Kinney Warner WEA Australia Compilations
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K-tel All NA, TA, WA
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Enjoy. 11 April 2016
Click or tap image for track listing and cover images.
|kin1||Very Together||Various||1970||Kinney 1|
|WS1874|| The Now Sound –
14 Hits From The Underground
|BS 2559||The Greatest Hits (Vol. 1)||Various||1971||–||–|
|3XS 2637||Fillmore – The Last Days||Various||1971||–||Live concert recording of the final performances at the Fillmore venues in the United States|
WEA was setup in Australia in 1970. It continues today as one of the largest record companies in the world. We are currently investigating their compilations.
Your Move – YES
Laughing – DAVID CROSBY
Barbarian – EMERSON, LAKE, & PALMER
Sing My Way Home – DELANEY & BONNIE
Most Anything You Want – IRON BUTTERFLY
Walk On Gilded Splinters – DR. JOHN
Let Your Love Go – BREAD
One More Time – CARLEY SIMON
Flowers of the Forrest – MIKE HERON
Alone Again Or – LOVE
Mr. Tambourine Man – JUDY COLLINS
Circle Game – TOM RUSH
Machine Gun Kelly – JAMES TAYLOR
Uncle John’s Band – GRATEFUL DEAD
Cyprus Avenue – VAN MORRISON
Give All You’ve Got – JACKIE LOMAX
Sun Arise – ALICE COOPER
Kill My World – AUTUMN
Darling Be Home Soon – JOHN B. SEBASTIAN
Aqualung – JETHRO TULL
Carey – JONI MITCHEL
Go My Way – GORDON LIGHTFOOT
Dance, Dance, Dance – CRAZY HORSE
Southern Man – NEIL YOUNG
This compilation seems to be something of an oddity. Released in 1971 it brings together the four labels of Atlantic, Electra, Reprise, and, Warner Brothers. Each side of the two record set has the label of each of the four companies. The name Kinney comes from a somewhat complicated American Anti-trust arrangement. Kinney was established as a cleaning and carpark company in 1966, by entrepreneur Steve Ross with his family funeral business as a base. By 1969 Kinney had bought what was to become DC Comics, a talent agency, and Panavision – makers of movie cameras. Ted Ashley suggested that Kinney buy the struggling Warner Bros. – Seven Arts company that included the music business labels of Warner Bros. (including Reprise), and the recently purchased Atlantic / ATCO label. However, as the company could not own a talent agency, the movie studio and the record companies under the same umbrella, the music division traded under the Kinney Music name for a short period until the talent agency was separated. Ted Ashley was put in charge of the movie studio division and Steve Ross ran the music business until his death in 1994. Elektra came into the fold in 1969 in a joint distribution deal with Warner/Reprise and Atlantic. The Kinney name became redundant, in the U.S. at least, after Warner Communications was created in 1971 when the Kinney National parking business was embroiled in a financial scandal and sold off.
What is interesting in Australia is that about a week prior to the American distribution deal between Warner/Reprise, and Atlantic, Atlantic had signed a four year distribution deal with Rupert Murdoch’s Festival company. Atlantic had agreed to help Warner’s setup new overseas operations in Australia and the Festival deal did not go down well. For the first two years of operation Warner in Australia continued to use the pressing and distribution facilities of ARC, which was in effect CBS records, as it had since the early 1960s.
It is unclear how this compilation came to be, other than it seems to be a fairly standard multi-market sampler. However, it is clearly after the establishment of the Warner’s Australian arm in July 1970 and launch as Warner Bros. in October 1970; and after the renaming of the Australian division due the anti-trust laws to Kinney Music in about October 1971, and prior to the establishment of the WEA brand in early 1972. As far as I can establish no other Australian releases used the Kinney brand. Australian bands Autumn, Band of Light and Tamam Shud were Warner Australia’s first three local signings and were released on the green Warner label in Australia. (Autumn at least was strangely licensed to Philips in New Zealand).
And how was the Atlantic side of this compilation produced when the Atlantic label was still licensed to Festival at the time? (My original 1971 pressing of Led Zeppelin IV on the Atlantic label simply states it’s made by a registered licence holder so gives no clues.) We will probably never know, but for the record, the Kinney business name is still registered as a company owned by Warner Music – Australia.
Significantly for Australian music collectors, this compilation contains the track Kill My World by newly signed Sydney band Autumn. Autumn were one of the first three bands in Warner’s new Australian recording operation, along with Tamam Shud and Band of Light. Autumn released their first single for Warners Falling / Miracles (Warner Bros. WS 4001) was released in May 1971, one album for Warner in late 1971 – Comes… Autumn WS-20003, before an ill fated tour of the U.K. where the band split 6 weeks after their arrival. Band of Light’s first single was The Destiny Song released in April 1973.
Very Together has the serial number Kinney 1, and I’m yet to discover another Kinney Music release. Other compilations were released under the single labels. Warner Bros. was where Australian bands were released and soon WEA was to emerge… And yes, the Alice Cooper song Sun Arise is a cover of the Rolf Harris composition.
More information on Autumn is available on the Milesago Web site here.