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METROPOLE

Metropole Gramophone Co. Ltd. Made in England.

The first Metropole records appeared on the British market in April 1928, and cost three shillings. They were well made, electrically recorded (some of the first), and of a high standard. But from a marketing viewpoint all was not well when it was realised by the record-buying public that the same music could be bought on the Picadilly label at half the price; strange marketing here as Picadilly was a Metropole label, released as a budget record. The USA pressings came from the grey Gull label which were also offered to Picadilly. Original Bririsg records were recorded at the Highbury Athenaeum, a ballroom, in North London. One unusual aspect of the label was that, for a short period until the management woke up to their folly, some records were released with totally different music genre on the two sides - eg, a dance band on one side, and a violin and flute duet on the other. 

The label: Gold on black. The motif within the circle is that of the Big Ben clock which the corny quote, ĎA Striking Record'. The label lasted just on two years with some 300 records released in the meantime. 

Artists: Fred Elizalde and his Rhythmicians played two dance numbers with Al Bowley on vocal; a jazz quartet playing In Harlem's Araby under the name The Bohemian Dance Band; Al George's Red Pepper Band, George Fisher and his Kit-Cat Band, and the Montmartre Mad hatters - not exactly household names. 

See also Piccadilly.

Record in collection:

L184 c4 METROPOLE Metropole Gramophone Co. Ltd. Made in England.
1030 (M91-2).  VALSE CAPRICE (Ant. Rubinstein).  The Casano Octet.
1030 (M93).  GOLLY WOGS CAKE WALK (Claude Debussey)  Ibid.