Monday, 16 March 2009

The “POP HISTORY” Series of Vinyl Double Albums On Polydor Records from the early 1970’s.

The following “POP HISTORY” Discography is for the GERMAN RELEASES only. Release Dates range from 1972 to 1974 (the dates on the record labels tend to refer to the copyright dates of the material rather than the release date).

They were also issued in other countries in Europe and even in South America [none were issued in the UK or the USA – some of the earlier titles were imported into each]. Each set was a double album and had distinctive generic colour artwork, laminated gatefold sleeves, polylined inner bags and quality pressed European vinyl (Polydor/Cube labels). Collectors have long enjoyed them for their ‘early material’ track lists and top quality mastering.

It isn't all straightforward however when you stray away from the German issues - artists featured in the series differed from country to country - as did the Volume Number they were allocated.
For instance the French version of Booker T & The M.G.’s turns up as Vol.5 instead of 8, while Richie Havens is Vol.11 instead of 13. Uruguay had THE BEE GEES as Volume 5, while there was none in the German issues. THE WHO set in Argentina is a double, while the Brazilian issue ‘appears’ to be a single – it isn’t. The “Pop History” name and same artwork was used in a 10LP German Box Set where the artists are doubled-up on some records or receive a single album on others – many people broke out these single albums and sold them separately – as “Pop History” titles. James Brown is Volume 3 in many countries, but the track list on the Spanish issue is different to the German issue (different hits in different countries). With this cross-country tailoring to their particular marketplace, but often using the same German artwork and even the same overall catalogue number, it's easy to see why some confusion can creep in...

Also - for British and Irish fans alike, the series throws up some quirky anomalies – huge and popular ‘rock’ acts like SLADE, guitarist ROY BUCHANAN and the fabulous Maggie Bell fronted STONE THE CROWS are not represented here, but HARDIN & YORK are? Eddie Hardin and Peter York made 3 albums in the UK on Bell Records (1971’s “For The World” is the 3rd), none of which did any business in Britain. Musically they may have been excellent, but fame-wise, they were and still are absolute obscurities in their own country and their albums are now hard-to-find vinyl rarities clocking in at £25 + (if you can locate them). They were, however, huge in Germany, capable of filling large venues and hence the reason they were afforded the luxury of a “Pop History” double in that country. The same applies to SAVAGE ROSE - huge in Europe - but virtual unknowns in the UK.

Also - FOUR of the doubles are not compilations, but 2 whole albums under another name – see notes on Hardin & York, Mountain, The Grateful Dead and Medicine Head.

I've finally located Volume 17 (possibly Jack Bruce), Vol. 24 appears to be unissued and the series ends with Rory Gallagher on Vol.30. The release info and track lists come from a European Polydor catalogue of 1974 I’ve acquired and also from the albums I own. I’ve double-checked the details for accuracy and to my knowledge, this is the first time that all of this info on the series has been put together in the one place.

1. Pop History Vol.1 – CREAM (Polydor 2675 014)
[Featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker]
14 Tracks: N.S.U./White Room/Sitting On Top Of The World/Sunshine Of Your Love/Passing The Time/Lawdy Mama/Deserted Cities Of The Heart/As You Said/I Feel Free/Sweet Wine/Doing That Scrapyard Thing/I’m So Glad/Traintime/Toad

2. Pop History Vol.2 – JIMI HENDRIX (Polydor 2675 013)
16 Tracks: Who Knows/Voodoo Chile/Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)/Rainy Day Dream Away/We Gotta Live Together/All Along The Watchtower/Power Of Soul/And The Gods Made Love/Moon Turn The Tides.../Changes/Foxy Lady/Long Hot Summer Night/Message To Love/House Burning Down/Still Raining Still Dreaming/Come On - Part 1

3. Pop History Vol.3 – JAMES BROWN (Polydor 2625 009)
24 Tracks: Maybe Good-Maybe Bad (Part 1 & 2)/Choo Choo/Stagger Lee/Use For Mother/After You Done It/You’ve Got To Change Your Mind/Soul Pride (Part 1)/Soul Pride (Part 2)/Fever/Is It Yes Or Is It No/World (Part 1 & 2)/Georgia On My Mind/The Chicken/Time After Time/If I Ruled The World/I’m Shock/Prisoner Of Love/Kansas City/Brother Rapp (Part 1 & 2)/Just Plain Funk/I’ll Lose My Mind/Gittin’ A Little Hipper/The Scratch/Here I Go

4. Pop History Vol.4 – THE WHO (Polydor 2675 012)
20 Tracks: My Generation/Heatwave/Smash The Mirror/Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde/Overture From Tommy/Doctor! Doctor!/In The City/Mary Anne With The Shakey Hand/I Can See For Miles/Sally Simpson/Magic Bus/You See My Way/The Acid Queen/We’re Not Gonna Take It/Summertime Blues/Bucket “T”/Our Love Was/Christmas/Don’t Look Away/Call Me Lightning

5. Pop History Vol.5 – THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL featuring JOHN SEBASTIAN (Polydor 2625 010)
24 Tracks: Daydream/Jug Of Wine/Try A Little Bit/(Till I) Run With You/Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind/Six O’ Clock/Didn’t Want To Have To Do It/Henry Thomas/Younger Girl/Nashville Cats/Only Yesterday/You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice/Revolution/Forever/Rain On The Roof/Voodoo In My Basement/Money/Summer In The City/Do You Believe In Magic/Only Pretty What A Pity/Never Goin’ Back/Blues In The Bottle/Night Owl Blues/She Is Still A Mystery

6. Pop History Vol.6 – ERIC BURDON and THE ANIMALS (Polydor 2625 011)
18 Tracks: St. James Infirmary/A Girl Named Sandoz/The Black Plague/Uppers And Downers/No Self Pity/Cheating/When I Was Young/It's All Meat/Serenade To A Sweat Lady/Orange And Red Beams/Winds Of Change/Help Me Girl/New York 1963 - America 1968 (Full 19:00 Minute Version)/Year Of The Guru/You're On My Mind/She'll Return It/Just The Thought/The Immigrant Land

7. Pop History Vol.7 – FRANK ZAPPA and THE MOTHERS of INVENTION (Polydor 2625 012)
20 Tracks: Help I’m A Rock/I’m Not Satisfied/Motherly Love/Plastic People/The Idiot Bast@#! Son/Brown Shoes Don’t Make It/The Chrome Plated Megaphone Of Destiny/Anything/You Didn’t Try To Call Me/Duke Of Prunes/Hungry Freaks Daddy/Uncle Bernie’s Farm/Who Are The Brain Police/Who Needs The Peace Corps/Absolutely Free/Status Back Baby/Invocation & Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin/Go Cry On Somebody Else’s Shoulder/Flower Punk/America Drinks & Goes Home

8. Pop History Vol.8 – BOOKER T. & THE M.G.’s (Polydor 2625 013)
23 Tracks: Mrs. Robinson/This Guy’s In Love With You/Because/Foxy Lady/Hi Ride/Time Is Tight/Heads Or Tails/Michelle/Lady Madonna/Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy/Light My Fire/Eleanor Rigby/Soul Limbo/The Horse/I Want You/Something/Melting Pot/Hang ‘Em High/Johnny, I Love You/Sunny Monday/La La Means I Love You/The End/Over Easy

9. Pop History Vol.9 – ERIC CLAPTON (Polydor 2668 001)
[Features Cream, Derek & The Dominoes and Eric Clapton Solo]
15 Tracks: Bottle Of Red Wine/Bell Bottom Blues/Rollin’ And Tumblin’/Badge/Lawdy Mama/Strange Brew/Let It Rain/Spoonful/Anyday/Wrapping Paper/Little Wing/Sweet Wine/After Midnight/Key To The Highway/Layla (Full Album Version)

10. Pop History Vol.10 – GINGER BAKER (Polydor 2668 002)
[Features Cream and Ginger Baker’s Air Force]
14 Tracks: Sweet Wine/Passing The Time/Sunshine Of Your Love/Twelve Gates Of The City/Doin' It/Man Of Constant Sorrow/Blue Condition/We Free Kings/Today/Toad (Full 13 Minute Version)/What A Bringdown/Let Me Ride/Do What You Like (Full Near 12 Minute Version)/I'm So Glad

11. Pop History Vol.11 – TASTE (Polydor 2668 003) [featuring Rory Gallagher]
[Features Studio and Live Material]
19 Tracks: Sugar Mama/I’m Movin’ On/What’s Going On/Born On The Wrong Side Of Time/ Same Old Story/Eat My Words/Gamblin’ Blues/Railway And Gun/If I Don’t Sing, I’ll Cry/Feel So Good – Part 2/On The Boards/Hail/See Here/Dual Carriageway Pain/I’ll Remember/Blister On The Moon/It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again/Leaving Blues/Catfish (Full 10 Minute Live Version)

12. Pop History Vol.12 – THE SPOTNICKS (Polydor 2676 016)
23 Tracks: Amapola/One Has My Name/Green Eyes/Ku’damm Promenade/Muddy Mississippi Line/Walk Right In/Last Date/Diamonds/I’m Coming Home/Steel Guitar Rag/Bye Bye Birdie/Habanera/Everybody’s Talkin’/In The Mood/Busted/Say Mama/Walking Back To Happiness/Havah Nagila/Wildwood Flower/Recado/I’ll Remember You/Hot Toddy/Space Walk

13. Pop History Vol.13 – RICHIE HAVENS (Polydor 2625 015)
18 Tracks: Indian Rope Man/Baby Blue/Wear Your Love Like Heaven/Run Shaker Life – Do You Feel Good/I Started A Joke/Shouldn’t All The World Be Dancing/From The Prison/Open Your Eyes/Strawberry Fields Forever/A Little Help From My Friends/Priests/I Pity The Poor Immigrant/Prayer/She’s Leaving Home/Lady Madonna/For Haven’s Sake/Don’t Listen To Me/The Parable Of Roman

14. Pop History Vol.14 – JOHN MAYALL (Polydor 2675 017)
13 Tracks: The Laws Must Change/Nature’s Disappearing/Waiting For The Right Time/To A Princess/I’m Gonna Fight For J.B./Lying By My Bed/Night Flyer/Counting The Days/Took The Cat/Saw Mill Gulch Road/California/Many Miles Apart/People Cling Together/You Must Be Crazy/Thoughts About Roxanne/Thinking Of My Woman

15. Pop History Vol.15 – SAVAGE ROSE (Polydor 2675 018)
21 Tracks: Savage Rose/Look Out/You’ll Be Alright/I’m Walking Through The Door/White Swans’ Marriage Clothes/Everybody Must Know/Her Story/Sailing Away/Your Sign – My Sign/His Own Happiness – God’s Little Hand/Oh Baby Where Have You Gone?/Open Air Shop/You Be Free/A Trial In Our Native Town/Sleep/The Shepherd And Sally/The Castle/Ride My Mountain/A Girl I Know/Life’s Other Side/I’m Satisfied Mr. Captain

16. Pop History Vol.16 – GOLDEN EARRING (Polydor 2625 018)
21 Tracks: Back Home/Everyday's Torture/Gipsy Rhapsody/Born A Second Time/Song Of A Devil's Servant/Big Tree Blue Sea/One Huge Road/The Truth About Arthur/Magnificent Magistral/I'm Going To Send My Pigeons To The Sky/Yellow & Blue/Landing/Crystal Heaven/Must I Cry?/God Bless The Day/See See/The Wall Of Dolls/Who Cares?/Nothing Can Change This World Of Mine/The Loner/The Sad Story Of Sam Stone/This Is The Time Of the Year

17. Pop History Vol.17 – JACK BRUCE (Polydor 2668 004)
17 Tracks: Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune/As You Said/Doin' That Scrapyard Thing/We’re Going Wrong/White Room/Theme For An Imaginary Western//Over The Cliff/This Night This Song/Once I Loved/HCKHH Blues // To Whom It May Concern-Them/Statues/ Things We Like/Allah Be Praised/N.S.U./Dance The Night Away/Train Time

18. Pop History Vol.18 – AIR FORCE [Ginger Baker's Air Force] (Polydor 2668 005)

19. Pop History Vol.19 – THE VELVET UNDERGROUND and NICO (Polydor 2625 019)
17 Tracks: Lady Godiva's Operation/Eulogy To Lenny Bruce/What Goes On/Winter Song/Some Kind Of Love/The Gift/Chelsea Girl/I’m Set Free/The Murder Mystery/Little Sister/I'll Be Your Mirror/Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams/Jesus/The Fairest Of The Seasons/After Hours/It Was A Pleasure Then/ That's The Story Of My Life

20. Pop History Vol.20 – THE BLUES PROJECT featuring AL KOOPER and STEVE KATZ (Polydor 2625 020)
18 Tracks: Fly Away/Steve’s Song/Dakota Recollection/Two Trains Running/When There’s Smoke, There’s…/I Want To Be Your Driver/If You Got To Make A Fool Of/No Time Like The Right Time/Endless Sleep/Wake Me-Shake Me/Niartae’s Hornpipe/Cheryl’s Going Home/Calypso/I Can’t Keep From Crying Some/Violets Of Dawn/Mojo Hannah/The Flute Thing/Catch The Wind

21. Pop History Vol.21 – HARDIN & YORK (Polydor 2625 021)
[2 whole albums; their debut LP from 1969 on Bell Records called “Tomorrow Today” (Tracks 1 to 9) and their 2nd LP also on Bell Records from 1970 called “The World’s Smallest Big Band (aka Hardin & York)” (Tracks 10 to 15)]
15 Tracks: Tomorrow Today/100 Years From Now/I'm Lost/Drinking My Wine/Candlelight/Beautiful Day/Mountains Of Sand/Can't Keep A Good Man Down/Listen Everyone/Just A Case Of Time/I Can't Find My Way Home/Love, A Song For You/Rock & Roll Medley (a) Jailhouse Rock (b) Mean Woman Blues (c) Rip It Up!/The Pike/”Northern Medley" (a) Lady Madonna (b) Norwegian Wood

22. Pop History Vol.22 – MOUNTAIN (Polydor 2625 022)
[2 whole albums, their 1969 US-Only debut LP on Bell Records by Leslie West called “Mountain” (Tracks 1 to 11) with their 2nd LP from 1970 [1st in the UK] also on Bell Records called “Mountain Climbing” (Tracks 12 to 20)]
20 Tracks: Blood Of The Sun/Long Red/Better Watch Out/Blind Man, Baby, I’m Down/Dreams Of Milk & Honey/Storyteller Man/This Wheel’s On Fire/Look To The Wind/Southbound Train/Because You Are My Friend/Mississippi Queen/Theme For Imaginary Western/Never In My Life/Silver Paper/Yasgur’s Farm/To My Friend/The Laird/Sittin’ On A Rainbow/Boys In The Band

23. Pop History Vol.23 – THE GRATEFUL DEAD (Polydor 2679 003)
[2 whole albums - “Vintage Dead” (Tracks 1 to 4) and “Historic Dead” (Tracks 5 to 9). Although the material was recorded in the mid Sixties, both albums only received official release in the UK on Polydor in 1972]
Tracks: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl/Lindy/Stealin'/The Same Thing /I Know You Rider/It Hurts Me Too/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Dancin' In The Streets/In The Midnight Hour

24. Pop History Vol.24 – NOT YET TRACED

24. Pop History Vol.25 – MEDICINE HEAD (Polydor 2625 026)
[2 whole albums; their 1971 2nd LP on Dandelion Records called “Heavy On The Drum” (Tracks 1 to 11) and their 1969 debut LP also on Dandelion Records called “New Bottles And Old Medicine” (Tracks 12 to 25)]
25 Tracks: There's Always A Light /Any Day Now/Medicine Pony/Thou Shalt Not Pass/Expectation Blues/To Train Time/Call On Your Saviour/Have No Fear/You Got Me Rockin' And Rollin'/Once There Was A Day/(Sometimes) Even The Moon Has No Face/When Night Falls/Ooee Baby/Next Time The Sun Comes Round/This Love Of Old/Home's Odyssey/Oh My Heart To Peace/Do It Now/Be It As We Are/Fire Under Mountain/Two Men Now/Crazy 'Bout You Baby/Goin' Home/His Guiding Hand/Walkin' Blues

26. Pop History Vol.26 – JULIE DRISCOLL and BRIAN AUGER (Polydor 2668 007)
18 Tracks: This Wheel’s On Fire/Tramp/Day In The Life/Save The Country/Save Me (Part 1)/Indian Rope Man/Black Cat/Take Me To The Water/A Kind Of Love In/Goodbye Jungle Telegraph/Season Of The Witch/I’ve Got Life/Light My Fire/Maria’s Wedding/Let The Sunshine In/Red Beans And Rice/Truth/Road To Cairo

27. Pop History Vol.27 – T. REX (Cube 2635 005)
24 Tracks: Hot Love/Jewel/The Visit/Childe/Ride A White Swan/Summertime Blues/Get It On/Is It Love?/One Inch Rock/Summer Deep/Warlord Of The Royal Crocodilee/Seagull Woman/Jeepster/Hot Rod Mama/Mustang Ford/Chariots Of Silk/Cat Black/She Was Born To Be My Unicorn/Debora/Iscariot/Nijinsky Aind/Organ Blues/By The Light Of A Magical Moon/Dragon’s Ear

28. Pop History Vol.28 – PROCOL HARUM (Cube 2635 006)
22 Tracks: A Whiter Shade Of Pale/She Wandered Through The Garden Fence/Something Following Me/A Christmas Camel/Homburg/Conquistador/Quite Rightly So/Skip Softly (My Moonbeams)/Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)/Rambling On/Wish Me Well/Shine On Brightly/A Salty Dog/The Milk Of Human Kindness/Crucifiction Lane/The Devil Came From Kansas/Boredom/Whisky Train/Your Own Choice/Still There Be More/About To Die/The Dead Man’s Dream

29. Pop History Vol.29 – THE MOVE (Cube 2635 007)
17 Tracks: I Can Hear The Grass Grow/Helloh Susie/(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree/Don’t Make My Baby Blue/Flowers In The Rain/Fire Brigade/Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited/Wild Tiger Woman/Night Of Fear/Blackberry Way/When Alice Comes Back To The Farm/The Last Thing On My Mind/Curly/Hey Grandma/Walk Upon The Water/Brontosaurus/Fields Of People/Omnibus

30. Pop History Vol.30 – RORY GALLAGHER (Polydor 2679 006) [see also Taste]
[Tracks 1 to 5 are by TASTE; 6 to 17 are RORY GALLAGHER solo]
17 Tracks: Blister On The Moon/Born On The Wrong Side Of Time/Leaving Blues/Railway & Gun/Eat My Words/Hands Up/Just A Smile/Wave Myself Goodbye/Can’t Believe It’s True/Used To Be/I’m Not Awake Yet/Don’t Know Where I’m Going/Should’ve Learned My Lesson/Going To My Hometown (Live)/Messing With The Kid (Live)/In Your Town (Live)/Bullfrog Blues (Live)


  1. I have Pop History Vol. 17. It IS Jack Bruce,

  2. Today I was remembering my musical tastes, with intent to write a note to a friend. I tried to remember the first album I ever bought. I wanted to know, exactly, what it was called, the bouble Lp of the group "The Who" and I've found that!!! Is Pop History Vol. 4, Wow!!! You have the cover of my first LP!
    At my twelve or thirteen years old, no more, with the money that my parents gave me for candys, I was saving until I bought it.
    Thank you very much, you have refreshed my memories!!!

  3. Hallo from vienna ! PopHistory Vol 24 was from a band called 'Ihre Kinder'. Greetings, Horst

  4. Vol 24 is 'Ihre Kinder'
    LG Horst

  5. I got a pop history double album split between frank zappa and the mothers of invention and the velvet underground featuring nico not numbered. matrix number 2335 033/034. blue cover.

  6. I got a pop history double album split between frank zappa and the mothers of invention and the velvet underground featuring nico, not numbered. blue cover, matrix number 2335 033/034.
    record one tracks: duke of prunes/absolutely free/status back baby/america drinks & goes home/invacation & ritual dance of the young pumpkin/flower punk/you didn't try to call me/i'm not satisfied/the idiot bastard son/the chrome plated megaphone of destiny
    record two tracks: the murder mistery/i'm set free/lady godiva's operation/winter song/wrap your troubles in dreams/the gift/some kind of love/eulogy to legny(!) bruce

  7. Title Pop History Vol. 24 Ihre Kinder
    Artist Ihre Kinder
    Musiclabel POLYDOR
    Labelnumber 2634018
    Year 1972
    Press German
    Type Gatefold Cover
    Format LP
    Beschreibung 2LP-SET

  8. I just found a copy of "Taste" Vol 11, which is catalog # 2668 003 DBL LP (2) on the Polydor Label.

    I've never seen this series before, but probabbly because it's a German pressing.The gatefold inner sleeve is written in both English & German.
    *Cool to find these oddities, as there are usually a tune or two I havn't heared before.

    Thanks for posting your knowledge (with pictures)

  9. Hi Mark,

    you may be interessed in the images I posted in
    Full blown information on all german releases of the series. I have higher res scans available.