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1
Matthew & Son - Stereo Version
Yusuf / Cat Stevens
02:41
2
I Can Hear The Grass Grow
The Move
03:05
3
Nothing But A Heartache
The Flirtations
02:44
4
14 Hour Technicolour Dream
The Syn
02:53
5
The London Boys
David Bowie
03:20
6
Ride My See-Saw - Mono / Single Version
The Moody Blues
03:45
7
Baby Get Your Head Screwed On - Sereo Version
Yusuf / Cat Stevens
02:20
8
In The Heat Of The Morning - Mono
David Bowie
02:56
9
May A Man Be Merry?
Lionel Bart
03:15
10
I Can't Let Maggie Go
Honeybus
02:57
11
Bend Me Shape Me
Amen Corner
02:39
12
Beggin'
Timebox
02:50
13
Leave It 'Til The Morning
Keef Hartley
03:26
14
Screams In The Ears
Bill Fay
03:22
15
Whose Little Girl Are You
Danny Williams
02:05
16
So Sad
Curiosity Shoppe
03:13
17
Vacuum Cleaner
Tintern Abbey
03:04
18
A Day In My Mind's Mind
Human Instinct
02:11
19
When You Are A King
White Plains
02:50
20
Golf Girl
Caravan
05:00
21
Berts Apple Crumble
The Quik
02:13
22
Sha-Sha - Digitally Remastered
Grapefruit
03:33
23
Working on the Road - 2002 Remaster
Ten Years After
04:17
24
A Whiter Shade of Pale - Original Single Version
Procol Harum
04:08

Deram Records

Decca’s offshoot label showcased some of Britain’s most happening pop, psychedelic and progressive artists of the late 60s. 

On 1st June 1967 EMI label Parlophone released a new album by their star act whilst Decca’s relatively new subsidiary Deram issued the debut album of a 20-year-old Londoner who had recently chosen David Bowie as his stage name. Suffice to say that Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band received a lot more publicity and considerably outsold young Mr. Bowie’s effort. 

Despite being one of the world’s largest recording organisations and having the likes of The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Billy Fury, and The Animals in its stable, it’s probably fair to say Decca’s UK arm never quite recovered from the embarrassment of letting The Beatles slip through their fingers. They were to do the same with Bowie, dropped before he could record a second album.

However, the Deram executive who signed Procol Harum went some way towards making up for these goofs. Their debut (but only) single for the label, ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ hit #1 in a dozen countries and has sold an estimated 10 million copies since 1967, making it one of the top thirty best-selling singles ever. 

The Deram label was set up by Decca in 1966 as a showcase for its innovative stereo recording technique, which they called ‘Decca Panoramic Sound’ or ‘Deramic’. Whilst the early releases were orchestral easy listening pop aimed at mass appeal, the label swiftly widened its palette to include mainstream pop, and gained a reputation for showcasing some of the most interesting psychedelic, folk, jazz, soul, and progressive acts emerging from Britain’s underground scenes in the late 60s/early 70s.

Included on this playlist are some of my favourite singles of the era, such as The Flirtations’ magnificent ‘Nothing But a Heartache’, Amen Corner’s poptastic ‘Bend Me Shape Me’ and the Bowie cuts. However, it also omits some I would dearly have loved to include, but the tracks are so rare that they don’t appear at all on streaming platforms, e.g. Double Feature’s ‘Baby Get Your Head Screwed On’ (though you’ll hear the original by its writer Cat Stevens. Both versions are excellent but Double Feature’s is a little groovier). There’s also American actress Kathe Green’s 1969 orchestral folk-pop album Run the Length of Your Wildness, which includes the absolute gem ‘Primrose Hill’. Again, not on the streaming platforms.

Deram singles were issued with a distinctive two-tone Caramac brown and white label in a bag with a striking and instantly recognisable brown spiral swirl. If you find any from the years 1966-68 in a second-hand record or junk shop you won’t go far wrong. In fact, some of their discs are as rare as chimp’s eggs and will fetch eye-watering prices. If you can find any 45 by The Quik or The Syn you may be able to name your price. Original copies of David Bowie’s Rubber Band and Love You Till Tuesday, the first and third of his three Deram singles, have sold for £499 and £600 respectively.  

I hope this list assures you that, despite losing The Beatles and Bowie, Decca and Deram wasn’t totally populated by idiots with cloth ears. Anyone can make a mistake...even if they do make it twice!

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