Situated on the cusp of Hanger Lane, a busy West London gyratory system every bit as ugly as its name, the Belvedere Restaurant is a lunchtime magnet for assorted business suits, passing reps, the odd courting couple and, on occasion, various Ace persons, all savouring the excellent Italian-style cuisine and attentive service. This is the trattoria in whose comforting confines Trevor Churchill, John Broven and Rob Finnis have sketched out the blueprint for virtually every volume of 'The Golden Age Of American Rock'n'Roll', universally acclaimed as the most comprehensive overview of pre-Beatles rock 'n' pop ever compiled on CD. If this all sounds like great fun, it is also the prelude to a lot of hard work.
Many months later and it's all beginning to come together. Favours have been called in, licensors dealt with, and the photo/historical research completed. No matter how intricate the machinations, licensing co-ordinator Liz Buckley can always be relied on to keep a cool head. There are usually last minute questions over licensing rights or the quality of a particular mastering source. You can usually tell when these hitches have occurred by the impatient look on Trevor Churchill's face. And spare a thought for our in-house designer Chris Popham who has to put it all together, ensuring it has that unmistakably polished "Golden Age" look.
To date, collective sales of "The Golden Age" series have exceeded 100,000 copies and we thank everyone for sharing the faith. Each successive release brings special responsibilities in terms of product refinement and we believe that Volume 9 maintains the high standard we have set for ourselves.
The compilation of US Hot 100 entries from the years 1955 - 1963, contains the usual varied mix of major and minor hits including quite a few which were not originally released in the UK at the time. There is a strong 'feelgood' factor to it - check out the track listing on the previous page - while the vividly illustrated 28 page booklet containing the stories behind the hits, surpasses even our own expectations. Most of you will have a particular favourite among the existing eight volumes and it is likely that this latest chapter in the story will soon be vying for the top spot in your affections.
By Rob Finnis