Chartbusters - Marble Arch series (1968 - 1971)
Marble Arch was a budget label owned by Pye. The parent company's involvement in covers LPs dates back to 1964, when they acted as distributor for Bill Wellings' Top Twelve albums; in 1965 they released one of their own on Marble Arch, "Number 1's of 1965". This was not followed up for two years, when "Big Hits of 1967" appeared, as a prequel to the lauch of their main series, Chartbusters, in 1968.
Chartbusters were at first being recorded by the Avenue organisation, who were also releasing these recordings on 7-inch EPs. These recordings can therefore be identified as by the Clive Allan Orchestra and Singers. Avenue themselves entered the LP market in late 1968 (initially through their Studio 33 label), and therefore ended up duplicating much of the Marble Arch catalogue! Marble Arch changed their recording suppliers during 1969, leasing tracks recorded by Dyne instead.
Chartbusters was to undergo several major and minor revisions during its lifespan. The cover design was overhauled with installment 7, the mono format then was phased out, while sleevenotes were introduced with album 12. After 18 albums had been released, taking us well into 1970, the series was formally re-launched as "Chartbusters New Series", with volume numbers starting at 1. Thereafter the series was moved to the Pye label, starting once more at volume 1 (see separate page) for yet more re-launches and even a change in title during 1974.
NB: catalogue numbers given below which start MAL are mono; MALS are stereo.