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  • Alaska

    So I've been slowly picking up 45s on a record label called Alaska. Little blue labels in the centre. The music is eclectic but mostly veers towards straight up weird but strangely listenable.

    But I can't find anything about the label or the artists on the records I've got?

    Alaska anyone? Where does it come from? Why? Where can I get more?


  • #2
    Alaska (unchartered territory ? Geddit ) was a label set up by John Schroeder (Sounds Orchestra among others) after he had left Pye here in the UK

    There isn't a full discography of the label anywhere, something which would be pretty complicated to do given that many of the releases also/only appeared in export markets (particularly Italy & Poland), but as you suggest the material is pretty eclectic, ranging from Cymande to Ronnie Barker (famous comedian for those of you outside the UK).

    IMHO the label is very hit and miss, the material that John provided (John Schroeder Orchestra, Astra Nova Orchestra) is pretty solid, and we all know about Cymande - but with any of the other 45s you are taking a bit of a shot in the dark. I'm sure Rich for one might be able to suggest some of the the better ones.... and hey, if you've got some to share pleae post them here !

    Hopefully the full(ish) story of the label will appear in a forthcoming issue of 'Grand Slam'....but then I've been saying that for a while and it still hasn't appeared.
    Matt Hero


    • #3
      Here's some I compiled a while back from the web. Very holey and I have know idea how the numbers correspond to dates. And just look at the variety of artists. If anyone knows of any more (or if you can sort me out with the Septimus 45)...

      1 Gulliver - Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen ALA 1
      4 Cymande – The Message ALA 4 1973
      6 Brian Keith - First Cut Is The Deepest ALA 6
      7 Colours - HeÂ’s In Town ALA 7
      8 Sloane - Josephine ALA 8
      9 Bullet - Push Just A Little Bit Harder ALA 9
      15 Alan Lee Shaw - She Moans ALA 15 1974 promo
      19 Erasmus - I DonÂ’t Want Our Loving To Die ALA 19 promo
      22 Gulliver - So good together ALA 22 demo
      24 Barry Blood - Poor Annie ALA 24 promo
      25 Dooley Family - Sha La La Lullaby ALA 25
      26 Mel Nixon - EvÂ’ry Little Beat Of Your Heart/Astra Nova Orchestra-Soul Sleeper ALA26 1974
      27 Black Pearl - Malaika ALA 27 1975

      1001 John Schroeder Orchestra - First Love/I'm Gonna Change ALA 1001 demo
      1003 Scarlet Jade - You And Me/The Wishing Well 45 ALA 1003 1975
      1004 Carol Crosbie - Would I Be Happy Loving You ALA 1004 1975
      1005 Intimate Strangers - Love Sounds ALA 1005 1975
      1006 Spider – Come Back Baby/Stay a little bit longer ALA 1006 1974 demo
      1007 Magic - Oo Pa Pa Doo ALA 1007
      1009 Jefferson - Last Bus Home/Baby YouÂ’ve Got Everything I Need ALA 1009 1975 demo
      1012 Joanne Williams - Jack Of All Trades/CanÂ’t We Get Back ALA 1012 1975 demo
      1013 Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers- Got to get you into my life ALA 1013
      (Previous releaseÂ… Cliff Bennett AndThe Rebelrousers - Got To Get You Into My Life R 5489 Parlophone 1966)
      1014 Escorts - Disrespect Can Wreck ALA 1014
      1016 Jefferson - WorkinÂ’ My Way Back To You/Baby YouÂ’ve Got Everything I Need ALA 1016 1975
      1018 Brian KeithÂ’s Creation - Memories Of You (Soleado)/Cloud 99 ALA 1018 1976
      1020 Septimus - Telstar (Hustle) ALA 1020 demo

      2001 Flying Saucers - Fabulous ALA 2001
      2005 Joy Sarney - Naughty naughty naughty /Letters Of Love ALA 2005 1977
      2008 Silver Spectre - Disco Invader ALA 2008 1977
      2010 Skip Jackson - The Greatest Star Of All/Kent In Kentucky ALA 2010 1977
      2011 Joy Sarney - Angling For A Kiss ALA 2011
      2012 The Cruisers - Get a Job ALA 2012
      2015 Ronnie Barker - Pismonunciation ALA 2015
      2016 Harmony Blend - Blue City ALA 2016

      Gulliver - San Diego ALASKA 1972
      Marie Toland – My Days Of Loving You (Anima Mia) ALASKA 1975
      Bookham And Riskett – We Got Love 1979
      You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.


      • #4
        Thanks heaps time I see you down the kebab shop its £2 chips on me.



        • #5
          Im still kicking myself for leaving that 'Soul Sleeper' 45 in an amsterdam record store!

          Mr Blowfly - if your free monday night then come down to the salmon and compasses in Islington. Its our monthly swap records, drink beer, nick fags night. Oh and its open decks so bring a few tunes.

          And I'll be doing my eddie kidd impression!

 <- Changed URL


          • #6
            Originally posted by [b
            Quote[/b] (sermad @ 11 July 2003,11:58)]Im still kicking myself for leaving that &#39;Soul Sleeper&#39; 45 in an amsterdam record store&#33;
            You&#39;ll be wanting to speak to Rich then Sermad
            Matt Hero


            • #7
              You&#39;re welcome, but I should add a word of warning - we haven&#39;t heard most of those 45&#39;s and only a few of those we have are worth a punt.


              Cymande - The Message
              Mel Nixon - Ev&#39;ry Beat Of My Heart (for the Astra Nova Orchestra on the flip)
              Intimate Strangers - Love Sounds (the biggie)


              John Schroeder - I&#39;m Gonna Change (only work a couple of quid IMO)
              Joy Sarney - Naughty, Naughty, Naughty (no)
              And that Bullet 45 isn&#39;t much cop either is it Matt?

              I get the impression that John was trying to get paid with this label - licensing stuff in the manner that he started out with Oriole (hence the Mel Nixon release) and recycling tracks, besides putting out new tunes.  Bookham And Riskett was pseudonym for Vicki Brown and Joanne Williams to avoid contractual problems (geddit?) and &#39;I&#39;m Gonna Change&#39; was credited to The Astra Nova Orchestra on the Polish comp. Anyone know of the original release of &#39;Soul Trek&#39; (the earlier recording of &#39;Soul Sleeper&#39; that can be found on the Space Age Soul CD)?
              You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.


              • #8
                Originally posted by [b
                Quote[/b] (Rich Hero @ 11 July 2003,12:09)]And that Bullet 45 isn&#39;t much cop either is it Matt?

                The Bullet on Alaska is *not* Bullet a la Alan Tew. Not even close.

                Matt Hero


                • #9
                  There was an updated version of &#39;Cast Your Fate To The Wind&#39; which I don&#39;t see in that discog - I saw it once in a shop but couldn&#39;t afford it, and I can&#39;t remember who did it either. V. annoying. Seems like JS was revisiting past glories - fair enough.

                  Brian Keith used to do vocals on the MfP Hot Hits LPs - always used to do the Rod Stewart songs, despite sounding nothing like him.


                  • #10
                    Maybe the hero&#39;s will know but did John S get any royalties on &#39;Intimate Strangers&#39; when Royksopp completely ripped it off...sorry um sampled it
           <- Changed URL


                    • #11
                      Good question. But did they actually sample &#39;Love Sounds&#39;, or &#39;Touch Me, Take Me&#39;? Not sure how it&#39;d work but I&#39;m not sure if John would be able to prosecute if they&#39;d sampled Rita Wright or Ester Byrde.

                      That said, I wouldn&#39;t be surprised if Royksopp had cleared it. Rae And Christian cleared their &#39;Loving You Girl&#39; sample (doubt if Z-Trip did though) while the Salaam Remi (?) didn&#39;t clear the use of Cymande&#39;s &#39;Dove&#39; on &#39;The Score&#39; and the Fugees had their asses royally sued...
                      You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.


                      • #12
                        I&#39;d always thought that &#39;Love sounds&#39; was a Tony Hatch alter ego? obviously i&#39;m wrong i&#39;m looking at the seven now and it&#39;s credited to a &#39;J J Jones&#39;, mysterious non. never thought it could be a Schroeder composition. I found my copy of Intimate strangers at a booter about two year&#39;s ago along with the &#39;Astra nova orch&#39; &#39;Soul sleeper&#39;,touch or what?.
                        derelicts of dialect


                        • #13
                          Look out also for work credited as &#39;John Francis&#39; as this could well be the work of JS (possibly also Anthony King who JS often wrote with).
                          Matt Hero