Probe

SPB-1001-Mystic-Number-National-Bank-labelProbe Records was created by American label ABC Records to distribute American releases in the UK with manufacturing and distribution handled by EMI. Thus, “The Gramophone Co. Ltd” appears around the label perimeter.

The initial label design was black with silver lettering but this soon changed to a pink label design for mainstream rock, folk and country releases. There was also a beige label version for soul and blues releases but inevitably some crossover occurred. By around 1973, the pink label was discontinued and changed to the beige label.

Artists on the pink label (which this sites focuses on) include Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night and The James Gang along with several one-off, low key artists and also some bizarre choices of film soundtracks…So, despite a promising start of prog/psych rock, the label deteriorated into decidedly average and forgettable dross, with the odd exception here and there.

The prefix SPB denotes a non-gatefold sleeve, SPBA is allocated to gatefold sleeves. (As with most labels, a few catalogue numbers in the sequence were unissued, the gatefold SPBA 6271, 6279 and 6281 were unallocated as were several in the non-gatefold SPB series, the gaps in the numbers below indicate a catalogue number not-issued or as yet unidentified – any assistance on filling in the gaps is always appreciated!)

View the UK Probe Records discography here

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