Yesterday I was lucky enough to come home with several LPs, one in particular bought out of pure curiosity:
|Beatles Hits - artist uncredited|
|Side 2 label|
A single disc in a plain white paper sleeve, called simply "Beatles Hits" with no credited artist, so obviously a covers album. But what is it like? I had to know, so spending a pound to find out seemed fair enough. It's on the Philips label, cat. no. 88074 DL and published in 1965. I did a brief online search, and all mentions of the record stated that it has a plain paper sleeve and no proper cover, which made me think that perhaps it was part of a box set. Several results suggested that it might be by a Merseybeat band called Ian & the Zodiacs who were popular in Germany during the 1960s and sometimes recorded Beatles covers under the name The Koppycats. I had a listen to a few snippets of Koppycats material and it certainly sounds like they could be the same combo as on the mystery disc.
No releases under either band name listed on web resources such as Discogs match this record, but further digging revealed an old eBay listing that seems to shed a bit of light. The listing offered a 3-disc set called "Philips Family Music Album", with Disc 1 being the Beatles Hits record, Disc 2 a collection of songs from musicals such as The King & I and Oklahoma titled "Highlights from the Shows" and Disc 3 consisting of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.
It certainly seems like the kind of thing that manufacturers of record players would have given away with their products fifty years ago as a promotional item* - something for mum & dad plus some slightly dodgy-sounding pop covers for the kids - so although all the information I have is unconfirmed, it does seem most likely that Ian and his Zodiacs a.k.a. The Koppycats knocked out a dozen Fabs tunes for their label, who also happened to make electrical equipment - very handy!
I seem to remember that at the back of the crate of records were a couple of old box sets, but as the rest of the contents were mainly Charley Pride and Mrs. Mills LPs I didn't get that far. Next time I'm at that particular boot sale (hopefully in a fortnight) perhaps I'll seek out the seller and see if I can find the rest of the Philips Family Music Album so that they can be reunited.
It's not a brilliant set of covers, by the way, but not bad either. Since there's little about it online, I've digitised it for posterity.
1. I Want To Hold Your Hand - 0.00
2. Can't Buy Me Love - 2.25
3. I Should Have Know Better - 4.34
4. Love Me Do - 6.46
5. All My Loving - 9.12
6. She Loves You - 11.15
1. From Me To You - 13.25
2. Please Please Me - 15.17
3. I Feel Fine - 17.15
4. No Reply - 19.40
5. Baby's In Black - 21.47
6. Eight Days A Week - 23.55
(*thanks JQW of The Afterword!)