In 1994 I was approached to act as a compilation consultant by PolyGram. I did a series of compliations which were fairly mainstream and sold large numbers so I decided to spin it off, still with PolyGram as a partner, to more credible comps on my label. The result was the huh! 100 series.
In 1998 Universal, who'd bought PolyGram renegged on a couple of agreements and were less than upfront in their dealings so in 1999 we moved the label to Festival Mushroom.
There we had an enourmously successful run of compliations, including the BPM Mix series, three Room Service albums, and, the massive Nice'n'Urlich series, with platinum albums across New Zealand and Australia.
The label has been largely wound back now, but 2009 saw a new Room Service album, in partnership with Michael Gudinski's Liberation Music, where many of the FMR staff now work.
I was given the catalogues of Talking Loud and London to play with and, with a few other bits, came up with this collection, in the style, loosely called at the time acid jazz.
Includes tracks by Nathan Haines, Galliano, Young Disciples, UFO and DJ Krush.
Volume two, this time a double CD.
I included about 50% New Zealand tracks this time. Tracks include Nathan Haines, Lava Lava, OMC, New Loungehead, Breaks Co-op, Neneh Cherry, Soundproof, Faze Action, UFO, Carl Craig, Brand New Heavies & Ballistic Bros.
This sold very very well and coined the phrase Future Jazz (acid jazz was well past its sell-by date by then), which went around the world as a genre.
It was intended to be a bit of fun.
I selected two albums worth of tunes from the eighties and seventies, club and soul tracks, and Manuel, in one take, live in the studio, mixed them together.
Included Eric B & Rakim, Cameo, Barry White, Sly & Robbie, James Brown, Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross etc.
And the bloody thing went gold in two weeks!
Recorded in one afternoon at the Box.
Greg is one of the best DJs I've ever seen and continues to amaze me every time I see him.
We planned a whole series of the BPM mix albums but Greg had to be first.
Very proud of releasing this one...
Compiled by myself with Peter Urlich, after a night with too much whiskey and a bunch of old records.
The idea was always to celebrate a bunch of great songs with humour, rather than consciously put out a 'lounge' album, hence things like Harry Nilsson, Dylan & Stevie Wonder.
This album did big business in Australia, with platinum sales
We spent months trying to track down some tracks, buying battered copies off the internet for far too much because we needed THAT track. It was a labour of love and I guess we were a little too perfectionist...but if you are going to do it, you have to do it properly.
Oh..sleeve by PU & Andrew B White, in NZ, that is. The Australians added an odd sleeve which had nothing to do with anything and didn't ask!
I expected to do a couple of thousand copies of this off the back of the Saturday morning show on bFm but it took off.
Peter and I have been close friends for about thirty years now, and Bevan and I go back over a decade so it was a privilege to release this.
The three of us put a lot of time and effort into the tracklisting and I guess it paid off
Over 30,000 sold before, for some inexplicable reason, something to do with spite because huh released an album via EMI, FMR decided to delete the series.
I can't figure out record companies at all....
Number two in the series, from another, highly respected, old friend.
Roger looked very cool on the front sleeve, designed by Andrew White and Peter Urlich.
Now deleted of course, we I still get a request for this weekly. A classic....
There always had to be sequel so here we went again -a platinum record, over 20,000 sold, and my favourite in the series.
After they were deleted there was such a demand that FMR were forced to re-issue all three and the initial pressing sold out in a couple of days...like all three, the sleeve concept was Peter's, a wishlist of tracks came from Bevan, Peter and myself, which I whittled down to a definitive list, and then Bevan sequenced it, with Rick Huntington doing an incredible mastering job, which took days.
Andrew B White completed the artwork.
Like the NnU series, the second in this series was my favourite.
Gold in NZ and in Australia. This time we insisted that FMR Oz kept our, we felt, vastly superior Andrew White / Peter Urlich sleeve rather than the brown smudged thing they used on the first.
Vol 1 & 2 Doublepacked at a reduced price.
the Australian edition with a couple of track changes for some forgotten reason..did quite well
Volume 3, the last one in the series although there was enormous pressure to do a fourth and we considered a live album....and another gold record..
The series was so successful but despite what I said above it really couldn't have happened without the support and creative marketing of FMR
The final in the series, although Warners in Australia were mumbling about a "Best of", which finally arrived via a new seal with Liberation.
Another solid seller on both sides of the Tasman, although Peter and I had lost a bit of the passion by now.
This was an odd one...FMR said, in writing they didn't want to do it...until EMI put their hands up....and they changed their minds. Cover shot some boozy afternoon in the Auckland Hilton.
Peter Urlich's baby, a collection of some of his favourite songs..a guilty pleasures thingy, distributed by EMI.
This was a funny one...someone at FMR came up with the idea of packaging all three albums together, for a cheap as hell price.
But no-one asked us or the accountant or the checked the license deals.
They lost about $3 on each one sold so it didn't last long on the shelves
the Australian edition...we changed a few tracks because the Australians were confused by a few of the more leftfield choices.
Once again they changed the sleeve...not pretty
The Room Service concept applied to seventies soul. Massive good reviews and very good sales.
The cover and the TV ad, unfortunately were watered down, somewhat beyond our control but a good album and one I'm quite proud of nevertheless.
...a gold record
A best of the series, with a few extra tracks, released in Australian and New Zealand.
Tracklisting at Discogs