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British Railways on Vinyl book jacket

By Ian McDonald

From 1931 to 1989, every known UK record to include UK railway recordings, from Transacord and many more labels ...

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Virgin Discography book jacket

Virgin Discography

From Tubular Bells and esoteric, left-field gems, through punk rock, new wave and reggae, this covers the classic years ...

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B&C Discography book jacket

The B&C Discography

From soul to R&B to prog to folk to bubblegum pop and back again via proto-funk! All of B&C's non-reggae labels...

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Transacord book jacket

Sounds of Steam

With limited edition free CD. Talk about transports of delight...

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Bristol Folk book jacket

Bristol Folk

It's folk, Jim, but not as we know it. From Wurzels to folkedelia to blues to club folk...

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The Famous Chrisma Discography book jacket

Charisma label

All the Famous Charisma Label's known UK releases, including cassettes and 8-tracks...

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The Saydisc and Village Thing Discography book jacket

Saydisc/Village Thing

All known UK releases from what is possibly Britain's most eclectic label...

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British Railways on Vinyl: 1931 to 1989 - "****" (4 Star Rating) (Steam Railway magazine)

"British Railways on Vinyl" is the culmination of years of painstaking research and provides an unique historical record of all known recordings of British railway locomotives issued on vinyl records, from the earliest discovered - a 1931 78 rpm record on His Master's Voice - to the last known vinyl record, which was issued in 1989 by ASV Transacord. Perhaps it is fitting that the last vinyl record should have been from Transacord's Peter Handford, probably the best-known recorder of Britain's railways.

This book is a must for all railway enthusiasts, from the casual modeller, who wants to create an authentic soundtrack for their hobby, to the serious historical researcher of British railway recordings from the 'classic' era, when steam was still King. It will also be of great interest to those vinyl record collectors that enjoy more esoteric tastes. Never mind Black Sabbath, this is the real sound of heavy metal!

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The Virgin Discography: the 1970s - "****" (4 Star Rating) (Record Collector)

"The Virgin Discography" includes comprehensive discographies for the Virgin, Caroline, Front Line, Oval, WATT/JCOA, Atra, Butt, DinDisc, Ice and ECM/JAPO labels for the whole time that these labels were affiliated with Virgin. Not only that, but it includes the first known attempt at documenting all cassette and 8-track releases.

The Virgin label began with an eclectic and esoteric mix of left-field artists, including Mike Oldfield, Gong, Faust, Tangerine Dream and Henry Cow. However, most of the artists lost the company money and so Virgin surprised (and delighted) many by going punk. The Sex Pistols were signed giving the label almost overnight notoriety and a whole shedful of glorious punk and new wave bands joined the label. If that weren't enough, the label then went reggae with the iconic Front Line imprint. This discography covers these 'classic' first years in minute depth.

Full description of The Virgin Discography

The B&C Discography: 1968 to 1975 - Nominated for the 2014 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research

"The B&C Discography" includes comprehensive discographies for the Action, Stable, B&C, Pegasus, Peg, People, Mooncrest, Dragon, Sussex and Seven Sun labels. Charisma's records are included until the last B&C release on the three shared catalogue sequences.

B&C is best remembered for its associations with Trojan and Charisma, but its early affiliations were with Island. B&C followed Island's lead and created various label imprints to release Jamaican music and R&B. Toward the end of the 1960s, again in Island's wake, B&C dipped its toes into the murky waters of British progressive rock and folk music. During the early 1970s, the B&C Group of labels consolidated their place in the soul, pop, rock, folk and reggae fields. B&C had major success - and lots of it - but the end, when it came in 1975, was probably inevitable.

Full description of The B&C Discography

Transacord: Sounds of Steam - "*****" (5 Star Rating) (Record Collector)

"Transacord: Sounds of Steam" provides a comprehensive discography of all known records released by Britain's - if not world's - best-loved railway record label. The listings are augmented by a history of Peter Handford and Transacord and by inclusion of full colour photos of almost every record sleeve - even the black and white sleeves show their age-spotting in full colour!

The book was put together with the full backing of Transacord and the National Railway Museum's SEARCH ENGINE research department, which now holds the Peter Handford collection.

Full description of Transacord: Sounds of Steam

Bristol Folk (paperback and ePub versions available) - "...a remarkable book..." (fRoots)

"Bristol Folk" includes in-depth profiles of over 30 Bristol-based folk artists and discusses the Bristolian folk club scene and the local Village Thing and Saydisc record labels.

Artists covered include internationally-renowned names, such as Ian Anderson, Keith Christmas, Shelagh McDonald, Al Jones, Steve Tilston, Fred Wedlock, Bob Stewart, Stackridge, Sally Oldfield, Dave Evans, Folkal Point, Adge Cutler and the Wurzels and more: acid-folk; ragtime; rustic rock; psych-blues; superior bedsitter images galore. What a folk scene Bristol had!

Includes 34 pages of illustrations - many previously unpublished. These include cuttings from the Plastic Dog agency's near-legendary Dogpress newsletter - one edition of which found itself being waved around at a Parliamentary hearing on obscenity!

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The Famous Charisma Discography (paperback and updated Kindle versions available) - "Mind-boggling in its intricacy" (Pete Frame)

The Famous Charisma Label was formed by Tony Stratton Smith and was home to Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator, Hawkwind, Peter Hammill, Monty Python, Sir John Betjeman, Rare Bird and more. Those who knew Stratton Smith have said that he named the label after what he himself had in abundance, charisma!

His vision to sign anything good of its kind led to Charisma becoming home to several uncompromising and ground-breaking progressive rock bands, a maverick classical conductor, a cross-dressing Australian satirist, a cult TV comedy combo, a sports commentator or two, a singing school teacher, a well-known psychoanalyst and even the Poet Laureate. Strat then got it completely wrong, as far as the music industry was concerned, by actually caring about his acts. The rest, as they say, is history.

Full description of The Famous Charisma Discography

The Saydisc and Village Thing Discography - "If only all discographies were this good..." (Disc Collector)

Saydisc started life in 1965 by recording all aspects of Bristolian musical life, from folk and jazz to church bells and organs to mechanical music from old cylinders and music boxes. In 1968 it began to release contemporary British and classic American blues on the Matchbox label and pressed and distributed Johnny Parth's legendary Roots label. 1970 saw the formation of the Village Thing label, which concentrated on the emergent post-blues, home-grown British folk scene. Amon Ra was formed in 1973 to present chamber music on authentic intruments.

The book includes a potted history of Saydisc and Village Thing, plus illustrations of almost all record sleeves to complement the extensive discography.

Full description of The Saydisc and Village Thing Discography