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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Fill Your Head With Rock! Part 5 - Polydor, A&M, Charisma & Chrysalis


UK Sampler Albums 1968-1975
by Stuart Penney



Polydor – Bombs Away!
The German company that evolved into Polydor records was founded in 1913, but it would be another 40 years before a UK branch was established.  Early British releases were mostly painfully dull German or European easy listening/orchestral recordings by Bert Kaempfert, Caterina Valente and the wonderfully-named Crazy Otto, along with French, Spanish and Latin-American MOR artists.  A flirtation with Merseybeat saw Polydor unexpectedly in possession of several pre-fame Hamburg tracks by the Beatles with Tony Sheridan.  They were released as three or four singles in the UK between 1962-64 but these historic recordings sold poorly at the time.

It wasn’t until November 1966 that Polydor made its first successful foray into rock with “Hey Joe”, the debut single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.  Jimi was quickly siphoned off to the affiliate Track label after just this one Polydor release but “Hey Joe” reached #6 in the UK singles charts, opening the floodgates for other rock/pop signings, including the Bee Gees who became Polydor’s biggest sellers of the late 60s.  Many rock acts followed, either signed directly to Polydor, or via the myriad labels they distributed/licensed at the time, including Reaction, Track, Marmalade, Atlantic and Elektra.
Most Polydor samplers/compilation LPs (and there were a great many of them released in the early 70s) appeared in mainland Europe, especially Germany and Holland which was still the label’s traditional rock heartland.  But a few albums did sneak onto the UK market, notably Deep Overground Pop in 1969 and a pair of 1970 samplers titled Super Groups.  The artists were fairly predictable, with Cream, Hendrix, Jack Bruce and Taste all present and correct, but there was a fair amount of padding, too.  With the best will in the world such five-minute wonders as Noel Redding’s Fat Mattress, Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys, Savage Rose and Gass could hardly be considered “super groups”.  The track listing of the first volume of Super Groups also varied slightly according to the country of origin, with different versions appearing in several territories, including Australia, Spain, South Africa and Germany.  The UK version was part of Polydor’s “99” series mentioned earlier, which retailed at 99p. 
Probably the most famous and commonly-seen UK Polydor sampler was the 1971 release Bombers.  Never mind that the title was uncomfortably similar to Island’s Bumpers from the previous year, here was an impressive 17 track double LP packed with great material.  John Mayall had switched from Decca to Polydor in 1969 and he was featured twice on Bombers with tracks from USA Union and the live album The Turning Point.  Cream may have split three years earlier, but Clapton, Bruce and Baker were strongly represented with four cuts from their respective solo albums (Eric appears twice, with Derek & the Dominos and a track from his solo debut Eric Clapton).  There were also tracks by Stone the Crows, Taste, Tony Williams’ Lifetime and the band who would soon outsell them all to become the most successful British singles group of the 70s, Slade.
The Bombers sleeve was designed by Graphreaks, the company who gave us countless classic album covers in the early 70s, including the entire Backtrack series and records by The Who (Live At Leeds), Jimi Hendrix (Band of Gypsys), Yes (Time And A Word) and T.Rex (T.Rex).  Inside the gatefold sleeve were colour photos of 28 Polydor LP sleeves.  Bombers retailed at 42s/6d, or £2.12½p after decimalisation
DEEP OVERGROUND POP (Polydor 583 068) 1969
SIDE ONE:
1. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - A Kind Of Love In
2. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - Season Of The Witch
3. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Prelude - Nightmare
4. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fanfare - Fire Poem
5. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire
SIDE TWO:
1. Second Hand - Mainliner
2. Second Hand - Reality
SIDE THREE:
1. Cream - Politician
2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Little Wing
3. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - If Six Was Nine
4. Cream - Passing The Time
5. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 3rd Stone From The Sun
SIDE FOUR:
1. Rare Amber - Malfunction Of The Engine
2. Taste - Born On The Wrong Side Of Time
3. Rare Amber - Blind Love
4. Taste - Same Old Story
5. The Who - Pinball Wizard
SUPERGROUPS (Polydor 2485 002) 1970
SIDE ONE:
1. John Mayall - Room To Move
2. Blind Faith - Well All Right
3. Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys - Can You Dance To It
4. Jack Bruce - The Clearout
5. Cream - Doing That Scrapyard Thing
SIDE TWO:
1. Fat Mattress - Everything Is Blue
2. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity - Indian Rope Man
3. Savage Rose - A Girl I Knew
4. Taste - Blister On The Moon
5. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Little Miss Strange
SUPERGROUPS VOL.2 (Polydor 2485 003) 1970
SIDE ONE:
1. Gass - Black Velvet
2. Ashton, Gardner & Dyke - Rolling Home
3. The Savage Rose - The Castle
4. Jack Bruce - Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune
5. Area Code 615 - Nashville 9 - New York 1
6. Tony Williams Lifetime - A Famous Blues
SIDE TWO:
1. John Mayall - Saw Mill Gulch Road
2.Ten Wheel Drive - Polar Bear Rug
3. Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys - Been All Around The World
4. Taste - Morning Sun
5. Ginger Baker's Air Force - Doin' It
BOMBERS (Polydor ‎2675 007) 1971
SIDE ONE:
1. Ginger Baker's Air Force - Sweet Wine
2. Andy Pratt - Bella Bella
3. Derek & The Dominos - Bell Bottom Blues
4. Stone the Crows - Raining In Your Heart
SIDE TWO:
1. Richie Havens - Here Comes The Sun
2. John Mayall - Room To Move
3. Elliott Randall - Life In Botanical Gardens
4. Taste - Sugar Momma
SIDE THREE:
1. Eric Clapton - After Midnight
2. Jack Bruce - Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune
3. John Mayall - Take My Car
4. Gass - Juju
5. Slade - The Shape Of Things To Come
SIDE FOUR:
1. Taste - What's Going On
2. Stone The Crows - Sad Mary
3. The Web - Love You
4. Tony Williams Lifetime - Big Nick
A&M – As Bold As Tijuana Brass
A relatively young company as major labels go, A&M was founded in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.  Unsurprisingly, considering he was the “A” in A&M, early releases consisted largely of jaunty Latin pop by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass alongside similar fare from Burt Bacharach, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 and the Sandpipers.  Not for nothing was Herb’s trumpet featured so prominently on the company logo.
British releases initially appeared via the Stateside and Pye International labels until 1967 when A&M was given its own UK label identity.  But the easy listening continued unabated until May 1968 when, as if out of nowhere, a single by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band arrived.  “Moonchild” (written by Bread’s David Gates, fact fans) was one of two singles Beefheart recorded for A&M (an earlier UK 45, “Yellow Brick Road” had been released in early 1968 via Pye International).  Both dated from around 1965/66, after which Beefheart was dropped from the label with Jerry Moss reportedly describing the Captain’s new direction on the album Safe As Milk as "too negative” for A&M.  In 1971 A&M compiled a UK EP titled “Diddy Wah Diddy” (AME 600) containing four mid-60s Beefheart tracks, but the release was aborted with only a few hundred (now unfeasibly rare) promo copies pressed.  


The Strawbs were signed in late 1968, followed by the Flying Burrito Brothers (1969) and Leon Russell (1970).  But rock was still thin on the ground at A&M until September 1970 when Humble Pie arrived from Immediate to become the label’s first major UK band.  
The Heads In sampler appeared in September 1970, followed by Come Together a year later and while they didn’t exactly set the world on fire, both contained interesting tracks by lesser-known artists.  Shawn Philips had worked extensively with Donovan in the 60s and (it’s claimed) contributed backing vocals to the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album.  Guitarist Don Preston recorded and toured with Leon Russell and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen before appearing on George Harrison’s Concert For Bangla Desh.  Marc Benno also worked with Leon Russell and together they recorded the Asylum Choir II album.
Supertramp and Strawbs flew the flag for Britain while Humble Pie commandeered a line from Private Eye’s 60s comic strip The Adventures of Barry McKenzie for their mischievous song title “One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba”.
Guitar geek note: Don Preston owns (or owned) an original 1958 Gibson Explorer, one of the rarest and most valuable guitars in the world.  Only around 20 original Explorers were made in 1958 and they are now valued at over half a million US dollars each.  Preston can be seen using the precious guitar in the Concert For Bangla Desh video/DVD.  
HEADS IN (A&M AMLB 1016) 1970
SIDE ONE:
1. Strawbs - The Battle
2. Phil Ochs - Ten Cents A Coup
3. Shawn Phillips - Man Hole Covered Wagon
4. Don Preston - Morning Rain
5. The Flying Burrito Bros - The Train Song
SIDE TWO:
1. Supertramp - Nothing To Show
2. Lee Michaels - Ummmm My Lady
3. Brainchild - The Cage
4. Ron Davies - It Ain't Easy
5. Humble Pie - One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba


COME TOGETHER (A&M AMLB 51028) 1971
SIDE ONE:
1. Strawbs - Sheep
2. Marc Benno - Stone Cottage
3. Gene Clark - 1975
4. Jericho Jones - Time Is Now
5. Flying Burrito Bros - White Line Fever
6. Gary Wright - Love To Survive
SIDE TWO:
1. Booker T. & Priscilla - The Indian Song
2. Supertramp - Remember
3. Rita Coolidge - Crazy Love
4. Lee Michaels - Lookin' Keep The Circle Turning
5. Shawn Phillips - Lookin' Up Lookin' Down
6. Humble Pie - A Song For Jennie


Dandelion – Fun Going Forward
Paul Gambaccini once described fellow BBC DJ John Peel as "the most important man in music for about a dozen years".  Strong words, indeed.  But while Peel’s massive influence on all aspects of British alternative music is undeniable, his involvement began modestly with the creation of his own tiny record label, Dandelion.


Formed in July 1969 in partnership with Elektra records’ UK boss Clive Selwood (who sadly died in June 2020 during the writing of this article), Dandelion lasted just three years, before folding in 1972.  During that time, the label issued 28 LPs and 29 singles by artists as wildly disparate as Gene Vincent, Bill Oddie and Clifford T. Ward.  Naturally, there was the inevitable glut of prog/psych releases by Stackwaddy (aka Stack Waddy), Medicine Head, David Bedford, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre and others.  Peel famously said the sole reason he formed the label was so he could release Ask Me No Questions, the debut album by Bridget St John.  
The only Dandelion single to trouble the UK charts was "(And The) Pictures in the Sky" by blues rock duo Medicine Head which reached #22 in 1971.  Speaking of the label’s commercial failure, Peel later said:
“It was never a success financially. In fact, we lost money, if I remember correctly, on every single release bar one.  I did quite like it but it was terribly indulgent.  Not as indulgent as it would have been had I not had a business partner, admittedly.  I liked having a label.  It enabled you to put out stuff that you liked without, in those days, having to worry about whether it was going to work commercially.  I've never been a good businessman.”
Distribution changed constantly, starting with CBS before moving to Warner Brothers and finally ending up with Polydor who handled the solitary Dandelion sampler LP (and the final release on the label) There Is Some Fun Going Forward in 1972.  The sampler title is a quote from the first act of the comedy play She Stoops to Conquer by Irish novelist, playwright and poet Oliver Goldsmith (1728 – 1774).
Tony: I’m in haste, mother; I cannot stay.
Mrs. Hard: You sha’n’t venture out this raw evening, my dear; you look most shockingly.
Tony: I can’t stay, I tell you. The Three Pigeons expects me down every moment. There’s some fun going forward.
Hard: Ay; the alehouse, the old place; I thought so.
A TV dramatisation of the play starring Tom Courtenay, Juliet Mills, Ralph Richardson, Thora Hird, Trevor Peacock and Brian Cox was broadcast by the BBC in 1971 and it’s possible this is where Peel stumbled across the quote.
The sampler cover showed a naked John Peel in the bath with an equally scantily clad young lady.  The same image was included as a poster inside the album.  In a 2002 interview Peel spoke about that controversial album sleeve photo:
“It was a woman who was a kind of model I suppose really, and she was far less embarrassed about the experience than I was.  We had to sit in the bath together for a very long time, a couple of hours while photographers rushed around taking, as they will do, photographs.  We had a lot of bubble mixture in the bath and it got very tacky eventually and they had to keep whipping it up with whisks and so forth to cover our embarrassment.  But she was completely unabashed about the whole thing.  I was terrifically self-conscious and ill at ease. Every time she slipped down in the bath, because it became very slippery indeed, she used to brace herself by putting her foot on my rude bits and pushing herself back upright again.  There was a time when I would have found it stimulating, but under those circumstances, no."
There Is Some Fun Going Forward was reissued on CD by See For Miles in 1995 with seven bonus tracks. 

Fun fact: At the suggestion of Marc Bolan, Dandelion and the label's sister publishing company Biscuit were named after John Peel's pet hamsters.  Biscuit also received a co-credit as the "writer" of the sleeve notes for Mr Wonderful, the 1968 second album by Fleetwood Mac. Hey, it was the 60s.



THERE IS SOME FUN GOING FORWARD (Dandelion 2485 021) 1972
SIDE ONE:
1. Medicine Head - Only To Do What Is True
2. Clifford T. Ward - Anticipation
3. Coxhill-Bedford Duo - Pretty Little Girl
4. Mike Hart - Nell's Song
5. Tractor - All Ends Up
SIDE TWO:
1. Bridget St. John - Fly High
2. John Trevor - Sky Dance
3. Stackwaddy - Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
4. Country Sun - The Colour Is Blue
5. Kevin Coyne - Sand All Yellow


Probe – Turning On The People
The US branch of Probe was launched in 1968 as an outlet for psych, prog, soul and blues from the ABC/Dunhill label, but lasted just two years before folding in 1970.  The UK arm of the label fared better, operating from 1970 to 1974.

Only 18 albums were released in the US, including the first two Soft Machine LPs and early titles by Rare Bird, Van der Graaf Generator and Zephyr (featuring Tommy Bolin), but little else of note.  Probe UK assembled a stronger artist roster, issuing around 60 albums by Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, B.B.King, The James Gang, Emitt Rhodes, Steely Dan etc .
Every hip 60s record label needed a catchy slogan and Probe Records gave us the clumsy and somewhat ambiguous “Probe Is Turning On The People” which appeared on their advertising material and generic single sleeves.  
Two unremarkable and largely forgotten UK samplers, Handle With Care and Spirit Of Rock (The Probe Family Album), appeared in 1970 and 1972.  The latter was notable for being a joint release with the budget imprint Music For Pleasure.  Both Probe and MFP were under the EMI umbrella at the time.
HANDLE WITH CARE (Probe SPSS1) 1970
SIDE ONE:
1. Steppenwolf - Snow Blind Friend
2. Freedom - Nobody
3. B.B. King - You're Still My Woman
4. James Gang - Ashes The Rain And I
5. Bush - Got To Leave The City
6. Three Dog Night - Rock And Roll Widow
SIDE TWO:
1. B.B. King - Ask Me No Questions
2. Bush - Drink Your Wine
3. Freedom - Frustrated Woman
4. Three Dog Night - Woman
5. Steppenwolf - Screaming Night Hog
6. James Gang - Funk 49
SPIRIT OF ROCK (THE PROBE FAMILY SAMPLER) (Music For Pleasure MFP 50046) 1972
SIDE ONE:
1. Birtha - Free Spirit
2. Three Dog Night - The Writing's On The Wall
3. Grassroots - Move Along
4. Ray Charles - What Have They Done To My Song, Ma
5. Steely Dan - Dallas
6. Mamas And Papas - Go Where You Wanna Go
SIDE TWO:
1. Gladstone - Livin' In The Country
2. B.B. King - Summer In The City
3. Emitt Rhodes - Tame The Lion
4. Steppenwolf - Hippo Stomp
5. Joe Walsh - I'll Tell The World About You
6. Four Tops - Put A Little Love Away
B&C/Peg/Charisma – The Winged Horse and the Mad Hatter 

Considering the label existed for only one year, the story of Peg Records is a long and convoluted one.  Here’s the condensed version.  It all began with B&C (Beat and Commercial), a company founded in 1963 by Lee Gopthal, the owner of Trojan Records and operator of the London record store chain Musicland.  Early releases on the B&C label consisted mostly of US gospel, soul and R&B, before they moved into homegrown rock, prog and folk in the late 60s, scoring moderate hits with Atomic Rooster and Steeleye Span.  
B&C began a close relationship with Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma label in 1969, manufacturing and distributing early releases by Rare Bird, Van der Graaf Generator, The Nice, Lindisfarne and Genesis.  In fact, B&C and Charisma were so interconnected their records even shared the same numbering system, with both labels using the prefixes “CAS” for LPs and “CB” for singles.
In 1971 the B&C offshoot label Pegasus was launched.  But after releasing just 10 LPs in the first year, Pegasus was mysteriously shelved.  The name was shortened to Peg, and the evocative winged horse label design was exchanged for one featuring a wooden clothes peg!  Some of the Pegasus folk and prog titles were transferred to the new Peg label, where they retained their existing “PEG” catalogue numbers.  But after releasing only seven more titles (including the three samplers listed below), the label was abruptly closed and in 1973 most B&C/Pegasus/Peg artists reappeared on yet another new label, Mooncrest.  Finally, in 1974, the entire company, including Trojan, B&C and Mooncrest, was liquidated and sold to the company that had previously run the budget label Saga.
But before the Peg label disappeared forever, three 99p samplers were released - Clogs and Club Folk Volumes 1 and 2.  The title Clogs was possibly inspired by Bill Tidy’s long-running Private Eye cartoon strip “The Cloggies, an Everyday Saga in the Life of Clog Dancing Folk”.  The cartoon was hugely popular in folk music circles for its in-jokes, Morris dancing references and good natured digs at the folkies. 
The fleeting lifespans of the B&C labels meant that the 13 tracks on the Clogs sampler were drawn from albums on no fewer than five different labels: Pegasus, B&C, Mooncrest, Fontana and (oddly) Elektra.  Unusual inclusions were Steeleye Span’s cover of the Buddy Holly classic “Rave On” (only available as a 7” single until 1991 when it was added to the CD of Please To See The King) and Andy Roberts’ ode to Eel Pie Island “Richmond” from his 1973 Elektra LP Urban Cowboy

The sleeve notes were provided by esteemed Melody Maker folk writer Karl Dallas, who almost tied himself in knots insisting this was not, in fact, folk music but, rather, “soft rock”.  Not too many were convinced by this argument, however, including, seemingly, the sleeve designers, if the Clogs poster insert proudly showing the sleeves of 14 folk LPs drawn from the B&C group of labels was any indication.
The two Club Folk samplers featured many of the same artists as Clogs and, in the spirit of the times, the (uncredited) sleeve notes generously namechecked several other unrelated record companies.  Confusingly, the covers and labels used different titles, with Club Folk appearing on the sleeves and This Is Folk on the labels of both volumes.
Following the 1974 B&C liquidation the Charisma label found a new home at Phonogram, where it thrived until 1983 when it became an offshoot of Virgin records.  Charisma was eventually absorbed by Virgin and ceased to exist as a stand-alone label in 1986.  But back during the B&C years a couple of samplers were released, the most interesting being the Charisma Disturbance double set in 1973.

Featuring a disturbing (not to say somewhat creepy) image of a man wearing what can only be described as a bondage mask on the front cover, Charisma Disturbance marked the fourth anniversary of the label with a solid, if wildly eclectic, track listing.  Here were 20 tracks by artists as diverse as Van der Graaf Generator, Clifford T. Ward, Lindisfarne and Monty Python.  The sleeve notes were provided by label boss Tony Stratton-Smith himself and began with a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet before continuing, in part:
“Now we are four years old.  A small ‘boohah’ to those who said we couldn’t make it.  A blessing on all those who helped Charisma make it, especially a marvellous staff.
Above all, the artists.  The artists on this album are the sum of an exciting beginning, the parts of an affectionate history.  One day such happiness should be celebrated with a book.”
Charisma Disturbance was followed a year later by One More Chance.  This 14 track sampler consisted entirely of obscure Charisma singles from 1970-73, including a rare remix of the Genesis 7” “Happy The Man”, plus Van der Graaf Generator’s “Theme One”, written by George Martin and used as the BBC Radio 1 theme for several years.  A different mix of “Theme One” was added to the 2005 CD release of VdGG’s Pawn Hearts.
CLOGS (Peg PS1) 1972
SIDE ONE:
1. Steeleye Span - Captain Coulston
2. Andy Roberts - Richmond
3. Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - The Irish Washerwoman/The Ash Plant
4. Steeleye Span - The King
5. Keith Christmas - Poem
6. Shirley Collins - Murder Of Maria Marten
SIDE TWO:
1. Steeleye Span - Rave On
2. Tim Hart and Maddy Prior - I Live Not Where I Love
3. Spirogyra - Captain's Log
4. Shelagh McDonald - Rod's Song
5. Martin Carthy - Lord Randall
6. Marc Ellington - Yarrow
7. Andy Roberts - Welcome Home
CLUB FOLK VOLUME 1 (Peg PS2) 1972
SIDE ONE:
1. Robin Scott - The Sailor
2. Nadia Cattouse - Red And Green Christmas
3. P.C. Kent - Blue Railway Fields
4. Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - The Barley Straw
5. Andy Roberts - Autumn To May
6. Keith Christmas - Travelling Down
SIDE TWO:
1. Synanthesia - Rolling And Tumbling
2. Shelagh McDonald - Sweet Sunlight
3. Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - Our Captain Cried All Hands
4. Al Jones - Come Join My Orchestra
5. Mike Hart - Disbelief Blues
6. Andy Roberts – Jello
CLUB FOLK VOLUME 2 (Peg PS3) 1972
SIDE ONE:
1. Shelagh McDonald - Rainy Night Blues
2. Al Jones - What I Was Thinking
3. Synanthesia - Trafalgar Square
4. P.C. Kent - Broadened
5. Robin Scott - The Sound Of Rain
6. Nadia Cattouse - B. C. People
SIDE TWO:
1. Martin Carthy - Domeama
2. Andy Roberts - Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies
3. Nadia Cattouse - All Around My Grandmother's Floor
4. Keith Christmas - Bed-Sit Two Step
5. Mike Hart - Yawny Morning Song
6. Al Jones - Ire And Spottiswood
CHARISMA DISTURBANCE (Charisma TSS1) 1973
SIDE ONE:
1. Sinfonia Of London Conducted By Joseph Eger - Sonata Pian E Forte
2. John Neville - The Unanswered Question
3. The Nice - Intermezzo 'Karelia Suite'
4. Peter Hammill - German Overalls
SIDE TWO:
1. Alan Hull - Money Game
2. Bell & Arc - She Belongs To Me
3. Monty Python - Spam Song
4. Lindisfarne - Lady Eleanor
5. Bo Hansson - Flight To The Ford
6. Lindisfarne - Fog On The Tyne
SIDE THREE:
1. Capability Brown - No Range
2. Rare Bird - Sympathy
3. Audience - I Had A Dream
4. Clifford T. Ward - Home Thoughts
5. Van Der Graaf Generator - Killer
SIDE FOUR:
1. Music From Free Creek - Getting Back To Molly
2. Graham Bell - Too Many People
3. Jo'burg Hawk - Dark Side Of The Moon
4. String Driven Thing - Regent Street Incident
5. Genesis - Return Of The Giant Hogweed
ONE MORE CHANCE (Charisma CLASS 3) 1974
SIDE ONE:
1. Audience - Indian Summer
2. Monty Python - Eric The Half A Bee
3. Genesis - Happy The Man
4. Clifford T. Ward - Wherewithal
5. Capability Brown - Wake Up Little Sister
6. Jo'burg Hawk - Orang Utang
7. Alan Hull - Numbers
8. Graham Bell And Arc - She Belongs To Me
SIDE TWO:
1. Van Der Graaf Generator - Theme One
2. Jack The Lad - One More Dance
3. The Nice - Country Pie
4. Rare Bird - What You Want To Know
5. String Driven Thing - It's A Game
6. Lindisfarne - Clear White Light
Chrysalis - Clouds, Pigs & Turkeys
Founded in 1967 by Chris Wright and Terry Ellis, Chrysalis (Chris+Ellis = Chrysalis) started life as a management company and booking agency, representing Ten Years After and Jethro Tull.  Early albums by Tull, Blodwyn Pig and Clouds were licensed to Chris Blackwell’s Island label, while TYA were signed to Deram.  Blackwell promised Wright and Ellis their own label identity should Chrysalis artists reach an agreed number of chart entries and the target was achieved in September 1969 when Tull's second album Stand Up sprinted to #1. 

The first LPs to wear the green Chrysalis label with its red butterfly logo were Getting To This by Blodwyn Pig and the third Jethro Tull album Benefit, released simultaneously in April 1970, although both still carried Island “ILPS” catalogue numbers at this stage.  Several more Chrysalis/Island hybrid releases by Tull, Mick Abrahams, Clouds, Tir Na Nog and Procol Harum followed before Chrysalis finally launched its own dedicated UK numbering series in August 1971.  
Fittingly, Ten Years After hold the distinction of releasing the very first stand-alone Chrysalis album with A Space In Time, bearing the catalogue number CHR 1001.  Wild Turkey and Jethro Tull followed with CHR 1002 (Battle Hymn) and CHR 1003 (Thick As A Brick) respectively.  The licensing deal with Island continued until 1973, when Chrysalis distribution moved to EMI.  
Most Chrysalis artists had already appeared on one or more of the legendary Island compilations mentioned in part 3 of this series, so the label presumably felt no requirement to release samplers of its own until much later.  The first of these, Prime Cuts, was supposedly offered as a competition prize to readers of the music paper Sounds, where a two page advertisement promoting the album appeared in the issue dated December 8, 1973.  With no track or title information printed anywhere on the sleeve (other than on the spine which reads simply “Ten Prime Cuts From Chrysalis”) and the same artwork front and back, it was a strangely uninspiring affair.  
The track listing was a mixed bag too, ranging from Tir Na Nog’s interpretation of the Nick Drake song “Free Ride” at one extreme, to the poptastic falsetto sound of Leo Sayer at the other with “The Dancer”, taken from his debut album Silverbird.  There were heavy rock selections from Robin Trower and Cozy Powell’s band Bedlam, while Ten Years After were somewhat over-represented with three related tracks: one by the band, another by Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre and a third taken from the solo album You And Me by TYA keyboard man Chick Churchill.  
PRIME CUTS (Chrysalis CXM 1055) 1973
SIDE ONE:
1. Tir Na Nog - Free Ride
2. Procol Harum - Toujours L'Amour
3. Robin Trower - I Can't Wait Much Longer
4. Ten Years After - Choo Choo Mama
5. Leo Sayer - The Dancer
SIDE TWO:
1. Steeleye Span - Misty Moisty Morning
2. Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre - The World Is Changing
3. Jethro Tull - Passion Play Edit 9
4. Bedlam - Hot Lips
5. Chick Churchill - Reality In Arrears

Fill Your Head With Rock! Part 5 - Polydor, A&M, Charisma & Chrysalis

UK Sampler Albums 1968-1975 by Stuart Penney Polydor – Bombs Away! The German company that evolved into Polydor records w...