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UK VERTIGO SWIRL DISCOGRAPHY VOLUME TWO
Takes up the Vertigo Swirl collection where “Volume One” left off in mid-1971 with Gentle Giant’s ‘Acquiring The Taste’ and concludes with Jim Croce’s ‘Life And Times’ in 1973. Volume Two completes the Swirl story before the label design changed to the Roger Dean ‘spaceship’ label in mid-1973 and includes all known label variations and sleeve changes (where applicable) at time of going to publication.
Vertigo was the brainchild of ex-EMI record executive Olav Wyper, hired to turn around the flagging fortunes and brand image of Philips Records in 1969.
His idea for a completely new label spawned a collection of eclectic musical styles, housed in inspirational sleeves with an iconic company logo that, when viewed from above, rotating at 33rpm on a turntable, created a visual effect that could indeed induce ‘vertigo’ in the observer.
The label signed and licensed an array of artists, mostly unknown, that in a few cases went on to be worldwide successes.
The vast majority, however, were one-album wonders that sold hardly any copies and were quickly dropped from the label, their unsold records ending up in the bargain discount bins at record stores.
Record collectors, inspired by some of the hidden gems, and generously overlooking the musical quality of some of the others, sought out these rarities with a passion. Prices began to rise, and some albums took on an almost mythical status with values creeping into the four figure price bracket.
Many of the rarer Vertigo swirls could now be considered investment pieces, with values maintaining steady increases over the years. And, with a finite resource of ‘stock’ available, they’re likely to hold their values in years to come.
Vertigo was a seemingly generous record label, regularly gambling on unknown or unpopular artists, succeeding with a few, but failing with many, creating along the way an impressive catalogue of some 88 swirl label releases to collect. But, as you’ll see from this second volume, with various reissues and variations produced over its four year lifespan, there might be a few versions missing from your collection…if you want to be an absolute completist of course.