Category Archives: music

Non-toy ad Tuesday: music and meetings

Wooof and I just got back from the International Retro Editor & Cat Conference in Oslo. Ha, what a bunch of losers those editors and cats are! Just look at this photo we took –

Oh… wait, what’s that Wooof? You mean that photo is actually us … at the TVTA editorial staff meeting from last November? Wow, we look so strung out. Must get vitamins and haircuts!

So, Wooof, remind me, what is the subject of our latest Non-toy ad Tuesday article?

That’s right, it’s music!

We’ll be looking at French goodies such as a 1983 cover of Rock & BD magazine … a prize competition to put words into James Brown’s mouth! … adverts for the Body Rap, Miles Davis, U2 … and there’s also some Danish treats with Mr Music cassettes, Ga-jol throat lozenges, and a 1969 Disney competition to win a Philips stereo!

Enjoy, while we go get a haircut and straighten out!


France. Rock & BD Associated. 1983.

Polydor and Rigolo magazine prize competition to win James Brown album reissues. Question 2 asks you to imagine the Godfather of soul’s reaction when faced with these magnificent Polydor reissues! France. Rigolo. 1983.

France. Cora. 1988.

France. Rock & BD Associated. 1983.

France. Rock & BD Associated. 1983.

France. Rigolo. 1983.

Denmark. 1988.

Denmark. 1988.

Denmark. 1988.

Denmark. 1969.


See you again soon for another Non-toy ad Tuesday!


 

Cat gifts from Japan – 1981 Starlog sci-fi gals cassette labels!

Wooof just got back from his annual cat holiday in Japan. I asked him to bring me back something vintage and musical. As always, the cat never disappoints! Thanks Wooof, I absolutely love my 1980s sci-fi gals cassette labels! 






The images are printed on cardboard and were given away with Starlog Japan, January 1981. Each image could be cut out and inserted inside a real cassette case to document your sci-fi inspired mix tape! I’m so tempted to make one, as I still have a box of blank cassettes and a cassette recorder … hmm … 



Thank you for rewinding with HB pencils with us 🙂


 

Selected ads from The Gramophone, September, 1955

The Gramophone is a monthly classical music magazine that was founded in 1923 by the English-born Scottish author Compton Mackenzie and his brother-in-law – Britain’s first DJ Christopher Stone.

Front cover of The Gramophone, September, 1955. Cost – one Shilling.

The issue I acquired is from September, 1955 – VOL. XXXIII – No. 388. It consists of 68 pages of classical and operatic musical reviews and features. There are a number of adverts dedicated to 1950s music recording technology and related accessories, a small selection of which are featured below.

W.H. Barnes LTD.

Monarch autochanger. Birmingham Sound Reproducers LTD.

Winel gramophone record storage cases.

A festival of favourites from Decca Records.

Record Housing with Nordyk cabinets.

Broadcaster stylus needles.

Trixette gramophones.

E.A.R. Balanced High Fidelity. A750 gramophones.

Collaro tape transcription units.

His Master’s Voice vinyl recordings.

Ferrograph tape unit.

Quad II amplifier.

Don Giovanni.

Columbia Records.


That’s all for this post. Thanks for looking 🙂

Vinyl Records: soundtracks from films and Cartoons

Alongside a decent collection of Star Wars vinyl records and a fairly eclectic mix of rock, metal, reggae and pop albums, I’ve been tenderly nurturing a set of mostly 80s French film and cartoon soundtracks. If you like Mad Max, Spider-Man, Pac-Man and MOTU then you may like these…

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 12 inch album. 1985. Capitol Records.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 12 inch album. 1985. Capitol Records.

 

Les mysterieuses cites D'or 7 inch single. French pressing. Saban records. 1982.

Les mysterieuses cites D’or 7 inch single. French pressing. Saban records. 1982.

 

Spider-Man vinyl record from Power Records circa 1974.

Spider-Man vinyl record from Power Records circa 1974.

 

Superman Film Themes. French Pressing.

Superman Film Themes. French Pressing.

 

MOTU. 7 inch single. French pressing. Polydor. 1983.

MOTU. 7 inch single. French pressing. Polydor. 1983.

 

MOTU. 7 inch single and colouring book. Mattel AB. 1985.

MOTU. 7 inch single and colouring book. Mattel AB. 1985.

 

 Geoff Love Top TV Themes. UK pressing. 12 inch album. MFP 1972.

Geoff Love Top TV Themes. UK pressing. 12 inch album. MFP 1972.

 

Geoff Love. Star wars and other Space Themes. UK Pressing.

Geoff Love. Star wars and other Space Themes. UK Pressing.

 

Pac-Man French pressing 7 inch vinyl record, sang by Willy. 1983. Polydor Records.

Pac-Man French pressing 7 inch vinyl record, sang by Willy. 1983. Polydor Records.

 

La chanson de Kiki, 45 RPM record, 1978.

La chanson de Kiki. 7 inch record. WEA. 1978.

 

Godorak 12 inch album. French pressing. Saban Records and Music. 1982.

Godorak 12 inch album. French pressing. Saban Records and Music. 1982.

 

 

Star Wars Disco Theme - Galaxy 42. French pressing. CBS. 1977. The cover of this 7 inch single is inspired by a 1934 UK science fiction comic/magazine called Scoops.

Star Wars Disco Theme – Galaxy 42. French pressing. CBS. 1977. The cover of this 7 inch single is inspired by a 1934 UK science fiction comic/magazine called Scoops.

 

Albator 7 inch single. 1982. French pressing. Carrere.

Albator 7 inch single. 1982. French pressing. Carrere.

 

Star Wars Records… May The Vinyl Be With You!

SW vinyl records

The office of TVTA is rocking to the sounds of the Empire. Disco funk Jedi pop anthems are causing our neighbours to bang angrily on the wall. Even our office cat Wooof has dived for cover under the sofa (sorry, Wooof, I should never have played you “What can you get a Wookie for Christmas when he already has a comb”). But really neighbours and Wooof, get a grip… because Star Wars records are actually great fun to play, and even better to collect! The cover designs alone can make for many pleasing displays and range from movie stills to original artwork, while the musical offerings found within the grooves feature official John Williams soundtracks, Meco disco anthems, synth rock, jazz, electro, pop, reggae and most things inbetween – including a sizeable number of knockoffs and compilation features.

Here are a few highlights direct from my own collection. (Wooof, you can come out now, it’s just the pictures).

One of the first available recordings was the official soundtrack by composer John Williams. The album was released successfully worldwide and many editions contained a free poster.

Original soundtrack. 1977. 20th Century Records. French pressing. The first recording was the official soundtrack by composer John Williams. The album was released worldwide with many editions containing a free poster.

The poster artwork was by John Berkey. Look closely and you'll see more than one YT-1300 space vehicle. What's a YT-1300? Clue: Han and Chewie flew a heavily-modified version :)

The poster artwork was by John Berkey. Look closely and you’ll see more than one YT-1300 space vehicle. What’s a YT-1300? Clue: Han and Chewie flew a heavily-modified version 🙂


Disco themes…

Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk by Meco. 1977. RCA. UK pressing. In contrast to the symphonic glory of the original soundtrack was Meco Monardo's Galctactic Funk verson. Meco went on to reimagine many of the Williams Star Wars themes with his own brand of disco funk.

Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk by Meco. 1977. RCA. UK pressing. Standing in contrast to the symphonic glories of the original soundtrack was Meco Monardo’s Galctactic Funk verson. Meco went on to reimagine many of the Williams Star Wars themes with his special brand of disco funk.

Here's the Spanish pressing of the 12

Here’s the Spanish pressing of the 12″ Meco Supersingle La Guerra De Las Galaxias. RCA 1977.


Star Wars record tote…

In 1982, Disneyland Vista Records in the US produced a Star Wars record tote. This box was ideal for storing the many 7

In 1982, Disneyland Vista Records in the US produced a Star Wars record tote to store 7 inch vinyl records.

The tote was ideal for storing the many 7

The tote was ideal for storing the many 7″ vinyl Read-Along storybook and record sets that were being produced at the time, as well as other singles.


Jazz and blues…

Maynard Ferguson New Vintage. Japanes pressing. CBS. 1977.

Maynard Ferguson New Vintage. Japanese pressing. CBS. 1977.

Another Japanese pressing, this time it's Ron Carter's Empire Jazz. RSO. 1977.

Another Japanese pressing, this time it’s Ron Carter’s Empire Jazz. RSO. 1977.

The cover art features a fantastic stage lineup of Chewie on keys, 3P0 on double-bass, a Stormie on sax, and R2 rocking the drums! Vader seems to be enjoying the show so far... he doesn't appear to have force-choked anyone yet.

The cover art features a fantastic stage lineup of Chewie on keys, 3P0 on double-bass, a Stormie on sax, and R2 rocking the drums! Vader seems to be enjoying the show… he doesn’t appear to have force-choked anyone yet.


Han and Leia in love…

Boris Midney Music From The Empire Strikes Back. US import. RSO 1980.

Boris Midney – Music From The Empire Strikes Back. US import. RSO 1980.

John Williams - The Empire Strikes Back Symphonic Suite. US pressing. Chalfont. 1980.

John Williams – The Empire Strikes Back Symphonic Suite. US pressing. Chalfont. 1980.

The Adventures of Luke Skywalker. RSO. 1980.

The Adventures of Luke Skywalker. RSO. 1980.


Recognise the cool dude playing the piano?

Music From The Motion Picture Scott Joplin. US pressing. MCA. 1977.

Music From The Motion Picture Scott Joplin. US pressing. MCA. 1977.


Scoops…

Star Wars Disco Theme - Galaxy 42. French pressing. CBS. 1977. The cover of this 7 inch single is inspired by a 1934 UK science fiction comic/magazine called Scoops.

Star Wars Disco Theme – Galaxy 42. French pressing. CBS. 1977. The cover of this 7 inch single is inspired by a 1934 UK science fiction comic/magazine called Scoops.

Here's a pic of that 1934 Scoops cover. Artist unknown.

Here’s a pic of that 1934 Scoops cover. Artist unknown.

Looks like Dave Grohl's Probot found inspiration too.

Looks like Dave Grohl’s Probot found inspiration too.

Ha, looks like Wooof found inspiration too!

Ha, even Wooof is at it! Wooof, you are such a wizard with MS Paint!!


This is just a small selection of the Star Wars records I have. I try and add to the collection whenever I can. The postage can sometimes be a bit on the heavy side when ordering from outside your own country, but don’t let that put you off starting your own collection. If vinyl’s your thing there are plenty of themes to tempt you – I also dabble in movie and TV animation soundtracks. I hope to post some of those up at TVTA soon. Until then, I’ll leave you with a final vinyl goodie…  does the saber-wielding young pop Jedi below remind you of a famous footballer?


Star Wars knockoff... Chart Wars - May The Hits Be With You. UK pressing. Ronco. 1982.

Star Wars knockoff… Chart Wars – May The Hits Be With You. UK pressing. Ronco. 1982.

Cassette Store Day 7th September 2013

CSD TVTA 01

Some survivors from my original cassette collection

The cassettememories of recording Metallica over my grandad’s Val Doonican tapes. Employing the nearest HB pencil to tighten-up spool cogs. Untangling yards and yards of ‘wild’ tape that had spitefully come loose. And avoiding magnets and speakers!!

Today, the 7th of September 2013, is Cassette Store Day, an International celebration of the magnetic tape cassette, a musical format long ago consigned by many to the bin, but one that has recently undergone a popularity swerve with musical artists, stores, and industry labels embracing once more the humble cassette tape.

Led Zep - tape format style.

Led Zep – tape format style.

Despite considering myself more a vinyl junkie, I’ve been looking forward to celebrating Cassette Store Day. I remember upgrading most of my cassettes to their CD versions a long while ago, but I still kept hold of many of the cassettes with the quiet belief that one day they’d receive the cool-factor recogntion they deserved. That, or I was just too sentimental to give them to the charity shop.

CSD TVTA 02

Insert inserts here.

Vinyl had always been my favourite choice back in the days before CD and downloads. But for portability the cassette format was the easy winner; school holidays, days spent down the park, camping trips with mates, end of term when the teacher allowed us to bring in our favourite music to play – it was always the fag packet-size cassette and its portable player that provided the soundtrack.

Bootlegs
CSD TVTA 04

Bootlegs

There were always plenty of shops selling label releases on cassette. Even non-musical shops could afford to stock them due to their compact size. I remember the busy Saturday morning markets of Birmingham in the ’80s; the indoor markets and outside of Oasis, these places were great to go and pick up music, especially bootlegs and other cassette oddities.

Bands and gigs and demos
The band's old best friend.

The band’s old best friend.

The cassette definitely served me well as a listener and buyer of music. But as a musician playing in numerous bands since the age of fifteen, one of the things I’m most grateful to for the cassette was the ability to record our own music. Most of the bands I played with back in the 80s and 90s would record our own demos live in rehearsal studios. We’d choose the best four songs and post them off to labels and music magazines.  We’d also take along a cassette player to gigs and record the whole set live. Even during the middle of the noughties we still found ourselves sharing song ideas on tape.

Home Taping is Killing Music
RIP already music.

RIP already music.

I don’t think I taped so many albums from my mates’ collections. I was always happy saving up and buying the proper label releases because I loved the artwork and lyric sheets that were so much part of the appeal of a new album for me. However, a few copies would sometimes ‘find their way’ into my collection… I like to think I wasn’t so much killing music by home taping, just inflicting a few flesh wounds.

Clean Me!
Back in the day, 'Head Cleaners' weren't just a lotion you applied to the head for nit infestations!

Back in the day, ‘Head Cleaners’ weren’t just a lotion you applied to the head for nit infestations!

Happy Cassette Store Day!!

Right, enjoy your day, I’m off to set up my old tape deck and blast out some tapes!

You can read more about Cassette Store Day here cassettestoreday.com

and please read this superb article by Jude Rogers  Total rewind: 10 key moments in the life of the cassette