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The title of this double label sampler leads one to believe that there were plans for an annual release, but Vertigo never got any further than 1970. Contrary to the 'Heads together' sampler, this one contains previously released material only and so serves quite succeedingly as an introduction to Vertigo's miracles. The contents are chosen with taste: almost every track is among the best from the respective album and therefore this sampler comes recommended for anyone who wants to start to explore what the fuzz is all about.
Red foliage surely is a favourite of Keef the album designer. This time a naked lady on a dotted hobby-horse fronts the landscape. A small boy dressed in parade uniform plays the drum and looks at her. Quite striking.
The lettering is chosen in accordance to the 'annual' idea and could have been taken from any children's annual of the times.
Inside the horse's head is displayed in a coloured negative photograph and also proudly quotes underground magazine 'it': Vertigo is the least pretentiously and most happily married of the 'progressive' labels to emerge from 'neath the wings of the large record companies.
One of those indispensable samplers, with so much going for it - label design, musical quality, rare tracks, top audio and alluring cover pics - it has become a collectors item by own merits. One cut each from the sixteen first albums realeased by the label. Most represented here didn't sell a lot back then and the originals can sometimes be hard to find or afford. I haven't had or heard all of those so I can't compare, but get the impression they picked the better or best from each.
Some compilations have at least one downer regarding track choice or audio. On here I can't find one thing less than marvelous. From the happy-go-luckys Fairfield Parlour "In My Box" and Magna Carta "Going My Way" over the heavy Sabbath, Juicy Lucy and Uriah Heep cuts to the jazzier Nucleus, Colosseum and May Blitz it's all tophole. Only bad thing is I can't use it as background music when doing chores at home. The beauty entices me and sooner or later I get stuck in front of the speakers, forgetting everything about cleaning or whatever.
Vertigo Records was the late 60s progressive rock arm of the Philips Records empire. It is still in existence today as part of Mercury, but it is the early UK releases with "swirl" or "spiral" labels that are most sought after by collectors. Probably the most well known are the first four Black Sabbath LPs, but the list of artists who appeared on this label is long and varied including such diverse acts as Status Quo, Rod Stewart and Kraftwerk.
01. Colosseum - Elegy 5
03. Jimmy Campbell - Half Baked
04. May Blitz - I Don't Know
05. Juicy Lucy - Mississippi Woman
06. Fairfield Parlour - In My Box
07. Magna Carta - Goin' My Way (Road Song)
08. Affinity - Three Sisters
09. Black Sabbath - Behind The Wall Of Sleep
10. Gracious - Introduction
11. Cressida - To Play Your Little Game
12. Nucleus - Elastic Rock
13. Manfred Mann Chapter Three - One Way Glass
14. Bob Downes - No Time Like The Present
15. Dr. Strangely Strange - Summer Breeze
16. Uriah Heep - Gypsy
17. Catapilla - Changes
18. Gravy Train - Think Of Life
19. Jade Warrior - May Queen 05.24
20. Mike Absalom - Frightened Of The Dark
21. Ramases - Life Child
22. Patto - Give It All Away
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