Longest Unbroken Sequence of A&M LPs in Your Collection by Consecutive Catalogue Numbers


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List the cat # sequence and tell us: (1) how such a long unbroken sequence came into existence, and (2) the specific circumstance that both initiates and breaks the sequence.

A few ground rules:
  • Releases may be represented by multiple formats (though the golden ring will be bestowed upon those who have all releases in one format with no reissues).
  • Reissues with different cat #s may be substituted for original issues.
  • Foreign releases may be substituted for original U.S. issues.
I can only come up with 7:
  • SP 4108 (Herb / South Of The Border) to SP 4114 (Herb / What Now Me Love)
  • Herb starts it; Chris Montez ends it.
  • Actually, I have everything from SP 4108 to 4129 (most of what I've always considered the golden period -- which ends with Lee Michaels' SP 4140) except those 3 dadgum Montez LPs. I got hooked onto that 1965-67 A&M sound as a kid and found most of what I wanted by my mid-20s. I have nearly all of these as both LPs and CDs. I also have a German LP (Sandpipers) that came my way by accident years ago (one of those happy e-bay accidents).
I can claim ownership of LPs of the first 20 albums from A&M. Claudine at 4121 breaks the chain of LPs as I have all of her stuff on Japanese CD. Still, I own at least a CD or LP up through SP 4139, Roger Nichols. I lose it at Lee Michaels.

Caveat: Boyce & Hart at SP 4126 I own as a CD compilation from RR in the UK.
The Parade, though unreleased as SP 4127, was released on both Japanese CDs (which I have) and UK CDs.

The only thing I can think of is the A&M/CTi series, just about all of it on vinyl.
The only thing I can think of is the A&M/CTi series, just about all of it on vinyl.
Oh, man -- I totally forgot about the CTi releases.

Check here on that as well. Actually I have sequence SP 3001 - SP 3033 (the last two -- Desmond and Jolly -- are not CTi LPs).

Wes start began it: purchased in high school based on the cover art and the label. Roger Kellaway ended it: I briefly had one of his '60s LPs and, candidly, just didn't think it was a very good record. (To be fair, I should volunteer that I do have SP 3007 LP (Artie Butler), which is even more unimpressive. I'm sure Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter were counting the minutes on those sessions.)
I own at least a CD or LP up through SP 4139, Roger Nichols. I lose it at Lee Michaels.
Indeed, that's why SP 4140 is so significant: arguably more than any other LP to date it's a left turn...but that turn is where the A&M musical direction ultimately went. (After years of avoidance, I recently took the plunge...and I like it; in fact, it has grown on me -- but one has to be up for that rawer '68 sound. I mean if one is into the progressive side of pop music in '68 then the Michaels is a good listen.)
I do have the Lee Michaels LP here--I wasn't looking for it, but came across such a clean copy a couple of decades ago that I couldn't resist picking it up out of curiosity. (It's one of those cases where I'd seen the album for many years on all those old A&M innersleeves.) The same happened with the first Chris Montez LP--I'd never owned one of his before, but Encore Records had a copy of it for $12 that looked as though it had never been played. I remember buying a sealed Baja LP, only to find a brand new Claudine Longet Colours inside, with no innersleeve.

One A&M-distributed series I'd like to get my hands on one of these days are the releases on I.R.S. Records. It's one of those things where I wouldn't have had the money to buy all of them back when they were still available new. I still pick one up occasionally as I come across them, but like anything I collect, I get it because I'm interested in the music, not so much because I'm completing a number series (although that's a nice side benefit if it happens). I had also wanted to get all of the A&M Audiophile releases, but that's a series (SPJ vs. SP) as opposed to being sequential.

The sequential winner would probably be @LPJim, with @Mr Bill and @Steve Sidoruk being similar I would imagine.
I'm almost complete on the 4100-4400 series. The first break occurs at 4186 with the debut self-titled STRAWBS album. It was a U.K./Canada only release, which I have on LP & the Korean CD reissue. Their 2nd, titled DRAGONFLY, doesn't have a corresponding U.S. catalog number. This was the first to feature Rick Wakeman and also saw Korean reissue on CD.

Siwan is the Korean reissue label for the Strawbs items.

Next came SP 4192, which was slated to be a Ronettes (Ronnie Spector) release from the brief A&M partnership with Phil Spector which bore the Ike & Tina and Checkmates albums. There was a single, "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered" ("Oh I Love You" as b-side). If anything else was recorded for SP 4192 and shelved I have no clue.

Keyboard Wiz Manfredo Fest was featured on BOSSA RIO. His proposed solo album SP 4193 never came to fruition although singles on A&M came out.

In the 4200 series I have gaps for SP 4256, where the title REGGAE CHARTBUSTERS is listed. Perhaps that later expanded to the 2-LP REGGAE SPECTACULAR compilation.

Willie Bobo's GETTING HEAVY (SP 4244) was unreleased, but I found a CD compilation of 1970 sessions which is likely the same album.

Tying in with the Joanne Vent thread, SP 4255 was for her unreleased second album MUSCATEL. There's a You Tube clip of her singing with a group named Muscatel.

SP 4234 has CONTEMPORARY GIANTS listed. Possibly a sampler of jazz/CTI series artists (?).

The lost album from BRYNDLE (SP 4278) is one I'd love to have. This was the group comprised of Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards, Wendy Waldman and Andrew Gold. They reunited in 1995 to tour and record two new albums. I caught one of their shows and afterwards mentioned the lost recording to Ms. Bonoff. She speculated the album may have been lost in the 2008 disaster. There was a promo 45 of two songs I located. Needless to say, there was much singing and songwriting talent in this band.

SP 4283 was supposed to be a live record from Phil Ochs. I have a CD titled LIVE IN VANCOUVER which likely contains the sessions for this.

SP 4285 should have been the 2nd Lambert & Nuttycombe album. Titled 'WAIKKI' by A&M but released elsewhere under the title 'AS YOU WILL.'

SP 4286 was a U.S. catalog number for a Jimmy Cliff album from Island that contained his version of Cat Stevens' "Wild World."


(I will look through the list for more missing items later)

PS: I still have my copy of the pre-internet data bass compiled by Steve S. & am grateful for it)
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I think 4283 (Ochs) was more likely the intended US release of Gunfight At Carnegie Hall, but was shelved after sales of Greatest Hits (his final original A&M album) continued to show a decline in his sales and presumably, popularity. His Vancouver live album was recorded after Tape From California, but before Rehearsals For Retirement, as Ochs even mentions "new songs" as he performs some of the tunes that eventually ended up on Rehearsals. However, the 1970/71 time frame of this range of SP numbers, it could've been either one, but I lean toward the Gunfight theory as the more likely intended live album.

--Mr Bill
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I'm almost complete on the 4100-4400 series.
Impressive with a capital "I", to say the least!

I like very much that you've addressed the numerous holes in the SP 4100 -- 4299 sequence, which has fascinated me for a few years now (and which I'd like to assemble for a future None&Done post).

I presume you then have SP 4226 / Under Milkweed.

The following four continue to stump me:
  • SP 4263
  • SP 4275
  • SP 4289
  • SP 4290
Do you know anything about these?

Thanks again! A most informative post!👍👍
SP 4289 is the alternate catalog number for 3502 CARPENTERS (3rd album). SP 4290 -- or SPX -- is alternate for BURT BACHARACH (self titled 3501).

The pre-internet data bass has an unnamed Joe Cocker project for 4263 and a 'Punch' album for 4275. This band released 4307 later.


I do have UNDER MILKWOOD as indie label reissues by the Akarma label but not A&M original (if such even exists).
This 2006 Concord label release seems likely to be what should have been SP 4244. The tracks were recorded in 1970. The liner notes say all of the tracks were previously unreleased.


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Akarma issue of SP 4226 on CD & vinyl which came out in the mid 1990s. The sound is similar to Fairport Convention and Jefferson Airplane.


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4318 ANOTHER CYCLE by Jimmy Cliff -- domestic # for Island label overseas release

4320 THIS LAND IS OUR LAND by Yellowcorn -- AKA "Chief Yellowcorn," native American

4331 BOB AND MARCIA -- some of their tracks appear on 'REGGAE SPECTACULAR' & there's a "best of" CD compilation. Their remake of "Pied Piper" was a hit in the U.K. back in 1971.

4334 JIMMY CLIFF (self-titled)

4347 LOOKIN' THROUGH by Demick & Armstrong ----- I recall someone (Mr. Bill?} saying this was released, but I've never seen it.

4357 MICK ABRAHAMS BAND --- another domestic # for an overseas issue

4360 David Steinberg --- comedy album, unreleased

4362 (Gary) WRIGHT'S WONDERWHEEL -- shelved until recent CD release.

4378 & 4387 Brasil '77 LIVE AT THE GREEK CARNIVAL -- overseas only

4393 WALKIN' IN THE SUN by Jeff Barry --- title track came out as a single

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GAPS IN THE 4400 series:


4418 SENATOR SAM --- presumably spoken word from Sen. Sam Ervin (D-NC), prominent figure in Watergate investigation. Not released to my knowledge. Capitol Records released a similar project by Sen. Everette Dirksen (R-IL) back in 1968.

This series ended at 4426.

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I do not have an unbroken sequence for A&M other than 4110, 4111 and 4112. Out of the first 39, I do have 16 of those in my collection and do watch for others. I found the Phil Ochs at a thrift store but unfortunately, the record itself was not in the jacket or anywhere else in the group of albums on the shelves.
With the luck I have been having lately I now have a sequence of four for 4114 to 4117.
I also now have 21 of the first 39.
I just learned that my only entry from Boyce & Hart is that compilation from RR records, and it does not contain all of the tracks from TEST PATTERNS. So I can only legitimately claim 101-4125
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4347 LOOKIN' THROUGH by Demick & Armstrong ----- I recall someone (Mr. Bill?} saying this was released, but I've never seen it.
I looked out of curiosity--it was released, but all I found was a release in the UK under the AMLH 68098 catalog number. If it ever had a US release, apparently nobody has posted a copy of it on Discogs.

I just added Heads Up-4125 to my collection today. That gives me 23 of the first 39. I have also managed a sequence now of 4110 to 4117.
The Heads Up picture of the female looks so much like a mannequin so that is probably why it got out so easily.
Fool On The Hill was censored, at least in this area in stores.
My original copy had it on the wrap but later copies that I have found, including the picture posted on the Fool On The Hill Thread were on the cover.
I saw one purchased through Columbia House about 1970 and the sticker was on the cover and not on the wrap.
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