Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is this time again, time for the recent sales column, time to paint another small part of the global portrait of the sales of our great Canadian pressings! The last column was quite a few months ago, so tracing back sales that occured in the first part of 2015it was long overdue. You will find sales of classics as well as surprising rarites that only show up from time to time on the radar, from both famous bands like The Beatles, to more elusive title from the Canadian 6000 and 72000 catalog. Sit back and enjoy!
Let us start with and all time favorite when it comes to sales: the Let It Be Box Set, as usual, this copy sold for 225$, complet with the box, the book, the tray and all. Another all time favorite from the 69-70 era reach a whopping 245$: the mistake Come Together 45 with the Lennon track on the A-side was at the heart of a serious bid war, while another identical copy sold for even more a few days later, reaching 280$ Canadian dollars! Very thinning for the wallet, but nonetheless ended well for two lucky collectors who added a historical piece to their collection! The Canadian Sie Liebt Dich pressing is also a star when it comes to collector's interest, pressings reach high prices all year long, and this time was no different: a nice copy sold for around 400$ Canadian dollars after a 7 day bidding competition. On another front, an interesting fantasy item, a Canadian sleeve for the Roll Over Beethoven Canadian single sold for 41$.
A batch of sealed Beatles albums were sold not too long ago in a used funrniture/antique store in the Toronto area, St Catharines to be more precise. Now, while we often see purple sealed repressings pop up on nline auctions, this time most these albums seemed to be for the most part pressings from around 1968! The first was a copy of Help (1967 Parr's cover) stereo that sold for 150$. The other albums were sold to one collector for an undisclosed price. Among them were a stereo copy of Beatles 65 (possibly a red target copy) , Sgt. Pepper's , The White Album and Abbey Road . Other sealed items from that lot included later albums like Rarities and Love Song (black records). Another sealed copy of the unique Gold coloured record pressing of Love Songs changed hands for 250$ Canadian dollars, while it regular unsealed version sold for 60$ on the same day. This just shows that some original unplayed sealed albums are still out there! Now the question is: "would you unseal them to hear an original Beatles album in its most impeccable state, as it would have been in the late 60s, or would you carefully store it away to protect its historical significance? I know what I would Do!
A very interesting and hard to come by 45 by Jack London and the Sparrows (If You Don't Want My Love) in near mint condition found a new home for a surprising 8.50$. A very rare Jimmy Nichils 45 on PYE, Husky, found a new home for 50$, while the very first Apple 45 sold in Canada, Thyngumybob by the Black Dyke Mills Bands reached an interesting 106$. Finally, a rare 1976 Starline pressing of the Pink Floyd Money 45 sold for 26$ while a scarce Canadian promo copy of their later When Tigers Broke Free 45 sold for 31$.
A sealed copy of Freddie And The Dreamers Ready Freddie Go sold for 45$. In The Pink Floyd department, a very nice copy of the Canadian Wish You Were Here album sold in the original black shrink wrap for 30$, a very first pressing of Dark Side of The Moon with the rare "Pat Pending" cover sold for 30$ also with all the posters and inserts and a flawless copy of their Animals album sold for 25$ - finding copies with no wear on the top of the from cover is nearly impossible today! Finally, a retro rainbow pressing of A Saucerful of Secrets sold for 7$.
During the late 1950s in Canada, one of the largest record companies (Quality Records) found that they could split the 45 market between "current" chart product and "older" chart product, to make sales grow even further. A lucrative market was created by their clever record company sales people. The concept was quite simple - put two chart hits by the same artist on the same 45, and charge a full price for the double sided single long after both hits were off the charts. Some people referred to these records as "two-fers"... two hit records for the price of one.
Quality Records of Toronto was perhaps the earliest and the most astute at re-packaging popular 45s. Their oldies 45s series was launched as "GOLDEN TREASURES ON WAX" in 1958, just a couple of years or so after the label began to have charted hits on the 45 format. The initial Golden Treasure On Wax series used a numbering system starting with C-30000 which was a release by Jan August "Miserlou / Malaguena".
By the early 1960s, Quality was distributing many American labels in Canada, both large and small, and it could draw upon many "Top 10" hits from its back catalogue. The gold label reissues in the 1950s were shipped with Quality or related label sleeves (eg Mercury) with the Golden Treasury titles listed only on the back. By the early 1960s, the singles were shipped in special Golden Treasury stock sleeves that listed all of the "double sided hit" titles available on both the front and back of the sleeve. Releases comprised charted hits from the labels Barry, Cameo, Dimension, Dot, Parkway, Philips, Quality, and REO. Later on (1966-1967), after the series became a "cash cow", Quality issued the 45s in handsome yellow title sleeves with printed titles. The early (1963) and later (1966) sleeves for Del Shannon's Runaway appear below.
The series would prove to be so popular for Quality that they would carry the series into the 1970s and beyond. The yellow title sleeves appear to have been discontinued in the 1970-1971 time period. Some of the later issues (1968) using these special title sleeves included:
Quality MGM GC 176X - The Cowsills - The Rain, The Park & Other Things / River Blue
Quality ACGT.608X - The Bee Gees - Massachusetts / Sir Geoffrey Saved The World
We featured an article earlier called "Taming The Animals" and in that article we referenced a gold label issue of The House Of The Rising Sun (Quality QGT-069X). Oddly, the catalogue number of this reissue (069) was slightly later than the number for their later hit It's My Life (061).
The back of the title sleeve for San Franciscan Nights shown above, listed a couple of hit couplings for The Guess Who and also for their "mega-docious" seller of the 1960s ... Herb Alpert.
Capitol issued a series of "green swirl" 45s on their Star Line label. The first release 45-6001 was by Pee Wee Hunt (Twelfth Street Rag / Oh !). This was followed by double-sided hit packages from all the great Capitol artists ... Nat King Cole, The Kingston Trio, Kay Starr, Dean Martin, Nelson Riddle, Buck Owens, The Beach Boys, Edith Piaf, etc. and then in 1965, The Beatles.
Decca (Compo) issued a series of gold label 45s of their own in Canada, including double side hits by Bert Kaempfert, Brenda Lee and then later by The Who. The G prefix was used to denote the "Gold" series.
Decca G 21003 - Earl Grant - Ebb Tide / Swingin' Gently
Decca G 21006 - Burl Ives - A Little Bitty Tear / Funny Way Of Laughin'
Decca G 21008 - Guy Lombardo - Harbor Lights / Tennessee Waltz
Decca G 21010 - Carmen Cavallero - Arrivederci Roma / Moon River
Decca G 21013 - Grady Martin And The Slew Foot Five - Somebody Stole My Gal / City Lights
Decca G 21014 - Terry Gilkyson - On Top Of Old Smokey / Goodnight Irene (by Gordon Jenkins)
Decca G 21017 - Bill Haley And His Comets - Rock Around The Clock / Shake, Rattle And Roll
Decca G 21019 - Bill Anderson - 8 x 10 / Still
Decca G 21020 - Bert Kaempfert - Wonderland By Night / Afrikaan Beat (1966)
Decca G 21021 - Rick Nelson - For You / The Very Thought Of You
Decca G 21023 - Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue / Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
Decca G 21026 - Pet Fountain - Licorice Stick / Hello Dolly
Decca G 21027 - Bert Kaempfert - Blue Midnight / Red Roses For A Blue Lady
Decca G 21028 - Brenda Lee - Is It True (* with Jimmy Page) / Alone With You (1966)
Decca G 21034 - Bert Kaempfert - Moon Over Naples / Three O'Clock In The Morning
Decca G 21041 - The Who - My Generation / Happy Jack (special gold label, 1968)
Decca G 21044 - The Who - I Can See For Miles / I Can't Explain (special gold label, 1968)
While the "two-fer" singles were attractive for many, some record buyers in the 1960s (like myself) felt that these were "cash in" packages and preferred the original pressings of each hit. We sort of frowned on them in some ways when we saw them in the record shops. Artists, apart from the ones produced by Phil Spector for the Philles label, usually cared about their B sides. B-sides of the original hits were often pretty good. A good example is the cool B side of The Who's I Can See For Miles (Mary Ann With The Shaky Hands).
And for The Beatles, the coupling of Kansas City with Boys was a good "two-fer" record for young Beatles fans to buy instead of the much more expensive LP option of "Beatles VI" just for those two tracks. These two Beatles tracks had never been issued on the 45 format before this. They had not been hits in Canada... but hey, these were oddball Beatles tracks and this would prove to be the biggest selling "green swirl" 45 by The Beatles in Canada ! Lastly, just imagine what a picture sleeve for Kansas City / Boys would have looked like !