Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bumpers - Island Sampler (1970) Vinyl Rip Original Pink Island Label

In the late sixties British record labels started to release a selection of their artists’ material on records known as samplers. These were not intended as bumpers up front anthologies or compilations – the purpose was to allow listeners the opportunity to sample a range of acts at a reduced price, showcasing in particular those for whom there was not a conventional singles market and hence little opportunity for radio airplay in the UK. Columbia’s “The Rock Machine Turns You On” and Liberty Records “Gutbucket” started the trend, but Island Records produced a series of gems from “Nice Enough to Eat” and “You Can All Join In” in 1969, to “Bumpers” in 1970 and “El Pea” in 1971. “Bumpers” was, as it’s name would suggest, the pick of the crop, with an eclectic yet cohesive collection of music across two 33rpm vinyl discs. The album came out in two pressings, one with the pink label and "i" logo, the other with the label displaying a palm motif on a white background and a pink rim. There are subtle differences between the recordings (as noted by Dave Sanderson), although the variations on overseas versions were much more fundamental, with a wholly different selection of tracks for the Antipodes (see here). In addition the sleeve notes and label information are shoddily compiled - to the numerous errors recorded by Bob McBeath at The ProgArchives add that John & Beverley Martyn are simply called "John & Beverley" on the back of the album. Incidentally, I have little idea what the motif on the back of the album represents, nor where the picture inside the album was taken, but I can tell you why there is the choice of artwork on the front - it is because those distinctive basketball-style shoes, popular in Britain at the time, were known as "Bumpers".

1970 was the year that 18 year olds got the vote, and women got equal pay. The first transatlantic Boeing 747 flight arrived at Heathrow and Britons got a taste of the new decimal currency ahead of decimalization in 1971. Ted Heath led a Conservative victory in the General Elections in a decade which would end with Margaret Thatcher in power. Tonga and Fiji gained independence from Great Britain, signaling the last small death throes of the British Empire, whilst white Rhodesians and the IRA initiated their own brands of independence movements. Across the pond, Americans protested for and against their invasion of Vietnam and Cambodia, and the National Guard shot unarmed students on the campus of Kent State University. A dazzling Brazilian team led by Pele won and retained the Jules Rimet Trophy, football’s World Cup trophy won by England four years earlier at Wembley stadium. bumpers inside left

Simon & Garfunkel, the Rolling Stones, Andy Williams, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin has the biggest album successes of the year, and Elvis Presley topped a singles chart which had Rolf Harris’s “Two Little Boys” heading up the chart at the start of the year. This was the year of the Isle Of Wight festival that featured Jimi Hendrix, who was to die in London in September and achieve a posthumous number one single with “Voodoo Chile”. The Beatles split up and Janis Joplin died. Mariah Carey was born.

The music scene appeared remarkably vibrant, and Island Records was arguably the most innovative and diverse label around, and easily the most successful independent label before its founder, Chris Blackwell, sold it to A&M (PolyGram) in 1989. Blackwell had started in the record industry in 1958 in his native Jamaica, promoting the emerging bluebeat and ska sounds. He had a crossover hit with “My Boy Lollipop” from Millie Small in 1964, by which time he had moved his Island Records label to Notting Hill Gate bumpers inside rightin London. The label would expand to include a diverse range of pop, rock, folk, jazz, blues, reggae, progressive, underground and experimental acts that included the Spencer Davis Group, ELP, Bob Marley, Robert Palmer and U2. Along the way it developed a reputation for originality that attracted maverick and talented producers such as Joe Boyd and Guy Stevens. And, of course, the artists featured on Bumpers. Incidentally the pink label period releases are lovingly documented in a series of articles in "Record Collector" magazine between September and December 1996. I once read that Chris Salewicz was going to write a history of Island Records but I guess it is still a work in progress - should be a good read when it finally comes out. And Joe Boyd has written an outstanding book on the music industry called "White Bicycles" which co-incides with the time he was associated with Island.

Track Listings

Side 1
1. Every Mother's Son by Traffic (7:08)
2. Love by Bronco (4:42)
3. I Am The Walrus by Spooky Tooth (6:20)
4. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga by Quintessence (5:15)

Side Two:
5. Thunderbuck Ram by Mott The Hoople (4:50)
6. Nothing To Say by Jethro Tull (5:10)
7. Going Back West by Jimmy Cliff (5:43)
8. Send Your Son To Die by Blodwyn Pig (4:35, shown as 5:35 on label)
9. Little Woman by Dave Mason (2:30)

Side Three:
10. Go Out And Get It by John and Beverley Martyn (3:06)
11. Cadence and Cascade by King Crimson (3:43)
12. I'm Reaching Out On All Sides by If (5:40)
13. Oh I Wept by Free (4:25)
14. Hazey Jane by Nick Drake (4:28)

Side Four:
15. Walk Awhile by Fairport Convention (4:00)
16. Maybe You're Right by Cat Stevens (3:00)
17. Island by Renaissance (5:57)
18. The Sea by Fotheringay (5:29)
19. Take Me To Your Leader by Clouds (2:55)

More Info on this album can be found here


Vinyl rip Here


Side three of this album was just too badly damaged to clean so for the sake of continuity I've replaced them with mp3's from various sources


  1. Hi Thanks for Bumpers. I used to have this album back in the seventies. Now I'm on a nostalgia trip I was hoping I'd find it on the web somewhere.

  2. From the author of the article at the 'flowerbedmusic' site (referenced in the text above):

    "Here are some specific differences on the pink Island copy:

    Traffic - Different mix. Bigger drums.
    Bronco - Extra electric guitar part played lightly on introduction.
    Spooky Tooth - The guitar solo at the end has its first eight bars missing.
    Quintessence - The track is LIVE!
    Mott The Hoople - Extra guitar melody in instrumental bridge section. Much drier mix.
    Blodwyn Pig - Runs at slightly slower speed. Sounds a semitone lower practically!
    Cadence And Cascade - Fades out early and loses last thirty seconds of flute solo (and the final chord, of course!)
    Oh I Wept - Different vocal take altogether!! Drier mix.
    Hazey Jane - Instruments eg. guitar, strings. are panned differently."

    Thanks for Bumpers.

  3. I hate compilations! but this one is an exception. Picked it up in an unwanted vinyl collection and wow! Pink label with the white "I" and mint.. A proud addition to my collection to say the least. Featuring all the artists of my prime listening period - priceless!!!

  4. Sides 1&2

    is not working....

  5. New Link for sides 1 and 2 now available

  6. both links are down please update thanks :) x

  7. both links are not working could you please amend really want this :(

    1. will re upload when i find the files, having some pc issues at the moment. Hopefully in the next week I will have it sorted

    2. ok could you please let me know asap i really want this album remember it from years ago what a classic :)

    3. have you uploaded it yet or what??

    4. Ok Billy your persistence has paid off. there is a new link provided.It's not on mediafire (my preferred host) because they keep deleting the file. Grab it while you can

    5. excellent thank you so much abominogjnr thats great really appreciate you doing that for me :D x

    6. hey there what a class lp it really is im also looking for two others that u may be able to help me with one was called Gutbucket it was a 1969 sampler for liberty and the follow up one son of gutbucket i have looked everywere for download but cannot find please help.. thanks again!

  8. how long for links want them now :(

  9. would be great if you had them both i really want to get them x

  10. please reply i really would appreciate gutbucket and son of gutbucket :)

    1. Sorry Billy I don't have those albums Although I am aware of them and if I ever find copies I will post them

  11. ok no worrys please post if you ever find them cheerss


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