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Dick Greener
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Dick Greener

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Oyster and Arista releases
  • Deep Cuts
  • Burning For You
  • Deadlines
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    Vinyl album: A&M AMC 2090, 1969) (A&M, South Africa). Single sleeve, with broadly same front and back - white panel on top left of front cover modified to include larger A&M logo and SA catalogue number. Back cover has early form SA cat number (AMC ####) top left and a "STEREO also plays mono " panel bottom right replacing text on other editions. No address. And a tiny unreadable logo "Ariona Press" at bottom right under the A&M logo (could be Arione, Arions). Front cover only is laminated - my copy is a bit worse for wear and the lamination is peeling off. Clear plastic protective inner.

    From the catalogue number and reviewing other releases before and after that number, seems that this was released at more or less the same time as the UK release, sometime in 1969:

  • Shango: Shango, AMC 2089, 1969
  • Strawbs: Strawbs, AMC 2090, 1969
  • SÚrgio Mendes & Brasil '66: Crystal Illusions, AMC 2091, 1969
  • Lee Michaels: Lee Michaels, AMC 2092, 1969
  • Unknown whether there was ever a re-issue of this album, using later catalogue numbering system - see Antiques and Curios and From The Witchwood, where this was the case.



    South Africa dropped the ball here

    Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios

    Vinyl album: AMC 2152 (A&M, South Africa, 1970). Spotted online. In later years A&M in South Africa would use the same cat number as the UK release, but with an AMLH prefix. There was also an "AMC" release of Strawbs (AMC 2090) and From The Witchwood (AMC 2152).

    The South African release has the small grey A&M logo at top right (like US releases), with the SA catalogue number at top left of the cover. Nothing more known - anyone got this?

    Front cover

    Vinyl album: AMLS 64288 (A&M, South Africa, 1971?). No red A&M logo at top left, this has the small A&M logo at top right (like US releases), with this SA catalogue number below it. The cover is single sleeve, modelled on US/Canada sleeve, with track details and credits at bottom right of the back cover. An "interpack" logo at bottom right. Brown labels, with an amusing typo on the credit to "Fingertips" - step forward D Cupsins!


    From The Witchwood

    Vinyl album: A&M AMC 2172, 1971?) (A&M, South Africa). In later years A&M in South Africa would use the same cat number as the UK release, but with an AMLH prefix. There was also an "AMC" release of Strawbs (AMC 2090) and Antiques and Curios (AMC 2152), though I've only found a picture of that so far.

    This initial release is single sleeve, the front copying the UK design, and the lyrics in burgundy type on the back. Front cover has the catalogue number at top right. Brown labels.

    The A&M logo on the back appears with the note "A & M and Design is the registered trade mark of A&M Records Inc." In the UK the album appeared in 1971, with no trade mark info - the first to be released with that on the label was Grave New World on 4 Feb 1972. Assuming that filing the trade marks took place in the UK and US at the same time, this suggests this was released after the UK release in July 1971, and early 1972. The label bears the text "(P) 1971", which tends to confirm a 1971 release date.

    Back cover


    Vinyl album: A&M AMLH 64304) (A&M, South Africa). Gatefold sleeve: the South African reissue sleeve was modelled on the US sleeve with the broad orange banner across the top. Unlike the UK sleeve the album number appeared below the grey A&M logo on the front cover.

    On the inside, the US address underneath to credit for the picture of St. Jerome is clumsily obscured. Back cover also lists tracks like the Canadian release and has an "Interpak" logo at the very bottom centre of the back cover. There appears to have been a repress of the sleeve - one copy in my collection has "Distributed by RPM Pty. Ltd." at the bottom left of the inner spread, another doesn't. On the latter, the red colour used for the banner and album title is a much darker shade. Both copies have a border around the front cover which has no shiny laminated coating. As the later silver label reissue doesn't refer to RPM either, my assumption is that the one with the RPM credit is the earlier of the two.

    The label dates the release as "(P) 1973". Brown labels (identical on both copies mentioned above).

    Front cover


    Bursting At The Seams

    Vinyl album: AMLS 68144) . Laminated single sleeve. Lyrics inner sleeve, as per UK release. The back cover has South Africa details - note unusual A&M logo on back cover without rounded outline, just the text and trumpet. No lyric sheet in my copy, but have seen one on Ebay.

    Back cover


    Hero And Heroine

    Vinyl album: AMLS 63607 (A&M/RPM Pty, South Africa, 1974). Front and back covers come from US release: on the front you can see the little white A&M logo bottom left, which has been overprinted in back with the SA cat number. The back cover has the US address, but with overprinting telling us that it was distributed by RPM (Pty.) Ltd., and there's an "interpak" logo. The labels are silver, and instead of an inner lyrics sleeve, there's a 2-sided lyrics insert printed on high quality thick card, same as UK typography except that the times of the tracks have been overprinted, and there's a black logo and SA cat number underneath the logo at the bottom of side 1.




    Vinyl album: AMLH 68277 (A&M/RPM, South Africa, 1975). Pretty much the same as US release, except that catalog number appears with tiny A&M logo bottom right of front, with US address on back cover below details about RPM Pty. Rather than an inner sleeve, there's a single page insert with the lyrics.

    There's a reference on the back cover to cassette and 8-track formats (ZCAM 68277 and Y8AM 68277 respectively) - not clear whether those refer to US releases or South African releases (they don't appear on the US sleeve). They're not UK releases, cat nos: CAM and YAM respectively - see below.

    Note that the South African release (like the US) seems to have been slightly later than the UK and various other places (including Canada) - in 1975 rather than 1974.

    Front cover



    Vinyl album: AMLH 68331 (A&M, South Africa, 1975).. Outer sleeve is laminated on front but not back, very thin card, but otherwise identical to UK except for Interpak logo, back cover bottom right. Inner sleeve has lyrics, but LP is inserted to the side and overlaps from glueing the inner together mean that lyrics and credits for side 2 are partially obscured. Silver labels.


    Deep Cuts

    Vinyl album (South Africa): 2391 234 (Oyster, 1976). Not much on the sleeve or labels to indicate it is a South African release other than a logo on the back cover, bottom left "Marketed by Polydor Division" and bottom right an Interpak logo. Inside there's a copy of the UK insert except that it is in black and white on moderately stiff white card, rather than bright red.



    Burning For You

    Vinyl album: (Polydor South Africa 2391 287, 1977). Back cover has interpak logo and "84" in a circle above it. There's a Polydor logo and "Marketed by Polydor Division", with no mention of Oyster on either labels or cover.

    Back cover

    Burning SA back cover


    Burning SA Side 1 Burning SA Side 2


    Vinyl album:(*) Spotted online.

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