Studio 33 and England's 12 Top Hits
- spin-off EPs
Avenue started releasing EPs in 1967, quite a while before they launched their first LPs. In fact the EP project began as a continuation of the doomed Top Six EP series, whose catalogue numbers it simply took over. In the listing below, we only list EPs which have direct links to the LP series - and so we skip over the numerous earlier EPs. We have opted to group all the Avenue LPs and the Studio 33 LPs together here in one long run, as the spin-off EPs do not differ meaningfully, according to the label of the parent LP.
Every EP below has an obvious parent LP, and in keeping with Top Six's old policy (see under Top Twelve albums for details) they typically form pairs which cover an entire album between them. There are indications that the paired EPs were not always issued together - not only do they often have different artwork to one another, they also sometimes have non-sequential catalogue numbers. There are other indications too - after the release of NUE 146, which had the older Avenue logo, its partner EP, NUE 147, had the later one, demonstrating that it was issued afterwards. And NUE 154 and NUE 155 even had different retail prices stated on them.
The EPs associated with the Studio 33 albums seem to have all had picture sleeves, and we have illustrated those known to us. (The four preceding EPs, AVE 54 to AVE 57, have the same cover art as AVE 58, and so may belong to an as-yet undiscovered Studio 33 LP.) When the albums switched to Avenue, the EP series stopped having picture sleeves for a while, and used a company sleeve instead, in one of six different colours. (The colours of the company sleeves below are selected randomly - it should not be assumed that a specific EP had a specific coloured sleeve.) Apparently this move was taken so as to keep costs (and hence retail prices) down, in consideration of an agreement between Avenue and the retailer Tesco.
Avenue started printing retail prices on their company sleeves after a while, and these are known to show either 3/11 or 5/-, but it is unclear exactly when these were introduced - although it was almost certainly during the span of the company sleeve editions below.
It will be noted that after NUE 165, at the close of 1971, the EPs were switched to the Avenue-controlled Forest label. So far as we are aware, Forest was an EP-only outfit, and was created to try and boost sales of the 7-inch series, which were declining at the time. The Forest editions were better packaged, with proper laminated picture sleeves, and were distributed to retailers through the larger Pye organisation. Alas sales did not improve substantially and the EPs were laid to rest in 1972.
Note: Many of the EPs associated with the Studio 33 albums are credited to the Clive Allan Orchestra & Singers. Many of the EPs associated with the Avenue albums are credited to the Alan Caddy Orchestra & Singers.