Saydisc updates and additions

When the Saydisc & Village Thing Discography was published, there were various unaccounted-for catalogue numbers. The various reasons are:

  • Some of the early SD sequence records were pressed in small quantities (up to 99 copies) and the whole pressing run was sold with no archive copies kept by Saydisc. In these cases, Saydisc's Gef Lucena has, at best, sketchy memory as to what the record was
  • Records on other labels manufactured via Saydisc (i.e. Roots and JASS) were often (but not always) internally assigned SD catalogue numbers, hence many of the gaps. Some are known, because SD catalogue numbers appeared as matrix numbers on the records, though most are not.
  • Some planned releases look to have been abandoned and it is possible that assigned catalogue numbers were not reassigned (it is looking a little as though a few of the records listed in the discography were not issued after all, even though there are white label copies in existence - I'll add a new section on these later, when I get some time). It is also just about possible, that some mooted releases, which were subsequently never issued, may have been assigned catalogue numbers (e.g. Sounds of Bath, mooted in 1968).
  • In terms of the CP sequence, these records/cassettes were generally distributed by the artist rather than via Saydisc, hence less details being kept once the agreed pressing run had been delivered to the artist.

Also, many of the early records have been unearthed in other sleeve designs to those already known. Some came in earlier, generic sleeve design and later in custom design. Some appeared in the same sleeve design, only with typographical elements altered. These are also being documented below, as and when copies come to light (which isn't often). Of these, Gef Lucena has stated that some records were only given non-generic sleeve designs if there was demand over and above the first short-run pressing.

Saydisc SD sequence

  • SDL 112 - Cylinder Jazz - copy found shortly after publication in early generic sleeve design (as per the unnumbered Bristol Folks LP), with 37/11 price tag on rear. This is on the same generic light blue label design as the version shown in the discography and has a 26d Mecolico stamp that shows that music copyright was paid - this is probably one of the first run of 99 copies pressed (it would have been given a 'proper' sleeve design on repressing) and includes an insert stating that Pianola Jazz Rolls was to be issued in winter 1966 (issued as Pianola Jazz, SDL 117) and that Mechanical Jazz was at the stage of 'release pending sufficient material'. This last item could represent the otherwise unidentified SDL 122, of which Gef Lucena could only say 'Possibly titled Jazz Piano', or, more likely this surfaced as Pianola Ragtime (SDL 132). Of course, it may never have seen the light of day in the mooted form, which was to include all sorts of sound sources and not just pianola rolls.
  • SDL 112 - Cylinder Jazz - another, later, copy recently discovered (June 2018) in updated, third known sleeve design with 1970/1 (?) orange label design. Year is a best guess based on the first known orange label design appearing on I'll Dance Till De Sun Breaks Through (SDL 210), which was probably issued in 1970, with an outside chance of appearing in 1971 instead.
  • Possibly SD-114 - The Orchestra and Girls’ Choir of Park Senior High School, Swindon (either late 1965 or early 1966 - blue label would suggest the latter) - this 45 rpm EP represents one of the unknowns...but we still don't know which for sure! Tracks are: Grand March (Verdi); Old Mother Hubbard; Praise Ye The Father; Behold The Lord High Executioner (Gilbert & Sullivan), presumably two per side. This was on the later, light blue version of the second generic label design - see further details on the Swindon Advertiser website. After heading off to the website and reading the article, Gef Lucena commented, "Yes, I'd forgotten that one...The discreet recording set-up was one mono Ferrograph tape recorder and a Reslo ribbon mike!" (Email 24 June 2018.)
  • SD-115 - The Folk'sles (prob. 1966) - this 45 RPM EP represented one of the unknowns - see further details at 45cat.com. Side 1 - Chicken On A Raft; A Long Long Time. Side 2 - The Fireship; Tees-Side Bridges. The above number has caused some confusion in that the CD release of CP 115 (which was given a full Saydisc release despite being issued on the contract pressing sequence) was reissued on CD as CD-SDL 115 rather than as CD-CP 115.
  • 33SD140 - Lauri Say and the Island Folk: Songs for Singing Islanders (1968) - this is now known to exist in an earlier generic sleeve to that shown in the discography and further pressings with differences in sleeve fonts and label colours (including a new one on me - the green version of the second generic design!) have since come to light; see further details at 45cat.com. The probable reason for the differences in fonts is because new Letraset (or whatever) was used for each new pressing run - see an example on page 77 where two different pressings of Blues Like Showers of Rain have different fonts and layout.
  • SDR -146 - Blues Piano (1968) - an earlier version to that shown in the discography has turned up on the first, yellow Matchbox label design in generic, flipback sleeve. The version as shown in the discography is on the second, blue label design and has a non-flipback sleeve printed by E.J. Day. The original version does not include a printing credit, otherwise rear sleeve is of the same layout and design as the later version. The title of the original is "Blues Piano" and it is subtitled "The various roles of the PIano in Early Blues" on both front and rear sleeve, whilst the later issue (probably from 1969) has added "Vol. 1" to the original title and has dropped the subtitle from the front of the sleeve, though this remains on the rear. Note that the matrix, same as the white label and later version, reads "SDM 146" instead of "SDR 146".
  • 33SD245 - Sounds of Bristol (1973) - early copy discovered with a typo on sleeve stating that it plays at 33½ rpm (yes, that's a half)! On my old record player, it probably did! See photo at 45cat.com. Meanwhile, trivia: Bristol M Shed Museum included one of the few copies in black and white sleeve as an exhibit in their Seven Decades of Music in Bristol exhibition (May-August 2018). More trivia: this was first mooted as a possible LP release on an advertising insert from 1968, this along with Sounds of Bath, which never did see the light of day.
  • Possibly SDM 275 - Red River Runs: Library Of Congress Field Recordings Vol. 7 (issued instead by Flyright as SDM 259 in 1979) - see further details at Discogs. See SDM 276 below for details.
  • Possibly SDM 276 - Jerry's Saloon Blues: Library Of Congress Field Recordings Vol. 8 (issued instead by Flyright as SDM 260 in 1978) - see further details at Discogs. My guess is that both of these were planned by Flyright as Flyright-Matchbox issues in 1976, but were delayed thanks to Matchbox shutting down (and selling much of Saydisc's blues material to Flyright) and were issued solely by Flyright a little later instead, though in already-designed sleeve designs. See the 'Saydisc LPs that aren't!' section below.

Saydisc/Amon Ra CDs issued since publication of the discography

Saydisc, having closed up shop in terms of new releases, in 2000, began stirring again as the new millennium got underway, with several new releases and a slight makeover for current catalogue items with new trading address in 2007. As to the more recent crop of releases, I'd like to think that it was the book that started things off again, but it looks as though my interest in all things Saydiscian (!) was merely coincidental. What really kick-started the whole thing again was that technology had moved on well enough for Nimbus/Wyastone to create cost-effective short or one-off pressing runs, which meant that long-deleted titles could be reinstated without requiring an expensive pressing run up-front. Added to this is the ability to get back catalogue to market in the form of digital downloads. It looks as though now was just the right time.

It should also be mentioned that Genny Lucena took the opportunity to, again, update the sleeve designs of all those CDs now back on catalogue. This means that many of the CD issues have now appeared in three (mostly only slightly) different designs over the years (original, 2007 makeover and 2015 and beyond makeover).

The discography included illustrations of the original design, where possible, that or the updated, second design if this was all that was available during the research period. The best way to see the current designs is to head off to Saydisc's website. At some point, I will see if I can collect together images for the second designs (and first design, where these do not appear in the discography) and make them available here for comparison.

Saydisc:

  • CD-SDL 436 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Pleasures and Treasures 2015: 50 Tracks from 50 Years (information here and track listing here). Issued 4 Sept. 2015. This was Saydisc's first ever 2CD set, this available at the price of a single CD.
  • CD-SDL 437 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Christmas Music Through the Ages: 50 Pieces from the 6th to the 20th Centuries (information here and track listing here). 2CD set at the price of a single CD. Issued 1 Sept. 2015.
  • CD-SDL 438 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Percussion Around the World (information here and track listing here). Issued 6 Nov. 2015. 2CD set at the price of a single CD.
  • CD-SDL 439 - GEF LUCENA: For Love Is Lord of All (information and track listing here). Issued 4 Sept. 2015. 2CD set at the price of a single CD.
  • CD-SDL 440 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Worlds Away (information and track listing here). Issued 9 Sept. 2016.
  • CD-SDL 441 - GEF LUCENA: South Moon Riding (poetry book and accompanying CD) (information here and track listing here). Issued 9 Sept. 2016. See an in-depth review here.
  • CD-SDL 442 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Awake and Join the Cheerful Choir (information and track listing here). Issued 14 Oct. 2016.
  • CD-SDL 443 - GEF LUCENA: Songs of the Sea (information and track listing here). Issued 7 April 2017. Trivia: this CD includes Pill Ferry and Ballad of the Severn Bridge by The Crofters (Gef Lucena and Martin Pyman), transcribed from my copies of the 1965 EP, Pill Ferry (SD 113), and the 1966 EP, Ballad of the Severn Bridge (SD 129).
  • CD-SDL 444 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Funny Side of Saydisc (information and track listing here). Issued 5 May 2017. Trivia: this CD includes The Butter Churning Race by The Crofters, transcribed from my copy of the 1966 EP, Ballad of the Severn Bridge (SD 129).
  • CD-SDL 445 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Victoriana: Music, Verse and Recollections from the Time of Queen Victoria (information and track listing here). Issued 1 Sept. 2017. 2CD set at the price of a single CD.
  • CD-SDL 446 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Harps, Dulcimers and Hurdy Gurdies: from Great Britain, Ireland, North America, China, Middle East, France, Italy and the Low Countries (information and track listing here). Issued 6 Oct. 2017.
  • CD-SDL 447 - VARIOUS ARTISTS: Exotica: exotic and strange music and sounds from many Cultures and Island Communities (information and track listing here). Issued 6 April 2018.
  • CD-SDL 448 - VARIOUS ARTISTS/FIELD RECORDINGS: The Beauty of Bells: Church Bells, Handbells, Carillons from England & Scotland. To be issued 7 September 2018 (links to details to come later).

Amon Ra:

JASS 7" LPs

Near enough full details of most of the 7" mini LPs manufactured for the Dutch, specialist JASS label have come to light, including the fact that all came in picture sleeves that included full track and recording details (hence labels being a bit light on detail). Note that full artist details are not included in the summary listing on the rear of the sleeve for JASS 607, so actual artist credits are likely to be different (e.g. Henry Allen Jr and his New Your Orchestra is listed purely as 'Red Allen')

It is possible that only the records were manufactured via Saydisc and that JASS' Dick Baaker sourced the sleeves from elsewhere. They don't have the look and feel of contemporary Saydisc sleeves (although the typesetting on the reverse of JASS 607 does have the look and feel of various Roots Roneo inserts).

Saydisc-distributed books

This is known as irony. Saydisc rendered my own Saydisc discography immediately out-of-date by distributing it, along with Bristol Folk, via their Nimbus/Wyastone set-up, and assigning both books internal catalogue numbers, which, of course, meant that both books were missing from the discography!

  • SAY 001 - The Saydisc & Village Thing Discography (Mark Jones: The Record Press, 2010).
  • SAY 002 - Bristol Folk: A Discographical History of Bristol Folk Music in the 1960s and 1970s (Mark Jones: Bristol Folk Publications, 2009).

Saydisc LPs that aren't!

The two following records represent curiosities that were missing from the discography for the very good reason that I had no reason to even suspect their existence (in that the two sequence numbers in question were already accounted for).

Despite the Saydisc catalogue numbers and the Flyright-Matchbox credits (and label designs - no labels viewed yet?), these are not Saydisc releases. Saydisc had, by this time, sold off part of their catalogue to the Flyright/Swift group (email from Gef Lucena, 3 Jan. 2016). The first Library of Congress joint release was issued in 1973 and the last was issued in 1976. SDM 257 and SDM 258 represented volumes 3 and 4 and somehow Flyright must have forgotten about volumes 5 and 6 (SDM 264/SDM 265) and just carried on where they thought that they'd left off.

Possibly. Although the sleeves state SDM 259 and SDM 260, the booklet issued with SDM 260 lists these two LPs as FLY 259 and FLY 260. Except this doesn't really help because these numbers still don't fit into any of Flyright's other numbering sequences. The guess is that because all of the other records in the series were credited as Flyright-Matchbox, they just carried on for neatness and then just plain got the numbers wrong! Or, does the plot thicken?

I think that the plot thickens and I have a theory, which is that these LPs were planned at Flyright HQ as the next volumes in the Flyright-Matchbox Library of Congress series, but that Saydisc, as the planned release date loomed, discontinued its Matchbox imprint altogether and, so, scuppered the planned joint release.

So, what in the way of 'evidence' do I have? Well, the planned catalogue numbers were SDM 275 and SDM 276, I'll bet. Why these? Well, these numbers are close-handy, conveniently unaccounted for in Saydisc's records and are also contiguous. Each pair of Flyright-Matchbox records issued so far had had contiguous catalogue numbers (SDM 250/251, SDM 257/258 and SDM 264/265). So, sleeve designs were probably already in existence and, after a bit of a regroup, they were issued without updating the original sleeve design, complete with now erroneous Matchbox credits...and, yes, they probably just got the numbers wrong, what with the kerfuffle of postponed release!