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Chapter 1?  avenue?

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  • Chapter 1?  avenue?

    Howdy partners

    Picked up a couple of albums at the weekend which are as interesting for their labels as for their content.

    One is 'The Pan Am Steel Band' ('as featured on BBC TV's Blue Peter&#39 from 1972, on Chapter 1. It's clearly a Decca imprint and there are snaps of some other LPs in the series (another steely, a recording of a drama with John Bluthal) on the back.

    The other is Eric Winstone's 'Supersonic Sounds', on Avenue. It's marked as a Pye recording, but I've not seen the Avenue name before.

    Does anyone know what the score was with either of these? Were they specialist or budget labels, for example?

    Cheers

    Tommo
    The Pop Music Library

  • #2
    Avenue was a label out of Chingford, Essex. It had good distribution in the South East but I haven't seen it too often outside that area. The catalogue is a complete mix of covers and original stuff, often under pseudonyms.

    One of the more knowlegeable board members (Lord Thames?) has been doing some research on it, so they should know more. I've seen LPs, pic sleeve 4 or 5 track EPs, and 45s on Avenue - from the changing label graphics across these releases it seems to have been going for a quite a few years anyway.
    http://www.blaxploitation.com
    Chops for show, groove for dough.

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    • #3
      theeman's covered Avenue pretty well there - what I will add is that they were a cheapo budget label run by a certain Gordon Melville (anyone know where he is these days?), and their Chingford address is actually an ordinary house, so they weren't a terribly large scale organisation.

      Their EPs seem to have sold quite a lot in Tesco shops - there was a big holiday competition tied up between them in the early 70s.

      Alan Caddy, the former guitarist with the Tornados, is known to have done a lot of work for them, and session drummer Bobby Graham did some arranging for them too, but a lot of their stuff was licensed from other companies. There's also some connection with a Dutch label, Studio 33.

      Eric Winstone did at least 3 LPs for Avenue - the others are 'The Big Band Sound Of...', which includes covers of some Amphonic library tracks, and '....plays 007', with some fantastic arrangements by Syd Dale.

      Chapter One records were, I think, set up by Les Reed - maybe someone else can confirm?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by [b
        Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ Nov. 25 2003,10:09)]Their EPs seem to have sold quite a lot in Tesco shops - there was a big holiday competition tied up between them in the early 70s.
        Yet again the deepest knowledge dropped by the Lord.. really quite remarkable!

        BTW, if anyone's interested I have a copy of the 'Supersonic Sounds' LP up for trade, which features a version of 'Shaft' and a real cracker of an original easy-funk composition 'Hacienda Happenings'.
        Let him have the lot for £2.00 - we were only going to throw 'em out anyway...

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        • #5
          There's a rather enjoyable version of 'Family Affair' by Alan Caddy on one of those Avenue six track seven inches.

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          • #6
            there are some interesting albums on the label - there's a pretty good garage rock organ type album by The Sonics with a strong version of Rainmaker (including the break). not the same band as the US Sonics I'm pretty sure - this lot look like UK cabaret musicians.
            http://www.blaxploitation.com
            Chops for show, groove for dough.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ Nov. 25 2003,10:09)]Eric Winstone did at least 3 LPs for Avenue - the others are 'The Big Band Sound Of...', which includes covers of some Amphonic library tracks, and '....plays 007', with some fantastic arrangements by Syd Dale.
              that 007 record is really good. i think mine's on a different label. what has always seemed incredible about such a well-produced and arranged album is why they didn't re-record the main theme take - the guitarist completely fluffs his first attempt at the James Bond riff!
              http://www.blaxploitation.com
              Chops for show, groove for dough.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the info, gents.

                The Avenue album has all the hallmarks of a cottage industry - Eric's name is spelt both as 'Winston' and 'Winstone' and I think there's at least one more spelling error on the label. Nice record, though. 'Hacienda Happenings' is indeed rather fruity and even guff like 'The Onedin Line' and 'Tara's Theme' (from Gone With The Wind) is just about listenable thanks to some decent arrangements.

                And if the Viscount is reading this, the Avenue logo would look great on a t-shirt!
                The Pop Music Library

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (theeman @ Nov. 25 2003,11:43)]
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (Lord Thames @ Nov. 25 2003,10:09)]Eric Winstone did at least 3 LPs for Avenue - the others are 'The Big Band Sound Of...', which includes covers of some Amphonic library tracks, and '....plays 007', with some fantastic arrangements by Syd Dale.
                  that 007 record is really good. i think mine's on a different label. what has always seemed incredible about such a well-produced and arranged album is why they didn't re-record the main theme take - the guitarist completely fluffs his first attempt at the James Bond riff!
                  Ah, but re-recording it would have cost money, which let's face it, Avenue didn't have in abundance!

                  I'm impressed by Syd and Eric's attempt at a theme for 'The Man With The Golden Gun' - you can almost sing the lyrics of the real one to it! That too ended up on an Amphonic LP. In fact, the entire LP was recycled as a CBS Songs library LP in the mid-80s!

                  And, yes, an Avenue t-shirt would look really good!

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