John, Paul, George And Ringo – The Davenport Brothers
  • Get Bach – Best of the Welsh Beatles
  • Nixon’s Solid Gold Denials
  • Norma Shearer Whistles Duane [Eddy]
  • The Dave Clark Five’s War Speeches
  • Beethoven’s Punk Symphony in B Flat
  • Pet Smells – The Beach Boys
  • Tom Jones Hits Frank Sinatra While Vic Damone and Mel Torme Grab Englebert Humperdink – At Las Vegas

Monty Python Instant Record Collection

viewed from the side

Bonus bit = Text of the run-out groove for side A (“Dear Mum, Cutting another Python record, I’ll be home late night, Luv Porky”) vs. run-out groove for side B (“Special record no. 471, Ring Charisma for your prize now!”).

Other Examples of Elaborate Vinyl Packaging

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Monty Python‘s Matching Tie and Handkerchief LP

Close-up view of “double groove

image courtesy of Discogs

Explanatory notes per Discogs

The B-side of this release is double grooved. This means there are two grooves that are physically located on the same side; they travel parallel with each other. So when playing the side B, one hears different tracks depending on the groove into which the needle drops.

To further confuse the listener, both sides of the LP are labelled “Free Record Given Away with the Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief – Side 2” – only the matrix numbers identify which are the first and second sides.

There are no track titles printed on the release [track listing here]. The sleeve is a die-cut and printed to look like a three-dimensional box. The center window of the sleeve reveals a ‘tie & handkerchief’, but when one pulls the inner sleeve out, the unfortunate current owner of the tie & handkerchief is revealed.

K-Tel of Minneapolis Presents

SuperstarThe Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Game

1973 board game that includes a multi-grooveChance-A-Tune“45!

Note = 45 RPM “Chance-A-Tune” disc must be played whenever an album is released — tone arm randomly selects one of three grooves:

  • Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band‘s “Scorpio” = break even
  • [unknown artist] = flop

K-Tel “Chance-A-Tune” 45

Audio Demonstration

Multi-Groove Promo for theNewAlbum by Rush

Rush ‘n’ Roulette

Very Limited Edition Collector’s Record (1981)

Sleeve Text for Rush ‘n’ Roulette

Why Rush ‘n’ Roulette? Simply place your tone arm on the edge of this record as you would normally do, and when you let Rush ‘n’ Roulette spin there’s an equal chance that any of the six featured Rush songs [from Exit Stage Left] will be heard. This is a unique mastering process causing a completely random song occurence. In other words, “We have assumed control”

AUDIO LINK = “Red Barchetta (live)”

3-Sided Albums =

Johnny Winter‘s Second Winter LP (1969)

My college roommate, Doug May, who wrote music reviews for Ohio State University’s Lantern newspaper in the mid-1980s, was the first person to make me aware of the existence of a 2-LP set in which the fourth side is blank!

3-sided album housed in a 2-LP sleeve

Image courtesy of Jukebox Web Radio

AUDIO LINK = “I Hate Everybody

As it happens, the conversation thread devoted to 3-sided albums on Steve Hoffman Music Forums kicks off with Second Winter held up as Example A (click here to read more), with other similar examples having since spawned in its wake —

The Case of the Three Sided Dream in Audio Color by Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1975)

Side D is pressed with an almost completely silent track interspersed with a few telephone conversations.

AUDIO LINK = “Freaks For The Festival

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock by James Horner & Alexander Courage (1984)

Side 4 is a blank Capitol classic-era rainbow label.

AUDIO LINK = “Klingons

Big World by Joe Jackson (1986)

Just to be clear, there is no music on the fourth side.

AUDIO LINK = “Wild West

Special Merit

Multi-Groove 12-Inch Single Advertised AsThree-Sided Disc

Me Myself And I” by De La Soul (1989)

Technical notes via Discogs:

The B-side has been cut using 2 parallel cutting heads, hence 2 completely different tracks can be heard with a 50% chance, depending on where the needle hits the record. B1 and B2 are cut like any regular record on groove 1. The third track “Brain Washed Follower” is on the parallel groove 2.

Annals of Audio Engineering =

Birth of Dub Reggae

Ruddy&King Tubby

A seed of dub was sown in 1968 when Kingston sound system operator RudolphRuddyRedwood cut a dub plate (as the demo-type acetates were called) of the Paragons’ “On the Beach.” The vocal was accidentally omitted, but he took it to a show at which his DJ “toasted” over the instrumental. The response inspired engineer OsbourneKing TubbyRuddock to create instrumentals from vocal records, starting with “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by Slim Smith. Tubby took mixing a step further, isolating the vocals, then the music, then combining the two.

Obscure Dub LP Alert

Natty Locks Dub by Winston Edwards (1974)

Debut 12-inch disc from Fay Records

AUDIO LINK = Check out the flute-driven sounds of “Natty Dub

Winston Edwards was the cousin of influential producer Joe Gibbs, one of the first to recognize LeeScratchPerry‘s potential.

Discogs’s bio notes that Edwards opened his first record store, The Miami Record Shack, in the late 1960s and then emigrated to England, where he started Fay Records in 1974. By the early 1980s, Edwards would leave the music business for the legal profession.

Bob Marley & the Wailers Trivia

Obscure B-side

Every Need Got An Ego To Feed

Originally issued on 1977’s Exodus, the irresistible “Three Little Birds” was issued belatedly as a single in 1980 backed with the instrumental “Every Need Got an Ego to Feed,” based on “Pimper’s Paradise” from 1980’s Uprising. The A side’s cheery “Don’t worry ’bout a thing” secured its immortality.

45 picture sleeve

Germany (Oct. 1980)

A Tree Falls Unobserved

Silence in the Commercial Arts

The Nothing Record Album

Released 1980 in Canada – ten selections recorded in “nonaural” sound

Sounds of Silence

Bootleg LP — Italy (2013)

This unauthorized compilation of silences (as noted in Zero to 180’s recent tribute to Zapple Records) is taken “directly from varied vinyl pressings” – as opposed to the master recordings themselves – which makes for a rather audible experience. CD mix includes John & Yoko (“Two Minutes Silence” from Life With The Lions), along with Sly & the Family Stone (“There’s A Riot Goin’ On“), John Denver (“The Ballad of Richard Nixon“), and The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (“Anniversary of World War III“), plus offerings from Andy Warhol, Yves Klein & Charles Wilp, Robert Wyatt, Afrika Bambaataa, Orbital, Ciccone Youth, and Crass, among others.

Paul Westerberg‘s 14 Songs promo 45 (1993)

A-side & B-side

Both sides, however, blank, says Discogs

Annals of Audio Engineering =

Songs of the Humpback Whale (1970)

Added to the National Registry in 2010

AUDIO LINK = “Solo Whale

I remember the entrancing sound of this record filling up our living room one night when one of my mom’s friends brought over a copy — one of the 100,000 purchased during the album’s original run, an impressive feat “for a musical work with no musicians, no lyrics, no danceable beats and actually no singers either,” observes Cary O’Dell in his essay for The Library of Congress. Notable for being the first recordings of whale songs ever published, this gatefold album originally came packaged with an LP-sized book (text in English and Japanese) that includes pictures, diagrams and information about whales, plus a four-page “Listening Instructions” insert.

Issued in France – 1978

Annals of Audio Engineering =

Sounds of the Earth

Audio Disc – 1977’s Voyager I & II Space Probes

Lathe cut, twelve-inch 16⅔ RPM, single-sided, enhanced, etched, gold-plated copper disc, with content divided into four sections: Greetings From Earth; Music of the Earth; Sounds of the Earth; and Scenes From the Earth.

Track listing for Sounds of the Earth =

[Greetings From Earth] UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, along with salutations spoken in the following 55 languages: Akkadian, Amoy (Min Dialect), Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hittite, Hungarian (Magyar), Ila (Zambia), Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada (Kanarese), Kechua (Quechua), Korean, Latin, Luganda (Ganda), Mandarin Chinese, Marathi, Nepali, Nguni (Zulu), Nyanja, Oriya, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Sotho (Sesotho), Spanish, Sumerian, Swedish, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, and Wu.

[Music of the Earth] Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 In F, First Movement by Bach; Kinds of Flowers (Java); Percussion (Senegal); Girls’ Initiation Song (Zaire); Morning Star / Moikoi (Australia, Aborigine); “El Cascabel” by Lorenzo Barcelata & Mariachi Mexico; “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry; Untitled (New Guinea); “Tsuru No Sugomori” by Goro Yamaguchi; Gavotte En Rondeaux by Bach; The Magic Flute, Queen Of The Night Aria, No. 14 by Mozart; Tchakrulo (Georgian S.S.R., Chorus); Panpipes And Drum (Peru); “Melancholy Blues” by Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven; Bagpipes (Azerbaijan S.S.R.); Rite Of Spring, Sacrificial Dance by Stravinsky; The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude And Fugue In C, No. 1 by Bach (Glenn Gould); Fifth Symphony, First Movement by Beethoven (Otto Klemperer); “Izlel Je Delyo Hagdutin” by Valya Balkanska; Navajo Night Chant; Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains And Other Short Aeirs, “The Fairie Round” performed by David Munrow & The Early Music Consort of London; Panpipes (Solomon Islands); Wedding Song (Peru); “Flowing Streams” by Guan Pinghu; “Jaat Kahan Ho” by Kesarbai Kerkar; “Dark Was The Night” by Blind Willie Johnson; String Quartet No. 13 In B Flat, Opus 130, Cavatina by Beethoven (Budapest String Quartet).

[Sounds From the Earth] Music of the Spheres by Laurie Spiegel; Wind, Rain, Surf; Chimpanzee; Fire, Speech; Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing; Horse & Cart; F-111 Flyby, Saturn 5 Lift-off; Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder; Crickets, Frogs; Wild Dog; The First Tools; Tractor, Riveter; Train; Kiss, Mother & Child; Mud Pots; Birds, Hyena, Elephant; Footsteps, Heartbeat, Laughter; Tame Dog; Morse Code, Ships; Tractor, Bus, Auto; Life Signs, Pulsar.

[Scenes From the Earth] Data track – visual images.

Image courtesy of Discogs

According to detailed notes posted on Discogs

The Voyager Golden Record is a phonograph record included in the two Voyager spacecrafts launched in 1977. It contains sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.
The record contains image data and etched symbols. Eleven copies exist — two are onboard the Voyager spacecrafts, one is on display in a museum, eight copies are archived at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Archives, USA.

The release is stored in a protective aluminum jacket with a cartridge and needle. The record was manufactured by James G. Lee Record Processing Center.

Image courtesy of Discogs

The chances of the probes being intercepted by an alien race are fairly remote, especially when one considers it will take over 40,000 years to come within 1.7 light years of the nearest star. By this time this golden record may be only considered a time capsule, a record of a past civilization. The record consists of some 115 images of earth encoded in analogue format at the beginning of the record, after which are greetings in 55 languages, various field recordings of Earth and 90 minutes of music.

The record’s cover consists of diagrams showing how to retrieve the data and audio as well as the location of Earth in relation to 14 nearby pulsar stars and the lowest form of a hydrogen atom meant to be a base for retrieving the encoded information. A pure sample of uranium-238 was electroplated on the cover for dating purposes. The half-life of uranium-238 is 4.51 billion years.

Image courtesy of Discogs

A7 is listed officially as featuring “Devil Bird” as the second song after “Morning Star,” but new research conducted by space archaeologist Alice Gorman suggests that when “Morning Star” cuts off after 23 seconds, the song that comes on is not “Devil Bird” but a different piece called “Moikoi.”

LISTEN to the entire Sounds of the Earth LP (1 hour 50 minutes)

LINK to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s salute to “The Golden Record” — a most unique human artifact, whose contents were compiled by Carl Sagan and Linda Salzman.

Sounds of the Earth

Co-opted by Mini Mansions for the cover of 2015’s The Great Pretenders LP

IncludesAny Emotions” – featuring Brian Wilson

Alex Steinweiss

Founding Father of Album Cover Art

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat

Rudolf Serkin with Bruno Walter (1941)

AUDIO LINK = “Emperor” Serkin/Walter (37:00)

Author Mike Evans asks –

Did the Alex Steinweiss design above inspire Pink Floyd’s famous cover?

Cover design by Hipgnosis

(Peru – 1973)

Zero to 180 Exclusive!

Famous Albums

Variant Covers

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Pet Sounds

Uruguay – 1966

Not the petting zoo cover released elsewhere worldwide

Over Under Sideways Down

Canada – 1966

Also titled Roger the Engineer (with variant covers), yet this design specific to Canada

Boots

Italy – 1966

Oversized sweater in Italy while elsewhere in striped outfit and kitten pose

Headquarters

Chile – 1967

Compare to the familiar linked arms cover – nowhere else but Chile

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Mexico – 1967

Compare to the original Columbia cover

The Velvet Underground & Nico

Canada – 1967

This design substituted for Warhol’s (in)famous banana cover in Canada & the UK

The Time Has Come Today

Canada – 1967

Original cover embellished with lively colors and 3-D typeface solely in Canada

The Who Sell Out

Japan – 1967

Holy grail” LP for Who collectors due to unique Japan-only sleeve

After Bathing at Baxter’s

Japan – 1968

Design by Keiichi Tanaami – vastly more psychedelic than the original cover

Electric Ladyland

Uruguay – 1968

Note the quaint typo

Puzzle People

France – 1968

Alternative puzzle-piece design (compare to original) that is unduplicated outside of France

Lady Soul

Turkey – 1968

Compare to the original Atlantic cover

Say It Loud – I’m Black And I’m Proud

Nigeria – 1969

Compare to the original King cover

Hot Buttered Soul

Israel – 1969

Conventional head shot used in Israel & Spain (vs. iconic “aerial” perspective)

Clouds

Japan – 1969

Guitar cleverly used to frame the original album cover

3614 Jackson Highway

Germany – 1969

Germany’s singular disregard for the hard-working musicians at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Italy – 1969

Unique designs for CCR’s debut in Turkey and Italy (retitled as Suzy Q) vs. original cover art

Led Zeppelin II

Turkey – 1969

Unique Turkish pressing with cover art by Betül Atlı

McCartney

Turkey – 1970

This defiant design (on Apple, no less) stands apart from every other issue of McCartney’s solo debut

Shouldn’t that be Sir Paul?

After the Gold Rush

Germany – 1970

Special release for the German TWEN magazine – compare to original cover

Paranoid

Greece – 1970

Specific to Greece (not unlike Israel) – gatefold photo from original cover

Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

Venezuela – 1970

Fully-clothed (and retitled) alternative to the original free-spirited gatefold design

Sticky Fingers

Spain – 1971

Original Stones “zipper” cover banned in favor of something more tasteful

There’s A Riot Goin’ On

Colombia – 1971

Compare with original US flag cover – design unique to Colombia

Tago Mago

UK – 1971

UK only – Ulrich Eichberger‘s original artwork used in Germany and elsewhere

Tapestry

Mexico – 1971

Album retitled It’s Too Late only in Mexico

[Cover cropped differently]

The Band

Mexico – 1972

Striking design by Robert Cato (compare to original stark cover for 1969 self-titled LP)

Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player

Greece – 1972

Both Greece and Israel diverged sharply from the familiar cinema marquee cover

Special Merit

Otis Redding anthology LP

Czechoslovakia – 1972

[Cover design by Stanislava Korejsová]

Bonus Oddball Beatle Bootleg!

Taiwan – 1967

Sgt. Peppep’s

LINK to Zero to 180’s “Summer Beach Read 2019

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— Secret Hidden Bonus Track —

Obscure Limited-Release UK-Only Apple 45

King of Fuh” by Brute Force

Released 16 May 1969

Listen to find out why radio strenuously avoided this song

Background info courtesy 45Cat

Brute Force is the pseudonym of Stephen Friedland, an American singer and songwriter. In 1964, while in New York City as a young adult, he met the producers Hugo and Luigi, who co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” They introduced Friedland to The Tokens, known for their hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Not only was Friedland hired as a songwriter for The Tokens’ music publishing company, he also became the group’s keyboardist.

In 1967, Friedland recorded as Brute Force with the album, I, Brute Force, Confections of Love, which was produced by John Simon, later renowned for his work with The Band. In late 1968, Brute Force recorded his song “King of Fuh” which is the story of a mythical king who ruled the kingdom of Fuh.

After the song was recorded, a musical friend of Friedland, Tommy Dawes of The Cyrkle, forwarded it to his manager, Nat Weiss, who knew Beatles manager Brian Epstein. According to Friedland, George Harrison was very receptive to the song and said so in a phone call. But EMI, Apple’s distributor, refused even to press the record, much less distribute it. Eventually, Apple privately issued the single for UK release, planning to stock mail order outlets and selected record shops. The distribution plan never really caught on and the record quickly disappeared. Apparently 2000 copies were pressed as APPLE 8.

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Zero to 180 Bonus Bit from 2018

A Starday/King/DeLuxe Musical Prank*

Is it possible that 1973 instrumental “Victory Strut” by J. Hines & the Fellows (on Starday-King subsidiary, DeLuxe) features what must be some of the earliest turntable scratching on record?!   But alas, the comment below – in reply to the person who posted this audio clip – reveals musical tomfoolery  perpetrated at the hands of DJ Ol’SkOul!

So as much as I love the record scratches on this, I actually bought this 45 thinking they were a part of the song. Sooo yeah, you might want to tell people this is your remix of it.  Either way thanks for posting. Great tune.

Hear for yourself –

Special ‘REMIX‘ of “Victory Strut”

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