As is the case with many labels, Select Records is something of a mystery. There were Salem label Chartstopper albums with similar track listings and the same "gold" label released in the United States and Canada. However, the covers are different and Australian releases have substantial local content.
In Australia the highest serial number appears to be US1006 – Bobby Limbs – Sound of Music, an album of music lifted from the television show of the same name. And here lies the clues. Select Records were produced for NU-VAC Pty Limited – originally at 372A Pitt Street – by United Sound – 21 Pier Street Sydney. United Sound was a studio set up to record music tracks for television variety shows such as Bobby Limbs. It is likely that the Select Records label was set-up as a television marketing campaign by a television station or studio and licensed the concept from the USA. The rear covers give a clue that this may only have ever been intended as a limited three record set to tie-in with a television show that doesn’t seem to have come to fruition – ‘see them on T.V.‘.
Of the three Chartstopper compilations the first was released sometime in 1972 – Sherbet’s, Can You Feel It Baby, charted late 1971 – and the the third release came in late 1972 or early 1973. The County Chartstopper was released around the same time as Volume 2 of the Chartstopper pop series.
Also of note is that US1001, US1002, US1003, 1004 and US1006 have a Matrix Number, whilst the third pop release US1005 uses a different pressing code altogether. Volume 3 is on considerably thinner, poorer quality vinyl, it’s also far less common than Volumes 1 and 2. Perhaps suggesting they wanted it out of the way…
The Country Chartstopper volume seems to be a direct licensing of the album of the same name from Salem records in the United States.
Whilst there are some interesting and hard to get tracks on these compilations such as Autumn’s – Goblin’s Gamble, the sound quality is second rate, on some of the tracks you can even hear the source 7 inch single. (Although that is not unusual for early compilations in general.) Many tracks are mono radio edits at a time when almost all music had a stereo source – although stereo (FM) radio didn’t arrive in Australia until the mid 1970s. These were clearly budget releases and make the K-Tel’s of the time seem quite deluxe. So these compilations are only recommended as a last resort if you need these tracks.
I’ve recently come across the Country Chartstoppers compilation US1003 – I’m not normally on the lookout for country music, but for $2 in excellent condition it was hard to pass.
This may be a complete listing of Select compilation releases. Listing order is by MX number when known.