Thursday, 3 February 2011

Back in the USSR

While a fresh faced Fab Four were running up the charts, pulling quirky faces and declaring that they wanted ' to hold your hand' in the UK and The Shangri-Las were telling us all about 'The leader of the Pack' in the States, Russia was founding it's state wide record company. The record company was called Melodiya Records, or to give it its full name the "All-Union Gramophone Record Firm of the USSR Ministry of Culture Melodiya", (no wonder it got abbreviated).

I came across a batch of their releases recently and was amazed to find out that they were the only record label in Russia, I know next to nothing about how the label worked except that they touched on all forms of music, from Classical to traditional folk to ballads and songs from popular films. Also according to wikipediea Melodiya released some of the really popular western artists like The Beatles and Abba! If anyone out there has more information on the label and its releases I would be really interested in hearing about them. In the meantime here are a few scans of some of the sleeves, The sleeves are printed on really thin low grade paper and the actual 7" records are 'flexi-discs'.

This was typical of the releases I have seen, there are no labels
all the information is pressed directly on to the thin plastic record.

The abstract geometric designs reminded me some of the illustrations created by textile designer Barbara Brown, who moonlighted as a record sleeve designer in the 1950's, I haven't been able to track down any of the names of the designers who worked at Meloydia during the 1960's,or who created their logo again, if you know of anyone please drop me a line.

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