Saturday, 8 September 2012

Bite It Deep Volume 5 - Top of the Pops Special (Mixcloud)

Every record collector in the UK will have flicked past their fair share of Top of the Pops albums while at a car boot sale or charity shop.  This series of albums, 92 in total not including countless spin-offs, ran from 1968 to 1985 on the Hallmark record label who would release six or seven of these a year and would feature cover versions of the current pop hits.  The quality of the music often reflected the time the session musician were allocated in the studio.  Regular vocalist Tony Rivers (ex Harmony Grass) once stated that "Quite often than not, you had to do three songs in three hours then you were out of there".  Billy Kinsley (Merseybeats, Merseys, Rockin' Horse, Liverpool Express) said that sometimes he'd have the time it took his train journey to the studio to learn the song.  The public didn't mind the inferior versions and thanks to its budget price and sexy bird on the cover, it sold by the shit load, regularly topping the album charts in the early 1970's before being made ineligible.

For a long while the albums were written off  by collectors, even Oxfam refused to stock them, but they are now being accepted for their kitschyness.  Mojo magazine inlcluded an article about the series a few years back and there are many websites celebrating the world of Top of the Pops records and other budget albums. I even saw one of the rarer ones selling for £10 on ebay the other day! 

And so I present to you, Bite It Deep's own budget record. A tribute to cheapo records.


  1. Прекрасная работа, мистер Pete Gough! Great! Thank you!

  2. Sounds pretty much like the regular French pop songs of the time, but in English : Ha!
    I also have a best of Slade recorded by a session band (in English). The singer does a pretty good impersonation. I wondered if you were aware of other records of the kind.

    1. You really hit the nail on the head there, Guillaume!
      I think I've seen that Slade record you're talking about. There's a Gilbert O'Sullivan one too which is OK. They certainly make you appreciate the original versions a bit more.

  3. Love the wrong chord on "Revolution" just before the "but when you talk about destruction" bit. Sounds like we're covering it up the practice room. I'm sure they say "but if you go carrying pictures of chamomile" as well!

  4. That version of "Crazy Horses" is one of the funniest tracks ever. Clearly took their time to mimic the original sound fx. Sounds like a kitten or somat.