Although the market of today is awash with compilation albums,
the Now That’s What I Call Music 27’s and the Dance Heat – The
Second Fire types were in short supply in the early 1970’s. For
the 70’s youngster (or the just-generally-tight-with-money person) an alternative to the compilation albums existed in the form of budget LP’s with recent hits covered by session artists.
No 90’s style arty-farty advertising concepts were employed by the record companies back in the 70’s, the marketing bods going with album titles such as Top Of The Pops and Hit Parade.
Some of the tracks were almost indistinguishable from the original, not surprising as quality session musicians would often do the job well. Elton John also reputably performed as a ghost
singer on some of the tracks in the early days of the albums.
However, high quality material wasn’t universal as the version I once heard of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, covered by a female vocalist with a range about five octaves below Kate’s,
goes to prove.
Most of my early anatomy/biology education was delivered courtesy of the front cover of these albums. I was 18 before I discovered that not every woman wears hot pants !