UK VERTIGO SWIRL DISCOGRAPHY VOLUME ONE
Details the first half of every UK release on the iconic Vertigo Swirl label from the first Colosseum album in 1969 up to mid-1971, including all known reissues and singles released – essential reading for all collectors of UK Vertigo Swirl vinyl. Volume Two completes the story from mid-1971 through to the last swirl release in early 1973, the German band Atlantis and their self-titled album.
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 first 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.