History of Rock Volume Twenty (UK dbl LP 1985. Part of a 40 volume mail order set)
Ever wondered who buys those magazine part works they advertise at Christmas? You know the sort, buy part one with part two and get a free handy-dandy little giant to start you off in your new hobby. It is not until you have collected all fifty parts at three quid a pop, plus another twenty for the folders which are just too tall to sit on your shelves, that you realise you would have learned more for less money and had a better social life by attending night school.
In 1982 Orbis Publishing in the UK launched the 'History of Rock' magazine part work, accompanied by a mail order LP series. The record series lasted for five years and consisted of 40 mostly double disc volumes, usually with a different artist on each side. This was at a time when older recordings were often difficult to find new. Some 100 major artists were covered this way with a few notable exceptions (Led Zeppelin, Dylan, Bowie). In the early nineties the idea was tried again on CD, but by then the record companies had reissued their own back catalogue in an effort to kick start sales of the sluggish CD format.
The complete 'History of Rock' LP series is now virtually worthless to collectors but some parts (Beatles and Stones) command reasonable prices. Each volume had the same pleasing if slightly bland format. The cover was uniformly white with a gold border and the artist names and volume number appeared in blue lettering. Inside the gatefold sleeve there was a potted, and occasionally accurate, history of each artist on the volume with a few photos. The vinyl was of medium weight and good quality.
Volume 20 was the Glam Rock issue with T.Rex, Sweet, Suzi Quatro and Gary Glitter (Slade and Mott the Hoople appeared elsewhere) and had nearly all the big hits from the artists fetured. Other than pointing out it is the album versions of 'Debora' and 'One Inch Rock' (although listed with a P date of 1968 and described as being in mono on the label), and that there is no 'King of the Rumbling Spires', there is not much more I can tell you. The T.Rex tracks are possibly taken from poor copy masters because they sound horribly squashed. Or it might be because the discs were 'manufactured in Czechoslovakia', but the other sides are not affected this way. I will not draw your attention to the errors in the notes by Tom Hibbert.
This is a pleasant if unexceptional collection of Brit Glam artists. Sadly the mix of acts favours the trashy end of Brit Glam, Slade and Mott would give a better scope of the T.Rex league than the ChinniChap bubblegum of both Sweet and Suzi Quatro. Of course Gary Glitter will fit in anywhere, but he has done his time for that now. Look for this in the bargain racks of your vinyl supplier. Apart from that there is nothing here not done better elsewhere making this one for the KraZy kOllecta only.
Track List [Side one T.Rex]: Debora (album version), One Inch Rock (album version), Ride a White Swan, Hot Love, Get it On, Jeepster. [Side two Sweet]: Coco, Little Willy, Wig Wam Bam, Blockbuster, Ballroom Blitz, Hellraiser, Teenage Rampage. [Side three Suzi Quatro]: Can the Can, 48 Crash, Devil Gate Drive, The Wild One, If You Can't Give me Love, She's in Love With You. [Side four Gary Glitter]: Rock & Roll Pt 1, Rock & Roll Pt 2, I Didn't Know I Loved You, Do You Wanna Touch Me, Hello Hello I'm Back Again, I'm the Leader of the Gang, I Love You Love Me Love, Remember me this Way.