Early Pop/Rock series and TA Series
This page mainly covers the TA series which were compilations of Top 40 tracks from the previous 6 months or so prior to release. This series was aimed squarely at the teenage market. Many were advertised on television and radio. It was clearly the most popular of the Majestic/K-Tel records genre, and every teenager had at least a few in their home. Although the records clearly sold well, they did not appear on any charts in Australia.
This series covers all three phases of pressings. Pre TA series Majestic pressings appear to have been handled by ARC/CBS. When K-tel was officially formed a consolidated numbering system is started and pressings appear to be handled by Festival. This final two in the TA series 269 and 270 were not “current pop hits” compilations. AS 269 does not have matrix numbers it appears that this was (mis) handled by RCA and probably should have received an NA series number.
The move to RCA in about 1982 was at the hight of the alliances that the Australian music industry formed for releasing their own compilations. Of note is that all the tracks on, “The Chosen Few” (TA 266), were licensed exclusively from WEA. A large proportion of tracks on “Prime Cuts” (TA267) are from CBS, and “Straight Ahead” (TA 268) contains mostly PolyGram licensed material (with a few from RCA). Also worth noting here is that both TA 266 and TA 267, appear to have been released simultaneously, as their MX (matrix) numbers are only 22 apart.
K-tel not only moved to RCA, but also closed the 6 monthly pop retrospectives. These were probably their biggest money spinners, but further pop compilations were to appear in the NA series from time to time such as “Raiders of the Pop Charts”. Nonetheless, K-tel was not the only company struggling with Concept/J&B in a similar situation. K-tel headquarters though was no doubt thinking of other things as they expanded rapidly into oil and real estate. This led to a major crisis, and the company was bankrupt by 1986 and K-tel withdrew from the Australian market ending a 20 year association with Australia.
Early issues CBS related issues have random numbering system based on the album title and are branded Majestic.
The TA series coincides with the change to a consolidated numbering system and the move to Festival and the formation of K-tel. However, the early K-Tel branding appears on 20 Solid Hits Volume 2 (SH701). The Majestic crown continues to appear as the main front logo until Fantastic (TA248), and is not dropped from rear covers until 1980 with Squeezed Out (TA265). The TA series is phased out at TA 270, around 1983, when licensing became too expensive for regular all Top 40 song compilations.
The T series is common to Australia (TA), North America (TU) and the United Kingdom (TE).
The consolidated series begins with TA240 and ends at TA270.
TA 267 is out there but very rare – possibly because of its wholly uninviting cover. TA 269 is not a Top 40 chart set and our guessing is that because it was one of the first RCA releases it was probably mis-numbered and should have been in the NA series.
The order of the early releases is based on the Australia Matrix system that CBS, Festival, Warner, and other Sydney based record companies adhered to – EMI and RCA are notable exceptions. This is often referred to as the MX number and can be found etched into the run out grooves.
Please note: the TA series is now complete apart from TA267 and TA270. Please contact me if you have the details or are willing to sell me a copy of either of these.