Sounds Terrific

Sounds Romantic

Sounds Relaxed

Sounds Latin

Sounds Saxy

Sounds Brassy

Sounds Swinging

Sounds From The Shows

Sounds Widescreen

Sounds Hawaiian

Sounds danceable

Sounds Trad

Sounds Of The Season

Sounds Paraguayan

Sounds Harpy

Sounds Silky

Sounds For Christmas

Sounds organized

Sounds Steel Band

Sounds Balalaika

Sounds Tzigane

Sounds Nostalgic

Sounds Sentimental

Sounds Bouncy

Decca Sounds


In 1978 Decca created a Sounds logo, linked it to other words and added photos of models. One had an inflamed insect bite on her knee and another wore ten pence coins on her head even though she was supposed to be Paraguayan.


Forumusic yearns these wonderful pre-Photoshop days whilst presenting a morality tale on the pitfalls of collecting, the myth of internet salvation and the pain of the two that got away. Or is it one?



Ronald Binge has his pocket picked

Similar in concept to Polydor Records regurgitating older material for the Circle Of Sound, Decca pedalled furiously through their Phase 4 archives and beyond to create an easy listening ride with heavy saddlebags full of Mantovani, Frank Chacksfield, Ronnie Aldrich and Edmundo Ros


It's a little gruelling.  The catalogue prefix is the slightly tongue-in-cheek MOR and middle of the road is exactly where they are.  Many of the orchestral arrangements rely heavily on the cascading strings style invented by Ronald Binge but cleverly half-inched by Mantovani who ran away with it for a few decades and purchased mansions from the spoils of making it popular internationally. 



Stan Kenton

Lurking amidst a welter of dross are several excellent tracks but with the exception of one good Ronnie Aldrich tune and a mad Kenny Salmon one they primarily belong to Stan Kenton and are all selections from his excellent Stan Kenton Today lp recorded in London 1972 at exactly the time he was forced to confront appalling personal demons from his alcoholic past.


Some lps here are so incredibly slow they are like aural sedatives. Given their pulse-lowering effect they could reasonably be filed as prototypes of the privately issued new age lps now simply referred to as PINA.



Why bother collecting these?

This simple answer is don't collect this series unless you love the palliative properties of string soup but collecting is never rational. It’s tough to explain but it starts when two or three lps have been picked up for cheap before realising they’re part of a series.  On later occasions when vinyl pickings are particularly slim, finding something from the same series that you don’t already have is oddly satisfying. 


This explains why large, half-completed collections of Studio2Stereo, Stereo Gold Award, Ad-Rhythm, Saga and Avenue lps are filed in the record collections of middle-aged men all over the UK.  It doesn’t make much sense but neither does collecting postage stamps, baseball cards or street furniture.




Collecting a short series such as this, Hot Hits or Circle Of Sound may seem like a sensible way to go but it’s really not.  When a significant number are procured the missing lps start scratching at your cerebral cortex. 


The fact they are missing from the series overrides any reasonable consideration of their musical worth which you already know is zero.  On subsequent digging trips the simple beauty of mathematics laughs cruelly in your face as percentage and probability tag team to ensure it gets incrementally harder to find the missing lps Percentage and probability also ensure you repeatedly see the lps you already have over and over.  Sounds Harpy again?  Sounds Of The Seasons again?     



Salvation is internet shaped? 

With wenough money terrible suffering from patient, delayed gratification to get the last few can be replaced immediately by pleasurable and instant gratification.  Applying silver ointment called cash thinly to heal the Decca Wounds we found relief was short-lived.  Our Decca Sounds series is still two short. Possibly.


We have found no trace of Sounds Fairground (MOR 27) and the only evidence for the existence of Sounds For Sunday (MOR 16) is at Solid Viper in the USA.  Tantalisingly listed as containing tracks by Gracie Fields, Bernard Miles and Mantovani,  Forumusic really should not be tempted at all. 



Drawing the line

Fortunately for us the price with postage made the cost equivalent to purchasing about four beautifully picture-sleeved Euro 45s so we decided to spend money on them instead and wait just a little while longer for the delights of Bernie and Gracie to turn up cheap in a charity shop. We'll wait patiently for Sounds Fairgound too and whilst we know for sure it was planned and listed, we suspect it may have been pulled at the last minute.



We do it so you don't have to

Live to 80 and you only have 700,850 hours of listening time available to you providing you don't work or sleep. Life is short so we've listened to these for you. We hope you'll lose half an hour of your limited listening time to click idly over to Music for our reviews of this near complete Decca Sounds collection. They're really not very good and reading it will make you feel better about whatever it is you're listening to right now.


Ian Townsend / August 2012

Forumusic Copyright: All aspects of this web site – design, text, graphics, applications, software, underlying source code and all other aspects – are copyright and of its affiliates, members and content providers. In accessing these web pages, you agree that any downloading of content is for personal, non-commercial reference only. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the Website Owner