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Andrew – 29 December 2020
It all began with 25 Great American Country & Folk Artists Singing their Original Hits. Or did it…
To quote Majestic/K-tel founder Philip Kives – who died 27 April 2016: Never has and album offered so much for so little. Here, on one record is a veritable treasure of “25” Country and Folk Hits representing a stellar group of artists ranging from the traditional era to modern times.
Festival, Philips, and W & G were offering compilations as early as the late 1950s. However, it was probably Philip Kives under the Majestic brand that began the As Advertised on TV phenomenon. By the late 1970s K-tel had stiff competition from other independent record labels such as J&B and Hammard. By the late 1980s the majors had more or less taken control of the Original Hits / Original Stars market, with K-tel winding up in 1986, caused by an over reaching of the parent company in Canada. NA703 – “Leader of the Pack” was the final Australian release, and it contains modern re-recordings that they didn’t have to a pay a license fee. The companies that tried to “pass off” their albums of “sound alikes” by anonymous session artist felt the full force of the majors and were soon shut down. While K-tel still offers a range of music, it is mostly re-recordings and covers.
This site is about the heady days of compilations from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s.
I seem to remember my first compilation record was Super Bad, we were all singing Loudon Wainwright III’s Dead Skunk in 1973. I now have over
five six-hundred Australian compilation records, each with an average of 20 tracks. That’s over ten thousand tracks.
In about 1983 I started putting them – and thousands of other records and CDs – on a spreadsheet (Microsofts’ Multiplan), then through a couple of Databases. This eventually went onto some hidden pages on one of my websites in the mid 1990s, and over the past couple of years into a more public area with cover art. The original idea was to list the Majestic and K-Tel albums that contained Australian tracks, but I am yet to find a full listing of the albums Majestic/K-Tel issued in Australia (although Michael de Loopers Australian Record Labels is very good). Not all the compilations of various labels are listed on comprehensive sites like Milesago and Global Dog. So after a friend challenged me, I thought the time had come to build a comprehensive site with complete listings that covers all the Australian compilations that were issued on vinyl from the 1950s to the early 1990s.
We started with perhaps the most popular series, the K-Tel TA series of Top 40 hits. Now all the compilations I have in my collection are listed plus titles we’ve spotted in other places. I currently own about 3/4 of the K-tel catalogue, but with the demise of record shops such as Vinyl Solution it’s suddenly become very expensive. E-bay sellers have no idea that these records were budget releases often containing heavily edited versions.
All the images are from my own collection and are copyright.
I acknowledge the original copyright holders of images contained on those covers.
I do not offer any of the sound recordings contained on the albums for sale, share, or barter in any form. However, if you wish to listen to a playlist and have a Spotify account you can play albums directly from this site. (Selected albums only. The playlist creator on Spotify is 50lux ) Unfortunately, Australian tracks in particular are not available, so the album playlist’s are a bit thin on Australian material.