Isn’t this picture is an assault to the eyes? For a start the colours clash like a bad fashion disaster, and what in God’s name is an obscure mid-sixties US soul gem of a 45 doing clothed in a mid-seventies sleeve of a UK company known for pop-soul (OK, I grant you, GTO did have a half decent roster: Donna Summer, Heatwave, Billy Ocean, and not forgetting Fox!, all made some pretty good records).
When I buy a 45 I like it to come in its original sleeve. This particular 45 was released in 1965 (it’s 50 years old!). LLP was a tiny label so I’m sure it wouldn’t have come in a company sleeve, but I would have expected a plain brown (probably) sleeve. Then I could have obsessed over thoughts of it lying around unwanted and unplayed in a warehouse or two, and maybe a garage or two too, for all of its 50 years until finally I came to its rescue, taking it out of it mailer, slowly turning it over as I admire it, carefully withdrawing it from the sleeve and placing it on the turntable, lowering the needle onto the run-in and hearing it give up – for the first time after all these years? – the secrets it holds in its grooves.
Imagine my initial gasp of horror when I pulled this out of its mailer. How could I perform my little ritual with any conviction when it was nestling in that sleeve?! Its essence had been besmirched. What happened to its original sleeve? Did the poor record exist without a sleeve for some time before somebody so heartlessly mismatched it with the GTO sleeve? (probably not, actually, as the record is in tip-top condition). This came from a Soul dealer too, they ought to know better. If they had acquired it in this state they surely could have set the record (and sleeve) straight. I could have at least played out my little ritual then (even though it was really an illusion).
Get over it! It’s what’s in the grooves that counts. And both sides of this record contain something magical.
I’ve featured a Gloria Parker 45 here before (the ritual then was full and real!). As far as is known Gloria only released three records, two on LLP in 1965, and a final one on Samar in 1966 which was a disappointment in comparison to the LPP releases. That’s a shame, I would have enjoyed hunting down some more of her records, and performing my little ritual with them.