One of the worst album covers of all time and one of the most cheaply produced compilation LPs of all time as there was absolutely no information bar the name of the song, the artist and where it was lifted from.

Product 2378 was released in 1990 on Telstar Records which, according to wiki:-

… was founded in 1982 by Sean O’Brien and Neil Palmer with a government loan of £120,000. It was launched as a specialist compilation marketing label and had hits with a range of compilation franchises such as the Deep Heat, Kaos Theory and 100% ranges. As well as these brands, the company licensed a number of major artist recordings (for example ABBA and the Four Tops) to release telemarketed compilations.

In the mid-1990s it diversified its output into the singles market and long-term artist development with the launch of the Multiply Records and Wildstar Records subsidiaries. Until then, Telstar normally only released singles that were tele-marketed and associated products like The Chippendales or PJ and Duncan. Acts signed in this period included Conner Reeves, Sash!, Phats & Small and Basement Jaxx.  Craig David had the label’s first UK number one single.

Other artists included Victoria Beckham (a sub-licence deal from 19 Records), Rosie Ribbons, Skream!, The Cheeky Girls and Mis-Teeq. In the late 1990s, Telstar became closely associated with BMG Records, especially with the Telstar TV compilation arm and The Hits Album releases.

Telstar Records went bankrupt in 2004, largely due to the company’s habit of giving large advances to artists such as Claire Sweeney, Victoria Beckham and Rosie Ribbons who failed to make them any money. In the media much of the blame for the label’s failure was placed on their most high-profile signing, Victoria Beckham. However, as most of Telstar’s artists were not directly signed to the label, instead being either sub-licensed or part of a number of joint ventures, BMG (soon to be merged with Sony) declined to buy the label’s assets outright.

It’s really quite astonishing to think that the same label was responsible for such an excellent and star-studded compilation  as the full sixteen-song track listing demonstrates:-

mp3 : The Wonder Stuff – Who Wants To Be The Disco King?
mp3 : New Order – Vanishing Point
mp3 : The Jesus & Mary Chain – Head On
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Kennedy
mp3 : Pop Will Eat Itself – Can U Dig It?
mp3 : Happy Mondays – Mad Cyril
mp3 : New Model Army – Brave New World
mp3 : The Weather Prophets – Almost Prayed
mp3 : Morrissey – Last Of The Famous International Playboys
mp3 : Siouxsie & The Banshees – Peek-a-Boo
mp3 : Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven
mp3 : Inspiral Carpets – Joe
mp3 : Crazyhead – Baby Turpentine
mp3 : Throwing Muses – Dizzy
mp3 : All About Eve – December
mp3 : The Mission – Tower of Strength (Bombay edit)

I just can’t begin to imagine how Product 2378 came about given the daily dross (for the most part) that Telstar Records inflicted on us. Was it down to some indie-kid on work experience for a week who somehow managed to sneak it out without his bosses noticing? As I said, the cheap artwork for the cover and the lack of any relevant and meaningful info within the packaging would indicate it wasn’t much of a priority for the label.

File under bizarre but enjoyable….