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
Record Retailing – Apr 1949
First Commercial Stereophonic Recordings –
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. 3 — were 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“
Audio Fidelity’s stereo train recording (above) was undoubtedly sampled for the opening whistle of Little Royal‘s “Soul Train” from 1972 — released on Starday-King* subsidiary label, Tri Us.
“Soul Train” by Little Royal (1972)
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“
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“
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)
[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 Stones‘ Aftermath 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“).
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.
Annals of Audio Engineering =
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
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
Superstar – The Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Game
1973 board game that includes a multi-groove “Chance-A-Tune“45!
Special Note –
45 RPM “Chance-A-Tune” disc must be played whenever an album is released — tone arm randomly selects one of three grooves:
- Gallery‘s “Big City Miss Ruth Ann” = hit
- Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band‘s “Scorpio” = break even
- [unknown artist] = flop
K-Tel “Chance-A-Tune” 45
Multi-Groove Promo for the “New” Album by Rush
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 As “Three-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 Rudolph “Ruddy” Redwood 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 Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock 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 Lee ‘Scratch‘ Perry‘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
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 –
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
Includes “Any 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!
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
Italy – 1966
Oversized sweater in Italy while elsewhere in striped outfit and kitten pose
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
Uruguay – 1968
Note the quaint typo
France – 1968
Alternative puzzle-piece design (compare to original) that is unduplicated outside of France
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)
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 Suzie Q) vs. original cover art
Led Zeppelin II
Turkey – 1969
Unique Turkish pressing with cover art by Betül Atlı
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
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
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
UK – 1971
UK only – Ulrich Eichberger‘s original artwork used in Germany and elsewhere
Mexico – 1971
Album retitled It’s Too Late only in Mexico
[Cover cropped differently]
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
Otis Redding anthology LP
Czechoslovakia – 1972
[Cover design by Stanislava Korejsová]
Bonus Oddball Beatle Bootleg!
Taiwan – 1967
LINK to Zero to 180’s “Summer Beach Read 2019“
— 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.
— 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”