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  • Top of the pops

    After Lord Thames "boasting" about finding Vol. 92 of Top Of The Pops, I thought I'd bring up a separate topic. I found Volume 91 the other day (I have to admit a fondness for the sleeves, and once that collecting bug bites...) and thought "blimey, how many of these were there!"

    Anyway, did a wee search to find some background info and found this little series on the Beanos site:

    Top Of The Pops

    I could be sitting on a goldmine! So my questions are:

    1) Are there REALLY people out there who'll pay £30 for mint TOTP albums? Has anyone encountered them on ebay etc.

    2) Does anyone on here collect the aforementioned chuff? Presumably not at the aforementioned prices...

    3) What are the albums with breaks which I hear so much about ??? ("yeah random dealer type swapped TOTP albums with breaks at the Sound Library for an Invaders LP blah blah blah&quot

    Your comments, as always, would be enlightening...
    There MUST be a Hymns-A-Swingin' in this box...

  • #2
    1) I guess there are for those LPs with 'names' rumoured to be performing, as mentioned in the Beanos article. I believe that there are some Hits LP connected with Elton John listed in the dreaded RC book.

    Back when I used to work at Ofxam, I used to fish out all the TOTP, Hot Hits etc out of the donations and rack them seperately. When one of the top music bods came down to oversee our refit, he saw our massive range of the things (99p each as it was all we could ever get for them), he said that in decent nick they get up to £10 a pop at the Manchester store. Not just mark them at that price, but *sell* them too.

    2) Not compulsively, but I do pick up the ones I know contain something worthwhile (like a break) if they are in decent non molested condition. I've always *meant* to start collecting them, but there always seems to be something in the rack more worth of my charity quid. I s'pose I have maybe 25-30 TOTP, Hot Hits, The SGA ones & whatever the series is on Windmill.

    3) There is no great secret to finding the 'breaks', as they are tracks that always seem to have them - 'Jesus', 'Standing In The Road', 'Aint No Sunshine', 'Superstition' & [gulp] 'Chirpy Chirpy' for example. The problem is that while they might have breaks, with the a couple of exceptions the breaks aren't really any good. The 'Chirpy' one on TOTP is utter rubbish, but it is still sold on eBay as being able to 'shake your house down' (thank you Boogiejuice for that one). I'm sure there are others worth tracking down, any suggestions ?

    I'd say the most consistant ones are the SGA ones. The version of 'Aint No Sunshine' on one of those is actually really decent, not just hits comp decent, but actually good. The version on the Windmill series seems to be indentical - although I've never bothered to play next to each other to check.

    As for whether you can get good trade for them outside the UK, god knows. I've read that going back a few years, The Recordkingz took them over to the US and were able to get good money for them, but eBay has probably put pay to that given how many there are still lurking at the boot or the charity shop. Rich seemed to do pretty well with similarly common gear when he was last in the US.

    Hope that helps a bit.
    Matt Hero

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    • #3
      Loads of them have breaks on. The seventies was break central although a lot of them a glam style breaks which isn't evenyone's cup of tea. I like them though. Personally I grab all the ones with interesting covers (music rather than sleeves). There's great versions of Voodoo Chile, Are Friends Electric, Autobahn, etc. Or crap versions depending on what floats your boat.

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      • #4
        I think Col's mate in Edinburgh had a near complete set of the TOTP's. I get the feeling that some people collect them just like football stickers, regardless of the music (and why not?). Who was it on here who'd started the Decca 'World Of...' collection and now *had* to finish? That's a brave man...  
        You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by [b
          Quote[/b] (Blighty @ April 21 2004,13:06)]Loads of them have breaks on. The seventies was break central although a lot of them a glam style breaks which isn't evenyone's cup of tea. I like them though. Personally I grab all the ones with interesting covers (music rather than sleeves). There's great versions of Voodoo Chile, Are Friends Electric, Autobahn, etc. Or crap versions depending on what floats your boat.
          Likewise, I'll pick them up if they look like they might have interesting versions, and as a result have come across a few of the breaks. I'm really into the production style / sound of the Hot Hits series especially ...
          FunkyDown
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          • #6
            Originally posted by [b
            Quote[/b] (Dr Rubberfunk @ April 21 2004,14:18)]Likewise, I'll pick them up if they look like they might have interesting versions, and as a result have come across a few of the breaks. I'm really into the production style / sound of the Hot Hits series especially ...
            There's a great 'Grooving With Mr Bloe' on one of those 'Hot Hits' albums. And version of Shirley Bassey's take on 'Something' that has remarkly good vocals until you realise they've sped them up to make the singer sound more Bassey-like. They were clever buggers on these albums.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (Blighty @ April 21 2004,15:11)]
              Originally posted by [b
              Quote[/b] (Dr Rubberfunk @ April 21 2004,14:18)]Likewise, I'll pick them up if they look like they might have interesting versions, and as a result have come across a few of the breaks. I'm really into the production style / sound of the Hot Hits series especially ...
              There's a great 'Grooving With Mr Bloe' on one of those 'Hot Hits' albums. And version of Shirley Bassey's take on 'Something' that has remarkly good vocals until you realise they've sped them up to make the singer sound more Bassey-like. They were clever buggers on these albums.  
              Good call - I'll keep an eye out for those. Gotta love the old school tricks
              FunkyDown
              Facebook | Mixcloud | Soundcloud

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              • #8
                There's this Joe Meek track I have. Can't remember what it is (I'll dig it out) but it was made in 1964 (somewhere round there) and it totally sounds like some mad New Wave B52s style thing. Wayyy ahead of it's time. The thing is if you pitch it down to minus 8 it just sounds like some sixties pop tune. Normal as hell. All Joe Meek did was speed it up. I was so disappointed when I discovered that. Great track though. It's the simple things that are often the cleverest.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by [b
                  Quote[/b] (Mr Divine @ April 21 2004,11:15)]1) Are there REALLY people out there who'll pay £30 for mint TOTP albums? Has anyone encountered them on ebay etc.
                  Not exactly a TOTP collector but I once bid against someone who's bid history was in the region of 400 LP's, all listed as sexy, nude, cheesecake, etc.
                  You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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                  • #10
                    someone should do a 'grey album' style project with TOTPs... But with which rapper? Hammer maybe...
                    http://wakeupanddie.com
                    http://weirdgearnyc.com
                    http://makethingsmatter.com

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                    • #11
                      I've not much time for the TOTP LP's , as the covers have a terrible effect on my blood pressure. I have, however, an on going love affair with those 6 or 7 track EP's that came out on labels like Avenue and Forest .

                      Usually Alan Caddy's the man , but occaisionnally they get attributed to various artists, which I find amusing. Some good sleeve designs, the Tribute to Beatlemania perhaps leaves a little to be desired being , as it is, four beetles, of the bug variety.

                      Also looking into early to mid sixties Embassy label EP's which are intersesting as almost by definition they are the equivalent to garage bands of the era i.e. not quite top grade muso's having a bash at hits of the day.

                      Whilst in EP mode does any one know of the Delta label which had a Top Pops + One EP which includes a track called She's a Mod. This credits Mystere Mystere / Scott Hamilton / The Senators , at least one of which is a legit group.

                      On a more intellectual note would any one care to offer up the first proper UK topless 'cheesecake' cover came out. My bet is covers with topless black females came out before white lasses made the racks at Woolworths an adolescent's dream .
                      Specialising in Rusty Goffe since 2009

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by [b
                        Quote[/b] (MystDrF @ April 21 2004,19:51)]Whilst in EP mode does any one know of the Delta label which had a Top Pops + One EP which includes a track called She's a Mod. This credits Mystere Mystere / Scott Hamilton / The Senators , at least one of which is a legit group.
                        Never heard of the Delta label but I do have "She's A Mod" by The Senators on 1964 UK Dial. John Bonham was in them. Also got an Antipodean 45 by Ray Columbus & The Invaders which cover the song a year later.
                        new SPOKE release: >>> SEE HERE <<< RKM LIBRARY BEATS

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [b
                          Quote[/b] (MystDrF @ April 21 2004,19:51)]Also looking into early to mid sixties Embassy label  EP&#39;s which are intersesting as almost by definition they are the equivalent to garage bands of the era i.e. not quite top grade muso&#39;s having a bash at hits of the day.
                          The EP with &quot;All Day &amp; All Of The Night&quot; on commands £50 these days&#33;
                          new SPOKE release: >>> SEE HERE <<< RKM LIBRARY BEATS

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by [b
                            Quote[/b] (Mr Divine @ April 21 2004,11:15)]2) Does anyone on here collect the aforementioned chuff? Presumably not at the aforementioned prices...
                            Guilty as charged - I&#39;ve got a complete set of Hot Hits (and associated MFP variants), most of the SGA &#39;12 Tops&#39; and I&#39;m about twenty short of a complete set of TOTPs. I never ever pay proper money for them though - vol 92 was actually my most expensive at £2&#33;

                            Perhaps the most interesting TOTP LP I&#39;ve found is (I think) vol 3, which features a cover of Nina Simone&#39;s &#39;Ain&#39;t Got No - I Got Life&#39; which quite clearly features Alan Hawkshaw on the organ - go and check, if you don&#39;t believe me&#33; I&#39;m pretty sure some of the Mohawks played on the LPs from the 1968-69 period, when Alan Crawford was in charge of production - Les Hurdle&#39;s got a very distinctive bass sound, and the guy on the TOTPs sounds pretty much identical.

                            Also worth a punt is &#39;Soul Hits&#39; on MFP, which is arranged and conducted by Johnny Harris - he actually started his career doing this sort of thing.

                            I keep meaning to write an article about these LPs for VV - I&#39;ve done quite a bit of research on them, and there are some interesting findings. I&#39;ve also discovered the details of Martin Jay (who sang and played guitar on many of these sessions), and I may be able to contact Len Hunter (who was the MD on most of the MFP ones too). I&#39;ve got a bit of time on my hands coming up - I think I might get on with that&#33;

                            And Mr D - if you ever want to get rid of that TOTP vol 91, please let me know.....I&#39;ve never seen that one&#33;

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by [b
                              Quote[/b] (Col Wolfe @ April 21 2004,20:09)]The EP with &quot;All Day &amp; All Of The Night&quot; on commands £50 these days&#33;
                              I think that&#39;s because there&#39;s a rumour the band playing it was an early version of 70s progsters Ten Years After - sadly not true, though one of TYA was in a band early in his career that had the same name as the one credited on the Embassy disc (I think it was the Jayhawks, or summat like that.)

                              The best known person to appear on Embassy was, I believe, Ken Barrie, who twenty years later would shoot to international stardom as the voice of Postman Pat&#33;

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