Important as it is, there’s more to the 7” vinyl single than just the music. If you turn on a bright light, and in my case get out a magnifying glass, and look closely at the run off groove area of the disc, you might see something imprinted. In most cases this would just be the matrix number (the main number, which is usually printed on the label as well, and extra information which can include a cut or take number) but there can also be other things such as names, words or phrases and even hieroglyphs or small drawings. Before my eyes finally gave out, I managed to look through about two-thirds of my record collection to see if there was anything interesting or intriguing to report. A number of records have “A PORKY PRIME CUT”, “Tone”, “TOWNHOUSE” or a drawing of something that looks like a lyra, but there are a few with their own unique message.
David Bowie, “Boys Keep Swinging”: Side A – “YOUR BICAMERAL MIND”, Side B – “MIND YOUR BICAMERAL”
Kate Bush, “Wow”: Side A – “THANK YOU EMILY” (obviously referring to “Wuthering Heights” author Emily Bronte).
Sting, “Moon Over Bourbon Street”: Sides A & B – “Utopia” (with the “U” in the form of a lyra)
The Elton John Band, “Philadelphia Freedom”: Side A – “DEDICATED TO B.J.K.” (Billie Jean King and Elton John were good friends).
Status Quo, double A-side: “Don’t Drive My Car” – “DON’T DRIVE MY PORSCHE!”, “Lies” – “THE BUN AND THE ‘3 K’ PUP”
B A Robertson, “Knocked It Off”: Side A – “WHO IS JOHNNY FRUIN ANYWAY?” (Delilah’s love interest in “Bang Bang”)
As far as my Squeeze singles go, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary. There’s a festive greeting on “[[Christmas Day]]” (“HAPPY XMAS”) and “HI! ESTHER” on “[[Cool For Cats]]” (does anyone know who “Esther“ is?). However, there’s something spookily apt on the b-sides of “[[Heartbreaking World]]” and, the subject of this week’s cover, “[[King George Street]]”. The word “Ty” has been inscribed in the run off groove area so I was obviously powerless to resist buying them.
There’s nothing sinister or subliminal in Zeus Henderson’s magnificent version of this neglected classic, it’s just another of his fantastic covers!
Finally, this week brought us the sad news of the death of Matt Irving. Although Matt was never officially credited as being in Squeeze, his keyboard and accordion playing contributed to both the “Frank” and “Play” albums as well as the “A Round And A Bout” live album and video. Rest in Peace, Matt.
Until next time, toodle pip!